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Led like a lamb to the slaughter

When someone is “led like a lamb to the slaughter” it’s not pretty.  Perhaps a partner in the firm is about to be ousted for the sake of the company.  As he blithely enters the boardroom he’s like a lamb to the slaughter. It’s a brutal verbal picture.  An innocent lamb will follow a leader […]

Woe is me

What does a spiritual experience look like?  Warm feelings?  Groovy vibes?  Not if you ask Isaiah. In Isaiah chapter 6 the prophet has the ultimate spiritual experience.  He meets the LORD: “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train [i.e. […]

Swords into ploughshares

Bill Hicks used to joke: “A lot of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You think when Jesus comes back he’s gonna want to see a cross?” Hicks wasn’t original of course.  The incongruity has always been there.  A method of extreme torture and humiliating execution has become the most prominent religious symbol in the […]

A soft answer turneth away wrath

Why doesn’t God simply forgive us of our sins?  Why the mess and the agony of the cross?  Why the elaborate nature of atonement – prefigured through millions of animal deaths, and then purchased by the death of Christ Himself? Surely God could go to our sin folder, hit “Select all” and drag it into the […]

The valley of the shadow of death

When his son Absalom briefly usurped his throne, David withdrew from Jerusalem.  He crossed the Kidron valley, ascended the Mount of Olives and escaped to safety. “And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed […]

The LORD is my Shepherd

In between the Psalm of the cross (Psalm 22) and the Psalm of Christ’s ascension back to heaven (Psalm 24) we have the 23rd Psalm – a Psalm of resurrection. “1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. […]

Laughed to scorn

When Jesus cried out “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” it implied more than this single cry of dereliction.  Before chapter divisions were inserted into the biblical text (in the 12th century AD), a person would reference a Psalm by quoting its first line.  And when we study the whole of Psalm […]

My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?

We’ve seen how the Psalms proclaim Christ.  These songs show the interplay of four main players: 1) God 2) The Ideal King (Christ) 3) Those who trust in Him 4) The wicked Some of these songs are the words of God to His King (His Christ).  Some of them are the people’s words to God […]

Gird up thy loins

“Brace yourself.” “Get ready to take it like a man.” “Roll up your sleeves, there’s work to be done.” These are all rough modern equivalents to “gird up thy loins.”  Essentially it’s a command to gather up your loose hanging robes (etc!), in a belt because action is called for. But perhaps we’re surprised at […]

The way of all the earth

Call it entropy, call it decay, call it “the ravages of time” or “sands through the hour glass” – “the way of all the earth” is not upward! We are perishing.  That’s the bible word – repeated over a hundred times in the King James Bible.  Like milk on a hot day.  Like the rubber […]