Through Many Tribulations (Part 2): Hardships

Through Many Tribulations

When Paul explained God’s choice of Jacob over his brother, he quoted from the prophet Malachi: “Just as it is written, ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated’” (Romans 9:13; cf. Malachi 1:2-3). Jacob was chosen for prominence over his brother and for the blessings that came from being part of God’s promise (Romans 9:6-12). The Lord appeared to Jacob and said to him, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you” (Genesis 28:13-15).

However, despite the fact that God chose Jacob and promised to bless him, he faced great hardships throughout his life. When he stood before Pharaoh, he said, “The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty; few and unpleasant have been the years of my life” (Genesis 47:9). Notice some of the hardships that Jacob experienced:Continue Reading

A Good Name

Proverbs 22:1

A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, favor is better than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1).

When Solomon talked about “a good name,” he was referring to one’s reputation. This word means “a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication…character” (Strong’s). It is that for which a person is known.

What are we known for? How important is it to have “a good name”? Let us consider these questions.
Continue Reading

The Evils of Alcohol

Alcoholic

Many have questions about the use of alcohol – whether or not a Christian can or should drink and whether we should condone (or even advocate for) the practice. While many might have different opinions about this, we need to know what the Bible says about it. So in this article, we are going to consider what the Bible says about the evils of alcohol.
Continue Reading

The Application of Wisdom: Stewardship (Part 2)

Notes on Proverbs

Our Attitude Toward Riches

According to the words of Agur, there is a balance which we must strike in our attitude toward riches.

Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, that I not be full and deny You and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God” (30:8-9).

Continue Reading

The Application of Wisdom: Stewardship (Part 1)

Notes on Proverbs

Stewardship refers to how we use the money and possessions we have. The book of Proverbs contains instructions that help us know how to be wise stewards of those things which we have.
Continue Reading

Why the Righteous Do Not Beg

Workers

The psalmist had an interesting observation regarding the state of the righteous and how they were blessed by God.

I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread” (Psalm 37:25).

This is not to be interpreted as an absolute statement. There may be times when godly people are in such dire straits that they have no other option than to beg. Lazarus was one example of this. We know he was righteous because when he died he was “carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom” to enjoy a place of paradise (Luke 16:22). Yet during life, he was “a poor man…covered with sores” who longed “to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table” (Luke 16:20-21). After he died, because he was righteous, he was “comforted” in a place of paradise (Luke 16:25).

Although there are exceptions, generally speaking, those who are righteous will be far less likely to have to beg than others. Even now when God no longer operates miraculously as He did during Bible times, the psalmist’s statement is generally true. Why is that? There are several reasons we can find in the Scriptures that explain why the righteous, in general, do not beg.
Continue Reading

The Poor Widow’s Oil

A poor widow came to Elisha after her husband died. She was in desperate need of any help the prophet could give her. She cried out to him, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord; and the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves” (2 Kings 4:1).

Before we look at some lessons from the help that Elisha gave this widow, it is important to first notice a couple of facts about her deceased husband. The text states that he was one of the “sons of the prophets,” a servant to Elisha. Furthermore, his widow testified that he “feared the Lord” (2 Kings 4:1). This was not a worthless or wicked individual. He was a faithful servant of God and His prophet.

As we read the account of Elisha helping this poor widow, we see that God made provision for her – she was miraculously given enough oil to fill every container she was able to borrow from her neighbors. She was then able to sell the oil, solving her great financial dilemma (2 Kings 4:2-7).

Now, let us notice a few lessons from this story.
Continue Reading