Saturday, July 30, 2011

Quote of the Day #143 - Charles Spurgeon


A quote from Charles Spurgeon:
It is a wicked error to conceive that so much of our life ought to be religious and so much to be secular. A Christian’s whole life is to be his religion, and his religion is to saturate his whole life... The great thought you are to have in opening your shops, in trading, in toiling, in furnishing your houses, in nursing your children and even in taking recreation, is still to be, “How can I glorify God in all this?” All, ALL, must be brought into captivity to Christ!
~Charles Spurgeon (Forts Demolished And Prisoners Taken 1473.274)

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #144 - William Gurnall
Quote of the Day #140 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #141 - William Gurnall
Quote of the Day #142 - John Owen
Quote Index

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Command Noah Waited So Long For - Genesis 8:14-17 Bible Commentary


After Noah endured 40 days of rain, God did not speak. After the water had risen above the mountains, God did not speak. After the ark had come to a rest— after the raven, dove, and olive branch, God still did not speak.

Even on that special new year's day, when Noah took off the cover of the ark and saw the dry, but not completely dry world... even on that new year's day, which quickly turned into a new year's night, God did not speak.

As time passed, perhaps Noah grew accustomed to the silence. He had, after all, spent 120 years building the ark before he heard the voice of God again. Perhaps Noah, seeing that he and his household were still safely living in the ark, took the silence as a voiceless confirmation from God that he should continue to wait in obedience.
In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. (Genesis 8:14)
Almost three months had passed since that special new year's day. For just over 121 years, everything in Noah's life had been leading up to this moment: the moment that the flood was completely over— the day that God commanded him to leave the ark:
Then God spoke to Noah, saying, “Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 8:15-17)
This was the command that Noah had been waiting so long for. Finally, after over a year of living on the ark, God broke the silence. The command had finally come, and Noah, as he had so many times before, acted in obedience (Genesis 8:18).

Related Posts:
Noah Leaves The Ark - Genesis 8:18-19
A New Year, A New Era, A New World - Genesis 8:13
Noah's Obedience - Genesis 6:22
State Of The World (2469 BC): 120 Years Before The Flood - Genesis 6:3
God's Ark Which Noah Built - Genesis 6:14

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Quote of the Day #142 - John Owen


A quote from John Owen:
Now, if there be anything of gracious ingenuity left in the soul, if it be not utterly hardened by the deceitfulness of sin, this consideration will certainly affect it. Consider who and what you are; who the Spirit is that is grieved, what he has done for you, what he comes to your soul about, what he has already done in you; and be ashamed.

Among those who walk with God, there is no greater motive and incentive unto universal holiness, and the preserving of their hearts and spirits in all purity and cleanness than this, that the blessed Spirit, who has undertaken to dwell in them, is continually considering what they give entertainment in their hearts unto, and rejoices when his temple is kept undefiled.
~John Owen (Of The Mortification Of Sin In Believers, Part 2, Chapter 10)

This quote was taken from the book Overcoming Sin and Temptation, Three Classic Works By John Owen, published by Crossway in 2006.

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #143 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #139 - Augustine
Quote of the Day #140 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #141 - William Gurnall
Quote Index

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Slavery, Early Christianity, The Great Fire In Rome, And Nero (Part 2) - Romans 1


This is a fictional piece of writing (although historically based) and is designed to mimic the perspective of someone living in first century Rome. This is part two in a two part series, click here to go to part one.

As I stated earlier, I became a follower of The Way two years ago. But it was just one year ago that the persecution really began to increase. It was just one year ago that the fire began. I remember the fire very clearly. It burned for days, ripping the city apart, destroying thousands of lives. I can still remember all the screams that echoed through the streets...

At first, the general population thought that Nero, our Emperor, started the fire. A rumor was even spreading that our Emperor was playing his lyre and singing while he watched the city of Rome burn!

Whether the rumor was actually true, I do not know. But I do know this: Our Emperor is so hated among many Romans that a rumor also began to spread that he, Nero, had ordered the fire to be lit! And that was when things really began to change.

You see, Nero had to find someone blame, other than himself, for starting the fire. And he decided to blame the fire on the one group of people that he get away with blaming: the Christians. Since we Christians proclaim the full and true gospel of Jesus Christ, we are often accused of displaying hatred towards mankind— which makes us the perfect group to blame the fire on since the general public already hates us. The people here in Rome see the gospel that we preach as absolute foolishness— even evil.

