Thursday, 31 March 2011

Moses Ascends

The last chapter of Deuteronomy is something of a tear jerker. Moses, the man of God, who has represented the coming Messiah to the nation of Israel in so many ways, (promise, picture and person), who saved them out of bondage in Egypt, who had averted the wrath of God from destroying them for their rebellion, who even had beheld the back of the Father as well as the face of the pre-incarnate Christ, is finally leaving them.

Monday, 28 March 2011

We Know and We Love because in Jesus, God has United Himself to Humanity Forever.

Notes on latest sermon (Beginning a series in 1 John):

Introduction to the Sermon Series
  • At its heart, Christianity is not a moral improvement programme, or a get out of Hell free ticket. It’s the birthing of a new humanity (2 Cor. 5:17). This new humanity is hallmarked by the Spirit of God coming to live inside of you, (John 14:23). It happens through God's initiative, (John 1:13) sending his own Son into the world to redeem the world, (John 3:16), so that they may be united to it (John 17:20-23).

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Testing Reftagger

Just added a cool new tool to the blog that I found on Bernard Hull's blog and which automatically produces the bible verse, when you hover (not hoover) the mouse over the top!

Verses like John 3:16 and Romans 8:28 and 1 John 1:1-4

It doesn't appear to work for longer refs like epic Psalm 119.

But it does work for short hand like Deut 6:4?

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Preach It Moses!

James Jordan says that most of Deuteronomy, which he likes to refer to as "Old Gold" :-), is Moses' expositional sermon on the 10 commandments. Sometimes the links seem a little tenuous to our modern ears, but am beginning to see where he is coming from. I can't remember the exact divisions he makes, but it goes something like this:

Friday, 18 March 2011

My Kind of TV

Professor Brian Cox has a fascinating take on the origins of the universe. Hope to pass more comment on it at a later date, but for now go watch and get those thinking juices flowing. :-)

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Marriage, It Appears, Is A Taxing Business!

I got this email from CARE today:

CARE is today releasing a special Supporter Briefing on next week's Budget. As noted in Impact Direct last Friday, the Budget, announced a week today, provides the Government with an opportunity to honour its commitment to recognise marriage in the tax system. If the Government fails to realise this commitment next week, we will have to wait another 12 months before they will have the opportunity to implement this decision again.

Why Did the Nations Think Israel Was Wise and Understanding?

Deuteronomy 4-5

Over my 26 years as a Christian, I have often heard the view expressed that God's laws, if practiced, bring success. Maybe you've heard it too. Of course there is something of truth in this.
  1. Eye for an eye etc is a wise kind of restitution, neither over nor under-punishing the assailant.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Saved for Conquest

Deuteronomy 1-3

On the cusp of entering the promised land, Moses now encourages the people to remember all that God has done for them and what he will continue to do for them as they go on from there.

In the previous three books there was a lot of The LORD telling Moses to tell the people ... but here Moses speaks directly. This exemplifies the whole theme of the book which is succession / handover. It also is testimony to how Moses has matured as the mouthpiece for God, and is a picture of Jesus.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Sexualisation of Children

The Government wants opinions of parents on how they think their children are being "sexualised" too early. If you are a parent, feed your thoughts in to the process online here.

Consultation closes on 18 March.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Honouring Pledges

Numbers 28-30

Numbers 30 is a curious chapter, and feels like something of a clunky "c'mon it's in there somewhere" gear change! We go from issues of national religious importance in ch29 to (clunk clunk) these parochial family rules in ch30 only to return (clunk clunk) back to national strategy in ch31.

Friday, 11 March 2011

The Great Succession

Numbers 26-27

A new census is taken and preparations are made for conquering the promised land.

Joshua is officially named as Moses' successor and anointed such.

Moses led the people out of slavery and hands over to Joshua who would lead them in conquest of the land.

Jesus - through the cross - led a people out of slavery to sin and hands over to the Holy Spirit - who is the Spirit of the Father and the Son - to lead the people in conquest of the whole earth.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

How to "Kill" a Christian

Numbers 23-25

Yes, I realise it's a (theologically) provocative title...

Balaam, far from cursing the Israelites as Balak wanted, blessed them 7 times! Publicly, he will do them no harm, but behind closed doors, it's a different matter.

