Friday, September 25, 2015

Keep Your Marriage Oath

In the previous Ask of God post, I mentioned how the young Israelite nation made a treaty with a neighboring nation, which treaty-making was forbidden to them by God to do.

However, once the treaty was made, it was made. When the leaders of Israel realized their mistake, they said,
Josh 9:19 “We have sworn to them by YHWH, the God of Israel, and now we may not touch them.20 This we will do to them: let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath that we swore to them.”

Although the Israelites had erred, rather than reneging on the treaty to try and "fix" their error, which would have compounded the error by the breaking of their oath, they kept to their oath.

I'm reminded of the position many Christians take toward marriage/divorce/remarriage, which claims that when a person realizes s/he has [re]married unscripturally, and has taken an improper oath to be married, that person should divorce the new spouse and remain single. This position contradicts the example set by Israel with their improper oath.

Does Israel's example have bearing on the marriage/divorce/remarriage issue? I'm not smart enough to say, but I do find it to make for an interesting parallel.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Ask of God

When God was first telling the Israelites that he would lead them into the land of Canaan, he specifically told them to not make treaties with the inhabitants of that land or to allow them to stay in the land:
ESV Ex 23:30 "Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land. 31 And I will set your border from the Red Sea to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the Euphrates, for I will give the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you. 32 You shall make no covenant with them and their gods. 33 They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.”
Later, during that process, one group of Canaanites, the Gibeonites, deceived the leaders of the Israelites by coming into the Israelites' camp dressed in worn-out clothing, carrying old, dry, crumbly bread, patched sandals, etc, and claiming to be from a distant country (with whom the Israelites were allowed to make treaties).

The leaders bought into this deception, and made a treaty with the Gibeonites, in violation of God's instructions.

My friend Brad points out the real problem here: verse 14:
So the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from YHWH. 15 And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them....
Brad summarizes the lesson for us:
Always ask God before you do anything. And then listen.
A wise man, my friend Brad.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Meanings of Names in the Genealogy of Genesis Chapter 5

I just saw an article which intrigued me, so I did my own research on the claims of the article. I googled "meaning of names [$NAME]", where[$NAME} was replaced by each of the names of the patriarchs as listed in the genealogy of Genesis chapter 5, and here are the results I scribbled down:
  • Adam - of the red earth, red, man, earthman
  • Seth - appointed, anointed, compensation
  • Enosh - mortal
  • Kenan - buyer, owner, possession
  • Mahalalel - the blessed God
  • Jared - ruling, commanding, coming down, he who descended
  • Enoch - dedicated, trained
  • Methuselah - death, man of a dart, he shall send his death, when he is dead it shall be sent
  • Lamech - a strong youth, to make low, striker down, wild man
  • Noah - comfort, long-lived, repose, rest
It's interesting that if you take the numbers in this genealogy at face-value (and I do), Methuselah died in the year of the Flood. Could it be that his father, in naming him, prophesied by God's Spirit that when Methuselah died, the Flood would hit the earth? Interesting.

And just as interesting....

Look at the story told by the name-meanings:

An anointed Man, appointed as a compensation, made mortal, the buyer (redeemer) / owner, the blessed God / ruler, descended, dedicated to death, when impaled with darts to his death, then the one who started out strong but was made low, the wild man, will receive comfort, long-life, and rest.