The persecution which began after the fire was probably the biggest persecution I have ever seen, and I can hardly believe that I am still alive. Somehow, by the will of God, I am still here, having watched horrific tortures inflicted upon many of my fellow slaves of God here in Rome.

I have seen fellow Christians being covered with beast skins, and then being torn up and killed by dogs. But even worse... I have seen many of my fellow Christians undergo the extreme penalty: the cross. And I have seen fellow Christians turned into human candlesticks—burning with fire in order to serve as lights when darkness falls. For all of the horrific pain that so many of the Christians here in Rome have suffered, it is comforting to know that all the pain suffered in this life is nothing in comparison to eternity with Jesus Christ.

Sometimes I’m tempted to think that all the kindness we show to the people of Rome is a waste, but then I remember the words of Christ: that I am to love my enemies, and pray for those who persecute me.

In these past few days, I have noticed a slight change in Rome. Even among those who despise us, there seems to be a feeling arising that Nero is being a bit too excessive and lengthy in his persecution. Perhaps our kindness has been seen... Regardless, I have no idea how much longer I have to live. I could die tomorrow, or today.

But I do know this:

My name is Titus.

And I am a slave. I belong to my earthly master: Gaius—but I ultimately belong to my Heavenly Master, God, who reigns over everyone.

<< Prev

Related Posts:
Nero Blames Great Roman Fire On Christians (Part 1) - 64 AD (Church History)
Matthew 1:1-17 - The Lineage of the Messiah
The Gospel (1 of ∞)
Psalm 1:2 - Delight in the LORD's Instruction

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Quote of the Day #141 - William Gurnall


A quote from William Gurnall:
Do not give up when the lessons are long or hard to understand. Scripture promises, 'Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord' (Hos. 6:3). The mysteries of Christ are not learned in a day. Too many read a chapter of two in the Bible, then for lack of interest put it down for weeks at a time and never look at it.
~William Gurnall (The Christian In Complete Armor Volume One, Chapter 3, Part 2)

This quote was taken from the book The Christian In Complete Armor Volume One - A modernized abridgement of the Puritan Classic by William Gurnall, published by Banner Of Truth.

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #142 - John Owen
Quote of the Day #138 - William Gurnall
Quote of the Day #139 - Augustine
Quote of the Day #140 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote Index

Monday, July 25, 2011

Slavery, Early Christianity, The Great Fire In Rome, And Nero (Part 1) - Romans 1


This is a fictional piece of writing (although historically based) and is designed to mimic the perspective of someone living in first century Rome. This is part one in a two part series.

My name is Titus, and I am a slave. I belong to my master: Gaius.

I live in Rome, the capital of the world. The year? 4778, according to our Julian calendar. Almost 70 years have passed since the birth of— well, that brings me to my next subject: Jesus Christ.

Most people see me as nothing. I am, as I mentioned, a slave. But not too long ago... something big happened: I switched masters. But I did not switch masters in a physical sense, I am, after all, still a slave of Gaius. Instead, I switched masters in a spiritual sense.

Two years ago from today, I was converted by a man who also happened to be owned by my master Gaius. (And this man, believe it or not, spoke to the Apostle Paul himself while he was imprisoned here in Rome!)

I'll say this right up front: I am a follower of The Way, or, to use the term that many in the general population use today: I am a Christian.

I am no longer a slave of sin. I am no longer enslaved to darkness. Instead, I am now enslaved to righteousness. I have become a slave of God— a slave of Christ Jesus.

My conversion, like any other, was a miracle— but mine especially was a miracle. Why? Because for a slave, I've lived a rather luxurious life— and I was completely blinded by that luxury. I was educated from birth, and I have played an important role in my master's business as long as I can remember. I used to spend all my time working towards buying my freedom because of greed, but now I spend all my time working towards buying freedom because of Christ.

Once I am free, I will have more time to devote to the cause of Christ... but, I do always keep in my mind that my master might not let me buy my freedom— which means that I would obediently stay. I may be living a life of luxury for a slave, but the one thing I have in common with all slaves is this: my master is the one who has control of me.

