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Archive for June, 2016

Elisha Prophesies the End of Samaria's Siege.jpg

Elisha Prophesies the End of Samaria’s Siege by Nicolas Fontaine, 1625-1709.

The Bible has a monopoly on truth. This simple idea is basic to the entire Scripturalist enterprise. Yet while the idea itself is simple and ought to be taught and understood by every Christian, it’s one that often is denied.

 

Speaking for myself, many times I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that the Bible is good for learning about God and salvation, but it’s not a textbook on economics, or politics or history. Revelation alone is the source of all knowledge, but my belief that Bible is not a textbook on fill-in-the-blank was a sinful denial of this premise.

I mention this by way of introduction to today’s post on Biblical economics. and for today’s lesson, I’d like to look at the siege of Samaria as related in 2 Kings 6:24-7:20.

The Siege of Samaria

Samaria was the capital of the Northern Kingdom and had come under attack by Ben-Hadad, king of Syria. Sieges in the ancient world were horrific events, and doubtless left survivors deeply scarred both physically and emotionally. For example, when the Assyrians were threatening to besiege Jerusalem, the commander of their army told Hezekiah’s representatives and all the people who were assembled on the city wall, “Has my master sent me to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, who will eat and drink their own waste [during the coming siege of Jerusalem] with you” (Isaiah 36:12). And this leaves unsaid the lack of sanitation, disease, stench and death that would all be part of the package deal.

Regarding the siege of Samaria, the Bible tells us, “And there was a great famine in Samaria; and indeed they [the Syrians] besieged it until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and one-fourth of a kab of dove droppings for five shekels of silver” (2 Kings 6:25).

There are a number of important economic ideas packed into this verse. Let’s take a look at them.

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Harambe

Harambe the gorilla with the four year old boy who fell into the gorilla exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo, 5/28/16. 

Stories of interest for scripturalists can pop up anywhere. They can be on the other side of the world, or right in our backyard. And it just so happens that this week there were two noteworthy items right here in river city. Let’s kick off this week’s This ‘n That with…

 

The Shot Heard ‘Round the World

Unless you spent this whole last week in a cave or out protesting Donald Trump, you’ve probably heard a little bit about the shooting of Harambe the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Just to recap, last Saturday a four year old boy climbed into the Zoo’s gorilla exhibit, fell ten feet into a moat, and quickly found himself a person of interest to Harambe, the Zoo’s 450 pound, alpha-male lowland gorilla.

While the boy’s mother frantically watched, the animal grabbed the boy and dragged him about. When things appeared to become life-threatening, the Zoo have the go-ahead for a sharpshooter to put an end to the standoff.

The episode ended with a dead gorilla and a living boy.

Only it really didn’t end there.

As news spread, it didn’t take long for the animal rights crowd to start up with an irrational two minutes hate directed at the Zoo and the mother of the boy. Check these sample tweets from the compassionate man-haters on Twitter,

It didn’t take me long to find these, so doubtless there’s plenty more nonsense out there. And from these comments it is abundantly clear that not a few members of my own species lack the discernment to understand the vast difference in value between a brute beast and a person made in the image of God.

The Scriptures tell us that God made man a little lower than the angels and set him over the works of his hands. It was God himself who gave man dominion over the earth.

We could wish that things had turned out better for the gorilla. But when it comes to the life of a person or the life of an animal, it’s the animal that goes every time.

The Bible tells us that no man yet ever hated his own flesh. With that in mind, I can’t help but wonder how the social media shriekers would react if it were their lives that were on the line and not that of another. Not that I can prove it, but I rather suspect they’d be singing a different tune.

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