Elisha’s She-Bears: The Power of Mothers and Judgement in the House of God

Can you lead forth a contellation in its season,And guide the Bear with her sons? Job 38:32 As someone keenly interested in the role of the natural world in redemptive history, I am transfixed by the Bible’s few references to bears. With the bear, we meet the fury of wicked rulers, God’s jealousy for theContinue reading “Elisha’s She-Bears: The Power of Mothers and Judgement in the House of God”

Like a Shadow

There’s so much hidden in the Bible’s shadows. In Judges, Shechem’s ruler Zebul tells Gaal that what he sees coming down from the mountain to wage war are not men but merely “the shadow of the mountains” (Judges 9:36). As we read on, we learn that Gaal has indeed seen Abimelech’s men, but Zebul’s words ring inContinue reading “Like a Shadow”

Queen Mothers of Judah

In 1 Kings 2, King David goes the way of all the earth, and his chosen heir Solomon inherits the throne. But Adonijah, “a very handsome man” and Solomon’s older brother, has already set his sights on ruling Israel. Adonijah has already previously been put quickly in his place (1 Kings 1:50-53), and so nowContinue reading “Queen Mothers of Judah”

Five or Six Times: The Death of Elisha

I have that feeling again, of being on the edge of something immensely profound. It’s hard to describe, like a lamp lit in the corner of my mind. Each encounter like this blows me back in my seat. I have to sit a minute and catch my mental breath. In 2 Kings 13, God recountsContinue reading “Five or Six Times: The Death of Elisha”

Faces in the Bible: The Assassination of Ben-hadad

Being in self-isolation has got me thinking about faces. And as I like to do, I will begin a short series studying faces in the Bible with an enigmatic story, about Elisha and Hazael in 2 Kings 8:7-15. Why this one? Because this short story not only involves faces but takes us right back toContinue reading “Faces in the Bible: The Assassination of Ben-hadad”

“Go up, you baldhead:” Elisha and the Bears

Recently, I wrote about a story about a boy who mocks God’s people and His promises. This took my mind to a similar story in 2 Kings 2, the story of Elisha, some young men, and some bears. This is a violent story, one that I need to handle with care. So to make senseContinue reading ““Go up, you baldhead:” Elisha and the Bears”

High Places

Repetition is God’s signposting. Sometimes it takes me a while to spot a pattern, but then God brings it up again. And again. And again. I’ve said it before, but this textual maneuver means God wants us to do the work of asking Him to reveal what He is saying. And IF I’ve been payingContinue reading “High Places”

Names and No Names

Bible readers have at times wrestled with anxious thoughts about the presence of so many unnamed people in the Bible. Why is Noah named but not his wife? Why doesn’t God give us the name of the Levite’s concubine? Who are the widows in the books of Kings? What is the name of the womanContinue reading “Names and No Names”

Naomi and the Shunammite Woman

It’s easy to forget the rest and relief of Ruth when you’re knee-deep in all of the violence and betrayal in the books of Samuel and Kings. Reading these books is like traveling through an immense desert, surviving spring to spring. And yet, 2 Kings offers us Ruth again, just when we need it. Or,Continue reading “Naomi and the Shunammite Woman”