Getting somewhere requires effort,
faith to push on,
it's easy to screw up,
Friday, November 12, 2010
The Altar of Shewbread! What was it and why did it exist?
Fri, November 12, 2010 | link
Altar of Shewbread! What was it and why did it exist?
In Leviticus 24:5-6 (New International Reader's Version) God tell the Hebrews
fine flour and bake 12 loaves of bread. Use 16 cups of flour for each loaf. Place them in two rows. Put six loaves in each
row on the table that is made out of pure gold. The table stands in front of me.
So what is this table and where was it put?
This table was constructed in
a special way. . .
"“Make a table of acacia wood—two cubits long[3ft], a cubit wide[1.5ft] and a cubit and a half high[2ft
3”]. Overlay it with pure gold and make a gold molding around it. Also make around it a rim
a handbreadth[3inches] wide and put a gold molding on the rim. Make four gold rings for the
table and fasten them to the four corners, where the four legs are. The rings are to be close to the rim to hold the poles
used in carrying the table. Make the poles of acacia wood, overlay them with gold and carry the table with them. And make
its plates and dishes of pure gold, as well as its pitchers and bowls for the pouring out of offerings. Put the bread of the
Presence on this table to be before me at all times..”
A very expensive and fancy table with its plates, pitchers and bowls!
table was in a place called the Holy place. This also had a 7 branched lampstand and the Altar of Incense in it.
The other name for this table was the table of presence since it was in the presence of God
at all times (I dont know quite how this occured, but it was).
The Holy place had no chairs and so
the Priests always stood before God.
So how was this table used…God said…
fine flour and bake 12 loaves of bread. Use 16 cups of flour for each loaf. Place them in two rows. Put six loaves in each
row on the table that is made out of pure gold. The table stands in front of me.
each row put some pure incense. It will remind you that all good things come from me. Burn the incense in place of the bread.
The incense is an offering that is made to me with fire.
bread must be set out in front of me regularly. Do it every Sabbath day. It will be Israel's duty to provide it for all time
"The bread belongs to Aaron and his sons.
They must eat it in a holy place. It is a very holy part of their regular share of the offerings that are made to me with
So this bread was put out to show God respect, and then once a week, the priests ate it and
put out the new bread. Josephus and ancient Historian said this bread was unleavened bread (no yeast in it).
Okay so what were the four things on the table. . .
- Dishes (to put the bread on I guess)
Plates (to put frankincense on the bread)
- Pitchers or jugs (for the liquid offering,
- Bowls (to hold the frankincense)
Now here what is
interesting, who was allowed to have the bread. . .
'Only a member of a priest's family can eat the sacred offering.
The guest of a priest can't eat it. A priest's hired worker can't eat it either.
suppose a priest buys a slave with money. Or suppose a slave is born in his house. Then that slave can eat the sacred food.
'Suppose a priest's daughter gets married to someone who is not a
priest. Then she can't eat any of the food that is brought as a sacred gift. But suppose the priest's daughter becomes a widow
or is divorced. She does not have any children. And she returns to live in her father's house, where she lived when she was
young. Then she can eat her father's food. But a person who does not belong to a priest's family can't eat any of it.
So here’s another aspect, priests of the living God can eat it, their slaves that are born in their home, their
daughters while under the priests direct household, but not if they marry outside the priestly line of families. No one else
is entitled to eat it!
There is a huge amount we can discuss here, but I will only scratch the surface
today. Perhaps I can add more in a future blog.
Let’s look at how we as modern Christians are supposed to view this.
Hebrew 10:11-14 gives us a view into this. It says. . .
Day after day every priest stands
and does his special duties. He offers the same sacrifices again and again. But they can never take away sins.
Jesus our priest offered one sacrifice for sins for all time. Then he
sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time, he waits for his enemies to be put under his control. By that one sacrifice
he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
So Jesus made the final
sacrifices. Think of the ritual of communion he left for us as well as his statement that he is the “Bread
of Life”. The bread and wine was set out on the table of showbread in the past. Jesus provided himself to us and gave
us a ritual whereby we honour him, remembering by eating bread and drinking wine, not one a week, but “as often as you
The true bread of life is always in the presence of God, and we through his activities
on earth are a “Royal Priesthood”
1 Peter 2:9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s
special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
we are honoured to be part of the people who can come into the presence of God.
