Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I Samuel 29

I Samuel 29: Achish Sends David Back to Ziklag

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I Samuel 28

I Samuel 28: Saul and the Witch of Endor


I haven’t posted here in over a month. My duties at work have changed slightly, making it harder to post during the day, and I haven’t yet been able to adjust my overall schedule, to compensate.

But I’m not in a hurry. I already know that it will take years to get through the entire Bible, so a missed month isn’t a big deal in the grand scale. (Although this isn’t about “getting through the Bible,” it’s about my own personal study…)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Samuel 27

I Samuel 27: David Among the Philistines

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Samuel 26

I Samuel 26: David Again Spares Saul’s Life

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Samuel 25

I Samuel 25: David, Nabal and Abigail

Monday, November 10, 2008

I Samuel 24

I Samuel 24: David Spares Saul’s Life

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Monday, October 06, 2008

I Samuel 19

I Samuel 19: Saul Tries to Kill David

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I Samuel 18

I Samuel 18: Saul’s Jealousy of David

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I Samuel 17 (addendum)

I realized that I didn’t really put enough thought into the Thoughts section of the last post. It was a crazy day, and I let myself submit the post before I should have. So I’ll present some further thoughts on the passage here—even though they’ll probably amount to very obvious points.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Samuel 15

I Samuel 15: The LORD Rejects Saul as King

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I Samuel 12

I Samuel 12: Samuel’s Farewell Speech

Friday, September 05, 2008

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I Samuel 7:2–17

I Samuel 7:2–17: Samuel Subdues the Philistines at Mizpah

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Samuel 6–7:1

I Samuel 6–7:1: The Ark is returned to the Israelites

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Samuel 5

I Samuel 5: Possession of the Ark wreaks havoc on the Philistines

Friday, August 15, 2008

I Samuel 4:12–22

I Samuel 4:12–22: Eli’s death, and repercussions of the loss of the Ark

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Samuel 4:1–11

I Samuel 4:1–11: The Philistines Capture the Ark


In this passage, the Israelites engage the Philistines in battle, and lose. About four thousand Israelites are killed, and they want to know why the LORD brought this defeat. And they hit upon a solution: They’ll bring the Ark with them, into battle! There is no indication that they ask the LORD if this is a good idea, but Eli’s two wicked sons, Hophni and Phinehas, go with the Ark, so the plan seems to have the approval of the priests, at any rate.

They bring the Ark into the Israelite camp, and when the soldiers see it, they’re overjoyed; they give out a shout so loud that the ground shakes. Which worries the Philistines; what’s going on over there? Then they find out that the Ark has come into the Israelite camp, and get even more worried: A god has entered the Israelite camp! How are they supposed to fight the Israelites and their god(s)?!? Not only that, but they have heard of these gods! They’re the same gods who struck the Egyptians with those ten plagues! (Obviously, since they keep referring to the Israelites’ “gods,” in plural, they sort of understand what’s happening and sort of don’t.)

So they (the Philistines) firm up their resolve. They don’t want to be subject to the Israelites, the way the Israelites have been subject to them, so they’re going to have to “be men, and fight!” (verse 9). And boy do they! They not only defeat the Israelites, they defeat them worse than they had in the first battle: thirty thousand Israelite soldiers are killed, and the rest of the Israelite soldiers flee back to their tents. Not only that, but the Philistines capture the Ark, and Hophni and Phinehas die—on the same day, as was prophesied.


The main problem the Israelites seem to have in this chapter is that they are treating the Ark as some kind of talisman, rather than the dwelling place of the LORD Almighty. According to verse 3, they understand that it is the LORD who brought them defeat against the Philistines, which is good, but then it seems like they believe they can just wave the Ark at the Philistines like a magic wand, and cause their defeat.

It’s also interesting to see how the passage talks about the Ark. When the Israelites are discussing the issue in verse 3, they say, “Let us bring the ark of the LORD’s covenant from Shiloh…” Then, in verse 4, the author of I Samuel describes it a bit differently:
So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim. (verse 4a)
First of all, I see more respect in the second description. Not that the Bible always describes the Ark in this way, but the author seems to be emphasizing the respect, in this case, in contrast to how the Israelites are treating it.

