The Power of Water
Many of us have experienced the force of the waves when we swim in the sea. We also know about the fearsome force of storms at sea, to destroy boats and coastal defences. It can make us stand in awe at the power of nature.
The Bible teaches us about the power of water in a different, more important way. Jesus made it very clear that, if we want to be part of God’s family and hope to be in His future Kingdom, we have to be baptised.
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16:16)
It WAS hot. The sea glittered as though it were raining quicksilver. The waves rolled invitingly to the beach. My younger son and I decided to brave the cold water (this was Britain!) and take a cooling dip.
After the initial shock, the water was wonderful, and we played in the waves for a long while. Fun became exhilaration as the rollers grew around us, picking us up like flotsam or crashing over us. We were reminded of the power of the waves as we left the water. One would carry us towards the shore whilst the next would flatten us! We made the shore perfectly safely and were elated for the rest of the day.
Being a conscientious objector is always a serious decision and often an unpopular one.
Since the eighteenth century, conscientious objectors have often been unfairly accused of cowardice, and given white feathers as symbols of this.
We examine reasons why some Christians are conscientious objectors, and what the Bible teaches about this difficult subject.
Archaeologists study history by looking at ancient sites and artefacts.
In this series we look at some fascinating archaeological finds. They cast light on the world and events that we read about in the Bible, and they provide evidence that the Bible record is true.
Famine was a regular problem in Israel at the time of Elijah and Elisha. We have already looked at the famine in the time of Elijah and Ahab which lasted for three and a half years. There was another famine in the time of Elisha, which seems to have been desperately severe. This was not however because of a direct act of God, but because Ben–Hadad king of Syria had besieged the city of Samaria.
Nehemiah was a Jewish exile who served as a cup-bearer to the Persian monarch, Artaxerxes, in about 446 BC. Following the decree of Cyrus in 536 BC, some of the Jews had returned to the land of Israel. However, adversaries had succeeded in slowing down the work of restoration. Now, some 90 years later, the walls of Jerusalem were still in a state of disrepair. Nehemiah prayed to God about it (1:4–11). In PART ONE of this article, we considered how the nation of Israel, in its history and its very survival, is living proof that God is in control of world events. Choosing three events from three different periods (the ‘Three Times’) we find a consistent picture of Israel suffering at the hands of the superpowers of the time, being defeated and exiled, but being preserved just as God’s prophets had foretold.
The FIRST Christians experienced extraordinary persecution from both the Jews and the Roman authorities. This came in the form of hatred, being made outcasts from the synagogues, trials, imprisonments and executions. Their example of endurance is truly inspirational and the fact that they could rejoice in such suffering is almost beyond belief.
The HOPE of the Gospel is a wonderful one – to live for ever in the Kingdom of God. This promise is real and physical and is described in the Bible. God’s purpose is clear, “All the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord” (Numbers 14:21).