By Jessi Strong
Long before writing more than 100 Bible studies or co-founding Precept Ministries, Kay Arthur stood in the living room of her rented condo and shook her fist at God.
Arthur had married young and had two children. But her husband’s unrecognized and therefore untreated bipolar condition led to their divorce. The end of her marriage dissolved what little familiarity she had with God. “My ideal was shattered. I stood in the living room, shook my fist in the face of God, and said, ‘To hell with you, God. I’m going to find someone to love me.’ I went to look for love—and I discovered that sin will cost you more than you ever expected to pay.”
When Dr. Yacouba Sanon set out to pursue his call to ministry, he knew it would take him away from his home in the West African country of Burkina Faso. Although missionaries first visited Burkina Faso in the early 20th century, when the area was under French colonial rule, a majority of the population there still practices either Islam or a traditional religion. Sanon’s parents were among the first converts in their village near Bobo Dioulasso in western Burkina Faso; even after moving to Bobo Dioulasso his family remained in the religious minority throughout Sanon’s childhood.
In the ancient Near East, kingship and temple-building went hand in hand. The king—believed to be the servant of the gods and the conduit through which the gods interacted with the people—was responsible for the house of the national deity.* A monarch’s fulfillment of this sacred duty conveyed that his rule was legitimate.