Sunday, April 20, 2014



Need I say more?

This will be the last post in this blog for this year.  If you want to keep following Sharkbait go to for Sharkbait's Reef.  It's not as serious as this site, but there are some good comments there. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Malachi prophesied in about 450BC, and had some harsh words about empty rituals. He also spent a lot of time passing on GOD's promise of messiah. "But unto you that fear my name, a Sun of Righteousness shall rise, with healing in his wings."

After the prophecies here, GOD was silent until the arrival of John the Baptist.

The book of Malachi is a reminder that God always had a perfect rescue plan for us, and that it was effected by Jesus here on earth.

You have lost your way.
Your faith you weaken in vain,
I will send my light.
Are you ready for tomorrow?
You know what is coming...

Friday, April 18, 2014


We spoke yesterday about Haggai telling the people to rebuild the temple, while Zecheriah goes further and says they need to rebuild in preparation for the coming of their messiah, but that some will make their hearts as stone and close their ears.

Turn to me I say.
You have made your heart as stone,
All will soon be gone. 
Zechariah also made a number of predictions about the coming of Jesus, and the end times.
And we know that all the prophecies about the coming messiah came true...
So we can have faith in the rest of his prophecies.

God tells the people to turn to Him, so that he can turn to them.
As they prepared their temple for his coming, so we need to keep preparing our hearts.
Today we remember the crucifixion...
But Sunday is coming.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


There came a time in history, when the people were allowed to return to Jerusalem from their exile in Babylon. At this time, two prophets both encouraged the people to rebuild the temple which had been destroyed in the conquest.

Haggai points out to the people that they should be more concerned with building the temple, before their own comfort.

Look first to my house.
From this day I will bless you.
Show your strength and work

God's priorities need to be our priorities.
What God values, we need to value.
If we put God first in all things, then he will bless us in the rest.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


If Habbakuk was one of the least known prophets, then Zepheniah on the other hand is one of the least mysterious of the prophets.

He wrote his prophecy in about 630BC, and he is even identified as being the grandson of King Hezekiah. He also prophesied that "The day of the Lord is near." Quite a strong warning to the people about their behaviour. But he also reminds us that the faithful have nothing to fear from this. "The Lord your GOD in the midst of you is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy."

Rejoice, we are saved.
God’s might in our midst.
We need know no fear
God never surprises us with judgment.  He gives his people fair warning, and thus the day of Judgment should hold no fear for us.
God will judge, but we are saved.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Habakkuk is one of the most mysterious prophets of the Old Testament; we know little about him.
He argued with GOD when he found out that GOD was planning to use the Chaldeans to punish His people. He said that the Chaldeans are even more disobedient that the people of Judah, but GOD reminds him that He has a plan, and it is not our place to understand it.

A reminder that GOD know what he is doing, and will redeem his people eventually.

Trust God, and his plan.
The just shall live by his faith.
Just you wait and see.
Sometimes the world seems out of control, but God is always in control.
Do we ever feel like we have a 'better' idea than God?
Do we have faith that even if ours sounds better, He knows what he is doing?
Do we really?

Monday, April 14, 2014


Over the last few days, we looked at the role of Assyria in the history of GOD's people.
They were warned and saved through Jonah.
They destroyed Israel and Judah in Micah.

But after being warned and saved once, powerful Ninevah has fallen back again.

It has become a 'city of blood' and GOD's hand will not be stayed a second time.
Nahum brings a prophecy of destruction against them, which brings to an end our Assyrian tale.

A city of blood.
My anger is slow, but sure.
No escape this time.
GOD might be slow to anger, and swift to forgive....
..but he does not let us get away with sinning forever without consequence. 
The most powerful nation in the world falls, because it fails to turn back to GOD when he warns it.

Grace is not a license to sin.  We still need to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, but with the confidence that comes from knowing our redeemer lives.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday marks the start of Holy Week, which takes us to Good Friday, and ultimately Resurrection Sunday.

The people of Jerusalem got ready for the coming of Christ.

Christ got ready for his entry, and what would follow.

And the city got ready for events that would change history forever.

Are we ready?

