Category Archives: Life In Focus

These will be short commentaries to stimulate the mind AND spirit. Hopefully they will cause you to meditate, be encouraged, inspired and maybe even taught a little.

Thorns and Tears at Bochim

GOD commanded the Israelites to dispossess the Canaanites by taking over their cities, destroying their idols and altars, and refusing to enter into agreements with them. Apparently the citizens of Bochim failed to carry out those instructions. No one knows … Continue reading

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Do-It-Yourself Religion

IN a world in which the motto often is “do your own thing,” people frequently develop self-styled religious beliefs and practices. For some this means a pick-and-choose, take-it-or-leave-it approach to established Christianity. For others it means coming up with outlandish … Continue reading

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The God Who Gives Wealth

THERE are two extremes today about the connection between God and wealth. One is that wealth and money are inherently evil and therefore God is opposed to them. The other is that God is just waiting to shower wealth on … Continue reading

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The Blessing of The Sabbath

THE commandment to keep the Sabbath holy (Deuteronomy 5:12) did not mean that the other days of the week and their activities were unholy. The Sabbath was to remind Israel that human beings were dependent on God, and that they … Continue reading

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God Has Spoken – To You!

IMAGINE hearing God’s voice! Moses did (Numbers 1:1). Scripture gives little indication of what that experience was like, but it does say that the Lord spoke to Moses “face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” – Exodus … Continue reading

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A Definitive Standard

BELIEVE anything you want. “You’ve got your truth, I’ve got mine.” The frightening thing about such modern viewpoints is that those who believe them become the definers of truth and reality. They leave no room for objective truth or absolutes. … Continue reading

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A Place To Be Forgiven

FOR the Hebrews, there was only one place to worship God by offering sacrifices—at the tabernacle (Leviticus 17:8-9). This is not to say that one could not worship God elsewhere. But to make atonement for sin, one had to come … Continue reading

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Making Restitution

SOME modern law-makers, educators, and others concerned with human behavior often make proposals based on the idea that people are basically good. In Leviticus, God held a more realistic view. For example, He knew that there would be cases of … Continue reading

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Taking Sin Seriously

THE ancient Israelites took sin far more seriously that many people today do. Consider the impact of carrying out the instructions given for burnt-offering sacrifices (Leviticus 1:3–5): The psychological impact. If you were a Hebrew at the time of Moses, … Continue reading

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The Glory of The Lord

GOD allowed Moses to experience something of His glory (Exodus 33:12–23). The Hebrew term most often translated “glory” (kabod) means “weight, importance, or significance” and does not connote something light and ephemeral as does the English word “glory.” The word … Continue reading

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Beauty In Worship

ALL of the design elements for the sanctuary and its contents (Exodus 25) suggest God’s great love of beauty, of design, of loveliness. We have sometimes imagined that God enjoys plainness. This is hardly the case. God’s love for beautiful … Continue reading

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Keep It Holy

WHAT was God’s will for the Sabbath (or “day of cessation,” as the term literally means)? The fourth commandment is straightforward: “keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8). But what does it mean to keep the Sabbath “holy”? The prologue to the … Continue reading

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Practical Principles of Leadership

LEADERSHIP has become a popular topic today, and for good reason. Effectiveness in any endeavor is largely a function of good leadership. The Bible offers many principles and models to help leaders serve their people more effectively. Of course, Scripture … Continue reading

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The Biting Edge of Sarcasm

NOTHING takes the heart out of a person quite like biting sarcasm from an authority figure. It can be hard enough just to get up the courage to approach a powerful leader, but if that figure responds with derision, even … Continue reading

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Positive Authority

AUTHORITY can be used in ways that bring liberty to people, not just limitation. Authority is sometimes thought of as nothing more than telling others what they cannot do and keeping people in line. But in God’s instruction to Moses … Continue reading

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Sin Is Passed On Through Generations

PEOPLE often assume that their “private” sins hurt no one but themselves. For instance, how could the sin of envy affect anyone else? Isn’t coveting strictly a matter between them and the Lord? But sins of character have a way … Continue reading

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When You Least Expect It

SOMETIMES good happens to us when we least expect it. Sometimes we receive far more good than we deserve. When Jacob learned that Esau was approaching (Genesis 32:6), he was terrified. Here was his older twin brother—the brother that he … Continue reading

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Kill My Own Son?

IT SEEMS incredible that God would tell Abraham to “take . . . your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love . . . and offer him there as a burnt offering,” – Genesis 22:2. What sort of God … Continue reading

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The Legacy of Sodom and Gomorrah

THROUGHOUT Scripture and in countless extrabiblical works, Sodom and Gomorrah and the other cities of the plain (Genesis 13:12) stand as a symbol of divine judgment for collective wickedness. What was once a well-watered, fertile region is today barren, full … Continue reading

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Scattering and Gathering

THE CONFUSION of languages at Babel was an explosive moment in history. It introduced geographic and linguistic barriers that survive to this day. However, in breaking up the unified community at Babel, God was working out His purposes. He knew … Continue reading

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