Have you noticed how obsessed our culture is with fictional heroes? Hollywood has pumped out a flood of superhero blockbusters in the last two decades—Iron Man, Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Captain America, Wonder Woman, Black Panther, Avengers, just to name a few. The movie industry keeps churning out sequels and raking in millions. Movie fans have an insatiable appetite for high-flying heroics on the big screen. As much as we enjoy escaping reality and watching fantasy films, the truth is real heroes don’t wear capes or costumes. Some of the greatest heroes of all time wore robes and sandals.
Moses is so prominent in Scripture he ranks third behind only David and Jesus with 848 mentions. 3,500 years later, Moses’ incredible life and ministry still matter because he made such an indelible impact as:
Samuel played a pivotal role in the transitional period between the Judges and the Kings of Israel. The times of the Judges spanned over 300 years from the death of Joshua to the coronation King Saul. “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Jgs. 21:25, NKJV). While that sounds good on the surface, if everyone does their own thing instead of God’s thing, chaos results. That era was defined by this sad cycle:
1. Apostasy: Israel backslid into idolatry.
2. Oppression: God allowed their enemies to invade, occupy and rule over them.
3. Repentance: Israel cried out to God in desperation.
4. Deliverance: God raised up deliverers (judges) to liberate them and lead revival.
As we recently celebrated Pentecost Sunday, we were reminded that God is still pouring out His Spirit as He did on the First Century Church. The term “Pentecost” is found three times in the Bible (Ac. 2:1, 20:16; 1 Cor. 16:8) and refers to a specific feast and holiday on the Jewish calendar. The word “Pentecost” means “fifty,” because it occurred 50 days after Passover. (Now it falls on the 7th Sunday after Easter.) To fully understand Pentecost, we must study God’s manifestation on Mt. Sinai (Ex. 19). Pentecost was a feast instituted by God to commemorate the giving of the Law. It’s also called the “feast of weeks” and “feast of harvest” (Ex. 23:14-16; Lev. 23:15-21; Dt. 16:9-12). The first Pentecost occurred when God consumed Mt. Sinai with fire and thundered His 10 Commandments to Israel. Incidentally, when God spoke to a man (Moses), He lit a bush on fire; when He spoke to a nation (Israel), He lit a mountain on fire! “For our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29).Read More
Ruth and Esther are the two Bible books named after women. Benjamin Franklin was so fond of Ruth he pulled a prank on his cronies in Paris as the Ambassador to France. He often attended the “Infidel’s Club,” a group of intellectuals who read literary masterpieces but spurned the Bible. He told them he found a piece of ancient literature worthy of their consideration. Then he read them the Book of Ruth but changed the names and locations so they wouldn’t recognize it. When he finished, they raved that it was one of the most touching stories they’d ever heard and begged him to print it so the public could read it. He grinned and said, “It is already in print, it is a part of the Bible you ridicule.”