Saturday, April 12, 2014


After years of warning, Israel and Judah start falling into bad habits of worshiping false gods and cheating the poor. 
So GOD sends Micah to warn them that GOD expects greater things from them. 
The book of Micah is written like a legal argument, with Micah putting forward God's case to his people.  They are asked why they have forsaken what God asks of them, and are reminded that what He asks is simple... "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)

They are warned that they will be judged, and GOD does this by sending the Babylonians and Assyrians to destroy them.  (Do you remember the Assyrians?  God had a plan for them it seems.)

Do good, love mercy,
and walk humbly with your God.
Or you will be judged.
What God asks of us is not so hard, but we struggle so much with it.
Be just today.
Be merciful (and loving) today.
Be humble today.
Walk with God.

Friday, April 11, 2014


Assyria was a violent and Godless nation.

And for some reason GOD took it into His head to try and save them.

More particularly He sent one of His prophets to preach to their capital city. You may have heard of it - Ninevah.

Jonah was called by GOD to go to Ninevah, and he refused; not because he was afraid, but because he didn't want them to be saved.

Eventually Jonah goes, and preaches to them, and they repent and are saved. Of course Jonah sulks, because he wanted GOD to destroy them, not save them.

A cry of warning.
Salvation reaches to all.
Who are we to judge? 
God loves everyone, and wants everyone to be saved.  Not just the people we like.
He wants us to spread the word, even to those who are hostile.
God loved Ninevah (and us) enough to reach out to them (and us)... too should we.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Do you remember Jacob, son of Isaac? 
A dodgy character of note, but GOD chose to use him anyway, and renamed him Israel.
Well, he had a brother, as you may recall. His brother Esau, was also renamed. He was called Edom. 
Isaac prophesied that Edom's descendants (Edomites) would always be at war with Israel's (Israelites) which in fact happened for hundreds of years.
After Edom took part in the ransacking of Jerusalem in the Babylonian invasion, GOD sent Obadiah to pass judgment on them...

Curse not God’s chosen!
For the Lord will cut you off.
An end for Edom?
God promised in Genesis to bless those that bless His people, and curse those who curse them.
And He is faithful, even after all this time.
Never forget, that God keeps His promises.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


"Prepare to meet thy God, Oh Israel!"

Sounds like something we would hear Clint Eastwood say if he was starring in The Ten Commandments doesn't it?

In actual fact this was a warning given by lowly shepherd Amos in about 760BC.

Amos sees visions of GOD's displeasure at Israel for falling back into idol-worship again. As always with Biblical prophets, he is given a message of hope; and a warning.

Seek justice for all,
Like a never-ending stream;
and you shall meet God

Amos warned the people about the importance of justice, and treating each other well.
God seems to measure our spiritual condition by how well we pass on the love and mercy we have received.
What have we done today for someone else?  
Lent is more than a time for self-reflection, it is also a time to consider who we treat others.
Did you fast today?  What did you do with the money you save?  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Joel was prophesying on some tough times, comparing God's judgment of His people to a plague of locusts. He talks about the coming of a "dark and terrible day of the LORD."

However, as with all the Old Testament prophets, he also talks about repentance.

Some of the lines from Joel will be familiar to us. "Whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be saved" (Joel 2:32) and of course "I will pour out my Spirit on all men...." (Joel 2:28) is quoted by Peter at Pentecost to explain the workings of the Holy Spirit. (See, he wasn't just making it up as he went along.)

Vale of Decision.
Call on his name and be saved.
His Spirit will flow.

Even though God judges, he always provides a way out.
The first step is making a decision, and callling out to Him.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Poor Hosea. He was a good man, in a wicked world, and he faithfully followed GOD's instructions to him. Unfortunately for him, those instructions included telling him to marry an unfaithful wife. He uses this as a picture of his marriage to an unfaithful Bride, Israel.

The book is full of warnings about the consequences of their faithfulness "For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind" - Hosea 8:7.

It also includes some wonderful pictures of redemption if they would return, including "I will heal their backsliding.... I will love them freely"

Harsh is my judgement.
Oh return to my healing.
Free will be my love.
 God is faithful, even when we are not.
And he is always ready to forgive!

Saturday, April 5, 2014


This is a really big, and heavy, book.  Together with Revelation, this is one of two books of apocalyptic literature in the Bible, focusing on the future, and the end times.

