The physical act of circumcision was a sign of the covenant between of God and Israel in which he had chosen them and promised to be their God for all generations (Gen 17:10-11; Acts 7:8). In this act, the foreskin of a male child’s penis was removed (Lev 12:3). More rarely, circumcision was performed on adults. When God made his covenant promises to Abraham, he insisted that they be sealed with the physical reminder that the Israelites were a people set apart. Those who failed to comply with this condition were excluded from covenant community (Gen 17:14; Exod 12:48). Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CIRCUMSCISION)
Throughout Scripture we find the wonder and mystery of the human body, designed by God (Psa 139:13-15). Jesus created a body for himself, and Adam was the prototype. Paul described Jesus as “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” (Col 1:15). Jesus chose the human body as the from or image he would live in while on his earth mission. Our bodies become symbolic reminders that we were designed with a purpose, shaped to bye the aware and obedient servants of God, the Maker of heaven and earth. Furthermore, the fact that Jesus took on human flesh shows that through the body is dust and is wasting away (Gen 3:19; 2 Cor 4:16), it is good and useful, part of what makes us human beings in the image of God. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (BODY)
Elizabeth, mentioned only in Luke’s Gospel, was married to a priest named Zechariah. “Both were righteous in God’s sight, living without blame according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord” (Luke 1:6).
Yet in a culture where children were viewed as a primary evidence of God’s blessing, they were also childless. Elizabeth was unable to conceive. This barrenness was a source of deep disgrace to her (Luke 1:25). Only those who’ve suffered through fertility issues can fully appreciate the sting of all those unanswered prayers, the piercing pain of an empty nursery. Since Elizabeth and Zechariah “were well along in year” (Luke 1:7), it’s not unreasonable to assume that they had given up the hope of ever becoming parents. Continue reading WOMAN OF THE DAY (ELIXABETH: THE MOTHER OF JOHN THE BAPTIST)
1 SAMUEL, 25:3 – “Abigail . . . was intelligent and beautiful, but [her husband] was harsh and evil in his dealings.”
The story of Abigail is found primarily in 1 Samuel 25. We learn that she was “intelligent and beautiful” (vs3) and married to “a very rich man” (v2). They lived in Maon, and he commuted to work- he was in the sheep and goat business-in Carmel. If that’s all we knew, we’d conclude Abigail was beyond blessed. To be attractive and smart and well-to-do? Living in the suburbs? Who wouldn’t want all that? Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (ABIGAIL: MARRIED TO A FOOL)
Three of the four Gospels tell her story (Matt 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48), yet we don’t know her name. We don’t even know the name of her medical condition, only that she had some sort of incurable bleeding disorder-possibly hemophilia or, more likely, something gynecological in nature mophilia or, more likely, something gynecological in nature. Continue reading WOMAN OF THE BIBLE (A BLEEDING WOMAN)
It was customary among the Romans to scourge or flog a condemned criminal before he was executed. A scourge 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 PUNISHMENT BY SCOURGING
The last meal Jesus shared with His disciples before the crucifixion. The high point of the Bible and central event of the ages is the passion (betrayal, crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension) of Jesus Christ. All that goes before it in the Bible anticipates His coming. All that comes after presents the full meaning of the person and work of Christ. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (LAST SUPPER)
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”
Before grain was ground into flour, it was sifted in a sieve to remove any dirt or sand that had become mixed in with the grain during the harvesting process (see note on Ruth 3:2). The larger gain would remain in the sieve while the smaller dirt particles would fall through the sieve to the ground. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (A SIFTING GOD)
You’d think the almighty God could have figured out a better plan of salvation.
Something less bloody. Something that didn’t involve his Son on a slab. Continue reading WHY DID JESUS HAVE TO DIE?