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April 2016

Put your house in order

2 Kings 20:1-21 The beginning of Solomon’s reign was far more illustrious than its end.  As with David his father, his downfall was a matter of the heart.  He should have been a man after the LORD’s heart.  And as christ he should surely have demonstrated faithful love for his bride, “But king Solomon loved many strange women” (1 […]

The Queen of Sheba

1 Kings 4:29-34; 10:1-13 We love to tell jokes about stupid politicians.  Here’s one: The President’s aide briefs him about international affairs: “‘Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed.” “Please no!  How terrible!” exclaims the President, aghast.  His staff are amazed at such emotion.  He continues: “Tell me again, how many is a brazillion?” Such jokes […]

The wisdom of Solomon

1 Kings 3:1-28 “Cor,” they might say in some pan-regional accent, “It would take the wisdom of Solomon to sort that lot out!” Solomon was the son of David and as such there must have been high hopes for him.  It was prophesied that the seed of David would build the house of God and sit on […]

The way of all the earth

2 Samuel 7:1-17; 1 Kings 2:1-12 Call it entropy, decay,  or “the ravages of time” …however we phrase it, “the way of all the earth” is not upward! We are perishing.  That’s the Bible’sdescription  repeated over a hundred times in the King James Bible.  Like milk on a hot day.  Or an old piece of […]

David and Bathsheba

2 Samuel 11:1-27 “Your faith was strong, but you needed proof, You saw her bathing on the roof, Her beauty and the moonlight over-threw you.” (Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah) David was famously a man after the LORD’s heart.  He was the second King, succeeding where Israel’s first King, Saul, had failed. He was messiah – christ – an anointed king. […]

David and Goliath

1 Samuel 17:1-54 Any time a little guy takes on a big corporation it’s called ‘a David and Goliath story.’ Any time a 2nd division football club beats a Premiere League team it’s called ‘giant killing.’ Everyone thinks they know what David and Goliath is about. It’s about the underdog gritting their teeth and pulling […]

A man after his own heart

1 Samuel 13:1-15; 16:1-13 “You’re a man after my own heart” says one music fan to another. “You’re a woman after my own heart” says the man to his new girlfriend as she serves him his favourite dessert. These are common ways that we use the phrase today.  But they are subtly different from each […]

God save the king

1 Samuel 9:15-10:27 This book  highlights the impact of the King James Bible on English.  Yet, as this phrase shows,  many times the influence went the other way.  It was the culture that shaped the translation of this verse. It appears in 1 Samuel after the people had asked for a king (1 Samuel 8:5-9).  There […]


1 Samuel 2:1-11, 27-36 Two quick questions to start the week: What’s the meaning of life?  And what’s the message of the Bible? You might think that these are impossible issues to solve.  Surely they can’t be answered with any final clarity or certainty – at least, not in a paragraph. Well I think they […]

Sheltering under his wings

Ruth 2-3 After the brutality of Judges, Ruth is often seen as a nice little love story.  A ‘rom-com’ to take our minds off the raping and genocide! If we think like that perhaps we need to rehabilitate our view of romantic comedy.  The story of Scripture is most certainly a romance – the tale […]