Wednesday, August 17, 2011

13 Things Regarding the Sinai Peninsula

The Search For The Real Mt. Sinai
1. The Sinai Peninsula is an important region to readers of the Bible and also serves as a land bridge between Africa and Asia.  Notice on the map the region appears to be an upside down triangle. 

2. Three significant events occurred there regarding the Israelites.   First the Peninsula is the location where Mount Sinai is located…the place where God appeared to Moses more than once.  Moses interacted with God for the first time while he was on the mountain herding sheep for Jethro.   The second time Moses was there God established his covenant with the Israelites at the foot of the mountain after their exodus from Egypt. Sinai is also the place where Moses ascended the mountain and God gave him the Ten Commandments.
3. Mount Sinai is referred to as “the mountain”…. Exodus 19:2; “the mountain of God”… Exodus 3:1; “the mountain of the Lord”…Numbers Numbers 10:33; and “Horeb”…Exodus 3:1.

There are five areas mentioned in the Bible in relationship to the mountain.
4. The Wilderness of Shur is the location on the northern border of Egypt where the Israelites found themselves after crossing the Red Sea.   This place was between the Red Sea and Marah where the people complained because there was no water…. Exodus 15: 22-24.

5. The wilderness of Sin is a region between Elim and Sinai where God provided food for the Israelites…Exodus 16:1.
6. The Wilderness of Paran is where the Israelites camped after they left Mount Sinai, and is the location where they were sent out to explore the land.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Where Can I Find a Urim and Thummim?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just go to God and ask Him to lay it all out for us regarding the directions we need go when we reach a crossroad?

What subjects to study in school?   Which jobs to take?   How to discipline and advise our children?    When we should take action or just sit back and observe our surroundings?
Sometimes we know the right thing to do, but the actions of others….justified or not….keep us from acting.   Sometimes our own wants….our selfishness… takes over preventing us from hearing God.  Sometimes as the background noise in our lives becomes louder and louder it becomes more difficult to hear God.

Why can’t the path be clear instead of clear as mud?
Reading through the Bible it seems the ancients had several opportunities to hear God when they needed guidance, and the Pentateuch was very clear on what NOT to do when seeking answers.

Deuteronomy 18: 10-13 provides a list of things that were detestable including interpreting omens, witchcraft, casting spells, and consulting the dead.    These practices were so detestable they were punishable by death per Leviticus 20:6.
The people of Babylon practiced divination so well they are the go-to culture when researching various ways the ancients used to contact the gods.   They used astrology, analyzed cloud formations, the peculiar actions of animals and pouring liquid into basins to read the bubbles that were formed.   There were even specially trained priests who read the livers of sacrificed animals.   To the ancients it appeared the liver was the source of blood in the body and therefore must be the seat of life.

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