Jericho and Violence

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 13:07 -- James Oakley
Archaeological Remains at Jericho

On Sunday at church, we looked briefly at Joshua 6, the fall of Jericho.

I say briefly. This was an all-age service, and we're running through a Bible overview at these monthly services. So my rule of thumb is that the talk should be followable by someone aged about 7, whilst having application and food for thought for those of any age. That means one main point, and the talk has to be brief.

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Israel becomes Egypt

Thu, 12/06/2014 - 11:32 -- James Oakley

Oh, the pain of leaving things out.

I'm preaching on 1 Kings 11-12 on Sunday. As is always the case with preaching, the aim is to help people to hear what that part of Scripture is saying to us today. And in order to be clear, you have to be ruthless. So often, there are all kinds of really interesting things you've learnt and discovered in the text, and they have to go on the proverbial cutting-room floor.

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Why did David change his mind?

Thu, 05/06/2014 - 20:30 -- James Oakley

I'm preaching on 1 Kings 2 this Sunday, and it's a trickier passage than it first looks.

David had previously overlooked two murders committed by his commander in chief, Joab, and pardoned the insolent Shimei.

Then the time comes to hand over the kingdom to Solomon. (So thank you to King Juan of Spain for choosing this week...). He urges Solomon to bring justice to these two.

So here's the question: Why did David change his mind?

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1 Samuel links back into Judges

Thu, 08/05/2014 - 10:18 -- James Oakley

I've never noticed this before. Sometimes, you notice something in the Bible, it's then so obvious that you wonder why you didn't see it there before. That's a good sign that it's on the right track - it's noticing what's there, rather than reading in things that are not there. It also means it's highly likely that lots of other people have seen it before, and that I'm just playing catch-up - so there are no claims to originality here.

The opening of the book of Samuel anchors the book firmly in its context, as a book following on from Judges.

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1 Samuel 25 seems to be very important

Tue, 15/09/2009 - 09:48 -- James Oakley

I think this has struck me before. Re-reading 1 Samuel, we find that:

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40 days in the wilderness

Tue, 20/05/2008 - 08:45 -- James Oakley

Why does Jesus spend forty days in the wilderness, confronting public enemy number 1 (Satan, the accuser of the people of God), immediately after he has been declared Son of God (echoing Psalm 2) at his baptism?

I know that one answer is that it relates to the 40 years Israel spent in the wilderness. Jesus must be faithful at the exact point at which they failed.

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1 Samuel 15 on pragmatism

Mon, 19/05/2008 - 09:40 -- James Oakley

After Saul failed to follow the Lord’s instructions (to destroy Amalek totally, together with their livestock), the Lord rejected him as king. The incident is related in 1 Samuel 15.

Saul’s excuse was that they spared the livestock in order to offer sacrifices to God.

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Brambles and Gorse

Thu, 06/03/2008 - 13:36 -- James Oakley

Last week I was doing a bit of work in the garden, cutting back the ever-encroaching bramble and gorse bushes.

I found myself wondering why there are so many of the things in the garden. It’s a bit of a pain.

Not that it required much thought. Genesis 3:18 solves that one for me – they serve as a reminder of the fact that life in rebellion of God’s law is never a fulfilled / happy / pain-free one. God judges those who rebel against him.


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