Blessed Are: The Persecuted

Nobody in the Old Testament chose to be a prophet. They didn’t grow up answering, “I want to be a prophet when I grow up,” and plan their education accordingly. Consider Moses’ reluctance to speak for God (Exodus 3) or Amos’ declaration, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet” (Amos 7:14). Then there’s the most well-known denial of God’s calling: Jonah, who heard from the Lord and ran the other way (Jonah 1:1-3). Speaking for the Lord was never one’s first choice and never accepted by others.

Jesus pointed his finger at the Pharisees and back through time, saying, “You testify that you approve of what your ancestors did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute’” (Luke 11:48-49).

Being a prophet was never easy. Continue reading

Backward Answers

This is another one of those amazing thoughts that God gave me through reading to my son from his Bible-story book.  Maybe it’s the simplicity of the stories . . . I don’t know . . . but it often speaks to me when I get too wrapped up in the history/technicalities/details of the full Word.  That’s the ‘curse’ of a seminary education.

It was during the reign of Ahab, and Elijah had “caused” a famine in the land.  You can check my facts in 1 Kings 17, but as I said, I DO have a seminary degree . . . **just kidding** (about being a know-it-all, not about 1 Kings 17).  While everyone else subsisted on the verge of starvation, God fed Elijah, who was hiding in a ravine.  But then God let Elijah’s water supply dry up.  God immediately told Elijah to go to Zarephath, where a widow agreed to make him some bread every day despite her own lack of supplies. Continue reading