An arrogant and ruthless Ammonite king laid siege to Jabesh Gilead, and gave them an ultimatum: Be killed, or sue for peace. The term for suing for peace was " I may put out all your right eyes and bring reproach on all Israel." Saul saved their lives, their right eyes, and left indelible lessons.
Whereas the church at Corinth came together, "in assembly," among other things, to eat the Lord's Supper, Paul said, "It is not to eat the Lord's Supper." In essence, they said, This is why we are here; and, Paul said, No, it's not. Many lessons lie within.
Given the way some treat the subject, when one hears mention of the Holy Spirit in hushed, mysterious, tones, he could almost expect to hear in the background theme music from the Twilight Zone. The Book of Galatians has so much to say about His nature and work; about His place in our hearts and lives; and, about our lives in Him.
The events that lead to young Samuel's becoming the protégé of Eli is a remarkable story within itself. The voice of the Lord calling Samuel, and Eli's explaining it to him is also a story full of lessons and application.
Paul, by the Spirit, commands Christians, "Be filled with the Spirit." How precisely does one obey that command. It is not at all mysterious, because, Paul, uses specific grammar and syntax to explain the manner in which Christians shall follow his order.
Out of the backdrop of "love," the Lord turns His attention to "hate," particularly as it relates to the world's feelings toward His disciples. His words about conditions and causes are instructive and sobering
In Isaiah's day, those who could read didn't, claiming the word was "sealed"; those who were illiterate didn't, claiming — well — "I can't read." In Paul's day, he said divine revelation was made known to him, and he wrote it. It comes to us when we "read." Answering the fundamental question, What must I do to be saved?, it is clear that the first step is r-e-a-d.
Along with the inspiring topics of the Bible, there is also the topic of apostasy: departure, falling away. New Testament prophets foretold the sad reality of departure from the faith, and the creation of religions that would claim to follow Christ. Jude tells us how to avoid it.
Paul spoke of the period in his life, when he was "alive once apart from the law." He also spoke of a point at which sin sprange to life and killed him. He also addressed how divine law, which is good, holy, and spiritual, was used as a weapon against him. What Inspiration says in this section of Scripture is at the heart of God's plan to redeem sinners.
It's interesting to examine the process which results in "sayings which go out." in other words, how something is stated as fact, embellished and enlarged; yet, in the end it is not factual at all. Much of what is presented as "Christian," as a part of "Christianity" is just that.
The world is driven by certain immutable principles; not least among them is profit/loss, credit/debit. It is good, then, to ponder Paul's willingness to count things as loss in order to gain that which is greater.
Who lives where, and how? The Lord made several references to His being in the Father, and the Father in Him; or, His being in us, and our being in Him. It is good to think about how such mutual occupancy and its implications.
When, apparently on the third day, God compacted the earth out of the water, the angels were there to sing and shout for joy at the marvels of His creation. Too, they marveled at the wonders fo the Gospel and its power to men, who were made a little lower than the angels.
The sermon in Isaiah 40, dictated as it were by God, is inextricably linked to Christ and the Church. The background is the declaration of doom to come to Judah, followed by promises of divine pardon. In this connection, God tells the preacher to "speak upon the heart" to Jerusalem. The lessons for Christians are obvious to those who will see.