Displaying posts published in

March 2011


Yesterday we saw the way God had opened up for the people to cross the Jordan river.  In a Red-Sea-like miracle, the new Israel “passed over” with Joshua (meaning “Jesus”) at their head.  This event proclaimed the way sinners can enter God’s rest.  Only through His initiative, only through a Passover-like salvation, only with Jesus […]


The story is told of a wealthy man’s funeral at which “Guide me O thou great Jehovah” was the opening hymn.  It may have been a typo or it may have been requested as the deceased’s last laugh, but the final verse read as follows: “When I tread the verge of Jordan Bid my anxious […]

Our hearts did melt

Think of “heart melting” today and you think of something from a pop-tastic love song.  But just as “going weak at the knees” can denote love or fear so it is with this phrase. Here’s the context.  The Israelites are about to go in and take possession of the land.  Once again they send out […]

I've been to the mountaintop

Speaking of Moses going up Mount Pisgah… Fifty years ago, this biblical allusion was used in the most dramatic way imaginable:

Kiss of death

We can’t credit the Authorized Version with this one.  But it is from the bible. And it goes back a lot further than people think.  Its origins don’t lie with Mafia bosses, nor even with Judas but with Moses.  Here’s how it happened… Moses has finished the last of his Deuteronomy sermons to the Israelites.  […]

The apple of his eye

It’s one of those sayings that trip off the tongue.  It’s said by a doting father to his son; a protective husband to his wife; perhaps even a musician to their favourite instrument: “You’re the apple of my eye.”  We know that it means “my beloved”.  But for most of us, we’re not really sure […]

Man does not live by bread only

At the end of the 40 years of wilderness wandering the people come to the brink of the promised land.  This is the setting for the book of Deuteronomy.  Moses will not be going with the people into the land of milk and honey.  He is the leader of the old Israel and the bringer […]

Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart

“Feelings are feelings, they’re neither right nor wrong, it’s what you do with them that counts.” How often have you heard this kind of sentiment?  (And interestingly, it is a sentiment!). You’re probably as likely to hear it in church as anywhere else these days.  Even Christians will say we should only put acts of […]

What hath God wrought

“What hath God wrought” was the first message Samuel Morse ever tapped out on his new invention.  And it’s almost certainly that fact (more than its original appearance in Scripture) that lies behind its fame.  Interestingly, today if it’s said at all, it tends not to refer to great discoveries as much as terrible tragedies.  […]

Fell flat on his face

When we say “I fell flat on my face” we’re usually speaking figuratively. e.g. “I tried to impress the girl with my scant knowledge of Italian arias.  Turns out, she’s a classical soprano.  I fell flat on my face!” We use the phrase to indicate embarrassment.  But in the bible, falling on one’s face is […]