Jesus offers his
life once for all, before going to heaven and sitting at the right hand of God the Father.
When he shouts
“it is finished” from the cross, the work of offering showbread in a temple is no longer necessary.
God has completed the sacrificial system requirements once, forever, so we no longer need a physical temple on this
What does this mean to us?
We need to be true to God and make sure to
continually bring to God our praise for what Jesus did for us by his death and resurrection. A worthwhile
sacrifice of praise!
To thank a wonderful God for an impossibly precious gift by having small
amounts of discussion with him all day long, staying in his presence and making a difference by pointing others to him is
what he looks for.
We are to never stop doing this (like a Priest in the Holy place
could never sit down), it is our continual response to a loving God.
Hey, let’s go have a great day!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Thu, November 11, 2010 | link
remember? Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the official
end of World War I on that date in 1918, as the major hostilities of World War I were formally ended "at the 11th hour
of the 11th day of the 11th month" of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice. (Note that "at the 11th hour",
refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 am.)
The day was specifically dedicated by King George V, on 7 November 1919, to the observance of members of the armed
forces who were killed during World War I
Why do we remember horrible wars?
remember anything horrible at all? Isn’t it much better to ignore they ever happened?
be asked without hearing the words of Winston Churchill
“Those that fail to learn from history, are
doomed to repeat it.”
Is this a reason to remember?
One perhaps, but there are more
In every dark and nasty situation there are exceptional people who make a difference.
People who do not allow the misery and pain to drag them into the depths of despair,
but who rise up and do great things, who love to the extreme.
The common soldier in war who goes
out to fight to protect those who cannot fight is one of these people.
Right now we have hundreds and thousands of young people in countries around the world doing just
I was part of a peacekeeping force in northern Namibia many years ago. We were in a war zone, with attacks and people killed daily. We cleared land mines every morning from the roads
so that the local people could drive their cars into town without hitting an IED or mine.
What amazed me then
and will continue to amaze me was how many pieces of people we had to recover simply because they decided to go out before
we cleared the roads, despite the warnings and evidence!
Every week we had casualties because these people either did
not remember simple instructions, or ignored what had happened
to other people who did these same things. Despite these obvious facts, they still went out, urged by some unseen
desire and killed themselves!
It is important to remember, but it is equally important for
us to use the memory to direct our actions in the present and future!
Then it is important to honour the brave people in the past who put their lives on the line to save
others. Thank-you to the guys who clear mines risking their lives, who protect innocent and sometimes loose their lives doing
Thank-you to armed forces everywhere!
that, we need to remember that war can be over forever, if we all agreed to let it be over.
If we loved without reserve, cared for others without fear, allowed others to have their own beliefs and desires
without trying to manipulate them, and if we ourselves simply reacted as Jesus wanted us to. Then war could
Will it be over sometime soon?
It could be, but I unfortunately don’t think war will be over ever!
is an outworking of evil, and evil comes from Satan and as such is
part of each of our hearts!
Only by fighting that demon within each of our souls
will we get true peace. That fight is one against pleasures, need to control
and many other things we so highly desire (even though in the long run they kill). As a result it is the war that each person
fights that is important!
Our bible says,
“Finally, let the Lord make
you strong. Depend on his mighty power. Put on all of God's armor. Then you can stand firm against the devil's
evil plans. Our fight is not against human beings. It is against the rulers, the authorities and the powers of this dark world.
It is against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly world.
put on all of God's armor. Evil days will come. But you will be able to stand up to anything. And after you
have done everything you can, you will still be standing.”
Ephesians 6: 10-13 (NIV)
Those of us involved as soldiers in wars in the past all agree evil exists!
We have seen it up close and personally!
Our problem today is that
so many of our young people are so pampered and protected that they have forgotten or chose to ignore this fact!
They even write books and articles spewing hate against a God who takes on this enemy and make laws to limit the abilities
of those of us that want to take the enemy on! Like those people who killed themselves on landmines and IED’s,
they get warned and hear of incidents, but chose to ignore them!
Let’s remember and do
something with our memories!
Here is what we need to do. . .
firm. Put the belt of truth around your waist. Put the armor of godliness on your chest. Wear on your feet what will prepare
you to tell the good news of peace. Also, pick up the shield of faith. With it you can put out all of the flaming arrows of
the evil one. Put on the helmet of salvation. And take the sword of the Holy Spirit. The sword is God's word.
