The Rationale Behind This Blog

Part I:
de-coding" devices.
 My reading plan is to read three chapters of the Bible a day and then to reflect on some portion of what I read.  My reflections are not a definitive theological study but rather are points where God's Word has caught my attention. I have also decided not to refer to any portions of Scripture beyond the material read as of the date of the Bible reflections.
So, I invite you to join me in this journey.  It doesn't really matter when you begin - just start at the beginning with Genesis 1 and then read three chapters a day.  You are welcome to post comments after my daily entries.

I read the Bible plainly.  I do not approach it as a symbolic treatise requiring a decoding mechanism.  Rather, I both read and understand the Scriptures literally while accepting them as God's infallible Word.  When read in a straightforward manner, the Scriptures record history, prophesy, and poetry (wisdom literature).  Although some familiarity with ancient history is desirable, the Bible stands on its own without requiring much interpretation.

About the name:
I named this blog "Four Handles" because a stretcher has four handles.  Generally, it takes two people to carry an injured or ill person on a stretcher.  I feel that by reflecting on my daily Bible readings, I am holding onto two of the handles.  I'd like to think that God is holding the other two handles as a hurting world is being brought to the Word.

Part II:

Originally entitled Urgency
(written in July, 2010 - this was my first blog entry)

This morning, while reading 2Chronicles 29:3 in the Old Testament portion of the Bible, I was struck by the urgency young King Hezekiah felt about reinstating temple worship. Hezekiah's father, King Ahaz, had shut the temple doors and set up altars to pagan deities throughout Jerusalem around 725 BC.

 "In the first month of the first year of his reign, he (Hezekiah) opened the doors of the temple of the Lord and repaired them."  2 Chronicles 29:3

 The temple in Jerusalem was the only place where God is recorded to have put his name.  God did not sanction numerous altars throughout Jerusalem, dedicated to various deities, as equivalent to worshipping him in his holy temple.

       "The Lord said to him (King Solomon): "I have heard the prayer and plea you have  made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built by putting my Name there forever.  My eyes and my heart will always be there."          1 Kings 9: 3  
Logic mandates that by choosing one place, he did not choose other places.  Similarly, young King Hezekiah, understood the significance and importance of having the one true temple open for public worship.  The closed temple and the numerous, functioning pagan altars throughout the city, confused the populace about who to really worship and how to properly worship.   A parallel situation today is that by virtue of having so many religious options ranging from atheism to witchcraft, the doors to God's temple are obfuscated and may as well be shut.
The Levites and assistants worked feverishly and completed consecrating the temple within the first 16 days of the first month of King Hezekiah's reign.  On the 17th day,  (2 Chronicles 29:20) Hezekiah gathered the city officials and reinstated temple worship.
His sense of urgency about honoring God in the way God himself prescribed  (Leviticus) and in the place in which God placed his Name, sends a reverberating message to our world today.  Our global society boasts of practically as many deities, -ics, -isms, and spasms as there are people.  Our world has camouflaged the way to the God, who revealed himself as  "I AM who I AM" to  Moses in Exodus 3:14.  Many people who are seeking "something spiritual", I think, are finding that the "doors to the temple are shut" by virtue of "I AM" being culturally de-legitimized.  God has revealed himself to us and he wants to be known and he wants us to know him.
In this blog, I propose to read through the Bible in the course of a year.  Everyday, I will post  what I read.  As much as possible, I will post my reflections on what I read.  As with any book one reads properly, I will start in the beginning, in Genesis 1 and read straight through the last book of the Bible,  the Book of Revelation.
I would like all who read this blog to see that the "doors to the temple" are open.



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