In this verse, Amos charged the wealthy class of the nation of Israel (the Northern Kingdom) with oppression the poor and worshiping pagan gods.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (OPPRESSION OF THE POOR)
As students , we learned to raise our hand in the classroom to gain recognition to speak. The en masse raising of hands at a sporting event signals celebration. Neither of these forms of hand raising are apparent in the art and literature of the ancient Near East, but we do find both morals and gods depicted with uplifted hands in a variety of scenarios.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (HANDS “TO RAISE OR STRETCH OUT” PT 1 OF 3)
Isn’t it amazing how an entire life can change in a moment? That’s the way it happened for the unnamed woman we meet in John 4.Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (THE SAMARITAN WOMAN “MEETING THE THIRST QUENCHER”)
Most Christians approach this topic from one of three viewpoints. One group sees all the gifts mentioned in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4 as still operative today. Another group says that the more spectacular, so-called “sign” gifts (prophecy, tongues, healing) were given only for the beginning era of the church (people who hold this position are called “cessationists”). Still others teach that all the gifts were temporary in nature.Continue reading WHAT SHOULD WE BELIEVE ABOUT SPIRITUAL GIFTS?
Sailors of ancient times tended to be very superstitious because of their constant exposure to the dangers of the sea. When a storm struck the ship in which Jonah was escaping from the call of the Lord, they assumed the pagan gods were punishing them because of their displeasure with one person on board.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (SUPERSTITIOUS SAILORS)
This verse shows God’s desire that cities of refuge be established throughout the land once the Israelites had conquered and settled the land of Canaan. Any person who caused the accidental death of another could seek refuge in one of these cities until it was determined through due process what punishment, if any, should be levied against him.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (ACCIDENTAL DEATH)
Artisans of the past were occasionally commissioned by their benefactors to create works of art that delivered messages and captured beauty. One mode of delivery was engraving: the incising of words or images into clay, wood, stone, or metal. The process of engraving began with the purchase or production of the necessary tools for the job. The engraving tool could be a reed stylus, metal chisel, or flint point (Job 19:24; Jer 17:1), depending on the hardness of theContinue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (ENGRAVE 1 OF 2)
Essential part of Jewish life in Bible times. According to Eccles. 3:4, there is “a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (NASB). Dances were performed on both sacred and secular occasions, though the Hebrew mind would not likely have thought in these terms.Continue reading DEFINITOIN OF THE DAY (DANCING)
These verses occur in the context of presenting a sacrificial animal as an offering to the Lord. The Israelites believed the blood of such an animal was sacred, since it carried the very essence of life itself. In a sense, the blood was the ransom price that atoned for their sins. It was to be drained from the animal and poured on the ground at the base of the altar.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (EATING BLOOD FORBIDDEN)
When Jesus makes a promise, He keeps it. Previous generations thought they would see Jesus’ return, but they did not. Through this long wait, God has been faithful to His people. The church has grown. God’s family is getting larger.Continue reading DOES IT REALLY MATTER THAT MUCH IF JESUS EVER COMES BACK TO EARTH?