Posts filed under ‘israel’
Joshua and Caleb saw the same thing that the other 10 spies saw but were not discouraged. They were not unfaithful to God. But in spite of their protestations, in spite of their faithfulness, and in spite of their encouragement the people of Israel rebelled, refusing God’s good graces and ultimately experienced the consequences of their terribly faithless decision.
If there is virtually no evidence to support the biblical account, then where do we go from here? I believe Mahoney answers that question and answers it clearly. He sets about to determine the truth, wherever that truth happens to fall. He’s willing to let it fall on the side that either proves or disproves Scripture. To do so, he simply looked for any clues he could find. What he did find was that there is definitely a problem, but the problem is not in the evidence (or lack of it) regarding the Exodus. The problem may well be in the way the experts in the field have dated the Egyptian kingdoms.
t’s not that the text in Matthew 13 is telling us that if we only believed in God’s power in a greater way, we would be healed of all physical ailments. What we learn there is that God’s hands are often tied because of the stubbornness of people’s hearts, a stubbornness that pits them against God. Friends, we know that this is a very dangerous place to be, isn’t it? Yet, most in the world are there.
There was not only no national salvation for Israel on its way as a result of God’s victory at Mt. Carmel. Elijah now faced a new problem, one that he probably did not expect. In this case, as we read, Jezebel wasted no time. She quickly sent a message to Elijah saying that he would be dead by that time on the next day. No sign of repentance on her part! Imagine watching or seeing 450 prophets of the god you worship get cut down by the sword after losing a very decisive and clear battle between the false god of Baal and the only true God, Jehovah. I get the feeling Ahab was hoping for such a response from her because he wasn’t man enough to do it himself. Yep, he wanted Jezebel to fight this battle for him.
Elijah’s was a prayer to God and a mini-sermon to the people of Israel. The saddest part is that this entire scene should not have been necessary, but the people had fallen out of favor where God was concerned because of their penchant for idolatry and wanting to “fit in” with the people around them. Because of this, they literally cast the God of Abraham away from them and then wondered why trouble seemed to dog their footsteps. Gideon had this same problem in Judges 6. It’s because the people took their eyes off of God and slowly began to incorporate false gods into the mix, eventually fully pushing out Jehovah. It didn’t happen overnight. It took a bit of time. Because of that, the people could kid themselves into thinking that they were clueless as to why God seemed so silent and distant.
During the event at Mt. Carmel, Elijah allows himself a moment or two to even poke fun at the prophets. On one hand, we can understand his sarcasm (v. 27; where Elijah “mocks” the prophets), yet on the other hand, this may have ultimately caused problems for Elijah within himself. Sarcasm at its root, is a form of arrogance. I must admit that I myself have had to deal with this within. In times past, I have been cutting to the bone and have gone for the proverbial jugular during a disagreement. I have been guilty of doing the exact opposite of what the Scriptures in many places tell us how to respond, where a soft answer would have turned away anger, my sarcasm simply made things worse. I’ve had to apologize to people because of it.
Several years later – into the third year of the famine due to lack of rain and dew (1 Kings 18:1), God told Elijah to make an appearance before King Ahab. One would think that by this point, King Ahab would have come to understand that it was not Elijah, but God Himself who caused the rain and dew to cease. He was sending a very strong message to King Ahab. Let’s not forget that King Ahab was the king over Israel, not some other nation. Israel had been created for the express purpose of being a light to all other nations on earth and to fulfill its destiny by bringing forth the Messiah/Savior. The latter eventually happened in spite of the less than stellar performance of Israel, the nation, which only goes to prove that in spite of humanity’s propensity toward evil, God gets things done His way.