For "Scripture Sunday":
10 Bad Ideas Found in the Bible
"Do you really have to live by what God says in the Bible? Many people seem to get on quite well by doing whatever they want. Isn’t God all-merciful so that everything will be just fine? Think again.
Many websites feature top ten lists which can be fun and sometimes informative. Although the following may not be the top ten ranking things, it isn’t hard to say that these must be among the worst ideas—bringing the worst consequences—in all of God’s Word. Read the Bible and you can quickly find many examples of what happens when people acted on a bad idea—defying God’s instructions and suffering the consequences.
1. Choosing to live in Sodom
That’s what Abraham’s nephew Lot did. When their two families had just too much livestock for them to live together, Abraham gave Lot the choice of settling wherever he wanted. Lot saw that the area around Sodom had a good climate and good grazing land, so he moved his family there. Bad Idea!
The people there were so sinful and immoral that God determined to destroy the entire city (along with its neighbor, Gomorrah). Lot lost just about everything he owned as he fled just ahead of a storm of fire and brimstone. To make things worse, when Lot’s wife looked longingly back on Sodom, God turned her into a pillar of salt—as a warning to all who love this present evil world more than the way of righteousness! (Read: Genesis 13: 7-11 and chapter 19.)
2. Taking credit for building a great empire
We learn this from the Babylonian emperor Nebuchadnezzar. Even though God had the prophet Daniel warn him that he needed to keep his ego in check, he one day looked at the grandeur of the city and congratulated himself on building it all by his own mighty power. Bad Idea!
Immediately he suffered the promised punishment of losing his ability to reason, and losing his job as king. He became like a wild animal for seven years, long enough to realize that he needed to give God the credit for whatever things he accomplished. (Read: Daniel 4.)
3. Insulting the King of God’s choice
A man named Nabal did this when King David sent soldiers to ask for a contribution of supplies for his men who protected Nabal’s flocks and herdsmen for months. Instead of rewarding the men, Nabal called them liars and called David a runaway slave. Bad Idea!
Even though Nabal’s wife convinced David not to act on his own anger at the insult, Nabal soon had a heart attack and ten days later God ended his life. Paying David’s men for their work would have been a lot wiser. (Read: I Samuel 25.)
4. Lying to God’s Ministers to Make Yourself Look Good
A married couple named Ananias and Sapphira sold some property and claimed to donate the entire proceeds to God’s fledgling church. However, they secretly kept back part of the money—hoping to get all the credit but keep much of the money. Bad Idea!
As soon as they were exposed in their deceit and conspiracy, both husband and wife, in turn, dropped dead on the spot. They could have kept as much of the money as they pleased, but they wanted everyone to think they were super generous. (Read: Acts 5.)
5. Attempting a coup to takeover leadership of God’s nation
While ancient Israel wandered in the wilderness, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram claimed that Moses was no one special and wasn’t doing his job well. They campaigned that they should take charge themselves. Bad Idea!
After warning everyone else to clear the area, God caused the earth open up and literally swallowed the rebels in a moment. From then on everyone else paid closer attention to the man that God had chosen to lead Israel. (Read: Numbers 16.)
6. Interfering with God’s ministers preaching the true gospel
A sorcerer named Elymas learned that the hard way when the apostle Paul came to his town in Asia-Minor. Elymas tried to persuade people to believe a false religion. Bad Idea!
When Paul finally had enough of his interference, he declared that Elymas was going to be blind for awhile to learn a lesson. As soon as the words were said, things went dark for Elymas and he had to find a guide. Paul was able to go about his work without interference after that. (Read: Acts:13:6-11 .)
7. Chasing God’s people with a hostile army
Pharaoh, the leader of ancient Egypt tried this when he had second thoughts about setting the Israelites free to leave the country under Moses’ leadership. As if holding Israel in slavery for generations wasn’t bad enough, when they were leaving for the Promised Land, Pharaoh determined to drag them back. Bad Idea!
The pursuit led directly into the Red Sea which God had parted to give the Israelites a way out. Pharaoh’s army did not make it across. Just when the Egyptians reached the midst of the sea, God stopped holding back the water. Not one solider escaped that watery grave. (Read: Exodus 14.)
8. Letting people call you a god.
King Herod of Palestine gave a speech to the people of Tyre and Sidon, and to flatter him, they began chanting that he was a god and not a man. However he did not bother to set the record straight. Bad idea!
God wasn’t pleased that Herod deified himself! He caused the king to suffer a gruesome death in which his flesh was eaten by worms. At that point everyone there realized who truly was God and who was not. (Read: Acts:12:20-23 .)
9. Selling out your brother
The forefathers of Israel did that when they jealously and literally sold out their brother Joseph. He was already the favorite of their father, Jacob, and then he had dreams that he would rule over all his brothers. When they’d had enough of that, they sold Joseph as a slave to some passing traders headed for Egypt . Bad Idea!
