Category Archives: Bible

Worship and Suffering: Praising God from the Ashes

In scripture, suffering and worship go hand in hand. The greatest book on suffering ever written, the book of Job makes this connection at the very beginning when everything begins falling apart in Job’s life,

20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
    may the name of the Lord be praised.”

22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” (1:20-22)

Worship and mourning are not mutually exclusive. If we misunderstand worship to be praise conditioned upon positive circumstance then we misunderstand the very nature of worship and the very nature of God. Worship is unconditional in that we offer it to God no matter what, in all circumstances. At the same time the thing that happen in our lives have everything to do with the content of our worship. We praise God out of the reality of what is going on in our lives. The scriptures never sugar coat worship as if God is co-dependent to our “everything is fine” addiction. No. Worship in the Bible is in tune with reality because worship and suffering and not mutually exclusive. Even these words of Job are offset in the text, assuming that they are a song. Job is singing.

If there is still any doubt about this please take a moment to read the Psalms. It won’t take you long to realize that those songs frequently call out to God from troubled circumstances. This worship is a worship that recognizes God’s worth and worthiness from difficult circumstances and then calls on God’s covenant faithfulness to make things right again.

If you are suffering and down maybe it is time to try worship. It is good for the soul.

“The lord gave and the Lord has taken away, may the name of the Lord be praised.”

Turning the Bible Into an Insect Collection

Our boys have recently gotten into Pokemon go. If you don’t know what that is, it is a phone app that combines your camera and GPS to let you find Pokemon out in the world, capture them and train them. The Pokemon concept came from a man in Japan named Satoshi Tajiri who collected insectsContinue Reading

Jesus Inaugurates the New Creation Via the Holy Spirit

I have been thinking a lot about the Holy Spirit lately. One of the connection points that I have been looking into is the Spirit’s role in Creation and His corresponding role in New Creation. First is the Spirit’s work in God’s original creation. In Genesis 1:2 we see the Spirit of God hovering overContinue Reading

Developing Ears to Hear the Word & Voice of the Lord

On several occasions Jesus finished his teaching telling those who heard him that if they had the ears to hear they needed to listen (Mark 4:9, 13 & 8:18). Jesus taught in such a creative way that he not only kept your attention…he left you with more questions than you had answers. In doing so,Continue Reading

Did David Prophesy the Deaths of His Own Children?

After David had an affair with Bathsheba and subsequently had her husband Uriah murdered to cover his tracks the prophet Nathan came and rebuked David for his sins in 2 Samuel 12. Nathan tells David a story about a man who only had one little lamb that he treated as his own child. He caredContinue Reading

An Important Principle in Reading the Old Testament as it Relates to the New – Fulfillment

We teach a lot more Old Testament to our children than to our adults. At least that is my experience. The Old Testament is so full of great stories that work well with the imagination of our kids. We don’t ever need to graduate out of the Old Testament. Instead we need to understand justContinue Reading

Essential Old Testament Reading for the Christian

If you are wanting to get to know your Old Testament but don’t know where to start here are a few things to consider that will help you get a better handle on the Old Testament that will result in a better understanding of the New. The idea here is that the Jewish people hadContinue Reading

How is the Old Testament Useful Today?

The word “graphe” in Greek is used 49 times in the New Testament and literally means “writing.” In the New Testament the kind of writing that is being discussed is inspired writing which in basically every case is the Old Testament and so the word is translated “scripture.” When the New Testament writers refer toContinue Reading

Ironing Out Our Conflicting Message on the Usefulness of the Old Testament – Part 3

Next we turn to Acts 15. The Gospel had been preached among the Jews up until Acts 10. In Acts 10 we get the story of the divinely orchestrated encounter between Peter and Cornelius. Peter acknowledges God’s acceptance of non-proselyte (Jewish convert) Gentiles by the evidence of the Holy Spirit coming upon Cornelius and thoseContinue Reading

Ironing Out Our Conflicting Message on the Usefulness of the Old Testament – Part 2

It is important in this conversation that we stick with scripture itself for our guide. In Churches of Christ that is one of our mantras – that we stick by scripture even over tradition. But in the case of how we read and use the Old Testament we skip right past what the New TestamentContinue Reading


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