OYB July 18
Julie FerwerdaAre you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
- 2009 Jul 18
27:23 When David took his census, he did not count those who were younger than twenty years of age, because the Lord had promised to make the Israelites as numerous as the stars in heaven. This promise always gets me. God promised this to Abraham, and surely the Israelites thought about this promise often and wondered when it would be fulfilled. Or perhaps they thought it already had been. Of course, without the aid of high-powered modern telescopes, the Israelites had no idea how many stars there are. Do you?
On the European Space Agency website it is roughly estimated, based on what scientists know today, how many stars are in the universe:
It has been said that counting the stars in the Universe is like trying to count the number of sand grains on a beach on Earth. We might do that by measuring the surface area of the beach, and determining the average depth of the sand layer.
If we count the number of grains in a small representative volume of sand, by multiplication we can estimate the number of grains on the whole beach.
For the Universe, the galaxies are our small representative volumes, and there are something like 10 to the 11th power (10 followed by 11 zeroes) stars in our galaxy, and there are perhaps something like 10 to the 11th power galaxies.
With this simple calculation you get something like 10 to the 22nd power (yes, a 10 followed by 22 zeroes!) stars in the Universe. This is only a rough number, as obviously not all galaxies are the same, just like on a beach the depth of sand will not be the same in different places.
Either way, God knows exactly just how big this number is, and scientists have only begun to discover the seemingly innumerable amount, so for Him to make that promise to Israel can only mean one thing in my humble opinion--there must be procreation in the coming ages. How else could this happen?? This is one of the three Abrahamic promises that have not been fulfilled yet in addition to the restored land in the Middle East and rest from all their enemies. None of them have been fulfilled.
Now naysayers will say, "Yes, but there is no marriage in the Kingdom, therefore, there cannot be offspring. Plus, you're not suggesting that there's going to be...well, you know--THAT in the Kingdom, are you?"
I totally understand your shock and dismay, but then again, God did create THAT and call it good if practiced under the correct guidelines. For us to decide there is no procreation in the future because of one verse that says there is no marriage is reading our own human interpretation into that verse. Just because there is no marriage the way we have understood, does not mean that there cannot be procreation. If anything, it seems clearer to me by the magnitude of the promise that there will be procreation. Of course, I reserve the right to be completely wrong—we'll see! But it certainly is thought-provoking! Besides, since we are to be resurrected into an immortal form of our same bodies, it seems like we will have all the same capabilities plus much more. Adam and Eve were told to "multiply and fill the earth" and this was before the fall.
27:32-34 I find it touching that God surrounded David with people to help fill different roles in his life: wise counselor, a teacher for his sons, royal adviser, commander of his army, and friend.
Romans 4:13 Clearly, God's promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God's law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. Hey, NLT got this one right!
4:16-17 (NASB) For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (as it is written, "A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU") in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist. Wow...how can you read this and not get totally excited?? The promise—life to the dead—is guaranteed to all of Abraham's descendants in accordance with God's grace. Those "under the law" would be the Jews, the rest are the Gentiles who have and will come to the faith of Abraham.
14:7 (NLT) Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel? When the Lord restores his people, Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.
14:7 (NASB) Oh, that the salvation (Yeshua) of Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD restores His captive people, Jacob will rejoice, Israel will be glad. Remember that the word for "salvation" in Hebrew is Yeshua!
Quite a different meaning. It appears to me that the editors of the NLT did not understand Hebrew or Jewish interpretation, so to them, their slant was probably good enough to them. They didn't realize they left Jesus out of the text!
19:17 If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord-and he will repay you! Here's an honest question for the day. Why does God only instruct us to help the poor and not to evangelize them? Why does He care about them if they do not believe? Just food for thought...Any feedback?
now (after 7 months), I guess you have figured out that I'm pretty edgy
in my approach to Scripture. Hey, why not? I'm definitely going to ask
the questions and explore the possibilities that many others are afraid
to or haven't thought of looking into. What is there to fear? Jesus did say we must be like children
to enter the Kingdom. Don't children ask a lot of questions? By the
way, I came into this world asking questions. Even before I was old
enough to tie my own shoes, I used to drive my mom crazy! I think it's
a good trait to keep around...