Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | December 7, 2016

The Curse of Jeconiah

(3 Minute Read)

After Eden Fathers Day

Does the Curse of Jeconiah in the Old Testament impact Jesus’ claim to the throne of David over the house of Israel?

Is Jesus disqualified from being King of the Jews due to the Curse of Jeconiah?

This Old Testament curse bans any descendant of Jeconiah from the throne, and Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus includes a man named Jeconiah.

Since we celebrate the birth of Jesus in December, this is a good time to look into His genealogies. Does the information in Matthew’s genealogy disqualify Jesus from being the Messiah by virtue of His being a descendant of Jeconiah?

The Curse of Jeconiah is recorded in Jeremiah 22:24-30:
“As I live,” declares the Lord, “even though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were a signet ring on My right hand, yet I would pull you off; and I will give you over into the hand of those who are seeking your life, yes, into the hand of those whom you dread, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of the Chaldeans. I will hurl you and your mother who bore you into another country where you were not born, and there you will die. But as for the land to which they desire to return, they will not return to it.
“Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered jar?
Or is he an undesirable vessel?
Why have he and his descendants been hurled out
And cast into a land that they had not known?
“O land, land, land,
Hear the word of the Lord!
“Thus says the Lord,
‘Write this man down childless,
A man who will not prosper in his days;
For no man of his descendants will prosper
Sitting on the throne of David
Or ruling again in Judah.’”

Jeconiah was a wicked king of Judah for three months in the early 6th century BC. Jeconiah was also known as Jehoiachin (2 Kings 24:6) and Coniah (Jeremiah 22:24), and he began to reign following the death of his father King Jehoiakim. God’s extreme displeasure with the evil ways of Jeconiah and his father Jehoiakim resulted in the curse (Jeremiah 22:18-30). Later Jeconiah was carried away captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 24:8-16).

An ancestor of Jesus named Jeconiah is listed by Matthew in Jesus’ genealogy:
Josiah begat Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. After the deportation to Babylon: Jeconiah begat Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begat Zerubbabel. And Zerubbabel begat Abiud; (Matthew 1:11-13)

So how can Jesus sit on the throne of David if He is a descendant of the cursed King Jeconiah? How can He rule Judah if He descends from Jeconiah whose seed is excluded?

The answer to this puzzle is simple. It involves recognition of the fact that in many families multiple people can bear the same name. Often this is true of several names in a family.

So the answer to Jesus and the Curse of Jeconiah is that there are two different Jeconiahs. Jesus is NOT a descendant of the cursed Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim. Rather he is a descendant of a different uncursed Jeconiah. A little study of genealogical records in the Bible makes this clear.

The cursed Jeconiah of Jeremiah 22 was the son of King Jehoiakim who was the son of King Josiah of Judah. Thus the cursed Jeconiah was the grandson of King Josiah. This Jeconiah had a single brother, Zedekiah. (1 Chronicles 3:16)

The Jeconiah who was an ancestor of Jesus was a son of King Josiah, not a grandson, and he had multiple brothers. (Josiah begat Jeconiah and his brothers… Matthew 1:11) Jesus’ ancestor Jeconiah had a wicked nephew with the same name. It is that wicked man’s descendants who are prohibited from the throne.

Different Offspring

Further proof that there were two different Jeconiahs is that the two Jeconiahs have different offspring, even though there are some shared names. The cursed Jeconiah, son of Jehoiakim and grandson of Josiah, had seven sons, two of whom were Shealtiel and Pedaiah. Pedaiah’s son was Zurubbabel. (1 Chronicles 3:15-19)
Josiah-> Jehoiakim-> Jeconiah-> Shealtiel
Josiah-> Jehoiakim-> Jeconiah-> Pedaiah-> Zurubbabel

The uncursed Jeconiah, son of Josiah, had a son Shealtiel, who had a son Zerubbabel, who had a son Abiud. But Zerubbabel, son of Pedaiah, did not have an Abiud among his seven sons. (Matthew 1:11-13; 1 Chronicles 3:17-19)
Josiah-> Jeconiah-> Shealtiel-> Zurubbabel-> Abiud

These are two different Zerubbabels — one is the son of Shealtiel, and the other is the son of Pedaiah.
These are two different Shealtiels — one is the son of Jeconiah son of Josiah, and the other is the son of Jeconiah grandson of Josiah.
Thus the two Jeconiahs have different offspring.
There are two different Jeconiahs!

After Eden ChristmasTravel

Changed Names

Some wonder why Jeconiah, who is identified as a son of Josiah in Matthew 1:11, is not listed among Josiah’s sons in 1 Chronicles 3:15: The sons of Josiah were Johanan the firstborn, and the second was Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum.

The likely answer is that Josiah’s firstborn Johanan and Jeconiah are the same person. Josiah’s other three sons had their names changed, so it is well within the realm of possibility that this happened with Johanan/Jeconiah as well.

Josiah’s second son Eliakim had his name changed to Jehoiakim by Pharaoh Neco of Egypt when Neco installed Jehoiakim as king after defeating and killing Josiah in battle (2 Kings 23:34).

Josiah’s third son Mattaniah had his name changed to Zedekiah by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon when he deposed Jehoiachin (Jeconiah) son of Jehoiakim. Nebuchadnezzar took Jeconiah prisoner to Babylon and installed Zedekiah as king (2 Kings 24:17).

Josiah’s fourth son Shallum was the first to reign following his father’s death. He was also named Jehoahaz (2 Kings 23:30; Jeremiah 22:11).

Thus comparing 1 Chronicles 3:15 and Matthew 1:11, it must be that Johanan and Jeconiah are the same person.

Conclusion

There are two Jeconiahs. The cursed one has one brother Zedekiah and is the grandson of King Josiah. The uncursed one is the son of King Josiah with multiple brothers (Jehoiakim, Zedekiah, Shallum), two of whom, Jehoiakim and Zedekiah, were carried off to Babylon (2 Chronicles 36:5-6; 2 Kings 25:7). Jesus is a descendant of the Jeconiah who was not cursed. Therefore the Curse of Jeconiah does not disqualify Jesus from being the Messiah and from sitting on the throne of David.

