The Land of Boys

Learning to live in a house full of testosterone

Archive for the tag “Bible”

A few things that irk me.

We are learning about the Assyrians in school. They were mean, horrible people.  Or as Tapestry of Grace calls them “the Nazis of the ancient world”.  So Benjamin and Samuel’s reading assignments have been very light. They are not ready to take in Assyria. (Samuel is so scared of Gollum on LOTR if he hears the words “my” and “precious” together he comes unglued)  So I am reading with Samuel in a children’s Bible story book and come across this-

God had a job for Jonah to do. “I want you to go to your enemies in Nineveh and tell them how much I love them and I want them to love me and mend their ways,” God told Jonah.

Uhm…. okay, let’s take a look at what a Bible says, shall we?

Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.”

Why is it that people who write Bible storybooks feel the need to change major themes? God is not some big purple dinosaur singing,  “I love you,” to all the world all the time. God told the people of Nineveh he was going to destroy them because of their wickedness! (Granted they repented, he spared them, but you get what I am saying) God did not tell Jonah to go to Nineveh and tell the people He loved them. He sent Jonah to let the people know He was angry about things they were doing.  Being told how sinful they were and that God was going to destroy their city got their attention.

The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”

While I understand that small children are not ready to hear the details about what the Assyrians were doing that was so sinful, we do need to teach our children that evil exists. I would not want to see a child’s Bible illustrated with this, but it is important to let a child know that God is holy and does not tolerate sinfulness. We need to teach them that sin is against God.

Now on to another thing that irks me. It drives me batty that some people in the Bible get a bad reputation that is undeserved. Take the Hebrew midwives, for example. They were told to kill all Hebrew baby boys as they were being born. How did they respond to this order?

The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.”

I have heard this be taught, even by people I respected, that the midwives were justified in their lying because it was for the greater good. Hm…. nowhere does it say they were lying. Could it be possible that the hard, physical life associated with slavery truly conditioned their bodies to give birth quickly? Could it be that in a time before cell phones and and cars it just took people a longer time to find out they were needed somewhere and get there? Or could it possibly be that God providentially caused the Hebrews women to give birth faster? Read Exodus one if you do not believe me. The Bible never says they lied.

Another thing is this passage from John 21

2Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together.

3Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will also come with you.” They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing.

It usually gets taught that the disciples had lost all hope. They had given up on Jesus being the Messiah. So what did they do? They returned to their old way of life: fishing. But is that really why they returned to Galilee? Is it really that they had given up? Could they have gone to Galilee because they believed that He was the Messiah and he TOLD them to go to Galilee???? Why would they lose hope when they had already seen the risen Lord themselves????

31Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I WILL STRIKE DOWN THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP OF THE FLOCK SHALL BE SCATTERED.’

32“But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”

Yep, He told them that He would go to Galilee, ahead of them. Which means that they would go, if they really believed that He was who He said He was. Jesus and an angel both told the disciples to go to Galilee. So maybe they decided to go to the place where they had first seen Jesus. They went back to the place where they had been called. Going fishing was a sign of their belief, not their unbelief.

Why do people feel the need to read INTO the Bible what they THINK it means, instead of  reading OUT of the Bible what it SAYS it means????

Hebrew-Style Blessings

This year in school as we are studying the ancient world, we are focusing very much on the Hebrew people.  We have really been studying the Old Testament in depth. One thing that the ancient Jewish fathers did was to bless their children. Next week are having a Passover Seder (yes, I am aware that it is falling nowhere near Passover) and I have asked Mark to write blessings for our boys. I was wondering if he’d actually be into it or if he’d think I am off my rocker about a mile and half. {Last Friday night he was greeted as he walked through the door with “Shabbat Shalom!” We made Challah, had candles on the table, which was set with our best china {except Samuel and Benjamin had plastic plates}. Our meal: Pork chops and sides. Not very kosher. The pork chops had been frozen, if I didn’t cook them they would have been wasted. The whole baking Challah and everything else was spur of the moment.} He was for it. To clue you in on some of the “whys” for the particular blessings he wrote I feel the need to explain the meaning of each of their names. Nathaniel- Gift from God; Jacob- Sneaky, Grabber; Benjamin- Favored, Son of My Right Hand; Isaac- Laughter; Samuel- Heard by God; Joseph- God Will Add/ Increase.

BLESSINGS FOR MY BOYS

Nathaniel Jacob, may you treasure above all things the ultimate gift you have been given by God, which is Jesus Christ. May you become a man in whom there is no deceit and who is pure in heart. May you continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And as your knowledge of Christ grows, may your love and passion for Christ increase so drastically that you will not only be a hearer of His word, but a doer of His Word. May you be completely surrendered and submitted to Christ and His Word in all areas of your life.

Benjamin Isaac, may you find your supreme and ultimate joy in Christ, who is seated at the right hand of His Father. May your joy and laughter not come from the evil things of the world, but from the passion and love that comes from knowing Christ. May your faith in Christ be so strong that you fear no person or thing except for God. May you seek to please Christ no matter what others around you say or do. May you constantly be amazed at God, His Word, His works, and His glory.  May you become a man who seeks to give God the most glory you can in everything you do.

Samuel Joseph, may you love Christ above all things and may your life be built on obedience to Christ and His Word. May God continually increase you faith, love, and devotion to Christ. May you always be a man of prayer whose prayers are always heard by God. May you always hide God’s Word in your heart so that you may not sin against Him. May you always stand for Christ, even if you are the only one. May you never back down from boldly and fearlessly proclaiming God’s Word. May you become a man after God’s own heart whose consuming passion is to please Christ in everything you do.

Numbers 6:24-26- The LORD bless you, and keep you; the LORD make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.

We really went back and forth for a long time about whether to name Samuel Samuel Joseph or Samuel David.  I was tickled to see that he put “may you be a man after God’s own heart”.

I LOVE Tapestry of Grace!!! We have learned do much and really paid so much attention to the details of things in the Old Testament. I think I have learned more than the boys.

Brain Blast While Doing the Laundry

Have you ever had one of those days where everything that was seemingly unrelated and separate just all somehow clicked and worked together? I had one of those yesterday. We started out with our Catechism reading like normal. For the start of this school year we are just doing a review by reading the Monday story that goes along with each of the Q&As we have already done. So we read about a little girl choosing a puppy from a pound and naming her Grace. Just like God chooses us out of our estate of sin and misery in His grace. The topic for history this week is Creation through Noah. Benjamin has a book with Cd about Noah. So he played the CD and read along.  Samuel was working alone on a drawing, Nathaniel was working on some math problems, so I grabbed the opportunity to sneak  off for a clothes folding.

Let me sort of flash-back for just a moment. It seems like I have seen a lot of conflicting ideas about the doctrine of election lately. It might be in person or over the internet directed to me, or it might be an editorial in the Alabama Baptist newspaper where some bloke takes it upon himself to rewrite the five TULIP points to better fit with what he believes is “fair”.  So keep in mind that all this is floating in my head. As I was listening to the story of Noah, which I have always loved btw, it suddenly dawned on me. We read the story of Noah, how God rescued one family out of all the whole world and we call it gracious and wonderful. We read about Abraham, where one again God calls one, and we never hear anyone say “That is not fair”. Why is it that people want to pull the “fair” card when it comes to the New Covenant? Do they really think it is “fair” Jesus had to pay for their sins?

Do I think that my brain blast will help the whole world come to believe the same about God as I do? No, I do, however, think that it will help me when confronted with “I don’t think God creates people that He knows have chance of going to Heaven!”

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