Privately, he advises the Moabites to woo them into spiritual (and sexual) whoredom, bringing the judgement of God on them and making them so weak and ineffective as to be no significant threat to them.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Interesting New Book

Those who were at the last Biblical Thinking Forum will have picked up on the theme of forming and filling in creation.

For those with a little bit more theological umph, this is a fascinating preface to what looks like an insightful new book from Mike Bull. (See blog-roll)

Having read Bible Matrix (worth reading even if you don't come out agreeing with everything), I look forward to its release.

Battles, A Bronze Snake & Balaam's Donkey

Numbers 21-22:

The people grumble again - becoming impatient with the lot they have been apportioned. Daily bread is not enough, they want daily... (Fill in gap with your personal regular craving.) Again, they do like Adam did, wanting ahead of time what was not theirs - yet.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Crisis of Capitalism - Interesting Video

Interesting how loads of us can articulate the problem - few of us can articulate a solution.

Disqualification and Death, Succession and Conquest

Numbers 18-20

The first time, God told Moses to strike the rock, this time he is told to speak to it.

He is rebuked by God because in striking the rock twice, he did not obey the word of the LORD. To our modern ears, this sounds harsh. You'd think with all the flack Moses had received over these years from the Israelites that God might have cut him a bit of slack.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Death and New Life

Observations on Numbers 15-17

The observant will notice there's no provision of forgiveness for deliberate sin. Unintentional sins, yes, but not willful ones. These are the kind of sins that vex the Psalmist and they pose a problem for stubborn people like me. Does this mean that when I deliberately disobey a command of God, that there is no forgiveness? If that's true then only the most spiritual Christians will be in heaven, and I know me well enough to know that I don't rank in that category! I'm no Martin Luther or Brother Yun! Abandon all hope now!! Give up this religious charade!!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Again - Be Careful What You Wish For, You Might Just Get It!

Observations on Numbers 12-14

No matter how godly you may be, or to put it another way, because you are godly, people will take pot shots at you. Moses is no exception.  Even though he has been clearly raised up for the task of leading the people, even though God has done many mighty signs and wonders through him, even though his character track record is unimpeachable, he is challenged, and not by any old gangsta upstart Israelite, but by his very own brother and sister.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Be Careful What You Ask For, You Might Just Get It

Numbers 9-11

The Israelites spent a year at Sinai, receiving the Law, setting up the Tabernacle and restructuring the lines of administration since they were no longer a tribe, but a nation. On the way from Egypt to Sinai the people rebelled against the LORD three times. The journey from Sinai to the boarder of the Promised Land, has much in common with the former journey from Egypt to Sinai. Both journeys begin with Passover and there are three rebellions.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Royal Priesthood

In Numbers 7, the heads of the tribes bring their tribute to the Tabernacle.  They all bring the same thing and the ADHD kid in me that can't stay focussed fo.... Look there's a cloud that looks like a baboon on a moped!!... r more than 20 seconds, says "Why can't it just say: 'Each tribe offered...' rather than repeating the same list 11 times?" The good thing about the 11 repetitions is that it creates a sense of occasion. Moreover, God doesn't waste words, so if he has had it repeated 11 times, there is a reason, I just don't know what it is.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Communion and Conquest

Observations on Numbers 5-6:

The sending away of those with a defiling skin disease (not leprosy in this case - apparently) was not permanent, just for the time it was contagious.

There doesn't appear to be any occasion recorded in Scripture when a man actually used the test for an unfaithful wife on his spouse. Some have made connections between this test and Jesus' judgment on the woman caught in adultery.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Book of Numbers

So we have reached Numbers in this Bible Read Fest. A couple of observations.

  • The Census is a military one - all the men 20yrs and older who can be conscripted into the national army, ready to go conquer the promised land.
  • Jordan talks about how the camp is set out in ch2 as having parallels with the heavenly host and with the vision Ezekiel had. e.g. Judah who leads the East camp is symbolised by a Lion, Ephraim on the west - an ox.
  • With Reuben having squandered his rights as firstborn son by defiling his father's concubine, another "firstborn" needs to be found to act as priests. The Levites are selected. They were the only ones who rallied to Moses' side to purge the camp after the idolatry incident with the golden calf. There are many fewer Levites, because they had to be at least 30yrs old to serve.