Ghost Town

Reading: Lamentations 1:1-1-2

Have you ever heard of a ghost town? I live in Texas, and there are many legends of old Wild West ghost towns, towns that used to be filled with cowboys and gold miners, but which now stand empty. Imagine buildings with darkened rooms, cobwebs and tumbleweeds everywhere, and no sound but the lonely desert wind. That is what I imagine when I read these verses in Lamentations. The Israelite’s enemies have come and taken God’s people away. Jeremiah the prophet is looking out over his beloved city and all he sees is a ghost town. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Bible History, Idols, King/Judge, Pilgrims/pioneers/immigration, Prophets, Wars. Comments Off on Ghost Town

Surviving Difficulty

Reading: Isaiah 17:1-8

As I write this Bible lesson, it is December in West Texas. This is a deceptive month, for some days it is bitterly cold, and some days it is as sunny and warm as an April morning. We may leave the house at breakfast in coats and jackets, then abandon them in the afternoon to play in the park; yet by nightfall, it is time to light a fire in the fireplace.

This is the time that our trees are losing leaves and the garden has been put to bed. Yet, one may see a few brave flowers in the fields. Birds that are flying south for the winter stop here to sing. We see these little reminders of the warm weather, before the January frost arrives. They remind me of these verses in Isaiah.

God says that difficult times will come for His people. Sometimes these include trials and distresses, persecution and wars. But God said He would strengthen His people, and that some would survive. Those are the “gleanings” left in the field, and the “four or five branches” left on the fruitful tree. Those are the ones whose faith remain intact. Could that be you? When things are difficult, will you be that brave little flower in the field, that bird still trilling his song into the gray December sky? Pray that your faith will grow in strength and wisdom, so that you can be a certain reminder of God’s love to those around you.

For Further Study:

  • The idea of a “remnant” is that God would allow some of the faithful Israelites to survive, because Christ was coming from this people (remember the theme of the Old Testament?). See Isaiah 1:9; Jeremiah 23:3; and Ezekiel 14:22. God gave these words to be a hope to His people Israel.
  • In a sense, Christians are a remnant as well. Do you sometimes feel like you’re in the minority because you serve God? There was a young person in the Bible who might have felt the same way, but who stayed loyal to Christ and His cause. Young Timothy traveled with Paul and “stuck with him” even when others didn’t. You can read about him in Philippians 2:19-23.
  • Talk to an older person this week about his or her life in Christ. What things have helped them remain faithful? What things have shaken their faith? What advice could they give you about staying true to God?
Posted in Beasts & Birds, Bible History, Courage, Hope, Joy, Patience, Plants, Savior, Skies, Wars, Weather. Comments Off on Surviving Difficulty

God and Job fight satan

Reading: Job 1:6-12

Abel and Marcus loved camping out on the farm that Abel’s grandfather owned. They were going to spend the night in their tree house in Grandfather’s back yard. Grandfather had built a little fire in a pit so that they could roast marshmallows before going to bed. The three of them sat around the fire and listened to owls hooting around them.

As Grandfather leaned over to stir the coals with a stick, he suddenly asked the boys, “How would you like to step into that fire?”

“I wouldn’t!” said Abel, and Marcus agreed.

“Do you remember the story of the fiery furnace from Daniel chapter three?”

“Yes,” said Marcus. “Daniel’s three friends had to go into it because they wouldn’t worship the idol that the king had built.”

“They had a great faith. Do you remember what they said to the king before he threw them into the furnace?” Abel and Marcus couldn’t remember, so Grandfather told them, “They said that God would save them from the furnace, but even if He did not, they wouldn’t bow down to the idol. They were ready to die in that furnace.”

“But God did save them, didn’t He, Grandfather? He sent an angel to stand in the furnace with them.”

“That’s right.” Grandfather added another stick to the fire. “Why did God not send a lightning bolt down to kill the king, or to destroy the furnace? Why did He allow the three friends to be throw in?”

“I don’t know,” said Marcus. “I guess God could have also spoken to the king and told him not to throw them in.”

Grandfather nodded. “Sometimes God lets us get thrown into a fire. We have to go through trials and problems, just like Daniel’s three friends.

“God did that to Job also, remember. Job had to go through so many trials. But God was with him, just like He was with Daniel’s friends, and just like He will be with us. God helps us and stays beside us no matter what comes our way. Sometimes we have to fight satan, but we never have to fight alone.”

For Further Study:

  • Satan is our enemy, and satan uses things in this world to hurt us and discourage us. Do you think of this world as an enemy? God said not to love this world. 1 John 3:13 says that the world will hate us because we love God. Read Ephesians 6:12-18 to see all the things God has given us to fight our enemies. He has not left us unarmed. Pray to God to help you keep learning and becoming wise, so that you will see your enemy coming and have your weapons ready to fight him!
  • Read Ephesians 6:18. What does it mean to “be on the alert” (some versions say “be watchful”)? How can you be more alert for God?
Posted in Angels, Courage, Hope, Wars. Comments Off on God and Job fight satan