Archives: Lessons

Isaiah 1-5

I love quotes. Sometimes I will Google a book and read through the quotes and excerpts and think I have read the book. That’s part of the challenge in our study of Isaiah.  It’s one of the most quoted books in the Bible and, in fact, is quoted over 100 times in the New Testament. So, we feel like we have read and understood it just by the quotes we’ve seen and read. Or, we take familiar sections a ...[Read More]

Isaiah 1

For many of us the image of an Old Testament prophet looks like a scraggly homeless person weaving along the street mumbling to himself with no one listening. For others it may be a wild and austere figure like John the Baptist from the desert eating locusts and honey while dressed in camel’s hair with a leather belt shouting about repentance. For some it may be a stomach-acid-washed Jonah kicking ...[Read More]

Song of Solomon: Love As Strong As Death

Love that is as strong as death. Unquenchable love. Burning love.  Love that cannot be bought at any price. That is our text this morning.  There are so many definitions of love! We use the word to describe food (I love BBQ) to styles (I love that dress on you) to patriotism (I love America). After time, it loses its meaning. A few years ago I took Carol to my old elementary school in Cincinnati a ...[Read More]

Song of Solomon: Little Foxes

Tradition has it this text is the romance between Solomon and his second wife, Naamah. His first wife from Egypt was basically a political maneuver when he was a young man and the only wife mentioned by name is his second who was an Ammonite, a foreigner and dark-skinned.   As well, as he had 700 wives and 300 concubines, I find it hard to believe he would have had the energy or creativity to comp ...[Read More]

Proverbs 31

So, here we are at the end and King Lemuel’s mother has given him some wise advice. “Do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings.” If you have read the news or watched television any time in the last forty years then I don’t need to say much about this one.  There are women who are attracted to powerful men. There are powerful men who are distracted and seduced by certa ...[Read More]

Proverbs 29

  Proverbs 29 It was Karl Marx who said capitalism contains the seeds of its own destruction. The very thing that makes it effective – the creation of wealth – will cause it to implode on itself. Systems often do and individuals as well.  As Oswald Chambers said, it is not our weaknesses that cause us to sin because we know them and guard against them. It is the overuse and overco ...[Read More]

Proverbs 16

This morning I want to look at two themes in Proverbs 16: Where do you want to go and who do you want to become on your way there? First, planning where you want to go.  If you are a serious Calvinist or a devout Muslim you might say, “God willing or Inshallah” as you make plans because you believe whatever plans we make are completely dependent on whatever God wills so we don’t really make plans ...[Read More]

Proverbs 5

The picture of women in the Old Testament is not a simple one. It is more like Jackson Pollock’s style than a black and white photograph. They are virgins, wives, prostitutes, adulteresses, and widows.  They are heroes and villains. They are naive and wise.  They are seducers and seduced. They are sinners and saints. In other words, they are just like men. The wife of Job says, “Curse God and die. ...[Read More]

Proverbs 4:11-25

Is Proverbs just for the young? I don’t think so. This passage reminds me of Psalm 1 because it is asking us to consider the same questions about our lives – even now when we are older. In what direction are we walking and with whom? The Road Less Travelled is not just for the young looking forward but for us looking back at our choices: “I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages an ...[Read More]

Proverbs 3:21-35

We need to remind ourselves every week of two important things in the study of Proverbs: First, these are the instructions from a father to a son about the son’s eventual role in leadership.  They are not simply rules for a happy life.  They are part of his training for responsibility and we should not read them without our own increased responsibility in mind.  Again, all of this life is an appre ...[Read More]