Tag Archives: Bible

The Whole World Knows There Were Giants

Chang The Chinese Giant c1870Ever wondered if the Bible could be right about a nine foot [3 m] tall warrior? Do we have any evidence outside God’s testimony to such tall people?

Let’s look at some of the things we can check out to compare!

Most of the information we have about giants come from stories passed down as legends around the world.  I’m not going to post a bunch of links because you have to be careful what you read.  As we all know from David and Goliath, giants weren’t exactly God-fearing. In fact, most of the stories people told about them are like Jack of the Beanstalk or Odysseus’ experience.

I found a page with dozens and dozens of accounts of giants or their remains around the world.  Wikipedia has a list of at least 100 names people have given to giants around the world.

The Bible itself lists 7 different groups of Post-Flood giants.  There were the Philistines (with Goliath & co: II Samuel 21:15-22), Amorites (Amos 2:9–10; Numbers 13:29,32), Emim (Deuteronomy 2:10–11), Zamzummim (Deuteronomy 2:20–21),Rephaim [giants] (Deuteronomy 3:11), Anakim [sons of Anak] (Numbers 13:33), and an Egyptian near-giant in 1 Chronicles 11:23.

David and Goliath, a colour lithograph by Osma...All of these groups of people mentioned in the Bible were especially wicked.  As you can see from the accounts of the Emim and Zamzummim, it wasn’t just the Israelites who wanted them dead.  Giants never made comfortable neighbors, although they seemed to make good champions or kings until God caught up with them!

Answers in Genesis has a long article talking about all this. It also has some interesting information on Egyptian records of giants.

There is one more group that the Bible mentions: the Nephilim.  Numbers 13:32–33 says, “And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.  And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”  The Hebrew word translated “giants” is the word Nephilim.

This is important to early Genesis study because of an odd account in Genesis 6.  We are told almost nothing about how people lived before the Flood, but the Nephilim are one of the things God wanted us to know about.  Here’s the story:

There were giants [Nephilim] in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. Gensis 6:4-6

Many people, including me, have wondered what these “sons of God” who had giant, evil children were.  There is a theory that they are actually demons who married human women and bore children.  Jude verse 6 is used to back this idea up.  Cool (and horrible) as this sounds, there are some major problems with this view that make it impossible.

  • Dr. Lisle pointed out recently that Jesus said it is impossible for spirit beings to have phisical relations and therefore children.  Matthew 22:30 suggests this.  It is at least true for good angels
  • If this theory were true, there would have never been any more giants after the Flood destroyed them all and the demons who had done it were chained in darkness.
  • “Sons of God” does not have to refer to spirit beings (although it does in the Old Testament, like in Job 1:6).  Six times the New Testament refers to Christians as Sons of God.

That there were giants again after the Flood by itself makes the demon theory impossible.  This leaves us with some kind of human line being the “sons of God.”  I’ve heard ideas that this is talking about the children of Seth, who were still following God, marrying women from the line of Cain, who had  rejected God’s authority.  I don’t know, but it seems likely that something like that is meant.

God is greater than the largest enemy we will ever face.  The Bible’s stories of Caleb, David, and his mighty men defeating giants is recorded to encourage us to trust God and not follow in the despair of the 10 spies of evil report!

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4

I got a lot of my info by starting from this article: Answers in Genesis, Giants in the Old Testament 

You might also enjoy these articles I found:

The Aldworth Giants Rated G

THE QUEST FOR TOM HICKATHRIFT about trying to find the truth behind a giant legend. Rated G

THE CAVE OF THE RED HAIRED GIANTS Rated PG

Human Giants by Gary Nelson. Rated PG (opens with immodest Indian warrior facing away from us)

Advertisements

Science in the Bible: Earthquakes

If you pay attention to what’s going on as you read the Bible you will catch on pretty quickly that the Holy Land is located in an earthquake zone. Sometimes earthquakes are even major players in the action of Bible events.

I’m going to send you to a video with Dr. Steve Austin in a minute, but let’s see some of the times where earthquakes had a part in events recorded in the Bible:

“And the Lord began to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. He caused fire and burning sulfur to fall from the sky. He destroyed the whole valley—all the cities, the people living in the cities, and all the plants in the valley.” Genesis 19:24,25

Although an earthquake isn’t mentioned, how did God get the volcanic stuff to come out? Volcanoes and earthquakes are bosom buddies.

JSC the battle of Jericho

So then the priests blew the trumpets. When the people heard the trumpets, they began shouting. The walls fell down, and the people ran up into the city. So the Israelites defeated that city. Joshua 6:20

Again, the earthquake isn’t mentioned, but God doesn’t do magic; there was some physical cause for the walls to drop.

And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armor bearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armor bearer slew after him. And that first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armor bearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were an half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plow. And there was trembling in the host, in the field, and among all the people: the garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled, and the earth quaked: so it was a very great trembling.  I Samuel 14:14,15

No explanation needed here!

Suddenly there was an earthquake so strong that it shook the foundation of the jail. All the doors of the jail opened, and the chains on all the prisoners fell off. Acts 16:26

This wasn’t in Israel, but shows God controls events anywhere.

