Category: Ethical resilience

Saul’s narcissism and rage

In our previous post, we looked at some of King Saul's blame-shifting tactics, and now we come to consider Saul's narcissism and rage. When Saul's desires were frustrated, he lashed out at others. In the story of Israel's war with the Philistines at this time, Samuel...

Saul’s blame-shifting tactics

Saul's blame-shifting tactics are typical of abusers When we consider the theme of non-apologies in the Bible, Saul's blame-shifting tactics stand out. But one of the amazing things we see in his story is the difference between him and his son, Jonathan. Jonathan is...

Your children will be like olive shoots

“Blessed are all who fear Yahweh, who walk in his ways”

The Old Testament has a pretty long list of instructions on how to live well. While many are about relating well to God, most are about how to care for each other, and how to create a society where people thrive. It includes many instructions about caring for the poor and vulnerable, preventing homelessness, looking after refugees and immigrants, food security, respect for property, and making restitution.

When people lived by those rules, it meant they treated each other with dignity and respect.  A broad commitment to ethical behaviour meant things went well in their society, and in Psalm 128 that’s particularly reflected in the family.

Those who go out weeping

Special days of the year are complicated for many people, and Easter Sunday is no different. It might be worth noting that on the first Easter Sunday, God had always known how things would turn out, but Jesus’ friends and followers didn’t. Even that morning, once Jesus had risen, there was a delay between the fact of hope and his disciples’ experience of it.

It’s not that they weren’t interested in hope. Mary Magdalene went down to the tomb while it was still dark that morning, and even when Jesus stood right in front of her it took her time to recognise him. For poor Thomas, who, (we see in the Lazarus story), had been willing to die with him, it was a week before he shifted from despair to reality.

If the LORD had not been on our side

One of the beautiful things about Jesus’ choices in the lead up to his death is his constant commitment to have mercy for us. He showed it in his death in a way that echoes through history. But to read his story, told through the eyes of those around him, it becomes obvious that his commitment to giving everything he had to help us was entirely consistent with who he had already shown himself to be.

Jesus did for us what we could never successfully do for ourselves. He loved. He helped. Jesus had his eye on those who needed support, and he gave himself generously to them. Those people loved him. Not everybody did.

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