If you are a preacher, know a preacher, or for that matter have ever listened to a preacher, you may have heard the oft repeated statement illustrations can come from anywhere. It’s a truism that may cause us to smile but seriously; a funny thing a child says, a misunderstanding in the supermarket line, words said in anger that have to be eaten later, literally anything a professional speaker hears about could become an illustration for a point being made. Be careful sharing those funny anecdotes around your clergyman. You may hear them again from the pulpit. Continue reading
Is Jesus the sheep or the shepherd?
Just about every animal has some unique feature that allows it to defend itself from predators. Some have incredible speed, such as deer, while others have sharp claws, powerful muscles or rows of gleaming teeth. Some animals camouflage themselves into the background while the purpose of some camouflage, like that of zebra, make it difficult to distinguish individuals from the group. Even the slow, ungraceful skunk has a very potent defense mechanism. Just about every animal has something, it seems, except sheep. It’s almost as if God intended them to be food for other animals. Sheep are very nearsighted and have to be led to food and water. They cannot drink fast moving water and can actually drown trying. They have to be led to food, led to shelter, and protected from every type of danger. The Bible uses sheep of all things to represent people. 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.