Thursday, March 19, 2009
Well, I got some props together to make some photos of our little Confederate. I had the best time finding the gray outfit, ordering the kepi cap (which is still way too big for him) and then arranging all the props. Poor little Brett is such a good sport!
So, here is our LI'L REBEL!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Jacob's fifth son, second by Bilhah, Rachel's maid, Rachel said, "with wrestlings of God (i.e. earnest prayer) I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed."
Naphtali shows his father, Jacob/Israel, the bloodied coat of Joseph.
He was one of the 5 brethren whom Joseph chose to represent the family of Jacob in the presence of Pharaoh.
Joseph introducing his father to Pharoah.
He had 4 sons when the family moved to Egypt, Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem. He is said to have been 132 years old at his death.
At the census of Sinai, Naphtali's tribe numbered 53,400 able for war (Numbers 1:43). At the borders of Canaan, before crossing into the Promised Land, the tribe of Naphtali had fallen to 45,400 (Numbers 26:48-50). Naphtali had its portion between the coastland strip of Asher and the upper Jordan. Naphtali had the well watered district about Banias and the springs of the Jordan, the whole W. coast of the sea of Galilee, "an earthly paradise", and lake Merom. The district is still called Belad Besharah, "land of good tidings." The climate of the lower levels is hot and suited for tropical plants, so that fruits ripen earlier than elsewhere. The soil is rich, full of trees. The population of this once thickly peopled, flourishing region, is as scanty as its natural vegetation is luxuriant. Its forests and ever varying scenery are among the finest in Palestine.
In the division of the kingdom, Naphtali belonged to the kingdom of Israel
The largest town in Mt. Naphtali was Safed, on the heights due North of the Sea of Galilee, often spoken of as the “city set on a hill.”
It is built in the form of a horseshoe, open to the North, round the Castle Hill, on which are the ruins of the old fortress of the Templars. This is a position of great strength, which could hardly fail to be occupied in ancient times, although, so far, it cannot be identified with any ancient city. It contains between 20,000 and 30,000 inhabitants. Over against it to the Northwest, beyond the deep gorge of Wady Leimun, rises Jebel Jermuk, the highest mountain in Palestine proper (circa 4,000 feet). The inhabitants of Safed were massacred by Sultan Babars in 1266. The city suffered severely from earthquake in 1759 and 1837. It is one of the holy cities of the Jews.
"Naphtali is a hind let loose, he giveth goodly words." Naphtali first told Jacob Joseph was alive. "Naphtali is a swift messenger, like a hind that runneth on the mountains, bringing good tidings." (Targum Yonatan, Bereishit 49:21). He honored his father exeedingly. His father would dispatch him wherever he wished, and he was quick to fulfill his mission so that [his father] was pleased with him. Moreover, Naphtali's speech was pleasant to [his father], and therefore his father blessed him (Bamidbar Rabbah 14:11).
He went as a messenger anywhere the Tribes wished, and he would carry out their missions immediately (Midrash HaGadol, Bereishit 49:21).
At Deborah's call, Barak, with 10,000 men of Naphtali, fought and delivered Israel from Jabin of Canaan. Barak’s war-like energy and their joint song speak of the prowess and the eloquence of Naphtali (Judges 4-5); Naphtali and Zebulun "jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field". They helped Gideon against Midia (Judges 6-7). The country never lacked multitudes of men of courage ready to give a good account of themselves on all occasions of war. Its history, as far as we know it, afforded ample opportunity for the development of warlike qualities. To David's forces at Hebron, Naphtali contributed a thousand captains “and with them with shield and spear thirty and seven thousand” (1 Chronicles 12:34).
Naphtali failed to drive out the Canaanites (Judges 1:33). Pagan neighbours soon made it and northern Israel the "Galilee of the Gentiles." The people of Naphtali were among the "Lost Ten Tribes of Israel" who were conquered and taken away into exile by the Assyrians. Tiglath Pileser swept Naphtali’s people to Assyria; Benhadad of Syria had previously smitten all Naphtali (1 Kings 15:20, 29).
2 Kings 15:29, 17:22-23 RSV"In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, came and captured Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; and he carried the people captive to Assyria ... The people of Israel walked in all the sins which Jeroboam did; they did not depart from them, until The Lord removed Israel out of His sight, as He had spoken by all His servants the Prophets. So Israel was exiled from their own land to Assyria until this day"
But where the darkness was greatest and the captivity first came, the gospel light first shone, as foretold of Zebulun and Naphtali in Isaac 9:1-2 and Matthew 4:15. In the land of Naphtali Jesus spent a great part of his public life, the land of Gennesaret, Bethsaida, Capernaum and Chorazin all lying within its boundaries.
Naphtali shall have its 12,000 elect ones sealed in Revelations 7:6 and its allotment in restored Israel (Ezekial 48: 3-4, 34).
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth. They were holding back the four winds of the earth to keep them from blowing on the land, the sea, or any tree.
I saw another angel coming from the east with the seal of the living God. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been allowed to harm the land and sea,
"Don't harm the land, the sea, or the trees until we have put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God."
I heard how many were sealed: 144,000. Those who were sealed were from every tribe of the people of Israel:
12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed, 12,000 from the tribe of Reuben, 12,000 from the tribe of Gad,
12,000 from the tribe of Asher, 12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali, 12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,
12,000 from the tribe of Simeon, 12,000 from the tribe of Levi, 12,000 from the tribe of Issachar,
12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun, 12,000 from the tribe of Joseph, 12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.
After these things I saw a large crowd from every nation, tribe, people, and language. No one was able to count how many people there were. They were standing in front of the throne and the lamb. They were wearing white robes, holding palm branches in their hands, and crying out in a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the lamb!"
