Month: January 2015

Jacob Wrestles With God

A few years ago a very valuable missing painting was found.  It had been used by the unknowing owner for wrapping fish.  That’s how I feel about this story in a way.  Why would such an extraordinary and pivotal account in the history of God and man be used to explain why Jews do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip?  It makes me wonder how many other stories are being used to ...[Read More]

The Return From Babylonia

After 70 years in Babylonia, Cyrus, the King of Persia issues a decree that the Jews who wish to return to Judah are free to do so.  While Nebuchadnezzar’s policy was to completely conquer nations and bring people to Babylonia in exile, the Persians allowed conquered nations to become client states or colonies.  The book of Nehemiah is the history of the return and the rebuilding of the city ...[Read More]

Malachi…And A Little Zechariah

While in the Navy I was assigned as a “yeoman”.  That means I was a clerk/typist.  I had a specialty in that I served as a legal typist and part of those duties were compiling Officer Fitness Reports.  OFR’s were a very important part of an officer’s career and while very rarely were negative comments made, the underperforming officers were described in ways that everyone k ...[Read More]


It’s important to understand the centuries long history between the Midianites and Israel.   Even though Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, was a Midianite there was always tension between the two peoples.  But, the real dispute is recorded in Numbers 25.  Midianite women were seducing Israelite men by inviting them to worship the local gods.  In response, Moses instructs the leaders to kil ...[Read More]

Psalm 112

In the local paper this morning the publisher’s column made the suggestion that we not think of New Year’s resolutions this year.  Instead, we might think about a theme for our year or a word we want to have define our lives over the next twelve months.  Here is a Psalm with a theme that would make a good example.  This is a great Psalm for beginning the year.  In fact, it’s a gr ...[Read More]