Fools for Christ’s sake ∙

Fools for Christ’s sake

We are fools for Christ’s sake. – 1 Corinthians 4:10

1 Corinthians 4:9-16

 9 Instead, I sometimes think God has put us apostles on display, like prisoners of war at the end of a victor’s parade, condemned to die. We have become a spectacle to the entire world – to people and angels alike.

 10 Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you claim to be so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are honored, but we are ridiculed.

 11 Even now we go hungry and thirsty, and we don’t have enough clothes to keep warm. We are often beaten and have no home.

 12 We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us.

 13 We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash – right up to the present moment.

 16 So I urge you to imitate me.

Apart from the Bible, a fool is commonly perceived as someone who lacks judgment or prudence and is often regarded as a dullard with mental deficiencies. However, in reality, this is far from the truth. Fools often have a sharp wit, perceptive insight, and a biting sense of humor, which makes them quite entertaining. Throughout history, court jesters, fools, or clowns were employed by royal courts for their entertainment value. In ancient Rome, these individuals were referred to as actors, while in ancient China, they often served as diplomats.

“They needed to be intelligent and observant enough to see mistakes that were about to happen and make fun of the situation in a way that made their ruler stop, take a step back, and fix little problems before they turned into big ones” (Deborah Kelly).

Individuals from all walks of life were recruited as jesters to serve in royal courts because of their intelligence and entertaining manner.

Years ago, a televised debate occurred between an atheist and a child of the King. At one point, the child of the King stated, “I am a fool for Christ’s sake.” He queried, “Whose fool are you?”

Paul plainly states that according to human standards, he and the other apostles were considered foolish for the sake of Christ. Despite the risks involved, they frequently endangered their lives to spread the gospel and the Word of God (Acts 14:19, Acts 16:22-25, Acts 17:10, Acts 18:12). 

There is a tremendous irony here. In the eyes of the Corinthians, Paul played the part of a fool. He was deemed a foolish person. But in the eyes of the Father, the Corinthians actually were the fools. Thinking themselves wise, they exhibited their foolishness by relying upon human wisdom and worldly standards.

It won’t back during World War II They demonstrated their foolishness by relying on human wisdom and worldly standards.

“The way to be spiritually wise is to become a fool in the eyes of the world (1 Corinthians 3:18)” (Wiersbe).


The people that the Father chooses to become children of the King and do His will are a living contradiction to the values and standards of the world.

Father I have a natural reticence and hold back. However, deep inside I desire to become a fool for the sake of Christ. Please encourage me to embrace the kind of foolishness that is pleasing to You.


The Corinthians were suffering from inflated egos and a superiority complex. They were quick to pass judgment on lesser souls than themselves. Paul slices and dices them with his quick wit. He is sarcastic, and his words drip with irony.

1 Corinthians 4:6-7 

 6 Dear brothers and sisters, I have used Apollos and myself to illustrate what I’ve been saying. If you pay attention to what I have quoted from the Scriptures, you won’t be proud of one of your leaders at the expense of another.

 7 For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?

Paul asks them the most pertinent and fundamental of all questions. “What do you possess that you did not receive?” (Barclay)

No one could ever have known the Father unless He had revealed Himself. Men and women could never have won their own salvation; they do not save themselves. Instead, the Father saved them. When we think of what we have done and what the Father has done for us, pride is ruled out, and only humble gratitude remains. The basic fault of the Corinthians was that they had forgotten that they owed their souls to God the Father (Barclay).

“He turns on the Corinthians with scathing irony. He compares their pride, their self-satisfaction, and their feeling of superiority with the life that an apostle lives. He chooses a vivid picture. When a Roman general won a great victory, he was allowed to parade his victorious army through the streets of the city with all the trophies that he had won; the procession was called a Triumph. But, in the end, there came a little group of captives who were doomed to death; they were being taken to the arena to fight with the wild beasts and so to die.”

