June 22 – Come with Me to Paris

2 Kings 3:1-4:17
Acts 14:8-28
Psalm 140:1-13
Proverbs 17:22

2 Kings 3:5 — Come with me to Paris. We’re going to the Louvre. You normally need ten euros for admission, but today, you’re my guest. No, we’re not looking for the Mona Lisa. We’re looking for biblical artifacts. Enter the Levant Exhibit, Room D, and look for artifact # AO 5066. Elevated off the floor on a white base is a black monument.

Here’s a description from the official website of the Louvre:

The stele of King Mesha constitutes one of the most important direct accounts of the history of the world that is related in the Bible. The inscription pays tribute to the sovereign, celebrating his great building works and victories over the kingdom of Israel during the reign of Ahab, son of Omri. The mention of “Israel” is its earliest known written occurence. Dhiban, ancient Dibon, where the stele was found, was the capital of this kingdom of Moab, located on the left bank of the Dead Sea.

You will notice parts of the stele are smooth and others are rough. The rough parts are genuine, the smooth parts are reconstructed.

Tribute should be paid to the sagacity of Charles Clemont-Ganneau (1846-1923), a great Orientalist and disciple of Ernest Renan, to whom we owe the stele’s rescue. While in Jerusalem, Clermont-Ganneau learnt from an Alsatian missionary, F.A. Klein, that a large block of black stone covered with characters had been found at Dhiban. He first sent an Arab intermediary from Jerusalem, Selim al-Qarim, who, in October 1869, made a schematic copy (today in the Louvre) of the inscription, which enabled Clermont-Ganneau to recognize the importance and early date of the monument. He then sent a second intermediary, Yaqoub Karavaca, to make a stamp of the inscription, in December 1869. It is not known exactly how and why this operation aroused the anger of the villagers: in the skirmish, the print was torn (but the pieces reached Clermont-Ganneau and eventually the Louvre) and the stele, hitherto intact, was broken into many pieces, which were sent to the antiquities market in Jerusalem. Thanks to his careful negociations, Clermont-Ganneau succeeded in retrieving the two main pieces and some remains …

If you can’t make it to the Louvre, you can see a replica of the Stele at the Oriental Institute in Chicago.

For a full guide to biblical artifacts in the Louvre, check out www.louvrebible.org.

2 Kings 3:9 — Sun Tzu in The Art of War said, “Carefully guard your line of supplies.”

2 Kings 4:4 — Interesting that the woman was commanded to “shut the door.” Elisha’s blessing wasn’t to be seen as an ostentatious event.

2 Kings 4:8 — The Shunemite woman exemplified the hospitality that we are commanded to display in the New Testament:

  • Bishops are commanded in 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:8
  • All believers are commanded in Romans 12:13 and 1 Peter 4:9

2 Kings 4:10 — Today many churches have “prophet’s chambers” to aid those travelling in ministry. I have been the beneficiary of several prophet’s chambers!

2 Kings 4:13 — This woman provided for the prophet of God and asked for nothing in return.

2 Kings 4:16 — Like Sarah and Zachariah, she didn’t believe that she could conceive, but unlike them she had not expressed a desire nor encountered an angel.

Acts 14:15 — Paul is addressing a different audience than Peter did in Acts 3:13. Peter immediately begins preaching Jesus to the Jewish audience who understood who the God of Abraham was. Paul immediately begins preaching about the living God – the Creator of heaven and earth and sea. Ken Ham articulates that our society is looking more like Lystra than Judaea in that we need to define which God we are talking about.

Acts 14:19 — In verses 11-13, the people are preparing to sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas who they think are the gods come to earth. Yet, in verse 19 the two were stoned and left for dead. Ah, the fleeting passions of the crowd! Yet, Paul returned to preach again in Lystra (Acts 14:21), strengthening the disciples and teaching that the tribulation (Acts 14:22) he demonstrated in his own body was necessary.

Psalm 140:1 — David writes this psalm, but it’s one that could have been Paul’s prayer as well. Deliver me O LORD! Yes, God has heard the voice of David and of Paul (Psalm 140:6) and will hear our prayer as well! One day we can relax and rejoice in the physical presence of God (Psalm 140:13).

Proverbs 17:22 — How can we be merry when we’re in trouble? According to the group Keep Believing, we can do so because of Romans 8:28!

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

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