I am convinced that few weapons are more important in fighting discouragement and difficulty these days than a good sense of humour. Laughter, stress, and worry cannot co-exist for long.
It is doubtful that any Old Testament prophet played a more significant role in the history of Israel than Daniel. Taken from his homeland while still a teenager (he was no more than 15) and pushed through a highly competitive crash course in a foreign culture, Daniel emerged as the premier prophet during the reigns of several monarchs of the captivity era.
When we discipline our children our words often speak louder than our actions. Yes, the rod stings and can hurt. But the wounds our words leave behind last far longer than any physical discomfort our children experience.
Stuart Briscoe chose an apt title for his little book on Ezekiel: All Things Weird and Wonderful. You can’t read the prophet Ezekiel’s writings three minutes without encountering the strange, the phenomenal, or the wonderful.
The ravages of war and the consequences of disaster are usually beyond belief or description. Few are those who can capture the tragic scene in words. Jeremiah was one of the few. His brief, biting journal of what he saw and felt following the fall of his beloved nation is contained in this short book.
Each weekday at 7:40 a.m. and again at 4:30 p.m. my stress level rises considerably. This stress can last anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on—you guessed it—how traffic is. Yes, I'm talking about my work commute.
Jeremiah wasn't the brightest among the prophets; Isaiah held that distinction. And the book of Jeremiah isn't the most difficult to understand—that award probably goes out to Ezekiel. Neither is Jeremiah the most influential (that’s Daniel) nor the most notorious—Jonah, without a doubt—or even the most to be pitied (hello, Hosea). But of all the prophets, for sure, Jeremiah was the most heroic.
Some would say humour, like music, defies analysis. It is too complex, diverse, and personal. How do we decide if we have the freedom to be funny?
The final decades of the eighth century BC produced several great men, but perhaps the most significant of these was a blue-blooded prophet called Isaiah. That’s quite a statement when you consider his contemporaries were Amos, Hosea, and Micah.