Many try to use an argument that the Curse of Jeconiah does not apply to Jesus because Matthew’s genealogy is the legal genealogy of Jesus through His adoptive father Joseph and not the biological genealogy through His mother Mary. But whether the curse applies legally or biologically is irrelevant, because Jesus of Nazareth is not a descendant of the cursed Jeconiah.

Jesus of Nazareth is indeed the Messiah, the King of the Jews. He is truly the rightful possessor of the throne of David. The Curse of Jeconiah does not apply to Him.

Questions to Ponder
  1. What king of Judah had three sons who also reigned as king?
  2. Why do you think God chose to include a genealogical record right at the beginning of the New Testament Scripture?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Read the sequel about resolving the discrepancies between the two genealogies of Jesus in Matthew and Luke:
Genealogy of Jesuscoming soon

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday December 7, 2016 A.D.

The unfolding of Thy words gives light. It gives understanding to the simple.
The sum of Thy word is truth, and every one of Thy righteous ordinances is everlasting.

(Psalm 119:130,160 NASB)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | November 30, 2016

Is Denying Creation Wicked?

(2 Minute Read)
Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, evolution’s most famous evangelist, wrote this over 25 years ago:

“It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid, or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).”
(Richard Dawkins, “Book Review of Donald Johanson and Maitland Edey’s Blueprints,” The New York Times, April 9, 1989.)

To begin, let me vigorously assert as strongly as possible,
I do NOT believe in evolution.”

Therefore, according to Dawkins, this assertion puts me in one of four categories: Ignorant, Stupid, Insane, or Wicked.

No one who knows me would consider me ignorant, stupid, or insane. Therefore, according to Dawkins, I must be wicked.

Dawkins is essentially saying that knowledge is a moral issue. Dawkins assumes and believes that Evolution is the truth. He therefore concludes that someone with the mental capability to understand the truth and yet who denies the truth is wicked.

On this point I agree with Dawkins: knowledge is a moral issue and denying the truth is wicked.

Dawkins and I both say that denying the truth is immoral. Therefore, the important question is: Which is the truth? Evolution or Creation?

After Eden 20040315bigbang

Which is the Truth?

Dawkins says it is Evolution. I say it is Creation. Who is right?

For support of Evolution, Dawkins appeals to authorities like Charles Darwin.

For support of Creation, I will appeal to a couple of the smartest people who ever lived, King Solomon and the Apostle Paul, men whom the Creator used to deliver truth to mankind.

About 3,000 years ago King Solomon of Israel said,
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)

Solomon, himself a scientist and the wisest man who ever lived (1 Kings 3:12; 4:29-34), said that knowledge begins with fear of the Lord. That is, one has to respect and revere the Creator in order to truly understand anything. To deny the Creator is to be a fool.

Without Excuse

The Apostle Paul spoke clearly to this issue some 2,000 years ago. He used unambiguous moral language about those who reject the Creator. He said,
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools. … For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. (Romans 1:18-22, 25)

After Eden 20111118thanksfornothing

Paul certainly saw knowledge of the truth as a moral issue. He says men have no excuse because the Creator’s attributes have been clearly seen through what He has made. According to the Apostle Paul, all evolutionists know there is a Creator God of great power and glory. When they deny it, they are intentionally suppressing the truth in wickedness.

Paul does not allow “deceived” as an option. It is immoral and wicked to deny the truth.

Thus to express my position, I would modify what Dawkins wrote and say,
“It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims to believe in evolution and denies the Creator, that person is ignorant, stupid, insane, or wicked, and the last choice is the most likely.”

So, to answer the question of the title, YES, denying Creation is wicked. Belief in Evolution is wicked. Allegiance to the Creator is the first duty of every human being.

Questions to Ponder
  1. If you sat beside Richard Dawkins on a plane, what would you say to him?
  2. In what specific ways does our evolution-loving culture “worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator“?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday November 30, 2016 A.D.

That which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | November 23, 2016

Orion & the Pleiades Speak Truth

(2 Minute Read)
Orion Constellation

Orion Constellation
Shoulders, belt, sword, & feet.

Last week’s article, The Hunter and Seven Sisters, surveyed two groups of stars which are mentioned several times in the Bible: Orion (the Hunter) and the Pleiades (the Seven Sisters).

Several Old Testament books use these two star groups, along with the Bear (Ursa Major, of which the Big Dipper is a part), to seize attention and megaphone truth to mankind (Job 9:8-10; 38:31-32; Amos 5:8).

Orion and the Pleiades in the Bible

The book of Job is probably the oldest book in the Bible. It relates the troubles of a man named Job who lived after the Flood, probably around the time of Abraham.

Job had been proclaiming his innocence of wrongdoing, insisting that his suffering was not fair, and calling for an answer from God. Instead of giving Job an explanation, God asked him a series of unanswerable questions to demonstrate His superior wisdom in ruling the world, including His sovereign decision to permit Job’s suffering. Here are several of the questions that God asked Job related to constellations:
“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades,
Or loose the cords of Orion?
Can you lead forth a constellation in its season,
And guide the Bear with her satellites?”
(Job 38:31-32 NASB)

Astronomers today know that the Pleiades is a gravitationally-bound star cluster. All the stars of the Pleiades are moving in the same direction across the sky at the same speed. In contrast, Orion’s stars are not gravitationally-bound; they are gradually moving away from each other.

Was this bound/unbound nature of the Pleiades and Orion known in Job’s day? It’s very unlikely! The Creator alone would be able to hint to Job that the Pleiades are bound together, but Orion’s stars are “loosed” (not bound). This “inside information” testifies to the divine origin of the Bible.

After Eden 20001211-ChristmasLights

Yahweh alone can either bind or release stars, for He is their Creator, the One that made them and placed them in the heavens (Genesis 1:16-18) where they remain to this day.

The 8th-century BC prophet Amos also mentioned the Pleiades and Orion. The nation of Israel was sliding into pagan idolatry, and Amos sought to call Israel back to worship the true God by reminding the people of Yahweh’s great deeds.

