F.F. Bruce quotes C.H. Spurgeon in his commentary on 1 John 5:14 "If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us"
"Constantly, we hear God addressed as 'the hearer & answerer of prayer,' a mere vulgar & useless pleonasm, for the scripture idea of God's hearing prayer is just his answering it - 'O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.'"
And if you've ever wondered what Pleonast is... now is the time to find out, so you can appreciate Spurgeon's quote.
I for one am glad that Pleonast kept me from having to pick up the dictionary on that one.
This shocking question is the heart of a new media campaign started and funded by Atlanta non-profit The Radiance Foundation and Operation Outrage. The Atlanta controversy has received national coverage from the NY Times to the LA Times and demands the attention of religious and minority leaders.
Catherine Davis, Director of Minority Outreach for Georgia’s Right to Life, answers the difficult question with a firm yes and statistics to back her. What are the statistics?
Forty percent of all black pregnancies end in induced abortion. Abortions occur at three times the rate among those in the white population. Abortion kills more African-Americans per year than heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, accidents, homicides, suicide, and cancer-combined.
The Center for Disease and Control shows troubling statistics for Georgia specifically. In 2008, there were 35,888 abortions performed in Georgia of which 58.2% were African-American. Yet, blacks comprise only 30% of the population according to US Census reports.
The debate gets even more heated when Davis mentions the excessive ratio of abortion clinics in urban areas versus suburban neighborhoods. She also draws attention to the troubling history of Planned Parenthood. One of the founders of the American Birth Control League, later renamed Planned Parenthood, is Margaret Sanger, an acknowledged proponent of eugenics-selective breeding for a better race of people in society.
Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (who ironically received the Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger award in 1966), endorsed the anti-abortion movement, “I know for sure that the black community is being targeted by abortionists for the purpose of ethnic cleansing.”
The question is actually an old one & many organizations have been trying to garner attention for years. Maybe this new awareness campaign will finally stick. Radiance Foundation founder Ryan Bomberger has put together a very compelling case at www.toomanyendangered.com.
I admit I titled this post in a way to draw attention to Tony. I want to compliment him on being the first person to encourage Christians to take good care of the enviroment in the FC Lecture book series. In 1995 Tony had these excellent thoughts,
"The OT & NT alike teach a fundamental responsibility to properly use & appreciate God’s creation. ‘The creation around us is a gift to be enjoyed responsibly, not recklessly exploited.’ …It just makes good sense that we would want to preserve the beauty of God’s creation as much as possible. Why would we mar & destroy one means that the world has of coming to know God—His wondrous creation? Why would a disciple of the Lord Jesus display little to no concern for needless pollution which detracts from the beauty of God’s handiwork?” (123, 127 FC ’95 In His Image: Implications from Creation)
He also makes a good logical comparison to someone who beats the stew out of a pet every day after work. We would all agree he had a poor attitude & ought to exhibit self-control towards the innocent animal even though the NT does not replicate the OT commands for proper treatment of animals. Therefore, why don't more of us see the attitude problem with someone who neglects the creation God has told him to take care of?
Sure there is an extreme among some evangelical enviromentalists & secular enviromentalists, but we cannot allow one extrememt to trick us into running into another extreme.
Early bird gets the worm, we got to hear a lecture from Phil Roberts!
Liberals took a low view of the historical accuracy of Chronicles. (Called it ‘P’ source)
W.F. Albright, renowned archaeologist & theological liberal forced a reconsideration.
Not only liberals, LXX title is, “The things left omitted, left over.”
Matthew Henry, many think “of all the books of holy scripture we could do w/o its these.”
Thankfully he went on to argue why we shouldn’t.
Phil Roberts wrote his Master’s Thesis on this subject in 1973. (Trying to get it published)
Why do we say Chron comes after Samuel/Kings?
Last event in Kings Jehoiachin (560)
Last even in Chronicles the return from captivity. (539)
1 Chron 3:17-24 mentions at least two generations after Zerubabbel
Chronicles was probably written c. 400 BC, last OT book, could use all the other books.
Therefore, he incorporates all of the OT canon to foreshadow the coming messiah.
Did the author of Chronicles know Samuel/Kings? Yes
1 Chon 11:3 David is anointed king (cf 1 Sam 16)
1 Chron 10:15 “His word spoken through Ahijah the Shilonite (cf. 1 Kings 11:29-40)
2 Chron 32:31-32 some would include 2 Kings 20:12-19
Why the genealogies of 1 Chron 1-9
2:3-4:23 Judah- After the division of the Kingdom, Judah will be the focus.
6:1-8:1 Levi or Levites are mentioned 4 times in Samuel & Kings.