I think there is a good reason why Paul began his letter to us Romans with the words: Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus. Slavery to Christ really is an accurate illustration of the Christian life. As a Christian, my ultimate Master is Christ Himself— He is the one who has full control of me. It really is a beautiful illustration. I do not have to worry about myself... all I have to do, as a slave, is concern myself with one thing: doing the will of my Master: Jesus Christ— and everything else will fall into place.

Next >>

Related Posts:
Slavery, Early Christianity, The Great Fire In Rome, And Nero (Part 2) - Romans 1
Nero Blames Great Roman Fire On Christians (Part 1) - 64 AD (Church History)
Matthew 1:1-17 - The Lineage of the Messiah
The Gospel (1 of ∞)
Psalm 1:2 - Delight in the LORD's Instruction

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Quote of the Day #140 - Charles Spurgeon


A quote from Charles Spurgeon on the worth of Christ:
But when we come to serve Christ, is anything good enough for Him? Could our zeal know no respite, could our prayers know no pause, could our efforts know no relaxation, could we give all we have of time, wealth, talent, and opportunity, could we die a martyr’s death a thousand times, would not He, the Best Beloved of our souls, deserve far more?
~Charles Spurgeon (Our Motto 1484)

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #141 - William Gurnall
Quote of the Day #137 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #138 - William Gurnall
Quote of the Day #139 - Augustine
Quote Index

Friday, July 22, 2011

Noah's Flood: The Historian's Best Friend - Genesis 8


Noah's Flood is the historian's best friend— or, at least, it is one of the historian's best friends. The best friend of the historian (indisputably) is the birth of Jesus Christ. Why? Because it was a clear and distinct event which marked a dramatic change in human history. Such a date was convenient to make use of— and historians continue to make use of it today. Whenever someone dates an event using either B.C. or A.D. (or their modern, non-offensive, equivalents: B.C.E and C.E.), that person is recognizing the dramatic impact that the birth of Christ had on history.

Like the birth of Christ, the flood is among the historian's best friends because it was a distinct event which marked a change in history. Which brings up the next question: How might have believers dated events a couple hundred years after the flood? Did Noah speak of Enoch being taken up as having occurred in 669 BF (before Flood)? While such questions may seem speculative, they do have some purpose.

Since the student of Scripture must also be a student of history, it is important to think about how history is organized. What is the best way to organize history? Which events should be used to mark major changes in history? Which events should not be used?

Without a doubt, Noah's flood is one of those events that should be used. After all, the flood changed many things. Just to name a few, the flood marked...
  • The destruction of all people (millions, perhaps billions) on the face of the earth, except Noah's household (for more info see Genesis 6:17).
  • The decline in the length of human life (from close to 1000 to close to 100, for more info see Genesis 5:27).
  • A major change in the earth's geography (for more info see this article and Genesis 7:11).
  • And much, much, more...
Simply put, if Noah's Flood does not qualify as one of the historian's best friends, then the fall of Rome must be seen as a totally insignificant event that had no effect on western civilization. Sadly, many ignorant historians are willing to give the fall of Rome a place in the textbook, while regarding Noah's Flood as a mere myth. If there is anything that shows the extent to which western culture has fallen, it is the unwillingness of man to embrace true history.

Related Posts:
State of the World (2349 BC): The Flood - Genesis 7:11
A New Year, A New Era, A New World - Genesis 8:13
The Cave Men of Genesis - Genesis 4
Noah's Name: Its Meaning and Significance - Genesis 5:29

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Quote of the Day #139 - Augustine


This is a quote from Henry Bettenson's translation (1972) of Augustine's book, City of God, on the gospel:
When we were overwhelmed by the load of our sins, when we had turned away from the contemplation of his light and been blinded by our love of darkness, that is, of wickedness, even then he did not abandon us. He sent to us his Word, who is his only Son, who was born and who suffered in the flesh which he assumed for our sake - so that we might know the value God place on mankind, and might be purified from all our sins by that unique sacrifice, and so that, when love has been diffused in our hearts by his Spirit, and when all difficulties have been surmounted, we may come to eternal rest and to the ineffable sweetness of the contemplation of God.
~Augustine (City of God (Penguin Classics), 1984, Book VII, Chapter 31)

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #140 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #136 - J. C. Ryle
Quote of the Day #137 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #138 - William Gurnall
Quote Index

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

In What Order Did The Events Of The Flood Occur? The Chronology of the Flood Explained - Genesis 8 Bible Commentary


In what order did the events of the flood occur? Below there are four posts and a timeline to help sort out the chronology of the flood.

