The Valley of the Kings – God’s Amazing Sovereignty Displayed in a Pharaoh’s Life

How Amenhotep II illustrates the tension between God’s sovereignty and our choices.

The Pharaohs buried in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt, are more than history. The New Testament uses these kings to illustrate truths to strengthen our walk with Jesus Christ.

The Valley of the Kings – God’s Sovereignty Displayed in a Pharaoh’s Life

(Photo: The Valley of the Kings. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

When we picture Egypt, we picture pyramids —those iconic burial places of the pharaohs. But pyramids posed a problem. Pyramids left no doubt where the treasures of the pharaohs were buried. It was x-marks-the-spot for grave robbers!

So the pharaohs of the New Kingdom, beginning in the mid-16th-century BC, moved their burial places from the area of Giza to Luxor, or ancient Thebes. At the bottom of a mountain that had the natural shape of a pyramid, the pharaohs, the queens, and other officials carved their tombs from the walls of the valley—easily hidden.

The Valley of the Kings contains at least 63 tombs, with more no doubt to be discovered. The most famous discovery occurred in November 1922, when British archaeologist Howard Carter and his team discovered the amazingly intact tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, or King Tut, who reigned about the time of the book of Judges.

But a pharaoh most people have never heard of is the one the Bible uses to teach us most.

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Bethel Reveals What You Need to Know to Connect with God

There has always been only one way.

There has always been only one way to God—even in the Old Testament. But how? That way is by grace through faith in the object of God’s choosing. Bethel gives us a peek at that way.

Modern Beitin, ancient Bethel

(Photo: Modern Beitin, ancient Bethel. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

In his flight from his murderous brother Esau, Jacob spent the night at Bethel, where years earlier his grandfather Abraham had heard God promise that he would receive all the land as far as he could see. There, Jacob dreamed of a stairway to heaven, and the Lord repeated to him the promises Abraham received.

Shaken, Jacob awoke and said:

How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. —Gen. 28:17

Jacob named the site Bethel—“house of God.” The dream gave more than a vision of God’s house.

It offered a foreshadowing of how to get there.

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The Dominus Flevit Church—and a Triumphal Entry that Wasn’t

As I made my way down the Mount of Olives, I couldn’t help think about the day Jesus rode down the slope on the back of a donkey.

His words that day hardly seemed fitting for a “Triumphal Entry.”

The Dominus Flevit Church—and a Triumphal Entry that Wasn't

(Photo: Jerusalem from inside the Dominus Flevit Church, courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

When Jesus saw Jerusalem, He wept over it:

If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. —Luke 19:42

I pondered the words. Why did He say: “this day . . .”?

The prophet Daniel penned a meticulous prediction of the very day when the Messiah would appear in Jerusalem.

It was that very day.

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Why Our Dirty Hands is the Best Bad News You’ll Ever Hear

How God's Word makes the hands unclean and the heart free

Many people see the Bible only as a book of bad news. After all, it lists everything we do wrong and reminds us how much God hates sin. But bad news is only half the message.

Why Our Dirty Hands is the Best Bad News You’ll Ever Hear

(Photo: Unsplash)

Because nobody likes hearing bad news, we often slam the book shut before we hear the good news that always follows. In fact, without bad news, we have no good news.

The bad news comes only as the essential first step to the best news you’ll ever hear.

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What Did it Mean to Be Unclean?

How an Old Testament Ritual Offers Hope to Today’s Problem

Thumbing through our Old Testament, we often come across references to people or objects being “unclean.” What in the world does that mean?

What Did it Mean to Be Unclean

(Photo by Photodune)

From our perspective, when we come across something unclean we toss it in the dishwasher, clothes washer, or garbage can. And if a person is unclean, they simply step in the tub and scrub away the grime.

Problem solved.

We hear “unclean” and we think of something as contaminated, tainted, or unhygienic. But in the Old Testament, “unclean” had a different meaning—one that affected one’s walk with God.

What did it mean to be unclean in the Old Testament? (And why we should care about it today?)

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