Amos urged Israel to seek the One who performed certain stupendous acts:
Seek Him that makes the seven stars and Orion, and turns the shadow of death into the morning, and makes the day dark with night: that calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out upon the face of the earth. The LORD is his name.
(Amos 5:8 KJV)

Amos called for Israel to return to
– the One who made the stars, in particular the One who made the Pleiades and Orion,
– the One who turns night to day and day to night, and
– the One who once judged rebellion with a Flood, pouring the oceans over the face of the earth.

Orion's Belt

Orion’s Belt
Alnitak, Alnilam, Mintaka (left to right)
Best way to locate Orion.

These are awe-inspiring deeds! No mere man can come close to doing them. According to Amos, these are reasons to serve the real Creator God instead of impotent idols.

Amos’ exhortation is still needed today when so many believe the stars, earth, and living things originated from nothing by chance. How absurd!

The Prophet Amos calls mankind to seek the Creator and Judge, the One who made it all and the One who once judged Earth with a Flood.

Note: The words “Seek Him” in Amos 5:8 of the King James version are not in the original Hebrew. But “Seek Him” is in the context in verses 4 and 6, and should be implicitly understood for verse 8. Many other versions in addition to the King James include “Seek Him” in verse 8 in order to render in English the proper sense of the Hebrew passage.

The grandeur of Orion, the sparkling beauty of the Pleiades, the innumerable stars of the universe all point to a Maker, to One who made heaven and earth (Isaiah 37:16).

The majesty of the stars alone should compel men to seek the Creator and Savior before it is too late and judgment comes. It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:31 NASB)

Questions to Ponder
  1. Why would Orion and the Pleiades be mentioned together three different times in Scripture? (Job 9:8-10; 38:31-32; Amos 5:8)
  2. When you are suffering or sorrowful, how will you apply the questions God asked Job about the stars (Job 38:31-32)?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God. (Psalm 19:1 KJV)
Soli Deo Gloria.

Read the prequel:
The Hunter and Seven Sisters

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday November 23, 2016 A.D.

Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name. Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one of them is missing. (Isaiah 40:26 NASB)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | November 16, 2016

The Hunter and Seven Sisters

(2 Minute Read)
Andromeda Galaxy

Andromeda Galaxy
This spiral galaxy proclaims the glory of
its Creator with a trillion stars about
2.5 million light-years away.
Andromeda is more than 220,000 LY
in diameter. (Click image to enlarge.)

One of the most amazing understatements of the Bible is tacked on at the end of Genesis 1:16:
He made the stars also.

Five short words! Yet one of the most stunning testimonies to the awesome greatness of Yahweh is this very panoply of stars in the heavens:
Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name. Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one of them is missing. (Isaiah 40:26)

The Bible mentions three constellations or star groups by name: the Pleiades, Orion, and the Bear (Job 9:8-10; 38:31-32; Amos 5:8).
Who alone stretches out the heavens
And tramples down the waves of the sea;
Who makes the Bear, Orion and the Pleiades,
And the chambers of the south;
Who does great things, unfathomable,
And wondrous works without number.

(Job 9:8-10 NASB)

Orion, the Hunter

Orion is a prominent winter constellation in the northern hemisphere named after the hunter Orion of Greek mythology. In the southern hemisphere it’s a summer constellation.

The constellation is easy to recognize by its belt of three stars, which are sometimes called the Three Kings. Orion contains two of the ten brightest stars in the night sky: the blue-white supergiant Rigel (left foot of the earth-facing Orion) and the red supergiant Betelgeuse (right shoulder).

Orion Constellation showing shoulders, feet, belt, and sword

Orion Constellation
Showing shoulders, belt,
sword, and feet.

The seven stars marking Orion’s shoulders, feet, and belt are among the most distant that are visible with the naked eye. The sword hanging from Orion’s belt appears to be marked by three stars, but the middle one is actually not a star but the Orion Nebula, a reflective cloud of gas, dust, and stars.

The easily recognizable Orion is useful in locating other stars in the sky. For example, extend the line of the belt southeastward to find Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. A line from Rigel (Orion’s left foot) through Betelgeuse (Orion’s right shoulder) points to Castor and Pollux in the constellation Gemini. Castor and Pollux was the sign (figurehead) of a ship the Apostle Paul took on his way to Rome (Acts 28:11). Below I will describe how to find the Pleiades using Orion.

The Pleiades, or the Seven Sisters

November is sometimes referred to as the Pleiades month, because the Pleiades are visible in the northern hemisphere throughout the night in November. In the southern hemisphere, the Pleiades are visible in the summer.

Galileo was the first we know of to view the Pleiades with a telescope, and he discovered the cluster had more than seven stars. He published a sketch of the Pleiades showing 36 stars in 1610.

The Pleiades (Messier 45) is a star cluster about 440 light-years from Earth containing over 1,000 stars. Seven of the brightest ones can be seen with the naked eye and give the cluster its alternate name, the Seven Sisters. The cluster lies in the constellation Taurus.

subaru

The Pleiades have been known worldwide in many cultures from ancient times: the Babylonians, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Persians, the Greeks, the Maori of New Zealand, the Maya, the Cherokee, the Aztec, the Sioux, Moslems, Hindus, and the Aborigines of Australia. Subaru (meaning cluster or united) is the Japanese name for the Pleiades; an image of the cluster forms the car company’s logo.

You need a dark sky to see the Pleiades. They are a faint group shaped like the bowl of a small spoon. In November in the northern hemisphere, they will rise in the east after sunset and travel overhead across the dome of the sky. The cluster is west-northwest of Aldebaran, the brightest star in the constellation Taurus.

The easiest way for me to find the Pleiades is to first locate the constellation Orion. Orion rises in the east after dark and travels across the sky to the west. Draw a line parallel to Orion’s belt from Betelgeuse, Orion’s right shoulder (Orion faces Earth). Half-way to the Pleiades, the line will pass above (north of) the bright star Aldebaran in Taurus and then goes on to hit the Pleiades.

