Topical Sermons

BIBLE QUESTION BOX
May, 2001

Intro.
1. Neh. 8:7-8, 9, 12 - Our job is to help people understand God's word - cf. Acts 8:30-31.
2. Bible questions submitted…Bible supplies the answers.

Question 1: "Does Ex. 25:18 (and again in Ex. 37) contradict Ex. 20:4-5?"
(I ask this with some denominations in mind that display statues, crucifixes, and other "Biblical" figures & paintings saying that it's ok to have them while appealing to Ex. 25 to override Ex. 20:4-5, and those who take those two pieces of scripture as an example of a Biblical contradiction.)

A. The Making Of Graven Images & The Worshipping Of False Gods Was Forbidden In Israel - Exo. 20:4-5.
  1. "You shall not make for yourself…" - Origin, design & use of graven images was (is) purely human. -cf. Isa. 44:9-20:
    a. 44:9-11 - Useless & profitless.
    b. 44:12-14 - Strictly from man's origin & design.
    c. 44:15-17 - Powerless nature of idols.
    d. 44:18-20 - Idolater's heart is closed, deceived & w/o understanding - The image "cannot deliver his soul" because it is "a lie"!

B. The Items Made For & Put In The Tabernacle Were Approved By God - Exo. 25:18-22.
  1. Divine pattern was given & followed - Exo. 25:9, 40; 26:30; 27:8 39: 32, 42-43.
  2. God chose & inspired the craftsmen to teach & follow His design - Exo. 35:30-36:1. (Bezalel thus made the cherubim/mercy seat - Exo. 37:6-9)
  3. They were not designed to be venerated as images are today.
  4. Contrast Isa. 44:9-20 with Exo. 25:18-22:
    a. Isa. 44:9-20 - The idol is nothing, the craftsman is ignorant & the worship of the image (and the god it represents) is vain.
    b. Exo. 25:18-22 - God would meet with Moses & speak w/ him there. God is the true God, the craftsmen were inspired by Him, & the worship given there was acceptable {cf. Heb. 9:5 - Cherubim of glory - Represented God's glory & presence to give mercy to His people Israel.}
  5. There is no contradiction between Exo. 20:4-5 & 25:18 - Harmony!

C. Present-day Icons Are Not Authorized By God:
  1. There is no Bible authority for any images today - Col. 3:17.
    a. OT law done away in Christ - 2 Cor. 3:14.
    b. Source: Will and wisdom of man - Col. 2:20-23.
    c. Without Christ's authority, it is sin - Matt. 7:21-23; (2 Jno. 9; Gal. 1:8-9).

Question 2:  In the concordance I was using it showed reference to unicorns in the Bible. My NKJV uses the term "wild ox" in each of these passages. How did they arrive at the translation "unicorn" if it is a mythological creature? Just curious…it was unexpected to see "unicorns" in the Bible.

A. "Unicorn" Is Used 9 Times In KJV OT (Num. 23:22; 24:8; Deut. 33:17; Job 39:9, 10; Psa. 22:21; 29:6; 92:10; Isa. 34:7).
  1. Variously translated wild ox (NKJV, ASV), buffalo (Darby) & reem (YLT).
  2. Interpreters have offered rhinoceros, wild bulls, or a kind of goats, or some similar animal now extinct.
  3. An animal of great strength, with great horns (2, Deut. 33:17) & untamable by man (Job 39:9-10).
  4. Don't know why KJV translators chose to use "unicorn"…Probably due to its mythical greatness & an attempt to convey that in the text.

Question 3:  What were the last words of Jesus?

A. The Last Words Of Jesus On This Earth - Acts 1:4-9 (cf. Mk. 16:19).
B. Jesus, By Means Of The NT (Inspired Scriptures), Continues To Speak To All Who Will Listen - Jno. 16:12-15.
C. We Must Be Careful To "Hear Him" - Matt. 17:5.

Conclusion
1. The authority of God's word, the Bible, rises above every reason & will of man.
2. Always look to God & His word to direct your life - Psa. 119:132-133.