I got the chance to preach at Crossroads this morning! I ended up talking about how hard it is for me to take correction, even from God. Maybe you can sympathize?
The download link and notes are below. And if you like this kind of preaching, check out the Crossroads Podcast.
Aside from being a sci-fi nerd, something of a comic book guy, and a gamer, I’m a Bible geek. I’ve read it in four translations. I love connecting different passages and seeing what they say about God.
That’s why I’ll be starting a Sunday School series next week about the minor prophets, those little books in the middle of the Bible that only a few of us have read. I’ll be talking about Nahum and Habakkuk and Joel and all those guys. When I decided to teach on them, I realized I had to preach out of them too. There’s so much good stuff they have to teach us. God spoke through them, as I hope He will to you this morning.
One of the reasons God sent the minor prophets to Israel — and so many of them — was to correct Israel. This really hit me as I was reading through the book of Amos this last time. Israel was in a really bad spiritual situation, and God send the prophets to warn them, to set them straight.
That’s what I want to talk about today: taking correction from God. Because when God corrects us, sometimes we take it hard. Or we get stubborn and don’t want to listen. Or we get bitter because we think He’s depriving us of something we like. But God wants us to be humble as He corrects us through the Spirit and through the Word. And I wanna talk about a few reasons why we should be. Read the rest of this entry
I read this:
11 So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. “Look!” said the Philistines. “The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.” 12The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, “Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson.”
So Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Climb up after me; the LORD has given them into the hand of Israel.”
13 Jonathan climbed up, using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer right behind him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer followed and killed behind him. 14 In that first attack Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some twenty men in an area of about half an acre.
-1 Samuel 14:11-14
And I see this:
SCENE: EXTERIOR. CLIFFSIDE AT MIKMASH
JONATHAN and his ARMOR BEARER step from behind the boulder, squaring off with the cluster of PHILISTINE GUARDS at the top of the hill. One of the GUARDS spots them. He lazily draws his sword, and the others do the same.
Well, well. Looks like the Hebrews are crawling out of their holes.
The GUARDS laugh. JONATHAN stares them down, sword in hand. His ARMOR BEARER, unarmed, glances at his master, waiting for orders.
You wanna learn how to fight? Huh? Come up here and I'll show you!
A fierce, predatory smile works its way across JONATHAN's face.
That's the sign. They're ours.
JONATHAN dashes up the steep hill, scrambling up the slope, flinging dirt and stones behind him in his haste. The ARMOR BEARER, breathing heavily, is close behind.
GUARD 2 waits for his enemy, idly stretching his swordarm. The GUARDS laugh at the HEBREWS running uphill to their deaths. As JONATHAN approaches striking distance, GUARD 2 rears back for a killing stroke. He swings.
SFX: "Existence" by August Burns Red
JONATHAN, cresting the cliff in a three-point stance, lunges forward, parrying the blow with such force that GUARD 2's sword flies out of his grasp. GUARD 2 barely has time to look stunned before JONATHAN cuts him down with a backhand stroke of his sword.
GUARD 1, enraged, charges at JONATHAN, sword raised high for an overhand chop. JONATHAN steps into the attack, grabbing the PHILISTINE's wrist and wrenches it down, trapping GUARD 1's arm his under his own. He swings GUARD 1 toward the cliff edge and kicks him in the chest. With the flourish of a stage magician, JONATHAN snatches GUARD 1's sword from his hand as the PHILISTINE tumbles down the cliff.
JONATHAN'S ARMOR BEARER reaches the top of the cliff and finally stands up straight. JONATHAN -- still grinning with bloodthirsty zeal -- turns back to the rest of the GUARDS and begins marching toward them, tossing the sword high to his left. His ARMOR BEARER matches his pace, catching the sword with one hand.
The PHILISTINES charge.
Roaring for blood, JONATHAN surges into their midst. He whirls and cuts, moving more like a dancer than a fighter. He bats their attacks aside without looking at them. As soon as one of them drops, his ARMOR BEARER leaps forward to finish them off. The PHILISTINE GUARDS outnumber them ten to one, but they don't stand a chance.
The Bible is fun to read when you get into it.
Do you see other scenes from the Bible cinematically? Who would you cast for this scene?
A lot of characters and ideas from the Bible would make great Magic cards. Here are a few of my thoughts from the Old Testament.
You got any?
Creature – Israelite Prophet Legend (2/2)
T: Target King gets +2/+2.
T: Target King gets -2/-2.
Year of Jubilee (G1)
Return all permanents to their owner’s control. Untap all permanents you control. You cannot tap lands for mana or play activated abilities for the rest of this turn.
Lucifer, the Adversary (BlBlBl2)
Creature – Fallen Angel Legend (6/6)
4: Target creature gains +3/+0. Destroy that creature at end of turn.
[Lucifer is printed on a white card.]
David, Chosen Shepherd (WW2)
Creature – Israelite Legend (1/1)
If David deals combat damage to a creature with power or toughness 2 or more greater than his, destroy that creature, and flip David.
David, King of Israel
Creature – Israelite King Legend (2/3)
If David attacks, all attacking creatures get first strike.
Wages of Sin (Bl2)
Cumulative Upkeep: Place a -1/-1 counter on a creature you control.
Draw two cards during your draw phase.
Your maximum hand size is 6.
Fire of Retribution (RR)
Each creature that dealt damage to you this turn takes 5 damage.
Covenant Promises (Bu4)
Rearrange the top 10 cards of your library. Reveal only the last three cards, then place all 10 cards on top of your library.
Bronze Snake (3)
3, T: Remove all your poison counters.