The annual digging season has begun in the city of Gath (a former Philistine city). They are unearthing some interesting things that tell us today what the Philistines were like. An article @ msnbc.com tells some of the discoveries and connections that have been made in reference to this ancient people group and their affiliation with the Israelites as mentioned in the Hebrew Bible.
It’s interesting to me that archaeologists seem to start with suspicion of an ancient text (i.e. like the Bible) and seek to go all out to disprove the claims and the stories contained within (and they are super-surprised if the stories appear true). I don’t know, maybe these findings and the resultant articles and theories that are written paint the discipline in a bad light. Not because of the stellar work archaeologists are doing, rather they appear to be written with a particular slant toward continual suspicion of the biblical text.
It seems, at least to this amateur theologian, that if one thinks that the Bible stories are true and view archaeological conclusions at this point are premature are definitely in the minority of scientific opinion and labeled at best ignorant, but at worst uninformed and out-of-touch with reality.
Regardless of who is right or wrong, the point for me at least, is to hold down the side of the debate that isn’t getting the most press…
After Israel splits into two separate countries (North=Israel, South=Judah), a series of kings rule each of them.
In the north, things aren’t going so hot. Remember: God’s people (the Israelites) are supposed to show the world what God is like. The northern country of Israel, especially the leaders, were wicked and evil people. Thus, the people of God has poor examples of what looking like God actually looked like!
Elijah was a prophet that stood out from the crowd and spoke against the evil the northern kingdom had plunged themselves into. This did not win him popularity contests… quite the opposite. Here is his story of standing out and speaking for the LORD God.
This story is rather violent in nature. A lot of killing takes place.
Click Here to watch the version of this story we did 3 years ago.
The Judges was a dark stain on the history of the Israelites. Doing what was right in their own eyes was a 400-year problem for the Israelites. The story of Ruth is the only bright, shining light during this chaotic time.
Enter Samuel. Samuel will be the last Judge of Israel. Pretty soon Israel is going to reject God as their King and will plea for a human king. Samuel is both a Judge and a kingmaker. It’s only fitting that this special figure in the Old Testament narrative have a special beginning.
This is the story of Samuel’s birth and the prayer deep within his mother’s heart. Here is Hannah’s story:
After the messup with Achan, the Israelites learned their lesson, right? Well, almost.
The peoples of the land of Canaan were afraid…and rightfully so. The Israelites were a conquering force with the God of heaven and earth on their side. The people of Gibeon decided to trick the Israelites, and they did because Joshua and the leaders did not consult the LORD. They made a treaty with Gibeon without knowing that they were neighbors. But a promise/treaty is a promise.
Later, the Gibeonites were attacked by the five kings of the Amorites because they had made a treaty with Joshua and the Israelites. And because of the treaty, the Israelites had to come to their rescue. But God was with them and helped them.