The nine brightest stars of the Pleiades are named for the Seven Sisters of Greek mythology: Alcyone, Merope, Electra, Celaeno, Maia, Taygeta, and Sterope, along with their parents Atlas and Pleione.

The nine brightest Pleiades’ stars are named for the Seven Sisters of Greek mythology:
Alcyone, Merope, Electra, Celaeno, Maia, Taygeta, and Sterope,
and for their parents Atlas and Pleione.

The grandeur of Orion, the sparkling beauty of the Pleiades, the innumerable stars of the universe all point to a Maker, to One who made heaven and earth (Isaiah 37:16).

The majesty of the stars alone should compel men to seek the Creator and Savior before it is too late. It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:31 NASB)

Questions to Ponder
  1. Why should a Christian study the stars?
  2. Why aren’t stars named after Biblical characters like the Genesis patriarchs instead of figures from mythology?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God. (Psalm 19:1 KJV)
Soli Deo Gloria.

Read the sequel:
Orion & the Pleiades Speak Truth

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday November 16, 2016 A.D.

He who made the Pleiades and Orion
And changes deep darkness into morning,
Who also darkens day into night,
Who calls for the waters of the sea
And pours them out on the surface of the earth,
The LORD is His name.
(Amos 5:8 NASB)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | November 9, 2016

Why Do Leaves Change Color?

(2 Minute Read)

Why are most leaves green most of the time?
Why do tree leaves change color in the fall?
Why do some leaves turn yellow? Why do others turn red?
How is fall leaf color connected to every breath you take?

Last weekend we enjoyed a campground with a beautiful tapestry of red, orange, and gold leaves. The brilliant colors have been stunning for several weeks.

Campground Splendor, Nov 2016

Campground Splendor, Nov 2016

Leaves are green during spring and summer because of the presence of the pigment chlorophyll. This pigment is a vital part of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process by which plant leaves use sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water to produce sugars and oxygen. The oxygen is released into the atmosphere, and the plants use the sugars. Without photosynthesis, the sun’s energy would be useless and life could not exist.

Every leaf is an amazing little energy-conversion factory that takes carbon dioxide from the air and light energy from the sun and produces both oxygen for breathing and energy in the form of sugars stored in plants.

The changing colors of fall leaves remind us
of what the Creator has designed
to provide food and oxygen for mankind.

Photosynthesis is the process by which plants produce food from the sun. It is a vital biological process that is so complex that it is not yet fully understood. It involves hundreds of chemical reactions among many different complex molecules occurring in the correct order at exactly the right times. Yet many scientists insist on believing it all developed gradually by accident, instead of acknowledging the work of an intelligent Creator who designed the process for the benefit of plants and animals.

Giant Oak Leaves

Giant Oak Leaves, from campsite
Oak leaves usually turn brown.

Photosynthesis is the primary supply source for the oxygen we breathe. It also produces all the organic compounds and most of the energy needed for plant and animal life. God’s provision of food, energy, and oxygen through plants via photosynthesis is so abundant that we take it for granted and rarely think about it or thank Him for it.

Chlorophyll is one of the essential ingredients of photosynthesis. Sunlight hitting chlorophyll molecules causes them to vibrate and emit charged electrons that energize the sugar-making process in the leaf. Chlorophyll molecules absorb the red and blue parts of sunlight and reflect the green. That’s why leaves look green.

Red, orange, and yellow pigments are also present in leaves; they absorb light energy from other parts of the spectrum. But the abundance of green chlorophyll masks all other pigments during spring and summer.

Chlorophyll is a highly complex molecule comprised of magnesium (Mg), nitrogen (N), oxygen (O), carbon (C), and hydrogen (H) atoms. It exists in multiple forms in nature. The most common plant form is chlorophyll a with molecular formula C55H72O5N4Mg.

To make a chlorophyll molecule requires at least 17 different enzymes, each of which is itself a complex molecule. The complicated chlorophyll molecule did not arise by chance. It was designed by a benevolent Creator for the benefit of His creatures.

Model of chlorophyll molecule

Model of the chlorophyll a molecule
Mg – green, N – blue, O – red,
C – black, H – white

Chlorophyll and photosynthesis testify of a Designer and Creator, for they could not have arisen by chance accident. If any single part were missing, the whole incredibly complex system would be useless.

As the days grow shorter and nights grow longer and cooler in autumn, trees stop making chlorophyll, and it rapidly degrades. Other colors which were hidden by the green chlorophyll become visible. Yellow pigments (xanthophylls) and orange and brown pigments (carotenoids) become apparent. Red pigments (anthocyanins) are most common in maple trees, especially sugar maples.

Will the leaves change color again next year? How do you know? If you believe in a random universe, how do you explain the relentless cycle of the seasons? The regularity of each autumn’s splendid color changes testifies to a world of exquisite order sustained by the Creator’s hand. After the worldwide Flood of Noah, Yahweh guaranteed the regular repetition of the seasons:
“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
And cold and heat,
And summer and winter,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”
(Genesis 8:22).

The chlorophyll molecule and the photosynthesis process are creations of the Almighty for the benefit of life on earth. They reflect the glory of the Creator as man learns more about them through study and research. The changing colors of fall leaves remind us of what the Creator has designed to provide food and oxygen for mankind.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Do you consciously thank God for the beauty and benefits of plants like trees?
  2. How do leaves show the overwhelming abundance of God?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday November 9, 2016 A.D.

Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with seed in them, on the earth”; and it was so. And the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a third day. (Genesis 1:11-13 NASB)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | November 2, 2016

Kepler and the Football Weekend

(4 Minute Read)
Kepler

Kepler

I could hardly believe my eyes when we drove into a woodsy Michigan state park campground last weekend. A big white circus tent had sprouted right in the middle of the park. What was going on?

Woof! Woof! This is Kepler again, Master’s Jack Russell terrier. I’m writing about last weekend’s football-themed camping trip for Master’s blog.

Master is the BibleScienceGuy, and sometimes he lets me write a guest post for his weekly blog. This is the sixth post I’ve written for him.

