Monday, 30 December 2013

Friday, 27 December 2013

Tree of knowledge

Why did God place the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden?

recently listened to a rationale that since God cannot tempt - therefore the tree must not be a temptation or a 'trial' per se - but instead something good, something designed to be a blessing - inclusive of the command to do not eat

so then if everything God does is good for His people (discipline included) - then what is the 'goodness' behind the tree?


Monday, 23 December 2013

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Retaliation & Loving the Enemy

What does He mean when He says "Your Father in heaven is Perfect"?

http://www.zionbishan.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/2013-08-25-Kingdoms-Righteousness-Retaliation-and-Love-Pastor-Dev-Menon.mp3

Much thanks to Blackham again for the OT understanding of justice

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Salt and Light

Right... my current summary on this:

Salt burns.... but if you handle the burning, there will be peace

Light shines and exposes the darkness... but if you remain then you walk in the light

The Church wants to remain in the world and not be salt (be compromised instead of pure) - most clearly seen in Lot's wife.
To live like salt means to live as though the world is going to be judged. period.

The Church even if it wants to be pure - it often does not want to be visibly - because then we get in trouble. To live like light is to shine into someone's life so that they are set free in the midst of a world that condemns them - e.g. John 8


Thursday, 6 June 2013

How to gain a kingdom

A story of Abigail

The initial prophesy:

1 Samuel 15:27-28  7 As Samuel turned to go away, Saul seized the skirt of his robe, and it tore.  28 And Samuel said to him, "The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. 

So David must inherit the kingdom....  but how? There's an 'Adamic Idiot' in-charge

1 Sam 24 an opportunity:
1 Samuel 24:4  4 And the men of David said to him, "Here is the day of which the LORD said to you, 'Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you.'"Then David arose and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul's robe. 

But then:
1 Samuel 24:5-6   5 And afterward David's heart struck him, because he had cut off a corner of Saul's robe.  6 He said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD's anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the LORD's anointed."

That's not the way to receive a kingdom

So how do you get it via submission to a stupid authority?

Here comes Abigail - the expert on submission to stupid authority - Nabal
1 Samuel 25:3  The woman was discerning and beautiful, but the man was harsh and badly behaved; he was a Calebite. 

She serves him, protects him, runs his household to his benefit - despite knowing he's a brutal idiot
Amazing she is: 1 Samuel 25:24  24 She fell at his feet and said, "On me alone, my lord, be the guilt. 

She teaches the way of submission - the way that prevents bloodguilt:
1 Samuel 25:26   26 Now then, my lord, as the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, because the LORD has restrained you from bloodguilt and from saving with your own hand, now then let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as Nabal. 

David learns:
1 Samuel 25:32-33   32 And David said to Abigail, "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me!  33 Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from avenging myself with my own hand! 

The idiot's way comes to self-destruction (by the Lord's hand):
1 Samuel 25:36-38   36 And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk. So she told him nothing at all until the morning light.  37 In the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.  38 And about ten days later the LORD struck Nabal, and he died.

And David learns this with Saul:
1 Samuel 26:11-12  11 The LORD forbid that I should put out my hand against the LORD's anointed. But take now the spear that is at his head and the jar of water, and let us go."  12 So David took the spear and the jar of water from Saul's head, and they went away. No man saw it or knew it, nor did any awake, for they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from the LORD had fallen upon them. 

Why can he do this:
1 Samuel 26:10  10 And David said, "As the LORD lives, the LORD will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. 

Jesus of course will totally embody this- after all is He not Abigail (My Father's Joy) - the submissive One!




Sunday, 26 May 2013

IN

I finally think I get it

What 'in' means.

Simply put it means you are affected when something happens to another person, without you having to do anything at all

I.e. if your brother gets a promotion and you are genuinely happy as a result. Then you and your brother are one. However, if you are not bothered, or jealous or don't resonate with him. Then he is not in you.

Christ in us.... Tis bliss.

How do you get in someone? Through your word. The word of another must enter and remain in you... I.e. just relate until you connect ....

Friday, 17 May 2013

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The gospel of Gen 32

Jacob is a picture of Christ

In Gen 27 - we see Him take Adam's (Esau = Edom = Adam) skin and present himself to the Father - however this triggers wrath!

