Bible Bites – The Last Words of King David

Bible Bites TeethIn 2 Samuel 23:2-7, King David’s last oracle from God is recorded; the final words of the man after God’s own heart.  What does a wise king, a man who has seen so terribly much, have to say at the final curtain of his life?

“The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me;
his word is on my tongue.
The God of Israel has spoken;
the Rock of Israel has said to me:
When one rules justly over men,
ruling in the fear of God,
he dawns on them like the morning light,
like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning,
like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.

“For does not my house stand so with God?
For he has made with me an everlasting covenant,
ordered in all things and secure.
For will he not cause to prosper
all my help and my desire?
But worthless men are all like thorns that are thrown away,
for they cannot be taken with the hand;
but the man who touches them
arms himself with iron and the shaft of a spear,
and they are utterly consumed with fire.”

Quickly breaking it down, here’s a brief summation:

Vs. 2 – This is a great 1-sentence definition of “prophecy” in the Old Testament: God’s words on a man’s tongue.

Vs. 3a – David’s words are divine revelation, so listen up!

Vs. 3b-4 – The Universal Order of Rule: The ruler who fears the Lord is exalted by the Lord and esteemed by the people.

(The rule for all those who govern)

Vs. 5-6 – The Universal Order of Reality: God establishes and blesses the righteous, but God curses the wicked…

(The underlying reason for the rule)

Vs. 7 – The Universal Ordinance to Rulers: Stay away from the wicked or you’ll get burned.

(The implications of the rule and the underlying reality).

For some reason, at the end of his life, the only thing on David’s mind was living a righteous life and avoiding both wickedness and wicked men.  This is after surviving a few thousand Philistines, a national manhunt, a betrayal and coup, a murderous and adulterous scandal, and a few other (thousand) events of note.  After all the headlines were dusty, after all his enemies were dead or disinterested, after all the dust had settled, David only had one thing on his mind, kinda like his wise son who followed him:

“Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” – Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Write it down…in ink on your arm.

For real.

If you want to get a tattoo, don’t get something stupid, cliche, horribly dated, or temporarily cool/significant.

Get something written on your flesh that you will always need to remember.

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “The Arm-decorating Theologian” Unger

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A New Page is Up!

If you look along the top bar of this blog, there is a new tab: Index.  I’ve been working to index my biblical/theological posts in order to make specific ones easier to find, and to accommodate my new subscribers who may want to dig through the archives without going month-by-month.   Now that I’ve got well over 200 posts up, my archives are becoming a bit annoying to search when you’re looking for something specific.  So in response to that, all my word studies are together in my index, as are my posts on many other topics.  I hope that my readers will be continually be edified and educated by the posts that no longer appear on the front page!

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “The Armchair Theologian” Unger

Bible Bites – Rainbows and the Day of the Lord

Bible Bites TeethHere’s a question for you:  What do rainbows have to do with the end times?

I’ll give you two verses and see if you track with me:

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him,“Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you,and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth.I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth. – Genesis 9:8-16

This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. – 2 Peter 3:1-7

Do you see it yet?

No?

Well, the sign of God’s covenant with Noah was God laying down his bow (his ranged hunting weapon) on the earth every time it rains.  Did you ever notice how a rainbow is a bow (as in “bow and arrow” hunting bow), laying on it’s side on the earth, that is made of light refracting through rain drops?  After the flood (you know, where God drowned the whole earth, minus 8 folks and a handful of animals, due to the raging sinfulness of mankind), God took the weapon he used to kill everything and laid it down forever, never to pick it up again.  Every time you see a rainbow, it has two specific meanings:

a.  God judges sin.

b.  God will never judge sin with a flood again.

Along the lines of those thoughts, is it not highly ironic how the official symbol of the homosexual movement is a rainbow?  Is it not simply astonishing how there are parades where people whose lives are defined by their sinful lifestyle march around waving a banner that says “God judges sin”?  Yikes.  Talk about asking for it.

Now consider 2 Peter 3:1-7 and consider the end times connection.

Are homosexual scoffers who follow their own sinful desires?

You’d better believe it.

Do the mock the judgment of God?  What, with waving their rainbows everywhere?

Uh….YES!

Do they forget the flood?

Apparently (and that’s not a wise thing to do).

Instead of storing up treasures in heaven, they’re storing up wrath in heaven (Rom. 2:5) that they’ll get when God picks up a different ranged weapon (fire) and judges the world just like he did before.

Homosexuals all need the gospel, and they need it urgently.

