Minister Hugh Bradford delivered a fascinating, often humorous sermon Friday during our quarterly Pastors’ Aid Service at MPWOC.  He spoke about the relevance of the number 8 in the Bible in his sermon, titled “A New Beginning, a New Order, a New Era.”

Here are some of the meanings regarding the number 8 Minister Bradford shared:

  • In Hebrew, the number 8 means “one who abounds in strength.”
  • 8 is 7 plus 1, so the number is associated with completion (7) and the beginning (1), signifying a new era.
  • In the flood, Noah was the eighth person (2 Peter 2:5) to start the new order. In 1 Peter 3:20, there were eight souls who passed through it with Noah to the new world.
  • Circumcision was to be performed on the eighth day (Genesis 17:12), because it foreshadowed the true circumcision of the heart – also linked to a new beginning.
  • Jesus’ transfiguration took place on the eighth day.

Minister Bradford also spoke passionately about the importance of tithing. “Stop stealing from God,” he said. “He wants us to start going to him and stop stealing from him.” When you pay someone else for something out of money you should use for tithes, guess what’s going to happen? That person is going to use your money to pay his own tithes, he said.

Toward the end, Minister Bradford shared the joke about the parrot and the Rottweiler. If you haven’t heard it before, here’s a version from the internet:

A burglar broke into a house one night. He shone his flashlight around, looking for valuables; and when he picked up a CD player to place in his sack, a strange, disembodied voice echoed from the dark saying, “Jesus is watching you.”

He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight off, and froze. When he heard nothing more after a bit, he shook his head, promised himself a vacation after the next big score, then clicked the light on and began searching for more valuables.

Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he heard, “Jesus is watching you.” Freaked out, he shone his light around frantically, looking for the source of the voice.

Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot perked on the top of a cage. “Did you say that?”, he hissed at the parrot.

“Yep,” the parrot confessed, then continued, “I’m just trying to warn you.”

The burglar relaxed. “Warn me, huh? Who in the world are you?”

“Moses,” replied the bird.

“Moses?”—the burglar laughed. “What kind of weirdo would name a bird Moses?”

“The kind of weirdo that would name a Rottweiler, Jesus,” loudly squawked the parrot.

Scripture references in Minister Bradford’s sermon also included Exodus 20:13-15, 2 Colossians 2:11, Exodus 22:29-30, Psalm 55:13, Philippians 2:6, John 10:10 and Malachi 3:8-10.