OBED-EDOM 1 Chronicles 13, 15, 25, 26

Who in the world is Obed-Edom?  An obscure Old Testament character?  Someone referenced in a pub quiz or crossword puzzle?

No.  Actually, he deserves top billing.  Check out those chapters in 1 Chronicles to discover where and why he’s mentioned.  Agree with me?  Maybe not!

First of all, the Hebrew word ‘obed’ means ‘servant’.  Since ancient names mean something, here we have someone who loves to serve others.  A rare bird in any day-and-age.

Obed-Edom first shows up when King David gets ticked-off at God for allowing the deaths of those who improperly move the Ark of the Covenant (1 Chron. 13).  David’s concerned about what might happen if this dangerous Ark transfers to his Jerusalem home turf.  So, he orders it carried off to Obed-Edom’s home.  He’ll take care of what David fears.  And if death lurks in Obed’s backyard, so be it.  Too bad, so sad!

What happens?  Lo-and-behold, God blesses Obed-Edom beyond anyone’s fondest dreams.  David’s next move?  Right!  After noticing all that good stuff coming Obed-Edom’s way, David wants the Ark in his own backyard.  He yearns for you-know-what to overflow from God…to himself.

I wonder about Obed-Edom’s reaction?  Does he feel used?  I would have.  After all, the Ark remains in his care when dangerous uncertainty lurks.  But when ‘everything comes up roses’, off goes God’s blessed cornucopia to the high-and-mighty.  Phooey!  But that’s me!

God’s take on Obed-Edom?  1 Chronicles 26:5–‘For God had blessed Obed-Edom.’  God remembers the one who serves.  For Obed-Edom exemplifies a life for others.  One who doesn’t mind taking a back seat when called for.  He’s humble enough to let others gain the acclaim.   Unlike many, so eager to get all success’ credit, while shunning blame when the bottom falls out, Obed-Edom stays true to his name, who he’s called to be…a servant.

Sure could use a few more like Obed-Edom.  In politics.  In business.  In church.  In our homes.  And in our own hearts and minds.  As in me…and you!

Servants…for the Lord Jesus.  And for others.  Obed-Edom.  Not so obscure after all!


Lord Jesus, may we be faithful servants… for others and for you.  Amen.


HE KNOWS Daniel 2: 17-21

Now that one political season has ended (sort of!), another is just around the corner.  Never fails–losers touted as winners.  Winners berated as losers.  Back-and-forth the nasty pendulum swings ad nauseum.  Are you as tired of it all as I am?

But really we have little to gripe about.  I know I’m spoiled.  Have so much when others have so little.  Fat and sassy while some barely able to feed their children let alone themselves.  Most of us have no idea what it’s like to go without.  We’re clueless.  Is that a good thing?  Probably not.

Reading Daniel 2 we see what’s happening to God’s people in his day.  Tough times blast with gale force winds.  Their nation decimated.  Their holy Temple razed.  Their best and brightest young people whisked off to brainwashing camps, exiles for the foreseeable future.  Death stares them down.  And we complain.  We have no idea how horrible life becomes for God’s people.  I don’t.

So what do they have to be thankful for anyway?  Daniel knows.  Where?  Of course, with God.  Daniel 2: 19-23 sings lofty praise and thanksgiving to his Sovereign Lord.  He knows.  Read those verses for yourself and you will too.

This Thanksgiving let’s focus on the Lord Himself.  Yes, we’re grateful for all His blessings.  Family, country, friends, food, jobs, homes and so much more.   We’re grateful.

But in giving thanks, I usually get stuck down here in this world.  For what I can see, touch and taste.  How about looking up to the source?  To the Father of All.  To Jesus His only Son, our Savior.  To all the comforts of the Holy Spirit.  All the character traits of our triune God.  Like faithful love, kindness, gentleness, patience…  Add your own.

That’s where my heart will be this Thanksgiving.  On Him and who He is.  Daniel knew where to look in the most trying of times.  So should we.

Happy Thanksgiving!  You know why.

Thank you, Lord, for everything.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Today my new daily devotional book is ready for purchase!  Gideon House Books has once again been my editor and publisher.  This book is exclusively in the modern e-book format.  The title is ‘Reminders For Daily Devotion’.   I’ve been writing, editing, re-editing, and re-writing this book for more than two years!  Finally, it’s ready to go!

Each daily devotion lifts our eyes to the Lord Jesus for His help, strength and encouragement.  I hope and pray that this ‘Reminders’ book will be a real blessing for all who read it daily.

‘Reminders for Daily Devotion’ can be purchased for $7.99 on Amazon, iTunes, Nook, Google Play and Kobo.  You may also want to purchase a gift copy for someone special.  All but Kobo allow you to do so.

