Archive for January 2009

Essential 100 Challenge: Day 30 — Ruth 1:1-4:22

January 30, 2009

RuthNaomiWhew. I imagine a lot of us were relieved to be able to settle into story like this. It’s a beautiful story all on its own. But, of course, it’s not on its own. It’s part of the Bible, a part of the BIG story. Ends up that Ruth, the foreigner, is the great grandmother King David. We’re reminded that God’s covenant with Abraham and his descendants is supposed to bless all the nations. (more…)

Essential 100 Challenge: Day 29 — Judges 13:1-16:31

January 29, 2009

SamsonDelilahI’m guessing that many of you are starting to salivate for the New Testament. At the same time, it’s important to know our roots — not only the roots of our past but those roots that are still embedded in our hearts. (more…)

Essential 100 Challenge: Day 28 — Judges 6:1-7:25

January 28, 2009

GideonHornLike many of the other stories we’ve encountered so far, this passage takes another whack at my homogenized faith. I keep looking for heroes, spiritual mentors I can look up to now and then, but so far these have been few and far between. Reading this story about Gideon makes me realize that there was nothing particularly commendable about him either. (more…)

Essential 100 Challenge: Day 27 — Judges 4:1-5:23

January 27, 2009

DeborahDeborah is the man, uh woman, of the hour. As she is described in our text, Deborah is clearly regarded as one of the greatest leaders in Israel’s history. This reminds me of another woman, Junias, whom the apostle Paul describes as “outstanding among the apostles” (Romans 16:7).  So in the Bible we have women as prophet/judges and women as apostles. (more…)

Essential 100 Challenge: Day 26 — Judges 2:6-3:6

January 26, 2009

LordsPrayerCrossIn today’s reading we’re told that the Israelites “served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him,” but the next generation “knew neither the Lord or what he had done for Israel.” How soon we forget. All the stories in Judges remind us that forgetting is a lot easier than remembering, at least when it comes to remembering God and all he’s done for us. (more…)

Essential 100 Challenge: Days 23,24,25 — Joshua 1:1-18; 3:1-4:24; 5:13-6:27

January 25, 2009

AngelSwordBack at the beginning of Genesis, just before the account of the flood, we read that “the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.” Then God said, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.”

God hates violence. That’s why he sent the flood — to get rid of it. I realize how contradictory this sounds: using violence to obliterate violence. We will encounter many more contradictions in this Essential 100 journey. (more…)

Essential 100 Challenge: Day22 — Exodus 31:1-34:35

January 22, 2009

goldencalfToday’s passage is challenging on several fronts (including its length). Let’s focus first on what we learn about God in this story.

Last we heard, God was telling the people to stay back — way back — while Moses “approached the thick darkness where God was.” (more…)