The four posts below split the flood into four main periods of time. Together, these four posts give an overview of the order in which the events of the flood took place:
Take a look at the chronology of the flood graphic below in order to see the complete chronology of the flood (to view a larger version of the graphic click here):

Chronology of the Flood Genesis Timeline Order Graphic


For more posts on the flood, visit the Scripture Index.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Quote of the Day #138 - William Gurnall


A quote from William Gurnall:
Christ sends out personal invitations to everyone to come and learn at His feet. But the door into His school is low; your pride must stoop to enter. The Master Himself is humble and lowly. How can He teach a haughty student? Therefore, first become a fool in your own eyes. When you hang your head in shame at your own heathenism, then you are ready to be admitted to the school of Christ.
~William Gurnall (The Christian In Complete Armor Volume One, Chapter 3, Part 2)

This quote was taken from the book The Christian In Complete Armor Volume One - A modernized abridgement of the Puritan Classic by William Gurnall, published by Banner Of Truth.

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #139 - Augustine
Quote of the Day #135 - William Gurnall
Quote of the Day #136 - J. C. Ryle
Quote of the Day #137 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote Index

Monday, July 18, 2011

A New Year, A New Era, A New World - Genesis 8:13 Bible Commentary

Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the water was dried up from the earth. Then Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the surface of the ground was dried up. (Genesis 8:13)
It was a new year, and a new day. A new era was just beginning: the era of the post-flood world.

For those on the ark, this new year's day must have come as a relief. After nearly eight months, Noah removed the covering of the ark. The stale stench which must have filled the ark was let loose, replaced with fresh (and likely cold) mountain air. For the first time in nearly eight months, Noah and his household were able to see the sky in its fullness.

The days of seeing nothing but the same old color of gopher wood were over. It was now a new day, and the bright vibrant colors of the sky burst into the ark. Through what must have been a cloudless sky, the sun blazed its rays into the ark, illuminating even the darkest corners.

That night, the stars which God created to give light on the earth (Genesis 1:17), must have sparkled over the ark, the beauty of the scene pointing to the beauty of the Creator. It would seem that such a scene would have been the perfect backdrop in front of which to leave the ark— and move to the next stage of history.

But appearances can often be deceiving. Although the ground was dry, it was not dry enough (for more info see The Final Months). If Noah had chosen to be disobedient, he probably could have left the ark and lived comfortably (perhaps at a higher altitude until everything was completely dry). Noah, however, as he had been so many times in the past, was obedient. He walked by faith. He trusted in the God who had brought his household through the flood.

For almost three more months after that new year's day, Noah waited in obedience on the ark. He waited until God Himself told him to leave the ark.

Related Posts:
The Command Noah Waited So Long For - Genesis 8:14-17
Noah's Patience - Genesis 7:24
State of the World (2349 BC): The Flood (Part 1) - Genesis 7:11
Noah Sends Out An Unsymbolical Dove (Part 1) - Genesis 8:8-12
The Chronology Of The Flood: The Final Months - Genesis 8:13-19

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Quote of the Day #137 - Charles Spurgeon


A quote from Charles Spurgeon on differing denominations and unity:
Paul, speaking of Jew and Gentile, says that he “has made both one through the blood of Christ,” and surely there is nothing that unites different denominations of Christians together like the precious blood of Jesus.

...

I believe that, after all, there is more truth in this world now with all the apparent divisions of Christians by ten times than there would have been if we had been united in a nominal union into some one great church, which might, perhaps, have rotted as thoroughly as the old Church off Rome did before the days of Luther.

