Now if nature should intermit her course, and leave altogether though it were but for a while the observation of her own laws; if those principal and mother elements of the world, whereof all things in this lower world are made, should lose the qualities which now they have; if the frame of that heavenly arch erected over our heads should loosen and dissolve itself; if celestial spheres should forget their wonted motions, and by irregular volubility turn themselves any way as it might happen; if the prince of the lights of heaven, which now as a giant doth run his unwearied course, should as it were through a languishing faintness begin to stand and to rest himself; if the moon should wander from her beaten way, the times and seasons of the year blend themselves by disordered and confused mixture, the winds breathe out their last gasp, the clouds yield no rain, the earth be defeated of heavenly influence, the fruits of the earth pine away as children at the withered breasts of their mother no longer able to yield them relief: what would become of man himself, whom these things now do all serve? See we not plainly that obedience of creatures unto the law of nature is the stay of the whole world? BOOK I. Ch. ii-iii.
Notes on stewardship in four sections:
2. How much to give?
3. The problem with money.
4. Treasure on earth ($$money$$) vs. treasure in heaven (people)Read More »
In earlier times, prophets such as Nathan and Elijah addressed themselves primarily to the kings. But by the eighth century, prophets such as Amos and Hosea began to address the whole nation, warning Israel that abandoning its covenant with God would lead it to doom. The oracles of these prophets are preserved in writing, hence the term “writing prophets.” The people naturally wanted to know whether the worst would come to pass as predicted, which must have been one motivation for writing them down.Read More »
Why Baal? This simple question proves deceptively challenging to answer. Looking into historical evidence, it seems easy enough to describe the outlines of Baal worship–as a storm king, god of fertility and nature–but less easy to confidently explain what motivated the people of Israel, at any given point, to forsake YHWH for Baal (or alternatively, to repent and return to YHWH).Read More »
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it” (Gen 2:15).
When Joshua gathers “all the tribes of Israel” at Shechem, summoning “the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel” to “present themselves before God,” it is a moment pregnant with remembrance and anticipation. Read More »
How did the exodus prepare the Israelites to enter into a covenant relationship with God? Read More »