Football Rivalry Weekend

When Master walks me around a campground, what interests me is sniffing where other dogs have been. But this time I could hardly believe all the astonishing sights! I was amazed to see how elaborately people had decorated their campsites to show support for either the University of Michigan Wolverines or the Michigan State University Spartans. Giant inflatables, flags, banners, strings of lights, statues, and every imaginable sign adorned campsites. Master said many of them were humorous, but I didn’t see it myself.

UM site.

University of Michigan fans’ campsite.

Even dogs were dressed as football fans. My buddy Henry and I root for the Wolverines, because we live closer to Ann Arbor than East Lansing. But we root for the Spartans when they play other teams.

This was the 11th annual Rivalry Weekend at the state park. We attended the Rivalry Weekend last year, but Master was still teaching me how to type on the computer, so I did not write a blog post on it.

It got pretty noisy Saturday afternoon when park rangers showed the football game between the two teams on a large screen inside the circus tent. Master and I watched the game sitting on a hay bale.

I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t let me bark every time our team scored, since humans were screaming and jumping and whistling on every play. There were even some noises I’d never heard from humans before. I wondered why the rangers didn’t control the humans like Master controls me, but Master said it was okay.

MSU campsite

Michigan State University fans’ campsite

Saturday morning we went to the ball field for campground games. Kids and adults competed in passing and kicking football games, egg toss, tug-of-war, and races. Somehow Master won the tug-of-war game. I was amazed. He said he applied physics, but I think he put his tummy into tugging.

But there were no games for dogs! I wanted to do the races, but Master said No. I would have won, too. Most of the dogs were fat and slow, and none of the humans had more than two legs. My four legs help me run twice as fast as humans. Master and Missus cannot catch me without using treats to entice me.

We watched the children’s parade of decorated tricycles, bikes, and wagons pulled by dogs dressed in school colors. Some of the dogs looked so silly the way they were dolled up that I felt embarrassed for them. Missus gave me a UM sweater which I wore proudly, although I did not cooperate when she was trying to dress me. Henry wore a tasteful UM kerchief around his neck.

UM fans celebrating 32-23 victory over MSU.

Fans in campground celebrating UM’s 32-23 victory over MSU.

The adult parade was after the game. Many fans of the winning team (this year Michigan won 32-23) drove around the campground in pick up trucks with flags and banners waving, horns honking, and excited kids hanging off the sides of the truck.

Chicken Dinner

I heard Missus tell Master that this is one of her favorite campgrounds. She loves the gorgeous autumn leaf colors, and puppy! were they stunning this weekend. But there’s one thing about going to this campground that perturbs me. On the way my humans stop and disappear for nearly an hour.

When they return I can hardly stand it; they radiate an overwhelming odor of spicy chicken! The tantalizing aroma drives me crazy the rest of the way to the campground. I try to ask Henry whether he thinks we will get any, but he handles that maddening chicken smell by going to sleep right away. So I had to do 360’s in my crate and some serious scratching to distract myself from that wonderful aroma.

Henry & I hope for chicken scraps

Henry & I hope for chicken scraps
at the Football Rivalry Weekend

I usually get a few bites of skin and crust later as treats. But looking at Master and Missus, I think they get more than a few bites! Don’t get me wrong; the food Master gives me smells really, really good. But it’s not the same as a fresh piece of spicy Louisiana fried chicken. Not the same at all. Why doesn’t Master take me with him for a spicy chicken dinner? He buys one for Missus — why not for me?

Campfire Meals

On the way to the campground we stopped at a shipping company and loaded 29 discarded wooden pallets. I watched Master heave them into the camper, and Missus pack them in the aisles like a giant Tetris game.

After we got to the campground, I helped Master cut them up for firewood. I defended his workspace from interference by barking at passing dogs and campers to distract people from the saw noise. I kept everybody away from the sawed-up pallet wood till Master could stack it neatly near the fire pit.

It was a very good thing that we collected so much firewood, because it turned out that Missus had forgotten the electric fry pan that she uses to cook human meals. I could tell that Master was not pleased, but he did not bark or even growl. He built hot cooking fires with pallet wood, and Missus cooked over the fire with an eight-inch cast-iron skillet that she keeps in the camper for emergencies.

And this was a real emergency, believe me. I offered Master some of my own dog food. It’s high-protein, vitamin-enriched kibble with good fat content. It smells deliciously pungent! I thought he could just add milk and eat it like cereal. But he said this wasn’t that big an emergency. They chose to cook human food over the campfire instead.

I love both dog food and human food. But I’ve never seen Master or Missus eat dog food. They should try it, because it’s much cheaper than human food and easier to prepare — just dump in a bowl and eat. Yum!

Chat with MSU Fan

Going into the game, UM was having a great year at 7-0. MSU was sub-par at 2-5. Touring the campground before the game, we stopped at one of the most highly decorated MSU campsites where I heard Master chat with the man:
Master: Your campsite looks great! Do you think you have enough “Go MSU” signs?
MSU Camper: Probably not. The more the better. They’ll bring us luck.
Master: How many signs would you need to bring enough “luck” to win the game? How many stories high would you have to stack them?
MSU Camper: Oh, I don’t know. I just put up as many as I can to give us good luck.
Master: What do you mean by “luck”? Exactly how do signs and decorations on your campsite help your team win a game 40 miles away?
MSU Camper: Huh? Oh, I don’t know how it works. I just know it does. Last year I went all out on decorations, and we got lucky on the last play to win the game. I rode around the campground in my pickup, honking and screaming, and taking credit for winning the game.
Master: Yes, I remember hearing and seeing you celebrate last year. You were impressive! But there were more sites decorated for UM than for MSU last year, and several UM sites were just as elaborate as yours, if not more so. What happened to their “luck”?
MSU Camper: That’s a good point. I really don’t know how luck works. I just do all I can to ensure good luck.
Master: Well, enjoy the game. When MSU loses, maybe you’ll realize that luck is a bogus concept! Think about it.

