Joseph tests his brothers

My name is Joseph. I’m a very important man in Egypt now. I am amazed that God has put me here, so far from home, and given me the job of running this country, Egypt. The dreams I interpreted for Pharaoh told of seven years of lots of rain and therefore lots of food, and […]

Gideon stumbles; Part 5

Part 1 2 3 4 5 I, Elkanah, am exhausted and thrilled, along with the other two hundred and ninety-nine in Gideon’s band of men. Surely it is time to go home and rest. Those who have oppressed Israel have destroyed each other, and the few survivors of the midnight melee in the vast Midianite […]

Gideon’s victory; Part 4

Part 1 2 3 4 5 I am a neighbor of Gideon. They call me Elkanah. I was with the three brothers of Gideon when they were ambushed by the kings of the great army of Midian, who roamed the hillsides with 30 men looking for sport a few weeks ago. I rolled under a […]

What did Abraham know, and when did he know it?

Partway through his earthly ministry, Jesus stands in the Temple exchanging barbs with some naysayers. He drops an interesting comment: “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56 NIV). Believers ever since have wondered when Abraham saw Jesus.  I heard a sermon this weekend […]

Gideon, mighty warrior; Part 3

Part 1 2 3 4 5 Alas, the enemies of Israel have come to teach us a lesson. The desert kings of Midian and of the peoples around us have joined together and brought a mighty army moving right into the Jezreel Valley below our hillside caves.  We harvested the crops we planted last year, […]

Gideon, man of God? Part 2

Part 1 2 3 4 5 Lying on my blanket in the family cave in the night, I, Gideon, marvel. Today I met the Lord and lived. A god, someone who could work a miracle: consuming the offering I gave him. What else can this tribal god do? Is he stronger than Baal and Asherah? […]

Gideon’s journey begins; Part 1

Part   1   2   3   4   5 I am Gideon. I’m afraid the Midianites will catch me threshing this little bit of wheat that my family was able to grow and harvest. I hate those Midianites, who  like locusts descend on Israel at harvest time and take away the crops, leaving us to starve in caves. […]

Jacob deceives his father Isaac

My name is Jacob. I have a twin brother, Esau, who is a few minutes older.  Before we were born, God told our mother Rebekah that the older would serve the younger. This means that the younger son, I, Jacob, would some day be the boss over the older son, Esau. I always remember this, […]

Ehud changes his mind

You are Ehud, a timid man with handicaps. You live in Israel during the time of the Judges, when the children of Israel occupy the promised land in a tenuous kind of way, bedeviled by the Canaanites and their tempting fertility worship while forgetting who their help comes from. Because you are not a mighty […]

God plans ahead

God chose the spot where he asked Abraham to build an altar and sacrifice his son Isaac. God told Abraham to take the boy to “a place I will show you.”  It was several days’ walk from where Abraham lived in the Negev desert.  When they got close, Abraham laid the firewood on the boy’s […]