Within the capitalist, free-market environment, there are many ‘self-made’ men, and many who think themselves ‘independently wealthy.’ According to the Bible, no such people exist. Material prosperity never occurs except by permission. Riches accrue by reason of a prior sponsorship. Without the antecedent generosity of God, diligence and creative effort would not avail. All humans, great and small, are first of all heirs and beneficiaries.
So sang the Israelites in celebration of their rescue from the clutches of Pharaoh at the Red Sea. Well might the redeemed of the Lord Jesus swell the chorus. They have been wrested from the bondage of guilt, futility and despair. They are bought with a price. They are his heritage. He will never leave them nor forsake them. No one can pluck them out of his strong hand. Indeed, they have ‘crossed over from death to life.’ Such are the certainties of the Christian faith. No
God takes his people the long way round. He could have led Israel into Canaan in a very short time by a shorter route. He didn’t do so because he knew how to manage the journey in the way that would yield the least temptation to turn back. God always seems to take too long; our life’s course seems unreasonably difficult. But God knows me better than I know myself. He sees that I am ignorant, weak and impatient. He intends to get me to the land where his promises are all fu
Wonderful news! God sees our distress and undertakes to do something about it. God will not suffer man’s inhumanity to man forever. He acts to rescue the weak from their oppressors and establish justice in the earth. But wait. There’s more news, but not as welcome as the former: God uses human instruments to affect his liberating agenda. He does not let his servant Moses remain at a safe distance from the battle zone. Those who pray every day that God will bring the world
In a land ruled by a king whose egomaniacal propensities stood undenied and unchallenged; a realm where the weak were exploited and dissenters eliminated, there lived women who believed themselves accountable to a higher authority than Pharaoh. Were it not for their civil disobedience Moses, Israel’s deliverer would not have been born. In today’s world kingdom, where the secular and material gods strut and swagger, God has his servants, and his people are blessed because of
Contrary to what politicians who win government like to say (that the voters always get it right), the crowd is a fool. Worse, the crowd is self-serving and without a conscience. Crowds have been known to riot, causing mayhem and death; crowds lynch and crucify the innocent. Scripture reminds us that the crowd is not a reliable guide for truth and justice. There’s something else: The crowd is fickle. Sometimes the crowd will take the part of a perceived underdog even if he
In Eden, Mankind was specified in terms of his relation to the Creator. Since the world environment is now compromised through sin, humanity can still experience its creator God, but only within a relationship of salvation. Men and women must need access the infinite creative resources of God, as beings in need of deliverance. It can be well for us only as we approach God deeply conscious of his concern for our plight, and as we never forget what he has done to set us free
From the mouth of one man the cry of the world is heard. If a boy lives till he is a man, he will at some point, in one form or another, have learned to sing this the chorus of the human race. Deeds are done in the earth, men and women are victims of such hideous and unjustifiable ill fortune; they cannot bear to think that they will end their days without anything being done to make it right. Our thirst for justice is not a mere evolutionary itch. Its origins are in God w
Here is the exclamation of a man astounded as he realizes he is in no position to influence God or to bring him round to his view of what is just or unfair in the world. In every aspect of his existence, Job knows that he is not God’s equal. It is his place to wait on God. I have no claim on God either. In all aspects of my life, I depend on God’s generosity and kindness. Among all the graces from his supply, mercy is most abundant—and most needed.
One of the greatest gifts I can give to someone, is to create in him the confidence that I am feeling what he is feeling; that I understand what it is like to be in her shoes. It is relatively easy to supply glib counsel to someone who is deeply troubled. It takes a great deal of moral effort to empathize. Next time I encounter someone weighed down with worry or sorrow, it will be better for that person of I consider what I might feel if our relative circumstances were reve