- Created on Thursday, 08 May 2008 11:53
We first discussed the horrible stories in the last half of Genesis: the multiple deceptive actions of Jacob, Rachel stealing Laban's household gods (why did she need them?), Reuben sleeping with Jacob's concubine, polygamy, 2 of Jacob's sons killing an entire village of men, Judah marrying a Caananite and then sleeping with a prostitute who unknowingly was his daughter in law! What is going on here and where was God? In the book of Exodus, who was the God that spoke to Moses at the burning bush? Was it the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit? And, who hardened Pharaoh's heart? How was God involved?
- Created on Friday, 15 January 2010 11:53
"Now don't try to stop me. I am angry with them, and I am going to destroy them" (Exodus 32:9). These were the words of God to Moses about the roughly 2 million people standing around the foot of Mount Sinai. Was God really "this close" to wiping them all off the map? Was God caught off guard by their rebellion? Did Moses, the creature, need to step in to calm down the Creator?
Believe it or not, this story is one of the greatest examples in the entire Bible of self-sacrificial agape love.
- Created on Friday, 08 January 2010 11:53
We can't ignore it - words that are found in no less a place than the 10 commandments: "I bring punishment on those who hate me and on their descendants down to the third and fourth generation." (Exodus 20:5). Thomas Jefferson referred to these words as "contrary to every principle of moral judgment."
Suppose there is a woman who loves God with all her heart, mind and soul. She loves her neighbor as she loves herself. She gives of her time and resources for the poor. She selflessly cares for others and with no desire to receive credit or praise. Yet, her great-grandfather was a cruel man who hated both God and his neighber. Would God punish this woman for the sins of her great-grandfather?
The subject of punishment is one of the most important subjects of all because of the implications about God's character. Does God impose an extrinsic punishment for sin?
- Created on Thursday, 10 December 2009 11:53
According to the New Testament, all law comes down to love. "The only obligation you have is to love one another. Whoever does this has obeyed the Law...if you love others, you will never do them wrong; to love, then is to obey the whole Law" (Romans 13:8,9). And again, "For the whole Law is summed up in one commandment: 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself'" (Galatians 5:14).
But now we come to Mount Sinai where God heaped rules on his people - and not just 10 commandments, but a long list of additional rules. If all God wants is love, why would there ever be a need to spell things out in such detail? Several times it is repeated not to cook a goat in its mothers milk. These details extend so far as to specify the priests underwear! What are we to make out of all these rules?
- Created on Friday, 04 December 2009 11:53
Did God harden Pharaoh's heart? Paul's use of the potter-clay analogy to illustrate God's involvement with Pharaoh has been greatly misinterpreted to paint the picture of a god who is not a God of freedom, but rather a puppet master who pre-determines who will be vessels of his love and who will be vessels of his wrath. The potter-clay analogy, however, comes from Jeremiah 18 and should leave exactly the opposite impression!
We also discussed Moses' role as an intercessor at Mount Sinai and suggested how this might help us to understand Jesus' role as an intercessor.
- Created on Tuesday, 24 November 2009 11:53
Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on earth" (Numbers 12:3). What is humility and why was this the necessary character trait for Israel's first great leader? Humility is often perceived as something that it is not. For example, some see humility as weakness or as having a low opinion of oneself.
Why is the subject of humility so important? Remarkably, even Jesus would declare of Himself: "I am meek and humble of heart" (Matthew 11:29). Is God humble?
TS Eliot said, "The only wisdom we can hope to acquire is the wisdom of humility - humility is endless." Why is humility endless?