Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 288

The scriptures read are Ezekiel 35-36, Psalm 86 and Revelation 9.

Ezekiel 35. Mount Seir is a poetic stand-in for the country in that region, Edom. They will experience the same hatred and anger they displayed when their took advantage of God's people when they were at their lowest point. It was God's punishment but not an invitation to pile on.

Ezekiel 36. The prophet is to tell the mountains that, after being ravaged and plundered by Israel's enemies and polluted by the blood spilled by its inhabitants, God will restore them. The hills will flourish with new plant growth and animals, and will be repopulated.

God will gather his people from exile and put a new heart and a new spirit in them. He will replace their hearts of stone with hearts that are humane.

Psalm 86. Lots of musical versions to choose from. Many I disqualified for poor sound quality and for not actually being based on the psalm at all. I was affected by this simple heartfelt Christian version though.

Revelation 9. The fifth trumpet sounds, a star falls, a bottomless pit opens and out come locusts who sting like scorpions. They cannot harm vegetation or those sealed by God. The others they torment for 5 months.

Depending on which school of thought one follows, (H) the locusts are the Saracens and the fallen star Mohammed. The Saracens tormented papal Rome but could not kill it. The 5 months or 150 days are 150 years that the Muslims attacked Eastern churches and Western Europe. Or (P) the star was some major personality who unleashed a swarm of moral and spiritual errors. The 5 months might be the duration of the siege of Jerusalem or the period during which Gessius Florus, the Roman procurator, harassed the Jews, killing 3600 in the process and thus triggering the Jewish revolt. Or (F) the star is the pope or Satan and the locusts are demons or fallen angels loosed from their imprisonment or possibly Cobra helicopters! Or (S) very much like the Futurists except no pope or helicopters.

The sixth trumpet. The third of humanity killed is (H) the Eastern third of the Roman Empire, (P) not mentioned, (F) literally a third of mankind, which combined with the quarter killed under the 4th seal, means only half the world's population remains, or (S) a warning to the remaining two-thirds. Judah was in the past frequently threatened from the East (the Euphrates). The 10th Roman legion was stationed there and sent to quell the Jewish revolt.

The army of 200 million is (H) the Turks and the fire, smoke and brimstone came from their cannons. The colored breastplates are the Turkish battle colors and if they lost their standard, they would cut off a horse's tail and tie it to a spear. Or the army (P) was not that big but an impressively large number of Roman troops, (F) the combined armies of the world, headed by the Antichrist, or possibly just the Chinese army, or (S) an impressively large army, as we saw in World Wars 1 & 2.  

No comments:

Post a Comment