In their blatant, hubristic pride, the Corinthians were like the conquering general displaying the trophies of his prowess. The apostles were like the little group of captives doomed to die. To the Corinthians, the Christian life meant flaunting their privileges and inflating their achievements. To Paul, it meant humble service and a readiness to die for Christ (Barclay).

With the exception of the apostle Paul, a Pharisee of Pharisees, the remaining apostles were a motley crew of laborers and one tax collector. Paul asked the Corinthians to “consider your calling.” He urged them to remember and reflect upon who and what they were when they came to faith. None of them would have been considered “the cream of society” (Garland). However, despite their humble beginnings, the Father called each of them to serve in His heavenly court.

The takeaway is straightforward: anyone can do it. But many of us, for one reason or another, shrink back. Paul asks each of us to reflect upon who and what we are.  

1 Corinthians 1:26-28

 26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.

 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.

 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.

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© Dr. H 2023

What do you have that you did not receive? ∙

What do you have that you did not receive?

What do you have that God hasn’t given you? – 1 Corinthians 4:7

1 Corinthians 4:1-7

 1 So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s mysteries.

 2 Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful.

 3 As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point.

 4 My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.

 5 So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time – before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.

 6 Dear brothers and sisters, I have used Apollos and myself to illustrate what I’ve been saying. If you pay attention to what I have quoted from the Scriptures, you won’t be proud of one of your leaders at the expense of another.

 7 For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results” (Andrew Carnegie). “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success” (Henry Ford).

To achieve success, it is essential to have team players who possess exceptional teamwork skills. A true team player prioritizes the accomplishment of their group over their individual achievement. They recognize that their team’s victory coincides with their own success. They exhibit the utmost dedication and commitment to the shared goal.

The value of teamwork is ingrained in the psyche of team players, and they strive to foster a supportive and collaborative environment that brings out the best in everyone. A team player is selfless and willing to put the team’s needs before their own.

This attitude is particularly evident in team sports such as football, hockey, soccer, and basketball, where players understand the significance of collaborating with one another to achieve a common objective. They recognize receiving feedback and constructive criticism as crucial for success. Through their steadfast commitment and unwavering dedication, team players can help their team accomplish feats that seem unattainable on their own.

To achieve the Father’s kingdom goals on earth requires teamwork. The Father has chosen to use groups or teams of children of the King to accomplish His purposes. Team players with strong teamwork skills are needed to make this happen.

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work” (Vince Lombardi). The same is true of the church.

In the Father’s kingdom, team players are genuinely committed to the task that the Father assigned to them and to one another (Ephesians 4:16).

Paul was a great team player as well as a team builder. He did not talk down to others. He could put himself in their place and share their feelings and emotions. His purpose was to fulfill the Father’s game plan: to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). He shared the gospel and grounded children of the King in the faith.

Paul was always at work, bringing people into a closer relationship with the living God. Paul exhorted and coached others. He primarily provided information rather than condemnation. But when necessary, he was willing to confront. “Paul had a wonderfully courteous way of including himself in his own warnings and his own condemnations” (Barclay).


“All gifts and advantages come from God. They are special graces from God. We do not earn or deserve them. An understanding of the grace of God puts an end to pride” (Richison).

Father I recognize that all I have and all I am is a sheer gracious gift from You. Foster within me an attitude of gratitude.


1 Corinthians 4:7 For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?

“Paul now asks pithy, pointed questions to puncture their bubble of spiritual pride. ‘For who makes you differ from another?’  Paul attacks the spiritual pride of the Corinthian church by asking them who gave them the right of superior judgment over others. No one gave these people the right to judge others. The Greek answers the question – ‘no one.’ They had no right to consider themselves superior to others. They claimed this so-called ‘right’ but got it from themselves. Paul sarcastically punches a hole in their claim of superiority over others. ‘And what do you have that you did not receive? And what do you have that you did not receive?’” (Richardson).

