This season of Lent invites us to contemplate our sin in order to prepare for Easter, a time of new beginnings. The story of the waters of Jericho illustrates God’s role in new beginnings.
When Israel entered the land of Canaan, it immediately sacked and destroyed the fortified city of Jericho after God collapsed the walls.
In Joshua 6:26, Joshua pronounced a curse on anyone who would rebuild the city. It would cost the lives of his eldest and youngest sons. 1 Kings 16:34 tells us that, in Ahab’s time, someone named Hiel rebuilt Jericho. The curse occurred just as Joshua had prophesied.… Read the rest
The last-recorded event in Elisha’s life seems a bit strange at first. A king of Israel named Joash visits him on his death-bed, weeping. A few verses earlier, the passage says Joash did evil in God’s sight. As a young prophet, Elisha had told King Jehoram of Israel that he wouldn’t give him the time of day if it weren’t for the presence of King Jehoshaphat of Judah (2 Kings 3:14). What’s different about Joash?
Elisha tells him to take a bow and arrow and says he can destroy the kingdom of Syria, but then seems to take it back. He told Joash to strike the ground with arrows.… Read the rest
It’s more blessed to give than to receive. But God is such a generous giver that we receive all the time. And in fact, what we receive depends very much on what we give.
Unfortunately, we concentrate so much on material things that we easily forget how much else giving and receiving means.
Let’s take a look at one of Jesus’ teachings on the subject:
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.