Category: ‘Old Testament’

Sunday Brunch – Jonah!

November 20, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Can you believe that Jonah was inside the belly of a fish/whale for three days and three nights?

Jonah 1:17 Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah 2:10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

I was talking to my son about Jonah recently. He’d mentioned that he’d thought that Jonah would have been digested by the whale while inside the belly. How could he still be alive? God kept him alive, was the best that I could explain it.

Jonah ran away from his calling and he had to pay the price. He prayed while in the belly of the fish – he prayed to the Lord. The Lord then commanded the fish to spit Jonah out.

While inside the belly, God protected Jonah from harm. He protected him from being digested by the fish. Jonah did not provide sustenance to the fish (as far as I can tell). The Lord kept him safe, which is good.

I keep thinking about how it feels to be trapped in the belly of a whale. It sounds scary and frightful. Is there enough oxygen in there to breathe? I guess so if the Lord provides it for us. How long could one stay alive in the belly of a whale if one were NOT protected by the Lord?

I also felt that this would make a cool movie! Can you imagine making a movie about Jonah? I wonder how one would film the scenes inside the fish’s belly?

So what do you think it was like for Jonah inside the belly of a fish/whale for three days and three nights?


Sunday Brunch – The Book of Jashar/Jasher – From The Blog Archives

April 2, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

This is a partial repeat of an old blog post! Enjoy and leave a comment – feel free to leave a comment even if you have no insight. I love hearing from folks!

Are you familiar with The Book of Jashar/Jasher? I’m not, and from what I can tell, neither does anybody else! I do wonder about this book that is referenced in the Bible. It’s referenced when Joshua commands the sun to stand still when the Israelites were battling the Amorites. It’s referenced again in First Samuel when David is lamenting over the death of Saul and Jonathan.

I just find it strange that there seems to be so little information about this book. Have you ever wondered about it? Have you ever wondered what else was written in this mysterious book that was referenced in the Old Testament?

I know I have. I’m a curious person by nature, and I can’t help but wonder. If your pastor has ever mentioned this book in a sermon, or if you’ve ever discussed it in a Bible class, it’d be interesting to hear what you were told about this book. Please share your thoughts!



Joshua 10:12-13New International Version (NIV)

12 On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel:

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
    and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still,
    and the moon stopped,
    till the nation avenged itself on[a] its enemies,

as it is written in the Book of Jashar.

The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.

2 Samuel 1:17-18New International Version (NIV)

17 David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, 18 and he ordered that the people of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the Book of Jashar):

Sunday Brunch – Joseph’s Brothers

March 26, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

I hope all of you are well! Today I want to talk about Joseph (the Old Testament Joseph), and I was seeking an answer to this question:

Why didn’t Joseph’s brothers recognize him?

Genesis 45:4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt!

Remember the story of Joseph in the Old Testament? Joseph told his brothers about a dream he’d had – in the dream, his brothers were bowing down to him. Hearing about this dream angered Joseph’s brothers. His brothers then sold him into bondage, and Joseph was eventually placed in charge of all of Egypt. There was a great famine in the land and Joseph’s brothers came to him, seeking food. Joseph  recognized his brothers, but, his brothers did not recognize him.  

Why didn’t Joseph’s brothers recognize him?

I’ve always wondered about this. The explanations that have been given to me have never satisfied my curiosity. Yes, I know several years had passed and Joseph had changed a great deal – he was dressed in the finest clothes, and he’d gotten older of course, which may have made him harder to recognize. However, these were his kin, his half-brothers. He used to spend time with his siblings, so I’d imagine some of them (after all there were 11 siblings) would have been able to look at Joseph and recognize his identity, don’t you think?

Did the Lord work through these 11 siblings, make it impossible for them to recognize Joseph for some reason? Joseph sent them back to get Benjamin, his full brother, the only sibling who would not have been able to recognize Joseph. Perhaps the Lord was working on these eleven siblings, making it impossible for them to recognize Joseph, so that they would be agreeable to going back and fetching Benjamin?