All the angels stood around the throne with the leaders and the four living creatures. They bowed in front of the throne with their faces touching the ground, worshiped God, and said, "Amen! Praise, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power, and strength be to our God forever and ever! Amen!"
One of the leaders asked me, "Who are these people wearing white robes, and where did they come from?"
I answered him, "Sir, you know." Then he told me, "These are the people who are coming out of the terrible suffering. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb.
That is why they are in front of the throne of God. They serve him day and night in his temple. The one who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.
They will never be hungry or thirsty again. Neither the sun nor any burning heat will ever overcome them.
The lamb in the center near the throne will be their shepherd. He will lead them to springs filled with the water of life, and God will wipe every tear from their eyes."
After the opening the 6th of 7 seals the 4 angels hold back the winds. Satan is called the prince of the power of the air. These destructive winds are held back until God's people are protected, first the believing Jews and then the believing Gentile martyrs during the Great Tribulation including, also, retrospectively, all the tribulation which believers of all ages have had to pass through. They are clothed in white robes that have been washed in the blood of Christ. No other blood cleanses us but the righteous blood of Christ.
We are made righteous because of the blood of Christ, His work on the cross. Under the ancient Jewish ritual, various things in the Temple were cleansed from ceremonial defilement by the sprinkling of blood (from the sacrifice of perfect lambs or bullocks) on them - the blood of sacrifice. In accordance with that usage, the blood of the Lamb - of the Lord Jesus - is said to cleanse and purify.
The Bible says believers are sealed with Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 1:13-14 You, too, have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed in him you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of God's own possession, to his praise and glory.
This mark is the witness of the Holy Ghost, printed in the hearts of believers. He impressed His deity upon us. We are made in His image and, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we become His Children and are filled with His Holy Spirit. We are written down in the Lamb's Book of Life. His Presence, His Divinity, His Deity lives in us as His children.
"Not because of who I am, but because of what He's done, Not because of what I've done, but because of who You are" - Casting Crowns
Christ set a mark upon these martyrs, as was upon the houses of the Israelites, when the death angel passed through Egypt, and destroyed all the firstborn during the first Passover. All firstborn died that night except those who had sacrificed the lamb and applied his blood to the entrance of their homes in obedience to God's command. Jesus, the Lamb of God, was sacrificed for us and His Blood is applied to our hearts to protect us from eternal death.
God prepares them beforehand. Notice the seal is upon the forehead where the individual cannot see it without looking into the mirror of God's Word. Others can see it. God knows who His Elect. He protects them until the wrath is past. They are set apart for mercy and safety.
The tribulation to which the martyrs were exposed under the fifth seal, is the same which Jesus foretells. The tribulation that precedes His coming:
Matthew 24:20-22 But pray that your flight is not in the winter, nor on the sabbath day; for then shall be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world to this time; no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days should be shortened, no flesh would be saved. But for the elect's sake, those days shall be shortened.
Daniel 12:1-2 And at that time (Chief Angel Prince, Archangel, Heavenly Patron & Champion of Israel) Michael shall stand up, the great ruler who stands for the sons of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation; until that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
They are seen taken out of the earth before the judgments on the Antichrist apostasy (those who fall away due to the Antichrist). With their Lord, they, and all His faithful witnesses and disciples of past ages, wait for His coming and their coming to be glorified and reign together with Him. Meanwhile, in contrast with their previous sufferings, they are exempt from the hunger, thirst, and scorching heats of life on earth and are fed and refreshed by the Lamb of God Himself.
Naphtali will have 12,000 believers who represent that tribe of the 144,000 saved from the Great Tribulation.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
1850 Census of Subdivision 10, Greene County, TN, Roll M432_880, Pg 302, Image 607, Lines 25-34, Dwelling 149, Family 149, “John R. Lamb”
John R. Lamb, 38 yrs old, M(ale), W(hite), Farmer, Born in NC
Sarah Lamb, 44 yrs old, F, W, Born in TN
William Lamb, 18 yrs old, F (sic ?), W, Born in TN
James Lamb, 17 yrs old, M, W, Born in TN
Nathan Lamb, 13 yrs old, M, W, Born in TN
Martha Lamb, 11 yrs old, F, W, Born in TN
John Lamb, 8 yrs old, M, W, born in TN
David Lamb, 6 yrs old, M, W, Born in TN
Elbert Lamb, 4 yrs old, M, W, Born in TN
Benjamin Lamb, 5/12 mos old, M, W, Born in TN
1860 Census of Limestone Springs, Greene County, TN, Roll M653_1252, Pg 375, Image 358, Lines 10-16, Dwelling 277, Family 277, “John R. Lamb”
John R. Lamb, 28 yrs old, M(ale), W(hite), Farmer, $400 Real Estate value, $150 Personal estate value, Born in NC
Sarah Lamb, 53 yrs old, F, W, Born in TN
Martha J. Lamb, 20 yrs old, F, W, Born in TN
John O (or Q). Lamb, 17 yrs old, M, W, Farm Laborer, Born in TN (
ancestry.com has him indexed as John O. Lamb)
David P. Lamb ,15 yrs old, M, W, Farm Laborer, Born in TN (Ancestry.com has him indexed as Darra P. which is what it looks like)
Elbert S. Lamb, 13 yrs old, M, W, Born in TN
Benj. H. Lamb, 10 yrs old, M, W, Born in TN (Ancestry.com has him indexed as Bing F. Lamb)
1870 Census of Township 9 “Warm Springs” later renamed to Hot Springs, Madison County, NC, Roll M593_1147, Pg 441, Image 187, Lines 34-40, Dwelling 40, Family 40, “John R. Lamb”
John R. Lamb, M(ale), W(hite), 58 yrs old, Works in grist mill, $0 Real estate value, $0 Personal estate value, Born in NC,
Sarah Lamb, 63 yrs old, F, W, Keeping house, Born in TN
Elbert S. Lamb, 23 yrs old, M, W, Farm Laborer, Born in TN
Benjamin F. Lamb, 20 yrs old, M, W, Farm Laborer, Born in TN
Robert Wills, 30 yrs old, M, W, Farm Laborer, Born in TN
Martha J. Wills, 30 yrs old, F, W, Keeping House, Born in TN
Robert Wills, 11 yrs old, M, W, At home, Born in TN
John Wills, 9 yrs old, M, W, At home, Born in TN (these three are on the next page)
James D. Wills, 3 yrs old, M, W, At home, Born in TN
Polly Ann Wills, 4/12 mos old, F, W, At home, Born in TN
In The Roster of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865, Edited by Janet B. Hewett, Published by Broadfoot Publishing Co., Wilmington, NC, 1996, Vol IX, Jones, O - Loftis, Archibald, Pg 277, I found an E.S. Lamb in NC 66th Infantry Co. F. I'm not sure if this is our Lamb or not.
