Saul was a young man dutifully searching for his father’s stray donkeys. Samuel was the renowned prophet, priest, and judge of Israel reluctantly searching for his nation’s first king. When their paths crossed, the course of Israel’s history changed dramatically.
Samuel had served as the Lord’s representative leader of Israel for decades, but he was growing old. When his sons proved to be unfit to succeed him, the people of Israel demanded that a king be appointed to rule over them. They were envious of the monarchies common in surrounding nations.
Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (SAUL: WRESTILING WITH DEOMONS)
The term divination, as used in this passage, refers to attempts to control evil spirits, to penetrate the mysteries of the universe, or to foretell the future by using magical acts, pronouncing superstitious incantations, or interpreting natural signs. Today we refer to such practices as “the occult.” “Black magic” was a prominent feature of pagan religious systems in Bible times. But God prohibited the Israelites from participating in these practices. Seven different types of divination are mentioned in this passage.
Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (NO BLACK MAGIC)
Devastating epidemic that OT writers understand to be sent by God (Exod 9:15; Jer 15:2; Hab 3:5; Amos 4:10), sometimes by means of a destroying angel (2 Sam 24:16; 1 Chron 21:15). God sent pestilence as punishment for persistent unbelief (Num 14:21) and failure to fulfill covenant obligations (Deut 28:21) as well as to encourage repentance (Amos 4:10). God withheld
Continue reading DEFINITON OF THE DAY (PESTILENCE)
According to John’s Gospel, this was Jesus’ first appearance to HIs disciples after His resurrection. His first word to them was the common greeting used by the Jewish people of that day-a wish for their peace, wholeness, and well-being.
Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (SUPERNATUREAL PEACE)
Salt added flavor to food, and it was also used to preserve meat in a society in which refrigeration and cold storage did not exist.
Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (SALT OF THE EARTH)
This verse refers to the humiliation of the nobility of Judah by the army of Babylon after the fall of Jerusalem. Were these princes, or nobles, executed and then hung up by their hands as a public example? Or were they tied and hung up by the hands as a form of torture? We don’t know.
Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (HANGING BY THE HAND)
COMPANIONSHIP – Whereas the creation of male and female mankind was “very good” (Gen 1:31), the creation of the male alone had not yet fulfilled God’s purpose for man as the image of God (Gen 2:18). This expresses no failure on God’s part; instead, it instructs us that a male creature alone is not the perfect creation that God had in mind. Adam needed a wife to be all that God intended him to be, as is normally the case with all men unless God grants otherwise (Matt 19:10-12; 1 Cor 7:6-7). The same, of course, would be true of the woman whom God made for the man (1 Cor 11:9).
Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (MARRIAGE “COMPANIONSHIP”)
During Bible times, the Holy Land was still occupied by lions. These majestic animals, then as now, do not typically prey on humans, though older or disabled lions sometimes see people as easy food to capture. Observable lion behavior lies behind the comparisons that we find in the Scriptures. Their roaring tends to provoke fear (Amos 3:8), so Peter can write, “Keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling
Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (LION)
Jeremiah compared the wailing of the people of Judah over God’s punishment to laments at a funeral. The Jewish people were known for the loud and bitter mourning over the death of loved one (read 2 Sam 19:4). Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (MOURNING FOR PAY)
Garments are used as biblical symbols in almost as many ways as there are styles of clothing. Clothes are used as expression of socioeconomics status, spiritual well-being, and emotional state. They can protect, conceal, or display an inner reality of the wearer. They can last for a long time or wear out quickly (Neh 9:21; Matt 6:19). They can consist of leaves (Gen 3:7), animal skin (Gen 3:21; Matt 3:4), rags (Isa 64:6), pure white linen (Dan 7:9; Rev 19:14), or anything in between. They can be literal or figurative. Yet despite al this variety, the use of clothing as a symbol falls into a few set patterns that yield a wealth of insight. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CLOTHING)