In the book of Esther, we find the majestic interweaving of God’s invisibility with His invincibility—His silence with His power. Though the name of God is absent in this book, His finger threads every word on its pages.
Struggling through reading the lesser-known Old Testament passages and long prophetic oracles may seem to have little relevance to everyday 21st-century life. But there are important things we can learn from the Old Testament. First, the New Testament is based on the Old Testament. Second, the Old Testament reveals the character of God. Third, the Old Testament has transformational power. Its message transcends time, geography, and culture. It speaks to everyone, everywhere, in every situation.
In the end Joshua was chosen to succeed Moses because he exhibited all these godly qualities. Remarkable leaders are remarkable followers first. Let’s think less about becoming a remarkable leader and more about becoming a remarkable follower.
When God selects His leaders He wants people who will not take the glory that belongs to Him alone. This is why He will often put us in seemingly impossible situations, so that when the victory is achieved no one can say that it was anything but God’s doing.
When the Lord—from a burning bush—called Moses to be His prophet, the sheepherder initially resisted the call. Moses came up with a variety of excuses—the first of which shows that his perspective was completely out of whack.
People often make the mistake of not only judging books by their covers but also by their length—believing that longer is more difficult and shorter is easier. Many times it is the reverse. This is especially true of the last four verses in Daniel 9.
The exotic—even bizarre—symbols used to describe the Beast in Revelation 13 are not just frightening features conjured up to illustrate the monstrous character of the Antichrist. The vision of the Beast is drawn from specific images in the book of Daniel.
From the final notes in Jeremiah's mournful song of woe, a refrain of hope emerges. God still sits on His throne and rules the world's affairs. He will restore His people's joy and turn mourning to dancing.
When calamity strikes, possessions offer no comfort. What was important isn't anymore. How do we go on? Even as Jeremiah tours through Jerusalem's wreckage, we find God's hope for reconstruction.
Finally, when we come to the third chapter of Lamentations, we find something in Jeremiah's sad journal that's encouraging! The prophet offers a bright ray of hope, and we're ready to hear it.
God is never obligated to give us health and wealth, but the story of Joseph is an example of a man who was rewarded for his righteousness and kept his integrity intact. From him we can learn how to respond to those who prosper and those who suffer.