The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
(Isaiah 11:8 )
“The Unknown Gifts”
Reading Matthew 7, I came across Jesus’ words concerning the goodness of God as our Father in heaven.
Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? (Matthew 7:9-10)
At face value, this is simply an exhortation to expect good things from God. The problem is that Jesus uses stones and serpents as examples of bad things, and our Father in heaven has long history of doling out stones and serpents to His children. Since that is the case, how can our Father in heaven possibly be good?
“When Moses slew the Egyptian, he was doing the will of God but not with the power of God.”
Numbers 12:3 says that Moses was the meekest man “on the face of the ground [adamah].”
Psalm 37:11 says the meek will inherit the Land [eretz] and delight in abundant prosperity.
Isaiah 11:4 says that
with righteousness [God] shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the Land;
and he shall strike the Land with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips she shall kill the wicked.
Firstly, what is meekness? And secondly, why is it connected to “face of the ground” (Adam), or Land?
“When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand.” (Acts 28:3)
One interesting facet of biblical symbols is their identification by “use” and “motion.” Objects that have no link in the natural order of things can be tied together through their use in a similar purpose in the work of the house of God. This is not entirely strange. Diverse things which have no relationship in the natural order are brought together by man for use in “housework.” For the Author of the Bible, nature is “plastic.” This factor is one reason why the Bible is strange to modern ears and minds.
[This post has been refined and included in Sweet Counsel: Essays to Brighten the Eyes.]
The Unexpected Luck of Widows’ Sons
A guest post by Luke Welch.
I’ve been reading The Hobbit again, out loud, to our children, and this time through, one phrase in the first chapter caught my attention.
Another gem from Tim Nichols:
Consider Daniel 9, the prayer of the just man Daniel. Go ahead and read it; I’ll wait.
Did you notice that Daniel identifies fully with his people? “We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws,” he says — although Daniel himself did, in fact, keep them. “We have not made our prayer before the Lord our God” — although Daniel did so daily, even at risk of his life. “Neither have we heeded your servants the prophets,” he says — although he himself was a close student of the prophets, especially Jeremiah.
or Raising Up the Temple
An analysis of the literary structure of Day 5 of Creation and passages that are apparently parallel.
or Goblet of Fire
“And the times of this ignorance God winked at;
but now commandeth all men every where to repent…” Acts 17:30
Reading the Bible without an understanding of Creational and Covenant structures is like watching test cricket without knowing the rules. It’s not unusual for even the best commentators to be distracted by something as inconsequential as a lost seagull. But every moment is part of a bigger picture. Isaiah can seem tedious at times, but it’s a long game. Let’s look at Isaiah 4:2-6, which relates the purging of exiled Israel to the jealous inspection in Numbers 5. In this case, she comes up trumps.
The Table on God’s Mountain
“Most assuredly, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat
falls into the ground
it remains alone;
but if it dies,
it produces much grain.”
Israel was given a “firstfruits” taste of the Promised Land in Numbers 13. As with all Covenants, it was bittersweet. There were grapes, but there were giants. It was the same challenge as the one given to Adam. They were called to be judges who made their decisions based not on sight, but on faith in God’s Words.
“His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” Luke 3:17
“I came to send fire on the Land, and how I wish it were already kindled!”
Feasts in Isaiah 8:1-18
Moreover the LORD said to me (Transcendence – Creation)
…..“Take a large scroll, (Hierarchy – Division – Firmament)
……….and write on it with a man’s pen (Ascension – Land and Man-Face)
……………concerning Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. (Ethics – Testing)
……….“And I will take for Myself faithful witnesses to record,
……….(Maturity – 2 witnesses)
…..Uriah the priest (Mediator Man – Conquest)
and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah (Covenant succession/offspring – Glorification)
This is just the first stanza of seven, being the Creation-Word. In the second, the prophet goes on his mission (delegation or “exodus”), and the Lawsuit “Word” becomes flesh. Continue reading
For those attempting to deal with the status quo futurist interpretation of Matthew 24, one of the most important observations is the fact that Jesus’ material has an Old Testament literary context. Some of his language is quoted from Isaiah 13. His prediction that the stars would fall from heaven comes from Isaiah’s burden against Babylon. The prophet used the Creation week as a structure for his denunciation. Continue reading