It is worth noting when looking at the Ten Commandments that the first four are about God. The second forbids making an image of anything that is in heaven while the fourth forbids using his name in vain. God is concerned about how his name and image are used before giving commands such as not to commit murder, adultery or theft.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” -Exodus 20:4 Continue reading →
In Daniel chapter 3, Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego were called to appear before King Nebuchadnezzar. They were charged with not worshiping the gods of Babylon nor bowing down the golden image of Nebuchadnezzar himself. He is willing to give them another chance, and if they will bow down then all will be well. But instead:
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” -Daniel 3:16-18 Continue reading →
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 12:24 ESV) I’ve heard that verse a couple of times this weekend, so it was fresh in mind when I started reading the Exodus this morning. Let’s first put it in its proper context.
Nearly half of John’s Gospel deals with the events of the Passion week. The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem is recorded at the beginning of chapter 12, and this verse is spoken by Jesus in reference to his hour having come. A seed must fall into the ground and die just as Jesus must go down into the earth by being placed in the grave. John 12:24 is an illustration of how Jesus must die and be buried in order to rise again with new life. By being obedient to the Father’s will, Jesus will produce much fruit for the Kingdom. God speaks aloud in verse 27 and says that he has gloried Jesus’ name and will glorify it again. Continue reading →
The Bible tells one story; the Old Testament and the New are both part of that story. The message of scripture from beginning to end is how a holy God, perfect in righteousness, deals with humanity, which is fallen, broken and unrighteous. At the center of that story is Jesus.
There is a definite relationship between the old covenant and the new. I often describe Judaism as a analogy for Christianity. The Hebrews in the Old Testament are analogous in many ways to Christians of the New Testament. There are many similarities but we must be clear: the two are not the same. The Hebrews came out of Egypt on a mission; as Christians we should be on mission. But our mission is very different from their mission. Continue reading →
God speaks to Moses through the burning bush in Exodus 3. God has heard the cry of the Hebrews slaves, and remembers his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The affliction and time table described in Genesis 15 has been accomplished, and God is ready to lead his people out of Egypt and to the promised land. The only thing standing in the way of Moses leading them is out is… Moses. He goes point/counterpoint with God, listing new objections as God responds to each. Continue reading →
In Exodus 16 the Hebrews wandered into the Wilderness of Sin. My Bible teacher and preacher friends shouldn’t even need me to make this analogy. There it is. They literally entered the wilderness in the region of Sin.
It could have been the Mountain of Sin, the Valley of Sin, the Municipality of Sin, but no. The place was known to people in the region as the Wilderness of Sin. How often do we willingly wander through the Wilderness of Sin knowing full where we are and how to avoid it? What an illustration, and the Bible has already made it for us.