In my opinion, espousal of the “David-raped-Bathsheba view” is having a profoundly detrimental effect on some of God’s people. It seems to be poisoning their minds so that they are in danger of developing or having and accepting a distinctly unbiblical and wrong overall perspective toward David as a man of God.

Yes, David sinned horrifically in what he did, and God dealt with him intensely for what he did. We must not, however, allow these facts to lead us to hold wrong overall views about David as a man of God.

Furthermore, the Bible reveals that God has dealt decisively with David’s sin:

2 Samuel 12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

Because God has dealt fully with David about his sin, Christians who now still denounce him as a wicked man for what he did back then are in danger of asserting that David’s sin with Bathsheba has not been fully and properly dealt with yet. They seem to me to think that David must be denounced in our day as a “rapist” and that people therefore should have a very negative and lasting overall regard for David.

Let us beware espousing any such unbiblical sentiments and lasting perspectives about king David!

Scripture provides abundant testimony that reveals to us how pervasively human beings have made temples for their idols. Scripture provides many references to the temples of the idols of specific peoples and at least one reference to the temples of the idols of all nations.

The Temples of the Idols of Specific Peoples

Canaanites

Judges 9:27 And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trode the grapes, and made merry, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech.

Judges 9:46 And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard that, they entered into an hold of the house of the god Berith.

Philistines

1 Samuel 5:2 When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.

1 Samuel 5:5 Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon’s house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day.

1 Samuel 31:9 And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it in the house of their idols, and among the people.

1 Samuel 31:10 And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan.

1 Chr. 10:10 And they put his armour in the house of their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon.

Arameans

2 Kings 5:18 In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing.

Samaritans

2 Kings 17:29 Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt.

Assyrians

2 Kings 19:37 And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.

2 Chr. 32:21 And the LORD sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword.

Isaiah 37:38 And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Armenia: and Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.

Babylonians

Ezra 1:7 Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods;

Ezra 5:14 And the vessels also of gold and silver of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that was in Jerusalem, and brought them into the temple of Babylon, those did Cyrus the king take out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered unto one, whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor;

2 Chr. 36:7 Nebuchadnezzar also carried of the vessels of the house of the LORD to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon.

Daniel 1:2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.

Egyptians

Jeremiah 43:12 And I will kindle a fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt; and he shall burn them, and carry them away captives: and he shall array himself with the land of Egypt, as a shepherd putteth on his garment; and he shall go forth from thence in peace.

Jeremiah 43:13 He shall break also the images of Bethshemesh, that is in the land of Egypt; and the houses of the gods of the Egyptians shall he burn with fire.

Israelites

Judges 17:5 And the man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest.

Hosea 8:14 For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof.

Nahum 1:14 And the LORD hath given a commandment concerning thee, that no more of thy name be sown: out of the house of thy gods will I cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make thy grave; for thou art vile.

Ephesians

Acts 19:27 So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.

Corinthians

1 Corinthians 8:10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;

The Temples of the Idols of All Nations

Joel 3:2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. 3 And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink. 4 Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head; 5 Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things:

Application

The biblical data about the temples of the idols of specific peoples and of all nations testifies to the horrific and widespread idolatry that humans have engaged in throughout most of their history. A careful study and analysis of this data should strengthen our resolve to flee from all idolatry (1 Cor. 10:14)!

God commands believers to flee idolatry (1 Cor. 10:14). Isaiah 44 explains a fearful reason that we must flee idolatry:

Isaiah 44:9 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed. 10 Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing? 11 Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together. 12 The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint. 13 The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house. 14 He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it. 15 Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto. 16 He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire: 17 And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god. 18 They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand. 19 And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree? 20 He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?

We must not fail to note the fearful reality that this passage attests to at its end—those who participate in idolatry have deceived hearts that have turned them aside so that they cannot deliver their souls!

Put differently, this passage reveals that idolaters are incapable of delivering themselves from their idolatry. Only God in His mercy can deliver a person after he has been ensnared by the deceitfulness of idolatry.

We must flee idolatry and not have anything to do with it in any way lest we become ensnared by it and become unable to deliver ourselves from it!

Guitar Scales for Beginners

October 14, 2019

Learning to play guitar scales in first position. Image copyright 2019 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Beginning guitarists should learn several guitar scales well. Learning the chromatic, natural, and major scales provides beginners with a solid foundation for playing their instrument proficiently.

Chromatic Scales

I teach all my students to play an E chromatic scale on the first string in their first lesson. To play the scale, play the string open, then play all the notes in order from the first fret to the twelfth fret.

The student does not learn the names of the notes at this time; he focuses on proper technique of fingering and sounding each note.

