2024 Theme

2024 Theme

They Being Dead Yet Speak - Continued…


The Bible story is a people story.  Adam and Eve; Cain and Abel; Noah; Abram, Isaac and Jacob; Moses and Joshua; Samuel and David; Elijah, Elisha, Daniel; John the Baptist and Jesus; the apostles and the first century disciples.  All of these and many many more form the thread out of which is woven the story of God, man, sin, and redemption.  True, the Bible ultimately records God’s creation of man, our consistent failure, His promises of salvation, and the unfolding of His plan.  It is the account of a rejected God Who is nonetheless patient, merciful, faithful, and sacrificial.  It is the story of a nation chosen to be His special people and upon Whom His eye continually focuses.  It is an account of slavery and deliverance, of covenant and conquest, of prosperity and adversity.  It follows a family which becomes a nation which becomes a kingdom and which ultimately rejects its King.  It finds its intended fulfillment in a nation united not by blood but by a shared trust in that rejected King.  And that group of people continues even today as the spiritual nation of God who look to the second coming of the King and the resurrection that He will enact.  And the story will conclude with the eternal reunion of God with His redeemed people.  God and people.  Such is the focus of the Bible.



As the Bible story is a people story, God reveals much of His activities as they unfold in the lives of individuals.  Some are merely mentioned in passing, and we know nothing of them.  Consider the multitude of people mentioned in the various genealogies of scripture.  Other than their name and the fact that they form a part of a family ancestry, most are essentially undistinguished - a passing breath in the lengthy saga of history.  Others are noted but briefly and perhaps associated with some particular impact or curiosity - Tubal Cain was perhaps the father of metalwork (Gen. 4:22); Nimrod was a mighty hunter who established ancient kingdoms (Gen. 10:8-12); Methuselah lived 969 years (Gen. 5:27); Anah discovered water in the wilderness (Gen. 36:24); Obadiah was a servant of Ahab who feared God and arranged a meeting with Elijah (I Kings 18); Shallum was a city official in Jerusalem who helped rebuild the walls, along with his daughters (Neh. 3:12); EbedMelech was an Ethiopian officer in Zedekiah’s house who helped deliver Jeremiah from a pit (Jer. 38:7f); Manaen was a childhood friend of Herod but became a teacher in Antioch (Acts 13:1); Sosthenes was a ruler of the synagogue in Corinth who got caught up in a riot and was beaten by the Greeks there (Acts 18:17); Julius was a centurion in charge of Paul on a leg of his journey from Ceasarea to Rome (Acts 27:1f).  None of these are especially pertinent to the Bible story.  But their mention is a reminder that it is a people story.  


Still others serve greater roles in the narrative - people like Lamech (Gen.4:19f) or Enoch (Gen. 5:19f), Terah (Gen. 12:24f), Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:1f), Melchizedek (Gen. 14:17f), Abimelech (Gen. 20:1f), Laban (Gen. 29f), Shechem (Gen. 34), Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (Gen. 16:1f), Achan (Josh. 7), Zebah and Zalmunna (Judg. 8), Eli (I Sam. 1-4), Agag (I Sam. 15), Doeg the Edomite (I Sam. 22), Shemei (II Sam. 16), Naaman (II Kings 5), the family of Rechab (Jer. 35), Baruch (Jer. 45), Ishmael the murderer of Gedaliah (Jer. 41), Gomer the wife of Hosea (Hos. 1:3f), Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem, the enemies of Nehemiah (Neh. 6), Haman (Esther 3f), Theophilus (Lk. 1:1-3), Sergius Paulus, the proconsul of Paphos (Acts 13:6f), Publius of Malta (Acts  28:7f), Diotrephes (II Jn. 9), Jezebel the false prophetess of Thyatira (Rev. 2:20).  We know little of these folks, but they move the story along and they intrigue us as bit players who come and go in the story of redemption.


Finally we come to the principal characters.  They have names we know and stories with which we are familiar.  They are Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Pharaoh, Moses, Joshua, Gideon and Samson, Ruth, Samuel, David, Abigail and Bathsheba, Solomon, Jeroboam, Hezekiah, Esther, Daniel, Sennacherib and Nebuchadnezzar, Ezekiel, Ezra, Joshua and Zerubbabel, Joseph and Mary and Zechariah and Elisabeth, John and Jesus and Peter, James, John, Paul, Timothy, Titus, and numerous others through whom God relates all that He has done for our salvation.  In Heb. 11:4, God notes that Abel, though dead, still speaks through the record of his faith.  In 2023, we selected numerous individuals who are a part of the Bible record and gave some attention to the things said of them, allowing them to continue speaking to us as disciples of Jesus.  As we move into the new year, we have decided to offer a follow-up to that theme, focusing upon a new set of characters whose life and faith are noted in the pages of revelation.  Paul, in Rom. 14:11, offers that “...whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”  It is our hope that these character studies will profit you as you follow Jesus in the coming year.


They Being Dead Yet Speak… Continued…


January — Sarah & Hagar


February — Ruth


March — Saul & Jonathan 


April — Abigail & Michal 


May — Daniel 


June — Hosea 


July — Elizabeth 


August — Mary, the mother of Jesus


September — Jesus


October — Paul 


November — Lydia 


December — John, the Apostle