Every once in a while God uses His natural world to accomplish His plan for history. He has more subtle ways of doing this, but when he uses big things like meteorites (Joshua 10:11) and earthquakes, people pay attention! They also have a much harder time hiding the evidence. 😀

One other thought that came to me while watching Dr. Austin: just as God has positioned the world so we can study space, so He prepared the way for us to study these earthquakes. How many lakes in the world are lifeless, so the sediments settle undisturbed for millennia? There are a few, but it is cool to know one of them is perfectly located to preserve a record of God’s truthfulness.

Our God is great, with the most mind-boggling foresight imaginable!

The video starts just a tad dry through the first part of the talk, but after the break it is WAY COOL.

The captain of the guard and those with him, when they saw the earthquake and everything else that was happening, were scared to death. They said, “This has to be the Son of God!” Matthew 27:54 The Message

I was alerted to this video by Creation Sensation, you can follow them for yourself to keep up with lots more.

Dr. Austin’s findings have been available at the Institute for Creation Research for some time, which is where I first read about them.

PS I’d really like to ask him just how certain that AD 33 crucifixion date is. It could settle a debate that goes back to the AD 300s!

Reading Through the Bible, Genesis 1 & What is God Like?

An Antebellum era (pre-civil war) family Bible...

OK, so we’ve got colds, I’m potty training my youngest (yes, guys, this writer really is a mom), and we’re busy on top of it.

I just don’t have time to do justice to rock layers like I want to. 😦

But, for years now, I’ve put reading through the Bible top place on my priority list. I don’t do anything else but physical necessities until God has spoken to me through His Word.

This year I was determined to find a plan where you aren’t reading 178 verses one day (Psalm 119) and 14 the next (3rd John). What’s more,it needed to be a mix of passages. If you don’t get bored reading the beginning of I Chronicles, kudos. I don’t want to endure that if there’s another way.

There are a bunch of other ways! Two years ago, I used M’Cheyne’s plan and liked it a lot except for reading the New Testament twice a year. I always read more than what’s required one way or another, I don’t like having even more “required” than necessary.

This year, I decided to look for an even better plan and ran into something called a Thematic Bible Reading Plan that’s brand new! You don’t have to start on January 1 or on the first Sunday of the year. Just jump in whenever you’re ready.

Here’s why I’m mentioning it: I love the passages he’s tied in to Genesis chapters 1-4. Psalm 148 is glorious and is making me rethink whether the idea of vast amounts of water beyond space is so crazy after all. Ephesians 1 is super exciting with the reminder that God chose believers before the world began.

Then there’s how well Ephesians chapter 2 ties in with our Fall. We are all born “children of disobedience” because of what our first parents chose. But, it’s not the end of the story!

And here’s the idea that inspired me to work up this post before I have to run:

Look at Genesis 1:3. What did God do? He “said”. He used words to create. If you keep reading you’ll find there was just one thing He created without simply speaking it into being (although God did talk about His plans): People.

That’s something we like to think about. It’s cool. But look at what God does in the next verse:

And God saw

English: Sun beams lighting up the glens Stron...

I don’t really know how it works out, but there is something about actually experiencing an event that applies to God just like it does to us.

We can plan things out and think things through, but there’s nothing like actually being somewhere and doing something. Have you ever dreamed you ate food? It has no flavor. You have to put real food in your mouth to taste it.

Genesis 1 isn’t the only place this idea comes out. Look at what happened to Jesus when He became a human being:

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; Hebrews 5:8 

Jesus experienced how hard it is to obey when your body is hurting and did it anyway.

I don’t know how it all works out, but God experiences reality something like we do. What a mind blowing thought!

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15

 

Some of my Favorite Christmas Characters: Mary and Nicholas

Fun KillerI wrote this post last year, but it’s timeless message will still be true in a hundred years (if the Lord tarries)….

I was reading a post by someone on Christmas and whether Jesus’ followers should celebrate it and saw a comment asking if they “[had] a bee in [their] bonnet.” Well, that is sort of true, but mostly because there are some of Jesus’ followers who have very large “bees” in their bonnets!

Last month I passed on something about Santa Claus on facebook and a lady was offended at me for not equating him with the great accuser, Satan. To my knowledge she’s not visited my page since then.

As a newly wed participating in a missions conference, a church asked us for our favorite Bible characters. When it was my turn, I shared how much I respect and admire Mary. The stillness that filled the room could almost be felt.

Who are these people who get under people’s skins so badly?

English: Council of Nicea

Council of Nicea

Santa Claus wasn’t always just a popular replacement for Jesus as the centerpiece of the holiday. He was a real man that we will get to know in Heaven. He lived in Turkey and Greece 1700 years ago and loved Jesus very much. Although he is best known for his secret generosity, he was also important in making sure the western church didn’t fall for lies about the true nature of Jesus as both God and Man.

