Mark Johnston Articles
Esther 2 Esther is one of the most intriguing books in the Bible - not least because it never mentions God's name. Despite the questions and suspicions raised by this, the obvious reason why this is so is quite simply that it was left out on purpose. In a way not unlike Ecclesiastes, it makes a God...
Mark Johnston Articles
Chapter divisions in Bible are sometimes less helpful than they might be, and that is certainly the case as we come to today's reading. In order to make sense of all that's going on in this passage, we need to keep in mind what happened at the end of the previous chapter. There we saw Mordecai -...
Mark Johnston Articles
In our journey through Esther we have been wrestling with the question, 'Where is God in all of this?' - not least because he is not mentioned overtly name. But that does not mean he is not there, or that he is not at work. Derek Prime perceptively captures what is going on in the title of his...
Mark Johnston Articles
This fifth chapter in the story of Esther becomes a study in contrasts: between a humble and thoughtful queen on the one hand and on the other, a proud and reckless official. The life and conduct of each in their own way says a great deal about how they relate to God as much as how they relate to...
Mark Johnston Articles
If ever there was a series of extraordinary coincidences in life, then this chapter records it! An event that had been forgotten, a king who couldn't sleep, a record of the forgotten event being read, an official who comes to the palace at that very moment and a misunderstanding that reverses the...
Stephen Nichols
Genesis 41, Job 8, Mark 11, with Romans 11 Joseph, Job (chapter 7 finds him in a particularly low spot), and a fig tree (Mark 11) all have something in common. They all find themselves at varying times perplexed, awed, dismayed, overwhelmed and maybe even not a little troubled by the sovereign hand...
Stephen Nichols
In both of these chapters we have the great commandment, the second part of the Great Commandments that is, to love one another. Paul expresses it in the middle of one of his discussions on spiritual gifts. Curiously, over in 1 Corinthians 13 he also stresses love when he is talking about gifts...
Stephen Nichols
Always an intriguing chapter, Romans 13 challenges us all in the way we relate to government and to the state. We need to remind ourselves of the government in place over Paul and the Christians at Rome while Paul was writing his epistle. That should give us some perspective. Paul outlines some...
Stephen Nichols
In these various episodes just before the crucifixion, the disciples prove faithless in Jesus' final hour. First, we see the unnamed disciples who "indignantly" scold the woman who anoints Jesus (14:3-9). Then, of course, we're introduced to Judas' plotting to betray Jesus in 14:10-11, which then...
Stephen Nichols
These two chapters make an interesting juxtaposition. Joseph is well out of the pit, literally and figuratively. He and the reader now have a new perspective on the trials he endured, a perspective that allows him to see God's good hand at work. Joseph can now see God's purpose. Job on the other...

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