At all times, pray by the power of the Spirit. Pray all kinds of prayers. Be watchful, so that
you can pray. Always keep on praying for all of God's people.”
Ephesians 6 continued. . .
For those who may not get what it says, I will
summarise it. . .
We need to hold our life together by demanding to get and by dealing, only in truth.
It will protect us and keep us from being embarrassed!
Be peaceful and try to inject peace into every
situation. Never let people tell you God, Jesus and Holy Spirit don’t love us!
love of God touch others, even those who we may consider don’t deserve it. (Who are we to judge!).
Know Jesus died horrible for us and remember this always, accepting his life, resurrection and gift of
Holy Spirit to give us power to live right.
Finally let us allow God’s Holy and pure power to ripple
through our lives as we allow Holy Spirit to move and live within us unhindered by our inadequacies.
Let’s keep chatting to God and listening for his signs and wonders in our lives and that
of those around us.
Let’s remember this and improve our day and our world!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
What is the cost of being Christian?
Wed, November 10, 2010 | link
Around 58 people are believed to have died when al-Qaeda linked militants stormed the Our Lady of Salvation Church in
Baghdad and opened fire on the congregation.
said Christians in Iraq were “paying a high price” for their faith and living in fear because of the “unprecedented”
levels of violence against them.
“It is a fact
that they are on the verge of extinction in Iraq,” he said.
Wow! America has a different problem. . .Christians are boring. . .mocked and misquoted, but
at least they are free to worship!
This freedom results in
many non-Christian’s assuming that this is also the case around the world. It isn’t! In many places Christian are killed because they openly say they believe in God!
We often forget the real cost of being Christian! Christ’s price paid!
at a screening of the piece of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion” where Jesus is whipped and then crucified,
I watched a number of young people reacting to the images (which are probably accurate or even a little less than what occurred)
and noticed a few things.
Firstly, the attitude to Christ changed in those few seconds as they suddenly
understood what this man, Jesus, took in pain and suffering for us. Some even turned their heads away and could not watch it! It was too horrific.
Then I remembered a
magazine of journalistic pictures a few years back where a Christian is killed in front of a journalist who snapped pictures of the angry crowd slaughtering him for his beliefs.
Then I thought
of Jesus words in the bible. . . “Then he said to all of them, "If anyone wants to follow
me, he must say no to himself. He must pick up his cross every day and follow me. If he wants to save his life, he
will lose it. But if he loses his life for me, he will save it. What good is it if someone gains the whole world
but loses or gives up his very self?
you are ashamed of me and my words. The Son of Man will come in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.
Then he will be ashamed of you.”
We have it so easy in the West! No real cost other than criticism by a few people and a few laws that make it more difficult to speak freely, but consider if things changed. Would
we still be Christians if the country we lived in outlawed Christianity?
Often people consider those who
hunt down and kill Christian barbaric, but the words of some of the people
who live in our country seem to indicate many would join this crowd if they could.
Dawkins indirectly suggests
Christian’s must be eradicated because they are “fostering fanaticism, encouraging bigotry against homosexuals,
and influencing society in other negative ways”.
examples are specific cases of people who have gone off the deep end and don’t represent the true values of Christ but
he is working people up. How long until bombs start to explode and people get hacked to death?
things have been done incorrectly in Jesus name, and one of the worst today is that of justifying injustices to humanity! (persecution of homosexuals being one example).
Jesus I know loved everyone, especially the poor and outcast. He didn’t
go out of his way to convince people to believe what he said, he simple put it out there for those that wanted to take it,
if they wanted too!
When criticised, he simply pointed out the injustices and errors in the arguments. When put
in horribly difficult social/political traps, he reacted with love and great sensitivity to everyone(even those who seemed
As a Christian who feels this hate, I hope I can have the huge courage to be a Christian in the
face of life threatening adversity. I hope I would have love, not hate,
in my heart.
I trust I would be caring for my tormentors, and having the courage to know that I am no better
than any of those tormentors.
I should remember that God’s love for me is the only difference, nothing
that other than responding to this love is the difference between me and them.
I don’t have rights
to anything more than they have!
