Parent and Child

Rich Rockwood

READ : Luke 15:11-32 For this my son was dead, and is alive again . . . (v. 24) It was an insult no parent should or would tolerate. “Dad, give me my share of our property now before you die. I wanna be on my own.” In that culture a young man who made such a request would be beaten. Besides, it was wrong to give the second son his share of the inheritance before the first. Sometimes a …

Our Ethnic Heritage

Rich Rockwood

READ : Esther 4:1-17 Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. (v. 13) How important is your ethnic heritage to you? Does your family celebrate it, or are you ashamed of it? When you first meet someone do you guess their heritage? Today we’re introduced to Esther, a young woman made queen of Persia, but trying to hide her Jewish identity during an anti-Semitic pogrom. Her cousin …

Moral Boundaries in Relationships

Rich Rockwood

READ : 2 Samuel 12:1-13 Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? (v. 9) When it comes to relationships, it is critically important to remember that they have moral boundaries. No matter who we think we are, how powerful, how good-looking, or even how lonely, there are places we morally cannot go. In the heat of the moment, King David believed his prestige and power entitled him to physical relations …

A Best Friend

Rich Rockwood

READ : 1 Samuel 18:1-4 . . . the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. (v. 1) In L. M. Montgomery’s novel Anne of Green Gables, the character Anne Shirley says, “True friends are always together in spirit.” These words surely fit the friendship David and Jonathan had. Anne might even say they were kindred spirits. Their backgrounds were different yet their lives intertwined. Jonathan was the firstborn …

The In-Laws

Rich Rockwood

READ : Ruth 1:1-18 Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. (v. 16) “Did you hear the one about . . .” And so begin many jokes about in-laws, especially mothers-in-law. Families assume they will all get along because their son and daughter are in love. Not necessarily. Yet in the Bible we find a close and harmonious bond between in-laws. A Moabite named Ruth and an Israelite named Naomi had such a relationship. Moabites and …

Siblings

Rich Rockwood

READ : Genesis 37:1-4, 23-33; 50:15-21 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him. (37:4) As we grow up, our first relationships in which we strive towards equality are with brothers and sisters, if we have them. While we prefer to look in the Bible for stories of people who had perfect relationships we can imitate, when we look at Joseph and his brothers …