In Chronicles Levi 15 times, Levites/Levite 94 times. Sam/Kg 112 times Chron 111 times
Moving of the ark: 2 Sam 6 no mention of Levites, in 1 Ch 13, 15-16 many references.
Some tribes are dismissed in one verse.
Hezekiah 2 Kg 18-20 priests once but not the Levites
2 Chronicles 29-31 mentions the priests 24 times & the Levites 21 times
Only two familes traced from patriarchs to the exile David (3:1-24) & Aaron (6:1-15)
8:1-40 Benjamin: After the division of the kingdom
Benjamin 14 times in Chronicles 3 times in Samuel/Kings
Saul in Chronicles
Dismissed quickly in Chronicles… so we’ll do the same.
The LORD is specifically said to put Saul to death (2:3; 13:10; 2 Chron 13:20; 22:7)
“For the author the Kingdom begins with David” P. Roberts (23)
Things Chronicles omits from the account of David
David fleeing from Saul (1 Sam 16-2 Sam 1) & related events
Conflict with Ishbosheth (2 Sam 2-4)
David’s kindess to Mephibosheth (2 Sam 9)
David’s sin w/ Bathsheba & its accompanying disasters (2 Sam 11-20) beyond David.
Putting the seven descendents of Saul to death (2 Sam 21:1-14)
David rescued by Sbishai in battle (2 Sam 21:15-17)
The Song of David (2 Sam 22)
Words of David (2 Sam 23:1-7)
Abishag (1 Kg 1:1-4)
David’s Charge to Solomon about Abner & Shemei (1 Kg 2:1-12)
But we are used to this b/c of our treatment of the synoptic gospels.
Why would these things be omitted?
The author writes real history, but also a selective history.
The purpose of his selection: is to inspire hope in a future glorious descendant for the throne.
He is interested more in a theological symbol than a tidy historical picture. (V. Hamilton)
Therefore the passages about David that don’t fit a ‘glorious’ picture are left out.
First event after Saul’s death, ‘All Israel’ comes to make David king.
1 King 11: Shepherd (2) My people (2) Prince (2) Covenant (3) King (3)
Note: Ezek 37: shepherd (24) my people (27) prince (25) covenant (26) king (24)
What Ezekiel does by prophecy, Chron does by historical typology.
1 Chron 11:1; 12 All Israel gathers to make him king (Ezek 37:15-28)
1 Chron 12:38-40 Foreshadows Messianic Banquet (Lk 13:29; Rev 19:7-9)
The order is changed intentionally:
Samuel records David’s family, victory over Philistines, & the moving of the ark.
Chronicles records moving the ark, family, victory over Philistines, & then ark completed.
Why the different order? To emphasize David’s concern for the worship of God & temple.
Battles of David
1 Chronicles records almost every battle of David as King (14:8-17; 18, 19, 20)
20:4-8 duplicates 2 Sam 21:18-22 but one battle is missing:
Why omit 21:15-17? B/c David was almost killed.
Chronicler chooses to dwell on the legitimately glorious aspects of David’s reign.
Psm 2, 110 present the same picture. In part of Psm 89 we see it again.
A King who is victorious over all of his foes. The Messiah will be victorious over foes.
The Chronicler wrote an idealized history of the past to provide a picture of the future.
Kings shows how they ended up in captivity.
Chronicler tries to lift them up w/ a brighter picture.
Long Phil Roberts quote:
“They needed to be reminded of the glorious destiny that had been promised to them.
They needed to have their eyes turned towards a brighter hope.”
Promises to David 2 Sam 7 & 1 Chron 17 (Thoughts from Phil Roberts)
2 Sam 7;1 “the Lord had given him rest…”
These two references to rest in 2 Sam 7 are omitted in 1 Chron 17
Rest is t/o Josh, Judges, King… Chronicles rest is for Solomon’s time.
David’s victories foreshadows the Messiah’s; Solomon’s time foreshadows Messiah’s people.
(Isaiah 2:2-4; 9:6-7; Micah 4:1-4; Zech 9:9-10)
Why are some things in Chronicles but omitted in Samuel/Kings?
1 Chron 21:26 Fire consumes David’s sacrifice (2 Chr 7:1-3)
Shows God’s acceptance of the temple (Lev 9:22-24)
1 Chon 22-29 does not have a parallel:
While David does not actually build it, he does much preparation. (22:2-5; 29:1-9)
David organizes who will work there: priests, musicians, gatekeepers
Davidic King will unite the house of David & the house of Aaron
Throne & Temple (Jer 33:14-26; Zech 4; 6:12-13)
Remember only the families of David & Aaron are traced from patriarchs to exile.
