When I don’t communicate, something is up. Maybe that is better worded: “Something is down.” I’m probably down. I’m either down physically or I am buried with work. Praise God, my health has been OK. But I have indeed been buried with work! For the past month, I have taught three nights a week, and two of those courses were brand spankin’ new ones for me! Twelve hours of teaching plus at least ten hours of grading and prep while working no less than forty hours at my full-time job has fully occupied my attention!
This three-day weekend could not have arrived at a better time!
I am very much looking forward to three lazy mornings and some well-deserved rest.
Though physically worn out, I find myself rather spiritually encouraged. Surely the content of my courses has something to do with that. I’ve been teaching Doctrine and Practical Implications (Tuesday evenings) and Old Testament History (Monday and Thursday evenings). Without a doubt, I have spent considerable time in God’s Word. That is always helpful to the soul. A second reason for my encouragement has been the response of my students, particularly my Thursday night Old Testament class. I have a group of eight ladies and all appear to have a genuine hunger for God and/or knowledge of His Word. Last night, I included the following question on their quiz: Why are you interested in the content of tonight’s class? My power point slide reminded them of our agenda for the evening: Quiz, Review, Presentations, The Writings (Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon), Review for the Final. Several students mentioned that they loved God’s Word and that they looked forward to learning more about the upcoming books. Others commented that they were excited to see how they can apply what they learn in their lives. You can image how that served as a much-needed shot in the arm for me after a long day!
After the quiz, the students shared their presentations on the Latter Prophets (the Major and Minor Prophets of the Old Testament). One group was assigned “The Presence, Prophecies and Pictures of Christ in the Latter Prophets” and the other had the task of presenting “Godly Living in an Ungodly World from the Latter Prophets.” Both groups did very well. What I especially found meaningful was their admission that they were quite emotional as they prepared. God had captivated their hearts as they studied! Two women, in particular, said they were wrecked emotionally in the process! One discussed the sufferings of Christ as presented by the book of Isaiah. The other spent considerable time in Hosea and spoke about God’s intense love for Israel (then) and the Church (now).
At one point, a different student mentioned something I stated in the first class. I stressed that I wanted our time in God’s Word to be far more than an intellectual exercise. College classes across our nation study the Old and New Testaments, but do so from a detached, objective perspective, as if the Bible was merely sacred literature from the Ancient Near East like the Epic of Gilgamesh. Belhaven University and Tim Wehse take an entirely different approach! Doctrine has “Practical Implication”! The Old Testament is meant to lead us to a life of worship. Or, as we saw last night, we are to fear God and keep His commandments (Eccl. 12:13). The Psalms we considered reminded us of the character of our God and motivated us to “Praise the Lord!”
So tonight I find myself exhausted, but grateful. I am thankful for God’s assistance over the past month and I am thankful that I have been able to lead some pretty awesome students in a study of God’s Word and the truth contained therein. Once again, I have been challenged by the contents of the Bible and I have been blessed by the response of many of the students willing to walk with me in the journey!
And those were fast ten years as a college professor and one long month!