I once spent 12 weeks doing a course on the book of Daniel, and I think we only began to scrape the surface.  

But in addition to Daniel's visions of giant statues and fearsome beasts, the book also gives us some awesome real-life stories of faithfulness.  Two of the best know stories revolve around Daniel being thrown into the Lion's den, and his three friends being thrown into a giant furnace.

The common theme was that even though God saved them, they did not know he was going to... and they were prepared to lose their live rather than deny their faith in God, or do something that went against their beliefs.  Daniel refused to stop praying to God, and the three friends refused to bow down and worship an idol; even though in both cases this was a death sentence.

Steadfast and constant.
Through fire and beast they stand -
And God stands with them.

Daniel prayed three times a day, even though it would cost him his life.
The three friends chose to follow God's laws when they conflicted with the law of the land.
Being faithful in prayer, and following God's law, will (probably) cost us a lot less, but do we do it as faithfully as these Old Testament heroes?

Friday, April 4, 2014


Ezekiel was a priest and prophet to the Jewish nation in exile in Babylon. He reminded the people that it was their sin that had brought them to this place, but that GOD was still wanting to restore and rebuild the nation.

In Ezekiel 18:32, we are told that " For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!"

He also emphasizes personal responsibility for sin, and righteousness. 
'For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die. "Suppose there is a righteous man, who does what is just and right.
 He follows my decrees and faithfully keeps my laws... That man is righteous; he will surely live",
declares the Sovereign Lord.'
(Ezekiel 18:4-5,9)

Woe unto Israel.
You do not do what is right.
Turn yourself; and live.

God does not want us to sin.  God does not want to lose us.
He gives us every opportunity to turn back to Him, and He calls us to do it all the time.
Do we listen?

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Today is sort of a continuation of yesterday's theme.  Jeremiah warned the people of Judah to turn from their ways, or their Kingdom would fall.

Their kingdom fell.

After the fall of Judah, Jeremiah chose to stay behind in the destroyed Kingdom, rather than live in luxury in the land of their captors. The book of Lamentations is often attributed to him, wherein the writer laments their fall, but reminds them that God still offers hope.

How lost is Judah,
but great is Thy faithfulness.
Restore us to you
As bad as things get.  As bad as we feel.  God's plan is never to let us go.
No matter how messed up we think our lives are, he can always restore us.
He is faithful in a way we can never hope to understand.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


If I love the book of Isaiah, then I think I love the person of Jeremiah. He is one of my favourite prophets in the Bible, and one I can really relate to. For those of you who don't know, Jeremiah was given the un-enviable job of prophesying to the Kingdom of Judah that they must turn from their sin or they will be destroyed.

We don't know exactly how old Jeremiah was, but it was probably early twenties, or younger. At such a young age, GOD sends him to tell an entire nation it is under Divine Judgement.


I often found comfort in his words as a young(er) man, when I felt like crying "I am too young for this God." Despite his pleas of "I am too young", God reminds him that He chose him for this job before he was even born, and that he would give him the words. No wonder every utterance he makes is preceded by "The Lord said unto me..."

Truly a man in touch with God, and not afraid to be used.

I chose you for this -
Warn them to turn from their sin.
Thus sayeth the Lord.

Sometimes we feel unworthy, or useless.  Why would God want anything to do with us?
But God sees something in us.  He chose us, and wants to use us.
He wants us to listen, and do what he says.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


I think Isaiah is one of my favourite books of the Old Testament. It is almost like a fifth Gospel. It contains so much of what we understand about Jesus, his life, the reason for his coming. 
Isaiah was preparing us for his coming long before John the Baptist was even born.
If you ever doubt God's love for you, and the lengths he will go to for you, then just read this book. 

Promise of Good News.
For to us a child shall be born,
coming from the Lord.
God had a plan for us all, and Jesus came to do more than just die...
He came to preach good news, heal our broken hearts and proclaim our freedom.
Over this lent period, let us never forget that the approaching events are Good News!

Because he was born, we will live forever.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Song of Songs

It is not all about sex.  Well..... maybe a little bit. :-)

There are many interpretations of this book.  Some say it is all about romantic love, some say it is a metaphor for God's love for us.  .