Rooting for Michigan at the
Football Rivalry Weekend

I asked Master what in the world that was all about. He said that most Americans are heavily superstitious. Their worldview is saturated with concepts of good luck, bad luck, lucky charms, omens, and jinxes. He said that when he runs into superstition, he likes to gently challenge people to think it through.

I asked Master to explain “luck” to me. He said Webster’s dictionary defines luck as “a force that brings good fortune or adversity,” but this “force” has never been physically detected or empirically measured. He said “luck” does not mesh with a Biblical worldview. Master says ascribing success to “Luck” is an insult to God Himself. Master says the whole concept of luck is a denial of the sovereign rule of the Almighty Creator over all of life. “Luck” is a reluctance to trust the Lord entirely, and a refusal to give Him glory and honor and thanks in everything. That made sense to me, so I don’t believe in luck either. Woof, Woof!

Time to work on My To-Do List. Till next time, Woof! Woof!

Questions to Ponder
  1. What situations tempt you to “trust to luck” instead of looking to your Creator?
  2. Are you prepared to discuss your confidence in the Creator when superstitious rituals open the door to that subject?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 14th article in a series of blog posts on our Jack Russell terrier Kepler. Numbers 9-13 are by Kepler.
Read the prequels:
1. Why I Named Our Puppy “Kepler”
2. Kepler’s Kind
3. Kepler’s Lopsided Trade
4. Kepler’s Amazing Nose
5. Kepler’s Business Card
6. Kepler & the Psycho Squirrel
(with video)
7. Taunting Kepler
8. Adam and Puppies

The following posts are by Kepler:
9. Who Taught Kepler?
10. Kepler Gets a Buddy
(with video)
11. Kepler Chases a Squirrel
12. Kepler’s Complaint
13. Kepler’s To-Do List

Read the sequel:
15. Kepler’s Favorite Storecoming as soon as Master lets me use his computer again

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday November 2, 2016 A.D.

But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you;
And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you.
Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you;
And let the fish of the sea declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind?
(Job 12:7-10)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | October 26, 2016

Starting Points

(1 Minute Read)
Input Output

Your Starting Point — Bible or Darwin —
determines how you see the world

What is your Starting Point for thinking about life, its meaning, where man came from, what your future is, and how to decide right and wrong?

Everything has an origin or Starting Point. Every person has a Starting Point, both for physical being and for thinking.

Starting Points determine how you see the world. They are the “glasses” through which you see, experience, and interpret all of life. Starting Points are the presuppositions through which you view the world. They are the basis of your worldview.

Here is my Starting Point:
There is a Creator God who made the universe, and He has revealed objective truth to man in the Bible.

There are basically two pairs of “glasses” by which to see the world:
Biblical Glasses (Bible is God’s Word and thus fully true) or Worldly Glasses (man’s word is true).

Glasses

I choose Biblical Glasses. This determines how I see the world — morality, ethics, philosophy, science, history, and even politics and social issues. This Starting Point affects everything.

Choosing Worldly Glasses will lead you astray, as man’s word has proved to be in error many times in the past. It will confuse you about man’s origin, about right and wrong, about hotbed social issues, and about man’s destiny.

What is your Starting Point? It will be the basis for all your opinions and actions. Everything is built on your starting point. Choose wisely.

Questions to Ponder
  1. What is the Bible’s Starting Point? Where does it start? (Hint: See Genesis 1)
  2. Why did you choose the Starting Point that you did?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday October 26, 2016 A.D.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | October 19, 2016

Politics and Creation

(3 Minute Read)

After Eden 424lookingfortruth

This is election season in the United States.  Many people feel very, very strongly, pro and con, about the two major-party candidates for president, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Many are very concerned about what will happen to the country if Hillary Clinton is elected. Many are very concerned about what will happen to the country if Donald Trump is elected.

The two candidates represent very different approaches to issues fundamentally affecting the future of America: the economy, immigration, judicial appointments, right-to-life of the unborn and aged, marriage, religious freedom, health care, and states’ rights.

Polls show that a large segment of the population feels that the presidential choice is, to borrow a term from Hillary, a ballot of deplorables. Both candidates seem morally unqualified with major character flaws. Both are widely disliked. But one will be elected President of the United States.

Many good Americans yearn for a president that they can respect. What are they to do?

What Does the Bible Say?

The Old Testament is full of wars, good and bad rulers, corruption and treachery. Anybody in those times would worry about their leaders and governments. Anxiety must have been sky high often during Old Testament times. What advice were God’s people given in those troubling circumstances?

The Psalmist makes an intriguing connection between politics and creation. In contrast to trusting in a human leader, he encourages trust in the Creator, “Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them.
Do not trust in princes,
In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
His spirit departs, he returns to the earth;
In that very day his thoughts perish.
How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
The sea and all that is in them;

Who keeps faith forever.
(Psalm 146:3-6 NASB)

The clear message of Scripture is that the Almighty Creator appoints and removes rulers of nations.

The Most High God is ruler over the realm of mankind, and He sets over it whomever He wishes. (Daniel 5:21)

Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. (Romans 13:1)

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
He it is who reduces rulers to nothing,
Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless.
Scarcely have they been planted,
Scarcely have they been sown,
Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth,
But He merely blows on them, and they wither,
And the storm carries them away like stubble.
(Isaiah 40:21-24)

The prophet Daniel said,
“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.
It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings;
He gives wisdom to wise men
And knowledge to men of understanding.”
(Daniel 2:20-21)

While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.” (Daniel 4:31-32)

So What Should Voters Do?

First, trust the Sovereign Creator Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them and “Who works all things after the counsel of His will” (Psalm 146:6; Ephesians 1:11).
Second, vote according to the candidates’ stances on the issues.
Third, pray now for the election. After the election pray for whomever is elected, as the Apostle Paul instructed: “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

Questions to Ponder
  1. Why does it make sense to trust the Creator when rulers are “deplorable?”
  2. How will the next president’s Supreme Court appointments affect our nation?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday October 19, 2016 A.D.

