Peter – PB

Peter

Peter the apostle is one of the most prominent characters in the Gospels, a rough and tumble man whose emotions often got him into trouble, and yet he was clearly one of the favorites oJesus Christ, who loved him for his big heart.

Peter’s true name was Simon. With his brother Andrew, Simon was a follower of John the Baptist. When Andrew introduced Simon to Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus renamed Simon Cephas, an Aramaic word meaning “rock.” The Greek word for rock, “petros,” became this apostle’s new name, Peter. He is the only Peter mentioned in the New Testament.

His aggressiveness made Peter a natural spokesman for the twelve. Often, however, he spoke before he thought, and his words led to embarrassment.

Jesus included Peter in his inner circle when he took Peter, James, and John into the house of Jairus, where Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead (Mark 5:35-43). Later, Peter was among those same disciples Jesus chose to witness the transfiguration(Matthew 17:1-9). Those same three saw Jesus’ agony in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:33-42).

Most of us remember Peter for denying Christ three times during the night of Jesus’ trial. Following his resurrection, Jesus took special care to rehabilitate Peter and assure him he was forgiven.

At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit filled the apostles. Peter was so overcome that he began to preach to the crowd. Acts 2:41 tells us 3,000 people were converted that day. Through the remainder of that book, Peter and John were persecuted for their stand for Christ.

Early in his ministry, Simon Peter preached only to Jews, but God gave him a vision in Joppa of a huge sheet containing all types of animals, warning him not to call anything made by God impure. Peter then baptized the Roman centurion Cornelius and his household and understood that the gospel is for all people.

Tradition says that persecution of the first Christians in Jerusalem led Peter to Rome, where he spread the gospel to the fledgling church there. Legend has it that the Romans were going to crucify Peter, but he told them he was not worthy to be executed in the same manner as Jesus, so he was crucified upside down.

Obadiah – PB

Obadiah

Obadiah, which means “Servant of Yah”, ma de his predictions sometime after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., and before the conquest of Edom.

His book is the shortest book in the Old Testament, consisting of only one chapter with 21 verses. It concerns the destruction of Edom, a nation who participated in the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.

The Edomites were descendants of Esau, while the Israelites were the descendants of Jacob. (Jacob and Esau were brothers).

It is for this violence of brother Edom against brother Israel, that Edom is condemned. Rather than help Israel when the nation was being attacked, Edom helped the attackers and took part in the plundering of Israel.

The subject of this little book is that the judgment of God does not overlook the wrongs done by evil men or nations but visits them with retribution.

The Bible’s book of Obadiah is the fourth of the twelve Minor Prophets.

Noah – PB

Noah

Noah, the son of Lamech, was one of eight people that lived before, during, and after the Great Flood.  When God saw the extent of human wickedness on the earth He decided to destroy all mankind by a flood (Gen 6-7).

God told Noah, who He saw as the one righteous person that the face of the earth to construct an ark 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high, with 3 decks inside (Gen 6:14-16).  He promised Noah that He would keep him safe in the ark, along with his wife, 3 sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and their wives (Gen 7:1 &7).

God had Noah bring into the ark a pair of each kind of bird, animal, and reptile, and in some cases, seven pairs of each (Gen 7:2-3 & 8-9).  Noah was 600 years old when the flood came (Gen 7:6), and for forty days and forty nights it raged (Gen 7:12).  The water rose higher than the highest mountain peaks and all life on earth was blotted out, but Noah and his family and the animals were safe in the ark (Gen 17-24).

One hundred and fifty days after the flood began the water gradually receded and the ark came to rest upon the mountains of Ararat (Gen 8:4).  Mount Ararat is located in today’s Turkey and in 2010 archeologists claim to have found Noah’s Ark.  Researchers say that it is 4,800 years old which is around Noah’s age time, but it’s still suspect http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bC2GGM5g86g.  Yet, there is evidence that the flood actually happened.

