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The Great American Eclipse (Acts 14:8-20)Gary McManus, September 3, 2017
Part of the God's World series, preached at a Sunday Morning service
The Great American Eclipse, August 20, 2017
There was a ready Bible study in front of all:
Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God made the
heavens and the earth. . .”
Ancient peoples have been gazing at
the heavens and making observations.
Remember Matthew 2:1-2
In several places, the Bible takes special
note of the things happening in the sky.
Heaven / heavens
One website claims ECLIPSES are mentioned
in the Bible. . .nine times. You decide.
Isaiah 13:10, Ezekiel 32:7, Joel 2:10, Joel 2:31,
Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:24, Revelation 6:12,
Revelation 8:12 and maybe Exodus 10:21-29
and Matthew 27:45.]
Israel did NOT have any tradition of stargazers.
[God spoke directly to the prophets! (and priests).]
The Canaanites WERE stargazers of a sort.
Their gods were, among others, sky-gods.
The Lord God (Yahweh) forbade worshipping other
gods. (Exodus 20)
Although the Canaanite goddess’ name sounds like/
looks like the word for “star.”
[ We will look closer at that topic next week. ]
The Canaanite Gods and Goddesses and their
worship are mentioned over 100 times in the Bible.
They are always condemned.
It didn’t take much to make Yahweh jealous/angry!
(But that is how serious the offense is/was.)
For Israelites to include other gods to worship
was considered the same as abandoning Yahweh.
( See Deuteronomy 16:21, 1 Kings 14:23)
Additional gods was considered, “going after other Gods.”
[ 1 Kings 11:4, Psalm 16:4, Jeremiah 13:10 ]
So are moderns guilty of worshipping other gods
(money, fame, etc) or guilty of attempting to
INCLUDE them in their worship of Yahweh?
So we have some curious verses in Judges.
You may recall the prophet Deborah.(5, esp 19-20)
20 From the heavens the stars fought,
from their courses they fought against Sisera.
(he is the Canaanite army commander).
Several levels of meaning, all wonderful.
The word “host” = stars (Milky Way) = army.
[See Exodus 14:28, Joshua 10:5,
1 Samuel 11:11 and many more.]
The Canaanites worshipped the Gods of the sky.
Israel worshipped the God who MADE the sky.
The Canaanites worships the star Goddess.
Israel worshipped the God who made the stars.
The apostles in Derbe repeat this same truth.
See Romans 1:19-20.
[NOTE: You might want to check this website
which attempts to link Biblical events with the
calendar based on eclipse schedules.
“Signs and wonders”
Deuteronomy 6:22, Daniel 6:27,
(but be warned Mark 13:22)
Acts 2:22,43, Acts 7:36, Hebrews 2:1-8.
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8 Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, 10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking. 11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” 18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.
19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. (ESV)