Morning Musing: Joel 3:10

“Beat your plows into swords and your pruning knives into spears. Let even the weakling say, ‘I am a warrior.’” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the things critics of the Scriptures like to do is find apparent contradictions and use them to argue against their reliability. This is one of those places. This verse is set against Isaiah 2:4 where the prophet talks about just the opposite: beating swords into plowshares. Is this really a contradiction of that? What are we supposed to do with places like this?

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Digging in Deeper: 1 Samuel 17:55-56

“As soon as Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, ‘Abner, whose son is this youth?’ And Abner said, ‘As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.’ And the king said, ‘Inquire whose son the boy is.'” (ESV – Read the chapter)‬‬

One of the questions that quickly comes to the mind of the perceptive reader here is how chapters 16 and 17 can be harmonized. One seems to say one thing and the other another thing. This is the kind of apparent conflict that gives critics of the Scriptures plenty of ammunition to fire away at its credibility…or so they (and sometimes we) think. But, while this is yet another place where things are harder than usual to understand at first glance, a little bit of thinking reveals that it does not pose nearly the challenge that it seems.

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Morning Musings: Psalm 99:8

“O Lord our God, you answered them; you were a forgiving God to them, but an avenger of their wrongdoings.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

One of the things that can be so frustrating about the Scriptures is that over and over they take two ideas which seem to be contradictory, declare them both to be true, and, rather than resolving the tension, simply leave it in place.

Some examples of this would be divine sovereignty and human responsibility, Jesus’ full humanity and full divinity, and the three-persons and one-person nature of the Trinity.  Right here we see another tension.  The psalmist declares God to be both a forgiver of sins, but also an avenger of wrongdoings.   Read the rest…