Elbert Sevier Lamb married Nancy Margaret Malinda Ricker on 10/30/1870. She was born on 3/18/1852 in Tennessee to Susannah Ricker. The family story is that Susannah was raped by an Indian so we don't know who Nancy's father was. Susannah was born 5/1/1831 in Greene County, Tennessee to John Nelson Ricker (b. 6/7/1799 in Greene County, TN; d. 5/29/1885 in Greene County, TN) and Mary Delila Lyles (b. 2/19/1806 in Greene, TN; m. 1/15/1821; d. 4/30/1891 in Greene County, TN). Susannah Ricker marries Edward Nolen 4/23/1873 when she was 42 yrs old and he was 26 yrs old.
1870 Census of District 18, Limestone Springs, Greene County, TN, Roll M593_1531, Pg 385-6, Image 440-1, Lines 39-40, Pg 387, Lines 1-2, Dwelling 118, Family 118, “John Ricker”
John Ricker, 70 yrs old, M(ale), W(hite), No occupation, $1,000 Real Estate Value, $500 Personal Estate Value, Born in TN
Delila Ricker, 64 yrs old, F, W, Keeping House, Born in TN
Susana Ricker, 39 yrs old, F, W, Housekeeping, Born in TN, Cannot read or write
Nancy M. Ricker, 18 yrs old, F, W, Born in TN, Attended school but cannot read or write
Elbert Sevier Lamb and Nancy Malinda Ricker Lamb had 9 children:
1) Robert E. Lamb (b. 12/9/1872 in Madison County, NC; d. 9/24/1933) married Acelia E. Collins (b. 1873 in Greene County, TN; d. 1927 in Greene County, TN)
2) Necie Mae Lamb (b. 6/16/1875 in Madison County, NC; d. 5/12/1965 in Buncombe) married Isaac Horth Lamb in 1895 in Madison County, NC.
3) Susan Jane Lamb (b. 4/23/1877 in Greene County, TN; d. 3/22/1951 in Greene County, TN)
4) Sarah Elizabeth Emmeline Lamb (b. 5/29/1879 in Paint Rock, Madison County, NC; 2/9/1958) married Bascom Alexander Jackson.
5) John Edward Lamb (b. 5/22/1882 in Cedar Creek, Greene County, TN; d. 2/27/1939 in Marion, McDowell County, NC) married Noda Vesters Miller 10/9/1904 in Hot Springs, Madison County, NC. He is my direct ancestor.
6) Benjamin Paige Lamb (b. 8/31/1886; d. 3/16/1969 in Madison County, NC) married Cardelia A. Lamb.
7) Nathan Byrd Lamb (b. 1/25/1889 in Madison County, NC; d. 3/16/1943 in Madison County, NC) married Annie Reynolds.
8) Minnaree Rollins Lamb (b. 4/6/1892 in Madison County, NC; d. ?) married Thomas Southerland on 12/28/1911.
9) Tennessee Smelcer Lamb (b. 4/6/1892 in Madison County, NC; d. 3/24/1962 in Cincinnati, OH) married Zachariah Jackson. Minnaree and Tennessee were twins, Minny and Tenny.