But when we come to the cross-foot, what union there is! If the saints in prayer appear as one, if in the praise of the infinite Jehovah they are one, much more, and much more tenderly, are they one when they behold Jesus bleeding and dying for them. My heart melts and breaks when I hear Christ preached. He who lifted up Christ would have offended me had he preached some other part of his creed. Had he talked over some doctrine which I hold to be erroneous, he and I had differed, but when it comes to this, “HE loved me and gave himself for me he is the chiefest among ten thousand, the altogether lovely — his blood is precious” — I feel inclined to cry, “Brother, keep to that; praise him louder, give him all the honor...
~Charles Spurgeon (The Saviour's Blood 3395.104)

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #138 - William Gurnall
Quote of the Day #134 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #135 - William Gurnall
Quote of the Day #136 - J. C. Ryle
Quote Index

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Dangers Of Legalism And Isolationism - The Gospel (Part 5 of ∞)


Have you fallen into temptation? If so, do not run to legalism! Legalism, though deceptively appealing, cannot change your behavior. Although it may alter your outer appearance, it does not strike deep at the root of sin. Many have deceived themselves into thinking that they are better-moral people because of the list of rules they keep. But in the midst of all the rule-making, the root of sin only digs itself deeper.

Have you fallen into temptation? If so, do not run to isolationism! Many think that if they could only isolate themselves from the world around them... if they could only completely stop associating with ungodly people— then, at last, holiness would be achieved. But in the midst their isolation, they failed to realize that the root of sin was still intact in their own hearts. And thus, while while fleeing from the many roots in the world around them, they failed to attack their own!

There is only one weapon which can strike the root of sin with a fatal blow. And that weapon is not legalism, it is not isolationism... the weapon is the gospel. The gospel is the only weapon strong enough to exterminate sin at its root. Do not seek for any other weapon, gimmick, or trick. Seek Christ, for He appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8)

<< Prev | Next >>

Related Posts:
The Gospel (6 of ∞)
The Gospel (4 of ∞)
The Gospel (3 of ∞)
The Gospel (2 of ∞)
Quote of the Day #55 - John Owen

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Quote of the Day #136 - J. C. Ryle


A quote from J. C. Ryle on regeneration:
Life is the mightiest of all possessions. From death to life is the mightiest of all changes. And no change short of this will ever avail to fit man's soul for heaven.

It is not a little mending and alteration, a little cleansing and purifying, a little painting and patching, a little turning over a new leaf and putting on a new outside that is wanted. It is the bringing in of something altogether new, the planting within us of a new nature, a new being, a new principle, a new mind; this alone, and nothing less than this, will ever meet the necessities of man's soul. We need not merely a new skin, but a new heart.
~J. C. Ryle (Alive Or Dead?)

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #137 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #133 - Richard Sibbes
Quote of the Day #134 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #135 - William Gurnall
Quote Index

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Chronology of the Flood: The Final Months - Genesis 8:13-19 Bible Commentary

Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the water was dried up from the earth. (Genesis 8:13)
On New Years Day, about 1657 years after the creation of the world, the water which had once filled the entire earth dried up from the earth. The phrase dried up from the earth likely refers to a general drying of the earth, but not a total drying of the earth— this can be inferred from the next verse:
In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. (Genesis 8:14)
Why is it repeated again, one month and twenty-seven days later, that the earth was dry? While this could just be repetition, it seems more likely that Genesis 8:14 is stating that the water was finally completely dried up. Why? Because two different Hebrew words are used— in Genesis 8:13, one word is used for "dried up"— but in Genesis 8:14 a different word is used for "dry".

Regarding Genesis 8:14, John Gill writes that the water had dried up from the earth...
so that it was fit to walk upon, and was become commodious {|adequate, convenient|} both for man and beast: a different word from that in the preceding verse is here used for "dry", this being a different kind, or, however, a greater degree of dryness than the other. (John Gill's Exposition of the Bible, Genesis 8:14)
Starting on the twenty-seventh day of the second month, it must have taken at least a week to unload the ark in an orderly manner (it took Noah a week to load the ark, Genesis 7:10).

Take a look at the chronology of the flood graphic below in order to see the complete chronology of the flood.



<< Prev

Related Posts:
State of the World (2349 BC): The Flood - Genesis 7:11
The First Sight Of The Post-Flood World - Genesis 8:5
Righteous Men of the Pre-Flood World - Genesis 4:26
Evidence for a Global Flood: Water Above The Mountains - Genesis 7:19-20




Chronology of the Flood Genesis Timeline Graphic

To view a larger version of this graphic click here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Quote of the Day #135 - William Gurnall


A quote from William Gurnall on the importance of studying Scripture:
Is he not a cruel man who takes a job as pilot for a ship full of passengers, but does not even know how to use a compass? Far worse is the preacher who earns his living by wrecking souls because he is too lazy to study his Bible.
~William Gurnall (The Christian In Complete Armor Volume One, Chapter 3, Part 2)

This quote was taken from the book The Christian In Complete Armor Volume One - A modernized abridgement of the Puritan Classic by William Gurnall, published by Banner Of Truth.