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “I once was lost but now I’m found” Unger

P.S. –

A related side note is how though the homosexuals thumb their nose at God so blatantly, all sinners do it equally.  Every time you know what the Lord requires of you and run off to consciously do something whatever you want, you thumb your nose at God as bad as any gay pride parade.  The only reason you’re not wearing a rainbow cape and leather chaps is because of the grace of God.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. – 1 Cor 6:9-11

Food for worship.

Bible Bites – The timing of delivery…

Bible Bites TeethIn writing about the sovereignty of God the other day, I came across a verse that I didn’t mention in the post:

The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth
    and strips the forests bare,
    and in his temple all cry, “Glory!” – Psalm 29:9

Given that my wife is now four days overdue with our little one, she is more than ready to deliver our little girl into the world.  Not only that, but when things don’t occur according to our expectations, it’s quite easy to start asking innumerable questions: is something wrong?  Did I do something wrong?  Am I eating too much sodium?  Am I not getting enough sleep?  Should we be walking more?  And the questions go on and on…

…and yet the deer don’t have midwives, doctors, or anxiety about whether their young ones come on a preferred calendar date and God brings their young on time every time.  God’s the one who decides when babies come, and he always brings them at just the right time.  Some days I’m simply shocked at what a fickle and skittish little sinner I am.  I constantly need to be reminded to repent of all this subtle anxiety:

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. – Matthew 6:34

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “Hating the Waiting” Unger

P.S. – For all those who were expecting it, I refrained from the clear and obvious puns about the “voice of the Lord makes my dear give birth”, among other things.  That took a lot of self control.  Just saying…

Bible Bites: Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb and Christ

Bible Bites Teeth

Since my wife is now overdue and I’m preparing for returning to “newborn time” where we’ll be basically not sleeping for several months, I’m going to start tossing up some considerably shorter “Bible Bites” (as opposed to the 15-20 page papers I tend to write).  I’ll maybe grab some stuff from my devotional reading, a short exegetical insight, or maybe a general biblical insight, and toss it up to keep this blog somewhat alive.  Don’t worry though, I have several more substantial posts simmering in my drafts folder that I’ll put up whenever they end up being done.  So here’s today’s “Bible Bite”.

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. – Matthew 27:57-60

When you think of seeing God’s hand at work in your life, you tend to always think of the miraculous: a sick person being healed against all odds, surviving a traffic accident where you should have clearly died, etc.  You don’t tend to think of God’s hand in the common.  You know, the regular things of life that happen all the time: eating a sandwich, going to work, etc.  Yet, God is sovereign over all the common and miraculous occurrences in every life and orchestrates both the miraculous and the common equally, and I’d suggest that we often far undervalue God’s providential orchestration of our lives to bring us to just the right place, at just the right time, with just the right thoughts in our head.

We see this in Jesus’ burial:  Joseph of Arimathea was a very wealthy disciple of Jesus who owned a tomb.  When Jesus was dead, Joseph got the body and laid it in the tomb.  Amazing, right?

Well, not at first glance.

I mean, people get buried, thousands of times a day, every day.  In the ancient near east, people regularly bought tombs.  There were also a whole lot of rich people in the ancient near east, and Jesus had more than a few disciples who followed him around (his general followers, not the 12).

But, isn’t it strange that a rich Jew, a man who had a whole lot of other things to do, all of a sudden was willing to ceremonially defile himself and carry a dead body across town on the day of preparation for the sabbath?

Isn’t it strange that when all Jesus’ disciples had left him, this rich man all of a sudden found the courage to take Jesus’ corpse and bury him?

Isn’t it strange that this rich man lived in Arimathea (of all places), and had a tomb within walking distance of Jerusalem?

Isn’t it strange that this specific rich man could somehow get an audience with Pilate on short notice (that’s a man if significant influence)?

Isn’t it strange that this rich man (the one who was supposed to end up in the tomb) ended up placing Jesus (the one man alive who didn’t deserve to be in any tomb) in his tomb? (think 2 Cor. 5:21)

And isn’t it strange that this was all predicted several hundred years before?

And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth. – Is. 53:9

Think of all the trillions of decisions, deals and choices that had to be made from the time of Isaiah to the time of Joseph of Arimathea in order for Joseph to have all the necessary components in place for him to get the body of Christ and bury it.  Stop for a moment and contemplate just all that would be involved to bring your great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandchild to a specific place in history, with a specific attitude, and with the specific resources needed for a task?

Let that simmer.

Consider how much easier it would have been for God if Joseph would have simply found a satchel of money on the side of the road, bought a tomb, and buried Jesus all in the same week?  Instead, God orchestrated millions of decisions in the lives of thousands of people in multiple countries over centuries to simply show off exactly how extensively he holds the reigns of the universe.

I’ll ask you again.  Amazing, right?

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “Man, even my short posts get long!” Unger