1880 Census of Pine Creek, Madison County, NC, Roll T9_971, Family History Film 1254971, Pg 93.4000, ED #129, Image 0357, Lines 44-50, Dwelling 41, Family 41, “Lamb, Elbert”
Elbert Lamb, W(hite), M(ale), 34 yrs old, Head, Married, Farmer, Born in TN, Father born in NC, Mother born in TN
Nancy Lamb, W, F, 28 yrs old, Wife, Married, Keeping House, Born in TN, Father born in TN, Mother born in TN
Robert Lamb, W, M, 8 yrs old, son, Single, Born in NC, Father born in TN, Mother born in TN
May Lamb, W, F, 5 yrs old, Daughter, Single, Born in NC, Father born in TN, Mother born in TN
Susan Lamb, W, F, 3 yrs old, Daughter, Single, Born in NC, Father born in TN, Mother born in TN
Sarah Lamb, W, F, 1 yr old, Daughter, Single, Born in NC, Father born in TN, Mother born in TN
John Lamb, W, M, 68 yrs old, Father, Widowed, Without Occupation, Born in NC, Father born in NC, Mother born in NC
1900 Census of Civil District 18, Greene County, TN, Roll T623_1573, Pg 9B, ED #48, Lines 64-71, “Lamb, Elbert S.” but Ancestry.com has him indexed as “Lamb, El* S.” because enumerator wrote over his name and it’s difficult to read
Elbert S. Lamb, Head, W(hite), M(ale), Born Feb, 1846, 54 yrs old, Married 29 yrs, Born in TN, Father born in TN, Mother born in TN, Farmer, rents farm, Can read & write
Nancy M. Lamb, Wife, W, F, M’ch, 1851, 49 yrs, Married 29 yrs, Mother of 9 children with 9 still living, Born in TN, Father born in TN, Mother born in TN, Can read & write
Robert E. Lamb, Son, W, M, Born Dec, 1871, 28 yrs old, Single, Born in NC, Father born in TN, Mother born in TN, Farm Laborer, Can read & write
John E. Lamb, Son, W, M, Born May, 1883, 17 yrs old, Single, Born in NC, Father born in TN, Mother born in TN, At school, Can read & write
Benjamin P. Lamb, Son, W, M, Born Aug, 1886, 13 yrs old, Single, Born in NC, Father born in TN, Mother born in TN, Can read & write, At school, Can read & write
Nathan B. Lamb, Son, W, M, Born June, 1889, 10 yrs old, Single, Born in TN, Father born in TN, Mother born in TN, At school
Minnie R. Lamb, Daughter, W, F, Born Aug, 1892, 7 yrs old, Single, Born in NC, Father born in TN, Mother born in TN, At school
Tennie S. Lamb, Daughter, W, F, Born Aug, 1892, 7 yrs old, Single, Born in NC, Father born in TN, Mother born in TN, At school
1910 Census of Civil District 3, Greene County, TN, Roll T624_1501, Pg 5B, ED 69, Image 388, Lines 51-55, Dwelling 65- Family 65, “E.S. Lamb”
E.S. Lamb, Head, M(ale), W(hite), 64 yrs old, First marriage 40 yrs, Born in TN, Father born in NC, Mother born in TN, Farmer rents farm, can read & write
Nancy M. Lamb, Wife, F, W, 57 yrs old, First marriage, married 40 yrs, born in TN, Father born in TN, Mother born in TN, Cannot read or write
Ben P. Lamb, Son, M, W, 23 yrs old, Single, Born in NC, Father born in TN, Mother born in TN, Farm Laborer
Tenne S. Lamb, Daughter, F, W, 18 yrs old, Single, Born in NC, Father born in TN, Mother born in TN
Minnie R. Lamb, Daughter, F, W, 18 yrs old, Single, Born in NC, Father born in TN, Mother born in TN
1920 Census of Civil District 25, Greene county, TN, Roll T625_1742, Pg 5A, ED 94, Image 187, Lines 43-50, Dwelling 88, Family 92, “Benjamin P. Lamb”, Ancestry.com has him indexed as Benjamin O. Lamb because that’s what it looks like.
Benjamin O. (sic) Lamb, Head, Owns home free of mortgage, M(ale), W(hite), 34 yrs old, Married, Can read & write, Born in NC, Father born in TN, Mother born in TN, Farmer of general farm
Cardelia (sic) A. Lamb, Wife, F, W, 36 yrs old, Married, Can read & write, Born in TN, Father born in TN, Mother born in TN
Harl. W. Lamb, Son, M, W, 18 yrs old, Single, Can read & write, Born in TN, Father born in NC, Mother born in TN, Laborer on home farm
Hobert (sic) L. Lamb, Son, M, W, 16 yrs old, Single, Can read & write, Born in TN, Father born in NC, Mother born in TN, Laborer on home farm
Ruby I. Lamb, Daughter, F, W, 6 yrs old, Single, Born in TN, Father born in NC, Mother born in TN
Ralph Lamb, Son, M, W, 3 6/12 yrs old, Single, Born in TN, Father born in NC, Mother born in TN
Elvie V.(sic) Lamb, Son, M, W, 2/12 mos old, Single, Born in TN, Father born in NC, Mother born in TN
Elbert S. Lamb, Father, M, W, 73 yrs old, Widowed, Born in TN, Father born in TN, Mother born in TN
Elbert Sevier Lamb
Nancy Malinda Ricker Lamb
Elbert Sevier Lamb and Nancy Malinda Ricker Lamb lived in Pine Creek and Paint Rock, Madison County, NC for some time before moving back to Greene County, TN. Most of their children were born in Madison County, NC. But Elbert died 4/13/1921 in Greene County, TN and Nancy died 1/6/1919 in Greene County, TN. They were both buried in Timber Ridge Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Greene County, Tennessee
If you have any corrections, comments or additional information, please contact me at Mom25Dogs@gmail.com .
Sunday, March 15, 2009
“God hath judged me”
The fifth son of Jacob. His mother was Bilhah, Rachel's maid. The blessing pronounced on him by his father was, “Dan shall judge his people” probably in allusion to the judgeship of Samson, who was of the tribe of Dan. Hushim (the plural, implying a family) or Shuham alone is mentioned as Dan's son (Genesis 46: 23); but at the Exodus the tribe stood second of Israel in numbers (Numbers 1: 29), (Numbers 1:62),700; 64,400 at the close of the wilderness sojourn (Numbers 26: 42). Of the tribe of Dan was Oholiab (or “Aholiab”) one of the wise-hearted artisans engaged in the construction of the Tabernacle (Exodus 31:6).
It was the last of the tribes to receive a portion in the Land of Promise (Joshua 19: 40-48). It was a small territory, but was very fertile. It included in it, among others, the cities of Lydda, Ekron, and Joppa, which formed its northern boundary. But this district was too limited. “Squeezed into the narrow strip between the mountains and the sea, its energies were great beyond its numbers.” Being pressed by the Amorites and the Philistines, whom they were unable to conquer. We are told that the Amorites forced the children of Dan into the mountain (Judges 1:34), so they did not enjoy the richest part of their ideal portion, the fertile plain between the mountain and the sea. Later we find Dan oppressed by the Philistines, therefore the story of Samson. Samson resides at Mahaneh-Dan (the camp of Dan) in the hills, between Zorah and Eshtaol, behind Kirjath Jearim, and thence "comes down" to the vineyards of Timnath and the valley of Sorek. There too was his final resting place (Judges 13-14). We know the Philistines had deprived them of weapons because Samson had to resort to a donkey’s jawbone.
