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Archaeology and the Christian #1 

Second Kings 13.20–21

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • January 22, In the year of our Lord, 2017

Scripture Reader and Reading: Paul Hannan – Second Kings 13.20–21

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Kevin Michael – Songs on Faith

Prelude

  1. Don Patton’s presentation got me to thinking on some issues.

Persuasion

  1. Should Danger Stop Us?
    1. Acts 21
    2. We need to discover things before
      1. grave robbers do,
      2. ISIS does
        1. I am hoping that ISIS will soon be WASWAS
  2. Why Are Some Things in Life Difficult?
    1. Is anything worthwhile in life easy to do?
  3. Will the Discovery Change People?
    1. Isaiah 53.1ff
      1. The Lord Himself coming down here
      2. did not change most people.
        1. Does that mean He should not have come?
    2. Should we not do these things because not everyone will believe?
      1. How do we know?
      2. That is for the Lord to decide.
        1. We are just to do what He says.
      3. Sometimes we sound like Peter in Luke 5.
      4. Second Kings 13.17
  4. Biblical Writers Used Archaeology
    1. When Elisha,
      1. the prophet with the double-spirit of Elijah,
      2. died, they placed him in a tomb.
        1. Later, another man died and when an enemy army approached Israel,
        2. they quickly put the dead man’s body into the tomb of Elisha,
          1. lowering the man into the tomb, but
          2. when the man touched the bones of Elisha,
            1. the man revived and stood on his feet.
            2. The dead Elisha resurrected a dead man!
    2. Brethren, archaeology is about dead things in the distant past, but
      1. if you let it touch your spirit and your mind,
      2. it will revive you,
        1. strengthening your faith,
        2. confirming the truth and history of Scripture.
  5. Does the Bible support the use of archaeology, or 
    1. is this just an invention of weak Christians
    2. who need it to make them feel good about the Bible?
      1. If the events recorded in Scripture truly happened,
      2. we should see evidence of at least some of it,
        1. if not most of it,
        2. in the real world.
          1. I believe that archaeology shows
          2. the events of Scripture happened in the real world, and
            1. that supports the idea that Scripture came from God, and
            2. that whatever else the Bible says is likewise true.
  6. Archaeology alone is not enough, but it is one of many evidences (2Co 13.1). 
  7. Does the Bible Reference Archaeology? 
    1. Does the Bible in anyway refer to things we would classify as archaeology?
    2. Here are many passages that hint at the use of archaeology.
    3. The Pillar of Rachel’s Grave

      20 And Jacob set a pillar on her grave, which is the pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day (Gen 35.20).

      1. Moses verified that over 400 years later,
        1. this pillar still existed.
        2. People could go to it and see the truth of which he spoke.
      2. First Samuel 10 shows it continued to exist in Samuel’s day,

        2 “When you have departed from me today, you will find two men by Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah…” (1Sa 10.2).

        1. From the death of Rachel to the time of Samuel is about 900 years!
        2. This confirmed their history.
    4. Joshua 4 refers to stones his readers could identify with, for
      1. any Israelite or any foreigner could go to the spot and
      2. see these stones, and know the veracity of the history behind them,

        9 Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the covenant stood; and they are there to this day (Jos 4.9).
    5. Joshua 7 is a similar passage,

      26 Then they raised over him a great heap of stones, still there to this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Achor to this day (Jos 7.26).

      1. Why was that valley named Achor and
      2. what was the meaning of a large pile of stones there?
        1. Joshua fills in the history of these archaeological sites,
        2. just as we might do today, whether we go
          1. from the Bible to archaeology or
          2. from archaeology to the Bible!
      3. The next chapter shows still something else similar
        1. that was associated with Ai,
        2. the place where Israel initially lost a battle because of Achan’s sin.

          28 So Joshua burned Ai and made it a heap forever, a desolation to this day. 29 And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until evening. And as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his corpse down from the tree, cast it at the entrance of the gate of the city, and raise over it a great heap of stones that remains to this day (Jos 8.28, 29).

          1. Why was the place that formerly supported Ai, desolate?
          2. Why was there a large, very large, pile of stones there?
            1. Joshua 8 shows what happened there, and
            2. the archaeological site confirms the truth of Joshua 8.
    6. Judges 6 has the same kind of information,

      24 So Gideon built an altar there to the LORD, and called it The–LORD–Is–Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites (Jdg 6.24).
    7. First Samuel 6 presents the same kind of historical/archaeological information.
      1. The Philistines had captured the Ark of the Testimony, but
      2. it did not belong to them, so
        1. God cursed them, and
        2. they concluded that they needed to send it back to Israel,
          1. along with some gold presents that represented their lords and cities.
          2. Then the writer said this,

            18 …even as far as the large stone of Abel on which they set the ark of the LORD, which stone remains to this day in the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh (1Sa 6.18).