“The latter prophets found themselves entering more & more of their hope around the temple itself.” Roberts, 122 (Ezek 37:24-28; 40-48; Hag 2:1-9)
“Samuel-Kings was looking back in penitence; Chronicles was looking forward in hope.” Roberts, 102
Solomon’s wisdom & wealth, perhaps, forms a chiasmus.
Links between David & Solomon in Chronicles
Differences in Treatment of Solomon
“Truly He is good, His lovingkindness is everlasting”
1 Chron 16:34; 2 Ch 5:13; 7:3; 20:21; Ezra 3:11
Lovingkindness is sometimes used as a technical term for the Davidic covenant.
Psm 89 speicically 19-37 stresses this same concept repeatedly.
Where is His lovingkindness? Chronicles answers that it is everlasting.
The OT has repeated accounts of failure.
Was Kingship a Bad Deal?
Failed attempts in Judges: Gideon & Abimelech
Israel’s demand for a king in 1 Sam 8
Do these texts show that kingship should be seen in a bad light?
OT examples of Kingship:
Adam, rulership over the earth (Gen 1:26)
Made in the image of God & God is the great king.
Abraham (Gen 17:16) Jacob (Gen 35:11) Judah (Gen 49:10)
Moses gives the design for Kingship Deut 17:14-20
Deut 17: God’s Design
God’s choice (15), Hebrew (15), Not greedy w/ horses, wives, riches (16)
(Greed=idolatry) “Or else his heart will turn away”
He shall write for himself a copy of the law (18) Have we tried this?
(King Jesus came & He was The Word in the flesh)
Kingship does not deny divine authority: The Word was authority.
So was Kingship inherently wicked?
Adam & Eve tried to become their own Gods. (It was God’s land, we are only stewards.)
Israel, in 1 Sam 8, desired a king of their choosing, they desired to be God. Cf. Psm 2
1 Sam 8 also indicates a lack of faith, they wanted a King defending them, not God.
They desired to be ‘like the nations,’ they wanted to be pagan.
Compare Dt 17’s desires with their desires in 1 Sam 8:
Pagan’s oppress & gain power; God desires righteousness & justice.
And unfortunately from Saul & Solomon on… they repeatedly look pagan.
Pagan Kings vs Gods Kings
Appointed by others or self-appointed Appointed by God, through prophecy
Autocrats, answer to no one (Zimri?) Always answers to God
Authority even in religion (Jeroboam?) No explicit authority except to be an example
Viewed as divine, not just a symbol Not divine, but represents God
Job: Increase the Kingdom Job: Deal justly
The Ultimate King
In Israel, David sets a standard not met until exceeded by the Messiah
Note the contrasts between Saul & David in Samuel.
Saul tried to break from God’s authority,
David slipped up & sought to be brought back under it.
Why did the Kings fail?
Didn’t fear God or respect His word
Tried to separate their Kingship from God to be autonomous rulers
(Look closely at Absalom, look at Jezebel’s words to Ahab)
Any reforms initiated by good kings needed to start w/ this fundamental understanding.
Think about David’s charge to Solomon, 1 Kings 2:3-4
Great promise given to Jeroboam, 1 Kings 11; They just don’t listen.
Kings & Reform:
Asa (2 Chron 14-15) 14:2-5; 15:12 He turns late in life
Jehoshaphat (2 Chron 17) Created a teaching commission, but allies w/ Ahab (Attaliah!)
*Jehoiada (2 Chron 23) In control of Joash from infancy. Great restoration of covenant.
He is given a Kings burial, but then Joash turns to idolatry, it only takes a generation.
Hezekiah (2 Chron 29-31) Another great restoration, 31:20
Josiah (2 Chron 34) They find the book of the law! v21ff “Great is the wrath of God”
Common Elements of Reform:
Focus on Word of God & God’s authority
Restoration of Worship; Restoration of Priesthood & its Functions
Restoration of Feast Days; Purging of Sin, urging purity, holiness
Need for Modern Reform:
Why we fail today: we try to be our own autonomous rulers, disrespecting God & authority.
We become guilty of our own idolatry. Ignoring the word of God.
Every generation must continue, it is ongoing.
Following God’s Design
Can Dt 17 inform us today?
We are chosen by God to be a royal people.
We are His people, in covenant with Him
We are to shun covetousness, wordliness, & materialism.
A ‘Restoration Movement’
Like some museum piece, to be displayed & dusted off? (Looked at)
No such thing as one restoration movement, ever at any time in history.
Precisely b/c of what we see in the Kings, each generation struggles.
Don’t tell our children to look at the movement, restore your individual self!
Article by Michael Patton “Scandal of the Evangelical Mind”
We have become scared to teach. We love being ‘accepted’ by the world.
Renew you commitment to God & His covenant with you
Never act autonomously—without God’s word
YHWH is King forever & ever. Ps 10:16