Google+ Followers

Monday, September 24, 2012

Behemoth and Leviathan... Excerpt from the Glory Road"

       In Job chapter 40, God reminds Job of his power over a creature He calls Behemoth.  I was so fascinated by this that I dug a little deeper.  After reading several commentaries on the subject of this creature, I was even more intrigued.         Some believe God was referring to what we now know as a hippo or elephant.  However, as I read God’s description carefully, I found that neither of these animals fit God’s description and so the mystery began. 
     I think God’s description sounds more like a dinosaur than anything else. Here’s another fact I found interesting.  The word, or term, “dinosaur” wasn’t invented until 200 years after the King James Bible was translated.  I think this could be significant. 
     Now in Job chapter 41 God speaks of nothing except a great creature He calls “Leviathan,” and God goes into very great details in describing it to Job.
     In Psalm 104, this mystery creature is spoken of again. 
     A whale?  A giant crocodile?  Some Bible scholars think so, but I want you to be the judge.  Here are the passages of God’s words to Job in a few different versions.
Job 41:18-22
     KJV   By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.  Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out.  Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron.  His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth.
      NLT   “When it sneezes, it flashes light!  It’s eyes are like the red of dawn.  Lightning leaps from its mouth; flames of fire flash out.  Smoke streams from its nostrils like steam from a pot heated over burning rushes.  Its breath would kindle coals, for flames shoot from its mouth.
     NIV    “Its snorting throws out flashes of light; its eyes are like the rays of dawn.  Flames stream from its mouth; sparks of fire shoot out.  Smoke pours from its nostrils as from a boiling pot over burning reeds.  Its breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from its mouth.”
      ESV   “His sneezings flash forth light, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn.  Out of his mouth go flaming torches; sparks of fire leap forth.  Out of his nostrils comes forth smoke, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.  His breath kindles coals, and a flame comes forth from his mouth.”
Job 41:31-32
     KJV  “He maketh the deep to boil like a pot: he maketh the sea like a pot of ointment.  He maketh a path to shine after him; one would think the deep to be hoary.”
      NLT  “It makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.  It leaves a glistening wake behind it; one would think the deep had white hair.
        NIV   “He makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of  ointment.
 Behind him he leaves a glistening wake; one would think the deep had white hair.  
        ESV     “He makes the deep boil like a pot; he makes the sea like a pot of ointment.  Behind him he leaves a
shining wake; one would think the deep to be white-haired.”

     So what do you think?  Does this creature sound like a hippo or elephant to you?  
    Not me. I'd call it a powerful, glistening, fire breathing, dawn-eyed dragon.  
     Still not convinced?  
     Earlier, I asked you to write down the animals God mentioned by name to Job in these Scriptures.  God named twelve and all twelve are real animals that walk on the earth today.  Do you think it is significant that God also mentions by name the Behemoth and Leviathan?  It is certainly a mystery why they no longer exist on earth today, but the fact that God names them along with the others, and goes into great detail describing them is significant in my book.  It sure puts a damper on the idea of these creatures being mythical or metaphor.  Can we really believe they are anything other than what God says they are?
     As for me, I’’ll be looking for the glowing white wakes of the Leviathan in the oceans of heaven because I really, really, wanna see that guy.  I just love this stuff!

Let me take you somewhere...Excerpt from the, "Glory Road."