I think it is both.  Although the name of "God" is never mentioned, I think this is a picture of his love.  We are shown the beautiful, pure, love that a married couple have for one another.... but not a quiet, safe love.... rather a wild passion and dedication.

She says to him "Your love is better than wine" and she longs for the day when he will bring her into his chamber. 

He responds by saying "How beautiful you are, my darling, Oh how beautiful!"  

She says that he has taken her to his banquet hall, where "His banner over me is love."

The King loves his maiden, and calls her his beloved.  He flies a banner (of love) for all to see, like a military victory he is proud of.  

This is the sort of love the Bible espouses as pure and beautiful.  And it is the sort of wild, passionate love that causes God to lift up the skirt of his robe and run to meet his bride, rather than sit and wait for her.  It is the sort of love that causes God to destroy nations for the love of his people, and keep forgiving them and calling them back to himself.  Because He thinks we are beautiful, and worth it.
Love is his banner,
love better than any wine.
“Behold! Thou art fair!”

I think that the book is not about God and us, it is about love.  Pure and simple.
And what better love than the love he has for us.

Do we really love God like a bride loves her Groom?
Do we believe that he is as passionate about us as a King bringing his wife home to live with him?
If we did believe, how would we act differently today towards God?

Saturday, March 29, 2014


"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven" (Eccl 3:1)

Probably the most quote line from the book of Ecclesiastes, and maybe the only one that most people know.  This entire chapter that starts with this line is beautiful, and filled with many spiritual truths.
Read Chapter 3, and then meditate on these words.

For God, in his time,
has made beautiful all things,
and timeless our hearts.

Life doesn't always make sense, but God does.
Life doesn't always make sense, but God understands.
Life doesn't make sense... apart from an understanding of God.

Friday, March 28, 2014


No plot, no characters.  Just wisdom.

Collected sayings by many wise people, chief among them King Solomon, this entire book seems to be about achieving wisdom.  But not wisdom as the world knows it, but the wisdom that comes from "trust(ing) in the Lord with all your heart. Never lean on your own understanding." (Prov 3:5)

Each proverb comes back to Proverbs 1:7; "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."

The fear of the Lord
is the heart of all wisdom.
Look to Him and live.

Solomon asked God to make him wise, and this was granted to him.  
Do we ask daily to be wise, not in the ways of the world, but the ways of the Lord?
What can I do today that might seem foolish, were it not for my faith in God?

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Despite being thought of as being the Psalms of David, not all the songs in this book were written by King David.  Many people were inspired to reduce their feelings to words, both to praise God, and to cry out in pain. 

Which means that whatever your circumstance of life, you will find something for you.  Whether you are in joy, or sorrow.  Whether you are in doubt, or feeling very faithful.

Ultimately though, all the Psalms come back to one central theme, which can be summed up in the haiku.

Praise ye the Lord.
In our joy, and our sadness,
our help comes from Him

Meditate on his words everyday, and sing Praises to the Lord.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


If ever there was a book of the Bible that was hard to read, it would be Job.  Job is depicted as being a perfect and faithful follower of God, and yet he suffers great hardships.  So much so, in fact, that we refer to the "patience of Job", or "suffering of Job" in modern idiom.

There is a lot of theology tied up in this book, but the verse I always take away with me is Job 1:21

"“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;    may the name of the Lord be praised.”
Our praise of the Lord needs to be constant, and not dependant on our circumstances.  I know I have a long way to go before I can take this one 100% to heart.  Even though my head understands, I still struggle with it on occasion.

JOBHold on to your faith.
Our God gives and takes away,
but always stays true.
Do we always have faith, and hope?  Even in suffering?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I think that Esther is one of those books of the Bible that everybody knows, even if they have never actually read the Old Testament past Noah and the flood.

Esther is a young Jewish girl who marries the King of Persia... talk about a step up from slavery.  When a plot to kill all the Jews in the country is hatched by a political official, Esther risks her life by going uninvited to the King, and gets his protection for her people.

Interestingly enough, the book contains no reference to (1) God or (2) prayer.  It is told as a history, and the story of one brave girl.  However it contains a lot of spiritual insight, most famously when Esther's cousin says to her "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

A woman of God,
Born for a time such as this.
Favoured by her King.

