In order to understand the idea of sacrifices and offerings, we must go back to the very beginning of the Bible. By Genesis 4, the first sons, Cain and Abel, were practicing an early form of sacrifice: “Later Cain brought some crops from the land as an offering to the LORD. Abel also brought some choice parts of the firstborn animals from his flock. The LORD approved of Abel and his offering, but he didn’t approved of Cain and his offering. So Cain became very angry and was disappointed” (Gen 4:3-5). From the beginning, offerings and sacrifices generally expressed two attitudes: gratitude and repentance. In the case of Cain and Abel, later history of sacrifice might lead us to think that God’s rejection of Cain’s offering was because it wasn’t a blood sacrifice, but the text doesn’t indicate such a conclusion. Cain’s offering was casual and perhaps careless; Abel’s was costly. Cain brought “some crops”; Abel presented “some choice parts.” Cain’s response to God’s correction revealed his heart. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (SACRIFICE/OFFERING)
REPENTANCE- Change of mind; also can refer to regret or remorse accompanying a realization that wrong has been done or to any shift or reversal of thought. In its biblical sense repentance refers to a deeply seated and through turning from self to God. It occurs when a radical turning of God takes places, an experience in which God is recognized as the most importance fact of one’s existence. Continue reading DEFINITON OF THE DAY “REPENTANCE”
CONGREGATION- Assembled people of God. “Congregation” translates the Hebrew words ‘edah and qahal primarily. These terms may apply to any individual or class collectively such as “the wicked” or “or hypocrites.” While ‘edah is once used to refer to a herd of bulls (Ps 68:30) and once to a swarm of bees (Judg 14:8), both words primarily describe the Israelite people as a holy people bound together by religious devotion to Yahweh rather than by political bonds. There is no apparent distinction in meaning between the two. Every circumcised Israelite was a member for the congregation, as were the women, though the congregation is offten called “the sons of Israel” (Exod 16:1-9 NASB). The congregation was subdivided into the tribe and then the most basic unit, the family. The congregation of Israel functioned in military, legal, and punishment matters.
Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (CONGREGATION)
It was customary among the Romans to scourge or flog a condemned criminal before he was executed. A scourage was a whip with sharp pieces of metal or bone imbedded in the leather. The back and chest of the criminal were struck repeatedly with this whip until the flesh was severely lacerated, sometimes all the way down to the bone. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES “PUNISHMENT BY SCOURGING”
SORROW- Emotional, mental, or physical pain or stress. Hebrew does not have a general word for sorrow. Rather it uses about 15 different words to express the different dimensions of sorrow. Some speak to emotional pain (Ps 13:2). Trouble and sorrow were not meant to be part of the human experience. Humanity’s sin brought sorrow to them (Gen 3:16-19). Sometimes God was seen as chastising His people for their sin (Amos 4:6-12). To remove sorrow, the prophets urged repentance that led to obedience (Joel 2:12-13; Hos 6:6). Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SORROW)
The Israelites found themselves in the midst of a Canaanite culture that was awash in pagan immorality. These heathen nations had merged spirituality with sensuality to create a very alluring and very dangerous combination. To keep His people from joining this around-the-clock celebration of perversion, God decreed severe punishment for those guilty of sexual sin. Continue reading WHY WERE PENALTIES FOR SEXUAL SIN SO SEVERE?
HADES- (Ha’ dez)- The Greek noun hades is used 61 times in the Greek OT (Septuagint) to translate the Hebrew term she’ ol, which refers to the grave or the realm of the dead (Gen 37:35; 1 Sam 2:6; Prov 15:24; cp Ps 16:10 and Acts 2:27, 31). Although the biblical writers were familiar with pagan concepts of a realm of departed spirits ruled by a deity (the meaning of hades in pagan Greek literature), and they occasionally alluded to such ideas, this concept is not taught in Scripture. The picture generally presented by Sheol is the tomb, where the bodies of the dead lie in silence. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY “HADES”
CIVIL RIGHTS- Basis for civil rights is grounded in the impartiality of God (Deut 10:7-18; Acts 10:34; cp. Luke 20:21), in the created order by which all persons are made in the image of God (Gen 1:27-28; 9:6), and in the redemptive work of Christ (Gal 3:28). Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (CIVIL RIGHTS)
ACTS 18:26- [Apollos] began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (AQUILA: A RADICAL APPROACH TO HIS MINISTRY)
The concept of transparency, which is technically not a color, is relatively rare in the Bible. The idea is mostly connected with the marvels of crystal, a hard substance that can be seen through. It provided a measure of clarity, but was considered a gem. Glass was still practically unknown. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CLEAR/CRYSTAL/TRANSPARENT)