Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.
From an historical standpoint alone, this is pretty interesting news. Imagine touching something that’s 1600 years old. It’s rare enough to see something more than about a hundred years old. But this book is over 16 centuries old!
This tidbit in the article really caught my attention:
The book was found open to a page describing, in Latin script, Psalm 83, in which God hears complaints of other nations’ attempts to wipe out the name of Israel.
Each night at bedtime, we read some Biblical passage to our kids. It might be a story from one of several kids’ Bibles; we’ve also read out way through the Gospels in The Message. Tonight, in light of the article about the Psalm book being found, I elected to read Psalm 83. The imagery I found there astounded me. Read Psalm 83 below, from the New International Version, courtesy of BibleGateway.com.
A song. A psalm of Asaph.
1 O God, do not keep silent;
be not quiet, O God, be not still.
2 See how your enemies are astir,
how your foes rear their heads.
3 With cunning they conspire against your people;
they plot against those you cherish.
4 “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation,
that the name of Israel be remembered no more.”
5 With one mind they plot together;
they form an alliance against you-
6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
of Moab and the Hagrites,
7 Gebal, [a] Ammon and Amalek,
Philistia, with the people of Tyre.
8 Even Assyria has joined them
to lend strength to the descendants of Lot.
9 Do to them as you did to Midian,
as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,
10 who perished at Endor
and became like refuse on the ground.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 who said, “Let us take possession
of the pasturelands of God.”
13 Make them like tumbleweed, O my God,
like chaff before the wind.
14 As fire consumes the forest
or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,
15 so pursue them with your tempest
and terrify them with your storm.
16 Cover their faces with shame
so that men will seek your name, O LORD.
17 May they ever be ashamed and dismayed;
may they perish in disgrace.
18 Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD’s
that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.
When you compare that text with current events in the Middle East, you have to feel a sense of awe at the “coincidence.” Look at verses 4-5: “…[L]et us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.” With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you.” Which is exactly what’s happening there today. Numerous groups and nations are actively warring against Israel, including the “Ishmaelites,” the descendants of Ishmael, Abraham’s son from Hagar (Sarah’s maidservant). One of Ishmael’s descendants was the prophet Mohammad.
Verse 14 could make you nervous, if you dwelt on the idea that Israel has nuclear capability.
Interesting ideas, eh?