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)
Ishmael was a Jewish zealot who rebelled against the rule of Babylonia in the chaotic period after Judah fell to the Babylonian army. These ten men agreed to give Ishmael some food supplies that they had hidden in their fields if he would spare their lives. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (BURIED FOOD)
Contaminated water was a problem in Bible times, just as it still is in many parts of the world. Paul’s practical advice to Timothy was to drink a little wine along with the water that he had been drinking, which had caused a stomach ailment. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (MEDICINAL USE OF WINE)
The Bible provides examples of both effective and ineffective financial planning in the face of economic adversity. Examples of good financial planning include Joseph’s preparation for famine in Egypt (Gen 41:34-36), the servants who wisely invested their master’s money (Luke 19:13-19), and the Corinthian believers who laid aside money to help others (1 Cor 16:1-2; cp 2 Cor 9:1-5). Proverbs 27:23-27 counsels a shepherd to know well the condition of his flocks so that they will provide for him in the future, Diversification of investments is advised in Eccles 11:2. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (FINANCIAL PLANNING)
This verse shows the determination of the friends of a disable man to get him to Jesus for healing. They brought their friends in a blanket or pallet to the house where Jesus was teaching. Unable to get into the building because of the crowd, they climbed an exterior stairway to the roof. After ripping a hole in the roof, they lowered him down to Jesus. Continue reading GOING TRHOUGH THE ROOF
Paul was no chauvinist. He taught the spiritual equality of women and men (Gen 3:28) and wrote eloquently about husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church-sacrificially and unconditionally (Ephesians 5:25-33). But to a church in a corrupt culture where marriages were in disarray, the brave Paul argued that submission was essential for any institution-government, church, or family. Without authority, chaos reigns. Continue reading WHY DID PAUL SPEAK SO MUCH ABOUT WIVES SUBMITTING TO THEIR HUSBANDS?
This verse is part of Isaiah’s prophecy of doom against Egypt. God’s punishment would be so devastating that it would spoil the Egyptian fishing industry. Fish taken from the Nile River and it’s tributaries were a staple of this ancient nation’s diet. Continue reading FISHING, EGYPTIAN STYLE
Characteristic of human and animal populations (Gen 10; Acts 17:26-27). Out of His richness God created an unfathomable number of creatures to fill the earth (Gen 1:11-12, 20-22,24-25) and respond to Him in praise (Ps 148). Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (DIVERSITY)
The sheer unlikelihood of this event has caused many to interpret Jonah’s book as allegory or parable, not history as such. Indeed, no other account exists of a human being surviving such an event. Did it really happen to Jonah, and if so, how did he survive? Continue reading HOW CAN A PERSON SURVIVE SEVENTY-TWO HOURS INSIDE A FISH?
These “wise men” were members of a priestly caste known as the Magi who practiced the art of astrology. They believed the sun, moon, and stars gave off periodic signs that foretold future events and the destiny of individuals and nations. They probably came from the territory of ancient Babylonia, since this nation had a prominent class of magicians and wizards who read the signs of the stars (Isa 47:13). Continue reading WORSHIPERS FORM AFAR