Samson was the one great man produced by Dan, and he seems to have embodied the leading characteristics of the tribe: unsteady, unscrupulous, violent, possessed of a certain grim humor; stealthy in tactics - “a serpent in the way, an adder in the path” (Genesis 49: 17) - but swift and strong in striking - “a lion's whelp, that leapeth forth from Bashan” (Deuteronomy 33: 22).
Being sorely pressed by enemies and without weapons, they did not join Deborah and Barak.
Judges 5: 17 Gilead stayed beyond Jordan. And why did Dan remain in ships? Asher continued on the seashore and remained in his havens.
Deborah observes who stayed home, and did not help Israel fight. Many are kept from doing their duty by fear, love of ease, inordinate attachment to selfish pursuits, and their desire to participate only in things that advance their own cause. Narrow, selfish people don't care what becomes of God's church, as long as they can get, keep, and save money. All seek their own good and their own ambition, Php 2: 21.
They accordingly sent out five spies from two of their towns, who went north to the sources of the Jordan, and brought back a favorable report regarding that region (Judges 18: 10). About 600 Danites girded on their weapons of war (the only ones who had weapons), and marched to the foot of Hermon, and fought against Leshem, and took it from the Sidonians, and dwelt therein, and changed the name of the conquered town to Dan (Joshua 19:47).
Micah belonged to the Ephraim tribe and lived in the hill country.
One day he told his mother, "Do you remember those eleven hundred pieces of silver that were stolen from you? I was there when you put a curse on whoever stole them. Well, I'm the one who did it." His mother answered, "I pray that the LORD will bless you, my son."
Micah returned the silver to his mother, and she said, "I give this silver to the LORD, so my son can use it to make an idol." Turning to her son, she said, "Micah, now the silver belongs to you." But Micah handed it back to his mother. She took two hundred pieces of the silver and gave them to a silver worker, who made them into an idol. They kept the idol in Micah's house.
He had a shrine for worshiping God there at his home, and he had made some idols and a sacred priestly vest.
Micah chose one of his own sons to be the priest for his shrine.
This was before kings ruled Israel, so all the Israelites did whatever they thought was right.
One day a young Levite came to Micah's house in the hill country of Ephraim. He had been staying with one of the clans of Judah in Bethlehem, but he had left Bethlehem to find a new place to live where he could be a priest.
"Where are you from?" Micah asked. "I am a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah," the man answered, "and I'm on my way to find a new place to live."
Micah said, "Why don't you stay here with me? You can be my priest and tell me what God wants me to do. Every year I'll give you ten pieces of silver and one complete set of clothes, and I'll provide all your food." The young man went for a walk,
then he agreed to stay with Micah and be his priest. He lived in Micah's house, and Micah treated him like one of his own sons.
Micah said, "I have a Levite as my own priest. Now I know that the LORD will be kind to me."
Judges 18: 1-31
These things happened before kings ruled Israel. About this time, the tribe of Dan was looking for a place to live. The other tribes had land, but the people of Dan did not really have any to call their own.
The tribe chose five warriors to represent their clans and told them, "Go and find some land where we can live." The warriors left the area of Zorah and Eshtaol and went into the hill country of Ephraim. One night they stayed at Micah's house,
because they heard the young Levite talking, and they knew from his accent that he was from the south. They asked him, "What are you doing here? Who brought you here?"
The Levite replied, "Micah hired me as his priest." Then he told them how well Micah had treated him.
"Please talk to God for us," the men said. "Ask God if we will be successful in what we are trying to do."
"Don't worry," answered the priest. "The LORD is pleased with what you are doing."
The five men left and went to the town of Laish, whose people were from Sidon, but Sidon was too far away to protect them. Even though their town had no walls, the people thought they were safe from attack. So they had not asked anyone else for protection, which meant that the tribe of Dan could easily take over Laish.
The five men went back to Zorah and Eshtaol, where their relatives asked, "Did you find any land?"
"Let's go!" the five men said. "We saw some very good land with enough room for all of us, and it has everything we will ever need. What are you waiting for? Let's attack and take it. You'll find that the people think they're safe, but God is giving the land to us."
Six hundred men from the tribe of Dan strapped on their weapons and left Zorah and Eshtaol with their families.
One night they camped near Kiriath-Jearim in the territory of Judah, and that's why the place just west of Kiriath-Jearim is still known as Dan's Camp.
Then they went into the hill country of Ephraim. When they came close to Micah's house,
the five men who had been spies asked the other warriors, "Did you know that someone in this village has several idols and a sacred priestly vest? What do you think we should do about it?"
The six hundred warriors left the road and went to the house on Micah's property where the young Levite priest lived. They stood at the gate and greeted the priest. Meanwhile, the five men who had been there before went into Micah's house and took the sacred priestly vest and the idols. "Hey!" the priest shouted. "What do you think you're doing?"
"Quiet!" the men said. "Keep your mouth shut and listen. Why don't you come with us and be our priest, so you can tell us what God wants us to do? You could stay here and be a priest for one man's family, but wouldn't you rather be the priest for a clan or even a whole tribe of Israel?"
The priest really liked that idea. So he took the vest and the idols and joined the others
from the tribe of Dan. Then they turned and left, after putting their children, their cattle, and the rest of their other possessions in front.
