Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Parables in the Old Testament

We know and love Jesus’ New Testament parables. Here is the parable of the mustard seed.

The Parable of the Mustard Seed
And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade”. (Mark 4:30-34)

The seed is the word of God.

The work of grace is small in its beginnings, but comes to be great and considerable at last (v. 30–32); “Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God, as now to be set up by the Messiah? How shall I make you to understand the designed method of it?” Christ speaks as one considering and consulting with himself, how to illustrate it with an apt similitude; With what comparison shall we compare it? Shall we fetch it from the motions of the sun, or the revolutions of the moon? No, the comparison is borrowed from this earth, it is like a grain of mustard-seed; he had compared it before to seed sown, here to that seed, intending thereby to show, Source: Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible

The illustration is, that the smallest seed takes root and grows to something that is strong and fruitful- even mighty. Who doesn’t look on a strong, tall, might tree and feel awe and marvel at its strength, symmetry, and beauty? The seed does not do this of itself, the Grower grows it.

I stopped on my way to work at dawn to admire this tree in the pasture, cows around it, ground mist rising, pond glittering, sky just pinkening:

dawn in ne ga

The parable/allegory of trees is seen in Old Testament texts as well. Yes, the OT has parables! The use of the words parable and allegory are specifically stated in Ezekiel 17:1-2 (NIV). Then the LORD continues after verse 1 in relating to Ezekiel the parable Ezekiel is to relate to the Israelites. From Ezekiel 17:3-10 the parable of the tree continues, with the trees representing kings. In the latter part of the chapter, the LORD explained the parable to Ezekiel (and us!)

There are still other symbolic comparisons to trees in the Old Testament. In Ezekiel 31 in its entirety reveals Assyria’s fate. Here, the tree is likened to nations. In Ezekiel 17 the tree was likened to kings.

Daniel 4 also has a parable of a tree. This time the LORD did not say it as a parable but gave it in a dream to King Nebuchadnezzar. The king did not understand it. He called for Daniel to interpret the dream, which Daniel graciously did, thanks to wisdom from God. In this case, the tree was Nebuchadnezzar, whose kingdom had grown strong and tall, will be cut down, but the stump is banded, and will grow strong once again.

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. (Psalm 92:12 NKJV).

I have seen the wicked in great power, And spreading himself like a native green tree. (Psalm 37:35 NKJV).

When we say we would like to “dig deeper”into God’s word, this is one way. We can ponder the symbols and parables and allegories in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Did you know there were parables in the OT? The Bible is rich in learning for us, lyrical as a written form, full of depth and power.

Most important of all, it is where we find truth and life.

Posted in potpourri, Uncategorized

Prata Potpourri: Contending, Cougars, Spurgeon, Movie about a Song, more

What’s been goin’ on in Christian spheres lately? Let’s take a peek. Here are some links for your interest and edification-


A lot of people are talking about this movie. Is the positive talk warranted? It seems that it is. The Story of a Song: Movie Review by The World

Anyone who’s been to church in the last decade probably knows or has sung it, but in a culture where un-Biblical heaven tourism books and movies abound, the song’s simple, sound reminder that no eye has seen what God has prepared for those who love Him is especially welcome.


Please remember our persecuted brethren.
Hindu-on-Christian Persecution
India: the 11th worst place on earth for Christians.

During this Lenten season when Christians are preparing themselves for Easter Sunday, those of us who are living in relative peace and affluence should remember and pray for those brothers and sisters in the faith whose circumstances are not as friendly.


Judge Not? A good, scriptural look by Bob Utley at the famous verses thrown at our faces when confronting sin or false teachers.

Answer this question – ‘Who removes the speck from his brother’s eye in verse 7’?


Jen Oshman has a bit about sisters helping sisters: The Power of Sisterhood: Women Spurring Women to Do Hard and Good Things

I am convinced the best way women can serve one another—and even the entire world—is to meet together and to encourage one another to love and good works.


Rebecca Stark with some good thoughts about contending. Would you stand idly by and watch your young son get mauled by a cougar?

Faced with a dangerous attack on a beloved child, would any mother simply stand and watch? No, a mother’s love for her child compels her to protect and defend—and fight to the death if necessary.



The lead article on a credible blog is about eschatology? I’m so there!

As we go about daily routines, too often our lives become routine. It seems as if there is a missing purpose at times to simple conversations in the community and other less-than-glorious responsibilities like changing diapers or mopping the kitchen floor. Are you anxiously anticipating the return of King Jesus or do you find yourself reading your Bible and doing life disconnected from the precious promise that Jesus will return?


Are parables just simplistic stories teaching a moral lesson? No. For the Church has more. By the way, John MacArthur’s book Parables is fantastic.

The parables Jesus tells in the four Gospels are peculiar kinds of stories that too many readers read very wrongly. It’s important, then, to clear up some common misconceptions about these important stories. I want to share with you what the parables are, but first, it is helpful to establish what they are not.



Spurgeon read The Pilgrim’s Progress at age 6 and went on to read it over 100 times.


The collected sermons of Spurgeon during his ministry fill 63 volumes? Phil Johnson curates The Spurgeon Archives. Most of Spurgeon’s sermons are there, along with Morning & Evening, Sword & Trowel, and other material. The Spurgeon Center also has much material.


I have been enjoying Derek Thomas’ daily 22 minute videos at going through John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. Wonderful!

Thomas’ lectures on The Pilgrim’s Progress here (so far). The series began on March 13, 2018

The City of Destruction
The Wicket Gate
The Interpreter’s House
The Cross & the Sepulcher
The Hill Difficulty
The Palace Beautiful

This photo, just because I like it. Have a good day!

EPrata photo