Old Testament

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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The covenant in my blood

Thu, 06/02/2014 - 13:04 -- James Oakley

Two very important things happen in Exodus chapter 24. Both are designed to encourage the people of Israel that God is serious about having them as his people.

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The Ultimate Plan

Tue, 04/02/2014 - 12:55 -- James Oakley

Exodus chapter 19 is a very important chapter.

Many of us know well the story of the Passover, the Exodus and the crossing of the Red Sea.

Exodus 19 tells us where this was heading - the ultimate plan. God says, in verse 4, "I brought you to myself". God brought them out of Egypt, so that they could gather around God's presence at Mount Sinai.

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The Sea

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 15:33 -- James Oakley

This morning, at our 8 am service, we had two readings. They weren't picked because they belonged together. We had Exodus 14 because we've resting the whole Bible as a church and this is where we've got to in the Old Testament. We had Matthew 8 because this is the BCP gospel reading for the 4th Sunday after Epiphany.

Yet they shed some very interesting light on each other.

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Genesis 15 and the conquest of Canaan

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 11:59 -- James Oakley

Many Christians struggle with the conquest of Canaan in the Old Testament. We don't get there until the book of Joshua, but to the modern mind it can seem like barbaric genocide. The people of Israel were told to conquer the land of Canaan, which was already occupied.

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Use resources - but carefully

Tue, 30/07/2013 - 12:05 -- James Oakley

Book Shelves
Photo: Germán Póo-Caamaño
Lots of churches have had their summer holiday clubs for children - they do them as soon as term finishes. We do ours the other end of the summer - just after the bank holiday weekend.

(Quick plug: If you live in or near Kemsing, and have children who have just finished a year at primary school, we can probably still fit you in - 4 mornings starting Tuesday 27th August).

I'm looking over some of the resources we've got for the club. Never mind which one we're using, as I'm not wanting to make a point about any resource in particular. As it happens, I think the resource we're using for this year's club is excellent.

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Thoughts on the book of Job

Mon, 15/07/2013 - 16:07 -- James Oakley

Coming across through a few old files on the computer, I found something I'd written on Job - ooh, back in 2007. At least, I think I wrote it. If someone else recognises this as their thoughts and writing on Job, I apologise. And I thank you.

Anyway - I wrote about how easy it is to misunderstand the book, and to draw conclusions that the book does not support:

Here are 4 really quite common ways in which the book of Job is misunderstood.

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