Entries by Sim Kay Tee

We Reap What We Sow

Gleaners would have to work very hard from morning to evening if they wanted to gather enough grain to sustain themselves and their families for the day. They lived day by day, and hand to mouth. Often, they gathered very little because unscrupulous land owners hindered access to their fields or harvested every bit of grain, even that which had fallen on the ground, leaving nothing for the destitute (Leviticus 19:9–10).

Sheltered Under His Wings

A modern fable tells of how a mother hen’s sacrifice saved her young chicks: after a big fire, forest rangers began to assess the damage. One found a bird literally petrified in the ashes, perched statuesque on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked it over with a stick. Three tiny chicks scurried out from under their dead mother’s wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and gathered them under her wings. When the blaze arrived and the heat scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live.

Grace Given, Grace Bestowed

Author Philip Yancey, in What’s So Amazing About Grace?, tells of a comparative religion conference where experts from all over the world debated what, if any, belief was unique to the Christian faith. They began eliminating possibilities. Incarnation? Resurrection? But there are other faiths telling of deities that appeared in human form and also returned from death. The debate went on for some time, until theologian and philosopher C. S. Lewis joined the discussion. When told that they were trying to agree on the one unique characteristic of Christianity, Lewis responded, “Oh, that’s easy. It’s grace.”

A Faith Workout

According to two 2017 regional surveys involving some eight economies, almost half of all workers in Singapore were unhappy because of issues with their bosses. Is it surprising, then, that workers in Singapore are the least engaged in Asia? The kind of boss we have affects our work attitude. Perhaps having awful bosses contributes to Monday morning blues?

Capturing God’s Heart for the Poor

Most civilised societies have welfare programmes to help feed the poor. In giving the Israelites “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Leviticus 20:24), God also commanded them to take care of the poor living among them (19:9–10; 23:22; Deuteronomy 24:19–22). They were to deliberately not harvest everything so that the needy could glean the leftovers to feed themselves, working for their food with a modicum of dignity.

When You’re Disappointed With God

Age-progression technology helps investigators solve crimes and find missing persons. This innovative software has also been used to predict what individuals will look like in the future, modelling the effects of lifestyle habits such as drinking, smoking, diet, exercise, and stress. If applied to Naomi, this software would show that the painful trials of her life have taken their toll on her, making her look older than she really is.

No Turning Back

One of the more popular songs to come out of the 1992 movie Sister Act was the song “I Will Follow Him”—the movie’s closing chorus item performed by a group of nuns. Originally a 1963 chart-topping song about a teenager’s love for her boyfriend, actress Whoopi Goldberg and the nuns added a twist to it, turning it into a song about religious faith and devotion.

Don’t Rob Others Of Their “God Moment”

“In many patriarchal societies, parents favour sons over daughters. This favouritism also runs deep in Jewish culture. Sons perpetuate the family line, while daughters marry out to carry on the line of their husbands’ families. Patriarchal societies are also patrilineal—family property and titles are inherited only by the male line. The Old Testament allows daughters to inherit family property, only if there are no male heirs. These daughters must then marry within the tribal clan of their fathers to keep the property within the tribe (see Numbers 27:1–11; 36:5–9).

To Stay Or To Leave

No relationship is more irksome than that between in-laws. Conflicts often plague the marital relationship because mother-in-law and daughter-in-law cannot get along. Although Naomi’s spiritual health at this time is at its lowest (see Ruth 1:13, 20–21), her relationship with her daughters-in-law is at its height.