     Psalm 51:6 NIV and Jeremiah 1:5. These Scriptures tell us that our spirits knew God before He knitted us inside our Mothers womb? 
    So now, knowing this fascinating fact, I ask you to indulge me and let me take you somewhere.  My imagination often tries to fill in the blanks of the great stories told  in Scripture.  So come with me for a moment and imagine what it might have been like right before God breathed life into your human spirit. 
     Imagine Him placing you, a preciously loved and perfectly made child, at the beginning of a road.  It’s not at all familiar and it’s full of things you’ve never seen and don’t understand.  God tells you that it is the road leading through your life on earth and that it ends in eternity where you’ll be back with Him forever.  
     Then you watch, as your Father, the creator of all living things, sends someone down the road ahead of you in the greatest of love.  “This is my Son,” He tells you, “of whom I am well pleased.”  Matthew 3: 1 Mark 1:11, 2 Peter 1:17, Luke 3:22.  “His name is Jesus.”
    You watch as this Jesus clears your path and lights your way.  He gathers up everything dark and ugly and takes it upon his back.  The pain of this is unbearable, the terrible weight of it brings the Son to his knees before the Father.
     “But I love her,” the Father says as He helps the Son back to his feet.  “Go on to the cross now.  This child is worth it.” 
     So Jesus does what his Father tells him.  A bit further down the road you see him sit and break bread at a table with twelve He loves.  Luke 22:19, Just after that, you hear his cries to the Father from a garden, Luke 22:42, Mark 14:36, and then you see his hands get hammered into a board with nails.  His blood is shed.  Your Father cries.
     The Son cries out again to the Father from the cross, Mark 15:24 and then utters, “It is finished.” John 19:28-30 Jesus had taken his last breath.     
     “Go on now.”  Your Father says as He gives you a pat.  “I have chosen your family.  They are waiting.  Your life on earth is about to begin.”
     You place your foot onto the terribly stain road and notice it is full of dark and deep ruts.  “I don’t like this road, Daddy.”  You tell him.  “These stains are ugly and those ruts will swallow me.”
     “You must go down it.”  He tells you with love.  “It is simply the way it must be.  Know too that you will leave your own ugly stain behind on this road because you have become a daughter of Eve and it is your sin nature now.  Soon, a time will come and you will turn away from me.”
     “No Daddy! Please?  Don’t make me go. I want to stay here with you?”
     “You cannot. ”  He says firmly.  “You must walk in faith and trust me.  My Glory will be everywhere so if you look for me, you will see me.  When my Son Jesus died, He saved you from death and left with you a helper, the Holy Spirit, who I sent in His name.  It will teach you and help you remember the things I have said.  John 14:16-17, John 14:26.  Study my word and ask the Holy Spirit for revelation.  Do this, and all truth you know will return.  Then you will remember know my plans for you.  Jeremiah 29:11 These are the things that will lead you back to me.”
     As you take your first small step, your Father engraves your name into the palm of His hand.  Isaiah 49:16  “I know every hair on your head,” Matthew 10:30, Luke 12:7,  “and every sparrow that falls.”  Matthew 10:29  
“So you run along now.”
  You turn around for one last look and plead.  “I’m not ready?” 
     “You are ready, sweet child.  I know every breath you take and the exact number of your days. You’ll see me at the other end of this road.”  He points to something very far away.  “It is a glorious place called eternity.”
     As you turn away.  God knits you together inside your mother’s womb.  Psalm 139:13, where you will form and grow.  Then, your Father in heaven picks up the Book of Life and places it on a table shining with gold and emeralds.  He opens it to your special chapter and looks at the topography of the road you are now on.  He records every twist and turn, your every sin and every praise.  Rev. 3:5, Rev. 20:12, Rev. 21:27  Where He finds you on a mountaintop in communion with Him, he draws a heart.  Your every thought and word has been recorded, so with his palms open and laid upon the pages of your life, He sits, and closes his eyes. 
     A tear rolls down his face.
    It is then that the Son comes alongside him and places his hand on the Fathers shoulder.  “She will find her way back to us, Father.”  He tells him.
     The Father nods his head, “I know she will.”  He pats the hand of His Son and then wipes the tear from His cheek.  “But she gets lost for quite some time and the enemy’s strongholds against this little one are great.  Her life gets very dark.”  The Father pauses and another tear falls from his eye.  “I miss her so much while she’s away.”
     “It is because your love is so great, Father.”  The Son says.  Romans 8:38-39, Lamentations 3:22-23, Psalm 103:11-12
     “And she finds her way back because of your sacrifice and grace from the cross.”  Says the Father.  Ephesians 2:8, Romans 5:8, 1John 4:16
     “I only do what I see you do.”  Jesus adds.  John 5:19
     “Yes.”  The Father stands. “I know.”   
    He embraces the Son and closes the Book of Life.  Together they walk to the doorway.  The Father smiles.  “Now my Son, what are the Angels going to sing with me today?” Zephaniah 3:17


Every picture tells a story, dont it?

