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I spent much of my life as a student. During those many years, I took hundreds of tests. All in all, I did just fine on them. But the thought of taking a test still makes my stomach churn. Truthfully, I still have nightmares about having to take a test for a class that I forgot to attend.
Psalm 18 celebrates God’s deliverance of David from danger and distress. “The cords of death encompassed me,” he writes, “The cords of death encompassed me” (18:4). Yet, as David cried out to the Lord, God heard him and came to deliver him.
The second half of Genesis 18 contains one of the most startling scenes in the Bible. It features a conversation between the Lord and Abraham. The subject is God’s apparent intention to punish, even to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for their grave sin. The surprise is Abraham’s persistent boldness as he addresses the Lord, challenging what he perceives to be God’s plan on the basis of what he knows of God’s character.
NO, today’s title is not a typo. If you do much texting with your phone, or if you have children who do, chances are you recognize the two acronyms in the title. “Lol” is very common, standing in for “laughing out loud.” If somebody says something funny, you indicate your enjoyment by texting “lol” in response. But if something is really hilarious, then “rofl” is appropriate. It stands for “rolling on the floor laughing.”
In Genesis 17, God appears once again to Abram, reaffirming the promises he previously made and clarifying the divine covenant with Abram. But something new happens in chapter 17. God gives Abram and Sarai new names.
Our decisions and actions have unintended consequences. This is especially true for leaders. Though we have done our homework and tried to think through the implications of our decisions, inevitably things happen that we did not expect, things that may be quite unwelcome, in fact.
It’s one thing to have faith in God and quite another to live out that faith in the midst of the challenges and uncertainties of real life. Anyone who says that walking in faith is easy has not done much walking.
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