Bible Commentary - Word&Way

Bible Commentary

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The world offers many ideas about God and faith. Denominations, like any human institution, tend to be self-congratulatory and dogmatic, but Jesus offers a radical understanding of God, salvation, and real life.

Jesus loved us in the most graphic way, dying on a cross. The Apostle John wants his readers to live out God's grace, to offer the world the life only God's love can make possible.

Our lesson is aptly titled “Living in the Light.” Now there is a title that challenges God's church in our world! John is timely as he calls us to live the Christ life and show the world a better way.

We want things explained, laid out in a nice neat package. Believe and do! But life is complex and we are too easily distracted. So John says, pay attention to how deeply God loves you and what Christ endured to make that love real and accessible.

However you choose to describe the writer of Ecclesiastes – preacher, sage, ethicist, philosopher – he is definitely a realist. He acknowledges the facts of life, but he trusts God without demanding answers to all his questions.

The “wisdom” of Proverbs is not clever sayings, but a call to obviously different values and actions. Faith in God is never a road to success, but a lifestyle of generosity and compassion based on God's grace.

Proverbs is not a spiritual Dale Carnegie success book. It confronts the topics of evil, spiritual maturity, suffering, life's meaning, and the way to be God's kind of person in a complex world.

Whether on a national or personal level, accepting responsibility for failure is never easy. But when God is involved the whole situation is different because the human heart can change, circumstances can be transformed, and a new beginning is possible.

Life is defined by desires, values, experiences, and loyalties. Our text recounts the conclusion of Joshua's leadership as he calls Israel to honestly and carefully renew their commitment to God.

The portion of the Bible that includes Joshua, Judges, 1-2 Samuel, and 1-2 Kings was finalized and edited during the Babylonian exile, when Israel desperately needed to know their history and God's purpose for them as his people. Exile was a time of lost memories, despair, and desperation.