Being puffed up and arrogant have no place in the Father’s kingdom or on the Father’s team. Paul confronts the Corinthians regarding their perceived special status. Paul “punctures their inflated view of themselves with a series of questions: Who? What? Why?” (Garland).

1 Corinthians 4:7 can be translated in various ways.

For who makes you different from anyone else? (NIV)

Who regards you as superior? (NAS)

For who makes you so superior? (HCSB)

For who sees anything different in you? (ESV)

Who defines you? (Thiselton)

The sentence has two parts. The first part is the answer to the question, Who is responsible? This, in turn, has two answers. One is correct, the other not so much.

Ultimately, the Father is responsible. He has decided. Each child of the King is different from everyone else, and He endowed them with specific unique characteristics, abilities, talents, appearance, and the like. He defined them!

Yet, on the other hand, many Corinthians self-identify as superior. They were filled with arrogance and pride.

Why would they think of themselves in this way? What could possibly make them superior or unique? Paul’s answer is their distinguishing attributes, features, strengths, virtues, etc.

None of these factors are things that they have done for themselves. Instead, everything they have; they have received from the Father. How can they possibly boast about something that was given to them as a free gift of pure grace? “Nothing is inherently theirs, so they cannot be arrogant and boastful” (Marshall). “All is of grace; nothing is deserved, nothing earned” (Fee). That is Paul’s point.

All children of the King are very special to Him. The Father is the source of their life and forgiveness in Christ. But that does not make them superior to others. The Corinthians are guilty of being presumptuous and ungrateful. “For them to be puffed up one against another effectively denies that God is the one who has given them all things” (Garland).

“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime” [Babe Ruth].

“In an ultimate sense, human arrogance makes very little sense because we never accomplish anything except by using the gifts, talent, energy, inspiration – and even breath – that God gives to us” (Stanley).

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© Dr. H 2023

He must increase ∙

He must increase

He must increase, but I must decrease. – John 3:30

John 3:27-32

 27 John replied, No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven.

 28 You yourselves know how plainly I told you, “I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for Him.”

 29 It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success.

 30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.

 31 He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth and speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else.

 32 He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them!

When asked which instrument was the most difficult to play, the late conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Leonard Bernstein, did not hesitate in his response: “The second fiddle. I can get plenty of first violinists, but finding someone who can play second fiddle enthusiastically is a problem, and if we have no second fiddle, we have no harmony.”

As any musician knows the importance of each instrument in an orchestra. Each contributes to the overall harmony. The finest musician in each orchestra section occupies the first chair. However, no triumphant harmony can exist without those playing second, third, and fourth chairs.

The Father assigned John the Baptist the role of playing second fiddle. John’s job was to work himself out of a job. He was the forerunner; he came to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. He humbly accepted this role as the forerunner, working diligently to fulfill his purpose and pave the way for the Savior’s arrival.

John was chosen by the Father to bear witness to the coming of His Son, and he embraced his responsibilities with fervor and dedication.

As an ascetic, John lived in the desert and maintained a strict paleo diet of locusts and wild honey. John’s message was fiery and demanded a response. He called on people to repent of their sins before the day of judgment. With forceful language, John condemned sin in all forms and urged his listeners to turn their hearts toward God.

He was dynamic and drew large crowds. Who gathered to hear John’s message? Soldiers, tax collectors, leaders, those that were well-off, and of course, ordinary people. Those in his audience often had great power, influence, and wealth. He told people repeatedly to share with the needy, be honest, and be content.

John announced the imminent arrival of the promised Messiah of Israel. He fiercely warned of the judgment to come. He warned that it was not enough to know about the God of Israel and be a descendant of Abraham. Each individual was strongly exhorted to perform a personal inventory, literally have “a come to Jesus moment,” and be forgiven and enter into a personal relationship with the Father through the Son.

