Tag Archives: God

B90X2012- Refuge

I have to admit that I was a few day behind in my reading.  With all of the work that we did on the church Living Room and working on my best Mephibosheth, the days melded into one another.

The story of Mephibosheth is a short one Biblically, however the information surrounding the events of his life are prolific.

In catching up with my reading, I found myself deeply entrenched in the story of Saul and David.  It was sooooo cool reading the Psalms David wrote quickly after he managed to elude Saul and his army.   Unless you are super-privy to which Psalm is written when historically and chronologically, one can just read through the Psalms and not really pay much attention.

As I read the historical account then bounced to the psalmist account of the same incidents, I found the correlations fascinating.

There was a word which seemed to pop up in Psalms more than any other word, not by empirical evidence, just familiar sacredness.  The word and idea was “refuge.”

Refuge has its origins in the cities established and set-up by God as safe-havens for anyone killed someone else and needed a ‘safe’ place to hang out until the evidence and ‘trial’ took place.  As long as the action was accidental and not deliberate, the murderer was safe.  More can be read about them here.

I think that David was using the word to describe Father as one who is a place of shelter, protection, or safety, not necessarily a city of Refuge.  However, the pictorial reference is nice.

The point is that regardless of where we are in life, the only true and real place of shelter, protection, and safety is in God.  He is our only safe and secure hope in life.

LORD my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue
me,

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.

How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

“Stamp me, stamp me!”

http://www.charismanews.com/world/32608-archaeologists-find-rare-pure-to-god-temple-seal

Archaeologists digging near the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City unearthed a rare find used in the daily work of the ancient Jewish Temple.

The small clay seal is inscribed with two words in Aramaic meaning “pure to God.”

“This is the first time we got [found] something that belongs to God, belongs to something that came from the temple,” Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Eli Shukron said.

Archaeologists say the seal is the first archaeological evidence of the administrative workings of the Second Temple. That temple was built around 500 B.C. after Solomon’s Temple had been destroyed.  More here.

Israel temple seal

B90X Jan. 5, 2012 “Randomness and Names”

You are probably just getting to the place where you say, “Man the Bible is awesome!”  And you are probably just to the place where you are saying, “Man how do I keep up this pace of reading?”  Stay at it.  You can do it.  So many have before you. Trust me, you will develop habits and patterns which will help in the discipline of reading everyday.

Here we are friends, just about half way through Genesis.  Wasn’t it so cool reading all of Job after starting Genesis?  I loved that.  I can’t wait to see how it works out through the rest of the books.

One thing I noticed today as I was reading was randomness.  There would be a flow in a story and boom, from out of nowhere, there is a shift in thought or action that seems so out of place.  One of those places was Genesis 36:24.  Nearly all of Chapter 36 is a genealogy of Esau’s kin.  The sons of Zibeon are listed with one of them being Anah.  Then just out of nowhere in an attempt to clarify which Anah the author is referring, Anah is described.  ”This is the Anah who discovered the hot springs in the desert while he was grazing the donkeys of his father Zibeon.”

Now, as you may well know, after reading this, I stopped to think about what I just read, and came up with all sorts of questions.  Do you ever do that?  Do you find something and ruminate on it?  It is sort of a restless inquisitiveness of mine.   Anyways, I digress.  Here is a smattering of some of the things I was thinking of:

Where are these hot springs?
How hot are they?
Did anyone ever visit there before Anah discovered them?
What were the surroundings like? Lush? Dry and sandy?
Was he alone when he was herding his donkeys?
Did he jump in as he discovered them?
Did this become a destination for others?
Did it turn into a resort?
Are they there today and what do they look like?

Then there was the flow of names.  The endless list of names.  All the begat-ting, all the genealogies, all the lineage.  I have to be honest, there have been times in the past when I would come to a list of names and just skip over them.  Come on, I know you have done it too.  This time through, I decided to do something different, read them all.  Really try to pronounce the name.  Try to get a feel for what that persons name would sound like for a mother or father to say it several times a day.

Isn’t it cool how someone was named based on the circumstances of the moment? If a man was in a tight spot, he would name his kid Tight Spot.  Another may be ‘band of raiders’ or ‘he provides justice.’  Nearly all names have a form of the Lord’s name embedded in it.  Constant reminders every time the person’s name is breathed, who it is which is behind all of human life.

I have to admit there are some pretty funny sounding names.  And for a family to have two names of children so close in sound to each other side by side.  It makes me chuckle.  Like Ishvah and Ishvi (Gen 46:17).  Or Muppim and Huppim (46:21), I wonder what those mean?  One of the funniest names has to be Oholibamah.  For some reason the face of a contemporary flashes through my mental faculties every time I read it.

Have a great day.  Grace and peace.

B90X Jan 3, 2012 “Something about Job”

Some people don’t like Job.  Yes, its true.  I have heard them say it.  So this blog will hopefully clear up something about the complexity of the book.

Overwhelmed by suffering, Job was not comforted, but condemned by his friends.  Each of their views represents a well-known way to understand suffering.  God proves that each explanation given by Job’s friends has less than the whole answer.

First, let me say that reading through the Bible Chronologically is going to be very cool.  Already, after jumping from Genesis 11 to Job 1 there was a mercurial excitement, not the predictable sameness we are so used to when beginning the Pentateuch.

Men with profound erudition have been able to boil down the seemingly endless prolix narrative of Job.  It all just gets jumbled and pointless after awhile, so let me share a little something I came across:

The only way any of Job’s friends help is by silencing their diatribes for seven days.  Allowing Job to have plenty of time to think through his mourning and crank up the pity-party.

Eliphaz explains Job’s pain by intimating that his suffering is because he sinned. His advice to Job is to go to God and lay his cause before God (5:8).  Job retorts with demands that Eliphaz take back his accusations (6:29).  In the end, God rebukes Eliphaz (42:7).

Bildad thinks that Job is hiding his sin and won’t admit it, so Job must suffer.  He encourages Job to give up and confess (8:2).  Bildad wants Job to confront God and ask what charges God has against Job (10:2).  Like Eliphaz, God rebukes Bildad (42:7).

Zophar is the more Pharisaical, religious one, he thinks Job deserves even more suffering than he has already experienced.  He advices Job to get rid of his sins (11:13, 14).  Job stands firm and doesn’t fall into Zophar’s super-pious hubris, and knows that he will be justified (13:18).  He too is lumped with Job’s other friends who have no valuable advise (42:7).

The youngster, Elihu, is the only one who gets close to getting it right, albeit wrong.  He thinks God is using the suffering to mold and train Job.  He is just a bit off, yet instructs Job to be silent and he will be taught wisdom (33:33).  Because God doesn’t deal directly with Elihu, we are left to wonder if his analysis is correct.

In the end, we hear from God himself.  Job is confronted by God and is told to be content without knowing why he is suffering.  There is no reason given for the suffering and asks Job how long he wants to argue with the Almighty (40:2).  Job realizes he was talking about things he did  not understand (42:3-5).

How a “Charlie Brown Christmas” almost never happened

 A great article on how the infamous and highly popular Charlie Brown Christmas Special almost never aired and wasn’t going to be run ever again.

Few headlines about network television make me giddy. Fewer still make me hopeful that all is good in the world. But back in August of 2010, I read the following headline from the media pages with great excitement: “Charlie Brown Is Here to Stay: ABC Picks Up ‘Peanuts’ Specials Through 2015.” The first of these to be made, the famous Christmas special, was an instant classic when it was created by Charles Schulz on a shoestring budget back in 1965, and thanks to some smart television executives, it will be around for at least another five years for all of us to see and enjoy.

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