Gen 28-30 - The good shepherd lays his life down for His bride

Gen 32b - Jacob is the one who must propiate the wrath (note LXE translation)
Behold thy servant Jacob comes after us. For he said, I will propitiate his countenance with the gifts going before his presence, and afterwards I will behold his face, for peradventure he will accept me.

Gen 32a - he has a batallion of angels at his disposal but does not call on them

Gen 32c - instead he will wrestle in prayer (Gethsamane) to ensure 'thy will be done' - and then finally in Gen 33 - present himself to appease the wrath, saving his family

of course shadow Jacob is hopeless - but Jesus the true Jacob=> Israel - is awesome

Friday, 22 March 2013

Genesis 29-30 - the sons of Israel

Haven't really heard a decent sermon on Gen 29 or 30 before - so this is unexplored territory for me.

Basically it's part 1 of a understanding of Jacob's life story:

http://www.zionbishan.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/2013-03-17-Envious-Wives-Pastor-Dev-Menon.mp3


Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The New Testament's Theological 'Magic'

You can't escape it - all of us wonder some times how on earth the NT gets it's interpretations of what is happening in the OT - regardless of how strong an OT-NT continuity theology we have.

But I've noticed, doing in depth readings of the patriarchs - that the NT theological commentaries are extremely profound, but not un-understandable. They just need you to read the stories and discuss them with people over and over again...

Here's my current 'suppose-d' enlightenment of Jacob's faith by Hebrews 11:

Hebrews 11:21
 By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, leaning (or bowing in worship) over the head of his staff.  

Now if you read the OT text - there is absolutely no mention of Jacob's staff when he did the criss-cross blessing in Gen 48 (at least not that I've seen)

Genesis 48:1-14   After this, Joseph was told, "Behold, your father is ill." So he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.  2 And it was told to Jacob, "Your son Joseph has come to you." Then Israel summoned his strength and sat up in bed.  3 And Jacob said to Joseph, "God Almighty(1 )appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me,  4 and said to me, 'Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a company of peoples and will give this land to your offspring after you for an everlasting possession.'  5 And now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are.  6 And the children that you fathered after them shall be yours. They shall be called by the name of their brothers in their inheritance.  7 As for me, when I came from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan on the way, when there was still some distance(1 )to go to Ephrath, and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem)."  8 When Israel saw Joseph's sons, he said, "Who are these?"  9 Joseph said to his father, "They are my sons, whom God has given me here." And he said, "Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them."  10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, so that he could not see. So Joseph brought them near him, and he kissed them and embraced them.  11 And Israel said to Joseph, "I never expected to see your face; and behold, God has let me see your offspring also."  12 Then Joseph removed them from his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth.  13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near him.  14 And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands (for Manasseh was the firstborn). 

The criss-crossing thing we kind of can get from understanding Jacob's own blessing by Isaac - so he wants to avoid that mistake again

Yet where is the staff?

However, if we consider Jacob's entire life... we see...
1. Gen 32:10 - when he left his home all he had was his staff
2. Gen 32b - he is made to limp
3. From that we can assume - he now had to lean on his staff
4. His quotations at the end of his life - Gen 48-9 are all about Jesus as 'Shepherd'

Thus the whole dimension of his life transforms from an independent 'grasper' into one that leans, or trusts in the shepherd ....

So as he does the criss-cross blessing, the Hebrews author 'visualizes' him leaning on his staff 

So it is a profound theological deduction about his faith - written in from a deep understanding of his life and the processes he went through to become the man of faith - the great patriarch 

I'm sure if we read the OT deep enough, all the other NT quotations will become just as 'easily' visible to us

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The absolute necessity of anachronistic reading in personal narrative

In a movie, when we look at people carrying out various actions, saying various things, and we come up with our own interpretations about who they are, what they are like.

Yet later on in the plot, something key is revealed about them... And then we go... "Oh... I know what he meant know", or we begin to reinterpret what they said or did previously by what we now know.

This of course does not imply that the character has changed, but that our understanding of the character has changed.

This does not imply that those things were not already there in the text, but rather we did not see those things, until someone made it clear to us (it may have been clear to someone else)

So then the fault is with what we understand, not what is written

Accusations of "you're reading too much into it" could just as well be confessions of ignorance or a lack of depth of relationship with Christ

No?

Friday, 15 February 2013

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Hebrews 13b

Cheesy attempt at a video sermon for people at home on NYE

http://vimeo.com/zionbishan/31dec