The Most High God is ruler over the realm of mankind, and He sets over it whomever He wishes. (Daniel 5:21)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | October 12, 2016

Hurricanes

(4 Minute Read)
Radar image of Hurricane Matthew at 4:48 am EDT on 7 October 2016, as it passed east of Melbourne, Florida. Coverage of the eastern side of the storm is limited by the reach of radar.

Hurricane Matthew
Radar image moving along Florida’s coast.
Eastern coverage limited by radar’s reach.
(4:48 am EDT on 7 October 2016)

Hurricane Matthew hit last week — Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, and the U.S. From this Category 5 storm, deaths totaled 1,042 and damages $6 billion.

Matthew is the deadliest Atlantic hurricane since Hurricane Stan killed over 1,600 in Mexico and Central America in October 2005. It is the costliest one since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Hurricane Matthew caused over one million to lose power in Florida along with a quarter million in Georgia, almost a half million in South Carolina, and three-quarters of a million in North Carolina. Several U.S. states have experienced catastrophic flooding with one NC town requiring 1500 rooftop rescues.

The worst natural disaster in U.S. history was Hurricane Katrina with 1,245 fatalities in August 2005. Its $108 billion damage quadrupled Hurricane Andrew’s 1992 record. Reaching 175 mph winds and 25-foot storm surges, Katrina hit Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, practically destroying New Orleans. Three million lost power; 700,000 lost homes. All fifty states sheltered refugees.

Reporters, preachers, pundits, and politicians often lament flooding of “Biblical proportions.” However, Matthew’s flooding and even Katrina’s flooding which pummeled eight states are trivial compared with Noah’s Flood—when tsunamis crashed across continents and hypercanes pounded the globe. For a year water enveloped earth to a depth of 20+ feet above mountains. Noah’s Flood destroyed the world (2 Peter 3:5-6), including every man and animal that breathed outside the ark.

If hurricanes Matthew or Katrina had been of “Biblical proportions,” who would remain to write or read about them? Ascribing “Biblical proportions” to natural disasters exaggerates far beyond anything I’ve heard in a half-century of news. God will never again send floods of “Biblical proportions,” as rainbows regularly proclaim (Genesis 9:8-17).

What is a Hurricane?

Called typhoons in the Pacific, cyclones in the Indian Ocean, and willy-willies in Australia, hurricanes are huge rotating thunderstorm systems with sustained winds of 74 mph (Category 1) to over 155 mph (Category 5). Hurricanes can generate 100-foot waves, extend 600 miles across, last over two weeks, and travel thousands of miles.

Hurricane formation is only partially understood. When rain condenses from rising moist warm air, the resulting dry cooler air cascades earthward, generating powerful winds. These sweep up more moisture from a warm ocean, continuing the cycle. Earth’s rotation spins the system. Hurricanes produce violent winds, torrential rain, storm surges (causing 90% of hurricane deaths), flooding, and tornadoes.

For northern-hemisphere hurricanes, the most dangerous region is the right side relative to travel direction because of the additive effect of steering winds and counter-clockwise hurricane winds. The right side has the heaviest rainfall and spawns the most tornadoes.

Hurricane season spans June through November. Major hurricanes striking the US were more frequent 1940-1970 than 1970-2000. Hurricanologists think Atlantic hurricane frequency is now increasing. Last century, 24 hurricanes surpassed $1 billion damage. Already this century, 25 hurricanes have exceeded that figure.

After Eden 039biblicalproportions

Hurricane Benefits

Too few hurricanes would be as harmful as too many. Hurricanes are essential for planetary temperature balance, releasing solar heat from oceans and diverting heat from the tropics. In oceans hurricanes prevent CO2 buildup which could lead to global cooling.

Many regions depend on major storms for water. Bringing 6-12 inches of rain, hurricanes relieve drought. Hurricanes prune old growth with winds and lightning fires, making room for new plants. Lightning fixes nitrogen in soil, fertilizing it. Hurricanes significantly enhance marine chlorophyll along continental shelves.

A hurricane releases daily heat energy that’s 200 times earth’s electrical generating capacity. Could man harness and store hurricane energy someday for beneficial use?

Hurricane Theology

Natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes stagger humanity with destruction, suffering, and death. Does an all-powerful, loving God intentionally send hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis? Or does He wish they didn’t happen?

Biblical response to disaster includes compassion, assistance, and God’s truth (Isaiah 45:7).

The same day Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti, a representative of the Christian Relief Fund wrote, “Our team is already on the ground distributing clean water and food and working to provide immediate shelter for those who have been displaced.”

Many churches and Christian schools in Florida and North Carolina promptly opened their doors as shelters for Hurricane Matthew victims, with believers rallying to provide food, bedding, and other immediate needs.

The first “boots on the ground” after Hurricane Katrina were compassionate Christians. World magazine reported 9,000 Southern Baptists from 41 states contributed 120,000 workdays serving 10,000,000 meals and boosting recovery. Salvation Army personnel served 5,000,000 hot meals from 11 field kitchens. Christian agencies, megachurches, and small congregations embodied Christian compassion with shelter, clothing, and food—often including Bibles and prayer.

Why do catastrophes happen? The reason is sin—we live in a broken world (Genesis 3:16-19; Romans 8:20-22). Nonetheless, God has a clear purpose for catastrophes.

How did Jesus answer when asked about tragedy? His astounding answer was that catastrophes—like the Siloam Tower collapse killing eighteen and Pilate’s Galilean massacre—are warnings to repent (Luke 13:1-5). Jesus was echoing God’s words to Solomon: “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land, or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)

After Eden teachable moment

God sends famine, drought, blight, plague, and war—to call mankind to repentance (Amos 4:6-11).
I killed your young men with the sword…yet you did not return to Me,” declares the Lord.

Who sent the Flood? Who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah? Who inflicted plagues on Egypt? Who sent Assyria and Babylon to chastise Israel and Judah? Who sent Jesus to the cross (Acts 2:23)?

Many times I told my children, “Don’t waste your discipline. Learn the lesson so you won’t have to repeat the discipline.” Most people waste catastrophes—they miss God’s message. Either they babble nonsense about the power of nature, or they curse God and refuse to repent (Revelation 16:9,11,21).