They had traveled for some time, before Micah asked his neighbors to help him get his things back. He and his men caught up with the people of Dan
and shouted for them to stop. They turned to face him and asked, "What's wrong? Why did you bring all these men?"
Micah answered, "You know what's wrong. You stole the gods I made, and you took my priest. I don't have anything left."
"We don't want to hear any more about it," the people of Dan said. "And if you make us angry, you'll only get yourself and your family killed."
After saying this, they turned and left. Micah realized there was no way he could win a fight with them, and so he went back home.
The tribe of Dan took Micah's priest and the things Micah had made, and headed for Laish, which was located in a valley controlled by the town of Beth-Rehob. Laish was defenseless, because it had no walls and was too far from Sidon for the Sidonians to help defend it. The leaders of Laish had not even asked nearby towns to help them in case of an attack. The warriors from Dan made a surprise attack on Laish, killing everyone and burning it down. Then they rebuilt the town and settled there themselves.
But they named it Dan, after one of Israel's sons, who was the ancestor of their tribe.
Even though the place of worship was in Shiloh, the people of Dan set up the idol Micah had made. They worshiped the idol, and the Levite was their priest. His name was Jonathan, and he was a descendant of Gershom the son of Moses. His descendants served as priests for the tribe of Dan, until the people of Israel were taken away as prisoners by their enemies.
The love of money made Micah steal from his mother, and made her curse the thief. Loss will drive good people to prayers, but bad people to curse. This silver was their god, before it was even made into a idol. Everyone did what was right in their own eyes, which was evil in the sight of God. These idols were made by Micah with the silver his mother had given him. Why would he think that they are now real gods? God makes us and we worship Him as the Creator God. We don’t make god and worship him because we created him. Micah thought it was a sign of God's favor to him and his idols for a Levite to come to his door. Micah deludes himself by believing God is prospering and blessing him because things go so well. He hired him. When the Danites came to Micah’s home, they recognized a Jewish man there and asked him why he was there. The Levite told them he was hired as the priest for the family. The Danites expressed no surprise or indignation that a Levite would hire himself out as a priest to an idol or that a Jewish family would descend into idolatry.
When the Danites came to Micah’s neighborhood, they wanted to steal Micah's gods. How could they imagine those gods would protect them when they couldn’t protect themselves from being stolen by the Danites? The Danites neither feared God nor man at this point.
The five spies broke into the idol sanctuary and stole the images, teraphim, and priestly garments. When the Levite caught them, they bribed him with a tempting offer to transfer his services to their new colony. The Levite quickly saw his advantage and promotion. He changed his alliance to his own benefit. Taking charge of the ephod, the teraphim, and the graven image, he “went in the midst of the people” - a central position assigned him in the march, where he was most protected and had the place of honor.
The Danites continued on to Laish and destroyed it and built a new town called Dan. After, the Danites set up the idol, which they had taken with them out of Micah's house. “And Jehonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites till the day of the captivity of the land.” Jehonathan can hardly be any other than the Levite who had been hired by Micah and persuaded to support the Danites. He could not be Manasseh the son of Joseph, for he had no son called Gershom nor could it be Manasseh king of Israel, for he lived eight hundred years afterwards. Moses had a son named Gershom and it’s possible that “Manasseh” should be “Mosheth”. By his mother's side this man was of the family of Judah, and lived at Bethlehem among his mother's relations until he wandered to seek his fortune. It’s possible he was a con man (much like an Elmer Gantry) who heard about Micah and went to offer his “services” for money. Those who can make anything serve for a god can also make anything serve for a priest. This Levite could have been a very descendent of Moses and was of the Levite tribe and he would sell himself and his heritage and his office for money! He thought himself happy that he had found such good a situation. And Micah had thought he deserved God’s blessings and protection because he had set up idols, a sanctuary and a priest.
The Danites took the Levite, whom Micah had engaged for his private worship, with them to the new town of Dan, and promised him the priesthood. This Levite’s descendants may have continued as the town’s priests for generations. When Jeroboam established the kingdom of the ten tribes, he had two golden calves made as images of Jehovah for the subjects of his kingdom, and set one of them up at Dan, and appointed priests out of the whole nation who were not of the sons of Levi. Jeroboam had an eye to Dan and their generations of idol worship when he set up one of his calves there, and it’s probable that this family officiated as the priests there. (I Kings 12: 28)
The Danites and this Levite would have known better. The Mosaic Tabernacle, which the congregation had erected at Shiloh in the days of Joshua, was still standing there in the time of Eli and Samuel but in the time of Saul it was at Nob and during the reign of David it was at Gibeon. It was not far away or forgotten. They may have justified this image worship as worshipping Jehovah, but they would have known the Ten Commandments and the one which says,
Exodus 20: 2 -12
I am the LORD your God, the one who brought you out of Egypt where you were slaves.
Do not worship any god except me.
Do not make idols that look like anything in the sky or on earth or in the ocean under the earth.
Don't bow down and worship idols. I am the LORD your God, and I demand all your love. If you reject me, I will punish your families for three or four generations.
But if you love me and obey my laws, I will be kind to your families for thousands of generations.Do not misuse my name. I am the LORD your God, and I will punish anyone who misuses my name.
Remember that the Sabbath Day belongs to me.
You have six days when you can do your work,
but the seventh day of each week belongs to me, your God. No one is to work on that day--not you, your children, your slaves, your animals, or the foreigners who live in your towns.
In six days I made the sky, the earth, the oceans, and everything in them, but on the seventh day I rested. That's why I made the Sabbath a special day that belongs to me.
Respect your father and your mother, and you will live a long time in the land I am giving you.
Do not murder.
Be faithful in marriage.
Do not steal.
Do not tell lies about others.
