Holy Excuses: The Time Has not Yet Come

In the first year of Cyrus’ reign over Persia, he decreed that the Jews could return from their captivity in Babylon to Israel, and rebuild the temple. It was an amazing fulfillment of the prophecy made by Isaiah before Cyrus was even in the picture:

[The LORD] says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd,
And he shall perform all My pleasure,
Saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,”
And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.”‘

Isaiah 44:28, NKJV

The first few chapters of Ezra tell of the captives who returned to their homeland, restored the altar, and began work on rebuilding the temple.

But their task was fiercely opposed by the peoples settled around them, and their progress was slow indeed. Cyrus lived, reigned, and died, and still the temple was far from complete. Only the foundation was laid.

When a new king took over, Israel’s enemies pressed their case and persuaded the new ruler to halt any further work on the temple. By force of arms, the Jews were stopped, and that was that for a long time after. Continue reading


1 Samuel 29-30: Trust in God’s Purposes

The Philistines are almost ready to attack Israel – until they notice there are some soldiers who don’t quite fit in with the rest: David and his band of 600.

“What are these Hebrews doing here?” they demand to know, “We’re about to go fight their people, and you think they’re really going to help us?”

King Achish stands behind David, vouching for his new loyalties and faultless character. Ironic that Achish thinks he’s loyal when he really isn’t, while Saul found him guilty even when he wasn’t. Continue reading



This morning was one of those mornings when as soon as I wake up, God has my attention. Before I had made it from my bed to the doorway, there was a prayer forming almost subconsciously on my lips, “Help me be pure; help me be true; help me live the way You want me to. Help me speak life; help me speak love; help me to be gentle as a little dove.”

And then in the shower, this poem was birthed, and I chose to share it with you. Continue reading