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Hope from Gehenna

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
November 5, 2022 8:00 pm

Hope from Gehenna

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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November 5, 2022 8:00 pm

In 1979, archaeologist Gabriel Barkay unearthed two small silver scrolls. It took years to delicately unroll the metal scrolls, and each was found to contain a Hebrew etching of the blessing from Numbers 6:24–26, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Scholars date the scrolls to the seventh century BC. They’re the oldest known bits of Scripture in the world.

Equally interesting is where they were found. Barkay was digging in a cave in the Valley of Hinnom, where Jeremiah told Judah that God would slaughter them in this same valley for sacrificing their children (19:4–6). This valley was the site of such wickedness that Jesus used the word Gehenna” (a Greek transliteration of the “Valley of Hinnom”) as a picture of hell (Matthew 23:33).

On this spot, about the time Jeremiah was announcing God’s judgment on his nation, someone was etching His future blessing onto silver scrolls. It wouldn’t happen in their lifetime, but one day—on the other side of the Babylonian invasion—God would turn His face toward His people and give them peace.

The lesson for us is clear. Even if we deserve what we have coming, we can cling to God’s promise. His heart always yearns for His people.

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Welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread. My name is Mike Whitmer and I entitled our reading, Hope, from Gehenna.

In 1979, archaeologist Gabriel Barquet unearthed two small silver scrolls. It took years to delicately unroll the metal scrolls and each was found to contain a Hebrew etching of the blessing from Numbers 6, 24-26. The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.

The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Scholars date the scrolls to the 7th century BC. They are the oldest known bits of scripture in the world.

Equally interesting is where they were found. Barquet was digging in a cave in the Valley of Hinnom, the very place where the prophet Jeremiah told the people of Judah that God would slaughter them for sacrificing their children. This valley was the site of such wickedness that Jesus used the word Gehenna, a Greek form of the Hebrew name for the Valley of Hinnom, as a picture of hell. On this spot, about the time Jeremiah was announcing God's judgment on his nation, someone was etching his future blessing onto silver scrolls. It wouldn't happen in their lifetime, but one day, on the other side of the Babylonian invasion, God would turn his face toward his people and give them peace. The lesson for us is clear. Even if we deserve what we have coming, we can cling to God's promise.

His heart always yearns for his people. The Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says, Listen, I am going to bring a disaster on this place that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. For they have forsaken me and made this a place of foreign gods. They have burned incense in it to gods that neither they nor their ancestors nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent. They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal, something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind. So beware, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when people will no longer call this place Topheth, or the valley of Ben-Hinom, but the valley of slaughter.

Now picking up at verse 14, Jeremiah then returned from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, and stood in the court of the Lord's temple, and said to all the people, This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says, Listen, I am going to bring on this city and all the villages around it every disaster I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked, and would not listen to my words. Let's pray, Father, we confess our sin and the judgment we deserve. We cling to your promise to forgive and restore. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Thanks for listening, today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-06 07:35:18 / 2022-11-06 07:36:22 / 1

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