Kiriath Jearim—A Noteworthy Hill Nobody Notices

A reminder that God gave His Word for a reason.

It’s a place between important places. Few individuals, if any, journey there directly. Most would miss it, in fact, if they didn’t know to look. Yet Kiriath Jearim was profoundly significant.

Kiriath Jearim—A Noteworthy Hill Nobody Notices

(Photo: Kiriath Jearim, Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands.)

Modern commuters along Israel’s Route 1 drive by the site every day, their minds on their routines. Even tour buses rarely point to the place, much less stop there.

The tourists who do pull over often do so only to snap pictures at the Elvis American Diner (also known as the “Elvis Inn”). A 16-foot-tall bronze likeness of Elvis Presley greets every visitor. Inside the diner, Elvis music is all they hear as they eat their Elvis Burgers. But Elvis isn’t what makes this hill noteworthy.

Around the corner from the offbeat diner, near the modern Israeli Arab village of Abu Gosh, sits the site so few see and even fewer visit—the biblical site of Kiriath Jearim.

You’d never know by looking, but the physical symbol of God’s presence in Israel rested for about a century on this overlooked hill.

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What is Reformed Theology

What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics (Baker Publishing Group, 2016)

This repackaged version of Sproul’s 1997 classic What is Reformed Theology? is, in Sproul’s own words, “a shorthand introduction to the crystallized essence of Reformation Theology.”

Much of what Sproul refers to as foundations of reformed theology might better be understood as the theology of the reformers—namely that it is centered on God, based on God’s Word alone, committed to faith alone, etc. After all, these tenets are also true of other theological systems outside of Reformed Theology.

How to Take Your Accountability to God Seriously

Amos' words to Samaria offer wisdom to our lives.

We don’t like accountability. Oh, we like the idea of accountability. For governing officials. For pastors and priests. For bankers and doctors. But personally? Uh, no thanks.

How to Take Your Accountability to God Seriously

(Photo: Ruins atop Samaria’s acropolis mark the kings’ administrative center. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

From the pages of Scripture, an unlikely prophet named Amos helps us learn why our refusal to accept personal accountability is more than simply wrong or foolhardy. His words to the northern capital of Samaria are words we need to hear as well.

Without accountability to God, we will never become all we want to be.

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A Different Kind of Happiness

A Different Kind of Happiness: Discovering the Joy That Comes from Sacrificial Love (Baker, 2016)

Larry Crabb has written one of the best books I’ve read all year. He describes the narrow way of Jesus’ teaching to include the hard work that true love requires –with a reward that is unmeasurable. In his own words:

I’ve written this book to think through what it means to really love and to explore the truth that sets us free to relate closer to the way we wish we could, to love like Jesus. As you journey with me in the following pages, and as I share something of my path to loving more like Jesus, think about your relationships and the circumstances in which you find yourself. What would it mean for you to battle for a better love?

2 Essential Choices Help Destroy the Painful Void in Your Life

Everything else only deepens the chasm.

I love how some homeowners chose to deal with their drought-dried lawns. They paced their yards with green spray paint, and they had lawns to dye for. No more watering. No mowing. Just fake, green grass all summer.

2 Essential Choices Help Destroy the Painful Void in Your Life

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Actually, such innovation applies beyond the front yard straight into the human heart.

On the surface, most of us look vibrant, successful, content, and happy. And except for the occasional “scene”—when the truth bursts from behind our thin veneers—most of us manage to keep it together long enough to preserve the image.

In social circles where hurting is unacceptable (insert your church’s name here), we quickly learn how to paint on the smile and shake all the hands—while inside we feel as dead and needy as parched grass.

While we may have ideal hopes about tomorrow, and how in that ever-elusive “someday” things will get better, the truth is, life doesn’t fix itself.

Instead, God must fix life. Two essential choices can help.

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How to Resist Temptation Like Jesus

The Lord's strategy in the Judean Wilderness also works today.

Everybody faces temptation. And on some level, everybody has fallen to it. Everybody but Jesus. I have walked in the wilderness where Satan tempted Jesus.

Judean wilderness

(Photo: Judean wilderness. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Good grief, what a place. As far as my eye could see, it was empty, dry, and depressing. I tried to imagine the solitude and struggle Jesus would have endured for over a month. But I could not.

How did Jesus resist temptation here?

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Why Your Life of Faith Has Gaps

What we must understand if we hope to maintain a life of faith.

The Bible doesn’t tell us everything. Not even close. That’s because there are huge gaps between most events. Oh, to be sure, the Bible tells us all we need to know. But it leaves out most of the details that scratch our curious itches.

Most of life is gaps.

(Photo: The Zin Valley in the Aravah of Israel. Picture by Noam Armonn)

For starters:

  • What did Jesus look like?
  • Was Nehemiah bowlegged?
  • Did Martha have a sidesplitting laugh?
  • Was David more handsome than Brad Pitt?

We’ll never know. And this offers a huge encouragement in our life of faith.

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Get My New AUDIOBOOK Early-Bird Discount Now

I'm even throwing in a special bonus!

This week only, I’m launching my new audiobook, Waiting on God: What to Do When God Does Nothing at a fantastic early-bird discount for my blog readers.

Click here to listen as I read a special section from the audiobook:

Waiting on God audiobook 3D

(The audiobook is a digital download only, giving you instant access. This image is for illustration purposes.)

GET IT NOW!

What do you do when the life God has promised you looks nothing like the life he has given you? We want to know God’s plan so that we can trust the plan—but often God hides his plan so that we will trust Him. What can we do in the meantime while we wait for an answer to prayer, a change of heart, or a miracle of provision?

If you enjoyed the book, you will also enjoy hearing me read it to you.

Bonus Offer

Amazon and other retailers are selling the audiobook for $17.46. But this week only, you can take advantage of the early-bird price plus a bonus I’m throwing in to sweeten the pot.

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I’ve Been Waiting for This for a Year

My new Waiting on God Unabridged Audiobook releases Monday

Hard to believe, but my book, Waiting on God: What to Do When God Does Nothing, released a whole year ago. And for a whole year, I’ve been waiting to make available the unabridged audiobook. Why?

Waiting on God audiobook 3D

My publisher required I wait a year to release the audiobook, but the wait is over!

Next week, I’m launching the audiobook only to my blog readers at an early-bird price that represents a ridiculous savings off what retailers will sell the audiobook for. On Monday, I’ll send you a special advanced link to get your discount.

But today, I’m asking one thing of you.

Will you pray?

Here are 3 specific prayers:

  1. That God would use the Waiting on God Unabridged Audiobook to encourage those who believe in God but who don’t understand why He makes them wait so long.
  2. That the audiobook would give strength to the person who is about ready to give up.
  3. That those who have purchased the book in the past year would find new encouragement as I read the book to them.

Thank you! 

My prayer for you? I’m asking God to encourage you personally through the Waiting on God Unabridged Audiobook.

Question: Will you pray? To leave a comment, just click here.