Esther showed courage, and faith in God.  She fasted before approaching the King, and took seriously the idea that she might have been put into the position she was in in order to rescue all her people.
God calls us all to where he wants us, and he uses us wherever we are.  We can either let him use us, or fight it.

Monday, March 24, 2014


Nehemiah, the cup-bearer to the Persian King, finds out that even though his people have been back in Judah for nearly one hundred years, they still have not rebuilt the city walls.  He decided to go rebuild the city wall, and gets permission from the king.

He gets the whole wall re-built in less than 100 years, despite the fact that the harassment from the pagan tribes is so bad that the builders all have to work with their swords strapped on.  The success of the project is due largely to the attitude of constant prayer that Nehemiah displays.

With prayer and with sword,
The wall of Jerusalem
rises once again.

In 52 days, they did what nobody thought was possible for over 100 years.  
And because of it, their enemies "perceived that this work was wrought by our God" (Nehemiah 6:16)

Do we constantly pray for what would otherwise be impossible?
Do we remember that our God is a God of the impossible, and uses all things for his glory?
What is impossible, or just difficult, in your life today?

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Even though they returned to Judah, the people had forgotten God.  Or at least they had forgotten his laws, and how to follow him.  After decades in captivity, they had started to intermarry with their captors, and brought back diluted practices and a watered down faith.

Ezra was a priest who returned with them, and "had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel." (Ezra 7:10)

Ezra begins a spiritual renewal for a people who have lost their way, and a return to God.

A heart that seeks Him.
Ezra prepares the people.
Hope will rise anew.

The people forgot God, but he never forgot them.

If God can offer Grace to his people after 50 years of being separated from him, how much more can he offer a second chance to us, no matter how far we stray, or how often we fall?
Today, forget how often you fall, but remember how often God picks you up again.

Friday, March 21, 2014

2 Chronicles

Sin leads to people falling away from God's plan.  After King David, the kingdom is led by his son Solomon.  And after Solomon, the sin and rebellion of the people leads to the splitting of God's perfect plan into a nation divided.

Israel falls, and even the stronger, more Godly, Judah eventually falls.  Jerusaleum falls, and the Babylonians take the people into exile.

But even through all of this, God never leaves them, or gives up his plans for them.

The final verses of Chronicles are echoed in the opening lines of Ezra. Cyrus, the king of Persia allows the Jews to rebuild the temple.

 A nation fallen
Still carrying God’s favour.
“I will bring you home.”

Do we ever see only pain and suffering in God's plan for us, where it is actually aimed at bringing us back to Him?
Do we know, and truly believe, that God desires to save us and bless us?  
Take a moment to think about what that means for your decisions each day.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

1 Chronicles

God chose Israel, and not even their sin would make Him change his mind.

This book is a re-telling of the events of Samuel.  However the emphasis is on David's reign, and the impact it will have on the future of God's chosen people.  "I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever, and his throne shall be established for evermore." (1 Chronicles 17:14)

God promises David an eternal line; a line that will one day lead to Jesus Christ, and our salvation.  Even though the people will fall away from God, he will not fall away from them.  Even though he will allow their nation to be destroyed, he will preserve them and their line.

Even though they deserve death, he will give them instead life.

The throne of David
established for evermore.
Grace in spite of sin.

Like Israel, we also lose our way sometimes.  
Do we remember that God treats us with Grace?
Do we remember to thank him, not just with words, but with our lifestyle.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

2 Kings

 What happened to Israel?

After the events of 1 Kings, the people of God were divided into a North and South Kingdom.  Judah and Israel both thought they were the true followers of the Way of God.

Both of them drifited from the true path, and eventually both were destroyed.
But not completely.

God allowed them to be conquered, but he preserved a remnant in both cases.  Followers who would be able to spread the word, to their captors and to the other nations.

Judah and Israel.
Both nations carried away.
An exile begun.

Sinning, and turning away from God, has consequences.
But God never forsakes us, and always has a plan to bring us back, no matter how far we go from him, or how separated we feel.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

1 Kings

The wisdom of Solomon.

We all know that saying, right?

God asked Solomon what he could give him, and he asked for wisdom.

