His Hands Oustretched

One story I frequently return to when times are tough is the defeat of the Amalekites in Exodus 17. Amalek comes to challenge Israel, and as Joshua fights them with the men of Israel, Moses stands above, on the hill of Rephidim. So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed,Continue reading “His Hands Oustretched”

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”

The Donkey and the Colt

I’ve started creating short video meditations on Biblical themes, and I now have a YouTube channel. My first video focused on the theme of sparrows, and now here is one on donkeys. Having studied donkeys closely, I have a new appreciation for them. And how interesting that donkeys carry a cross on their back. WhenContinue reading “The Donkey and the Colt”

More valuable than many sparrows

In the British Museum, you can visit The Taylor Prism, which lists the campaigns of King Sennacherib of the Neo-Assyrian empire, until the start of his final war against Babylon. Notably, the prism includes a description of Sennacherib’s dealings with Hezekiah, King of Judah in 701 BC. As for the king of Judah, Hezekiah, whoContinue reading “More valuable than many sparrows”

Esther found favour

When we meet Esther, who comes to mind but Rachel, mother of Israel, likewise “beautiful of form and face” (Gen. 29:17)! This is no mere coincidence, not just a common manner of talking at that time. Through Rachel and Esther, the Divine Author is pulling on the female narratival line that carries us from theContinue reading “Esther found favour”

Vashti and Esther: His banner over me is love

On the face of it, the book of Esther is about a pagan king who trafficks young women, a plucky queen who refuses to come when called, and a humble girl of unknown birth who, together with her uncle, braves her way into the king’s harem and saves her people. I used to read theContinue reading “Vashti and Esther: His banner over me is love”

Even the women and children rejoiced

In Ezekiel 8, the Spirit lifts Ezekiel up between earth and heaven and brings him in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the idol of jealousy is located. There, Ezekiel witnesses women sitting and weeping for Tammuz, an ancient Mesopotamian god believed to beContinue reading “Even the women and children rejoiced”

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”

The Business of Seeing, The Work of Asking

For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Hebrews 5:13-14 When God raised us from death in sin to life in Christ, He gave us new eyes (Matt. 13:16-17). ButContinue reading “The Business of Seeing, The Work of Asking”

Heights of Earth, Heights of Heaven

Perhaps one of the reasons that God allows so much time to pass between the last book of the Old Testament (Malachi, written in the 400s B.C.) and the first events of the New Testament is because God’s people needed to feel fully the weight of waiting. And as we know, what God had inContinue reading “Heights of Earth, Heights of Heaven”