I Corinthians 10:31

Give Thanks (2011) (6″ x 4″)
collage on wood panel
”So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”  It is hard for us to apply Paul’s words to every activity in our daily life since much of it seems to have little or nothing to do with God. Paul, however, is exhorting us to consider God and his daily provision for us constantly in these very activities.

I Kings 7

The precious vessels of the Lord that are described in verses 48-50 of this chapter are a source of temptation for both Israel’s leaders (who love to show them off to visitors as if they were their own possession) and for neighboring rulers (who later took them to be used for profane purposes, as described in a recent post).

The time, talents and treasures that God gives us are to be held in trust and used for the benefit of His kingdom.

 Vessels of the Lord (2011) (6″ x 4″)
collage on wood panel

The Structure of Genesis

The Book of Genesis is divided into 10 separate sections, each basically beginning with the phrase “These are the generations of.”  A careful analysis shows that in each of these literary units there is a form of symmetry in the various stories and the way they are told. This symmetry is barely perceptible in the first few units and slowly evolves as one proceeds into the book. The last section, the Joseph saga, is beautifully arranged in terms of large literary units, intermediate ones, and right down to individual verses. In other words, structure evolves from chaos just as God created order out of disorder.

Conquering Chaos (2009) (32″ x 16 1/2″)
construction in type case

Daniel 5

The phrase “handwriting on the wall” comes from this eerie story of a disembodied hand writing four words on the wall of King Belshazzar’s palace, spelling out his fate.  The reason for God’s judgment on him was that he had taken the sacred vessels captured by his father from the Temple in Jerusalem and used them for profane purposes.

 Handwriting on the Wall (2004) (14 1/2″ x 30″)
collage and acrylic on canvas

Daniel 10

The last three chapters of Daniel constitute a single vision. The vision is inaugurated by the appearance of a man clothed in linen with a belt of gold. Most scholars feel this is the angel Gabriel. His description is similar to those found in Exekiel 9 and Revelation 1. All three books fall into the category of apocalyptic literature– a literary genre that differs in many ways from that of prophecy. One of the distinctions between the two is illustrated in Daniel 9: Prophecy is usually given orally to a man directly from God while in apocalyptic literature, it is an intermediary who does the revealing and it is in the form of visions.

Behold, A Man (2004) (14 1/2″ x 30″)
mixed media on canvas

Daniel 2

This chapter tells the story of King Nebuchadnezzar and his dream of a statue with feet of clay. Daniel receives the meaning of the vision in a dream. Its interpretation involves four kingdoms, the last of which will be destroyed by a non-human force.  This the first of several such visions in Daniel, each of which appears to cover the same basic time frame but each one advancing slightly chronologically.

Such a phenomenon is called progressive recapitulation, which is also the most compelling theory on how the visions in the Book of Revelation should be viewed. This is in contradiction to the more common view that the whole book should be viewed as visions set out in a strictly chronological manner.

Feet of Clay (2004) (14 1/2″ x 30″)
mixed media on canvas

The Beatitudes (John)

When you think of Beatitudes, the Book of Revelation seldom comes to mind. However, there are just as many Beatitudes (blessings) found there as in the Sermon on the Mount–count them some time.

Beatitudes (John) (2013) (12″ x 12″)
collage and acrylic on canvas

The Beatitudes (Luke)

The beatitudes found in Luke’s version of the Sermon on the Mount (Luke 6:20-26) different somewhat from those in Matthew’s account. For one thing, only about half of Matthew’s beatitudes are included. Also, Luke gives a corresponding curse with each beatitude for those who do not heed. This different structure is reflected in the abstract composition below.

Beatitudes (Luke) (2013) (12″ x 12″)
collage on canvas

The Beatitudes (Matthew)

 Beatitudes (Matthew) (2013) (12″ x 12″)
collage and acrylic on canvas
The most familiar beatitudes are found in Mark’s Gospel, Chapter 5. It is a perfect way for Jesus to begin his Sermon on the Mount, with God’s promises before leading into the demands on a follower.

Jeremiad

The term above is generally applied to extended laments in the style of Jeremiah the prophet. In the picture below, however, I apply it to the whole saga of Jeremiah’s life much as the Aeneid portrays the life of Aeneas.

Jeremiad (2013) (24″ x 18″)
collage and acrylic on canvas