In one of their early lessons, I then teach them to play an E chromatic scale across the strings in first position. I encourage them to use this scale regularly as a warm-up exercise for their playing.

Learning the chromatic scales is a foundational skill that I stress with all my students. Playing these scales with good technique teaches the student many important skills and also helps train their ears.

Natural Scales

Having taught them to play the two E chromatic scales, I teach them to play an A natural scale. Learning a natural scale helps the student learn the names of the notes and which notes have sharps/flats between them and which ones do not.

My students also learn to play an E natural scale across the strings in first position. By learning this scale, the student learns to name all the natural notes in first position.

Learning to play natural scales in multiple positions and on all the strings helps in learning the guitar fretboard well. Knowing the fretboard well is vital for becoming a skilled guitarist who can play at advanced levels.

Major Scales

In addition to teaching them to play chromatic and natural scales, I teach them to play an E major scale on the first string.

I also teach them to play a movable major scale in 4th position. Learning this scales serves many important purposes in the training of skilled guitarists.

Learn These Guitar Scales Well!

Anyone who wants to be a skilled guitarist should learn these guitar scales well. Good teachers should stress the importance of doing so with all their students.

Guitar music for Jesus Loves MeJesus Loves Me is a favorite hymn of believers, especially of children. This PDF provides the guitar chords and lyrics to play the first stanza of the song.

In addition, you can practice playing the chords to this song to the melody by using the audio of the melody:


See the full lyrics here.

In the NT, the Holy Spirit profoundly highlights the importance of the resurrection appearances of Christ. Part I of this series treats some aspects of that importance in the Gospels, Acts, and the Epistles.

The Gospels

All four Gospels testify that Christ appeared to His disciples after He rose from the dead (Matt. 28; Mk. 16; Luke 24; John 20-21). Because the Spirit inspired every writer of the Gospels to include the appearances, we know that such testimony is vital.

John emphasizes the importance of the appearances by writing in detail about several of them. He highlights that Thomas did not believe that He rose until He showed Himself to them personally (John 20:24-31).

Acts

The book of Acts highlights in several ways that Christ appeared to His disciples after His resurrection. Acts reveals that Christ over a 40-day period after His Passion “showed Himself alive” to His apostles “by many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3).

Moreover, Acts reveals that Peter declared in his gospel message that God showed the risen Christ only to people that He chose (Acts 10:41a). He also said that those who were His witnesses ate and drank with Him after He rose (Acts 10:41b).

Similarly, Luke records that when Paul preached the gospel in Antioch of Pisida, he testified about those who saw Christ after He rose (Acts 13:31). Furthermore, Luke reveals that Paul’s mission was that he had to be His witness to all men of what he had seen and heard (Acts 22:15). Because what he had seen and heard was “that just One” and “the voice of His mouth” (Acts 22:14), we know that testifying to Christ’s appearing to Paul was an essential part of Paul’s mission.

The Epistles

First Corinthians 15 underscores the appearances of Christ after His resurrection in a profound way. Paul says that the gospel that he preached in Corinth included testimony to four key events concerning Christ: His death, burial, resurrection, and appearances (1 Cor. 15:3-8). Because he testified to those same four elements in Antioch as well, we know that the appearances were a vital part of his gospel message.

Application

We must allow the Spirit to to teach us from the NT just how much the resurrection appearances matter! In particular, we should learn from Him to follow Paul in evangelism by testifying to the appearances when we witness to lost people.

People in our day dispute whether unborn babies who die before birth are humans. Scripture provides important revelation that decisively answers that question.

Unborn Babies Who Die Before Birth

In the midst of his grievous trials, Job bemoaned God’s bringing him alive out of the womb by saying,

Job 10:18 Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me! 19 I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the womb to the grave.

To interpret these words properly, we must keep in mind that Job was not a Jew. We must understand that he was not following the Mosaic Law. We must also consider that he was the most righteous and godliest person alive in his day.

Godly Job, therefore, rightly believed that people should carry those who die before birth from the womb to the grave. Because Job believed that people should bury them after their death—just as they bury other humans after they die— he believed that the unborn are humans!

From Job, we thus learn that we must not discard those who die before birth as merely being “tissue” but not humans. Rather, he teaches us that unborn babies who die before birth are humans, and we must provide a proper end of their life by burying them.

Scripture reveals in many ways that feasts to the Lord were an important part of Israel’s worship and service to the Lord. Moreover, it also teaches that their importance will extend far beyond just Israel in the future.

This article presents some biblical aspects of the importance of feasts to the Lord.

An Explicitly Stated Purpose for the Exodus

Prior to the Exodus, God directed Moses and Aaron repeatedly to confront Pharaoh with His demand that he let His people go to hold a feast to Him in the wilderness:

Exodus 5:1 And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.

Exodus 10:9 And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD.