Eventually the earth was dry again and Noah, his family and the animals disembarked.  God blessed Noah and his family and told them to repopulate the earth.  From Noah’s 3 sons came all the nations of the earth.

Noah lived another 350 years after the flood and died at the age of 950.  The story of Noah is found in Genesis, chapters 6-9.  Noah is mentioned eight times in the New Testament and in Ezekiel 14:14 his is listed along with Daniel and Job for their righteousness.

The story of Noah is found in Genesis 6-9:29.

Nehemiah – PB

Nehemiah

Nehemiah, son of Hacaliah, was a cupbearer of the Persian King Artaxerxes. In 444 B.C. the king appointed Nehemiah to be the governor of Judah and permitted him to go to Jerusalem to help his fellow Jews. He rallied the people to rebuild the damaged walls around Jerusalem (Neh 2:17).

Despite opposition from his enemies, Sanballat and Tobiah, he succeeded in rebuilding the walls in 52 days and stationed guards at the city gates.  In order to repopulate Jerusalem he ordered that one out of every 10 Jews should take residence in Jerusalem (Neh 3-6).

He also instituted a series of social reforms including the cancellation of debts owed by the poor and the payment of tithes, he then returned to Persia.  In 432 B.C., he came back to Jerusalem and enforced several laws (Neh 8-13), such as payment due to the Levites and the observance of the Sabbath (Neh 13:15-22).

The story of Nehemiah is found in the book of Nehemiah.

Moses – PB

Moses

Moses (“I drew him out of the water”) was the son of Amram and Jochebed from the tribe of Levi, and the younger brother of Miriam and Aaron. At this time of his birth the Israelites were experiencing severe oppression in Egypt. Moses was adopted by an Egyptian princess and lived in Egypt many years (Ex 2:1-10).

Later, Moses was forced to flee Egypt after killing an Egyptian overseer who had beaten a Hebrew slave (Ex 2:11-15). He escaped into the Sinai desert, met with a Midiante priest named Jethro and married one of his daughters, Zipporah and he had two sons by her.

The turning point in Moses’ life was the divine revelation of the burning bush (Ex 3:2). God ordered Moses to return to Egypt and lead his people, the Israelites, out of bondage (Ex 3:10-11).Only after a series of ten divine punishments ordained by God did Pharaoh agree to set the Israelites free (Ex 7:14-12:31).

Moses, at the age of 80, then assumed a new role, leading the Israelites on their historic journey (Ex 12:34) .  Moses, at God’s command, parted the Red Sea to allow an escape route for the Israelites from the Egyptian army (Ex 13:17).  Moses received the Ten Commandments from God, written on two stone tablets on Mount Sinai (Ex 20:1-17).

The Israelites sinned greatly in the desert and God wanted to destroy them, but Moses talked to God and saved his people (Ex 32:7-11).  Because of their disobedience, grumbling and not trusting in God, the Israelites were forced to live in the desert for 40 years, where they received manna (a bread-like substance) from heaven, to keep them alive.  The entire Exodus generation died off except for Joshua and Caleb and their children were the ones who would later settle in Israel.

God instructed Moses to build a moveable Temple and to contrast the Ark of the Covenant (Ex 25-31 & 36-40).  After witnessing the conquest of the eastern side of the Jordan River Moses was notified of his imminent death (Num 27:12 & Deut 34:4).  Moses conferred his authority upon Joshua (Deut 31), to lead the 600,000 men (this doesn’t count the women and children) into the land of “milk and honey,” the Promised Land.  Moses died at the age of 120 (Deut 34:5-7) .

Moses is credited with writing the first five books of the Bible.  He talked with God and at God’s command he performed amazing miracles.  The story of Moses is covered in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.  He’s mentioned 80 times in the New Testament, usually as a lawgiver.  He’s also seen as the prophet who points the way to Jesus.  Moses, along with Elijah appeared in the Transfiguration with Jesus.

The story of Moses is found in Exodus 2 to Deuteronomy34:8.