Morning Musing: Matthew 5:27-28

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

Jesus said some uncomfortable things during His ministry. This particular saying is close to the top of the pile. Frankly, it’s even worse than what He says next about cutting off the hand or gouging out the eye that causes us to sin because those are obvious instances of hyperbole. This one isn’t. This one is just hard. There’s no wiggle room here. So…what do we do with it. 

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: 1 Samuel 10:21

“He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its clans, and the clan of the Matrites was taken by lot; and Saul the son of Kish was taken by lot.  But when they sought him, he could not be found.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

This was Saul’s big moment. He’d been anointed by Samuel to be the first king of Israel. He’d now been chosen by lot—the process by which the people determined the will of the Lord. And when his big moment came…he was nowhere to be seen. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Judges 20:27-28

“And the people of Israel inquired of the Lord (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days, and Phineas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron, ministered before it in those days), saying, ‘Shall we go out once more to battle against our brothers, the people of Benjamin, or shall we cease?’  And the Lord said, ‘Go up, for tomorrow I will give them into your hand.'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

The people were surely confused by now. They felt they were doing their righteous duty by punishing the people of Benjamin militarily for not condemning the terrible acts of the evil men of Gibeah, but also for refusing to turn them over so the rest of the nation could hold only them accountable. Their refusal amounted to a defense of their actions which essentially made the whole tribe guilty of them. But now, even after seeking the Lord together for direction twice and feeling assured of His presence to guide them, they had lost in battle against the Benjaminites twice…badly. Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Judges 3:2

“It was only in order that the generations of the people of Israel might know war, to teach war to those who had not known it before.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

I read this verse for the first time in a long time the other day and it got my attention as it hasn’t any of the previous times I’ve read it. I honestly have struggled with it some. This is the fifth reason we are given that the nations of Canaan were left in the Promised Land. Which one are we supposed to take as true? Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Judges 6:7-10

“When the people of Israel cried out to the Lord on account of the Midianites, the Lord sent a prophet to the people of Israel.  And he said to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of slavery.  And I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land.  And I said to you, “I am the Lord your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.”  But you have not obeyed my voice.'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

The people of Israel were hurting and broken and desperate. They were starving. The Midianites were taking everything. They were keeping them weak and unable to mount any kind of a meaningful resistance to their reign of terror. The Israelites were but a couple of generations into the land God had provided for them and it looked like he had abandoned them to this enemy for good. Now, the reality was that it had only been like this for a few years, but when you’re trapped in misery, a few years can seem like a lifetime. They did the only thing they could: Scrape together a meager survival and cry out to the Lord. Read the rest…