Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I'm Guest Blogging Today!

One of my blogging friends, Stephanie of Girl of Grace, recently gave birth to her third child. As a result, she has been taking a break from blogging. She invited several of us to post in her absence. Today I am the featured blogger.

Stop over here to read my post and while you're there, take a look around. Also, be sure to leave a comment congratulating Stephanie on the birth of her youngest child, little Ollie!

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Greatly-beloved Daniel

We're now in the book of Daniel and he really is greatly-beloved! (See Daniel 10:11) Not only did the heavenly messenger call him such but Christians everywhere would admit that they also love him. His writings include some of the most debated prophecies among scholars and also some of the most cherished stories first told to the youngest of children! Adults love telling wide-eyed youngsters about Daniel's escape from a den of lions or his friends' escape from Nebuchadnezzar's furnace! And yet, adults cannot fully explain the prophecies of chapters 7-12! Even Daniel himself did not understand all of the visions that he received and requested more information (12:8).

As for the timeline, young Daniel and friends were taken captive from Jerusalem during Nebuchadnezzar's first campaign. He and his three friends were intelligent men who received three years of education in Babylonian schools. They excelled in their studies and were promoted to positions of power within the government but not solely on the basis of their intelligence.It was through their acts of faith that divine intervention worked on their behalf time and again. Daniel also served under Darius and Cyrus after the Babylonian kingdom was replaced by that of the Medes and Persians.

Daniel had access to Jeremiah's prophecy and knew that God had appointed a 70 year period of captivity. Daniel's life spanned the complete 70 years. It is not known when he died but he was of necessity an elderly man. The events of this book cover the period of 605-536 B.C.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Enigmatic Book of Ezekiel

Maybe it's just me that feels that way. . . .

Anyway, I have spent the last few weeks studying this book because I don't pretend to have a grasp of its imagery. I discovered some fascinating things.

For instance, what about the visions of the 4-sided beings with various faces in chapters 1 and 10?  Chapter 1 describes each as having the face of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle. Chapter 10 describes them as having the face of a cherub, a man, a lion, and an eagle. Those sound very similar to the way that the 4 gospel writers - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John - described Jesus!

  • Matthew presented the Lord as King of the Jews represented by the lion.
  • Mark presented the Lord as a Servant represented by either an ox (a beast of burden) or a cherub (an angelic servant sent from God).
  • Luke presented Jesus as the Son of Man which is obviously represented by the face of a man.
  • John presented Jesus as God represented by the eagle.
The God-man, servant-king was revealed to Ezekiel by the likeness of the living creatures in his vision. Also in chapter 1 Ezekiel had a vision of God speaking from Heaven and of the Man (also Jesus) sitting on the throne. Notice how very like John's vision recorded in the Book of Revelation this section is!

Ezekiel introduces himself immediately in his book as one of the Jewish captives taken to Babylon before the final fall of Jerusalem. He also states that he is one of the priests. His wife dies (chapter 24) and several times he mentions Daniel, the fellow-captive that rose to a position of power in Babylon (see the book of Daniel: it is next on our reading schedule).

A few of the other topics covered in Ezekiel's vision and prophecy include:
  • The departure of the Glory of God from the Temple at Jerusalem (10:1-8). This Glory had been placed upon the Temple during the dedication ceremony of Solomon (I Kings 8:10-11).
  • The judgment against several Gentile nations (chapters 25-32).
  • The restoration of Israel (chapters 33-48). Some of this has been fulfilled and some of it is yet to be accomplished (see the book of Revelation for more information).
Ezekiel's visions begin during the fifth year of King Jehoiachin's captivity. (He was also known as Jechoniah, Coniah, or Jechonias. It was through this king's lineage that Joseph, the husband of Mary, descended. See Matthew chapter 1).The timeline for this book covers approximately 592-570 B.C.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Looking Back at the Birthdays

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated the birthdays of 2 granddaughters, sisters that share a birthday week. That would be Miss Tigger and Little Lili Ladybug. It really was Lili's birthday that day, her second.

To honor Lili on her special day, her two oldest sisters composed a poem in her honor. I neglected to get a copy of the poem but there was an illustration to accompany it, as you can clearly see below.

Polly and Tigger reciting

Two girls opening gifts can make for a lot of excitement (and gift wrapping paper!).

Sometimes one of the gift-givers suffers from separation anxiety.  :)

Hey, Mom, did you mean to give this away?

The birthday girls blowing out the candles on their respective birthday cakes.

I include this photo for Mem and Pop. This is what we saw when you called.  :)

I hope she didn't get blue icing on the telephone!

Don't you just want to kiss that sweet little face? Well, maybe after it is washed. 

Big sister, Tiggeriffic, enjoying her birthday treats, too. I think Miss Tigger ended up having a"Birthday Week," which is not a bad way for an eight-year-old to celebrate, right?