Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Zechariah 12

After listening once again to international condemnation of Israel for attacking a "peace" flotilla that challenged its Gaza blockade, I came across Zechariah 12.

"On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations," says the LORD in verse 3.

I note "all the nations of the earth" and think about how God has used the United States in the past to back Israel against so many foes. It is chilling when you consider that the United States is also a nation of the earth, and it is not Israel. So when does the U.S. turn into just another one of those other nations, and when it finally does, how long can it possibly be before the LORD sets out "to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem"?

Or is this even talking about something that is yet to come? It seems to me like it is, but I'm not sure.

More and more and relatively slowly the U.S. is turning, I fear. I hear more talk among even people I know well how heavy-handed and unfair Israel appears to be to them. In some ways I wish that neither I nor my children would have to see this happen.

Then there's another part of me that believes I should be wishing for the LORD's will to be done, knowing that the judgment of giving men and nations over to their godless desires, even when it's a nation you grew up loving, is also sometimes a part of the LORD's will.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

knowing the prophecy yet not recognizing the fulfillment

A couple verses in John 7 filled me with wonder today:

41Others said, "He is the Christ."
Still others asked, "How can the Christ come from Galilee? 42Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David's family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?"

I have more questions about this than answers right now. Here were folks who knew the Scriptures. They even knew nuances of prophecy. They appear to have caught the equivalent of an Associated Press summary version of who this man Jesus was--simplified to the point of misleading. How were they to know he was actually born in Bethlehem?

"Study the authentic and the counterfeits will be easy to spot" I often hear in apologetic circles especially. I believe that, certainly, it makes sense. But this doesn't seem to fit that mold. Here is a case of studying the authentic Bible and then not having enough extra-Biblical information to be able to verify the genuine.

Shouldn't the Bible be enough? Not for us, you also need a relationship with Jesus through the Spirit to discern truth, and these people didn't have that yet, correct? This appears to have implications on several levels:

1. The Bible is a good start, but help from the Holy Spirit in both understanding the Bible and filtering extra Biblical truth is a better aim, though a result of this will likely be even more Bible study.

2. For the armchair prophet in me with Daniel and Revelation in one hand and a newspaper in the other, might I also miss the signs even though I think I'm watching for them?

3. Maybe this is actually just a unique feature of his first appearance here. What became of those who thought he wasn't from Bethlehem? John doesn't declare a judgment upon them here. You have to trust that God gave them enough light to walk in since it is not his will that any should perish.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Who am I to say the word of God has errors?

Is God inept at written communication? 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”

Does God know the future?
Did God know that men would translate his word into every written language over and over again?
Did he know “scholars” would challenge it?
Did he know “scientists” would challenge it?
Did he have a plan for any of that?

Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-18, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

Oh, but ... but Lord, you see, I speak English and well, you know, the Bible I have isn't the original... and I don't have the time to research whether my English translations are reliable because you know I sell stuff on eBay for a living and I like playing Battlezone with my kids and that can be time-consuming, so it seems a little reasonable (in my own wisdom and understanding) to at least be skeptical, especially since the Discovery channel has explained with such an overwhelming consensus that there was this big bang and the Earth is apparently millions of years old and ... Lord, an ark? Really? You couldn't have known about the translations or the Discovery channel or eBay or how ridiculous an ark or the parting of a sea would sound to this around me, could you?

Isaha 29:14
Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish."

Psalm 33:4
For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Thank you for the gas

to make it through these past two weeks. Once again this seemed like the miracle of the fish and the loaves.

Thank you for working out my finances once again this week. Once again you have shown me that even though a little obedience may be no greater than filthy rags, it is you who reaches down far to grip anything willing at all and turn it into the peace-of-mind it should not have been.

Thank you again for the recent reports of my children, for the things they share, for their love and open hearts.

Thank you for how you have watched over me and shown your grace. Help me to remain there always. You know what happens when I think myself wise enough to solve anything at all. Help me to be a peaceful 'fool', one who does not need his own knowledge or wisdom because it can all be supplied.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

My Coworker Doesn't Prefer Death

As I was pulling the remaining turkey off bones for storage this afternoon it occurred to me that the atheist coworker prefers to live. A week ago he and my liberal church-going friend were having a conversation behind my back as I sat at my computer at work not feeling particularly led into the conversation at the time. This coworker told my friend that he decided that people who believe in God, believe in an afterlife, believe in a soul, do so because they fear death.

Yet today as I sat at the kitchen table with fingers greased in pan oil and turkey fat, I was thinking back to this conversation and I realised that this man's apparent age of 40 or more years testifies that there is something about this life that he prefers as well. What is the suicide rate among atheists? I bet it's not 50%. I bet it's not even close. I bet the vast majority of atheists prefer something in the living of this life to the idea of the cesation of existence. I wonder who really fears death more?

This is a tricky deception. This man needs help but I can not do a single good thing on my own to help him. I do not know if or how God will use me in this man's life, only Jesus saves. I can pray for willingess, if God ever gave me the right words, but maybe God will use others as well, even my liberal friend.

How Quick Oats Gave Me Back My Life

Great Value Quick Oats are a marvel of modern science. With the ordinary Wal-Mart Great Value brand of oats, the stove-top cooking time is 3-5 minutes over medium heat. Modern breakthroughs in high-technology research and development have recently produced the miracle product, Quick Oats, which cooks in a single minute. How did they do it?

Dishes did not get washed yesterday as we were gone the majority of the day and returned late last night, so I had to wash up a pan and a bowl and a measuring cup and a nylon serving utensil. After this I measured out the required amount of water and turned the burner to medium heat, adding a dash of salt.

Now water of course takes its time getting up to a boil, but the speed of boiling had nothing to do with the scope of the research by the crack team of lab techs that brought the world Quick Oats. We all have to wait for water to boil at some point in our lives, and maybe someday the clever minds at Great Value will wow us with a new way to do that as well. It's not fair to include the cleaning up of dishes or the speed of boiling water when weighing the astounding advancement in the time-saving conveniences of Quick Oats.

Now I am free to do the things I want to do, to live my life the way I've always wanted to. Now you may find me on a jet ski in the Caribbean or cycling through the countryside in Switzerland. I might write a novel, a symphony, or learn the craft of woodworking. I might do any number of these things ... after, of course, I've cleaned up all the dishes from the Quick Oats.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Awaiting Turkey

I am waiting on a turkey to come out of the oven tonight before I can go to bed. I dig one out of the freezer every once and a while, typically in a week when we've run low on other things. I started cooking it when I got home from work. I'll taste a little tonight but the majority is for later.

I have other things I've been wanting to write about, just haven't had the time. Maybe soon.