Hannah’s Prayer and The Power of God

In today’s Bible Reading, I came upon the prayer of Hannah in 1 Samuel 2. I will let the whole prayer speak for itself. It’s a handcuff. It makes you stay in your corner, tapes your mouth and forces you to think.

1 Samuel 2:1 And Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in the LORD. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation.
2 “There is none holy like the LORD; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.
3 Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
4 The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble bind on strength.
5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn.
6 The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
7 The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts.
8 He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and on them he has set the world.
9 “He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness, for not by might shall a man prevail.
10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the power of his anointed.”

(1Sa 2:1-10 ESV)

Reflect, my friend. More on this tomorrow.


Who Are Your People?

Our Genesis Reading Quote is from James Boice:
I close with this thought. When Genesis 25:8 says that “Abraham … was gathered to his people,” …
I ask, Who are your people? One day it will be written of you, as it was of Abraham, “He (or she) breathed his (or her) last and died … and was gathered to his (or her) people.” Will it be the people of God or the company of those who despised God’s truth and trampled on his way of salvation? If you would be gathered to God’s people when you die, you must first (while still alive on earth) be gathered to him who is the door to that heavenly paradise—you must believe on Jesus Christ. He is the only door there has ever been. He is the one to whom the patriarch looked. He is the hope of the prophets. He is the Savior of the New Testament apostles and saints. If you have believed on him, then you can add to that faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

James Montgomery Boice, Genesis : An Expositional Commentary, Originally published: Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1982., 728 (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1998).

Abraham and Isaac and the Wonder of Christmas

Recently the Bible Reading is about Genesis 22.  Remember Abraham’s offering of Isaac? I was in the middle of reading this and then came an invitation for me to speak about the wonder of Christmas.

So can those two be related? I thought so.  Here is me last 2009 Dec, attempting to juxtapose the two themes together.

May you also be caught in wonder like I was.

Abraham and Isaac and the Wonder of Christmas

So, You Want to Lead Huh?

I found the voice of DA Carson sobering in today’s devotional reflection on Matthew 20.

Christian leadership is profoundly self-denying for the sake of others, like Christ’s ultimate example of self-denial for the sake of others. So the church must not elevate people to places of leadership who have many of the gifts necessary to high office, but who lack this one. To lead or teach, for example, you must have the gift of leadership or teaching (Rom. 12:6–8). But you must also be profoundly committed to principled self-denial for the sake of brothers and sisters in Christ, or you are disqualified.



[1]D. A. Carson, For the Love of God : A Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God’s Word. Volume 1, January 20 (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1998).

Behold You’re a Dead Man!

Gen 20:3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.”

Adultery means death to the doer. It’s a good thing the Lord Jesus Christ came to absolve all those who believe in Him of all the deaths that they should die.


When You Volunteer Your Daughters to Be Raped, Would you Know it?

In Genesis 19:8, As I was pondering what reasons could have forced Lot to give up his daughters to be raped by the mass that demanded to have relations with his visitors, I saw on how man can be forced to consider his ways righteous when in fact, they are not.

Same goes with all our “righteous” acts. When we do Bible Readings, Family Devotions, Church attendance, Music Ministry, Bible Studies, preachings, hymn-searchings, ‘my family is for the Lord’ activities and all the various things we do, are we really doing these things because we do them for the Lord’s sake? Or are we doing them for us to be provided with approval from ourselves. It’s a kind of “see, i’m ok” message we give ourselves, and then we say deep within our quiet aware selves, “look at how others are not doing these things.”

How do we know when our acts are really godly? According to Matthew 6, we should do our godly things in private…where no one would be aware of them except our Father who sees us in secret. One character then of godly acts is the desire to keep them in secret. And one character of righteous acts done for show is the desire for us to exhibit them to the outside world so that we be admired (whether or not we know or accept it) or worse, so that the world would feel shamed over our own righteousness (whether or not we know or accept it). Pharisaical. Like the Pharisees who feel proud when they do their biblical acts, i was forced to examine my own motives.

And then here’s Lot. Protecting his angelic visitors. Noble if you stop at that. But offering your daughters to be raped? I mean, we all see it! But then he doesn’t. How many times we do ‘righteous’ things and yet when you examine them with open eyes, they are not really righteous.

Here’s our old teacher John Calvin commenting on it.

“Lot, indeed, is urged by extreme necessity; and it is no wonder that he offers his daughters to be polluted, when he sees that he has to deal with wild beasts; yet he inconsiderately seeks to remedy one evil by means of another. I can easily excuse some for extenuating his fault; yet he is not free from blame, because he would ward off evil with evil. But we are warned by this example, that when the Lord has furnished us with the spirit of invincible fortitude, we must also pray that he may govern us by the spirit of prudence; and that he will never suffer us to be deprived of a sound judgment, and a well-regulated reason. For then only shall we rightly proceed in our course of duty, when, in complicated affairs, we perceive, with a composed mind, what is necessary, what is lawful, and what is expedient to be done; then shall we be prepared promptly to meet any danger whatever. [1]


[2]John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries: Genesis, electronic ed., Logos Library System; Calvin’s Commentaries, Ge 19:8