The First Occasion of Idolatrous Corruption of Corporate Worship in a Feast

Exodus 32 records at length that the people engaged in idolatrous corporate worship on the first occasion that purportedly was supposed to have been corporate worship in a feast to the Lord. A careful treatment of the dark record of this corruption of what should have been a feast to the Lord points to the importance of the proper observance of feasts that were to the Lord.

Commanded Occasions of National Worship with Music

God commanded Israel to observe three yearly feasts to Him as special occasions of worshiping Him corporately as a nation:

Exodus 23:14 Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year.

Numbers 10:10 Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.

Nahum 1:15 Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.

Divinely Inspired Songs for Ascending to Jerusalem for the Feasts

God gave Israel a special collection of Psalms that they were to use when they ascended to Jerusalem to celebrate their feasts to the Lord: Psalms 120-134. His doing so testifies to the special importance of these feasts to the Lord.

An Element of Continuity in Israel’s Worship Throughout Much of Its History

By recording that the Israelites will come to the Millennial Temple in Jerusalem to celebrate solemn feasts to the Lord, Scripture reveals that feasts to the Lord will in that day have been one element of continuity in Israel’s worship of Him throughout much of its history:

Ezekiel 46:9 But when the people of the land shall come before the LORD in the solemn feasts, he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in, but shall go forth over against it.

Worldwide Obligation to Observe Feasts in the Millennium

In the Millennium, God will require all the nations of the world to come up to Jerusalem yearly to worship Him by celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles:

Zechariah 14:16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

Should the music used in missions be in the “heart language” of the people being evangelized? This parable presents an important test case for assessing this notion about music used in missions.

Discovery of a New Tribe

Researchers discover a new tribe of people in a remote island that they had thought was uninhabited. They find out that these people are cannibals. The cannibals are also idolaters who sacrifice people as part of their worship of their idols.

Moreover, as part of one of their yearly feasts, the entire tribe gathers to eat people that they have sacrificed to an idol. After having sacrificed those people to an idol, the worshipers sit down to eat the people that they had sacrificed to the idol and to do so as part of their worship.

Following their meal, the cannibalistic idolaters rise up to play. In their playing, they fornicate ritually, sing, and dance wildly. They do so to music played by musicians who also participated in the eating of the sacrifices.

The researchers secretly document all that takes place in this feast with top-notch drones that produce high quality audio and video recordings of all that took place in the feast. They release the recordings in an international news documentary. Some Christians see the horrific documentary and decide that they have to reach these people for Christ.

Music Used in Missions

Some missionaries decide to take a missions trip to reach these people. God works marvelously and some of the cannibalistic idolaters become believers!

The newly converted people have a burden to reach the rest of their own people. They plant a church and invite some of their own people to their services.

The missionaries teach the people that they should use music in their own “heart language” to reach people in their services. Because of what the missionaries teach them, the former idolaters decide to use in their services the same styles of instrumental music that they know the idolatrous musicians played in those idolatrous feasts. Of course, they use that music to accompany godly lyrics.

Based on what Scripture reveals, what should we think of what these converted idolaters did musically in their church? Was their use of that music to evangelize something that is legitimate? Did the missionaries correctly teach these people about using music to evangelize people?

image of rain

I recently saw a meme that asserted that Noah did not know what rain was before the Flood. I disagree with that view.

No Rain Before the Flood?

Scripture first mentions rain in a statement that connects God’s causing it to rain with the existence of certain things of the field:

Genesis 2:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

The next mention of rain in Scripture is when God said the following to Noah:

Genesis 7:4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

God then did what He said He was going to do and made it rain on the earth:

Genesis 7:12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

Based on there not being any previous mention of it raining on the earth prior to the Flood (Gen. 7:12), some have concluded that there was no rain before the Flood.

Why There Was Rain Before the Flood

To understand why the conclusion that there was no rain before the Flood is wrong, we must make a key comparison. Note what God said in Genesis 2:5 with what He said after the Fall of man:

Genesis 2:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

Genesis 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field.

In Genesis 2:5, God said that there were no herbs of the field then because He had not caused it to rain on the earth and because there was not a man to till the ground. In Genesis 3:18, however, He ordained that man would eat “the herb of the field.” Furthermore, after the Fall, God sent Adam out of the garden “to till the ground” (Gen. 3:23).

For man to eat of the herb of the field (Gen. 3:18), God had to make it rain on the earth and there had to be a man on the earth to till it (Gen. 2:5). We can be certain, therefore, that God did make it rain after the Fall and prior to the Flood so that man would be able to eat the herbs of the field that God ordained that He would eat!

Conclusion

God did make it rain on the earth long before the Flood. We do not have any basis to hold that Noah did not know what rain was before the Flood.