The Blue Box Blog
Bob Kinzel

Alien Reduction

Over the last few weeks I’ve seen two reports of UFO’s, which refueled the debate about whether we are alone in the Universe. Carl Sagan famously pointed out that with so many


Yet One More Sabbath

As you know, the Israelites were to celebrate every fiftieth year by not planting or harvesting their crops. The idea was to have a year of Jubilee in which debts were forgiven, land was returned to its rightful


Believing is seeing.

Many in my generation will remember their moms telling them how much better their eyesight would be if only they would eat their cooked carrots. Not blessed with 20/20 vision myself, I was hopeful that my own mother was right, but carrots were never my favorite.


God’s not like that!

We may have doubts about many things, but one of our certainties should be God’s character. If we think He is capricious and uncaring, we will turn away from Him, but if we know He is benevolent and merciful,


Is it sinking in?

When we read the Bible, we have a front-row seat to God’s actions and intentions for our world. The TANAKH, the Older Testament, was specifically written to Israel, and their experiences are patterns for us who live in the latter days (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11). Likewise, the records of disciples, churches,


So why all the whining?

Yesterday we saw that God often reminded Israel of their deliverance from Egypt as a motivation. But that begs the question of why anyone in Israel would have wanted to return. Yet they did.


Remembering Egypt

When the Bible uses a word or phrase many times, it’s an invitation to sit up and take notice. One of the phrases used a lot in our Old Testament is “out of the land of Egypt.”

It is used only twice (Exodus 6:13; 7:4) before the Exodus, but then occurs over seventy more times, often in reminders to Israel about how God had rescued them. For example. . .

Exodus 12:17 “And you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day, throughout your generations, as a statute forever.”

Exodus 20:2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”

Leviticus 11:45 “For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”

Leviticus 19:36 “You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.”

Leviticus 23:43 “. . . that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

Deuteronomy 6:12 “. . . then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”

Deuteronomy 29:25 “Then people will say, ‘It is because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.'”

1 Kings 8:21 “And there I have provided a place for the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord that he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.”

Psalm 81:10 “I am the Lord your God,
who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.”

Jeremiah 31:32 “. . . not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord.”

God obviously wanted Israel to remember the reality of their salvation, which meant remembering both their pre-Exodus plight AND the One who rescued them.

In the same way, He wants us to remember that from which we have been saved: sin, guilt, hell, rebellion, confusion, hopelessness, despair, cynicism, and the like. Just as it was important for Israel, it is important for us as well. Let’s take some time today to remember what it was like before Jesus came into our lives, shall we?

“Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”
Ephesians 2:12, 13

I didn’t see that coming!

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever heard about God?

Or, another way to ask the question is, What is the most surprising thing you’ve ever learned about God?

Some would say His love, others, His power, still others, His patience, and some, His wrath.


No, it’s not karma.

In spite of its Hindu roots, the concept of karma is alive and well among evangelicals. We don’t use the term much, of course, but we U. S. Christians do seem to have a built-in sense that our good lives come from our own goodness.


“The end is near!”

It’s well known that Christians, through the centuries, have embarrassed themselves and their Savior by false predictions of the world’s end. I remember gathering a file of such prognostications a few years back that ran to over twenty pages of text.