John proclaimed the imminent arrival of the long-awaited Messiah of Israel and delivered a stark warning of the judgment to come. He emphasized that merely having knowledge of the God of Israel or being a descendant of Abraham was not enough. Each person needed to take a personal inventory and have a transformative moment of reckoning with God, seeking forgiveness, and entering into a personal relationship with the Father through the Son.

John called on individuals to turn their hearts towards God in true repentance. The shaken crowds were left asking, “what shall we do?” John’s response is encapsulated in one word, Repent!

How does this compare to what is frequently taught from the pulpit in modern times? A cynic once said, “People come to church today expecting very little and seldom go away disappointed.”


Finding contentment in the background and learning to be at peace in the shadows brings a deep sense of joy and fulfillment to those who are children of the King.

Father thank You for bringing me to a “come to Jesus moment.” Now I know You face-to-face. Encourage me to walk with You daily and get to know You better.


John accepted his position as number two with elegance and grace. There is no room or need for competition (John 3:27). All opportunities, along with our skills, gifts, and experience, come from the Father. He knew full well that all service and blessing come from the Father.

John the Baptist knew he was not the Messiah, but rather, he was the friend and forerunner of the Messiah. John self-described his role as the friend of the bridegroom.

The bridegroom’s friend, the shoshben, is similar to the best man at a wedding in American culture. In first-century Jewish weddings, the best man held a unique role. He was responsible for making all the wedding arrangements, sending out invitations, and serving as the host of the wedding feast. Moreover, his duty was to bring the bride and groom together and safeguard the bridal chamber.

Once the best man had fulfilled his duties and brought the bride and groom together, he waited outside the bridal chamber to hear the bridegroom’s voice when the bride dropped her veil for the first time. It is easy to imagine the bridegroom exclaiming, “How lovely!” The best man could then depart with joy and satisfaction, knowing that his mission was accomplished and the lovers were together (Barclay).

John the Baptist had no identity crisis. He understood his role as the best man in the wedding of Israel and the Lord Jesus Christ. His sole responsibility was to bring the bride and the bridegroom together, and when he accomplished that, he joyfully stepped back and faded out of the picture.

John arranged the marriage between the Lord Jesus Christ and Israel, bringing them together. Once they were united, he considered his task complete and was content to fade into the background. When John said that Jesus must increase and he must decrease, he did so with joy, not envy (Barclay).

Sometimes we would do well to remember, as children of the King, that it is not our purpose to draw people to ourselves. Instead, we are to draw them to the Lord Jesus Christ.  We should seek to inspire loyalty to the Father and His Son, not to ourselves (Wiersbe).

A Presbyterian pastor in Melbourne, Australia, introduced J. Hudson Taylor using many superlatives, especially the word great. Taylor stepped to the pulpit and quietly said, “Dear friends, I am the little servant of an illustrious Master.” If John the Baptist in heaven heard that statement, he must have shouted, “Hallelujah!”

It is far better to humbly play second fiddle in the Father’s orchestra than to refuse to play at all. John understood his calling and was fully committed to his mission. He did not seek personal glory or accolades but was content to fulfill the role assigned to him by the Father. Jesus, Himself said that among those born of women, no one was greater than John (Luke 7:28).

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© Dr. H 2023

Divine intervention and protection

Divine intervention and protection

Saul chose 3,000 elite troops from all Israel and went to search for David and his men near the rocks of the wild goats. At the place where the road passes some sheepfolds, Saul went into a cave to relieve himself. But as it happened, David and his men were hiding farther back in that very cave! – 1 Samuel 24:2-3

1 Samuel 23:26-29

 26 Saul and David were now on opposite sides of a mountain. Just as Saul and his men began to close in on David and his men,

 27 an urgent message reached Saul that the Philistines were raiding Israel again.

 28 So Saul quit chasing David and returned to fight the Philistines. Ever since that time, the place where David was camped has been called the Rock of Escape.

