As we said when we began these reflections, the writer of Psalm 139 was facing many challenges from unjust people and oppressors. In this context, a hymn of adoration was crafted, declaring that (1) God is always with us, (2) God's affections are towards us, and (3) we have a unique purpose.
In concluding this journey, the psalmist offers a prayer to God:
This beautiful Psalm begins by boldly declaring that God knows all about us, will never let us go, and has been involved with us from our earliest beginnings (vs.1-18). The latter part of the Psalm provides the context – one of feeling the injustice of people who go about doing wrong and need to be held to account (vs.19-23).… Read the rest
Over the last month or so, I have been gradually reading through the book of Psalms in The Message Bible translation. It's a wonderful collection of songs and poetry, expressing the full range of human emotion: disappointment, frustration, anger and hope, as well as praise, worship and joy.… Read the rest
Today, we conclude our reflections on the book of Job.
What the book of Job CAN do for us:
1. It teaches us to be careful and compassionate in how we respond to people who are suffering. When people are suffering, they don’t need theological debates (“maybe this is an attack from the devil”), personal accusations (“maybe God is punishing you for sin in your life”) or advice for a ‘quick fix’ to their calamity (“if only you had more faith in God …”).… Read the rest
Everyone likes love songs. They fill the radio waves throughout the day. I can still remember enjoying the crooning voice of Lionel Richie singing "Hello, is it me you're looking for?" in my late teens. There is something deeply profound about the desire and yearning of one person for another.… Read the rest
Ecclesiastes is a controversial book – is it a positive affirmation of the joy of life or a deeply pessimistic view of the world? Either way, it resonates deeply with the existential struggles of people today. The book takes us on a roller-coaster ride as the main character sets out to explore the meaning of life.… Read the rest
The book of Ecclesiastes is a fine piece of inspired literary work, carefully crafted to convey an important message about the quest for the meaning of life. There is a Narrator who frames this royal story (1:1-11 and 12:8-14), a story which is made up of the actual words and thoughts of someone we will refer to as the Quester (1:12 – 12:7).… Read the rest
Every since I was a kid, I have loved books. Whether it was visiting the local library, hanging out in my dad’s office, or sitting reading encyclopaedias while my parents were visiting with friends, books were a doorway to a world of experience, information and knowledge.… Read the rest
John 15:1-6.“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.… Read the rest
John 14:1-7.“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?… Read the rest