Beth Shean—When God’s Blessings Seem Too Hard to Hold

What to do when they seem to slip from your grip.

Sometimes the blessings God gives you seem hard to hold. In some cases, the difficulty urges us to abandon the blessings. Beth Shean gives us a great example.

Beth Shean excavations

(Photo: Beth Shean excavations. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The Lord provided Beth Shean for the Tribe of Manasseh. But the excellent location proved to be a double-edged sword. Because the spot was so good, every nation wanted control of Beth Shean. And whoever held it always seemed to contend with those who would wrench it from their grasp.

Perhaps its strategic location gave Beth Shean its name, “House of Security.”

But security only works when you trust in God.

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What a Marriage Needs Every Day [Podcast]

Song of Solomon 1

What does a marriage need every day? This one thing. In this episode of Live the Bible, we look at a topic essential for all of us. (And if you’re single, don’t worry, the principles apply to you very directly as well.) The Song of Solomon isn’t just poetry in the Bible, it’s very practical.

In fact, no matter who you are or at what station of life, you will be able to apply the principles of this message—immediately.

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Hezekiah’s Tunnel and Wall Give a Lesson from Archaeology

Scripture is supported by what we can dig out of the ground.

The ancient world had a bully system that worked in straightforward terms. A nation would conquer a region and demand tribute—annual payment of money and goods. If you didn’t pay tribute, they’d come and kill you. Pretty simple system.

Hezekiah's Tunnel

(Photo: Hezekiah’s Tunnel. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

King Hezekiah refused to pay tribute to the bully. So the Assyrians invaded Judah.

Archaeology has unearthed treasures that reveal Hezekiah’s faith in God. How does it strengthen your faith to see the Bible in archaeology?

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How to Hear a Sermon [Podcast]

Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

How do you listen to a sermon? Honestly, it isn’t always easy. There’s nothing more frustrating than listening to somebody talk for 30 to 45 minutes and to walk away with nothing. The truth is, there are some specific tactics you can apply to every sermon you hear that will help you get so much more out of it.

In this episode of Live the Bible, we find those principles from one who called himself the “Preacher” – King Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes.

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The Secret to an Intentional Spiritual Life [Podcast]

Proverbs 24:30-34

There’s a secret to living intentionally every day. In this episode of Live the Bible, we can learn a valuable lesson from the book of Proverbs from an individual, surprisingly, who never intended to teach us a lesson. But God uses his life for our benefit.

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The Promised Land and God’s Amazing Provision for Your Life

If God will provide, why do our means seem so meager?

The tension is nothing new for us who believe in God. It’s just that most days it seems we never have enough. Between the bills, the home upkeep, and the car repairs, it’s tough just to stay afloat. Often, amazingly, God rigs it this way.

In fact, an unusual custom gives insight into why our means seem so meager.

If God Will Provide, Why Are My Means So Meager?

(Photo: Wheat field near Bet Guvrin, Israel. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

After settling in the Promised Land, God allowed His people to work the land. But every seventh year, God said, “the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord” (Lev. 25:4) and lie fallow.

  • This Sabbatical Year allowed for the forgiveness of all debts, and any food that grew went to the poor and to the wild animals.
  • Then every 50 years, on the year of Jubilee, the land not only rested but also returned to its ancestral owners. And all slaves walked free.
  • However, in 586 B.C., after God’s people failed to observe the Sabbatical Year for 490 years, God exiled them for the 70 special years they failed to give the land (2 Chron. 36:20-21).

All this was to show that the Promised Land belonged to God, not to those who lived on it (Lev. 25:23). Although they worked the land, they believed God will provide, and He made them stop working to prove He would.

For even when they rested, God supplied (Ps. 127:2).

Here’s why the same is true for us.

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Wipe that Smile on Your Face [Podcast]

Psalm 126

What are you searching for? In this episode of Live the Bible, we get real practical— on an emotional level— and if we’re honest, that’s where we tend to live most of the time. The world is desperately searching for happiness, and in their search they often miss Joy.

Where do we find it? Psalm 126 tells us.

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The Harod Valley – Your Overwhelming Anxiety Finds its Peace

Truths as enduring as the beautiful settings in which they occurred.

Have you noticed how history repeats itself in our lives? We think we’ve learned to deal with overwhelming anxiety, but each new day offers a new challenge we never would have expected.

The Harod Valley—Your Overwhelming Anxiety Finds its Peace

(Photo: The Harod Valley. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

In ancient Israel, the Harod Valley gave stage to two sets of desperate situations. From threats to insecurities to death and hopelessness, in every case the overwhelming anxiety found its peace only one way.

It’s the same with your overwhelming anxiety today.

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