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Translating God

There are many unsolved mysteries that have been recorded throughout the history of the earth. Some of these mysteries are detailed in the Bible. Whenever you read something that doesn’t make sense, you have to go back to see what the context is to help you understand what really happened. Unfortunately, there are chapters and verses in the Bible that require further research. This process is often referred to as translating God to extract why an account or story has been placed in the Bible; unveiling God’s nature.

And behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the Lord to Bethel. Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. The man cried against the altar by the word of the Lord, O altar, altar, thus says the Lord: Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name; and on you shall he offer the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and men’s bones shall be burned on you. And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the Lord has spoken: Behold, the altar shall be split and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out. [Fulfilled in II Kings 23:15, 16.] When King Jeroboam heard the words the man of God cried against the altar in Bethel, he thrust out his hand, saying, Lay hold on him! And his hand which he put forth against him dried up, so that he could not draw it to him again, 1 Kings 13:1-4.

When I first heard a sermon on the passage above, I immediately thought of the song U Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer. This hit song reached #1 on the Hip Hop and R&B Billboard charts in 1990. Normally, kings would call upon body guards or soldiers to remove an individual from their presence. However, the words of this unnamed prophet from Judah infuriated King Jeroboam so much that he tried to harm this man. In what can only described as a scene from a Science Fiction film, King Jeroboam’s hand immediately shriveled up.

And he went and found the corpse thrown in the road, and the donkey and the lion stood by the body; the lion had not eaten the corpse or torn the donkey. 29 The prophet took up the corpse of the man of God and laid it upon the donkey and brought it back, and the old prophet came into the city to mourn and to bury him. 30 And he laid the body in his own grave, and they mourned over him, saying, Alas, my brother! 31 After he had buried him, he said to his sons, When I am dead, bury me in the grave in which the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones, 1 Kings 13:28-31.

The news of this strange encounter and subsequent healing spread throughout the land like a raging wildfire. A wayward prophet, paid off by King Jeroboam to only proclaim positive messages to enhance his reign felt compelled to reach out to this man of God. When his own sons couldn’t alter his course, this desperate man made up a story about an angelic counter to persuade him to stay an extra day. This decision proved to be fatal, killed by a mountain lion on his way back to Judah. Realizing it was his fault, the corrupt prophet has this man buried in his own personal tomb. Although this story has a sad ending, translating this chapter reveals the important of complete obedience to God. Anything less is unacceptable.

by Jay Mankus

Inquiring Minds Want Answers

One of the most difficult tasks I have ever been assigned was trying to teach Junior High students the Bible for 5 years.  If I wrote down all the questions asked during my lectures, I could have written a thorough sex ed curriculum.  While some of my students were simply trying to waste time, others asked great questions that needed a reply.  When inquiring minds want answers, those in authority or leadership positions must feed these hungry souls.

As I started to read the Old Testament again, memories of these questions reverberated within my mind.  Once deemed foolish, I am beginning to share a similar interest into the mysteries of the Bible.  For example, why is nakedness now equated with shame, Genesis 2:25?  Did Cain marry his sister, Genesis 4:17 or did God created other females beside Eve, Genesis 5:1-2?  Does Genesis 4:10 explain the concept of ghosts, haunted houses and dead spirits which still dwell on certain properties?  Finally, does Genesis 6:1-4 refer to aliens, fallen angels or mixed marriages between giants and normal human beings?

I wish I could answer these questions with a sense of certainty and clarity, but I can’t.  Theologians vary, debating these and other topics for centuries.  All I can do is provide my best guess based upon my years of study and training.

1) Marriage is a sacred covenant that you make to another man or woman.  Once you consecrate this bond, there should be no shame among one another.

2) Based upon the time line of Leviticus 18, it appears God allowed intermarriage initially until the population of Israel was large enough.  Once written and communicated by Moses, this type of act was prohibited.

3) Since Jesus and his disciple use the term ghost throughout all 4 gospels, it appears that ghosts and spirits did exist by the first century.  Therefore, the growing accounts of paranormal activity today suggest what happened to Abel certainty does occur.

4) Before answering this final question, Genesis 6:1-4 is one of the most controversial passages in the Bible.  If you link the great pyramids of Egypt, the great wall of China and other architectural wonders of the world, some credit this advanced knowledge to either aliens or fallen angels.  However, the Tower of Babel is erected due to an one world language, making nothing impossible for mankind according to Genesis 11:3-6.  Thus, like many mysteries, you will have to wait until the after life to know for sure.

As inquiring minds send me more questions, I will try my best to answer each from a biblical perspective.  Continue to following the words of 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, testing everything you hear or read with the Bible.

by Jay Mankus

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