Good Monday Morning To You!
How was your week? Mine was good. I’m finishing some distance education courses, so last week was a “nose to the books” week. For me, there is nothing more enjoyable than deep study of the word. Some guys like to fish, while others enjoy a game of golf. These things are fine, but aren’t for Pastor Vic. I’ve tried golf. When I am playing, the safest place to stand is right in front of me. It’s almost a sure thing the ball is not going there. I’ve also tried fishing. I’m terrible at it! They could drain the Gulf dry and allow me to scoop them off the bottom and I still couldn’t get one. Ask my good friend Gene Middleton; he will tell you. Gene used to be a pretty fair fisherman until he got tangled up with me. Now, he’s ruined too! Yes, I’ve tried hunting as well. To me it’s like fishing with a gun on dry ground. Fishing with a gun? Hmmm! Perhaps I should try that. Let me sit under some good sound teaching any day of the week!
Yesterday was one of those very kinds of day at Friendship Harmony. Burt Nelson is our Adult Sunday School teacher and he is teaching “Obscure Verses of the Bible.” His session yesterday was the finest Sunday School lesson I have ever had the honor to hear. I’ve been in Sunday School since before I can remember and I’ve sat under some mighty fine teaching. I mean no disrespect to any teacher I have ever listened to, but Burt teaches me something every time he speaks. He is a retired professor of Geography at Central Michigan University, and brings with him a wealth of Biblical and secular knowledge. He dealt with two “obscure” topics yesterday. The first was why the Children of Israel did not use horses. I was not aware that they didn’t. However, up until the time of Solomon, they didn’t. The reason: God told them not to. That passage can be found in Deuteronomy 17:16 - “But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.” An army with horses had a huge advantage over an army that did not. God wanted Israel to know they were victorious because of Him, not themselves or their horses.
That was fascinating, but Burt also taught why one of David’s chief advisors and trusted friends would so easily and quickly turn on David and promise Absalom that he would kill David for him. Why would a man who personally knew David, a man who had undoubtedly socialized in the palace, a man who was very close in age to David turn on him so quickly? Why too would he advise Absalom to go upon the roof of the palace, in plain sight of all Israel and have relations with David’s concubines? I honestly must confess at this point I never thought about it. I just always accepted that he did turn on David but never considered the matter any further. The answer is simple: Ahithophel was carrying an old grudge against King David for the murder of Uriah and for watching Bathsheba bathe from the roof of the palace. Why would he care? 2 Samuel 23:34 says Ahithophel had a son named Eliam. 2 Samuel 11:3 says Eliam had a daughter named Bathsheba. Bathsheba was Ahithophel’s grandchild! Ahithophel carried a grudge due to David’s part in disgracing his family. The Bible is not just some ancient book of mysticism. It is real stories about real people. Page after page contains real human drama and how the LORD works with that and with us as we live our everyday lives.
Do you see why I enjoy good Bible study? I encourage those of you who are here with us to set your alarms an hour earlier and attend Burt’s class next week. I promise you will be blessed if you do. For those elsewhere, do you attend Sunday School or perhaps mid-week Bible study? Perhaps your church provides small group settings where Scriptures are taught. Take advantage of these opportunities. Sunday School is not just for kids; attend! Why? My Sunday sermon was titled, “What If The Bible Is Really True?” The notes are below for your private study. Call me or send an E-mail if you have any questions.
What If … The Bible Is True?
2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21
What If Series By Victor Cooper
Intro: What if the Bible as we know it really is the true word of God? The answer as to would that be a good thing or a bad thing would depend upon if you are sinner or saint.
If the Bible is true…
I. …we have access to the truth.
A. Science attests to the validity of Scriptures.
1. Isaiah 40:22 says the earth is a sphere 2000 years before Christopher Columbus.
2. Job 26:7 teaches that the earth is suspended in space. The oldest book of the Bible declared the fact it took man several thousand years to verify as true.
3. If the Bible’s sanitation principles had been followed, many of the earth’s pestilences and plagues could have been avoided.
A. During Europe’s black plague, the Jewish community was spared.
4. Job 28:25 mentions that air has weight.
5. The science of Hydrology, ie the water cycle: evaporation, condensation, and precipitation, can be found in Ecclesiastes 1:7.
6. The first two laws of thermodynamics are to be found in Scriptures.
A. energy conservation -- Ecc. 1:10
B. energy deterioration -- Romans 8
II. …we have no excuse for:
A. unbelief. This is why there can be an unforgivable sin. (Matthew 12:31)
B. sin. This is why God can demand the death penalty.
C. disobedience. Obeying God is the most important “religious act” we can perform. (1 Sam. 15:22.)
D. remaining ignorant. Our text verse from 2 Timothy 3:16 teaches us concerning:
1. Doctrine --- telling us what is right.
Example: Moses had been educated as an Egyptian. As such he was taught the Egyptian view of creation which said that man came from worms slithering out of ooze. No doubt for many years he believed it.
A. It was Moses, however who wrote the creation account in Genesis as he was moved by the Holy Spirit.
2. reproof --- telling us what is not right.
3. correction --- telling us how to get it right.
4. instruction in righteousness --- telling us how to keep it right.
III. …we cannot claim ignorance.
A. In America, Bibles are too readily available.
B. God has written His word upon the tables of man’s heart.
2 Corinthians 3:3.
C. God’s word will never fall nor fail.
Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Stay well and safe this week, and do remember what I said about finding a good Bible study class to attend. You might have to try a few before you find a good fit, but the effort will be worth it. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!