Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 20 Number 1 January 2018
Page 15

Questions and Answers

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Who Came First?

Louis Rushmore, Editor

“Did Job live before Abraham or before Noah?” The commentary Barnes Notes estimates that Job lived “about 1,800 years before Christ, and about 600 years after the deluge.” Smith’s Bible Dictionary supposes that Abraham lived from 1996 B.C. to 1822 B.C. If the calculations are correct, Job would have lived after Noah and slightly before or nearly contemporary with Abraham. Other resources likewise place Job on a timeline of biblical characters between Noah and Abraham.

666 in Book of Revelation

Louis Rushmore, Editor

Someone asked about “666 in Book of Revelation.” People have been curious about those numbers for a long time (Revelation 13:18). The Book of Revelation is a highly figurative book that was more easily understood by the original recipients than by us who live nearly 2,000 years since it was penned. Consequently, the volume itself and this verse with the mysterious reference to 666 have been widely and variously interpreted. Numerous historical persons throughout the centuries have been suspected of being the 666 in the Book of Revelation. Opinions abound, but definitively identifying who was represented by “666” remains elusive. The theme of the Book of Revelation is more easily discerned than the precise meaning or application of some of the details in the epistle.

God-Fearing Family

Louis RushmoreA reader posed the question, asking “how to build a God-fearing and happy family.” A God-fearing family begins with indoctrination—a sort of spiritual inoculation—with God’s Word. Deuteronomy 6:5-9 is an excellent method of instilling God’s Word in one’s family. Of course, Deuteronomy 6 pertains to Judaism, whereas we who live today live under Christianity. Nevertheless, the same procedure for implanting the Word of God into one’s family members will be effective and useful now, too.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:5-9 NKJV)

The process begins with ensuring that one loves God ultimately, completely and totally (vss. 5-6). Unless parents are fully committed to putting God first in their lives, and unless parents are intimately familiar with God’s Word, they will not be able to impart God’s Word effectively to their children.

Then, verse 7 begins by stating that with routine and regularity parents must acquaint their children with God’s Word. Haphazardly and infrequently teaching and practicing themselves the tenets found in the Bible will not adequately impact children with God’s plan for man on earth and for eternity. One’s children will not typically be more enthusiastic about God and His revealed revelation than their parents.

The balance of verse 7 through verse 9 equates to seizing every moment of interaction between parents and their children to emphasize God’s way and the pathway to Heaven. Comparatively speaking, parents have little opportunity to interact with their own children because of the distractions of life (i.e., time spent in school, eating, sleeping, with friends, immersed in diverse media, etc.). In addition, if parents are more concerned about their own free time than guiding their children with the Word of God, neither God nor His Holy Bible will be forefront and effective in the home.

The Bible is the source of potential happiness in the home as well as in one’s future, eternal home. The Bible has guidelines for husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, children, citizens, employees, employers, Christian living, Christian service, Christian worship, etc. The Bible has the key to happiness, then, on earth, which is a precursor to greater, more enduring happiness eternally.

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