God inspired Joseph to interpret dreams for Pharaoh which led to the young Israelite becoming the prime minister of Egypt. Years later, the same brothers who sold Joseph as a slave ended up begging him to sell them food during a terrible famine—and to spare their lives. That’s something to remember before picking on a younger brother or sister! (Read: Genesis 37 to 43.)
10. Deciding for yourself what is good and what is evil
Adam and Eve, the first human beings on earth, had a nice life in the Garden of Eden, until they decided to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They believed the serpent, who told them they wouldn’t die, and that instead they would be able to take God’s place in determining what was good and what wasn’t. Bad Idea!
God sent them out to do hard labor for a living. Worse yet, they and their descendents were left cut off from the understanding of the right way to live, which only God can teach. People have been suffering because of that bad decision ever since! (Read:Genesis:2:15-17
and chapter 3.)
Admittedly, these are examples of some of the most unusual consequences for bad decisions ever. They are noteworthy because they were unique. Most of us won’t be swallowed by a sinkhole in the earth or drop dead on the spot when we do something wrong. However, just because punishment does not happen immediately, doesn’t mean that it will not come.
The Apostle Paul said it very well, “God is not mocked; whatever a man sows, that he shall reap” (Galatians:6:7), and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans:6:23). The first is an agricultural analogy that means sooner or later, you will get what you’ve got coming. That is, you will unless you sincerely ask God to forgive you and to help you change your attitude and behavior.
The great truth of Christianity is often summarized in saying that “Jesus died for our sins”—that He suffered so that we don’t have to. That doesn’t mean that we can do whatever we please with no consequences. Consider the fate of the folks described above. That doesn’t have to be us. God is merciful, but next time you have a bad idea, think again!" From: http://www.ucg.org/youth/10-bad-ideas-found-bible/
An Amazing Fact: "For many people just saying the number “666” conjures up ominous images of secret occult ceremonies and the evil powers mentioned in Bible prophecy. Others have refused phone numbers, license plates, and credit cards containing the numbers 666 because of their fearful superstitions. There is even a very long word describing this phobia. It’s known as hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia.
Highway 666 running from Gallup, New Mexico to Monticello, Utah was nicknamed the “Devil’s Highway” because of the Scripture that identifies that number with the beast of Revelation. This satanic connotation, combined with an unusually high fatality rate, convinced some people the highway was cursed. The problem was compounded because Satanists were chronically stealing the highway signs as souvenirs. So in 2003 the U.S. Highway Department decided to rename Highway 666 as U.S. Route 491.
We don’t have to be afraid of the number 666. It is the natural number sequentially following 665 and preceding 667. Nevertheless, mathematically 666 is a very unique number. It is an abundant number. It is the sum of the first 36 natural numbers (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 up to 36 = 666). Yes, that means if you add up all 36 numbers on a roulette wheel the resulting total is “666”. While going to the casino will cost you dearly, you will not automatically receive the mark of the beast. The number 666 is also a triangular number since 36 is both square and triangular, 12 + 12 + 12 = 36. And of course 222 times three is 666.
The number 666 is also the sum of the squares of the first seven prime numbers (i.e. 22 + 32 + 52 + 72 + 112 + 132 + 172 = 666). If you add up the first six Roman numerals, IVXLCD, the total is, you guessed it, 666. Even organic molecules are based on carbon-12, with 6 protons and 6 neutrons in the nucleus, surrounded by 6 electrons.
With all this in mind it makes one wonder why the book of Revelation says, “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666” (Revelation 13:18). It obviously helps us to identify a power that is against God.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. - Revelation 13:1
The few mornings that Ray worked, we got a few things done, but Jay has been sick and hurt his leg, so we haven't seen much of him.
We have been working on the house, changing out the old calcium-stained faucets for upgraded better quality white ones, and things like that.
A lot of my time was spent listing all kinds of things for sale on eBay, Craigslist, and our local www.bookoo.com, but I think it will take an estate sale to get most of this stuff sold so that I can sell this house.
Jay said that he really needed to go to church, so he and I went to church on the Sabbath, Saturday the 7th. day of the week, to our usual little church on FM 1097.
The Bible readings were Deut.1-3:22, and Isaiah 1:1-27. The message was about "Is God Interested in You" and the pastor quoted lots of scriptures that show how God is interested in our well-being and is happy to hear from us and talk to him in prayer.
The potluck was great as usual, and we all enjoyed the fellowship in the dining hall. I had taken an air conditioner over there for the dining hall the week before, but it was too large for the window. During the week I hadn't had any help to get it out of my van, which was a good thing as one of the congregation wanted to buy it from me. That made my day!