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)
Old Testament rules of holiness had a vital either/or quality about them, unlike more tolerant religious rules of the present day. These older rules paint a portrait of a holy and just God, one whose will cannot be dismissed and whose word cannot be ignored. On one occasion that illustrates the stringency of these rules, a bystander tried to save the ark of the covenant from a fall, but in so doing violated the rule of holiness and lost his life (2 Samuel 6:6-7). Continue reading WHY WOULD PEOPLE DIE IF THEY GOT TOO CLOSE TO GOD?
There were several different ways of bowing in Bible times. These ranged from lowing the head to bending the knees to kneeling down before another person. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES “TOTAL BODY BOWING”
As a physical feature, darkness is nothing in and of itself. Darkness is instead defined as the absence of light. Synonymous with emptiness, darkness is used to describe the earth at the very beginning of creation when “darkness covered the deep water” (Gen 1:2). Out of this absence, the first thing God created was light. In the beginning, Scripture pictures light and darkness as balanced parts of a single day and night: “So God separated the light from the darkness. God named the light day, and the darkness he named night” Gen 1:4-5). Continue reading SIGNGS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (DARKNESS)
King David summoned Mephibosheth, the lame son of his deceased friend Jonathan, to his palace. This verse describes how Mephibosheth responded when the king offered to take care of him Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CUSRIOSITIES (A DEAD DOG)
RAPE- Crime of engaging in sexual intercourse with another without consent, by force and/or deception. Mosaic law required a man who had seduced a virgin to pay the bride price and offer to marry her (Exod 22:16-17). The rape of an engaged woman was a capital offense (Deut 22:25-27). In other cases of rape, the offender was required to Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (RAPE)
On its own, the ark was little more than an interesting piece of furniture. But the ark held the Ten Commandments and symbolized God’s presence. Any attempt to see power in the ark itself (as in the popular Indiana Jones films) is tantamount to idolatry. The people of Israel made this mistake frequently. They assumed that possession of such a powerful instrument as the ark gave them some control over God Himself, since God was obligated to guarantee the success of anyone (or any group of people) possessing it. Continue reading IF THE ARK OF THE COVENANT WAS SO SPECIAL, WHY WERE THE PHILISTINES ALLOWED TO HAVE IT?
Butter, or curds and honey were often mixed together and spread on bread, much as peanut butter and jelly are eaten together as a sandwich in modern times. It may have been a staple in the diet of children, since it is mentioned in this verse as food that a young child would eat. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (A BUTTER AND HONEY SANDWICH)
Some walled cities of Bible times had an inner wall and an outer wall for maximum protection (see note on 2 Samuel 18:24). To strengthen these walls, the space between them was filled with dirt and rubble at selected points. Houses were sometimes built right into the city wall by placing them on top of these piles of rubble. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (A HOUSE ON A WALL)
Several explanations help us understand David’s minimal but adequate preparations for history’s most famous confrontation: (1) a successful first shot may have drawn out the Philistine warriors, and David wanted ammunition until his own reserves arrived; (2) Goliath’s armor bearer might require military follow-through; or (3) David was preparing for prolonged fighting, dodging the heavily armed giant while peppering him with shot. Continue reading WHY FIVE STONES FOR DAVID’S BATTLE WITH GOLIATH?