Which is a great answer by the way.

Then God instructs Solomon to do the one job he never allowed David to do... building a permanent temple for Him.  After years of meeting his people in a tent, God finally allows Solomon to build him a home.

Which all sounds like the end of a great story.  Roll credits.  Cue theme music.  Audience stands and applauds.


We know that this is only part 1 of the book of Kings, which was originally written as a single scroll with 2 Kings.  Problems set in almost as son as Solomon dies; which eventually lead to Israel being split into the two rival kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

Wise old Solomon
Building a house for the Lord
How long will it last?
 Even Solomon in his wisdom, made mistakes such as taking so many foreign wives.
Even the best of us drift from God on occasion, but he never stops loving us or watching over us.

Monday, March 17, 2014

2 Samuel

a.k.a Why I like King David.

After Saul, David took over as King of Israel.

Best. King. Ever.

I like reading about King David, and the reasons why could take up an entire 40 days of posting on their own.  But let me summarise.

King David appears to have had the closest relationship with God of anyone mentioned in the Bible.  (Apart from Jesus.)  God refers to him as "A man after my own heart."

Yet we know that David was far from perfect.  Very far.
He lied.  He cheated.  He committed adultery.  He murdered to cover up the adultery.
He made a few mistakes.  Big ones.

So what made him "a man after my won heart"?  Why did God keep forgiving him, and blessing him?

Because his heart was alway focused on God.  When he made mistakes, he did not try and excuse them, or tell himself that the had not sinned.  When he was convicted of his sin, either by God directly, or through a prophet, he would tear his clothes and repent and turn back to God with a sincere heart.

And God, who judged what was in his heart, would take him back with open arms.

Israel’s greatest King
A man after God’s own heart
Yet still so human

I fall.  I fail.  A lot.
But God does not judge me by my mistakes, but by how I deal with them.
He does not judge me for my sins, but for whether I turn from them.
I pray that God helps me to have a heart that is pleasing for him, no matter how many times I might fall.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

1 Samuel

Who is Samuel? 

At this time in the history of God's people, Samuel is the prophet who speaks with God's voice, and leads His people to defeat their enemies.

Unfortunately, the leaders of the tribes of Israel want a King to reign over them.  Samuel warns then that God is their King, and that a human King would tax them and oppress them... but they insist.

God tells Samuel that "they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them." (1 Samuel 8:7)

God then appoints Saul as King over all Israel, which is united under his rule. The people of God make selfish choices, such as asking for King instead of trusting in God alone.
God just wants them to follow him, and he points out to them that "Obedience is better than sacrifice" (1 Samuel 15:22)

But they fall short, and try to do things their own way.

And thus the Nation of Israel is born.

 A nation is born
Focus shifts from Him.
So hard to obey.

 Do you ever replace obedience with sacrifice?
Over this season of Lent, which are we focused on?  
Obedience, or just sacrifice?

What is God calling me to be obedient about today?

Friday, March 14, 2014


I am not saying that Ruth is my favourite book of the Old Testament, I am not saying that it is the greatest book of the Old Testament.  I am saying that I believe that in four short chapters, the author tells the entire story of the Bible.  

Our heroine, Ruth, is faithful to her Mother-in-Law, refusing to abandon her, even when both their husbands are dead.  She is rescued by our hero, Boaz.  He pays the bride price, and redeems here and takes her for his wife.  And from them comes King David, and ultimately the line that gives us Jesus; the ultimate 'kinsman redeemer' and bride groom.

 Bride Price paid for Her
Redemption for faithfulness
Saving line begun

Sometimes we don't understand what God has planned for us, but he always meets our needs and works out our lives in ways we could never have dreamed possible.  

Are you letting God work in your life?  Or are you trying to tell him how to fix your problems?
Do you have faith that, even if you can't see a solution, God can?
Have you thanked him today for always providing for you?

Thursday, March 13, 2014


This book is all about Israel falling into the same trap over and over again...
1. They forget all about God.
2. They sin.  A lot.
3. God punishes them by handing them over to their enemies.
4.  They turn back to God.
5.  God sends a deliverer (called a 'judge') to save them.
6.  They rejoice, and promise never to forget all about God again.
7.  They forget about how badly they messed up, and go back to step one.

