'Isaac' Tagged Posts

'Isaac' Tagged Posts

“THE BALAAM SYNDROME”

As the calendar year winds down and Advent ushers in a new church year, our thoughts focus on the future.  The Scriptures clearly tell us what awaits those who trust in Jesus and those who don’t. When it comes to the future, one writer describes what he calls “the Balaam syndrome.” You can read about the sorcerer, Balaam, in the Old Testament book of Numbers (chapters 22-25).   Hired by Balak, king of Moab, to curse Israel on its march to…

BACK TO THE BEGINNING

In the next few months we will go back to the beginning, to the opening chapters of Genesis.  The first eleven chapters of Genesis take us back to when the world was young. Dr. Martin Luther wrote a massive commentary on Genesis – 8 volumes when translated into English.  He continued to polish that work until shortly before he died.  He called Genesis “the most beautiful book in the world.” The last century or so has not been as kind…

“TAUGHT BY GOD”

In a world that had largely lost the Bible, the goal of Luther and others was that all of God’s people might be Theodidacti – “Taught by God.” To that end, Luther wrote The Small Catechism as a short summary of the very basics that every Christian ought to know about God – His law in the Commandments, His gospel in the three articles of the Creed, how to pray with the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, how to apply…

“JUST AS HE SAID”

The angel announced the good news that first Easter morning:  “He is not here. He has risen, just as He said.”  When God speaks, when Christ speaks, things always happen just as He said.   It’s like those first two verses of Genesis 21 when Isaac is finally born to Abraham and Sarah in their old age after years of waiting.  The text says matter-of-factly:  “Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did…

FAMILY FEUDS

Esther Pauline Friedman entered the world 17 minutes ahead of her twin sister, Pauline Esther Friedman. The identical twins dressed alike, took the same classes, even shared the same purse with one set of keys, one comb, one lipstick.  They slept in the same twin bed.  In fact, the first time they were separated was after their double wedding. The middle-aged Esther Pauline got a job replacing the original Ann Landers at the Chicago Sun Times.   Two months later…

“TAUGHT BY GOD”

In a world that had largely lost the Bible, the goal of Luther and others was that all of God’s people might be Theodidacti – “Taught by God.” To that end, Luther wrote The Small Catechism as a short summary of the very basics that every Christian ought to know about God – His law in the Commandments, His gospel in the three articles of the Creed, how to pray with the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, how to apply…

FAITH HAS A THOUSAND FACES

Faith has a thousand faces.  The famous “Heroes of Faith” chapter  (Hebrews 11) lists some of them:  Enoch and Noah, Abraham and Isaac, Moses and Joshua.  There are others we recall:  Jeremiah in his pit, John the Baptist in his dungeon, Paul, Athanasius and Martin Luther against the world. Add to those thousands the face of 27 year-old Meriam Ishag, recently sentenced to be hanged in Sudan for refusing to renounce her Christian faith.  Married to a Christian, and raised…

“JUST AS HE SAID!”

In Matthew’s account of Easter morning, the angel says to the women:  “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; He has risen, just as He said.” The angel knew why the women were there, what low expectations they brought with them, unmindful that Jesus would rise “as He said.” We are so used to promises that are not kept.  Others have made promises to us – big…