Experiencing God

One of the things leveled against the sound and accurate preaching of God’s Word is that it is impractical and irrelevant to the issues we face every day. Nothing could be further from the truth. God the Creator of all things gives us this book of wisdom so that we may know how we are to live, how we are to make wise decisions, and how we are to conduct ourselves in the most important aspects of life.

sinai

Sound theology, based on sound exposition of God’s Holy Word, transforms our lives as it directs our behavior and thereby becomes woven into the very fabric of our lives. “No believer can apply truth he doesn’t know. Those who don’t know the Bible’s principles for marriage, divorce, family, childrearing, discipline, money, debt, work, service to Christ, responsibilities to the poor, care of widows, response to governments, eternal rewards, and other teachings will not be able to apply them” (http://www.gty.org/resources/articles/A141/doctrine-is-practical).

Because the Word of God relates to every single important issue in our lives, the study of it (which is called Theology) was just two centuries ago called the Queen of Sciences. They were speaking of science in the broad sense of that word.  They understood “a science is “a legitimate area of study oriented to a particular object, and possessing appropriate methods of investigation.” According to this definition, theology is a science with an object of study (God and His actions on earth) and a means for study (the Bible and general revelation). So, theology was seen as a science in the Middle Ages. How, then, was it supreme over, and therefore “queen of,” the other sciences?

In the Medieval universities it was understood that the various branches of learning required an overarching standard. That standard was the Bible. The Bible was seen as the source of all truth, and theology became the natural standard by which other scholarship had to abide.

The scholars of that day rightly saw that one’s view of God and the Bible affects every other area of life. A scholar’s theology is the foundation of his worldview and shapes his study of philosophy and other fields. Theology, then, was the “queen of the sciences”; that is, God’s Word is the majestic source of knowledge that informs all other knowledge” (http://www.gotquestions.org/theology-queen-sciences.html).

At the pinnacle of theology is of course the study of God Himself. What we believe about God has enormous import. Just look at the belief of the idolaters of the moon idol. What they believe about him is the impetus for jihad and worldwide conquest. They present those whom they conquer with “you either convert to Mohamendanism or we will enslave you or kill you.” It is all rooted in what they believe about God.

Please read Exodus 19, where the children have the encounter with the One True Living God at Mount Sinai.  It is interesting that the critics of the Bible say what we read here in this text has no evidence on the ground at the traditional site of Mount Sinai as ever having taken place. For fire to consume the top of a mountain as described, would surely leave a mark. I agree with their question, but looking at the evidence, the usually accepted location of Mount Sinai, is not, I believe, the actual location of it.

It was Constantine’s mother who picked the mountain on the Sinai Peninsula, which is the traditional site of the Mount, where St. Catherine’s monastery was built. The problem with that location is twofold. First, that peninsula was part of the Egyptian empire at the time of the Exodus, and the Scriptures clearly state that the Children of Israel left Egyptian territory by crossing the Red Sea. As we saw in our previous series, Let My People Go, there is far better evidence that the part of the Red Sea they crossed was on the eastern arm of the Red Sea, the eastern edge of the peninsula now called the Sinai Peninsula, which means they would have been brought into the land we today call Saudi Arabia.

The second and definitive reason for rejecting the St. Catherine’s monastery sight as the location of the Mount is that the Bible itself says Mount Sinai is in Arabia not on the peninsula. It is right there in Galatians 4:25, and when we follow the evidence for the location of the crossing, then there is a Mountain, the tallest in that region Jebel Al Lawz, which seems to meet the description and very interestingly, is blacked at the peak.

All these physical manifestations point to the awesome majesty of God. Have you ever had a worship experience where you were overwhelmed at the majesty of God? Are you seeking Him with all of your heart, soul and mind?

 

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