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #136 - J. C. Ryle
Quote of the Day #132 - William Gurnall
Quote of the Day #133 - Richard Sibbes
Quote of the Day #134 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote Index

Monday, July 11, 2011

Noah Sends Out An Unsymbolical Dove (Part 2) - Genesis 8:8-12 Bible Commentary


Another idea which tends to be thrown around is that the dove is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Why? Because all four gospels describe Jesus' baptism using dove-terminology:

...he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him (Matthew 3:16)
...He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him (Mark 1:10)
...the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove (Luke 3:22)
...the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven (John 1:32)

None of these passages state that the Holy Spirit possessed the physical body of a dove. Note the type of language being used in these passages: they state that the Holy Spirit descended like a dove. The problem with linking this event to Noah's dove (other than the lack of any clear evidence of such a connection) is this: Why not link Noah's dove to one of the other passages in Scripture which mention doves?

For instance, Hosea 7:11 states that Ephraim has become like a silly dove, without sense. Solomon states that his love's eyes are like doves (Song of Solomon 4:1). Hezekiah states: I moan like a dove (Isaiah 38:14). Jesus said to be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16).

Does it really make sense to put together all of these dove references and come up with some sort of contradictory "doveology" symbolism to apply to Noah's dove? Even if a consistent symbol can be found in Noah's dove, one thing is known for sure: Noah did not send out the dove because of what it might have become a symbol of in the future. In fact, dove symbolism was probably the last thing on Noah's mind as he managed an ark filled with every kind of animal on the face of the earth.

Perhaps one day, in heaven, someone will finally be able to ask Noah, "Why did you send out the dove?" And maybe... just maybe, Noah will respond, "The only bird I disliked more than the dove was the raven."

<< Prev

Related Posts:
A New Year, A New Era, A New World - Genesis 8:13
Noah Sends Out An Unsymbolical Raven (Part 1) - Genesis 8:6-7
The Chronology of the Flood: The Raven and Dove - Genesis 8:6-12
The First Sight Of The Post-Flood World - Genesis 8:5
Noah's Obedience - Genesis 6:22

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Quote of the Day #134 - Charles Spurgeon


A quote from Charles Spurgeon on the universality and extent of sin:
Traverse the central parts of continents where as yet civilization has scarcely reached, and you shall find that man is still opposed to his Maker, and hates the name of the only begotten Son of God. Nor need we travel or even look abroad; the opposition is universal among ourselves, among the old, among the young.

Striking is that text, "They go astray from the womb, speaking lies." An old Puritan puts it; "They go astray before they go: they speak lies before they speak;" and so it is.
~Charles Spurgeon (North And South 1007.471)

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #135 - William Gurnall
Quote of the Day #131 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #132 - William Gurnall
Quote of the Day #133 - Richard Sibbes
Quote Index

Friday, July 08, 2011

Noah Sends Out An Unsymbolical Dove (Part 1) - Genesis 8:8-12 Bible Commentary


Many commentators attempt to turn the raven that Noah sent out into an allegory or symbol, and so, naturally, these commentators attempt to do the same thing to the dove.

Some see the raven as symbolic of an unbelieving heart, and the dove as symbolic of a believing heart (already discussed in Noah Sends Out An Unsymbolical Raven).

However, some see a different symbol. Some think that the raven and dove are symbolic of the law and the gospel. The dove represents the gospel because it brought about peace with God (represented by the olive branch it brought back to the ark). The raven represents the law because it did not bring about peace with God (represented by the fact that it did not bring anything back to the ark). The key ingredient which makes this whole allegory work is the affirmation that the olive branch symbolizes peace.

But while it is true that the olive branch is sometimes a symbol of peace, another question must be asked: When did the olive branch first become a symbol of peace? Because, if the olive branch became a symbol for peace because the dove brought back such a branch to Noah, then the allegory falls apart. But even if the olive branch was a symbol for peace before the flood, there are still some problems with the law and gospel allegory.