Second of all, it’s a subtle difference—and I might be reading too much into it—but the Israelites are calling it the Ark of the LORD’s covenant, whereas the author of I Samuel is calling it the Ark of the LORD. Might we be in a situation where the Israelites are assuming they can do whatever they want, and the LORD has their back, even if they’re not obeying His commandments? Because, they think, He has promised to protect them, and therefore He has to, no matter what?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Samuel 3

I Samuel 3: The LORD Calls Samuel—literally!

Friday, August 08, 2008

I Samuel 2:27–36

I Samuel 2:27–36: Prophecy Against the House of Eli

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Friday, August 01, 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ruth Summary

The book of Ruth is a very short book; just four chapters. It takes place during the same time frame as the book of Judges, but it must be towards the end, as it ends with the birth of Obed, David’s grandfather.

Ruth 4:13–22

Ruth 4:13–22: The Genealogy of David

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ruth 4:1–12

Ruth 4:1–12: Boaz finagles hisself a weddin’

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ruth 3

Ruth 3: Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

Judges Summary

The book of Judges takes up where the book of Joshua left off. The Israelites are in the Promised Land, and they’ve started to take over the land, but they haven’t completed the job. Not every tribe has their land, yet.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Judges 21

Judges 21: Wives for the Benjamites

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Judges 20

Judges 20: The Benjamites are punished for their crime

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Judges 19

Judges 19: A Levite and His Concubine

Friday, July 11, 2008

Judges 18

Judges 18: The Danites steal Micah’s idols, and find a place to settle

Monday, July 07, 2008

Friday, July 04, 2008

Judges 16:23–31

Judges 16:23–31: Samson dies (and takes a bunch of Philistines with him)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Monday, June 09, 2008

Judges 15

Judges 15: Samson kills more Philistines

Friday, June 06, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Friday, May 09, 2008

Judges 10:3–5

Judges 10:3–5: Jair

Haven’t written in a while, but I’m still alive

If anyone reads this blog regularly—and I don’t assume anyone does—they’ll have noticed that I haven’t written anything in a while. It’s nothing to worry about, I’ve just been too busy with work, and haven’t had time to post. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get back to a normal schedule some time soon, but if not, it might not be until June that I start posting regularly again.

In the meanwhile, the next passage to blog about is another short 3-verse passage, so I’ll cover that today, before I go silent again for a while…

Incidentally, I just noticed that my last post was my 300th, which is kind of a milestone. When I first started this blog, I wasn’t sure if I would persevere—apparently I might. (Again, not that this blog benefits anyone but myself, but it does benefit me.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Judges 7

Judges 7: Gideon Defeats the Midianites

Monday, April 14, 2008

Judges 6

Judges 6: Gideon tests the LORD

Friday, April 04, 2008

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Judges 2:1–5

Judges 2:1–5: The Angel of the LORD at Bokim

Monday, March 17, 2008

Judges 1

Judges 1: Israel Fights the Remaining Canaanites

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Joshua Summary

The book of Joshua is the first book that wasn’t written by Moses. In fact, Moses—who is the man the Israelites considered to be their greatest leader, against whom future leaders would be measured—has left some pretty big shoes to fill, and that was probably somewhat intimidating for Joshua, his replacement. Or at least, it would have been, if Joshua had to do it on his own. But if God was the Israelites’ true leader, and all Joshua had to do was faithfully follow Him, then there was nothing for him to be worried about. Based on the evidence, I think Joshua did very well.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Joshua 23

Joshua 23: Joshua’s Farewell to the Leaders

Thursday, February 28, 2008

My Church

I’m in training this week, which is why I haven’t been posting. But I was playing with Google Maps today, trying to figure out how to put a map on my church’s website. After a couple of hours playing with the Google Maps API, I realized something simple: there’s a tool right on the maps page, that says “Link to this page,” which will give you a map you can post.