Our response needs to be one of love! Perhaps if we all put down anger and hate, and learn to love we would have less Dawkins, militant Islam’s,
hate spewing atheists and anti creationists. True love overcomes this hate!
Early Christian who
healed and cared in love for those Roman soldiers who got hurt in the very activity of killing those same Christians, finally
changed the world!
we do the same?
many people who criticise us as Christians are correct in doing so!
because today in modern western society as Christians we fail to reflect Jesus true love, and instead focus on reflecting
our own agenda’s.
Let’s go love others unconditionally today! We CAN make a difference!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Why do we want to escape reality so badly?
The British Daily Telegraph reports
Tue, November 9, 2010 | link
Professor David Nutt, sacked as an adviser to the Labour government for criticising its policy on drugs, sparked controversy
when he published research suggesting that heroin was less damaging than alcohol. The following day, Californians
went to the polls to vote on a proposal to legalise cannabis”
Sanity prevailed in California and the vote failed, but it begs the question of why so many people
want to escape reality doesn’t it. The results of the California vote were 46% voted YES, and 54% voted NO.
Despite this a
law was passed to change possession from a criminal act to a misdemeanour. I
am not weighing in on this debate, but want to look at why we find life so tough that we seem to want to escape it.
For years the escape (legalised) has been alcohol. The number of
drunk drivers that kill people each year (in the USA) has been coming down over the years from 60% of all fatalities to 37%
today. Much of this is due to work to enforce checks that stop people driving while drunk, and the fact that other substances
abuses have increased taking the place of alcohol in these grim statistics.
Hey, not even the ancient
greats are immune to failing in this way! Noah, a very well know biblical
ancient got drunk after the flood (see Gen 9:21), the ancient law even gave parents a right to get a son who didn’t
turn his life around and give up gluttony and drunkardness the right to execute him (I doubt to many parents took that opportunity).
I think proverbs in the bible (ancient wisdom sayings) maybe describe
the alcoholic impact the best. . .proverbs 23 starting at verse 29
Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife?
Who has complaints?
Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
Those who linger over wine,
who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
not gaze at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup,
when it goes down smoothly!
end it bites like a snake
and poisons like a viper.
will see strange sights,
and your mind will imagine confusing things.
You will be like one sleeping on the high seas,
lying on top of the rigging.
“They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt!
They beat me, but I don’t feel it!
When will I wake up
so I can find another drink?”
Altered reality brings “Woe” and “sorrow”, and soon damages us by taking away our wish to
go on without it. “When will I wake up so I can find another drink?”
Could be replaced today just as easily with “When will I come down so I can find another high?”
of us don’t look for drink or drugs to get away from reality we use much less invasive techniques. We watch TV, movies, let music take our minds away from life.
this bad? Not always!
alcohol bad? Not always!
drugs bad? Not always!
It’s finding that point at which people start to become dysfunctional and
start damaging themselves, society and our collective future. Today we are so individually focussed that we fail to see the
sum of individual actions become humanities shift.
If Christians are right and there is a subversive force that is trying
to manipulate the world towards destroying itself (we call him Satan),
and if that person had to choose a way to do it, wouldn’t it be by removing people from reality enough to distort
their value system so they fail to react for the good of themselves, others and humanity at large?
it individual greed for pleasure, comfort and self gratification that results in all excesses of this nature? If
people are focused on helping others, building others up and correcting injustices, would they allow themselves to become
high on drugs, alcohol, or other mind manipulating activities?
Peter, the guy who knew Jesus so well has this
to say in 1 Peter 4 (NIV)
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also
with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.
As a result, they do not live the rest
of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.
For you have spent enough
time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing
and detestable idolatry.
They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living,
and they heap abuse on you.
Peter advises as follows. . .
The end of all
things is near.
Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love
each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Offer hospitality to
one another without grumbling.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve
others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one
who speaks the very words of God.
If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides,
so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.
Isn’t this good advice?
So this week let’s apply it. . .
Please understand that I’m not saying we are all drunkards and drug abusers!
However, the next time we pick up that Playstation or Wii to avoid doing something, or when we put
off helping of another by going to another movie, or playing cards or a computer game, when we fail to face the troubles another
is having, failing to help them because we would rather get out of reality, let’s check ourselves and ask…
“am I of a sober mind, loving others, offering hospitality, and using my skills
effectively to serve others, or
am I just being selfish?”
