Thank you, Ron and Marcie Matsen, for traveling to upstate New York as a part of Koinonia House Connection. Ron presented a two-part seminar titled Evidence for the Exodus, following Biblical markers and finding evidence to substantiate the historical events of the Exodus as recorded in the book of Exodus. Ron designated each of the roughly 75 attendees an explorer. He encouraged each to weigh the evidence presented and then to decide whether that evidence was sufficient to prove the exodus narrative.
As critical thinkers, we consider the evidence and decide whether the evidence is persuasive. The quantum of evidence – the amount of evidence needed to prove a claim – is often considered in three categories:
- Preponderance of evidence – when viewed as a balance scale, there is more evidence to tip the scale one weight, even if only slightly.
- Clear and convincing (compelling) evidence – while there is some opposing evidence in the record, there is far more evidence supporting the proposition than opposing it.
- Beyond a reasonable (shadow of a) doubt – the evidentiary record is tilted so far toward a particular conclusion that no reasonable person would doubt the proposition.
I hope, Gracious Reader you will be able to attend one of these Koinonia Connection events and when you do, be prepared to consider significant evidence and findings before reaching your own conclusion. “The Bereans were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”
Throughout the month of June, my personal devotion time has centered around the following:
He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.
The account of the bondage and deliverance of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is promised and prophesied.
Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.
How is that for a promise? Specific in its claims, it promises both challenges and triumphs. Here are a couple of my favorite verses, and I wonder what ones come to your mind.
(T)hat you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though something strange were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that at the revelation of His glory you may also rejoice and be overjoyed.
Genesis predicts bondage and deliverance. Exodus records the bondage and deliverance. And the New Testament remembers these narratives. Stephen includes the wonderful works of God during the exodus as part of his sermon (see Acts 7.) The writer of Hebrews writes these words concerning Moses:
By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them. By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.
And so I close this short personal reflection with a thought: we need to remember the wonderful works of our God which reveal he is gracious and compassionate. We can remember the Biblical stories of redemption and deliverance. We can remember our personal testimony of His redemption and deliverance. And we need to guard our hearts in these times of encroaching darkness by remember the grace and compassion God showed us in the past week.
Keep (Guard) your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.
Our most important stewardship is our heart, and we protect our heart by remembering His wonderful works. I hope to write more in future months about Stewarding our Hearts.