I did find one article that isn’t from a saint-worshiping tradition; they aren’t so sure that Nicholas was really at the Council of Nicea. This was where church leaders hammered out what the Bible actually says about who Jesus is. Their records don’t say anything about Nicholas being there, but later people said he was not only there, but lost his temper and slapped the guy who claimed Jesus wasn’t really God (causing Nicholas to lose his church position).

English: Byzantine fresco representing the fir...Whether Nicholas was there or not, we know there was a real battle for the hearts and minds of believers then. Today, the same battle is still raging; many of us struggle with the truth of Genesis and the nature of Jesus as Creator and Witness.

Anyway, my kids know Nicholas doesn’t have anything to do putting the presents under the tree, and probably never saw a reindeer. But, we like reading his story and remembering how following Jesus means helping others in every way, from secret presents to taking uncomfortable stands for truth.

c. 1437-1446People don’t usually have quite as big a problem with Mary, but she has her share as well. I agree there are people who go far beyond the Bible and turn her into a kind of goddess. The Bible tells us she was nothing of the sort as she herself testifies:

 Then Mary said,

“I praise the Lord with all my heart.
     I am very happy because God is my Savior.
 I am not important,
    but he has shown his care for me, his lowly servant.
From now until the end of time,
    people will remember how much God blessed me. Luke 1:46-48 Easy-to-read Version

Mary needed her Kinsman Redeemer just as much as you and I do, but she set a wonderful example to follow. She was enough of a scientist to know that God wasn’t going to just give her a baby son without something extra happening. When the angel told her the plan, Mary was willing to cooperate even with the miraculous. Her words of acceptance and submission are a guide to all of us when we are given extraordinary tasks:

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. Luke 1:38

If we throw away everything and everyone that has been used in a corrupted manner, we won’t have anything left. From the rainbow to God Himself someone has used them for selfish, sinful purposes. As for me, I’m going to keep the memories of some of Jesus’ fellow servants dear in my heart and look forward to the day Mary, Nicholas and I stand before the throne and worship the Lamb together!

For lots more on the controversies of Christmas, check out:

Answers in Genesis: Feedback: Christians Celebrating Christmas at Christmas Town

Biblical Archaeology: Why Dec 25th?

PS My kids and I have a set of books on Nicholas, Valentine, and Patrick from the Voice of the Martyrs. They are beautifully done and treat these men as honorable heroes. I highly recommend them.

You can find some interesting legends and lots of activities about Nicholas at the St. Nicholas Center: For Kids section. We’ll probably be checking it out tomorrow afternoon!

Gratitude: the Key to our Choices

One of the most important Bible passages for Creationists to learn about, remember, and maybe even memorize (your young brain can handle it!), is in the middle of Romans chapter 1.

The whole book focuses on what God did in Jesus to bring people back to Himself. And right at the beginning we have a section talking about creation, gratitude, and the consequences if we refuse to cooperate.

The world gives us all kinds of reasons why some people go really bad:

  • The person had no family, or a rotten one
  • They didn’t have enough education
  • Poor nutrition/health care made them that way
  • They didn’t have enough money
  • People were mean and wouldn’t share with them

All these things are real problems. We are wise and right to help others overcome them and have the freedom to choose a better life.

But they don’t come close to the real cause. As usual, God reaches right into our soul and tells us what the deep reason actually is:

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:21

God has shown every person enough of who He is for them to have “no excuse” for ignoring Him. But people didn’t want to admit He is there because they refused to do two things:

  • Glorify Him as God
  • Be thankful

That’s it. All the awful choices they make with the rest of their lives go back to these two. We don’t want to worship anyone but ourselves, or a god we invent to do things our way. And we sure don’t want to have to say “thanks” and owe God for taking care of us.

“The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth” (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe

Americans, I’m sure you’ve noticed how the media and businesses don’t really focus on what Thanksgiving is all about. They’re fine with warm and fuzzy family time. They love good food and football. They’re really happy about people skipping sleep to go spend money the next morning. They’re even OK with saying “thanks” to you, to the turkey, to the world.

But it’s only those of us who have already chosen to follow God who like to remember the whole point of the celebration.

Let’s not be surprised or annoyed. God told us it would always be like this 2,000 years ago.

Praise Team Gospel Singers

(Photo credit: OldOnliner)

Our job is to take part in the heavenly celebration and shout His praises from the housetops. Social media and our emails are great ways to share beautiful reminders of what this Thursday is actually all about. Church praise times and passing on our blessings to needy people are Biblical, too.

Then there’s our families. When I am reminded of the pain, darkness, and misery God sees every moment, after I’ve asked Him to work, I like to focus on the one place I can change.

My goal as a homemaker is to give Jesus a place to settle down and relax. A place where He is honored as Lord, Savior, and Creator. A place where we’re never happy with our sin natures, but rejoice as we become more like Him every day.

And, assuming Romans 1:21 is true (which it is), praise and thanksgiving are the key to this goal!

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. Psalm 100:4 

Other posts on gratitude to check out: Ernie’s Musings: A Day to Give Thanks

A beautiful hymn you may have heard to chorus of: Thank You, Lord by Seth and Bessie Sykes