Path – Six Sentence Story

One path looked rough and narrow. The other one was wide.

He told me, “Take the narrow way.” I told Him, “Look, the other’s fine!”

My mind persisted: Don’t obey. But what do minds know anyway?

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Denise offers the word “path” to be used in this week’s Six Sentence Stories.

Seaweed floating to shore
Seaweed floating to shore

Bookmark – Six Sentence Story

Jeremy’s Bible had a red ribbon glued to the spine which served as a bookmark. Being a gift from his mother he kept it in great shape by not reading it.

Motivated by some controversy that stormed from social media onto his imagination, he opened the book expecting to get to the bottom of the mystery in no time. However, the parts he thought he knew he realized he barely knew at all and the parts he didn’t know – oh, those awesome parts he now knew he didn’t know – humbled him.

Years later when the cover fell open because the spine of the book had crumbled he noticed his mother’s handwriting. She wrote in small letters, shyly so as not to offend and yet boldly so as not to encourage unbelief, “May your life be blessed, my dear Jeremy.”

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Denise offers the word “bookmark” to be used in this week’s Six Sentence Stories.

Red Blossoms
Red Blossoms

Exploration 103 – The Day Begins At Sunset

I suspect most people are aware that the biblical day begins at sunset or early evening sometime if one can’t see the sun actually set. However, there are people who would disagree with this biblical interpretation promoting sunrise rather than sunset as the starting point. Others, such as myself, are more than willing to set them straight since fixing the other guy is more entertaining than fixing oneself.

Some don’t care when the day starts so long as they can get to work on time. Today we can mechanically compromise and let some calculation or satellite pick out a dividing point between yesterday and today such as the stroke of midnight when the Cinderellas of the world best make sure they’re back home.

However, the fourth commandment expects us to keep the Sabbath (aka Sunday) holy. How are we going to do that if we don’t know when He wants the Sabbath to start and end? It is after all His commandment, not ours, to get some rest. Others think their acceptance of Yeshua (Jesus) allows them do what they want. They might be right. It might not be a salvation issue, but we may still be making a mess of our lives by not doing what He wants while we have the opportunity.

Psychologically, the reason we are tempted to think the day starts at sunrise is that is about the time we get out of bed. That is when we start doing stuff. If what we do is all that matters perhaps only the time from sunrise, or earlier dawn, to sunset, or later dusk, is all that matters. Forget about the night or turn on the light.

In Genesis 1 the first day starts in darkness. Elohim creates the heavens and the earth, but the earth is formless and void and darkness is over the deep and the Spirit of Elohim moves over the surface of the waters. There is a lot that Elohim is doing before He says, “Let there be light.”

By analogy with that first day our days need God’s handiwork on us after we stop working at sunset and before we get our turn to hopefully not make a mess of things at sunrise. That might be one reason to see why the day should start at sunset. We stop working (eventually) and let God offer dreams, insight, calls to repentance, and warnings with suggestions that we really do owe Him praise and thanks.

The sunset-start day puts what God does first. It makes sure what we do later during daylight hours is subordinate to what He wants, not what we want, not even what we think is possible for us to do. That’s the main reason I favor having the day begin at sunset, the time we stop working and acknowledge He is in control to begin the new day as the old one ends.

Light at the End of the Tunnel
Light at the End of the Tunnel

Exploration 102 – The Genealogy of Jesus in Matthew and Luke

The Messiah is prophesied to have a virgin birth. Given that, his ancestry would come through his mother’s father or indirectly through his adoptive father. We are given two genealogies, one in Matthew 1 and one in Luke 3. Both of these genealogies appear to come through Joseph, His adoptive father. However, in Luke 3:23 Joseph’s father is Heli, but in Matthew 1:16 Joseph’s father is Jacob. They can’t both be right without some explanation for this variation.

One explanation would be that the Joseph in Matthew 1:16 is not the same Joseph mentioned in Luke 3:23. The best explanation I see at the moment is the Joseph in Matthew is Mary’s father. Mary’s father and her betrothed have the same name.

However, that explanation implies that there is something wrong with the Greek text of Matthew 1:16 from which our translations were made. If the Bible is inerrant it means the word ἄνδρα (husband) is a copying error from some earlier manuscript that could be translated as father. Is there evidence for such an earlier manuscript?

As Nehemia Gordon points out in the video below there are Hebrew manuscripts of the genealogy of Matthew with Joseph being the father, not husband, of Mary.

There are other explanations that could account for this such as Danny Zacharias’ explanation that all names were not included, but his explanation brings up another puzzle that there are only 13 generations between the Babylonian captivity and Mary when 14 were claimed to be there. This count would be resolved if the Joseph mentioned in Matthew were Mary’s father.

Mulberries
Mulberries

A Summer Walk in the Sunshine

Dale offers the theme “a summer walk in the sunshine” for this week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge.

These were taken on walks through the forest preserves in northeastern Illinois.

In the first photo there’s an understory of small maples that the photo didn’t emphasize as much as my memory does. In the last photo I was amazed by the shadows cast of those particular leaves.

Maple Seedlings Understory
Maple Seedlings Understory
Sun Through Leaves
Sun Through Leaves

Exploration 101 – Who Is King Right Now?

Justin J van Rensburg used the Hebrew manuscript of Revelation he recently translated to resolve a question about who is king right now, God or Satan.

From the Old Testament there is no doubt who is King right now. It is God. (Psalm 145:13, Jeremiah 10:10, Exodus 19:5, Deuteronomy 10:14)

In the New Testament, we read how Satan tempted Jesus: “And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.” (Luke 4:6) Did Satan really have something to give Jesus? Don’t forget, Satan is a liar (John 8:44) and Luke is merely reporting what Satan said, not claiming what Satan said was true.

As a test, ask yourself whether you think Satan was lying or whether he had something he could offer Jesus. Next consider Revelation 11:15.

15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Revelation 11:15 King James Version

Do the words “are become” suggest that the Lord was not King prior to this event? Van Rensburg compared his translation of this verse from the Hebrew manuscript:

Then the seventh messenger blew, and there were many voices in the heavens, which said, “The rich ones of the world, all of them came after our lord Yeshua, and he will reign from everlasting unto everlasting!”

Revelation 11:15, van Rensburg translation of the Hebrew manuscript

Note the difference. In the Hebrew manuscript the rich ones of the world now come after Yeshua (Jesus). His rulership has not changed. He has not become King. He has always been King, but He is now acknowledged as King by everyone.

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Weekly Parashah Readings
Parashah: Balak, 17 Tammuz, 5782 – July 16, 2022
Torah: Numbers 22:2-25:9
Haftarah: Micah 5:6-6:8
Brit Chadashah: Romans 11:25-32
Resources: Chabad, Hebrew4Christians, Weekly Torah Readings, Calendar

Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley

Labyrinth – Six Sentence Story

The easiest way to get out of a labyrinth is not to go in. They’re all dead ends anyway with monsters seeking someone to devour. Guard your heart and train your imagination to stay focused on better things.

Every time Jeremy got lost in a labyrinth he realized his father was right. He’d promise, should he be given the insight to find his way out, that he’d focus on better things, but times would get easy and he’d get lost again.

The final time Jeremy got lost the monsters found what they were looking for before he found his way out, but at the moment when those beasts gloated in triumph he cried out and saw his father run toward him with open arms.

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Denise offers the prompt word “labyrinth” to be used in this week’s Six Sentence Stories.

Luke 15:20 – “And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” (KJV)

Morning Light
Morning Light
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