I am almost caught up, but I have started into Leviticus. Basically, the first few chapters go into every detail concerning the rules for different types of sacrifices and when they are needed. Also, it talks about who is allowed to eat of the sacrifices and what is not allowed to be eaten. So, a few things stuck out for me. First, the idea of not eating anything with blood still in it. I enjoy a steak as much as the next guy, so I wanted to look into this. Basically, the Bible says that all animals are viable means for food, but it does describe certain parts of the animal that shouldn’t be eaten (mainly certain fats and organ that deals with collecting and removing blood impurities). The good news is beef, in general, is safe for the menu. Secondly, it talks about the lack of yeast in offering made. This got me looking for why was yeast not allowed during Passover or for an offering. I found this response on yahoo answers and I like the jist behind it:
The Bible says that they were to make haste, and it takes time to let bread rise. So, they made it without yeast in a matter of minutes and off they would go. So they continue this at Passover to remind them. Also, yeast is invasive. One small amount affects the whole loaf, so it is used as an illustration of sin and error; that when it is let in, it soon poisons the lot
I should be caught up soon, so stay tuned for more posts.
A Slight Exodus from Exodus – February 22, 2011
So, I was doing fairly well on my reading until Tiffany and me took a trip to NYC. Therefore, I took a slight exodus from my reading. I am about 8 days behind and I am reading a couple readings a day to catch up. I am currently at Exodus 40. The exodus story is intriguing;however, it is interesting to see how God was essentially training the Israelites to turn from bad habits they had in Egypt and start to truly worship the Lord. Now we do see that the Israelites were slow to learn and their faith wavered at first. The Lord basically had to set in stone, literally, what these people could and couldn’t do. In the end, we can see how God was preparing the Israelite people for the immediate future as well as the trials they would endure many generations down the road. It makes you wonder how devoted are you to your faith, and what additional steps should we take in our lives. The resounding theme is the keep the Sabbath Holy, and I think that is a value and goal that we should all reaffirm in our lives. Anyway, I will keep you posted as I catch up with my readings.
Exodus 1-10 February 2, 2011
I really enjoy the first part of Exodus. There is a lot of debate regarding the presence and purpose of Israelites in Egypt. Even more controversial, is the purposed time frame or Egyptian Dynasty that they would have been present. Well I found a great article that aligns with what I have always thought to be correct. Check this article out on answersingenesis.org. This article outlines the basis and thoughts behind the plagues. I have always taken all ten plagues to be factual and literal. We see similar “plagues” that are foretold to occur in a very similar manner during the Tribulation, prior to Christ’s return. I’m not going to debate on what may have happened concerning the plagues. What I found interesting is that the Hyksos, who were of nomadic culture to the East of Egypt, came in and conquered Egypt. Why and how could this happen so easily? Well looking at the Bible and archaeological evidence, we can see the possibility that all this coincided with the Israelite departure. First, the plagues would have left Egypt with little food, few laborers, and few men in general. Second, the Pharaoh and the majority of the army would have been swallowed up in the Red Sea. Third, Exodus 17 shows that the Israelites had a brief encounter with the Amelekites, who are reasoned to be the Hyksos. This battle or encounter could have led to some Israelites being captured by the Amelekites, who would learn from them that Egypt is in shambles. Therefore, that knowledge would open the door to them invading. Finally, the Egyptian record shows that the now dead Pharaoh’s brother succeeded the thrown, when usually this would go to the first born son of the Pharaoh. I really enjoy reading how the plagues came about, and then relating them to how blood could have led to frogs leaving the river and dying, which would result in an abundance of gnats/flies, which in turn could lead to livestock death due to illness. The Hail and Darkness are works of God alone, which just reinforces my beliefs. Anyway, check out the article above as it goes into more detail.
Genesis 38-43 January 27th, 2011
I finished reading the account of Joseph and how his brothers sold him into slavery. As the account in the Bible shows, Joseph is redeemed and eventually, after some prison time, he becomes vizier over all the land of Egypt. This is interesting in that historically there is evidence of coins that have inscriptions that appear to be Joseph’s head and some with cows. These symbols relate to the fact that Joseph did hold an important position within Egypt. In addition, the cows are symbolic of the fact that not only did Pharaoh have a dream concerning a famine, but that Joseph was able to predict that famine and provide for Egypt and the surrounding countries. In looking into the historical account of Joseph in Egypt I ran across an article that breaks down the chronology of the Egyptian calendar and compares and revises it according the the biblical calendar and events. Check this article out about the Egyptian Chronology. As always I found this article on www.answersingenesis.com. Let me know what you think.
