Thursday, June 29, 2017

Tablets of Stone

And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven,
the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy
for them that love him and observe his commandments.

Nehemiah 1:5

The news of the day often leads us back to the Bible – the word of God!  Various topics, key words or phrases remind us of something we’ve read or heard previously.  There is nothing new under the sun! (Ecclesiastes 1:9)  Yesterday we heard of “stones” in the news:

June 27, 2017 - Petya Cyber Attack (Peter/stone) 
June 27, 2017 – 10 Commandments attacked (made of stone)

Man destroys new Ten Commandments statue at Arkansas Capitol
Exodus 24:12 And the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.

Stone attack / throwing stones
Petya or Petia (Петя) is a Bulgarian female given name.
It is of Slavic origin. It is also the common Russian diminutive for the male given name Piotr. 
Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian and Macedonian form of PETER.
Derived from the Greek Πετρος (Petros) meaning "stone."
This is a translation used in most versions of the New Testament of the name
 Cephas, meaning "stone" in Aramaic, which was given to the apostle 
Simon  [Peter] by Jesus (compare Matthew 16:18 and John 1:42).
And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said,
Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be
called Cephas, which is by interpretation, a stone.

Current events
Electronic tablets were hit by “digital stones.”
Physical stone tablets were hit and knocked down.

As we have rehearsed on God’s calendar, Moses ascended to Mount Sinai in the third month (Sivan)  
(Exodus chapters 19-31).   Exodus 31:18 states, And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
The children of Israel grew so impatient at the perceived delay in Moses’ return that they created a golden idol to worship (Exodus 32:1). Upon his descend Moses' anger caused him to break the stone tables (Exodus 32:19). The next day the leader of Israel returned up the mount to make atonement for their sins (Ex. 32:30).  The Lord made two new stone tablets (Ex. 34:1).
Even today this act of rebellion is commemorated on the 17th day of the fourth month of the Hebrew calendar with a Fast for Aaron's Sin of Making the Golden Calf  (17 of Tammuz).  July 11/12, 2017 on the Gregorian calendar this year. 
Fast of the fourth month:for breach of the walls of Jerusalem before the destruction of the second temple. Also for the destruction of the two tablets of the Ten Commandments. Start of three-week mourning period leading up to Tisha B’Av.This fast replaced the one on the 9th (Jeremiah 52:6, Zechariah 8:19).

April 26, 2018 LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The Arkansas Ten Commandments Monument is being reinstalled Thursday on the State Capitol grounds.
The American History & Heritage Foundation held a ceremony commemorating the monument's return after it was destroyed last year just one day after it had been put in place.  During the ceremony, a statement will be read honoring the gift of the new monument to the people of Arkansas and offering thanks to supporters who made private donations to make the monument possible.  -  (Note:  Last day of 1st Month/Aviv/Nisan - New Moon -
Background of the monument:
On April 8, 2015, the Arkansas General Assembly passed SB939 - THE TEN COMMANDMENTS MONUMENT ACT - and Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed the bill into law becoming ACT 1231. On June 27th, 2017, the original Ten Commandments Monument was installed on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol using private donations. In the early hours of June 28th, 2017, less than 24 hours after the monument had been erected, it was intentionally destroyed when a man rammed his vehicle into the monument /
(Note 2015 - during Passover - Days of Unleavened Bread week -

August 16, 2018 - LITTLE ROCK, Ark.  — The Satanic Temple temporarily placed a bronze statue of a goat-headed, winged creature called Baphomet at the Arkansas State Capitol during a rally to call for the removal of a Ten Commandments monument already mounted on Capitol grounds.
Dozens of protestors gathered as the 8.5-foot statue was unveiled

Israelites path of return to Jerusalem via Tadmor / Palmyra / Damascus

Credit: Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts by Thomas Nelson

Biblical lands are in our everyday news as well. Having an awareness of their context in biblical history helps us to understand the events of our day.
I have shared previously about Palmyra, Syria in ancient Tadmor.  

The books of Ezra and Nehemiah tell of the return of the Israelites from captivity in Babylon (Iraq) and Shushan (Susa, Old Persian – now Iran).  Their stone wall was attacked and toppled!  Their protection was breached – torn down, stone by stone. Yet, God made provision for them to return and rebuild. 

There are repeating themes for us to note: 10 Commandments, Moses, Esther, Daniel, captivity and release.  At the completion of the rebuilding of the wall the people assembled at the Water Gate and Ezra spoke the Book of Law of Moses (originally written on the tablets of stone). The Israelites attentively listened with clear understanding as they reverently stood for the reading (Nehemiah 8:1-9).  

The Water Gate tells about God, who is the source of the Holy Spirit through The Lord and the Messiah Jesus. In the Old Testament water describes the Holy Spirit. The spiritual meaning of the Water Gate is practical life in the Holy Spirit.

As Nehemiah 8:1 mentions the Water Gate we are reminded of the historic U.S. Watergate Scandal which has been in the recent news due to the June 17, 1972, anniversary - 45 Years ago.  This is quite a different scenario for this point in history.

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you:
and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh,
and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 36:26

Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared 
to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us,
written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God;
not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

2 Corinthians 3:3

There is yet another stone to come…

Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands,
which smote the image upon his feet 
that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.

Daniel 2:34

The Joy of the Lord is My Strength

... for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry;
for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:10

Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at the doors... Proverbs 8:34

Arches and Gates of the World -

Path of return to Jerusalem via Tadmor / Palmyra / Damascus

What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Jesus’ Bible
 © 2013 by Jason S. DeRouchie

Nehemiah 6:15
The wall was completed in 52 days, on the 25 day of the month Elul.
Elul is the 12th month of the civil year so the wall was completed on 12/25.
67 appears one time in scripture in Nehemiah 7 “sixty seven priests’ garments”. Nehemiah is the book about building a wall.

I believe that – as Esther sang in “Who Knowest?” (#11, here) – many things are going to be in just the right place at exactly the right time and something wonderful is going to happen…


More maps ;-)

Zondervan map

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