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There is nothing new under the sun

–  “History repeats itself.” –  “What goes around comes around.” –  “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Anyone who lives long enough will observe a relentless circularity to life.  That was certainly Solomon’s experience.  And it bred in him a desperate world-weariness. Here’s how he began his spiritual journal: “4 One […]

As a flower of the field, so he flourisheth

Psalm 103 gives us a sobering contrast between the life of man and the love of God.  One is extremely fragile and short-lived, the other is eternal and unchanging: “As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.  For the wind passeth over it, and it is […]

Strength to strength

The way we think about it, careers, businesses and sports teams go from “strength to strength.”  And usually they go from “strength to strength” because of hard work and perseverence. But in Psalm 84 both those assumptions are challenged. First of all, it is God’s people who go from “strength to strength.”  (Psalm 84:7)  Now […]

Bite the dust

It’s a euphemism for death, but these days we rarely talk of people “biting the dust” – not in a final sense anyway. We might say that a plan or project has bitten the dust.  But describing a person’s death as biting the dust seems the preserve of tough-talking cowboys. The exact wording – bite […]

My cup runneth over

For many it’s their favourite “King James” phrase.  Yet, as far as I can tell, it was the Geneva Bible of 1587 that first gave us this wonderful wording: “My cup runneth over.”  (Psalm 23:5) Here is the expectation of the Messiah as He faces “the valley of the shadow of death.”  He will come […]

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. […]

Old and full of days

Everyone remembers the sufferings of Job.  Few people remember how it ends: “10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job… the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before… 12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning… 16 After this lived Job an hundred and forty […]

I know that my Redeemer liveth

What phrases do you use in consolation?  Imagine that you have some bad news to tell: My credit cards have been stolen, they’ve cleared out my bank account… How do you finish that sentence? …still, worse things happen at sea … serves me right for being so careless … I suppose I’m just cursed … […]

Carried away

When we get “carried away” it’s not so serious.  Perhaps we’re a little overcome by a bout of silliness.  Or we lose track of the time in conversation.  Or we go a bit far as we rant about some pet topic. But getting “carried away” in the bible was very serious.  The phrase is used […]

The Wisdom of Solomon

“Cor,” they might say in some regional accent or other, “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 […]