For example:

View Larger Map

Unfortunately, I think I’m going to be building my church’s website on, and they don’t allow you to embed iFrames. (Blogger does, which is why you can see the map above.) So I’m going to have to use the Static Map Wizard, instead.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Joshua 22

Joshua 22: Eastern Tribes Return Home

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New Readers

I’ve received a few comments lately, from people who have been looking through the blog, and I wanted to thank you for your feedback.

Although I’m really just maintaining this blog for my own benefit, rather than anyone else’s—it’s very helpful, to me, to force myself to do an in-depth look at each passage in the Bible, one by one—it’s still nice to hear that others are finding it helpful, too.

Joshua 21

Joshua 21: Towns for the Levites

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Joshua 12

Joshua 12: List of Defeated Kings

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Music In Church

I’m in some all-day meetings for the next little while, so I probably won’t be blogging here much. But in place of my next couple of posts on Joshua, here’s a link to a post on The 9 Marks blog: Some More Thoughts on Music.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Joshua 11

Joshua 11: Northern Kings Defeated

Friday, February 08, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Putting Sermons Online?

I know I don’t have a large readership for this blog—it isn’t really geared toward anyone but myself—but I’ve seen people here from time to time, so I’ll throw this out there: Does anyone have any experience putting sermons online? I’m thinking that it would be a good idea to start putting my pastor’s sermons online, and I’m wondering where to start. In terms of putting up a transcript, that wouldn’t be a problem, I could just start a blog and type it all in, but I’m wondering about putting up the audio files, too.

I guess this is very much like a “podcast,” so if people have experience with that, too, any advice would help. But really, all I’d want is a place where the audio files could go, in conjunction with the blog. (Regardless of what medium I eventually decide on, I’ll still want a text transcript for people to read.) What I’d love is an audio equivalent of YouTube; someplace where I could upload my audio files, and then, if at all possible, have a player that I could embed in the blog posting with the transcript, so the reader could click Play, to hear it. But I’m not just looking for features; I’m also looking for a reliable service, that I can figure will be around for a while. If you want to upload video, YouTube is the hands-down winner, but if you want to upload audio, where do you go?

Worse-case scenario is that I’d have to get a web hosting service with a lot of storage space, and just store the audio files there. But even when you use MP3, my pastor’s sermons are forty-five to sixty minutes, and a sixty minute sermon takes up a lot of space. (I think the sound files we’re capturing are about 40MB, if I remember correctly.) I’d be in a constant cycle of running out of space and having to upgrade my account, and running out of space again, etc. YouTube has upload limits (I think), meaning that you can only upload a certain amount per day or per month or whatever, but once you’ve uploaded something, it’s there for good. You’ll never have to think about deleting it, to make more room on the server.

As an aside, someone had suggested simply creating a video, using the audio—i.e. use the audio file from the sermon, and create a movie with a still picture and the audio, and upload that to YouTube. But YouTube limits you to ten minutes for a video, so for my pastor’s sixty minute sermons, it would mean I’d have to break each one into six pieces. That’s kind of unwieldy.

If anyone has any thoughts, feel free to comment here, and let me know.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Joshua 10:1–15

Joshua 10:1–15: The Israelites defend Gibeon, and the sun stands still

Friday, February 01, 2008

Joshua 9

Joshua 9: The Gibeonite Deception

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Joshua 8:30–35

Joshua 8:30–35: The Covenant Renewed at Mount Ebal

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008

Joshua 3–4

Joshua 3–4: The Israelites enter the Promised Land

Monday, January 14, 2008

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Joshua 1

Joshua 1: Joshua takes the reigns

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Deuteronomy Summary

For the most part, the book of Deuteronomy is one long speech by Moses, to the Israelites, before his death. (I was tempted to call it his “swan song,” but that would imply that the speech is a performance, and I don’t think of Moses as “performing” in this book.) Much of the book/speech is spent reminding the nation of Israel of events that have taken part since they left Egypt, or reminding them of laws that were handed down in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Friday, January 04, 2008