Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Strange and Interesting Bible Facts

Once a month, I write a short column for a writer’s newsletter, “The Write Life" called “Strange and Interesting Bible Facts.” Since 2010, I have thoroughly enjoyed digging in my Bible to come up with Bible tid-bits for this column. So, now I will pass on the interesting facts I have found to you – my blog readers – in a new section I will post periodically under this same title.

Here are four to get us started:

1) “Pass me not Oh gentle Savior. Hear my humble cry!  While on others Thou art calling, do not pass me by.”  This is a famous hymn written by the late Fannie Crosby. Where do we find the words, “Do not pass me by.” in scripture?  …. Do you give up? Abraham said it in Genesis 18:3. The setting is by the oaks of Mamre, where the Lord appeared to Abraham. In verse 3 Abraham says to the Lord, “My Lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, please do not pass your servant by.”  
2) Have you ever heard the name Ichabod?  Most of us have heard it in the context of the story by John Quidor of Ichabod Crane and the headless horseman. But did you know the name appears in the Bible?  1st Samuel 4 tells the sad story of the Philistine victory where the Ark of the Covenant was stolen, Eli’s sons were killed, and Eli also died upon hearing the news of the battle and the loss of the Ark of the Covenant.  This sad chapter ends with the story of Eli’s daughter in law also dying in childbirth after the news of her loss caused her to go into labor.  As she was dying, she named her newborn son Ichabod, which means “No glory” because she said the glory of the Lord had departed. (1st Samuel 4: 21)

3) This tid-bit of information is drawn from a book by David Jeremiah. He tells of a geophysicist who explained that oil deposits result from the decomposition of plants and animal life that once covered the earth until a vast cataclysm (like a flood, perhaps?) The richest and largest deposits of oil are just east of Israel, where the Bible places the Garden of Eden. In presenting his argument that the last battle will be over oil, Dr. Jeremiah states, “It’s ironic to think that Satan may finance the Battle of Armageddon at the end of human history with revenues generated from the garden he spoiled at the beginning of human history.”

4) Sometimes verses strike me as humorous. This one did that when I read it. Paul said these words just before his shipwreck. He had a dream in which God had told him he would appear before Caesar. Then Paul tells the men on his ship, “Keep up your courage men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told.  But we must run aground on some island.” (Acts 27:25-26) Maybe there is something wrong or irreverent about me for finding these verses so hilarious.  Or maybe I’ve just been there too many times in my life. But I can truly relate with these words, “Things are going to be OK!  I believe God!...Oh! - but first we are going to have a major shipwreck. There will be pieces of us everywhere; a major mess!!  Just overlook it! Everything is going to turn out just the way God wants it too! 



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