Digging in Deeper: Haggai 2:12-14

“‘If a man is carrying consecrated meat in the fold of his garment, and it touches bread, stew, wine, oil, or any other food, does it become holy?’ The priests answered, ‘No.’ Then Haggai asked, ‘If someone defiled by contact with a corpse touches any of these, does it become defiled?’ The priests answered, ‘It becomes defiled.’ Then Haggai replied, ‘So is this people, and so is this nation before me–this is the Lord’s declaration. And so is every work of their hands; even what they offer there is defiled.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the principles that lies at the heart of much modern thinking about religion and morality is that good things should happen to good people, and bad things should happen to bad people. In fact, the question of why bad things happen to good people is of great enough interest that it has been the subject of more than one book-length treatment. What God communicated to the people of Israel through Haggai here doesn’t resolve the issue by any means, but it does offer some good food for thought to folks who are pondering on it.

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Morning Musing: James 1:2

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials…” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Years ago I read Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. The book was a combination of science fiction and medieval adventure. It should have been an easy sell for a great book. And it did end strong. But it took me just shy of forever to get into it. The beginning was as slow and dry as anything I’ve ever read. Most often, an author starts a book with some kind of compelling, attention-grabber that will get you quickly engaged and hungry for more. Similarly, if you’re going to include something hard in the book, you save that for later after the audience is already engaged with you. Not James. He socks us in the nose from the moment we get started. What are we supposed to do with this?

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Morning Musings: 2 Corinthians 1:9

“Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death.  But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

One of the questions that has haunted humans since sin entered into the world is why bad things happen.  How do we reconcile the presence of evil in the world with our innate sense that the world was designed to be good?  For those who have heard the Christian claims of a God who is perfectly loving and all-powerful at one and the same time this challenge becomes even more acute.   Read the rest…