A good monitor of humanities ability to do right, isn’t it?
Monday, November 8, 2010
Seven lights for improving life
Mon, November 8, 2010 | link
Seven lights for improving
menorah consisted of a base and a shaft with six branches, beaten out of solid gold. The six branches curved to the height
of the central shaft so that all seven lamps at their apexes were in a straight line
This strange looking lamp stand was found
in the Holy Place of the ancient tabernacle. The ancient 3500 year
old instructions for making one of these are given in Exodus 25:31-40 and it says:
"Make a lampstand
out of pure gold. Hammer out its base and stem. Its buds, blooms and cups must branch out from it.
branches must come out from the sides of the lampstand. Make three on one side and three on the other. On one branch make
three cups that are shaped like almond flowers with buds and blooms. Then put three on the next branch. Do the same with all
six branches that come out from the lampstand.
"On the lampstand there must be
four cups that are shaped like almond flowers with buds and blooms. One bud must be under the first pair of branches that
come out from the lampstand. Put a second bud under the second pair. And put a third bud under the third pair. Make a total
of six branches. The buds and branches must come out from the lampstand.
lampstand must be one piece that is hammered out of pure gold.
"Then make its
seven lamps. Set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it. The trays and wick cutters must be made out of
pure gold. Use 75 pounds of pure gold to make the lampstand and everything that is used with it.
place was where the people who had cleared their consciences of sin came to meet with God and talk with
The lampstand was the only light in this area. The area also contained the altar
So what was the importance of this lampstand then, and to us today?
Let's look at the ancient use…the bible says...2 Chronicles 13:11
Every morning and evening
they present burnt offerings and fragrant incense to the LORD. They set out the bread on the ceremonially clean table and
light the lamps on the gold lampstand every evening. We are observing the requirements of the LORD our God.
But you have forsaken him.
So the lampstand served a physical requirement by providing light.
The lampstand was lit every evening and cleaned every morning.
But it also had a symbolic purpose!
We find in the ancient book of Zechariah, in chapter 4 , that there is a reference to a lampstand… Zechariah says
Then the angel who talked with me returned and woke me up, like someone awakened from sleep. He
asked me, “What do you see?”
I answered, “I see a solid gold
lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lamps on it, with seven channels to the lamps. Also there are two olive trees by
it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.”
I asked the angel who
talked with me, “What are these, my lord?”
When Zecheriah gets the answer to what the olive trees are,
it is this…
So he said, “These are the two who are anointed to serve the Lord
of all the earth.”
So we can deduce that the lampstand must stand for the LORD, who we now know is Jesus!
This is in the old testament!
THIS WAS WRITTEN 520-518 B.C.! i.e. about five hundred years before John, a friend
of Jesus who walked around with him, would say about Jesus coming. . .
The true light that gives
light to everyone was coming into the world
Jesus also said this...
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk
in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Jesus is the light and when he
left this earth, Holy Spirit came down onto the people who loved God in a special way. See Acts
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the
blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be
tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were
filled with the Holy Spirit.
The flame separates and settles on each believer.
truly believe that this would have brought to mind the menorah, or lampstand, of the ancient temple and tabernacle
to those ancient believers in Christ. They also would have thought of the light of God that occurred in the very special Holy
of Holies (above the ark of the covenent), (called the shekinah glory of God). If I had been there in that room I am
sure I would have had these thoughts!
SO, they would think of God’s
light and holy fire that makes a way for men to see God coming. This to them would be a presence
of God in a new and vibrant way.
In a simple way, Jesus through Holy Spirit was
making each person into a lampstand. The flame of God was lighting the lamps of our lives to give us the ability
to do amazing things.
Can we say we are lamps for Jesus?
This is the lesson of the lampstand.
It is a personal
lesson to each of us! That’s
my objective, what’s yours?
We are the lamps to help others do better in life. We need to live in such a way
as to give others that opportunity. That’s what God wants!
In dark, unpleasant times, we are to
be the light that shines for truth, true love and respect of others.
True sacrifice to help others. True
love of a very special God!
If you want to see a short blog describing a perspective on what I believe click here
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The town of Zinaville is dropped into a spiral of evil causing a young man and a beautiful but abused woman
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A horrific mining accident results in Joshua
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Evil tendrils tighten on their lives and the interplay between the visible
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May you be blessed today!