I hear the whispers...

Monday, September 3, 2012

The oldest living things on earth...

     Yesterday my husband and I hiked around the Ancient Bristlecone Forest and it blew my mind.  We stood among the oldest living things on earth. The oldest living things on earth.   As I contemplated why, in my 23 years I had never had the inkling to go before now, (it's only a two hour drive from my house) I knew that it was all about God's timing. I wouldn't have seen what stood in front of me 20 years ago, or even ten.  There truly is a purpose for every season under heaven, and this was mine for these ancient trees. 
     There was something amazing about standing at the foot of something 4000 years old as Paul and I celebrated the brand new life of our third grandson Gideon just two days before.  I love how God uses things like this to reveal himself and how he uses us in each other's lives because if not for some precious friends, I would have missed this entirely.  A few weeks ago, our friend David went to finish a job at the visitor center and his wife Lisa went along for the ride.  David is a  master woodworker and put in all the counter tops and cabinetry in the new building. The next day, when Lisa posted a picture of an ancient tree, I couldn't stop thinking about it and asked Paul if he would take me so we made a date. 
      The new forest visitor center was still running on the adrenaline of the re-grand opening from the day before, (the old visitor center burned down in a fire several years ago) and the woman who greeted us sang the praises of DK Wordworks and his artistic cabinetry. After asking a few questions about the trails and the timing of the hike, Paul and I headed off.  We were told that the 4 1/2 mile loop around the Methuselah trail usually took about 3 hours if you stopped to take pictures. I saw Paul look at his watch when she said this and make new calculations.  I knew what he was thinking. These people had never put anything like me into that mathematical photo taking equation before. 
     So picture this. Me, who can't even drive home from Mammoth without stopping to photograph something, on a very narrow trail full of roots and rocks among the oldest trees on earth. This was not a trail that you could walk along and casually take pictures. The trail required my full attention, so it was one or the other. The reflection of the afternoon light on these trees captivated me and had me turning in circles and stopping at every bend in the road.  Paul was recalculating the time it would take us to get to the end before the first quarter mile. 
     I think it was right about the one mile marker that my camera froze. I'm not kidding. My brand new Iphone wouldn't close or shoot another picture. I thought perhaps the forty-seven pictures in a row or the jostling from the trail had killed it. I couldn't close the app, or turn it off.  My words, "Are you kidding me?!" brought my husband from the forty feet in front of me back to my side.  He was sympathetic and patient. I think he even felt my pain as we hadn't even entered the oldest part of the forest where Methuselah lived.  After a few minutes of panic, it finally shut down so I zipped it into my jacket pocket and moved forward behind the footsteps of my husband. In the quiet that followed, God reminded me that this ancient forest was not about me and the pictures I was taking, but about His creation and glory. Once I settled there, I somehow knew my Iphone would come back on. It did.
     We arrived in the grove of 4000 year old trees about an hour later and as we sat among them we read the amazing story of their survival. I will share some of that with you now. 
      Bristlecone Pines grow very slowly because of limited resources and short growing season. Only a thin layer of tissue (a growth ring) is added to the truck branches and roots each year. A one inch thickness of growth may take a century to accomplish. It may take 300 years to reach a height of 50 feet and they keep their needles for 30 to 40 years. This lack of forest floor litter prevents the spread of fire. These trees have been sculpted by wind, ice and extreme exposure to the elements. Their contorted shapes seem to defy nature and the exposed dead wood of these ancient trees seems to have their own color palette.  Sunshine, wind and aging all have their effect. The polished surfaces are the result of wind and ice blasting the surface for thousands of years. They may be famous because of their age, because of their ability to record climate trends. Their sensitive nature gives scientists a record of the past. Climates, droughts, severe frost, fires,and volcanic eruptions can all be recorded in these ancient pieces of wood. 
The amazing Great Basin Bristlecone Pine will continue to thrive in this harsh environment. Dolomite, climate, and dense wood all play roles in its secrets to longevity, yet there are many mysteries to solve. These oldest trees survive in the most difficult situations.  Perhaps there is a lesson in this for all of us. A lesson as old as these ancient trees.
I love this stuff!