So, what do you think? Why didn’t Joseph’s eleven siblings recognize him? Share your thoughts!

If you have any prayer requests, please share them in the comments!

My prayer request? Please pray for guidance and for me to stay focused. My mind has been all over the place, scattered, hard to remember everything that needs to get done. It’s hard to juggle family life, worship, writing life and my job. I just need to calm down and settle down a bit, try and be more peaceful. Prayers appreciated.



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Sunday Brunch! – Balaam’s Donkey

February 21, 2016 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy


Do you remember the story of Balaam in the book if Numbers?

Fearing the Israelites’ power, Balaak wanted to hire Balaam to put a curse on God’s people.

Balaam refused to go, because the Lord told him not to go. Balaam again sent messengers, begging Balaam to put a curse on the Israelites. The Lord then told Balaam that he could go, but, he had to only say what the Lord told him to say.

While on the road to Balaak, Balaam’s donkey refuses to walk. The animal spots an angel in blocking their path. Balaam beats the donkey. When the donkey speaks, asking why he’s being beaten, this is Balaam’s response:

Numbers Chapter 22:27-31

27 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam’s anger was aroused, and he struck the donkey with his staff.

28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”

29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have abused me. I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!”

30 So the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden, ever since I became yours, to this day? Was I ever disposed to do this to you?”

And he said, “No.

31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face.

Don’t you think that Balaam’s response to his speaking donkey is strange?

He didn’t appear shocked or dumbfounded that his donkey was speaking to him!

How would you react if your dog or cat started talking to you? Wouldn’t you think that was strange? Wouldn’t you be shocked or scared to have this talking creature in your house? 

Was it possible that Balaam had witnessed talking animals before he went on this trip? Had he conversed with his donkey before, and it was just never noted in the scriptures?

Share your thoughts!

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Sunday Brunch – Breaking The Sabbath

January 24, 2016 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy



Have you ever wonder about life during Old Testament times? I highly doubt I’d have been able to survive as one of the Israelites. This poor man mentioned in the following scripture – I have to wonder if he sinned intentionally, or, if he simply forgot the Sabbath:

Numbers 15:32-36

The Sabbath-Breaker Put to Death

32 While the Israelites were in the wilderness, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day. 33 Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, 34 and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. 35 Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp.” 36 So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death,as the Lord commanded Moses.


What do you think? Did this man intentionally sin, or did he simply forget that it was the Sabbath? Such a harsh way of life back then, before Christ came to save us. Don’t you agree?



Sunday Brunch – Have A Little Faith!

January 17, 2016 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy




Have you ever had weak faith?

Numbers: Chapters 13-14

In yesterday’s blog post I mentioned Moses sending his spies to the land of Canaan (the land flowing with milk and honey). When they returned, the spies gave a bad report about the land, stating that the Nephilim (Amalekites) were huge, and they were like grassphoppers compared to these beings. This bad report caused a big uproar amongst the Israelites. They doubted they could take over the land. The only spies who had faith were Joshua and Caleb. They knew that the Lord was on their side and would protect them from these giants.

The people grumbled, doubting the Lord’s protection. They even spoke of stoning Caleb and Joshua! The Lord became angry. He told the people that Joshua and Caleb, as well as all of the Israelites children who were under twenty years old would inherit the land of Canaan. The rest of them would loose their inheritance, becoming desert wanderers until their deaths.

The Lord killed the men who’d spread the bad report. Going against the Lord’s wishes, the people went up to the promised land (Canaan) anyway, only to be attacked by the Amalekites and Canaanites.

The Israelites were so stubborn, not listening to the Lord. They ignored the Lord’s miraculous signs/miracles!

Have you ever been faced with a strong fear, and doubted your faith in God? 

So glad that Jesus came, bringing hope and grace for us all! I know my faith has been weak! But, back in the Old Testament, I’ve always felt that God seemed to be in more direct contact with his chosen followers. It was a world much different than the way we live today. Even the earth was different, geographically, back then!

Sunday Brunch – It Takes Two Men To Carry A Cluster Of Grapes?

