Month: May 2013

Thinking about anger this week?

Christianity Today‘s Men of Integrity blog has been going through portions of chapter 2 of God Behaving Badly (Is God angry or loving?) in its daily devotions.

I mentioned this a few days ago, but I wanted to include all the posts for the week in one place if you are interested.  Here they are:

Sunday: Angry, Crabby and Snarky

Monday: Slow to Anger

Tuesday: Steadfast Love

Wednesday: Judgment Deferred

Thursday: Anger ‘and’ Love

Friday: Don’t just skip it



Family Tree of the Kings of Israel and Judah

I love charts and tables.  I’m working right now on the book of Kings for a textbook for the Historical Books of the OT, so I’ve been revising my charts.  The one below is the one I use the most, displaying the family tree of the kings of Israel and Judah.  The corresponding prophets are listed on the right side.  If you ever read the Old Testament, you will find this chart helpful.  Share this post with friends.

I find it helpful for three things in particular:
1) Since five rulers share the same name (Jeroboam, Jehoahaz, Jehoash, Ahaziah and Jehoram), the chart helps locate them in the family tree.
2) It’s messy when the royal houses of Judah and Israel intermarry (Ahab’s daughter Athaliah marries Jehoram of Judah).
3) It’s confusing when Josiah’s 4 descendants reign during the final days of Judah.

The legend at the bottom explains why kings are underlined, bolded or italicized.

Expert discovers ancient Torah scroll in plain sight – CBS News

torah-scroll-large-AP782930_610x516Big news on the Old Testament scene, check it out here:

Expert discovers ancient Torah scroll in plain sight – CBS News.

The “re-discovered” scroll is of the Torah, or the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy).

The CBS news article says it’s a “Torah scroll of the Pentateuch”, but that’s redundant, since the Torah and the Pentateuch are different names for the same thing.

The best part of the story is that this library in Italy had the scroll for centuries, but incorrectly dated it, thinking it was only a couple hundred years old, when it was closer a thousand (about 1150 AD).

You might say, 1150, that’s not very close to the time of the Old Testament, and you’d be right, but the oldest complete manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible aren’t much older.  (Although the Dead Sea Scrolls are much older.)

This is what the Psalmist said about his Torah scroll:

I long for your salvation,
and your law (Torah) is my delight (Psalm 119:174).

The psalmist would not have miss-dated his Torah scroll.

A Killer Prayer?

prayer_warrior“God, sometimes it’s hard to obey, but help us to obey your word completely, even if it means we have to kill people.”

A killer prayer?  Is that what it means to be a prayer warrior?  Not sure about the theology, but let me give you a little background to this prayer…

After dinner tonight we were reading through Judges 1 as a family (lest you think our family more pious than we are, we’re lucky if we manage to do this about once a week).

Things we observed about Judges 1:

1) Difficult to pronounce names (Adoni-bezek, Kiriath-arba, Aijalon).  When reading a name you don’t know, the key, just be confident.  As Luther would say, sin boldly.

2) Adoni-bezek cut of the thumbs and toes of his enemies, so that’s what they did to him.  An eye for an eye, a toe for a toe.  We talked about this topic for a long time.  We have 2 teenage sons.

3) Some tribes worked together (Judah, Simeon), others not so much.

4) The guy from Luz who showed mercy to Israel was shown mercy even though he was a Canaanite.

5) The Israelites were supposed to drive the Canaanites out of the land, but they didn’t complete the task very well.  The Israelites weren’t good at obeying God completely.  Noah remembered this fifth theme in his prayer.

Afterwards, I asked Noah, our younger son (he’s 16) to pray.  He prayed the prayer I quoted above.

We laughed because we have a dark sense of humor.  The earlier part of his prayer, that I don’t quote was good.  He prayed for his brother’s job search, among other things.

In case you’re wondering about the appropriateness of Noah’s prayer, we weren’t shocked.  I’m certain God wasn’t offended.  God has a sense of humor.

In case you wondering what I think about the disturbing violence of the books of Joshua and Judges, I’ve written about the Canaanite Genocide for Relevant Magazine, you can check it out here.  I also discuss it in God Behaving Badly, in the chapter on violence.

Do you make jokes in your prayers?  What kind?