Human beings disappoint, so we become wary and find it hard to trust. Politicians aren’t the only ones who fail to carry through with promises. Friends, colleagues, and family members also let us down.
For the latter groups, we need large doses of forgiveness and, sometimes, confrontation about their perfidy, in order to give them opportunity to change.
Looking inward, we discover we ourselves have also made promises that we couldn’t keep or that we decided to disregard.
Jesus warned his followers ahead of time what would happen to him. He would suffering at the hands of the authorities, would be killed, and on the third day would rise from the dead.
I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling.
John 16.1 HCSB
Stumbling in this context means to lose or abandon one’s faith (see NLT). “Forewarned is forearmed,” says the proverb. The disciples would not be caught unawares. They would know that God was still in control and that all would happen according to his plan. Continue reading →
The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119. This acrostic psalm exalts God’s law. It uses many synonyms — word, precept, testimony, commandment, etc. — to describe its greatness. It is not by chance that the psalm begins with a blessing upon those who obey it.
How blessed are those whose actions are blameless,
who obey the law of the Lord.
Psalm 119.1 NET
Moses understood how great was the blessing of the people of Israel, contained in the divine law. “And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this whole law that I am about to share with you today? Deuteronomy 4.8. The law was a sign of God’s blessing, and not (as many denominations insist) a burden. Only when the people tried to make the law a proof of their goodness before God did it become an unbearable weight, as Peter said in Acts 15.10-11.