Tag Archives: B90X

B90X- How Joshua points to the New Testament 2013.01.19

strong and courageousIn kind of a short look back at the week, a point struck me regarding the person of Joshua, some of the theological ideas in that story and how they point to a future Messiah and Kingdom of God.

We are so fortunate to live in history when we have the cannon.  We are able to read back and make connections that men like Joshua or the disciples only had bits and pieces of information in putting together their worldviews.  The way we can read Israel’s story and the thread of redemption woven through it, is grace to us.  How much more revelation do any of us need to comprehend and grasp the love Father has for us?

Here are a few things found in Joshua which point to events and ideas found when and after Jesus came:

  1. The Name of Joshua and Jesus.  The name of Joshua  means “the Lord is our salvation.”  Interestingly enough the English Jesus is a derivation of the Greek which is a derivation of the Hebrew.  So etymologically, their names mean the same thing and their roles and nature line up dramatically.
  2. The Promises Rest-  Josh was leading Israel into their inheritance, into their rest (Deut 3:20; 12:10; 25:19; Josh. 1:13, 15; 21:44; 22:4; 23:1).  But at best a temporary rest from enemies, for Israel would have many more foes in the centuries ahead.  From the vantage point of the NT, Joshua’s successes were only partial at best, and therefore they pointed beyond themselves to a time when Joshua’s greater namesake, Jesus, would bring God’s people into an inheritance that could not be taken away from them (1 Peter 1:3-5).  Jesus would provide the rest Joshua had not attained (Heb 3:11, 18; 4:1-11).
  3. Models of Faith- The people of Israel at the battle of Jericho and Rahab the prostitute are presented as models of faith, examples of those who were looking for a country (Heb 11:30-31; 11:14-16), but who did not attain what was promised (11:39_40), because God had planned something better.
  4. God’s Warrior- According to the NT, Jesus is not only Joshua’s greater namesake, but he is also the Divine Warrior, the captain of the Lord’s Army who fights in behalf of his people and achieves victory for them (Josh. 5:13-15; Rev. 19:11-16).  The inheritance he gives is not a stretch of rocky land in the eastern Mediterranean, but rather renewed heavens and earth and a heavenly city (Rev. 1-2).
  5. The Conquest- Many have made comparisons between Joshua and the book of Acts.  After redemption from Egypt in the Exodus, Israel began the conquest of her inheritance; after the redemptive work of Jesus at the cross, his people move forward to conquer the world in his name.  Israel enjoyed an earthly inheritance and an earthly kingdom but the kingdom of which the church is a part is spiritual and heavenly.

Sidenote- for some of you struggling to rearrange your daily schedule to get the hour or so reading done everyday, I ran across this article that gives a few pointers on how it  can be done.  Stay after it!!  Reading all of God’s words in this rapid fashion is so worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

Marble’s Monday Menagerie 12.24.2012

A great article debunking some of the contemporary ideas about what makes a church grow.

Some folks find the Lord of the Rings movies hard to follow.  Here is some advice on how to watch and appreciate “The Hobbit.”

CRBC has a higher than average worship leader in Adam Pacheco.  Most churches are not as fortunate.

Before you get too excited about buying a lottery ticket to fix all your financial problems, consider this winner.  Or maybe he was a loser??

Some great historical information on jolly ol’ St. Nick.

For the theologians in the crowd who like to ruminate on the Trinity, here is a good one.

B90X2012 “Ezekiel”

Without a doubt if there is anyone in the Bible any more dramatic than Ezekiel it has yet to be seen.  His vision, making maps of Jerusalem, eating scrolls, lying on his side for over a year, then flipping over and lying on the other for 40 days, eating Ezekiel 4:9 bread, shaving his head with a sword, cooking with human dung (changed to cow fortunately), cooking pots and meat, repetition of words and pictures, not mourning for his wife’s death, useless vines, comparing Jerusalem to prostitutes, it goes on and on.

No other author is more exact than Ezekiel.  Everyone of his stories is in perfect order chronologically, unlike Jeremiah.  There are thirteen date stamps recorded by Ezekiel through out the book.  Nearly each one of them can be narrowed to an exact day.

Ezekiel is part of the second wave of deportees who make the trek across the desert to Babylon.  Daniel and his friends are in the first one around 605 B.C. after the first attack by Nebuchadnezzar.  Ezekiel goes around 598 B.C. and speaks from Babylon to his friends there regarding what happened to them and what will happen in the next thirteen years back home, precisely what Jeremiah is living through.  Ezekiel names names and places with uncanny accuracy.

Whenever one studies a book, patterns are looked at, words, combinations of words, structure, etc.. Those different studies provide information on purpose and intent of the author.  And as we have seen and focused on throughout B90X, what is being said about Father in all of these words?  There is a signature statement found 53 times in Ezekiel of the 63 uses in all of the Old Testament- those words are “will know that I am the LORD.”  It is super obvious to us that Father is loud and clear in His message of covenant and faithfulness between He and His nation.  But for some reason, to them it was not so clear.  Ezekiel is making it as obvious as possible the God is God and attention should be paid His direction.  Knowledge leads to response.  When one truly knows Father, hopefully, an appropriate response follows.