A story is told of David and the Spider

In his youth, King David loved to wander through the fields, tending to his flock and admiring the beauty of nature. He marveled at each creature’s contributions to the world: hens provided eggs, bees produced honey, cows offered milk, and sheep supplied soft wool. But when he encountered a spider, David was puzzled. He saw no apparent use for the spider’s web. So, David turned to God for an answer. “O Creator of the world, what is the purpose of spiders? Their webs are of no use as clothing!” God responded, “A day will come when you shall need on the work of this creature. Then you will thank Me.”

The story continues with David being pursued by Saul. Saul was determined to kill him. David sought refuge in a cave, hoping to evade Saul’s soldiers. A spider quickly spun a web across the cave’s entrance, and when Saul’s men arrived, they noticed the undisturbed web. Assuming the cave was empty, they did not bother searching it. David was able to escape unharmed.

David was indeed in the recesses of a cave in the presence of Saul and lived to tell about it. However, the story of David being saved by a spider web from Saul is not found in the Scriptures. Instead, this story is a part of Jewish folklore, referenced in the Jewish Talmud.

Folklore is a collection of traditional beliefs, customs, stories, songs, and other cultural practices often rooted in historical events or facts. These stories and practices reflect the values, beliefs, experiences, and worldviews of particular groups of people and are often tied to their daily lives and experiences.

The Father frequently intervenes in extraordinary and unexpected ways to protect those under His care.

David was in a dire situation, facing inevitable capture and death at the hands of Saul and his soldiers. With no apparent means of escape, the Father intervened by providing an unexpected source of deliverance.

1 Samuel 23:26-29

 26 Just as Saul and his men began to close in on David and his men,

 27 an urgent message reached Saul that the Philistines were raiding Israel again.

 28 So Saul quit chasing David and returned to fight the Philistines. Ever since that time, the place where David was camped has been called the Rock of Escape.

Life on planet Earth can be likened to a massive three-dimensional chessboard, where the Father can intervene at any moment to achieve His desired outcome.


The Father is the Lord of the unexpected. Expect the unexpected.

Father thank You that you have an eternal plan for every child of the King. You have and will do extraordinary things to achieve your purposes in our lives.


Throughout the Scriptures, there are numerous examples of divine intervention. One such story is that of Moses, who was miraculously saved from certain death. He was found and rescued by a princess of Egypt, nursed and raised by his biological mother, and eventually went on to live in the court of Pharaoh, even being in line to rule. with the possibility of assuming the throne.

These events reveal a series of extraordinary interventions by the Father into human history.

Exodus 1:9-22

 9 He [the Pharaoh] said to his people, “Look, the people of Israel now outnumber us and are stronger than we are.”

 10 “We must make a plan to keep them from growing even more. If we don’t, and if war breaks out, they will join our enemies and fight against us. Then they will escape from the country.”

 11 So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves . . ..

 12 But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became.

 14 They made their lives bitter, forcing them to mix mortar and make bricks and do all the work in the fields. They were ruthless in all their demands.

 15 Then Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, gave this order to the Hebrew midwives . . ..

 16 “When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver. If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.”

 17 But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king’s orders. They allowed the boys to live, too.

 22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Throw every newborn Hebrew boy into the Nile River. But you may let the girls live.”

Exodus 2:1-11

 1 About this time, a man and woman from the tribe of Levi got married.

 2 The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She saw that he was a special baby and kept him hidden for three months.

 3 But when she could no longer hide him, she got a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River.

 4 The baby’s sister then stood at a distance, watching to see what would happen to him.

 5 Soon Pharaoh’s daughter came down to bathe in the river, and her attendants walked along the riverbank. When the princess saw the basket among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it for her.

 6 When the princess opened it, she saw the baby. The little boy was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This must be one of the Hebrew children,” she said.

 7 Then the baby’s sister approached the princess. “Should I go and find one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” she asked.

 8 “Yes, do!” the princess replied. So the girl went and called the baby’s mother.

