Tuesday, December 24, 2019

December 21-27
Ezra & Nehemiah: Leaders in Israel

Let's be honest: Ezra is not very nice.

Neither is Nehemiah.

And yes, they're both godly people . . . 

But easy to get along with?

No -- not if you disagree with them. Not if you don't go along with them. Not if you have a different view of what God wants from us, here in Jerusalem.

With these two, in other words, it's always "my way, or the highway" -- and that's true, no matter how rich and powerful you are.

In short, they may be the leaders we need.

But why can't God give us leaders we like?

For more on this topic, go to this week's Adult Bible Study Guide.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

December 14-20
Nehemiah 13: Dealing with Bad Decisions

Don't think of it as a "marriage."

Think of it as a "strategic alliance."

As part of "The One-Percent," after all, we don't marry for love. No, we marry for contacts. We marry for influence. We marry to seal deals and cement alliances.

And if this means marrying an "outsider," then let's be honest: it's better to marry a rich one of them than it is to marry a poor one of us.

I mean, that's just good business -- right?

And no, Nehemiah doesn't understand this . . . 

But what can he do about it?

For more on this topic, go to this week's lesson:


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

December 7-13
Nehemiah 13: Backslidden People

I agree -- in a perfect world, this wouldn't happen.

But let's be realistic: Tobias is powerful. Tobias is connected. And Tobias is more than willing to make our lives difficult.

More to the point: Tobias is here, while Nehemiah is not.

So . . . if Tobias wants to use a few rooms in the Temple for his own personal reasons, then why not "accommodate" him?

And no, I'm not saying this is ideal . . . 

But isn't it the best we can do for now?

For more on this topic, go to this week's lesson.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

November 30 - December 6
Nehemiah 12: Worshipping the Lord

Look, I'm as happy as anyone else that the wall is finished.

And mad props to Nehemiah for making it happen -- no doubt about it.

And yes, I suppose that some kind of celebration is in order: a plaque, maybe, and a couple of speeches . . . 

But a parade?

With marching bands?

And Nehemiah as the Grand Marshal?

I'm sorry, but that just seems a little "over the top" -- especially when there's still a lot of work that needs to be done.

So why stop everything for a celebration?

Yes, why not wait until all the work is done?

For more about this week's lesson, 
go to the Adult Bible Study Guide.