All Articles For Holstege, Joseph

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Rev. Joseph Holstege, pastor of Zion Protestant Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan There is a euphoric comfort that comes from staring at the pale face of the “lesser light” that was set “to rule the night” (Gen. 1:16). Among the diamonds set by the Creator in the dark expanse, none is so “fair as the moon” (Song 6:10). As anyone knows who has ever laid back in a soft patch of green on a summer night, though there is one glory of the sun and another of the stars, there is still “another glory of the moon” (I Cor. 15:41)....

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One of the fleeting pleasures of life is the feeling of soft new grass between your toes in the springtime. As much as we take for granted the green carpet God created on the third day (Gen. 1:11), its fresh dew-covered blades make it the picture of life and prosperity. Thus, the coming of the messianic kingdom to the psalmist is “like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth” (Ps. 72:6). And the life-giving doctrine of God’s prophet drops “as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass” (Deut. 32:2)....

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Job: God’s Sovereignty in Suffering by Rev. Ron Hanko (Jenison, MI: RFPA, 2020). $19.95 hard cover. 160 pp. Reviewed by Rev. Joe Holstege.   The children of God suffer. Some of them suffer more than others, but all of them suffer. They suffer as they pass through life in a fallen world. They suffer from trouble in their families and distress in their marriages. They suffer upheaval in the world and disruption in the church. They suffer persecution and injustice at the hands of men. They suffer beside quiet sickbeds or still coffins. The glory of God’s Word is that...

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If you were a Jew in the Old Testament, you would have been familiar with the lamb. You would have chosen one for your family every year at Passover (Ex. 12:3). It would have been a perfect lamb with no blemishes, a male of the first year, taken away from suckling at its mother’s breast (Ex. 12:5; I Pet. 1:19). You would have looked at its snowy white wool and into its large brown eyes before taking a knife and letting out its blood with a stroke to the neck. The flesh of the lamb would then be roasted and...

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The lion is the strongest among beasts (Prov. 30:30). With his sharp claws he can rend a man in pieces (Ps. 7:2). With his powerful jaw he can crush bones and devour a man before he hits the floor (Dan. 6:24). His roar is like the battle cry of nations or the crashing of the seas (Is. 5:29). In the Scriptures, the strength of the lion is a powerful warning for the fierceness of our foes. The devil is not just any adversary, but a roaring lion who seeks victims to devour (I Pet. 5:8). The wicked man is a...

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It is universally recognized as the symbol of Christendom. If you walk through the arched doorway of a gothic cathedral, you will see a version of it in gold, encrusted with jewels, prominently displayed on the back wall. If you visit a military cemetery, you will see thousands of them in neat, white rows, casting shadows over manicured green grass. It dangles from silver chains or leather loops on the necks of men, women, and children all over the world. It marks arms, wrists, and ankles with the black ink of the tattoo. It is embossed in the leather binding...

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A single hair is thin enough to be overlooked at a passing glance. Chances are you do not even see the few filaments littering the headrest of an armchair or floating aimlessly in the air. Hair in its basic unit is insubstantial and unnoteworthy. It was quite an impressive display of marksmanship, then, when the men of Benjamin with the left hand slung their stones “at an hair breadth,” and did not miss (Jud. 20:16). On the other hand, when a collective of single hairs populates the human head, the effect can be rather marvelous. One wonders what the head...

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In the morning of August 24, 1572, the body of a Frenchman fell lifeless from the window of the Paris residence where he was staying. It was neither suicide nor accident. His name was Gaspard de Coligny, the nobleman who took charge of the Protestant cause in France. Moments before his body was dumped out the window, Coligny was killed in cold blood by assassins, triggering the brutal campaign of persecution known as the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. The Reformation in France struggled against vehement persecution from the beginning. John Calvin was among many Frenchman who lived as a refugee,...

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Whatever beautiful things the Bible may declare about them, feet are not the most attractive members of the human body. (And that is even assuming we have in mind a regular foot, rather than the six-toed monstrosity of the giant slain by David’s mighty men, II Sam. 21:20.) The tendency of sandaled feet to get dirty on the dusty paths of Palestine explains why the first act of hospitality was the washing of feet. Thus Abraham washed the feet of three men in the plains of Mamre (Gen. 18:4), Lot washed the feet of two angels in Sodom (Gen. 19:2),...

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In days of pestilence and its resulting trouble, warranted is the apostle’s admonition that we “be not soon shaken in mind” (2 Thess. 2:2). When tempted to broadcast our opinions on said pestilence and its effects, the caution of Proverbs 29:11 is also in order: “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.” Fear and turmoil will fill the soul of the man whose nose is fixed to his newsfeed. “Perfect peace” is the blessing for the man, woman, or child “whose mind is stayed on thee” (Isa. 26:3). The mind is a...

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