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”

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 boys, and some bears. This is a violent story, one that I need to handle with care. So to make sense ofContinue reading ““Go up, you baldhead””

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”

Women, Men, and the Principle of Proportion

When it comes to the Bible, bigger and more prominent is not always better. For example, it’s a mistake to think that because women don’t appear as often as men in the Old Testament, they are less important in God’s story of redemption. I heard a Biblical Studies scholar say disdainfully some years ago thatContinue reading “Women, Men, and the Principle of Proportion”

Naaman and Gehazi

The story of the servant girl and Naaman in 2 Kings 5 is particularly important to me. A few years ago, my mentor and friend Bill Dennison wrote a sermon* about this story when I was feeling altogether LOW. When I needed Bill in my life, God brought me Bill. And Bill taught me howContinue reading “Naaman and Gehazi”

The Three Ascensions

The powerful prophet Elijah is a punchy character in God’s story, and I can’t stop thinking about him. In 2 Kings 1:8, King Ahaziah’s men describe him as “a hairy man with a leather girdle bound about his loins”. Maybe I have a thing for hairy loners? Maybe I find Elijah so compelling because thisContinue reading “The Three Ascensions”