The Blessing and Kingdom of Sarah

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When we are first introduced to Abram (aka Abraham), we are told that he took a barren woman as his wife (Genesis 11:29-30). In his culture, that would not have been that big of a deal because he simply would have taken a second wife to bear him a son. But Abram didn’t. He only took Sarai (aka Sarah). In a patriarchal society, this would have been genealogical suicide. Yet Abram seems content to forego a descendant in order to remain with Sarai. Given what we know of the culture he …

Saving Sodom

Saving Sodom

Paule Bible Study 2 Comments

The beginning of God’s world redemption project is Genesis – not the Gospels. Of course, the Gospels are the crux of God’s redemptive work in history, but to begin there would be akin to skipping the first two thirds of a novel or movie. Paul says in Romans 5:6, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (NIV). Then again in Galatians 4:4, “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son.” And in Ephesians 1:9–10, “[God] made known to …

Jacob wrestles with God

The Violent Absurdity of Faith

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Faith is often thought of as an all-in or all-out decision. It’s as if there is a clear line in the sand – on one side is faith and on the other is not. You either completely trust God, submitting to His every word, or you don’t. In an era of cliché preachers and obtuse fundamentalists, “faith” has two faces. To some, it is a militant compliance with no (or at least very little) questions asked. To others, it is an emotional optimism ignorant of personal failures and painful circumstances. In Scripture, faith …

A Nation of Exiles

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In 1 Peter 2:9-12, Peter mixes two seemingly contradictory Old Testament themes. The first is that of the exodus and establishment of God’s people within the promise land. 1 Peter 2:9-10: But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. These two verses are rich with allusions to Exodus, …