Friday, October 21, 2016

The Old Testament Book of Daniel: part 1, Structure, Division and Prophecies Fulfilled

In Hebrew this book is called Dan’yiel meaning “judge of God” or “the strong man of God.” It was written by Daniel who, like Ezekiel, was a Jewish captive in Babylon. Daniel was of royal or princely ancestry. He was one of Israel’s Major Prophets yet he was distinctively the prophet of the “times of the Gentiles.” His vision envelops the whole course of Gentile world-rule to its catastrophic end and to the setting up of the Messianic kingdom. Heavy stuff.

The book is in four divisions. First there is the personal history of Daniel, then the visions of Nebuchadnezzar and their results. More personal history follows and then Daniel’s visions.

Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream after the magi (Persian astrologer/priests) failed. That dream’s interpretation revealed

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Quick Overview of the book of Ezekiel

Ezekiel in Hebrew is “Y’chkezkiel” meaning “God will strengthen.” The book was written by Ezekiel who was carried away to Babylon during the exile (remember Jeremiah prophesied about the Temple destruction and the 70 year exile). Ezekiel’s main purpose was to keep reminding the generation born in exile about the national sins which had brought Israel so low. He also sustained the faith of the exiles by making predictions of national restoration, justice upon their oppressors and national glory.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Lamentations, the Saddest Book in the Bible

Lamentations is often called the saddest book in existence. In Hebrew this book is called Eichah meaning “how”, which is the first word (read vs. 1: How deserted lies the city, once so full of people!).

It was written by the prophet Jeremiah who was an eye-witness to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.  He alternates between accounts of the horrible aftermath of the destruction of the city and the confessions of the people’s deep sins, and then to his appeals to God for mercy.

Randomly pick a verse and read it and you’ll see why we don’t normally read from this book in church.  However, the Jews read Lamentations publicly each year at Tisha B’av which is a fast commemorating the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem in both 586 BC and 70 AD.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Jeremiah Was Not a Bullfrog, Check out This Prophet's Book

The Book of Jeremiah is primarily a message of judgment on Judah for rampant idolatry. In Jeremiah 7: 30 (KJV) it is written:

For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it.

After the death of King Josiah, the last righteous king, the nation of Judah had almost completely abandoned God and His commandments. Jeremiah compares Judah to a prostitute (Jeremiah 2:20; 3:1-3):

Friday, September 23, 2016

What You Never Imagined from the book of Isaiah

The book of Isaiah was written by the prophet Isaiah whose name means “God is my salvation”. This book is often considered a miniature replica of the Bible because of its format. It is comprised of 66 chapters (as the Bible has 66 books) which are divided into two distinct halves. Amazingly the first half is 39 chapters of Israel’s problems with idolatry – matching perfectly with the Old Testament’s 39 books requiring judgment on immoral, idolatrous mankind.
If that seems only coincidental to you, please notice that the New Testament embraces 27 books of hope and redemption through Christ, and Isaiah’s final 27 chapters paint a picture of the Messiah coming as king and savior. Amazing!
The major themes in this book are, first, that Israel is in exile and there is divine judgment upon their oppressors. Next we have the return from Babylon followed by the manifestation of the Messiah in humiliation. Then there is the blessing of the Gentiles, the manifestation of the Messiah in judgment, the reign of David’s righteous branch in the kingdom age and finally, the new heavens and the new earth. Isaiah looks toward the captivities and then beyond the captivities.
This book has a very clear vision of grace. We see the Messiah in His Person and in His sufferings and then we see the blessing of the Gentiles through Him.
As I’ve said many times before the 66 books of the Bible line up in 3 rows with the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Genesis, Isaiah, and Romans line up with the first Hebrew letter, Aleph.

Friday, September 16, 2016

An Amazing Relationship in the Bible's Most Romantic Book

There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. The 22nd book of the Bible, Song of Songs, is considered quite moving and romantic, sensual even.
Well, I have a unique perspective on the relationship between the 22nd Hebrew letter and the 22nd Old Testament book.
The letter TAV

Friday, September 9, 2016

Examining the book Ecclesiastes, part 2

We looked at the first two chapters last week. The next three chapters look at earthly happiness, its difficulties and means of advancement. Read 3: 1-8:
1 There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.
Pete Seeger adapted these verses into the lyrics for the song Turn, Turn, Turn, sung by The Byrds. The general impression doesn’t seem so meaningless. Keep reading:

Friday, September 2, 2016

Examining the book of Ecclesiastes, part 1

We don’t know who wrote Ecclesiastes, but tradition assigns authorship to Solomon. The word Ecclesiastes comes from the Greek word Ekklesiastes which means “speaker of a called out assembly”. The Hebrew Bible calls this book Qoheleth from the word in verse 1, chapter 1, that many translations have as “preacher”:
1 The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:
or as you see here “teacher”, but the original means “assembler” or “collector” of wisdom.
Who was a collector of wisdom and son of David? Solomon seems to be the obvious answer. After his scandalous backsliding he made public what he learned from his experiences. Whereas in Proverbs he reveals God’s wisdom, in Ecclesiastes he despairs over the complexity of life, the failure of natural wisdom and the futility of looking for truth and happiness apart from God. The major theme of Ecclesiastes is that without God’s blessing nothing satisfies, not wisdom, power, pleasure or riches. In fact, without God those things bring disillusionment and disappointment. Solomon says it right away. Read verse 2:
2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
   says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
   Everything is meaningless.”
Many translations use the word “vanity” instead of “meaningless”. Other interpretations are “worthlessness” or “emptiness”. The Hebrew Bible translates this word with the word “futility”. To me that really adds a feeling of helplessness. Read on and feel the futility:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Win a Kindle Fire

This is a really short post.

Check out this list of time travel novels and enter to win a #Kindle fire.

You only have a few days to do this.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Groovy Giveaways Blog Hop

groovygiveaways (1)
Click in the Rafflecopter

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, August 11, 2016


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Girl in the Time Machine by Debra Chapoton

The Girl in the Time Machine

by Debra Chapoton

Giveaway ends August 29, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Book of Proverbs – A Look at How Simple yet Complex Proverbs Are (Part 3)

This is part 3 of a three part look at Proverbs. There's a lot more to it, of course, but next week we'll move on to the next book in the Bible.
Read 6: 16 – 19:
16 There are six things the LORD hates,
      seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes,
      a lying tongue,
      hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
       feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies
      and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Come on, you have to read that more than once. Here again are the 7 things God hates: Having haughty eyes implies a haughty or proud demeanor. Don’t be proud. Don’t lie. Don’t murder. Don’t think up evil plans. Don’t follow your friends into evil goings-on. Don’t be a false witness (no more lying, if you didn’t get number 2). Don’t stir up problems.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Book of Proverbs – A Look at How Simple yet Complex Proverbs Are (Part 2)

Let’s look at the benefits of wisdom according to the book of Proverbs.
Read 2: 12 – 15:
 12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men,
   from men whose words are perverse,
13 who have left the straight paths
   to walk in dark ways,
14 who delight in doing wrong
   and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,
15 whose paths are crooked
   and who are devious in their ways.
Whoa. A lot of strong words there. I definitely want to be saved from the “ways of wicked men”; nobody’s going to scam me; I’m not going to get pulled into some stupid prank or dangerous activity. (Teenagers take note.)
Read 3: 1 – 2:
1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
   but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years
   and bring you peace and prosperity.
Did you catch the blessing that comes with remembering the Lord’s teaching and command? Long life. Peace. Prosperity.