When Comfort Puts Pressure on Your Faith

There’s a sense of urgency tied up in the word, “harvest.”

When you hear it, you probably think as I do of beautiful foliage, delicious produce, and the cooler temps that come with the impending onset of winter. It’s winter that drives this urgency. Winter equals death for so many things: perennials, birds who don’t fly south, and my supply of vitamin D. But it also spells death for the fruits and vegetables planted many months prior.

Aside from this pressing nature, harvest also connotes hard work. Picking produce, reaping crops, and all its associated tasks are not for the faint of heart. There will be sweat.

Jim Wrigley Photography (CC)

When you combine these two elements the result is anything but comfort. Reaping is stressful, laborious, painstaking, but despite all this the harvest is intrinsically good. It represents months of hard work and the promise of surviving the frost until everything begins growing again in the spring. As such there is nothing to be done in the days of summer and autumn but to work the fields. And yet some have other ideas:

Why Solomon Couldn’t Take His Own Advice (and Why You Should)

Did you ever wonder how a man so wise as Solomon could have such a sad ending to his story?

Here’s a man revered by the world: the son of David, rich, discerning. Christians and Jews alike still admire his proverbs, and just to tip my hand: Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books of the Bible.

Sue Clark (cc)

Yet in his latter years we get this from 1 Kings:

And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the Lord commanded. (11:9-10)

This is the same man who, essentially, discovered the meaning of life:

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecc. 12:13)

So this man King Solomon, son of David—the wisest man ever to grace the planet—sought out and actually discovered the meaning of life, yet he, himself, didn’t actually do it?

What gives?

This Woman Taught Her Daughter-In-Law a Powerful Lesson in Selflessness

You ever wonder why Ruth gets all the credit?

Prem Kumar Marni (CC)

She was a great woman, sure. Sticking with her mother-in-law when she could have split. But to name the whole book after her?

What God Wants You to Do When You’re in Distress

I was never happier to be awoken at 2 AM than on a particular night a couple of years ago. My daughter was screaming bloody murder that pierced the low hum of white noise through the baby monitor.

Capture Queen (CC)

But it wasn’t her fear of some she-beast in the closet or some gnome under her bed that made me happy. That would just make me the worst dad ever. No, it wasn’t her screaming that made me happy, but what she was screaming that did:

Why You Can’t Cook a Baby Goat in Its Mother’s Milk

The Old Testament is so quirky.

Perhaps you’ve come across this immortal passage from Exodus or Deuteronomy in your own studies:

Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk. (Exo. 23:19b)

This mandate actually occurs three times, so it’s probably important. But what does it even mean? What a bizarre command.

Bunky's Pickle (CC)

It seems superfluous, unimportant, out of place. As if Moses had ADD and just threw it in there for fun. But as part of the Holy, inspired word of God, it’s there for a reason.

One Thing Jesus’ Birth Taught Us about Being Human

"Let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into human hands" (1 Chron. 21:13b).

Kiuko (CC)

David calculated the risk, and he decided. His words sounded wise, but soon seventy thousand of Israel would be dead, their corpses rotting in the streets.

And not enough tombs to hold them all.

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