1. Introducing Nebuzaradan

I used to often walk past the Ministry of Defence building in Whitehall in London. There are some statues along the front of the building, one of which is of Field Marshall Alanbrooke. At the time of the second world war, Field Marshall Alanbrooke had the title of CIGS: Chief of the Imperial General Staff – he was the head of the British Army. Nebuzaradan was the head of the Babylonian army and he took the title Commander of the Imperial Guard – perhaps he might have abbreviated his title to CIG had he lived in our times.

In the time of the early church, the apostle Paul appeared before the Jewish King Agrippa to give an account of himself after his arrest. As Paul spoke in his defence, he recounted how he had come from being a persecutor of Christians to a believer himself. His message was: “I preached that men should repent and turn to God and live lives to prove their change of heart

Statisticians speak of continuous variables, categorical variables and dichotomous variables. This is simpler than it sounds!

In our response to God, there often seems to be a ‘point of decision’ in our lives. Leading up to that point are opportunities to think about and consider the decision but inevitably a crisis point arrives when the decision must be made. If one actively rejects God, it becomes increasingly difficult, perhaps almost impossible to reverse that decision.

The Lord had offered the king of Judah, Zedekiah, a choice. He could surrender to the Babylonian army and live or he could resist and die.

It was back in the late 1960s that I recall with great clarity annual Sunday school prizegiving days. Prizes were awarded for attendance and learning bible verses. It seems like a million years ago now! And I suppose that many people today would frown upon such a practice as being unfair and unkind to those children who did not receive a prize. The principle, however, is a biblical one – faithfulness is valued by God and is rewarded by him.