Genesis 14 – 28 January 17th – January 25th, 2011
Well I have been reading about Abraham, Issac and Jacob. I haven’t had anything controversial or too interesting to catch my attention lately. The only thing that is worth mentioning is the fact that it seems that these people lived a rather nomadic lifestyle. Surprisingly, the names and towns described in these chapters have been found to be 100% accurate through archaeology. Ruins, writings, and other objects have been recovered that show evidence of the historical account presented in the Bible. It is just the spiritual part that people have trouble with. There is some room for controversy in these chapters. We do see Abraham, Issac, Jacob and Esau all get married, have concubines, and have children with their maidservants. I’m not trying to make a case for polygamy, especially since we see that Esau’s wives seemed to have caused immediate and extended family issues. I guess this was a topic that was somewhat skipped over in children’s church and youth. Hopefully, I will have something more interesting to comment on next time.
Job 40-41 and Genesis again – January 16th, 2011
I have recently finished reading the book of Job. Isn’t it funny how as a child you learn that the book of Job is about a righteous man and the trials he overcame. That is the basis of the book, but I didn’t realize how much scolding actually took place between the “friends” of Job and then God’s conversation with Job. Interestingly, during God’s scolding and then re-establishment of Job we see the details of a behemoth and the leviathan. These two creatures are described in detail. I tend to believe that these two creatures lend aid to the idea that dinosaurs existed alongside people (once again confirming my thoughts on a young earth standpoint). We have seen numerous animals and plants that have been “re-discovered” that had thought to have been extinct and pre-historic in nature. The article here talks about Sea Creatures and comes from a biblical point of view. Check it out and let me know what you think of these creatures described in Job 40-41.
The Book of Job – January 4th, 2011 to January 14th, 2011
I’m not quite finished with the entire book of Job yet, but I’m getting close. I don’t have a lot to comment about, but what I do want to talk about has very little to do with Job himself. The Chronological reading plan starts Job immediately after Genesis 11, an order that I would not have ever thought about. If you haven’t read the book of Job straight through within a couple of days, you should give it a try. You quickly learn that Job is a righteous man who gets caught up in a game, almost, between Satan and God. The book itself focuses on how Job remains faithful throughout this trial even though everyone abandons him. There may be a handful of chapters that Job and his “friends” discuss how Job has fallen from righteousness and Job responds in detail and in every allusion known to man at that time. Regardless, I think that the book of Job is important to the Bible as a whole because it provides a righteous example to follow from the Old Testament. It kind of hits home when we see another man who carries out himself in a righteous manner. So, that’s it as far as Job goes. The aspect that is unique and stood out to me was that in Chapters 1 and 2 we see a meeting or council take place between God and the angels, and Satan decides to tag along. I had always thought that Satan and his followers fell from grace and that a separation occurred that alienated Satan from heaven, but we see here that Satan has direct access to God, at least at certain times. I tried to find some commentary talking about the meeting and the logistics such as did this occur in heaven, earth, or some other place. It seems that there is no good answer to that question, and these verses are one of those aspects that we have to accept with faith and ask about it later in heaven. Let me know your thoughts on the subject.
Genesis Chapters 8-11 – December 31, 2010- January 3rd, 2011
Okay, the Harris household had a rough weekend and our church was listening and voting on our new pastor. So, the weekend reading was a little behind, but I have a lot to talk about so it works out.
Most of us have heard some account that relates to the biblical and/or non-biblical accounts of the Flood. Being an engineer and always wanting to know the details and science behind any situation, I struggled at one point with the possibility of a world-wide flood. There are individuals smarter than myself that have determined that if all the water on earth and all the water that is accumulated in the skies were to be gathered, then there still would not have been enough water to cover the whole earth. This article from www.answersingenesis.org was truly beneficial to an explanation. See this article that describes the possibility of a tectonic plate displacement/creation that explains not only the possibility of sufficient water to cover the earth , but also it lends aid to understanding the vast changes to the earth’s surface that relates to contradicting the old (millions of years old) earth theory. There are quite a few articles on the above website that deal with the possibility of the Flood as well as the explanation of Ice Ages. From a biblical and scientific standpoint, the possibility of a single Ice Age is reasonable during the time of the Flood. Since water reflects light the earth’s overall temperature can be reasoned to have declined during the Flood. The catch is that unlike the evolutionary Ice Ages that lasted thousands of years, this biblically based idea of an Ice Age would have lasted a much shorter time (a few months to years).
Secondly, and very closely tied to this idea of a shortened and single Ice Age, is Genesis 10:25. It reads, “To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided”. Now this verse seems to bear little importance, except for the fact that talks about the earth was divided. When I hear this I immediately think about the scattering of the people as described by the Tower of Babel account. What is interesting is that the timeline described in Genesis 10 would place Peleg’s life during a reasonable time for which the ”final thawing” of the flood related ice age. So what this could mean and what I believe it means is that during Peleg’slifetimehe saw the land bridges between the continents that existed after the flood become covered with water due to the thawing of the ice age. This is my opinion based on other’s explanations, but one that makes sense.
That was a long commentary, but the Flood account has been debated for years. I truly believe in a world-wide flood that resulted in the geological, archaeological and historical record that we see today. As always, feel free to disagree and please comment.
Lastly, I wanted to leave you with a chart I found that shows the other ancient and historical cultures that have an account of the Flood. This chart breaks down the individual biblical aspects contained in Genesis and which cultures believed in something similar.