“Ezekiel is ruthless in his exposure of sin in all its gruesome abhorrence.  Reading his language from the comfortable distance of those not directly targeted by his rhetoric, we may at times wince at the coarseness of his imagery or query the one-sidedness of his portrayal of Israel’s whole history (e.g. in chs. 16, 20, and 23). Once we recognize, however, that Ezekiel was engaged, not in a detached academic debate, but in passionate evangelistic persuasion, we can understand his tactics.  He was faced with people who refused to acknowledge their own sin,… Ezekiel’s tirades against Israel’s sin was necessary to bring at least some of his listeners to a more realistic assessment of their condition, and thereby to a genuine repentance.” Christopher J.H. Wright, “The Message of Ezekiel” in The Bible Speaks Today.  (Leicaster, IVP: 2001), p. 32.

B90X2012 “Lamentations”

Lamentations-  Originally the title of the book was “Ah, how!” from the Hebrew words ‘ek ah.

This short book is not connected to a specific author or prophet, however, tradition puts it in the lap of Jeremiah.  It is mainly composed of funeral songs for Jerusalem.  Since Jeremiah does not deport in the exile, he has time to survey the damage left by the departure of the presence of Father.   The year is 586 B.C., the Babylonian King is furious with his Vassal Zedekiah who would not keep his word.  The temple is completely sacked and the city is left in piles of rubble.  The people weep from the feeling that God has abandoned them.  The poems show the people’s sense of guilt, confession, and repentance as they realize how deeply they have hurt God by their sin and unfaithfulness.

Structure-  The book is made up of five chapters or sections.  Each of the sections is an acrostic, meaning that the Hebrew alphabet is used to start each verse or line of the section.  So verse 1 is starts with the letter ‘a’, verse 2 starts with the letter ‘b’, verse 3 starts with the letter ‘c’, and so on.  Since there are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, you see the number of verses in chapters 1, 2, 4, and 5.  The only one which is different is chapter 3 which repeats the pattern three times, hence the 66 verses.  Also look for patterns of three.  Either three lines in each verse or three verses clumped together.

The laments express the full impact of the covenant curses and prophetic pronouncements of judgments at the horror of the people’s loss is realized.  The city was the place God had chosen for his temple to be built and his presence to be manifest.  Its destruction represents not only the loss of homes and life but also the abandonment of the people by God.  He withdrew his presence and his favor as he said he would if the people were unfaithful.

Key concepts-
Lament targets not only one’s situation but one’s spiritual condition.
Any circumstance in life can provide an opportunity to know God better.

The highlight of the book is in chapter 3 where, in first-person form, the full grief of the poet is revealed.  He gives voice to the despair of the corporate people and the personified city.  But at the bottom of his grief he turns to the unfailing faithfulness of the LORD and his compassion toward his people.  The call to repentance anticipates God’s acts of deliverance and mercy for his people and judgment on the enemies who carried out the destruction.  The book ends in a fervent prayer of restoration.

Key Teachings about God-
God’s wrath is terrible.
God is righteous and will judge.
God’s faithfulness and compassion never fail.
God is good to those who hope in him.

The key verses of hope are found in 3:22-27 “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion’s never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness, I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.’  The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.  It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.”

B90X2012 “Loud and clear”

Just because I can, does that mean I should?  In the good ol’ US&A, we have this thing called Free Speech.  Our founding fathers thought it best that ideas and opinions ought not be censored.

I think I understand the ideas and arguments to free speech,  when it is OK to yell “Fire” and when not to.

The prudence of when to speak and what to say when doing so requires wisdom. As we journey through the Bible in rapid form, today we hit a preponderance of scriptures in Proverbs dealing with words, speech, our tongue, cursing, lying, and  the like.  We are drilled with the differing types of uses of both the good and the bad.

The author of proverbs does bring a plethora of sayings about the words which fill our airwaves, however, the sayings are not about words which come out of vacuousness.  Solomon is reaching beyond the airwaves and into the viscera. Past our esophageal airway and into our heart.  Words are really nothing in and of themselves.  They have an origin.   That origin is the wellspring of life, our splangkna, our guts, our heart.  The Hebrews often equate the emotions of our guts with the kidney.

“A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction” (Prov 16:23, NIV).

“The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction” (Prov 16:21, NIV).

Without being majorly redundant, the source and style of words a person uses is rooted in the heart. How perfunctory of us when we quote Jesus when he said, “But the things that come out of a person’s heart come from his heart” (Matt 15:18, NIV).  It seems so oft quoted, it kind of has become trite.

Bottom line, what are the intentions of my heart?  Rather than just read the words of the proverbial sayings mechanically, every time I read a verse pertaining to speech and words, I thought about intentions.  These sayings ought to inspire us to examine the intentions of our hearts.

We should take those occasions when we are inclined to speak harshly as opportunities to reflect on our motives for speaking and to ask whose interests we have at heart.  We may find that our motives are more complicated than we imagined, that we want what is right but all too often seek what benefits us at the expense of others.  A heart that weighs its answers will also remember that little with love is better than meat with hatred (Prov 15:17, 28).