Technically Speaking


I wonder how often I blunder God’s plans and He graciously intervenes. I imagine its way more than I would think – and I think it would be a lot.

I’m “feeling” Abraham this morning (Genesis 20). Maybe a little too easily. Abraham got off on a technicality. Technically speaking, Sarah was Abraham’s sister. They had the same father, but different mothers (Gen. 20:12). He didn’t lie. He technically told the truth. He just didn’t tell the truth in it’s entirety.

And because he skirted the whole truth, it almost cost someone else their life. Wait, not just someone, but a LOT of someones. That’s because…

Sin always comes at a price.

Abraham spoke a half-truth hastily out of fear (Gen. 20:11) and the consequences of that sin would have cost others the ultimate price, except…

God is a God of Grace.

On the other side of the equation was Abimelech and his people. We’re not told much about them other than Abraham didn’t see a fear of God in his land. In today’s culture, people are quick to point out God’s justice (or His perceived injustice) when sin comes to collect. I fall prey to that head-scratching theology sometimes myself. But here, in the first book of the Bible, only 20 chapters in, we see God protecting – not just His children (Abraham, Sarah), but those caught in the crosshairs of His children’s sin (Abimelech, his people).

Some Points to Ponder

What role does the nature of “technicalities” play in our own lives when it comes to speaking the truth (the whole truth)? Do you see any possible consequences (to ourselves? to others?) when we let ourselves off on technicalities?


I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’m embracing feedback in 2018, so please leave yours in the comments – the good, the bad, the indifferent.

Joseph, the Contented One

I love this image of Joseph, freshly awakened and ready to obey the Lord's command. I found the image here.
Annunciation to Joseph by LDS artist Joseph Brickey, 2000.

Read: Matthew 1:18-25

I like Joseph. In my head, he was a quiet thinker. He was happily content. He was the kind of guy that kept his nose clean. He was responsible. He was dependable. When we’re introduced to Joseph, things are going pretty well for him. He is able to make a respectable living working with his hands as a carpenter. He was soon-to-be wed to Mary, a chaste and God-fearing young lady in the village. Before long, God would surely bless them with children to run and laugh around their happy home. Life was good.

Until it wasn’t.

His beloved fiancé…was pregnant? Who was the father? What should he do – expose her? divorce her?

He must have wrestled for hours over where it all went wrong and what he should do about it until finally – mercifully! – Joseph fell into what I imagine to be a hard-won sleep.

In the wee hours, Joseph finally lay sleeping quietly. It was then, as Joseph was still, that God whispered through Gabriel. He spoke to Joseph’s fears. He answered Joseph’s groanings that were too confused – too hurt – for words. He calmed the chaos that robbed Joseph of his prior contentment. And in response –

“When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him.” (v 24)

As you navigate this second week of the {chaotic} Christmas season, begin by pondering what has robbed you of contentment during past holiday seasons? Is it the hustle and bustle of making lists and checking them twice? Is it holiday entertaining? Is is the constant strain from an overly committed calendar? Is it crowded stores? Financial stress? The self-imposed pressure of making this the “best Christmas ever?” Joseph’s contentment was found in living in obedience to God’s Word. What about yours?

This week, prioritize being still with God daily. Spend your time with Him listening more than speaking. And then, like Joseph, obey.