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Salt, part 4

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The hodgepodge crowds from around Galilee gathered together along the shoreline of the Sea. They anxiously waited to hear what this teacher would say. The rabbi stood atop the hill, looking down towards the crowds below, full of fishermen, bakers, farmers, and businessmen. A hush fell over the people, and the rabbi said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit."

And so begins the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus begins his most famous sermon with blessings. When Jesus blesses the poor in spirit, the meek, those in mourning, those hungering and thirsting for righteousness, people in the crowd new, "Hey, he's talking about me." These are the peasants, the outcasts, the beat-down, the lonely, the poor, the broken, and the have-nots. They were not among the spiritually elite. They were ordinary, helpless people who longed to hear some good news from God, because according to their preachers and rabbis, God blesses those who have it all together.

Not according to this rabbi. This…

Salt, part 3

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They stood at a crossroads. Abraham and Lot decided to part ways in order to prevent more violence and bloodshed between their respective families and hired hands. As they looked out over the land of Canaan, Lot chose the lush, wealthier region to the south near the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot goes south, Abraham goes north.

Flash forward several years and Lot had really made a home for himself. He and his family had moved into town, made a living, and remained faithful to God. Then one day, God sends some messengers to do some undercover investigation. Lot invites, or urges rather, the travelers to stay at his place for the night. You know the rest of the story. The men of the city threaten to gang rape the newcomers, and God decides at that point to destroy the cities completely.

God gave Lot enough warning to get his family out, telling them to never look back. As fire rains down from the sky, Lot, his wife, and two daughters make a run for it, never looking back.

Well, excep…

Salt, part 2

Salt is a curious substance. Just about every living creature needs small amounts of sodium chloride to keep it alive and healthy. However, too much salt can start to cause major health problems, like high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease in humans just to name a few. Salt is a naturally occurring substance in nature, especially in rock deposits and ocean water. It's needed for life. However, if there is too high of a salt concentration in the soil, plants cannot grow. And if there is too high a concentration in the water, fish cannot live.

This is why we have a place called the Dead Sea. Located at the lowest point on land, the Dead Sea is literally a drainage pool collecting all the minerals and salts from the land around it. The Dead Sea is completely incapable of supporting life within its waters. What's more, none of the land surrounding the Dead Sea is capable of supporting life. There is no naturally occurring plant growth for miles around. Just off the shore i…

Salt, part 1

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I've taken a hiatus from writing as I have been focusing on being a dad. It's been about 5 months, and now I feel like putting my thoughts out there in the blogoshpere once again. So here we go...
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Elijah's story runs throughout the 2nd half of 1 Kings. He is one of the first major prophets since the time of Samuel. He is even thought of as the prophet in the line of Moses that was promised back in Deuteronomy. But I don't want to talk about Elijah right now. I want to talk about Elijah's protege, apprentice, and successor - Elisha.

Elisha's name literally means "God saves". And just as Elijah was a type of Moses, so Elisha is a type of Joshua (whose name means "YHWH saves"). Elijah's time on the earth has come to an end by 2 Kings 2, and he takes Elisha on a journey outside the land of Israel across the Jordan which is parted before them so they may walk across on dry ground. Elijah is then taken up into heav…