For example, Amazon.  On the page for ‘Reminder’s  for Daily Devotion’ by John Fischer you’ll notice below the ‘Add to Cart’ tab a button called ‘Buy for Others’.  That’s where you can give ‘Reminders’ devotional book as a Christmas/New Year’s/birthday/no special reason! gift.  Just need their e-mail address.  Easy as eating Thanksgiving pumpkin pie!  Do you think I’ve added a tad of humor in ‘Reminders’?  You don’t have to ask.  You’ll find out!

Blessings and a very Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy 2019!!  All in one greeting!  John

‘ALL’S WELL…’ Psalm 71

For the past few years I’ve been reading Shakespeare’s plays.  Must admit the old Elizabethan English can be tough sledding, even with a mind still attuned to the King James Version of the Bible.  Some plays are easier to understand only because I’m familiar with them.  Like Macbeth or Hamlet.  I’m now finishing one that I have almost no idea what’s going on, except I cheated reading a synopsis on Wikipedia.  Otherwise, forget it.

One Shakespeare title especially grabs my attention.  Makes me think about my life in Jesus.  How I want to get closer to Him in this life as I inch closer to Him for the next.  Focusing more on Him rather than fears and silly stuff like political bickering.  Less anger.  More ‘trust and obey’.   Plain old enjoying being in Jesus… and staying right there.

Immovable.  Close by until the last day or night.  Not being fatalistic, bitter or crotchety.  Loving more.  Being understanding yet firm in biblical values.  Never falling away.  Or compromising, half-baked and double-minded.  Not judgmental yet discerning.  Tall orders for any believer at any age.  Are you with me?

As the psalmist says–‘Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come’ (Psalm 71: 18).

I imagine you also want your life to be ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’.  Ending well… for Jesus.  Not acting in a play, with script to memorize and mimic.  No.  Being unmasked and truthful to who you really are.  Honest.   Humble.  A grace that laughs at yourself and not at others.  A kindness, needed and well-received, yet rarely found anymore anywhere among anyone.

Ending well.  That’s my prayer.  All will be well if we stay the course, depending more and more on Jesus.  Lean in… for the long haul!


Lord, help me to become more like Jesus.  In His strength and with His help.  Amen.


I’m traveling the unpaved roads of the Old Testament, wandering in the boondocks, whose back alleys are rarely explored.  We’d rather gallivant touristy locales like Psalms or Proverbs.  But not today.  No, I’m roaming the backwoods of 2 Kings 13.  Would love to have you join me!

All the kings of the northern kingdom of Israel are plain no good.  Schlemiel nincompoops, every one!  Some, too few really, of the kings of Judah’s southern kingdom are barely worth their salt.  Can count them on the fingers of one hand.

Here in 2 Kings 13 we have two defective Israelite rulers, Jehoahaz and Jehoash.  Both have this said of them–‘He did evil in the eyes of the Lord…’ (vs.2,11).  Not only sin, which is bad enough; but evil, which is far worse.  Takes down whole nations.

The context of Jehoash’s story involves annual ‘spring cleaning’ by nasty, neighboring Moabites.  As in swooping down, stealing whatever fits into their grubby paws.  Then another pummeling by nearby Arameans, who oppress and blackmail Israel.  Times are tough.  We think we have it bad.  We wouldn’t want to live in God’s land in those days.  Not on your life.  For that’s what’s at stake.  Literally.  Your life.

Even still, we discover something that’s out of this world.  Also literally.  God’s character overflows with comfort to the weak and weary.  One verse says it all.  I’ve highlighted it with yellow marker in my Bible so that I won’t overlook it.  2 Kings 13:23–‘But the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion and showed concern for them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  To this day he has been unwilling to destroy them or banish them from his presence.’  See?

Our Lord is gracious.  Not trigger-happy, flying off the handle at the drop of a hat.  Oh, sometimes it may seem so.  And often we can’t figure out what’s happening to us, or those we love, or this crazy world.  But if we’re His, anything coming our way passes through His gracious hands.  With His wise permission.  For our benefit.  To bless or to discipline with His purpose of making us more like Jesus.  I need His grace.  I have it, says 2 Kings 13!  You too!  Even as clueless as we can be.

Hold on.  There’s more.  He’s compassionate.  Genuinely cares.  Whenever tears run down our cheeks, He wipes them away, so to speak (Rev. 7:17 and 21:4).  God’s feelings run deeper than anyone’s anywhere.  When you fear you’ve fallen off God’s radar screen, know you haven’t.

No, you haven’t.   He won’t allow it.  All because He makes promises and keeps them–like His covenant with our spiritual forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  All the way back to the beginning, God’s promises are as good as gold.  As He is.

This one verse comes in the midst of discouraging leadership in the nation.  If politics depresses you, then consider the character of our Lord.  And especially His Son Jesus.  He will perk you up like no one else ever could or ever will!  He gets my vote!

Lord, we thank you for who you are, now and forever.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.