After His birth in a stable in Bethlehem, the baby Jesus was placed in a manger, a feeding trough for livestock. This manger may have been hewed out of rock. Stone mangers about tree feet long, eighteen inches wide, and two feet deep have been discovered in the ruins of King Ahab’s stables at the ancient city of Megiddo.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (A KING IN A STABLE)
Solomon’s list of times and “seasons” must be viewed within the larger context of life an history. He is not necessarily saying, “Hey, it’s twelve o’clock, time to kill-so go out and bump someone off.” Rather, Solomon insists that human life takes place within a larger framework of events that repeat down through history: laughter, tears, killing, healing, destruction, building, death, birth.Continue reading AGAINST SO MANY BIBLICAL COMMANDS, HOW CAN SOLOMON ADVISE THAT THERE IS A TIME TO KILL, TO TEAR DOWN, AND TO HATE?
It’s one thing to speak the truth to people in power when you have nothing to lose. It’s quite another to speak the truth when you have everything to lose. The Old Testament prophet Nathan faced the prospect of losing everything, including his life, if he spoke the truth to the most powerful man in Israel. Yet that was exactly what God called him to do.Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (NATHAN)
Two prostitute roommates had babies within three days of each other. While sleeping one night, one prostitute rolled over on her son and accidentally suffocated him. She quietly swapped sons with the other woman, and insisted it was her baby. The other woman knew better.
Two women and a baby showed up in Solomon’s court.Continue reading SOLOMON AT HIS WISESET
10 Moreover the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying,
11 Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.
12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord. Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (ISAIAH 7:10-17: THE SIGN OF IMMANUEL)
Elevate site, usually found on the top of a mountain or hill; most high places were Canaanite places of pagan worship.
HEATHEN WORSHIP AT THE HIGH PLACE: The average high place would have an altar (2 Kings 21:3; 2 Chron 14:3), a carved wooden pole that depicted the female goddess of fertility (Asherah), a stone pillar symbolizing the male deity (2 Kings 3:2), other idols (2 Kings 12:31; 13:32; 16:32-33). At these places of worship the people sacrificed animals (at some high places children were sacrificed according to Jer 7:31), burned incense to their gods, prayed, ate sacrificial meals, and were involved with male or female cultic Continue reading DEFINITON OF THE DAY (HIGH PLACE)
Birth is our universal means of arrival in life. We can’t begin to experience all that life has to offer until we have passed through the moment of birth. Life has a formative phase in the womb that the psalmist describes beautifully: Continue reading SINGS AND SYMBOLS (BIRTH)
As epithets go, it’s hard to beat God’s description of David book of Acts: “a man loyal to [God].” A glimpse into David’s life reveals what it takes to be awarded such a designation. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (DAVID: A MAN LOYAL TO GOD)
The very name Bethlehem immediately awakens thoughts of carol lyrics and the story of Christmas. Yet the tale of that little town reaches far back into history, when the Promised Land was just a promise. The village is first mentioned, almost as a sad footnote, in the itinerary of Jacob’s trip back from Haran with his growing family, only to have his beloved Rachel go into labor just outside Ephrath (Gen 35:16) and die while giving birth to the youngest of the patriarch’s sons, Benjamin. Her burial place is identified as Bethlehem (Gen 35:19). Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (BETHLEHEM)