Old Testament

Bible Challenge, Week 19: The Nation - Samuel

After the chaos of Judges, the LORD is ready to move Israel to a new phase of history.  They’ve exhausted themselves by “every man doing what was right in his own eyes,” and they seem to recognize it.  They need leadership, direction, identity: “Give us a King, so we might be like the other nations!” […]

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Bible Challenge, Week 18: The Nation - Ruth

After all the mayhem of the book of Judges, Ruth is a sweet breeze blowing from the barley fields surrounding the House of Bread (or as it’s better known, Bethlehem).  It’s reassuring that even in times of war and strife, normal life goes on.  But Ruth is also a sweet story, a lovely example of […]

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Bible Challenge, Week 17: The Nation - Failure!

All that the LORD commands us, we will do.”  That’s the solemn promise of God’s own people, first to Moses and then to Joshua.  But, as we’ll soon see, they couldn’t even keep the first commandment.  (By the way, do you remember what the First Commandment is?)  I find the book of Judges to be […]

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Bible Challenge, Week 16: The Nation - Home at Last

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Did you catch the change in headings from last week to this week?  We’re no longer talking about “the people,” but “the Nation.”  By crossing the Jordan, Abraham’s wandering descendants passed a milestone.  A promise made to that landless patriarch almost 500 years earlier is fulfilled by the dramatic events that open the book of […]

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Bible Challenge, Week 14: The People - Sacrifice

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Leviticus is often called the “graveyard of daily Bible reading plans,” because when you turn the page after Exodus all your good intentions to stay awake fall off a cliff.  Detailed instructions for festivals and holy days, scrubbing your leprous walls, burying your polluted waste, purifying your bodily discharges . . .   What could have […]

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Bible Challenge, Week 13: The People - Tabernacle

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After last week’s fiasco, most of us would have ditched our “chosen people.”  The Lord even indicated that that was his inclination, but Moses (speaking in human terms, from a human perspective), “changed his mind.”  Or, as the first paragraph of the download puts it, After the golden calf incident, God declared that He would let […]

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