The raven was sent out once, and this, of course, is seen as the "sending out" of the law. The dove, however, was sent out three times. The first time it was sent out... it brought back nothing. Clearly, this creates a problem. Does this mean that the gospel failed the first time that it was "let out the window"? Quite frankly, whatever explanation is created to get around such a problem, it takes a lot of creative thinking to get this allegory to work— creative thinking which could be used for better purposes!

There are many creative thinkers who look for symbols like these, but at the same time, fully affirm the historicity of the flood— this is certainly a practice within orthodoxy. There are, however, those who deny the historicity of the flood, and in order to disguise their heresy, they attempt to impose a strange allegory upon the flood account— this is a practice that is obviously outside orthodoxy.

Next >>

Related Posts:
Noah Sends Out An Unsymbolical Dove (Part 2) - Genesis 8:8-12
Noah Sends Out An Unsymbolical Raven (Part 1) - Genesis 8:6-7
The Chronology of the Flood: The Raven and Dove - Genesis 8:6-12
The First Sight Of The Post-Flood World - Genesis 8:5
Noah's Patience - Genesis 7:24

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Quote of the Day #133 - Richard Sibbes


A quote from The Bruised Reed, by Richard Sibbes:
The Holy Ghost is content to dwell in smoky, offensive souls. Oh, that that Spirit would breathe into our spirits the same merciful disposition! We endure the bitterness of wormwood, and other distasteful plants and herbs, only because we have some experience of some wholesome quality in them; and why should we reject men of useful parts and graces, only for some harshness of disposition, which, as it is offensive to us, so it grieves themselves?
~Richard Sibbes (The Bruised Reed, Chapter 5)

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #134 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #130 - J. C. Ryle
Quote of the Day #131 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #132 - William Gurnall
Quote Index

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Noah Sends Out An Unsymbolical Raven (Part 2) - Genesis 8:6-7 Bible Commentary


Perhaps it would be wise to consider that there is nothing inherently wrong with a raven, nor is there anything inherently wrong with the color black. Seeing symbolism in a color when a passage does not even mention a color leads only to nonsense... nowhere does Genesis 8:6-7 mention the color 'black'!

But what about the dead animals that the raven ate which symbolize sinful desires?

Even if there were dead animals floating on the water, the raven might not have eaten them. Remember that in the beginning, God gave to people and animals only plants for food (Genesis 1:29-30). It was not until after the flood that God allowed people to eat meat (Genesis 9:3). Thus, there is a possibility that God also did not allow animals (including ravens) to eat meet until after the flood.

But if the raven does not symbolize an unbelieving heart... what does it symbolize?

Perhaps the best conclusion is that the raven in Genesis 8:7 does not symbolize anything. Perhaps Noah just wanted to see if the earth was dry.

Is it possible that Scripture is simply stating what happened during the flood? Just think, the flood wiped out every living creature from the face of the earth. For almost a year, all the people and animals of the earth (not sea creatures) were contained in the ark. Perhaps Noah's decision to release the first living land animal into the world after all that destruction (in order to see if the earth was dry) was an event significant enough to mention!

<< Prev

Related Posts:
Noah Sends Out An Unsymbolical Dove (Part 1) - Genesis 8:8-12
The Chronology of the Flood: The Raven and Dove - Genesis 8:6-12
Did Noah Gather "Vegetarian" Food? - Genesis 6:21
The First Sight Of The Post-Flood World - Genesis 8:5

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Quote of the Day #132 - William Gurnall


A quote from William Gurnall on the suffering that Christians face:
Let this encourage those of you who belong to Christ: The storm may be tempestuous, but it is only temporary. The clouds that are presently rolling over your head will pass, and then you will have fair weather, an eternal sunshine of glory. Can you not watch with Christ for one hour? ... Having already bathed in the fountain of His tender mercies, how can you stand on this side of eternity, afraid to wet your feet with those short-lived sufferings which, like a little splash of water, run between you and glory?

~William Gurnall (The Christian In Complete Armor Volume One, Chapter 3, Part 2)

This quote was taken from the book The Christian In Complete Armor Volume One - A modernized abridgement of the Puritan Classic by William Gurnall, published by Banner Of Truth.

