Isaiah’s words about patiently waiting for the Lord anticipate the future with confident hope. From our place of trial, we wait for salvation that is certain to come. Jesus assured His followers, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
A primary school in Japan is testing a system to improve the security of students and also give their parents peace of mind. A radio frequency identification tag carried by each student sends a signal to receivers at school gates, and a computer shows when each student enters or leaves. The system can automatically send an e-mail to notify parents that their children have arrived at school or left for home. In cities where children often commute long distances to school, the system has received high marks from parents, and the kids think it’s cool.
Ashpenaz, a high court official in ancient Babylon, was committed to banishing any testimony of Israel’s God from his kingdom. His strategy focused on young leadership from the captive Hebrews. Ashpenaz gave the captives new names to honor the pagan gods of Babylon. This made sense to him, because their original Hebrew names honored their God (Daniel 1:6).
What was wrong with the ancient Israelites? Why did they have such trouble trusting God? In Hebrews 3, we’re reminded that they heard God’s promise yet refused to believe. I think I know why—we have the same problem today.
Many people believe that Christians are told never to judge others. As “proof,” they quote Jesus’ words in Matthew 7: “Judge not, that you be not judged” (v.1). But a closer look at what Jesus said shows that there are times when we must make judgments.
When explorers entered Peru, they found huge, impressive buildings that may have been standing for 2,000 years. These ancient Inca structures were built of hand-hewn rocks of different sizes and shapes. Some were 3-sided, some 4-sided, and some 7-sided. Without the use of mortar, they were fitted together so perfectly that they stood for many centuries, even through earthquakes.
In the mid-1950s, General Motors displayed more at their auto shows than just cars. At one show in Miami, GM featured a display of a million one-dollar bills, as well as the Hope Diamond (the largest blue diamond in the world).
An antique rack in the entryway to our home holds the canes and walking-sticks of several generations of our family. My favorite is a slender staff with a gold-plated knob engraved with the initials “DHR.” It belonged to my wife Carolyn’s great-grandfather, Daniel Henry Rankin. Curiously, his initials are the same as mine.
Photographer David Crocket of Seattle’s KOMO-TV knows that solid mountains can move. On May 18, 1980, he was at the foot of towering Mount St. Helens when it erupted. For 10 hours he was nearly buried by the falling debris. As the atmosphere cleared, a helicopter pilot spotted him. He was dramatically rescued and flown to a hospital.
In his book Jesus Among Other Gods, Ravi Zacharias tells a story about a girl who became hopelessly lost in a dark and dense forest. She called and screamed, but to no avail. Her alarmed parents and a group of volunteers searched frantically for her. When darkness fell, they had to give up for the night.