Do not want anything that belongs to someone else. Don't want anyone's house, wife or husband, slaves, oxen, donkeys or anything else.
Deuteronomy 4: 12-20
And Jehovah spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the voice of the words, but saw no likeness, only a voice.
And He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, ten commandments. And He wrote them on two tablets of stone.
And Jehovah commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments so that you might do them in the land where you go over to possess it.
Therefore take good heed to yourselves, for you saw no kind of likeness on the day Jehovah spoke to you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire,
lest you act corruptly and make yourselves a graven image, the likeness of any figure, the likeness of male or female,
the likeness of any beast on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flies in the air,
the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish in the waters beneath the earth;
and lest you lift up your eyes to the heavens, and when you see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, lest you should be driven to worship them and serve them, which Jehovah your God has allotted to all nations under all the heavens.
But Jehovah has taken you and brought you out from the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be to Him a people of inheritance, as you are today.
And, yet, idolatry is immediately set up there. God had graciously performed his promise, in giving them possession of their land. This should have made them all the more faithful to Him who had blessed them. They inherited what others had worked for.
Psalm 105: 44-45
The Lord gave them the land and everything else the nations had worked for. He did this so that his people would obey all of his laws. Shout praises to the LORD!
They perversely attributed their success to that idol instead of to Jehovah! Their idolatry is mentioned by the minor prophet, Amos, in Amos 8: 14.
Amos 8: 14 You made promises in the name of Ashimah, the goddess of Samaria. And you made vows in my name at the shrines of Dan and Beersheba. But you will fall and never get up.
Dan's genealogy is not given in 1 Chronicles 2-12. Its unsettled state and the headquarters of idolatry, may have caused the loss of the genealogy. Dan is omitted among the sealed in Revelation 7 as having been the first to lapse into idolatry, for which cause Ephraim also is omitted (Judges 17; Hosea 4: 17) and Joseph substituted. Mainly, by the Spirit, Jacob had in view the serpent which was to "bruise the heel" of the promised Savior (a non-mortal wound) (Genesis 3:15), but ultimately to have its head bruised by Him (a mortal and destroying blow).
Mackenzie "Mack" Allen Philip's youngest daughter, Missy, was abducted from a family camping vacation. The last evidence of Missy was found at a shack abandoned in the woods. Four years later, Mack is still grieving. His wife was not on the vacation and he feels like it was his fault that Missy was kidnapped and probably murdered. He can't get over his depression and his questions to God. Why didn't God save Missy?
Then he gets a note, "Mackenzie, It's been a while. I've missed you. I'll be at the shack next weekend if you want to get together. -Papa"
His wife calls God, Papa. This can't be a message from God!?! Mack decided he has to go in case it's the murderer toying with him. Hoping he can find out what happened to Missy and catch the culprit. So Mack heads out to the shack in the woods. There on the floor of the shack is the dark stain that indicated where Missy had probably died. His emotions fall apart and all the despair, hate, anger come out. Once he stops sobbing, he decides to go back to the car but the snow has disappeared and the air is warm. The shack has changed into a sturdy log cabin and the yard is "postcard perfect". He hears voices and smells cooking. He steps back on the porch and goes in to find a black woman, an oriental woman and a Middle Eastern man.
Over the next 2 days, Mack has conversations with these people that bring surprising healing to his wounded heart and he finds out what happened to Missy.
"Finally! A guy-meets-God Novel that has literary integrity and spiritual daring." - Mike Morrell, zoecarnate.com
"This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" did for his. It's that good! --Eugene Peterson, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.
I went to Amazon.com and started reading some of the book reviews by customers and was brought to tears by some. I encourage you to do this too.
I recommend this book to everyone.
If you have read my blog, then you already know that I'm a Clive Cussler fan! I try to get his books as they come out and I devour them.
The Prologue to Arctic Circle was good. The Franklin Expedition to find the Northwest Passage disappears. Later, it was found that both the Terror and the Erebus were stuck in the ice during a short summer. Some of the men began to exhibit insanity. Eventually, the survivors left the ships and tried to push lifeboats on sleds filled with provisions across the ice to find civilization. But men died one by one of the cold and exposure and never made it. A letter was left in a cairn of stones at one spot. This much I know to be true because I've read about it and seen documentaries on TV about this tragedy.
Cussler weaves his story around this historical event. He imagines the ships have a metal called ruthenium on board. Inuit hunters find this ship caught in the ice and take the interesting rocks with the hard silver metal in them back and sell them to a Canadian mining co-op.
Now, modern times. Mitchell Goyette is a billionaire who is interested in how to make more billions. With global warming, more of the arctic ice is melting and revealing land and opening seaways to areas that had been, otherwise, impassable. He wants the mineral and mining rights to these areas. Canada wants to declare the Northwest Passage an internal waterway that they control rather than an international waterway open to the world. How does Mitch Goyette manipulate Canada into closing off the Northwest Passage to America? How does he machinate to get all the mining and mineral rights to these far north areas? How does Dirk Pitt stop him?
I would have to say, that this book was a little less than his normal excellence. Still a good read, lots of adventure and excitement, plausible schemes and rescues (except for the working guns on the Erebus) and a satisfying ending. But it was a little slow, after the Prologue, to get started and Dirk Pitt and his children are working on the same situation but never communicate with each other which is odd. Cussler uses all his usual characters such as Dirk's wife, Loren, Perlmutter, Al Giordino, etc. Rudi Gunn was basically mentioned but not part of the story.
I would still recommend it for everyone.
