During the days of the Temple, the Levities were in charge of keeping the Temple holy. So throughout the night, the captain would make his rounds to make sure that those assigned were watching attentively, so that no one would defile the Temple during the night. If a watchman was found sleeping, he was beaten and his garments were set on fire so that he had to return home naked in his shame!
Some time ago, I wrote a devotional about not worrying for tomorrow because tomorrow holds its own worries. But it occurred to me recently, that just about as often as we worry for tomorrow, we fret about yesterday. How many times do we find ourselves saying, "I wish things could be the way they were, I wish I was younger, I wish I could fit into those jeans again, I wish I didn't make that terrible mistake … you fill in the blank"?
Since I started Worthy News in 1999 there is one thing I have not seen in 11 years — a day that there wasn’t news to cover! I’ve not taken a so-called vacation since I started the ministry — yet I don’t feel worn out or weary. Of course, my wife wants to take a vacation soon, so we will probably go somewhere this coming weekend. But while I was driving home at around 4 AM last night — I was pondering it — why don't I feel worn out?
In this passage, Elijah had become so weary running from Jezebel that he sat under a Juniper tree and just asked the Lord to take his life. But the Lord knew exactly what Elijah needed and He sent forth a messenger to revive and nourish him. I love it.
While the mighty men of David were warriors and could fight with the best of them – they also took time to relax and feast with King David.
With war drums beating even more intensely in Iran and Syria, we've received numerous phone calls and emails expressing their concerns — and understandably so! Nevertheless, even in this climate of anxiety, we are preparing to enter into Shabbat (the Hebrew word for Sabbath) this afternoon. And as we do, we are remembering again, the deep lesson of God's entering into His rest following the six creation days.
As most of you know, we've been on a speaking tour throughout the United States during the past month, and have been preaching throughout the country in the midst of flu season. This past weekend the flu finally broke down my immunity and seriously knocked me out. But after a few days of battling, I'm starting to feel better. Influenza is a nasty virus that has the ability to replicate extremely quickly and once it establishes a foothold, rapidly gains a stronghold within the body. You may guess where I'm going with this personal illustration.
Growing up, one of my favorite Saturday activities was watching ABC Sports. I can still remember the opening line — “The thrill of victory or the agony of defeat!” One of the greatest prophets of the Bible, Elijah, experienced his share of victories — but he also knew that sudden feeling of defeat.
In the Greek olympic games of old, a unique race was run. The winner was not the runner who finished first — it was the runner who finished with his torch still lit!
It was recently during Hurricane Sandy that I read how teenagers for the first time ever had to live without any electricity, and (can you even imagine) – without a cell phone! For the first time in their lives they enjoyed the privilege of experiencing what life was like decades ago. Forced to slow down, unable to text or "Facebook", everyone who lost power entered a "moment" of technological communication silence, and they waited anxiously for the powers that be to restore their normal life patterns.
If you ever have the chance to visit Jerusalem, one place you must see is Solomon's quarries – also known as Zedekiah's cave.It's a gigantic underground quarry beneath the old city of Jerusalem, an amazing archeological site which offers a glimpse of the handiwork of the builders of the first temple of King Solomon. Can you imagine, as the Temple was under construction, what the craftsmen and the builders must have been thinking about this glorious house they were building?
An elderly teacher, with a pupil by his side, took a walk through a forest. Suddenly he stopped and pointed to four plants close at hand. The first was just beginning to peep above the ground, the second had rooted itself pretty well into the earth, the third was a small shrub, while the fourth was a full-sized tree. The tutor said to his young companion, 'Pull up the first plant.' The boy did so eagerly, using only his fingers…
Have you ever heard how the Karen people of Burma were prepared for the gospel? This unique people's history reveals how the Lord had sovereignly preserved, in their traditions, their yearning for the one true God.
Anyone that’s been a believer for very long realizes how small the world is these days and how the Lord has connected millions of people with one another in miraculous ways. We meet hundreds of people from various backgrounds, and I’m often amazed how lives of those we meet are crossed over with others that we know.