Ezekiel Chapter 6
Recently, when I re-read Ezekiel 6, I was puzzled. For here was God commanding the prophet Ezekiel, “Son of man, set your face against the mountains of Israel: prophesy against them and say, ‘O mountains of Israel … this is what the Sovereign LORD says to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys: I am about to bring a sword against you and I will destroy your high places …” (v3).
What, I wondered, did Ezekiel feel when he received this strange and unusual command? Do mountains and hills, ravines and valleys have ears? If we see a man shouting at mountains today, what would we think of him? That he was probably mad? Yet Ezekiel obeyed. It must have been a strange sight to anyone who saw Ezekiel shouting at the mountains. Equally strangely, Ezekiel was not shy to record the whole matter. He took it very seriously.
But is it really strange to talk to inanimate objects? Normally, yes. However, did Jesus Christ not do it too? When a sudden storm threatened to capsize a fishing boat he was on, “he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” (Mark 4:39) Do the wind and the waves have ears? Yet, at Jesus’ command they were stilled. Amazing, isn’t it?
More amazing than this is the command made to nothing in particular but which resulted in the creation of light. God did this simply by saying (to what?), “Let there be light”, and there was light! (Genesis 1:3). How did that happen? After innumerable centuries since the book “Genesis” was written, Mankind still does not know the answer. Science does not have all the answers. God the Almighty has mighty powers beyond our understanding and beyond the ability of our sensors to detect.
Take a common, well-known thing like electricity. Although Man has found millions of ways to use it, who truly understands what electricity really is? Sure, everyone knows an electric current is a flow of electrons. And an electron is a tiny sub-atomic particle whirling around the centre of any atom. It is very, very, tiny. You can put a skyscraper on top of a big mountain and yet the electrons of the atoms at the bottom are not moved, as far as we know. It is that hard to move the tiny electrons that are holding up a mountain and skyscraper. Despite this, any cheap battery can set zillions of electrons moving at the speed of light!
Now, everyone knows how difficult it is to stop a speeding motorcar travelling at, say, 100 km per hour. You need powerful brakes, time and plenty of space. However, you can stop, instantly, an electron travelling at almost 300,000 km a second (figure out for yourself the speed per hour) by the mere flick of a switch. Shoot a bullet into a bent plastic pipe and the bullet will not follow the bend but will punch a hole at the bend. But you can bend a plastic-sheathed electric wire any number of times, pass an electric current through the wire, and the rapid flow of electrons will faithfully follow all the bends; not one electron will shoot out of a bend, out of the wire, out of the plastic sheath. Where are the brakes? How can electrons stop instantly, unlike all other moving objects? Frankly, we do not know. We can only marvel at such amazing things. Only God knows all the answers, because he made everything by his spoken word. God is more amazing than electricity and all of the other amazing things He created.
If the wind and waves obey when God speaks to them, would the mountains and hills, ravines and valleys, not respond too?
On Wednesday 19th January the Principal, Dr Philip Satterthwaite, continued his series on Isaiah 56–66, focusing on Isaiah 58–59 and Israel’s failure to live up to its calling as described in those chapters. The community described in these chapters sought God in their prayers and in their public acts of worship, but did not make justice, mercy and integrity priorities in the ‘non-religious’ parts of their lives: so were they really seeking God’s kingdom after all? Dr Satterthwaite’s sermon may be accessed through the BGST website (http://bgst.edu.sg/audio-resources/chapel-messages).
Mr Quek Tze-Ming will be preaching at both the 8.30am and 10.30am services at Zion Bishan BP Church on 30 Jan. The topic is "Our Heart's Desire and Prayer (Rom 9.30-10.13)".
Mr Andrew Lee will be preaching at the youth service of Emmanuel BP Church on 30 Jan at 5pm.
Dr Lai Pak Wah will be teaching the Adult Bible Class on “Ancient Spirituality for a Contemporary Age” at Mount Carmel BP Church on 13 Feb, 1.00-2:15 pm.
|Kindly note there will be no Chapel on 2 Feb as it is the eve of Chinese New Year. BGST will be closed at 1pm on that day. Library and Office will resume operations on 5 Feb 2011 (Sat) and 7 Feb 2011 (Mon) respectively.
|From the Book Corner : Book of the Week
Nancy Pearcey (B&H, 2010)
Retail price : $37.15
THIS WEEK’S SPECIAL : Book Club member price : $31.60 / Student price : $27.90
Is secularism a positive force in the modern world? Or does it lead to fragmentation and disintegration? In Saving Leonardo author Nancy Pearcey makes a compelling case that secularism is destructive and dehumanizing. She crafts a fresh approach that exposes the real-world impact of ideas in philosophy, science, art, literature, and film--voices that surround us in the classroom, in the movie theater, and in our living rooms.
A former agnostic, Pearcey offers a persuasive case for historic Christianity as a holistic and humane alternative. She equips readers to counter the life-denying worldviews that are radically restructuring society and pervading our daily lives. Whether you are a devoted Christian, determined secularist, or don't know quite where you stand, reading Saving Leonardo will unsettle established views and topple ideological idols.
(book description taken from publisher’s website)
Discerning God’s Will: Biblical Principles of Christian Decision-making (AT353, 1.5cr);
Feb 21, 28, Mar 14, 21, 28; (Mon 7.15-9.45pm)
Venue: Zion Bishan BP Church, 4 Bishan St 13
Lecturer: Dr Tan Soo-Inn
Liberating the Laity: Empowering the Whole People of God for Service in the Church & World (MM251, 3cr); (Group Tutorial)
Jan 20(New Commencement Date), 27, Feb 10, 24, Mar 3; (Thu 7.15-9.45pm)
Venue: Zion Bishan BP Church, 4 Bishan St 13
Lecturer: Prof Paul Stevens
Tutor: Dr Ng Peh Cheng
Globalization & Postmodernity: A Christian Response (MM258, 3cr); Feb 9, 23, Mar 9, 16, 23, 30, Apr 6, 13;
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Mr Ben Pwee
COUNSELLING & APPLIED THEOLOGY
*The Counsellor’s Skills: Developing Micro-Skills in Counselling (CO213, 3cr);
Feb 16 (new commencing date), 23, Mar 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Apr 6, 13;
Venue: Prinsep St Presbyterian Church, 77 Prinsep Street
Lecturer: Mr Yam Keng Mun
MISSION & EVANGELISM
Christianity Comes to Asia (ME325, 1.5cr);
Feb 8, 15, 22, Mar 1; (Tue 7.30-9.30pm)
Venue: Telok Ayer CMC, 235 Telok Ayer Street
Lecturer: Dr Bobby Sng
Tutor: Dr Lai Pak Wah
* Courses marked with an asterisk are not offered on audit basis.
For more information on our courses please visit our website: http://bgst.edu.sg/courses-and-events