January 16, 2016 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Photo use courtesy of photographer Suat Eman.

Does the Old Testament remind you of a science fiction novel? 

Numbers 13:23-25
23 Then they came to the Valley of Eshcol, and there cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes; they carried it between two of them on a pole. They also brought some of the pomegranates and figs. 24 The place was called the Valley of Eshcol, because of the cluster which the men of Israel cut down there. 25 And they returned from spying out the land after forty days.

If you read my blog post last Wednesday, you’ll see that I was talking about the Giants/Nephilim in the Bible. A few verses before the verse that I quoted in Numbers, you’ll see that the spies that Moses sent out were to bring him samples of the food that was growing in the land of Canaan (also known as the land of milk and honey). They went to Hebron and cut down one cluster of grapes and two men had to carry this one cluster on a pole between them! Can you imagine how huge those grapes were? Plus, this is where the Giants were living, too. I’ll bet those grapes were as big or bigger than the apples that we eat today! Reading about these grapes and those giants reminds me of a science fiction novel!

I did some more research about the Giant people that appear in the Old Testament. The Nephilim mentioned in Genesis were killed in the big flood that God caused to wipe out every living thing on the earth with the exception of the inhabitants of Noah’s Ark.

The people that Moses’s spies saw when gathering the grapes, the Giants/Nephilim, were descendants of a man named Anak. Anak was a Raphaite. The Anakites or Rephaim were Giants that are mentioned in the Old Testament several times. It appears that they finally died off because there is a scripture Deuteronomy 3:11 which states:
11 (Only Og king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaites. His bed was made of iron and was more than thirteen feet long and six feet wide.

As I think about it further, and as I mentioned yesterday, I’m assuming the Fallen Angels appeared again sometime after the flood and infiltrated the bloodline of Anak somehow?

What do you think about all of this? Can you imagine living in a land with those gigantic people with gigantic clusters of grapes? Almost makes me feel like I’m not on this earth when I read about it because the concept is so foreign. I’ll bet God’s earth looked a LOT different back in those days!




If you are interested, here are all of the scripture references of the Anakites, Nephilim, and Raphaim. Look them up if you want:
Genesis 6:1-4
Genesis 14:5
Genesis 15:20
Numbers 13
Numbers 13:33
Deuteronomy 2:11
Deuteronomy 2:10-11,20
Deuteronomy 2:18-21
Deuteronomy 3:11,13
Joshua 12:4
Joshua 13:12
Joshua 15:8
Joshua 15:13
Joshua 17:15
Joshua 18:16
2 Samuel 5:11,22

2 Samuel 21:20–21
2 Samuel 23:13
1 Chronicles 11:15
1 Chronicles 14:9
1 Chronicles 20:4

Most of the scriptures just give these giant people a brief mention. I’m assuming all were evil people like the Nephilim mentioned in Genesis, especially since Moses’s spies were told to get rid of the different people living in the land of Canaan, which included these Giants! I got most of this research from Wikipedia, so, use at your own risk! I did look up all of the scriptures but this is NOT a subject matter in which I’m an expert! If I have any facts that are wrong, then feel free to correct me! I’m willing to learn!


Sunday Brunch – Miriam – The Jealous Sister

January 10, 2016 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy



See Numbers Chapter 12, copied at the end of this blog post.

Do you remember learning about Miriam in Sunday school? It was taught how she was brave, helping to save her brother, Moses’s, life by following his basket in the river. Did you ever learn about her jealous nature?

Both Miriam and Aaron spoke against their brother, Moses. They were jealous because of his Cushite wife, and it appeared that they were angered because the Lord only seemed to speak through Moses, His humble servant.

I wondered why the Lord chose to strike Miriam with leprosy and not Aaron? Both of them spoke against Moses, so, I’d imagine both of them should have been punished. Reading the Old Testament is so mind-boggling and depressing. It’s a wondrous event that Christ came and forgave us for all our sins. I couldn’t imagine living life as they did in the Old Testament.