Second verse; same as the first.

The most amazing thing for me, is step 5.... and how many times God does it.  If you read the book quickly, you realise how often Israel forgot about God and turned their back on Him.  Yet he never forgets about them.  He does whatever it takes to bring them back to him.  Again.  And Again.

Endless mercy.  Endless grace.

Endless love.

So quick to forget
We fall and are delivered
No limit to Grace
Every time they fell into sin, we are told that "They did what was right in their own eyes."
Do we do what it is right in God's eyes?  Or just our own.
Do we learn from our mistakes, or keep coming back to them.
What do I need to pray for help in putting behind me today?
Have I thanked God recently for all those times he keeps saving me?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


The book of Joshua is the first book detailing what happens to the people of God after the death of Moses, and when they prepare to enter the Promised Land.

Right from Chapter One, God tells young Joshua "Do not be afraid" and "Be courageous" for " ... I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.  Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates--all the Hittite country--to the Great Sea on the west.  No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Joshua 1 :3-5)

The whole book is about courage and faith.  The people are told they will be given the land, but only once they start walking to claim it.  For 40 years they walked around in circles, now they have to walk into the land they have been promised, and claim it in faith.

Over and over the book shows how God miraculously keeps his promises to his people; from stopping the River Jordan from flowing, to causing the walls of Jericho to fall down.  God blesses His people, and keeps his promises.  This faithfulness is what prompts Joshua to quip the famous line "
...if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, ... But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.(Joshua 24:15)

Our faith rewarded
He gave us the land we walk
My house serves the Lord

God is always faithful in keeping his promises.  And he loves us and watches over us, even if we think we have been forgotten.
Who will we serve?  God, or the things of this Earth?
What is God calling you to do today that is scary?  Where does he want you to plant your feet, so that he can claim the land?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Deuteronomy literally means "Second Law."
This books reflects the last words of Moses to Israel as they enter the promised land.

But it is more than just a repeat of what they have been told before, Deuteronomy makes it clear that the rules and laws aren't a list to try and frustrate them/us, but rather to benefit and grow God's people.

Interestingly enough, most of the scriptures quoted by Jesus when he is tempted by the Devil, come from Deuteronomy. ( Eg. Deut 8:3, Deut 6:16, Deut 6:13)

One of the most quoted Old Testament verses comes from here, " Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one." (Deuteronomy 6:4) and the 10 Commandments are all repeated as well.

Hear oh Israel
I am your God, I am One
This is all you need

God wants us to prosper, and he has provided us with the only thing we truly need... Him.
Do we remember this every day?  That God is first in our lives, and all we need in our lives?

Monday, March 10, 2014


So God brought his people out of Slavery in Egypt, and yet still they rebel and lose faith in Him.
A lot.

As a result, they wander the wilderness for forty years.  They complained about the food they were given, they complained about the leaders they were given, and they refused to enter the land they were given, because they did not have faith that God could help them to keep it.

So they wandered aimlessly for an entire generation.

But God never left them.  Despite their stubbornness and sin... "The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion." (Numbers 14:18a)

So quick to forget
We wander out our sentence
Yet still not alone

All of our actions have consequences.  We sin, and we face punishment.
For us today, Jesus has taken that punishment, so we no longer have to face death, or wander in the wilderness.  We can come back to God time and time again, and we are forgiven and loved.

And when we do fall.  When we do sin.  When we ask for forgiveness... We need to
(a) remind ourselves that God still loves us with all His heart. (And it is a BIG heart)
(b) remember that we are saved by Jesus' actions, not our own.  And be thankful.
(c) not let it stop us from standing up again.

Saturday, March 8, 2014


I think for many people, Leviticus is probably a good example of what they don't like about Lent. 
Be honest, what is the first think you think of when I say "Leviticus"?

Probably "Lots of rules."
Maybe, "Lots and lots of pointless rules?"

The book of Leviticus contains many examples of ceremonial laws, as opposed to the moral laws of Exodus.  It is largely a book for the Levites, who's job it was to make sure that the people were ceremonially clean.

And let us face it, most of the book is not directly relevant to us.  We are no longer living under the strict Old Testament codes of diet and behaviour. 

