Friday, September 16, 2016

Franklyn takes "The Nora Test"

The Word for today:  1 Chronicles 22:2-19
You've noted, as we've stood together in the rain, that the name 'Jesus' comes up quite a bit. Jesus this and Jesus that, Jesus here and Jesus there; Jesus, Jesus everywhere.
Don't you dare tell another soul, but because you've been such a faithful reader -- every day for the last 446 days in a row -- I've decided to tell you (and you alone) the reason why "Stand in the Rain" is your "all Jesus all the time" Bible study source.
The reason is fear.
Stand in the Rain is published in six (or is it seven?) different venues every day. We have been entrusted by the LORD God to tell his story to many, many souls. Some of them are his children, and some of them are his children-in-the-making.  Either way, the first thing we've got to do is get it right:
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.(James 3:1)
Q.  How, then, can you be sure you're getting it right?
A.  I take "The Nora Test!"
Q.  Who's Nora?
Nora is a legendary Bible student. Nora has never gotten any significant Bible question wrong.  
Whenever I ask the class a question, Nora shouts out "Jesus!" The irony is that while it appears, at first glance, that I am quizzing Nora, it is actually quite the other way around.
You see, any good Bible lesson -- any lesson worth the teaching -- has one ultimate objective. And any good Bible question -- any question worth the asking -- has one ultimate answer. So Nora's answer actually is a way of grading whether or not I'm getting this right.
If the question I ask isn't answerable with "Jesus," -- if Nora's answer is wrong -- then it's not Nora who is amiss, it is I.
Let's proceed, then, to apply The Nora Test to the section of scripture we find ourselves in today:
Franklyn: "David bought the threshing floor of Ornan and built an altar there. What was to be sacrificed there?"
Nora: "Jesus!"
(1 Chronicles 21:18) Therefore, the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David that David should go and erect an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
Heeding supernatural direction, David purchases a particular threshing floor. Thus the spot was chosen where the temple would be built by Solomon. Located on Mt. Moriah, it is also the place where Abraham offered Isaac. On that same ridge is Golgotha, where Jesus will be crucified. Note that it was God who picked this place, which is later to become ground zero of the universe, the epicenter of space and time…
So Nora's answer is, of course, correct. Which means that Franklyn got the question right!
Franklyn: "The LORD commanded the destroying angel to return his sword to its sheath. The sword is not to strike the people, because God intends it for another target. Name the intended target."
Nora: "Jesus!"
(1 Chronicles 21:15)
And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it. As he was destroying, the LORD looked and relented of the disaster, and said to the angel who was destroying, “It is enough; now restrain your hand.” And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
(1 Chronicles 21:26-27)
26 And David built there an altar to the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called on the LORD; and He answered him from heaven by fire on the altar of burnt offering.
27 So the LORD commanded the angel, and he returned his sword to its sheath.
Note verse 26: The sword of the destroying angel which was poised over Jerusalem is stayed by sacrifice. This sword, which the angel puts in its sheath, later will be thrust in Jesus' side on this very spot.
Thus Nora's answer is, again, correct. Which means that Franklyn got the question right!
Franklyn: "It was not God's idea to build the Temple; it was David's idea. Because God, all along, had a better idea, which was..."
Nora: "Jesus!"
(1 Chronicles 17:5-6) For I have not dwelt in a house since the day that I brought up Israel until today, but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another. Wherever I have walked with all Israel, did I speak a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed My people, saying, Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?
(Revelation 21:3) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
(Revelation 21:22; see John 4:20-24) And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
Jesus, as Nora correctly stated, is the Temple of God.  Which means that Franklyn got the lesson right!
The way I figure it, if you're on the right side of Nora, you're on the right side of God.  And if you're on the right side of God, you're standing with
Nora: "Jesus!"

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