“Man is born for trouble, / As sparks fly upward.” Who offered this insight? A philosopher in an ivory tower or a monk in cloistered monastery? No. These words dripped with pain from the pen of a flesh and blood sufferer. These words came from the pen of Job.
The book of Esther is a vital link in the chain of Jewish history, as it reveals what neither Ezra nor Nehemiah includes: crucial experiences of the Jews who remained in Persia. As we dig into this account, keep an eye on the central crisis driving the work.
Nehemiah was a man who saw a need—a need to travel from his home in Babylon and rebuild the destroyed walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah couldn’t do this alone; he needed the king’s support. And with much prayer, he approached the king and received the backing he needed. What Nehemiah didn’t realize was his toughest tasks were still before him.
Given the responsibility of leading a group of God’s people back to Israel from Babylon to reestablish the proper way of worship, Ezra performed admirably—not because he was an electric personality but because he was a true man of the Word.
“What a waste!” That’s the common response of a novice when the Chronicles are opened. At first glance, the books seem boring, tedious, and needless. But God preserved these books. With meticulous care, He watched over their composition and preservation. In this study, we shall discover how essential these incidentals really are.
Second Kings revolves around a life principle not even God violates: persistent sin may be forgiven, but its consequences cannot be erased.
One of the haunting perils of leadership is the great divorce between what happens at the office and what happens at home. Many a man and many a woman may hit a home run at the office, but what good is it if they strike out at home? This is the dilemma Solomon faced as he rose to the position of king over Israel.
No question about it. King David remains among the brightest lights of the Bible. So significant was David that God set aside an entire book of the Old Testament to cover David’s 40 year reign…from his highest pinnacle of achievement to his lowest valley of misery and defeat.
Transition times can be disconcerting. Those who have gone through the remodeling of a home can testify to that! Likewise, changes in leadership at one’s place of employment or moves across the country or new policies and procedures set in motion bring the need to adapt. Being creatures of habit, we are disturbed by these changes.
We often discover priceless gems in the strangest places—deep in the rugged, dark corners of the earth. This is so with the book of Ruth. Like an exquisite rose blooming in a foul garbage dump, the story of Ruth adds elegance, grace, and charm to an otherwise depressing scene.