Blog Archives

The sense of smell

Psalm 115:5-7 describes some characteristics of idols, contrasting them with God.

They have mouths, but do not speak;
    eyes, but do not see.
They have ears, but do not hear;
    noses, but do not smell.
They have hands, but do not feel;
    feet, but do not walk;
    and they do not make a sound in their throat.

We all know that God sees and hears everything that happens and he has the ability to speak and act, but he has a sense of smell too.  The first mention of it is found in Genesis 8:20-22. Read the rest of this entry

If God spoke to us audibly

There is disagreement about how God wants us to live.  If God would just speak to everyone in an audible voice that would eliminate all questions about God and enable us to serve him without any doubts or disagreements.

Or perhaps it wouldn’t.  The Bible records a time when a crowd of people did hear God speak.

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.  Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

 John 12:27-28

Everyone present heard the sound of the voice but not everyone understood it. Read the rest of this entry

The Great War

For a long time after World War I the war was referred to by many as the Great War, meaning that it involved more nations and people than had any other war up to that time.  When an even greater war began in 1939 people stopped using this term and began calling it World War I and calling the new war World War II.  But there is another war going on right now which really does deserve to be called the Great War and most of the world is completely unaware of it.  Here is how it began.

You were blameless in your ways
from the day you were created,
till unrighteousness was found in you.
In the abundance of your trade
you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned;
so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God,
and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub,
from the midst of the stones of fire.
Ezekiel 28:15-16

This is addressed to the king of Tyre, but it obviously doesn’t refer to the human ruler but to Satan, who was the real ruler. Read the rest of this entry

Earth 2.0

NASA scientists have discovered a planet they named Kepler-452b but which is also called Earth 2.0 because it is more like earth than any other planet yet discovered.  Because of its similarity there is speculation that it might contain life similar to that found on earth.

Dr. Jeff Schweitzer wrote an article in Huffington Post called Earth 2.0: Bad News for God in which he claimed that the discovery of life on this planet would be evidence that the Bible is not true.  Here is the link:  Earth 2.0: Bad News for God .

The article shows he hasn’t read the Bible very carefully.

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Why Moses failed to free the Israelites

Nearly everyone knows how Moses freed the Israelites from Egyptian slavery.  Not many know that Moses had made a previous attempt to free them and had failed.

One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.

When he went out the next day, behold, two Hebrews were struggling together. And he said to the man in the wrong, “Why do you strike your companion?”

He answered, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?”

Then Moses was afraid, and thought, “Surely the thing is known.” When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and stayed in the land of Midian.
Exodus 2:11-15

This appears to be nothing more than Moses seeing an act of cruelty and intervening but the New Testament gives more information.

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Sand in the bread

Many people believe the earth is billions of years old; the Bible tells us that God created it in six days.  Some Christians try to reconcile these two beliefs by saying that the days of creation aren’t literal days but simply long periods of time.

The word “day” can mean an indefinite time period and it is used that way in the creation account.

These are the generations
of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.
Genesis 2:4

Here the entire time of creation is called a day.  But what about the days in the first chapter?  Here is a description of the first day.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
Genesis 1:3-5

Each day included a period of light and one of darkness and consisted of an evening and a morning.  Only a literal day consisting of the time the earth turns once on its axis has these characteristics.

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9/11

On September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four airliners. Two of the planes were deliberately flown into the two towers of the World Trade Center, causing them to collapse. One was crashed into the Pentagon. The passengers on the fourth plane managed to overpower the hijackers and prevent them from carrying out their intended mission but the plane crashed, killing everyone on board. The total death toll from these events was almost 3,000.

People asked a lot of questions as a result of the attack. Many wanted to know who was responsible and what needed to be done to protect against future attacks. But the question in the minds of a lot of people was “Why did God allow these people to die?”

Read the rest of this entry

Your bucket list

Some people make a bucket list, a list of things they want to do before they die.  The name comes from the expression “kick the bucket”, a slang expression for dying.

If you are a Christian you don’t need to make a bucket list.  God has already made one for you.

We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

The purpose of these works isn’t to achieve salvation.  Salvation is a gift that God gives us by his grace and we receive it by faith.

By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9

We aren’t saved by our works but one of the reasons we are saved is to serve God by carrying out the work he has given us to do.

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The Euthyphro dilemma

Plato wrote of a conversation between Socrates and a man named Euthyphro in which this question was raised: Does God command us to do things because they are good or are they good because God commands them?   Many people feel that either answer creates a problem.  If God commands us to do things because they are good that implies that there is a standard of goodness independent of God to which he must conform.  If the things God commands are good because he commands them then good and evil exist only because of God’s arbitrary decision to call certain thing good and others evil.  This problem is known as the Euthyphro dilemma.

Read the rest of this entry

Good things

All of us have asked God for something and not gotten it.  When this happens we generally believe that God hasn’t answered our prayer.  That isn’t necessarily the case.   Jesus said:

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? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
Matthew 7:9-11

TANSTAAFL

TANSTAAFL – This stands for “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.” This phrase probably originated at a time when it was a common practice for saloons to offer free food to anyone who bought a drink. The food wasn’t really free because the price the saloons charged for the drinks was high enough to cover the cost.

This statement is true in many areas of life.  Things that we are told are free really aren’t; we are paying for them in ways that aren’t apparent to us.

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The country of the blind

There is a well known saying, “In the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king.”  But is it true?  What if there were a country where all the people were blind but had learned to cope with their condition and considered it normal?  How would they respond if someone who could see came into their community and told them what it was like to see?  Would they believe what he said or consider him a madman?

H. G. Wells wrote a story called “The Country of the Blind” which describes this situation.  Here is Wikipedia’s summary of the plot.

Read the rest of this entry

Why should we study the Bible?

Why should we study the Bible?  Second Timothy 3:16 gives us four reasons.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. Read the rest of this entry

The second elephant

Most people have either read this poem by John Godfrey Saxe or have heard the story that it tells.

It was six men of Hindustan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind)
That each by observation
Might satisfy the mind. Read the rest of this entry

The Trinity reflected in human history

The Bible reveals that God is a trinity consisting of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  This is clearly taught in the New Testament but it can also be found in the Old Testament.

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Protection

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:3

I once saw a movie which I think is a good illustration of this verse.

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