Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Burton Coffman and the Middle East

Yesterday on Preacher Mike’s blog I included a memory I have of Burton Coffman who passed away at 101 years old this summer.

I was a senior Bible major at Ohio Valley in the early 1980’s and Bro. Coffman was speaking on the spring lectures there. I was asked to pick up Bro. Coffman from the airport and take him to dinner at Shoney’s.

I picked him up - no problem - and immediately discerned that he was a character. We sat down in a crowded Shoney’s surrounded by folks who were in town for some kind of Baptist church function.

Bro. Coffman starts schooling me from the Old Testament and he reached a crescendo with: “Solomon never had authorization from God to build a temple in Jerusalem!”

Silence across the restaurant. You could have heard a pin drop.

Everyone looked in our direction and Bro. Coffman said, “It’s true, it’s true, the house God promised through David’s ‘son’ was Jesus Christ and his Kingdom.”

And everybody looked around and kind of acknowledged, “Hmm, okay, that makes sense.” and went on with eating their dinners.

Now, think about that…

What if Solomon had never built the temple?

What if the people of God had continued to move about with the tabernacle and the spiritual understanding that they were just strangers and pilgrims in this world?

What if they had resisted the temptation to be like the other nations with a Kingdom and King and trusted solely in God to lead them?

Where would Palestine be today?

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