 9 “Take this baby and nurse him for me,” the princess told the baby’s mother. “I will pay you for your help.” So the woman took her baby home and nursed him.

 10 Later, when the boy was older, his mother brought him back to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her own son. The princess named him Moses, for she explained, “I lifted him out of the water.”

 11 Many years later, when Moses had grown up, he went out to visit his own people, the Hebrews, and he saw how hard they were forced to work.

The timeline of Old Testament Jewish history is marked by a series of ironic and dramatic events that showcase the Father’s incursions into the space-time continuum.

Esther 3:1-8

 1 King Xerxes later promoted Haman, son of Hammedatha the Agagite, over all the other nobles, making him the most powerful official in the empire.

 2 All the king’s officials would bow down before Haman to show him respect whenever he passed by, for so the king had commanded. But Mordecai refused to bow down or show him respect.

 4 They [the palace officials] spoke to him day after day, but still, he refused to comply with the order. So they spoke to Haman about this to see if he would tolerate Mordecai’s conduct since Mordecai had told them he was a Jew.

 5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, he was filled with rage.

 6 He had learned of Mordecai’s nationality, so he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordecai alone. Instead, he looked for a way to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire of Xerxes.

 8 Then Haman approached King Xerxes and said, “There is a certain race of people scattered through all the provinces of your empire who keep themselves separate from everyone else. Their laws are different from those of any other people, and they refuse to obey the laws of the king. So it is not in the king’s interest to let them live.

Esther 4:1-17

 1 When Mordecai learned about all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on burlap and ashes, and went out into the city, crying with a loud and bitter wail.

 3 And as news of the king’s decree reached all the provinces, there was great mourning among the Jews. They fasted, wept, and wailed, and many people lay in burlap and ashes.

 13 Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace, you will escape when all other Jews are killed.

 14 If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”

 15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai:

 16 “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.”

 17 So Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.

Esther 5:1-8

 1 On the third day of the fast, Esther put on her royal robes and entered the inner court of the palace, just across from the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne, facing the entrance.

 6 And while they were drinking wine, the king told Esther, “Now tell me what you really want. What is your request? I will give it to you, even if it is half the kingdom!”

 7 Esther replied, “This is my request and deepest wish.

 8 If I have found favor with the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my request and do what I ask, please come with Haman tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for you. Then I will explain what this is all about.”

Esther 7:1-10

 1 So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther’s banquet.

 2 On this second occasion, while they were drinking wine, the king again said to Esther, “Tell me what you want, Queen Esther. What is your request? I will give it to you, even if it is half the kingdom!”

 3 Queen Esther replied, “If I have found favor with the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my request, I ask that my life and the lives of my people will be spared.

 4 For my people and I have been sold to those who would kill, slaughter, and annihilate us. If we had merely been sold as slaves, I could remain quiet, for that would be too trivial a matter to warrant disturbing the king.”

 5 “Who would do such a thing?” King Xerxes demanded. “Who would be so presumptuous as to touch you?”

 6 Esther replied, “This wicked Haman is our adversary and our enemy.” Haman grew pale with fright before the king and queen.

 9 “Haman has set up gallows that stand seventy-five feet tall in his own courtyard. He intended to use it to hang Mordecai, the man who saved the king from assassination.” “Then hang Haman on it!” the king ordered.

 10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows

Obadiah 1:1 Just as you have done, so it will be done to you. You will get exactly what your deeds deserve.


© Dr. H 2023

One line at a time ∙

One line at a time

He tells us everything over and over – one line at a time – Isaiah 28:10

Isaiah 28:9-10

 9 To whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message?

 10 For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.

How do we discover new things?

“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries” (Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers).

How do we acquire information and learn?

Learning and acquiring new information can occur through three primary methods. The first is through human reason or rationalism, whereby people use intellectual effort and trial and error to figure things out. The second is through human experience, where learning happens by doing, trial, and error – known as empiricism.

