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Thinking Points ImageListen! Lists!

 

The Holy Bible is probably the thickest most-well-read book in the history of Man.  It contains so much information and so many instructions on how to live as the people of God and how to get to Heaven.  So, some people may ask, “How do we remember all the important things?”

But God is all-wise.  In His infinite wisdom He has simplified things for us.  How?  Well, one way is by providing us with simple lists that we can remember easily.  The most well known of these lists is the Ten Commandments.  In Hebrew, the language in which the Ten Commandments were given, most of the commandments were in the form of the prohibitive word lo followed by the thing prohibited.  Thus three of the Commandments each comprise two words only.  Only two words to remember: that’s simple, isn’t it?  How much simpler could it get?

Where are the other lists in the Bible?  Why don’t we see them?  Why are they not obvious?  That’s because in Biblical times, the parchment on which the Bible was written was very expensive.  To use the minimum amount of parchment, the text was written not in itemized form but as continuous prose.  Take the familiar passage, “Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, etc.” [1 Corinthians 13:4-7].  Now that paper is so cheap, let’s space the verses out a bit, like this:

Love checklist

Love is patient,    It keeps no record of wrongs.
love is kind.      
It does not envy,  Love does not delight in evil,
it does not boast.     but rejoices with the truth.
It is not proud,  It always protects,
it is not rude,    always trusts,
it is not self-seeking,    always hopes,
it is not easily angered.    always perseveres.

Do we not see immediately that it is a wonderfully crafted list?  It can be used as a checklist, to check how much love we have.  Are we patient?  Check.  Are we kind?  Check.  If we are not, then that’s the signal that we need to be more patient.

Look closely at Psalm 15.  Isn’t it a Spiritual Checklist?  Let’s space it out and see:

The question

Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary?

Who may live on your holy hill?

 

 

The answer :

Overview

 

He whose walk is blameless

and who does what is righteous

 

 

The detailed answer

[examples]

Who speaks the truth from his heart

and has no slander on his tongue

Your speech

 

 

Who does his neighbour no wrong

and casts no slur on his fellowman

Your actions

 

 

Who despises a vile man

But honours those who fear the Lord

Your attitudes

 

 

Who keeps his oath even when it hurts

Your promises

 

 

Who lends his money without usury

and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

Your handling of money

 

 

Praise God for such checklists to live by. See if you can find more such checklists in the Bible.

CHAPEL NOTES

At Chapel on 16th February Dr. Satterthwaite spoke on Psalm 25. Psalm 25 is an acrostic psalm, in which each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The question arises: why use such an artificial-seeming structure when writing a prayer? Aren’t prayers supposed to be spontaneous? Two possible answers were suggested. Firstly, the acrostic form encourages the writer to be imaginative and comprehensive, to treat his theme literally ‘from A to Z’ (or from aleph to tav). Secondly, the form encourages the writer to pack as much meaning as possible into each verse: for each letter, he has only one chance to begin a verse with it, and he seizes his opportunity for each letter. This is why acrostic poems tend to be somewhat intense in tone.

 

In Psalm 25 the psalmist gives us an ‘A–Z’ of different aspects of his relationship with God. As he prays, different thoughts come to mind. The psalm suggests the conflicting feelings within the psalmist as he comes before God: his desire that God vindicate him (vv. 1–3); his need for God’s forgiveness and continuing guidance (vv. 4–7); his recognition of God’s faithfulness (vv. 8–15); his need of God’s mercy and deliverance (vv. 16–21).

 

The ‘intense’ aspect comes across in the troubled tone of the psalm, as one thought leads to another, almost by a chain of free association. This psalm reads rather like the kind of prayers we make when we’re somewhat distracted, or burdened with feelings of guilt. Perhaps one thing we can learn from this psalm is that God does not reject such prayers.

 

Mr & Mrs Daniel & Melissa Tay will be presenting "Christians in Conversation” at Chapel on 2 March. You are most welcome to join us at 12 noon - 12.45 pm at 31 Tanjong Pagar Rd, 2nd storey.

NEWS BITS

  1. Introduction to Church History (CH101, video class) by Dr Quek Swee Hwa. The first session (orientation) was held on Feb 12, and the first tutorial has been scheduled on Feb 26 (Sat.). Time: 5.30-7.00pm. It is not too late to register if you wish to join this class.

  2. Religions of Asia (Tent module) by Dr Violet James. The course will commence on Mar 1 at Tanjong Pagar campus. Three more sessions will be held on the following dates - Mar 8, 22, 29, time: 7.30-9.30pm. This course can be taken for BGST (1.5 credits) with additional requirements.

  3.   New Admissions. 

  • Mr. Peter Yee Teck Ning is a Student Pastor at the Gospel Baptist Church (Singapore). He is a graduate of University of London and is working toward the Dip. CS and M.Div.

  • Mr. Wong Chee Meng is a member of Angora Brethren Chapel (Singapore) and is working toward the Dip. CS. He has obtained his degrees from RMIT (B.Bus.) and Monash University (M.Bus.) in Australia.

SPRING TOUR OF ISRAEL

We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for the Spring Tour of Israel which will be organised between 28 Mar to 8 Apr 2005. This will be a budget tour with accommodation in  dormitories/hostels, except in Jerusalem. As there is limited space, reservation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. There is a non-refundable deposit of S$500.

 

Please contact Serene Woon at  6227-6815 or email: admin@bgst.edu.sg for more details.

A Blessed Birthday to ...

Mr Henry Yeong - 28/2

Ms Christine Ng  28/2

Mr Ravi Shankar  28/2

Mrs Sharon Quek  1/3

Mr Lim Kheng Hai  2/3

Ms Faith Sun  2/3

Dr Ng Hwee Hin  3/3

Mr Thomas Lee  3/3

Rev Dr Danny Goh  4/3

Ms Grace Gay  4/3

Mr Michael Goh  4/3

Mdm Ng Cher Meng  4/3

Dr Tang Hui Kheng  4/3

Ms He Liyi  4/3

Mrs Jenny Lun  5/3

Mr Oliver Chia  6/3

Mr Wilfred Leow  6/3

Mr Caleb Low  6/3

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This page is updated on 25 Feb 2005. 
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