Everyone, who thinks, will have tough questions they want to ask God. Tackling these kinds of questions are called "apologetics". Christian apologetics pose questions and give biblical, godly answers (as much as there are answers for such questions). I've read several apologetics in the past and this one, by Josh McDowell, was not as good as the others. My favorite is Lee Strobels' "Case For..." books. I find Strobel's books easy to read for those with a decent reading ability and approaches the questions with a journalist's mind. If you can read the newspaper, you can read Strobel's "Case For..." books. He gets leading Christian scholars to answer the hard questions.
Strobel's books are:
The Case For Christ (also one for kids)
The Case For Faith (also one for kids)
The Case For For A Creator (also one for kids)
The Case For The Real Jesus
The Case For Easter
The Case For Christmas
Inside The Mind Of Unchurched Harry And Mary
God's Outrageous Claims
What Jesus Would Say
Exploring The Da Vinci Code
Surviving A Spiritual Mismatch In Marriage
So if you have questions such as:
Why do Christians believe the Bible is the unchanged, inerrant Word of God when it was written by multiple human beings over hundreds of years?
Why were certain books NOT included in the Bible?
Was Christ really born of a virgin?
Did Jesus rise from the dead?
Was Jesus real?
Then pick out some Christian apologetic books like Lee Strobel's books. His are very simple to begin with. You can move on to other more indepth apologetics if you want to delve even deeper.
I've read some of Philip Yancey's books and enjoyed them. I'm behind in reading this one. It was published in 1999. It's a very good book. I've read the Bible through in different translations and studied the Bible a lot. I couldn't make up my mind if it would have been better to read this book BEFORE you read the books of the Bible that Yancey covers or if it's better to have read Yancey's book AFTER you've read the books of the Bible that Yancey covers. In some instances he assumes you know what he's talking about which assumes you've read the books. But, his book would prepare you in reading the books with a new light. So, read the books before and after reading Yancey's book.
Yancey explains how some of the Old Testament books of the Bible are relevant to our life today. The books are Job, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and the Prophets.
Personally, I remember telling one of my younger cousins a story from the Old Testament and he looked at me and said, "How do you find all these things? When I look in the Bible all I see is just a bunch of little scriptures." I've never forgotten that. I remember, when I was saved at 8 yrs old, I got my first Bible (in King James Version). I loved to read, even then. So I decided I would read the Bible through just like any other book. I would diligently start with Genesis 1:1 and make it through about Genesis 2:1 and realize I didn't understand a word I'd read. So I would start with Matthew 1:1 and make it a little further before giving up. So I decided I must be too young to understand yet. So every year or so I would get my Bible back out and try to read it starting with Genesis 1:1 and still couldn't understand it. I knew from Sunday School there were wonderful things in the Bible but all I was seeing were "just a bunch of little scriptures". My Aunt Judy gave all three of us Living Bibles when we were young teens. Finally, after I rededicated my life at 17, I took out the new Bible and started reading with Genesis 1:1. And it was like a dam had broken. Suddenly I could read with understanding. I read the whole Bible. Then I graduated to the New American Standard version and read it through. Then I read the NIV and the New King James Version. I still don't know if it was because of the Living Bible, or because I was older, or because I had rededicated my life and God miraculously opened my eyes to see with understanding, or all three!
The Old Testament has always been a favorite of mine and, especially the Psalms. But, Yancey points out that many think the Old Testament is passe and no longer relevant, even among Christians. The Old Testament is 3/4 of the Bible and, yet, most people in today's world know little about it. I saw a Jay Leno show one time where he asked people on the street if they knew any of the Ten Commandments. Most couldn't even give one and if they could give one it was, Thou Shalt Not Murder. Yancey says, "Half of all adult Americans cannot identify the Bible's first book as Genesis. And fourteen percent identify Joan of Arc as Noah's wife."
"More surprisingly, a Wheaton College professor named Burge has found that ignorance of the Old Testament extends to the church as well. For several years Burge has been testing incoming freshmen at his school, a premier evangelical institution. His surveys show that students who have attended Sunday School all their lives, have watched innumerable epidsodes of VeggieTales, and have listened to countless sermons, cannot identify basic facts about the Old Testament."
He challenges us with, "In short, is the Old Testament worth the effort it takes to read and understand it?" I can say, YES! But he takes the rest of the book to explain why certain books of the Bible that seem dusty, old, strange, irrelevant and hard are really very interesting, relevant and vibrant for today.
He begins with Job and explains that Job is an epic poem that takes us through the very real questions of human suffering. "Thousands of years later, Job's questions have not gone away. People who suffer still find themselves borrowing Job's words as they cry out against God's apparent lack of concern. The book of Job affirms that God is not deaf to our cries and is in control of this world no matter how it appears. God did not answer all Job's questions, but God's very presence caused his doubts to melt away. Job learned that God cared about him intimately, and that God rulse the world. That seemed enough."
What could possibly be interesting about Deuteronomy? Moses giving the Israelites all these laws? "Moses was the single greatest realist about life with God. A proto-prophet, he gave God's message to the people, never diluting or belying it. A proto-priest, he represented the people to God with passion, conviction, and love. He made no promises of happy endings - his own life had none - yet never did he look back with regret...As Moses taught so clearly, evil is unpreventable and punishment inevitable. But we have a God who consceously forgets our sins and consciously remembers our frailty. We have a God who travels by our side, who tabernacles among us through the vast and dreadful wilderness..."
Next Yancey tackles the Psalms. How can these be in the Bible? One verse talks about how God is with you and is your refuge and the next one could say, "Why, O lord, do you stand far off?" One psalm will beg God to bring agonizing revenge on the writer's enemies while another one begs God to forgive the writer of his sins. There are descriptions of wicked men right next to descriptions of righteous men. Yancey says, "Every day I faced this same pattern of glaring contractions." Yancey does a great job of opening this up to the reader.
I would love to continue on, but that would spoil the book. If you can take my word for it, read the book. It's great and well worth the read!
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