Another way to gain knowledge is through revelation, which has been a privilege of the children of the King throughout the millennia. The Father reveals information that cannot be learned through rationalism or empiricism, such as the nature of human sin, the need for salvation, and the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

To avail ourselves of the revelation from the Father, we must be in the Word of God, studying, meditating, and listening.

Sadly, many people in the 21st century have denied the existence of God and disregarded the Bible as a source of valuable information. They see it as nothing more than a collection of stories, myths, histories, poetry, and wisdom literature.

Into this nontheistic age, we have been born. And until we are born again, we are the doomed, gloomy byproducts of our times. When the rulers of our age turned away from the Father and the Word of God, they lost the wisdom which comes only from the Father. They are left only with earthbound, natural, impious resources.

James 3:15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above but is earthly, natural, demonic.

The term translated as earthly in Greek is epigeous from epi + ge, literallyon earth. It has the sense of being earthbound, constrained by earthly limitations. Such wisdom has its source in things that are confined to the earth. We are familiar with the concept of thinking outside the box. Earthly thinking is inside the box. It is extremely limited. Often, standards, aims, and measures of success are entirely earthly and worldly.

The Greek term which is translated as natural is psychike. It means belonging to the psyche. It can be appropriately translated as soulish, psychic, unspiritual, and often natural. James says this kind of wisdom is no more than animal instinct. It is the kind of wisdom that makes an animal snap and snarl with no other thought than that of prey or personal survival (Barclay).

The Greek term translated as demonic is daimoniodes from daimonion demon. It is devilish. The source of this knowledge is not God but the devil.

As a result of rejecting the Father and His truth, the world has descended into a bleak, dark, dismal, and godless place.

Isaiah 59:9-11

 9 So there is no justice among us, and we know nothing about right living. We look for light but find only darkness. We look for bright skies but walk in gloom.

 10 We grope like the blind along a wall, feeling our way like people without eyes. Even at brightest noontime, we stumble as though it were dark. Among the living, we are like the dead.

 11 We growl like hungry bears; we moan like mournful doves. We look for justice, but it never comes. We look for rescue, but it is far away from us.

But the Father made a wonderful promise of hope for the future.

Isaiah 9:2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.


Life can be like a massive and delightful treasure hunt. We always have the opportunity to seek and learn new truth.

Father thank You that You desire to lead me in truth and teach me one-on-one, face-to-face.


Without the Father’s input, our limitations skew our perception and understanding of reality. What we think and have come to “know” as real dictates what we believe can be real.

The Greek philosopher Plato wrote the Allegory of the Cave to explain the nature of reality. It tells of a cave in which prisoners are kept. These prisoners have been in the cave since their childhood. The prisoners could only see flickering images on the wall. They presumed the images to be real rather than just shadowy representations of what is real.

The cave symbolizes the typical world in which the majority of people live. They often mistake shadows for reality and accept incomplete or partial truths as true truth.

One of the prisoners is freed. He is able to take a good look around. He looked at the shadows and observed they were not real at all but only two-dimensional images of real things.

After being freed, one of the prisoners is able to survey his surroundings carefully. He examined the shadows and realized they were two-dimensional images of real objects. They lacked corporeal existence.

The prisoner then left the cave and saw the real world outside. The prisoner now sees how pitiful he and his former colleagues in the cave are. If he returned to the cave, the prisoners would see him as deranged, not knowing what reality is, and would say that he left the cave and returned with corrupted eyes.

1 Corinthians 13:12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

Where do you live? Is your reality limited to darkness, shadows, and partial truths? Or do you live in the reality of the light of life? To borrow a line from X-files, “The truth is out there.”

John 8:32 You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.

We must first recognize and become discontented with our limitations to find freedom.

To find freedom, we must recognize and become dissatisfied with our limitations.

Romans 8:5-8

 5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.

 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.

 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.

 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

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© Dr. H 2023

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