Two Giants

Fear shakes the hands and hearts of the Israelites as they learn about Goliath, the great giant of their Philistine enemy.  When he stood before the Israelites, it was like an eclipse of the sun, as they stood covered by the great shadow cast by him.  However, David is not afraid of Goliath, because God is much more powerful than this awesome enemy.   David stalks closer to Goliath.  A tiny stone hurled from David’s sling shot is enough to make the giant drop.

If fear overwhelms God’s people, another destructive emotion, once small, now a “giant,” burns away in the heart of King Saul—jealousy.  Goliath is an easy match for David; however, now he spends much of his time hiding from Saul as this wicked King pursues God’s anointed, instead of God’s enemies.

Think about the many lessons that today’s reading can teach you.

1 Samuel 17⎯19

Check out Study Tools in 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.

Pegs on the Heart

Around this time, Jewish people have a special day recalling the destruction of two precious temples in their history.  In 2020, it is July 30. The first temple is the one Solomon dedicated in 959 B.C., destroyed on the 9th day of the Jewish month of Ab, which in our calendar was July 18, 587 B.C.  The other Temple is the one rebuilt after the Exile, which the Romans destroyed in 70 A.D.  When Jewish people go to the synagogue to recall these sad events, they read from what is perhaps the saddest book in the Bible, the Book of Lamentations..

The verses of the first four chapters of the book are what’s called an acrostic, similar to some psalms.  Each verse begins with letters of the Hebrew alphabet in order—every three verses, for chapter 3. 

Here’s an idea.  Take the five quarter-parts of the day when we are usually awake: 1) 6 to 9 am; 2) 9 am to 12 noon; 3) 12 noon to 3 pm; 4) 3 to 6 pm; 5) 6 to 9 pm.  Make a single word for what each part of the day was like for you, beginning with the letter A and ending with E.  You could also make an acrostic by having the first letters of each word make up another word.  Acrostics can be as pegs on your heart from which to hang the memory and meaning of each part of the day.  

 Lamentations 1

Check out Study Tools in 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.

What’s the Kingdom of Heaven Like?

Some things in life are just too hard to understand without making links to things we already know.  In today’s reading, when Jesus talks about the Kingdom of Heaven, he tells about five aspects of life that we already know so that we can get a feeling of this wonderful Kingdom.

The first two images are similar: something small becomes big over time.  The flowers that are delighting your summer were once seeds in the ground.  Each day they were stitched from within until their leaves and petals played in the sun.  The persistence of planted seeds has something to do with the Kingdom of Heaven: it grows inside of you.  

The time you spend with the Word each day is a seed, gradually giving you wonderful spiritual feelings of living your life in the Kingdom of Heaven right now. It’s about God being the sweet and loving King of your life!   

What other words and images can you discover to express what the Kingdom means to you?

Matt. 13:31-33; 44-52

Check out StudyTools in BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource
in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.


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.