But Leviticus was not just a set of random rules that God set up to test us, or to make us fail.
Leviticus has one strong theme running though it...
"I am Holy, so You will be Holy."
God is a Holy God, and he wants us to be Holy as well.  More than that, he expects us to be able to be Holy.  

But he doesn't base our salvation on it.  He brought his people out of Egypt first.  (Salvation)
THEN he gave them rules for Holy Living.  (Sanctification)

He didn't tell them that if they broke the rules he would send them back to Egypt.  But he gave them rules to help them to sanctify (purify) themselves so that they could lives closer to him.  

He wanted them to remember to treat Him as Holy, so that they could become more Holy.  So that they could become more like Him.  So that they could feel closer to Him.  

We don't have to follow the rules laid down in Leviticus, but we also can't ever forget why He gave them to us.  And we can not forget the constant refrain of Leviticus...

As I am holy
So must all my people be
Do this and draw near
What one thing in your life right now is getting in the way of drawing closer to God?
What one thing could you add to your life today to help you draw closer to God?
Do we really try to be Holy?  Or do we just give ourselves a "free pass" because we already have the free gift of grace and salvation?
Lent is not about following rules, it is about taking a day (or 40) to think about how to draw closer to God.  Do we?

Friday, March 7, 2014


We all know the story of the Exodus, right?
God's chosen people have found themselves caught in slavery in Egypt.  They have suffered, and have called out to their God;  And he sends them a saviour.

Even after generations in Egypt, God did not forget His people, or His promise to them.
He leads them out of slavery, and into new life with Him.

And for 40 years, as the wander the dessert, still lost as a result of their sin and rebellion, he never leaves them.  He never forgets them.  He guides them miraculously with a pillar of flame by night, and a tower of smoke by day.  He feeds them with Manna from Heaven.  

And for 40 years they walked, and looked for a way to please God and draw closer to him.
They walked their faith, as they were given new understanding every day of what it meant to be a follower... it sometimes means blisters on your feet, but it means that as long as you are walking and following, God will always lead you and protect you.

God did not leave us
Fire by night, cloud by day
Our faith in our feet.
God saved us, and brought us out of sin as well.  Do we grumble about the long walk? Do we long to go back to Egypt, where we were comfortable?
Do we have blisters from walking the path each day?  Or do we just put our feet up sometimes?
Do we always remember that God is going with us? Even when we can't see him.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


The book of Genesis is not the oldest book in the Bible, but it is the first presented.  Because Genesis is the Book of Beginnings. 

God creates the Earth, which most people agree is a good idea.

Then he chooses a special people, and calls them to have a relationship with Him....
...which seems like less of a good idea when you see how they/we keep messing it up.

But God didn't create the Earth, and Mankind, just so he would have something pretty to look at, or to have something fun to watch, like a giant soap opera.

He created us to be in a relationship with Him.
He created us for love.
He created us, because HE is love.

He made us.  He called us. He showed us the way to live.

In the beginning
Made for love, called for my own
Follow me, and live

God chose us, are we choosing Him today?
God loves us, how are we going to show our love for Him today?
God wants us to have life in all its fulness.  How are you going to live your life for Him today?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Biblios Hokku

Biblios Hokku
By faith, for service
our worth only in His eyes
we are saved for Him.

A few years ago, I decided to write out the entire Bible in Haiku.  By which I mean that I wrote a Haiku for each book of the Bible, starting from Genesis and ending with Revelation.

It might sounds like a strange idea, and maybe a little pointless and contrived. And maybe it was. But it got me thinking carefully about each book, and how it fitted into the Bible and the Word as a whole, and trying to capture its unique essence in three lines meant I had to try and decide what really came out of that book...

Which was quite interesting.

So for the next 40 days of Lent, I will be doing something slightly different.  Each day I will meditate on one book of the Bible.  I wish I could say that I will read a book each day, but I do have to work (and sleep) sometime.

So I will be spending my Lent Discipline focusing on a new book each day, and sharing my Haiku, and my insight.

I will be focusing on the 39 books of the Old Testament, because I think sometimes we forget how important the Old Testament is, not just to our understanding of the New Testament, but to our understanding of God, and Jesus, and our faith.

Join me?