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Bible Insights

Esther’s Petition

Psalm 177 from Beyond Psalm 150 In addition to Mordecai’s psalm-like prayer, the expanded version of the book of Esther also records Esther’s psalm of petition. In it she humbles herself, confesses the sins of her people, and respectfully pleads for God’s deliverance. O my Lord, you alone are our king. Help me. I am […]

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Bible Insights

We Should Be Like Jesus

To Discover WWJD We Need Only Look at What the Bible Says Jesus goes to the synagogue in his hometown to worship God with his family and friends. It’s his turn to read scripture and the day’s scheduled passage is from Isaiah. It’s a prophecy—about Jesus. After he reads it, he simply confirms that he […]

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Bible Insights

Thoughts on July Fourth and Freedom

Today is the fourth of July. Everywhere in the world, it’s the fourth of July. In the United States of America, however, it’s a special one. It’s the Fourth of July, a national holiday, officially known as Independence Day. It’s the day we celebrate our freedom as a country. Freedom is important to Jesus too. […]

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Bible Insights

Mordecai’s Plea

Psalm 176 from Beyond Psalm 150 There are two versions of the book of Esther. The shorter version, found in most—but not all—Protestant Bibles, is based on the traditional Hebrew text. The expanded version of Esther, found in most other Bibles, contains five additional passages as found in the Septuagint, the collection of Scriptures commonly […]

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Bible Insights

Are You Spiritually Selfish?

Look to the Wellbeing of Others and Not Focus on Ourselves In Isaiah 39 we read a prophecy given to King Hezekiah by Isaiah. This occurs after Hezekiah does something foolish. He graciously receives envoys from the powerful behemoth, Babylon. Not only does he show off his nation’s wealth, he also provides his enemies one […]

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A Historical Remembrance

Psalm 175 from Beyond Psalm 150 After a remnant of the exiled people return to the promise land, Ezra and Nehemiah continue to reform the people’s spiritual practices. In response, the community separates themselves from foreigners and confesses their sins and the sins of their ancestors. Then they hear the law read to them. In […]

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Are You One of God’s Chosen People?

Isaiah Tells the People that God Will Choose Them Again, but Did He Ever Stop? One phrase jumps out from today’s passage in Isaiah’s prophecy to God’s chosen people: once again he will pick Israel. God, through Isaiah, gives his people hope for a better tomorrow. At this particular time, however, God’s people are discouraged; […]

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Grace, Love, and Fellowship

A Trio of Blessings Reflects God’s Nature and Character Paul wraps up his second letter to the Corinthians with a blessing: “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14, NIV). This trio of blessings proclaims grace, love, and fellowship. […]

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Bible Insights

Jehoshaphat’s Prayer

Psalm 174 from Beyond Psalm 150 Several nations come to wage war against the nation of Judah. King Jehoshaphat declares a fast, and the people come together to seek God. Jehoshaphat stands before the people and says this prayer. It sounds much like a psalm seeking deliverance (such as Psalm 86 and many others). Yahweh, […]

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Bible Insights

Amos Protests and God Relents

Amos was a shepherd, called by God to be a prophet. His story is found in the book of Amos in the Bible. Amos says what God tells him, but after a while, the people of Israel—the primary target of his God-given proclamations—get tired of Amos and what he says, telling him to be quiet […]