“The Bible is elegantly true”, proves Alexander The Great??

In a little over three weeks, we will be celebrating Alexander the Great’s 2368th birthday! There may be a few Facebook events popping up soon for celebrations. Alexander the Great lived the kind of eventful life that every young, rough, adolescent boy dreams of having. Wars, fighting, and winning those wars. Men admired him and neighboring countries feared him. Being taught for most of his childhood by the one and only Aristotle, Alexander definitely possessed an astutely educated mind.

In 336 BC, Alexander became king of Macedon. The rest of his life was then devoted to conquering land and gaining power…. as well as removing anything and anyone that came in his way. When it came to ego and basic morals, he immediately went bunkers – as history tells us that most tyrannical kings seem to do. Alex (can I call you Alex?) killed his family members, past allies, he conquered Greek city-states, Egypt, and most of Asia itself. If we are going to compare wit, leadership, and tactical brilliancy, then Alex laughs in the face of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and also makes Bin Laden seem as smart as Aaron Hernandez.

Lastly, there was one particular conquest that set Alex apart from any others before him. After defeating Persia, his new goal was to take control of the key port of Tyre. Now it just so happens that Tyre was located on an island approximately half a mile from the mainland and was heavily fortified with walls up to 150-ft high! In this day and age we have the Navy and Air Force that can easily get to an island, but they did not have this luxury. Not letting this stop them, Alex and his engineering buddies devised a plan to connect the mainland to the island. They realized the water was very shallow, being only 3 feet deep. So they collected rubble, old boulders, and other remaining ruins from the nearby “old city” of Tyre that was still connected to the mainland and threw it all in the water to form a small road. This, in modern-day engineering terms, is called a jetty. With this jetty created from pieces of an old ruined city, 30,000 army men were now to be able to travel over water to destroy the “newly” rebuilt Tyre. They used every scrap they could to build it until the “old” Tyre was completely empty. Alex did, indeed, get what he wanted. It was an epic battle.

They eventually conquered the “new” island of Tyre. However, why is this important? What is so awesome and incredibly mind-blowing about this, is that God foretells of this occurrence happening to Tyre about 257 years before this event took place.

In 590 BC, the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 26:1 to 28:19) foretold that King Nebuchadnezzar’s army would lay siege to Tyre; and that over time, other nations would also go to war against Tyre, continually scraping its foundations to bare rock and would lay its stones and debris in the midst of the sea. Ezekiel further prophesied that eventually Tyre would never be rebuilt again and that it would be a place for the “spreading of nets.”

When this scripture was written, Tyre was a thriving city in Asher. It was NOT an island at all. What Ezekiel said is that nations will come like waves (i.e. over time) and eventually wipe Tyre clean away. Three years later Nebuchadnezzar goes to war against Tyre…followed by the Chaldeans, the Assyrians, the Greeks, Saracens, and the Crusaders over the span of many many years. I would not be shocked if my grandparents went to war against Tyre as well. Apparently it was the cool thing to do. During all this time of losing wars, and before Alexander The Great came in, the few citizens left in Tyre we able to build an island off the mainland, the “new” Tyre. The “old” Tyre was still in Asher but was destroyed to rubble. It was not wiped clean yet as scripture said it would be. However, God said that “old” Tyre would eventually be wiped clean and thrown in the ocean. Sooooo, if this doesn’t happen, maybe God lied to us. Well, that’s where Alexander The Great came into play. One of the ways God’s sovereignty worked over Alex was to fulfill His own prophecy of finishing the complete dismantling of the “old” Tyre AND throwing its rubble and other pieces into the ocean. Which we just mentioned that Alex and his army did exactly that.

The prophecy came true to the last detail. As all of God’s prophecies seem to do. Boom Shocka Locka. God wins once again. Scuba divers today can dive along the jetty to see many of the granite columns Alexander’s army dumped into the sea. In all of history, Tyre is the only city to have all of its rubble cast into the sea. Even the prophetic detail of the fishing nets in those verses has proved accurate. For hundreds of years fishermen have spread out their nets to dry on those jetty rocks.

How awesome is it that we have a holy and loving God that says he’s going to do something and then he actually does it. God says let there be light and there is. He tells the earth to flood and it does. Jesus tells a dead man to wake up and the man does. I love our Father. He fills me with awe.

Psalm 115:3 ; Isaiah 43

Irresistible, Beautiful Grace on Youtube

By far my favorite Youtube video ever is this one from 2011, with only a little over 40,000 views. A guy living in Sydney, Australia turns 30 years old and instead of throwing a party for himself or receiving presents….he gathers his close friends and they purchase 30 gifts. They then set out on an epic plan to hand those 30 gifts out to random people that they see on the streets of Sydney.

They choose toddlers, old men, young women….literally no one is left out. No favortism. No hidden agenda. Just love. The faces of everyone that receives a gift is tremendously priceless. There is a look of shock, awe, frustration, and joy all at the same time. This is an exact depiction of the Gospel and our gift of Grace that Christ freely gives to us. Our human nature loves to receive gifts. To receive a gift without earning it or expecting it is at the apex of our eternal being. It transcends this inner joy in us that can only be triggered by grace. When this happens there is joy in that someone loves us despite our shortcomings and there is glory given to the gift-giver.

These people that received gifts in this video did not do anything to earn those gifts. They did not win a race or sing the best. They were not the smartest, tallest, most-handsome people. They did nothing. And most of all….it was not their birthday. It is an odd thing to receive a birthday gift on a day that is not your birthday. You most certainly do not deserve it.

In the book of John, Jesus constantly sets up for the correct understanding of salvation and grace. He’s going to say things like “No one comes to God unless it is through me” John 14:6 / “Salvation is like the wind, no one can grasp it in their hands…[I control the wind]” John 3:8. And he continues to play that same beat throughout the book and the rest of the Gospels.

We must always remember that we do not earn God’s favor. We do not come to faith on our own, say a sinner’s prayer, get baptized, and then think we’re golden. What a silly game we’ve invented. That’s what I was taught growing up and it’s just a silly religious game that causes a great amount of troubles. I grew up in the church doing religious activities….and was never even bothered by the fact that I knew no more of God than any unbeleiver on the street. It wasn’t until Christ gave me potluck doommates my junior year, that were on fire for the Lord, that he showed me the true meaning and joy in following him. That he began saving me and wooing me to Himself. And I love that. I treasure Christ for that. Jesus came to crush religion. He cares about our heart so much that He himself gives us a new heart so that we can have faith in Him and live a life according to the Gospel which leads to fullness of life.