During the Biblical festival of Shavuot, the book of Ruth is read. It's a powerful story of faith, restoration and redemption. The book opens with a famine in all the land surrounding Bethlehem, forcing a difficult decision upon Naomi's husband, Elimelech. Now, Bethlehem (beth: "house", lechem: "bread") literally means “house of bread”, so the irony of Elimelech's departure from his home, "house of bread", during a famine, is lost on English speaking readers, but reveals that every detail in the word of God can be meaningful, especially the meanings of names.
While I was in the States, I read several stories about Ronald Reagan that made me appreciate him as a person and as a leader. But one amusing story really caught my attention and made me smile. When he was a young man, Reagan worked at a radio station and sometimes played records of sermons. His shift at the station was a one-man operation and so, on occasion, Ron would set the record playing and then sneak out for a cup of coffee. One day he got a call while he was at the coffee shop from the station's owner, ordering him back to the station, and then … he received his termination notice. He'd returned to the station finding the record skipping at a particular point in the sermon…
In today's news, Bloomberg reported that according to a recent study, Americans can add as many as two years to the nation's life expectancy if they stand up more often and watch fewer hours of television. What a concept — move around and you'll live longer!
David is called a “man after God’s own heart.” Considering that he lusted after his neighbor's wife, committed adultery with her, and had her husband murdered, the Lord's description of him is remarkable. How could a man who was convicted a murderer and an adulterer also be called one after God’s own heart?
Last night began the feast of Rosh Ha Shannah, or Yom Teruah — the Feast of Trumpets. At the end of the summer the Hebrews are commanded to blow the shofar — the ram’s horn, all day long. The sound of the shofar was a sound of alarm — it told the people to get ready. It marked in the calendar that the summer harvest was over and the day of atonement was near and it was time to stand before God.
There is a process going on in us believers. Since the day the Holy Spirit came to dwell in us He has been at work with perfect wisdom and supernatural power to renew and transform our character, to some extent, our personality, and even our physical body. Our outward man, this mortal body with it's natural weakness and sinful ways was doomed to death and is "wasting away" even now.
The Jewish leaders of His time rejected Yeshua (Jesus) when He first came. He didn't meet their expectations. They were expecting a Messiah who would bring relief from the Romans, restore the Kingdom of David, and usher in an era of tranquility throughout the world. It is probable that their intense jealousy of Yeshua blinded them to the numerous passages in the Tenach (OT) which describe Messiah as a suffering servant, since they were certainly aware of those passages.
During the American Civil War in the 1860's, a fierce battle took place at Altoona Pass. It was a key supply point for the Union Army, so the Confederate Army led by General Hood sought to take Altoona Pass which held over a million and a half rations. When Union General Sherman realized Hood's plans, he dispatched General Corse along with 1,500 men to hold the city.
The Bible speaks of a great falling away in the last days (2 Thessalonians 2) before the end of the age arrives, and it seems that we’re seeing it on a grand scale all around us. Virtually everywhere we look we're watching the decline of morality and ethics — in government, entertainment, and social culture. It seems hard to deny…
One of the most fascinating sites to visit in Washington D.C. is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. For 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, a platoon of 30 honor guards protects the tomb through rain, snow and even hurricanes! It's been guarded every minute of every day since 1937.
During the 1990's in an NCAA Division II national championship cross-country race in California, a bizarre twist of events took place. Mike Delcavo and 127 of the best runners in the country were battling for glory over the 10,000 meter course. About three miles into the race, Delvaco was somewhere in the middle of the pack, when he realized that the runners had made a wrong turn. So he yelled out, "You're going the wrong way," but they didn't listen. Only 4 others followed Mike when he turned in the right direction…and suddenly, he found himself in the lead.
This is an interesting passage of Scripture which details how Josiah, a young and Godly king, went forth to cleanse the land, and in doing so, finds that he was fulfilling a prophecy given years before. Josiah went forth doing what was right — and in doing so, was walking out the works that God preordained for him — he was fulfilling the calling that God had set into motion years before!
One of the great marvels of the Roman Empire was the invention of the aqueduct system to provide water over vast distances. It was an absolutely ingenious method which made use of gravity, with stone arches to support the water channels. An aqueduct was built in 109 AD which carried water to the city of Segovia for eighteen hundred years. For nearly sixty generations this aqueduct provided cool water from the mountains above. But fairly recently, it collapsed.
I suppose one of the hardest questions to answer is: "Why do I have to deal with so much adversity?!"
In 490 B.C., the Athenians won a crucial and decisive battle over the forces of King Darius I of Persia, on a plain near the Greek coastal town of Marathon. Upon delivering the important message of their victory, the Greek soldier who came to tell the good news died — he had completed the 26 mile course running and bearing good news, and did it totally unreserved until the moment he died. Today marathons are run all over the world, commemorating that very event 2500 years ago.
Knowing He was about to depart, Yeshua (Jesus) left His disciples with a final command: stay in Jerusalem, and wait…for the promise. Of the thousands who had witnessed His miraculous ministry and heard His amazing teaching, and the hundreds that had actually seen Him after the resurrection, we read in Acts that only 120 stayed and tarried until the promise arrived. But these 120 were steadfast. They waited the full term…
Among the mighty men of David were those of the tribe of Issachar whose special gift was their understanding of the times, a gift of prophetic insight; and this was such a precious gift because included in their discernment was the ability to know how to apply it. In our time prophecy is everywhere. Yeshua (Jesus) warned us that there would be false prophets in the last days, especially approaching His second coming, and He said the prophecy would be so subtle and the false signs so powerful that even the elect might be deceived if that were possible; [Mt. 24:24] While it's clear to many of us that we're living in prophetic days, there are also millions who have no clue of the current times and seasons.
When I was growing up in Baltimore, Maryland during the winter I always wished for a snow day so that I didn't have to go to school the following day. I was always watching the news for any hint of snow, even just a ½ inch was usually enough–schools would just close! Aside from the weather report there was one sign that almost always meant freedom the next day: if Mom and Dad rushed to the grocery store, because on the East Coast, the slightest hint of snow sends everyone running for milk, eggs and bread to be sure they're ready for the storm.
Yesterday, I wrote about building your house upon the rock — because of the violent nature of "flash floods" and "flash rivers" that can quickly form in Israel.
When Joseph was thrown into prison, his life was thought to be over. How could anyone escape an Egyptian prison? But then, in one day, according to God's perfect timing, he was instantly promoted to reign over all Egypt with only the Pharoah, ("god on earth") as his Lord…