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #133 - Richard Sibbes
Quote of the Day #128 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #130 - J. C. Ryle
Quote of the Day #131 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote Index

Monday, July 04, 2011

Noah Sends Out An Unsymbolical Raven (Part 1) - Genesis 8:6-7 Bible Commentary

Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made; and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth. (Genesis 8:6-7)
What does the raven that Noah sent out symbolize? That is a question which many commentators attempt to answer... but is this a question which really needs to be answered? For those who distort the Scriptures by turning the opening chapters of Genesis into an allegory, the answer must be yes (after all, there has to be some hidden meaning behind what is obviously not actual history!). But for those who believe what the Bible states about early human history, the question of what the raven symbolizes does not necessarily need to be answered.

Nevertheless, many bible-believing commentators still endeavor to explain what the raven symbolizes. This is, of course, a legitimate endeavor. The Old Testament is filled with symbols of the Messiah to come, and those symbols must be found somehow! But sometimes... commentators can get a bit carried away— and that certainly seems to be the case when it comes to Noah's-raven-symbolism.

Some commentators think that the raven in Genesis 8:7 symbolizes an unbelieving heart. This is because ravens are black, just like a hardened heart. The raven also flew back and forth (it probably rested by perching on the outer part of the ark), but the raven never actually came back into the ark. From this, some conclude that the raven, in order to survive, must have feasted upon dead animals floating in the water— dead animals which symbolize the sinful desires of unbelievers.

But there are a few problems with turning the raven in Genesis 8:7 into a symbol of an unbelieving heart...

Next >>

Related Posts:
Noah Sends Out An Unsymbolical Raven (Part 2) - Genesis 8:6-7
Noah Sends Out An Unsymbolical Dove (Part 1) - Genesis 8:8-12
The First Sight Of The Post-Flood World - Genesis 8:5
The Chronology of the Flood: The Raven and Dove - Genesis 8:6-12
How God Stopped The Flood (Part 1) - Genesis 8:1-3

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Quote of the Day #131 - Charles Spurgeon


A quote from Charles Spurgeon on the difference between Christianity and communism:
They (the early church) were so generous that they threw in their property into a common stock lest any should be in need. They were not communists, they were Christians; and the difference between a communist and a Christian is this—a communist says, “All yours is mine;” while a Christian says, “all mine is yours;” and that is a very different thing. The one is for getting, and the other for giving.
~Charles Spurgeon (Additions To The Church 1167.213)

Related Posts:
Quote of the Day #132 - William Gurnall
Quote of the Day #127 - John Bunyan
Quote of the Day #128 - Charles Spurgeon
Quote of the Day #130 - J. C. Ryle
Quote Index

Friday, July 01, 2011

The Chronology of the Flood: The Raven and Dove - Genesis 8:6-12 Bible Commentary


Once the tops of the mountains had become visible (Genesis 8:5), Noah let 40 more days pass:
Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made; (Genesis 8:6)
Over the next 21 days, Noah sent a raven out of the ark once, and a dove out of the ark three times. The first bird Noah sent out was the raven:
and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth. (Genesis 8:7)
Noah waited 7 days, and then sent out the dove for the first time; this fact can be implied from Genesis 8:10, which describes the second time Noah sent out the dove (emphasis added):
So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark. (Genesis 8:10)
From Genesis 8:10, it can be concluded that Noah sent the dove out (for the first time) 7 days after he had sent out the raven— and after 7 more days had passed, Noah sent out the dove again.

Thus over the first 14 days, Noah sent the raven out once, and the dove out twice. Genesis 8:12 tells of the final time that the dove was sent out (21 days after the 40 days had passed):
Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again. (Genesis 8:12)
Take a look at the chronology of the flood graphic below in order to see the complete chronology of the flood.

<< Prev | Next >>

Related Posts:
The Chronology of the Flood: The Final Months - Genesis 8:13-19
The First Sight Of The Post-Flood World - Genesis 8:5
How God Stopped The Flood (Part 1) - Genesis 8:1-3
The Ark Comes To A Rest (Part 1) - Genesis 8:4
Evidence for a Global Flood: Water Above The Mountains - Genesis 7:19-20


Chronology of the Flood Genesis Timeline Graphic

To view a larger version of this graphic click here.