The Ark of the Covenant Back Home

The Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant, the sacred chest that contained the tablets of the Ten Commandments.  So special was the Ark that when it was stolen, it was as though the Philistines took God as a prisoner of war!  As a response, look at what happened to Dagon, the statue of the god of the Philistines!

In contrast to all the noise of battles and wars, something lovely happens.   Cows pull the wooden cart that carries the Ark back to God’s people.  There is no human driver.  Listen in the silence to the hobbling of the wheels and the mooing of the cows as slowly the Ark makes its way back home again to God’s people.  

Animals can be a special sign of God’s presence.  Are there any animals that come to mind that God is using so that you can sense the presence of God? 

 1 Samuel 5—6

Visit STUDY THIS on the upper right side of any passage from BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

Tuesdays are dedicated to the Old Testament books of history
and the Hebrew “Writings.”

These Firestarters are for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

Hitting Bottom

Here’s an expression used to tell how a disaster in a person’s life can be what makes new possibilities happen. “You have to hit bottom.”   It’s like a basketball.  When it hits bottom, it bounces.  

The country of Egypt “hit bottom” in the sense that there came a time when the great Nile River had no fish in it.  The Egyptians, just like God’s people, came to believe in God when disaster struck.  The great stock market crash of 1929 brought about various ways that people responded.  Some jumped out of windows when they knew that they lost all their money; others found the Lord in a totally new way.  

  19:18 Isaiah prophesies a blessed new future for Egyptians.  They will come to know God and even to speak the language of the Hebrews.    Greater than the waters of the Nile will be the “waters” of the Torah that shall bring them life.

 Isaiah 19:1-23

Visit STUDY THIS on the upper right side of any passage from BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

Mondays are dedicated to the reading of the Hebrew Prophets.

These Firestarters are for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

Flowers and the Face of God

We have a lovely garden in our house.   One morning I was sitting there gazing at a hanging basket with yellow, red and purple flowers.   It was last Wednesday; the reading was Psalm 25.  The Bible Breath for that time of day was, “My eyes ever toward the Lord.”   I thought, “The flowers before me are so connected to God, that in a sense, I am looking at the face of God!

Today’s reading is about the connection we have to Jesus and how we find and know our risen Lord.   Jesus says to his disciples, “Those who receive you are also receiving me, and those who receive me are receiving the one who sent me.”

The presence of God is found in so many ways: from flowers to people.  Now here’s something to think about: “You find the God you want to give, in the person to whom you want to give him” (Henry Nouwen).   May you find the presence of God in others, and may they find the presence of God in you.

Visit STUDY THIS on the upper right side of any passage from BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

Matthew 10:40-42


Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from the Lectionary,
During most of Lent and Easter we read the Gospel of John.

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.