The story is told of a man visiting a farmer who was going through hard times. He wondered what had gone wrong, so he asked the farmer, "Did you have a poor harvest this year?" The response quickly came back, "I didn't have any!"
Jeremiah watched intently as the workman shaped the clay. All seemed to be going well until the potter saw a flaw in what he was making. But instead of throwing the clay away, he reworked it until he had produced a perfect vessel.
Most celebrations of national independence mark the day of final victory in the struggle for freedom. Perhaps it's a mark of our American brashness that we celebrate the adoption of our Declaration of Independence, which occurred 7 years before the final treaty ending the Revolutionary War (September 3, 1783). The Declaration's adoption on July 4, 1776, burned the final bridges of Britain's authority over America. It was a bold and risky start. We still celebrate the beginning.
As we read through the Bible, Genesis 5 sounds like the records kept down at the county courthouse. Name, age at death, survivors. But in this terse list, we are suddenly confronted with a man who stands out from everyone else. "Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him" (v.24).
When we suffer pain and loss, we sometimes ask the question, "If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened?" While the Bible tells us the future of human history, it supplies no specific explanation of the events that take place daily in our lives. Sometimes when tragedy strikes we understand a little, but as a rule we are unable to fathom the mystery of disease or accidents.
E-mail. In case you're not familiar with this trendy buzzword, it refers to correspondence that is transmitted over computer networks. Whenever I click the SEND NOW command on my computer to zip a message along the cyberspace network, I always worry, "Is my e-mail actually getting to its destination? Will someone be there to receive it? Will I get a response?"
Jehu, Israel's colorful king during a time of rampant idolatry, was determined to rid his nation of Baal worship. This hideous form of paganism involved gross sensualism, moral degradation, and human sacrifice. Because Jehu successfully rooted out all Baal worship from the land, God told him that his descendants would occupy Israel's throne for four generations (2 Ki. 10:30).
The Learning Annex, a chain of adult-education schools, says that more than 200,000 people have completed its popular class on controlling household clutter. Who takes the course? People who keep empty mayonnaise jars, manuals for appliances they no longer have, broken buttons, out-of-date phone books, and keys to houses they lived in 20 years ago.