Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

 

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Evolution and Dinosaurs 062512

While one realizes it is just the beginning of the week, today’s scriptures lead me to talk about dinosaurs. Psalm 74 says:

13You divided the sea by your might; you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters.

14You crushed the heads of Leviathan; you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.

Sometimes one wonders if the ancient Hebrew scribes who wrote down these songs of David and others included mention of dinosaurs, although not using this word. Perhaps there was a tribal memory of giant creatures in the sea and on land, or perhaps they had found a fossilized giant leg bone somewhere, but the Psalm seems to say they had an idea that giant creatures had walked the earth before humans.

I’ve personally always wondered how to square the evidence of dinosaurs, and perhaps evolution with the Bible. How do we ignore the bones and fossils cast in stone millions of years ago with the Bible story? The verses from Psalm may tell us that the Bible writers did not perhaps know exactly how to name creatures whose bones they found, but had no name for.

Evolution is even easier to understand and to square with the Bible story. Unfortunately, it takes a little explanation from quantum physics and I, barely catching an understanding of it, cannot explain quantum physics. In summary, what it says is that as time started, the first day (after a timeless void) would be very, very long (million, billions of years). Creating the world in 6 days is much easier to understand if each of these first ‘God days’ was a billion years long.

So much of what we share as Bible readers is beyond our judgment and we are left to depend upon our own relationship with God and Jesus Christ.  That is more than enough.

Pray for peace

brother Bill

 

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Psalm 74

1 Samuel 16:14-23

Revelation 20:1-6

Psalm 74

1O God, why do you cast us off forever? Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?

2Remember your congregation, which you acquired long ago, which you redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage. Remember Mount Zion, where you came to dwell.

3Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins; the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary.

4Your foes have roared within your holy place; they set up their emblems there.

5At the upper entrance they hacked the wooden trellis with axes.

6And then, with hatchets and hammers, they smashed all its carved work.

7They set your sanctuary on fire; they desecrated the dwelling place of your name, bringing it to the ground.

8They said to themselves, “We will utterly subdue them”; they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.

9We do not see our emblems; there is no longer any prophet, and there is no one among us who knows how long.

10How long, O God, is the foe to scoff? Is the enemy to revile your name forever?

11Why do you hold back your hand; why do you keep your hand in your bosom?

12Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the earth.

13You divided the sea by your might; you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters.

14You crushed the heads of Leviathan; you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.

15You cut openings for springs and torrents; you dried up ever-flowing streams.

16Yours is the day, yours also the night; you established the luminaries and the sun.

17You have fixed all the bounds of the earth; you made summer and winter.

18Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs, and an impious people reviles your name.

19Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals; do not forget the life of your poor forever.

20Have regard for your covenant, for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence.

21Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame; let the poor and needy praise your name.

22Rise up, O God, plead your cause; remember how the impious scoff at you all day long.

23Do not forget the clamor of your foes, the uproar of your adversaries that goes up continually.

1 Samuel 16:14-23

14Now the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. 15And Saul’s servants said to him, “See now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16Let our lord now command the servants who attend you to look for someone who is skillful in playing the lyre; and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will feel better.” 17So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me someone who can play well, and bring him to me.” 18One of the young men answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a warrior, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence; and the Lord is with him.” 19So Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, “Send me your son David who is with the sheep.” 20Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and a kid, and sent them by his son David to Saul. 21And David came to Saul, and entered his service. Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. 22Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.” 23And whenever the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand, and Saul would be relieved and feel better, and the evil spirit would depart from him.

Revelation 20:1-6

20Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3and threw him into the pit, and locked and sealed it over him, so that he would deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be let out for a little while. 4Then I saw thrones, and those seated on them were given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. Over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him a thousand years

 

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Comments on: "Evolution and Dinosaurs 062512" (1)

  1. Brother Bill – have been meaning for some time to leave a comment – finally getting around to it! Accepting evolution and other findings of biology, geology, astronomy and other scientific disciplines is a major problem for many Christians, and is especially troublesome for young evangelicals. The BioLogos Foundation was established by Francis Collins to address the cognitive dissonance that folks have when thinking about science and scripture, especially evolution. IMHO they have deferred too much to the conservative evangelicals and have strayed from their initial mission. Since our understanding of the age of the universe and the origins of human life is unlikely to change significantly, it is imperative that our understanding of certain portions of the Bible needs to change.

    paz – doug

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