People usually miss and ignore God’s message in natural disasters. According to Jesus, the message of tragedy is, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1-5) The proper response to calamity is repentance.

Why expect good weather? If everything developed via random evolutionary processes, catastrophic weather should be the norm. Expectations of good weather presuppose a benevolent weather Controller. Last century only 24 of 5200 weeks saw hurricanes of $1 billion damage. Do we thank God for good weather?

The God who “hurled a great wind on the sea” to drive Jonah to repentance orchestrates all weather (Jonah 1:4; Psalm 107:29; Zechariah 10:1). Matthew, Mark, and Luke report Christ stopped a storm so severe that veteran sailors trembled for their lives, gasping in awe, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” (Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25)

God controls all creation, from sparrow deaths (Matthew 10:29), to storm paths (Job 37:9-13), to rulers’ rise and fall (Isaiah 40:23-24; Daniel 2:21,37-38,44; 4:17,32).

Hurricanes are God’s “merciful megaphones” to get man’s attention. The crucial message of every calamity is “Repent and follow Christ.

The God who “hurled a great wind on the sea”
to drive Jonah to repentance
controls all creation—from sparrow deaths,
to storm paths, to rulers’ rise and fall.

What Hurricanes Cannot Destroy

People scramble to safeguard life and property against hurricanes, but neglect essential preparation—repentance for sin and commitment to Jesus Christ.

Eventually life and property will be destroyed anyway (Hebrews 9:27; 2 Peter 3:7,10-12). Prepare for life’s hurricanes by turning to Jesus Christ. The gain is eternal life which hurricanes cannot destroy.

The greatest tragedy of history, the Crucifixion, provided reconciliation with God. Christ died for my sins and gave me eternal life. Why fear hurricanes, bad-hair days, or anything else?

Questions to Ponder
  1. Have you allowed the reports of Hurricane Matthew to work fresh repentance and reverence in your heart?
  2. What personal benefits have you observed following your own life’s disasters?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday October 12, 2016 A.D.

“But I gave you also cleanness of teeth in all your cities
And lack of bread in all your places,
Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord.
“Furthermore, I withheld the rain from you
While there were still three months until harvest.
Then I would send rain on one city
And on another city I would not send rain;
One part would be rained on,
While the part not rained on would dry up.
So two or three cities would stagger to another city to drink water,
But would not be satisfied;
Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord.
“I smote you with scorching wind and mildew;
And the caterpillar was devouring
Your many gardens and vineyards, fig trees and olive trees;
Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord.
“I sent a plague among you after the manner of Egypt;
I slew your young men by the sword along with your captured horses,
And I made the stench of your camp rise up in your nostrils;
Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord.
“I overthrew you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
And you were like a firebrand snatched from a blaze;
Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord.
(Amos 4:6-11 NASB)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | October 5, 2016

Baby — I Don’t Know

(2 Minute Read)

417itsnotblob

I have long been of the opinion that with at most three questions you can get anybody to say “I don’t know.” A series of three incisive questions can push even experts in a field to admit they don’t know the answer.

For mathematicians like myself, a single question can easily stump us. You don’t need to ask three questions to make us say, “I don’t know.” You just ask about an unsolved math problem. Here are examples:
Are there an infinite number of twin primes?
(Twin primes are prime numbers that differ by two, like 3 and 5, or 29 and 31, or 617 and 619, or 32,411 and 32,413.)
Is every even number greater than 2 the sum of two primes?
(For example, 8 = 3 + 5, and 24 = 11 + 13 = 7 + 17 = 5 + 19.)

Any mathematician will answer “I don’t know” to these two questions, because they are currently unsolved problems in a branch of mathematics called Number Theory.

I like to test my Three Question Theory by asking experts questions in their field. I aim to get to the frontier of their knowledge in three questions. It always works.

I remember doing this when questioning the obstetrician in the delivery room about the birth process for one of our children. When I asked my third question, “What initiates the baby’s birth?” he replied, “We don’t know. We don’t know whether it’s the mother, or the baby, or a combination of the two. We have no idea what triggers it.”

How does a mother’s body know when to start the birth process? How does a baby know when to start down the birth canal?

Research with mice suggests that the baby starts the process when it is ready.

Surfactant protein A (SP-A) inside newborn mouse lungs helps prevent lung infections. Shortly before birth the concentration of this protein increases in the amniotic fluid. SP-A causes the unborn mouse to release immune cells called macrophages into the amniotic fluid. The macrophages leave the amniotic fluid and go to the uterus of the mother mouse. At the uterus the macrophages cause inflammation that makes the cervix open and causes contractions to begin.

babythoughts

Early injection of a pregnant mouse with SP-A caused the mouse to deliver early. Injection of an antibody that blocks SP-A function caused mice to deliver late.

In mammals, the lungs are the last organs to mature in utero before birth. When the lungs are ready to transition from breathing amniotic fluid to breathing air, they send the SP-A signal to begin labor.

Thus it appears that in mice the maturing lungs of the unborn mouse release a protein that starts the birth process. This is the key signal that initiates labor.

If this proves true with humans, which is likely since humans have SP-A as well, it will answer the age-old debate among biologists as to whether the mother or the baby initiates labor. It appears that the entire birth process is controlled by the unborn baby. This research also points to ways to prevent premature births by injecting into the amniotic fluid antibodies that block SP-A function.

Could this complex system have accidentally evolved through random mistakes in the genetic code? Of course not. Every piece had to be in place and working if there were to be any successful births. It couldn’t possibly have been an evolutionary development over long ages.

From where did this system come? The Creator designed and implemented it for His creatures. Just as He designed physical birth for His creatures, so He also designed spiritual rebirth to save mankind. Read about the Good News of Rebirth.

Reference:
John Travis, “It’s Time! Fetal Lungs Tell Mom When to Deliver Baby“, Science News, 3/24/2004, p. 198.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Have you ever encountered someone who will never admit, “I don’t know”?
  2. What other aspect of birth prompts you to praise the Creator?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday October 5, 2016 A.D.

For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

(Psalm 139:13-16 NASB)

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