7/26/13

   So, reading a pretty good book this morning, and I start thinking about what a a pastor that I know said once about books and endings. 

    He said that when he was a little boy, he would start reading a book but then skip ahead and read the last chapter, just so he could know what was going to happen. I thought about the Bible, and it’s ‘last’ chapter, of sorts, Revelation. The last book of the Bible is about what’s to come, what the future holds. And to some, it won’t be fun. To anybody that’s not raptured, there will be a time of uniformity, as everybody who wants to live will have to receive a mark on their heads, with which they will be able to buy and sell, to live their lives in worship of the beast, whom many believe to be Satan. And then, in Revelations 19:19, it speaks of a war between the beast and “Him who sat on the horse.” The beast receives an end fitting to his life; he gets thrown into a fiery pit, along with his false prophet. After this, the dead will be judged from the book of life, by their deeds. (Revelations 20:12) 

     So, feel like skipping ahead yet?? But maybe you should, because there is hope for us. Those whose names are written in the Book of Life will be given entry to a new heaven, one that God Almighty reigns over, along with the Lamb. Where our tears will be wiped away, where there will be no death, no pain, no crying (Revelations 21:4). 

    …..And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” 5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” 6 Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. 7 “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. “…….

    Just a little bit of Revelations showing how wonderful it will all be in the new heaven. There’s more, but I thought I would give you a glimpse of hope. Please, if you have questions, contact me, or better yet, your Bible. If you don’t have one, here’s a link to a virtual one with gizmos and doodads. http://www.blueletterbible.org/index.cfm

 

7/25/13

Who are the Midianites? And why did they serve God??

This question is from my small group for a women’s bible study at my church. We are looking at the women of the bible and trying to learn from them. In Exodus 2, we are introduced to the Midianites, a clan with whom Moses spends a significant time with and later marries the daughter of the priest, Jethro. But the Midianites aren’t Israelites, right? So why would they know about God?

Using Strong’s concordance, we can see that the Midianites are descended through Abraham and his wife Keturah through his son Midian. Midian had five sons, and they lived in the desert north of the Arabian Peninsula, eventually becoming modern day Arabians. Midian and his descendants would have known about God from Abraham. This would have explained Jethro’s position of priest. However, there was more that I found out about the Midianites.

The Midianites sent a group of men with a group from Moab to ask Baalam, a man of whom it was said “….whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”(Numbers 22:6)

The next time they show up in Scripture is Numbers 25, when one of the Midianite women was caught with an Israelite man in his tent, and Phineas, the son of Eleazar, slung a spear through the two of them. Not the greatest reputation for the nation, right?? But it gets worse. Next we see in Numbers 31:3, Moses is telling the Israelites to arm themselves against the Midianites for the LORD’s vengeance, ending up slaying the five kings of Midian as well as every male.

However, later the Lord uses Midian to punish the Israelites in Judges 6. After that, Gideon is used to take down the advancing forces of the Midianites. Once the the Midianites are taken care of, there is practically no mention of them, except in passing, or in comparison.

So what do we take away from this??

I think the thing to remember is how good the Midianites started out, but how badly they ended. In 1st Corinthians 9 and Hebrews 12, Paul encourages us to run strong, to finish the race! We need to keep our eyes on the prize and to “run in such a way as to win.” (1st Cor 9:24). The Midianites failed to end strong. Let us learn from their mistakes, and not follow their example.