Why do you think that God chose to punish Miriam with leprosy and not Aaron? Was there a reason why Miriam was singled out?


Miriam and Aaron Oppose Moses

12 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife,for he had married a Cushite. “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the Lord heard this.

(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)

At once the Lord said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you.” So the three of them went out. Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them stepped forward, he said, “Listen to my words:

“When there is a prophet among you,
    I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions,
    I speak to them in dreams.
But this is not true of my servant Moses;
    he is faithful in all my house.
With him I speak face to face,
    clearly and not in riddles;
    he sees the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid
    to speak against my servant Moses?”

The anger of the Lord burned against them, and he left them.

10 When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous[a]—it became as white as snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had a defiling skin disease, 11 and he said to Moses, “Please, my lord, I ask you not to hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. 12 Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten away.”

13 So Moses cried out to the Lord, “Please, God, heal her!”

14 The Lord replied to Moses, “If her father had spit in her face, would she not have been in disgrace for seven days? Confine her outside the camp for seven days; after that she can be brought back.” 15 So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on till she was brought back.

16 After that, the people left Hazeroth and encamped in the Desert of Paran.

Sunday Brunch – Three Visitors

October 6, 2015 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Have you ever heard about breaking bread with angels? Are the three visitors in Genesis 18 angels or human beings? 

In Genesis, chapter 18, Abraham receives three visitors. From his reaction, it appears that these three visitors are holy.

He tells his wife Sarah to fix these visitors a nice meal and afterwards, they tell Abraham that his wife Sarah will be with child within the next year. They also warn about the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah.

I keep thinking about these visitors, eating a meal with Abraham. Just makes me think that angels may be among us, sharing a meal, and we might not even know it. I often think of eating as a human trait, not an angelic one. I just find it strange and surreal to imagine angels sharing meals with us, right here on earth.

So, when you discussed this Biblical passage in the past, did you ever dwell on the fact that these angels were sitting down among us, eating as humans? In the passage in chapter 18, these visitors were referred to as men. In Chapter 19, two angels are mentioned. Are the two angels mentioned in chapter 19 inclusive of the three visitors mentioned in Chapter 18? If so, why did only two of the three visitors go on to Sodom and Gomorrah? I suppose the Lord had other duties assigned to the third visitor? Abraham rushed to these visitors, and it appears that he knows that these visitors come straight from the Lord!

Please comment!


Genesis 18New International Version (NIV)

The Three Visitors

18 The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.

He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”

“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”

So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”

Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.

“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.

“There, in the tent,” he said.

10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”

Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”

13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”

But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”

Abraham Pleads for Sodom

16 When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17 Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”

20 Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”

22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. 23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare[e] the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”

“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”

29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”

He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”

30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”

He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”

He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”

32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”

He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”

33 When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.

Genesis 19New International Version (NIV)

Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed

1 The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”

But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house.He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.



Sunday Brunch! Human Sacrifice to God?

December 14, 2014 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Did the Lord command infant sacrifice in the Old Testament?

In the book of Exodus, sometime after reciting the Ten Commandments,  the Lord shared his laws with the Israelites. One of these laws were as follows (emphasis mine):

Exodus 22:29-30New International Version (NIV)

29 “Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats.

“You must give me the firstborn of your sons. 30 Do the same with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day.

Numbers 3:11-13 (NIV)

11 The LORD also said to Moses,

12 “I have taken the Levites from among the Israelites in place of the first male offspring of every Israelite woman. The Levites are mine,

13 for all the firstborn are mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set apart for myself every firstborn in Israel, whether man or animal. They are to be mine. I am the LORD.”

In the old testament, did the Lord command the Israelites to sacrifice their first child to Him?

The thought boggles my mind, leaving me feeling puzzled and uneasy. Since I’m a mom, and I only have one son, reading this scripture totally depresses me. Yes, I do realize this is before Christ came, and the laws were different, and they no longer apply to today, but, I still wonder about it.

Has anybody ever discussed this scripture in church, or some sort of Bible study class? If so, what did you discuss about this?

Please leave a comment!