One theme rings throughout this unique Bible book: Falling head over heels in love is fantastic! The pleasure of sexual intercourse is celebrated here in language that leaves no doubt. This book has been interpreted by some as an allegory, devaluing the erotic element in favor of a more vertical meaning (God’s love of Israel, for example). But the plan language of the book is devoted powerfully to celebrating God’s gift of love to a man and woman. So, let’s face it-if you’re going to meet and fall in love, do it this way.Continue reading IS EROTIC LOVE OKAY?
These verses occur in the context of presenting a sacrificial animal as an offering to the Lord. The Israelites believed the blood of such an animal was sacred, since it carried the very essence of life itself. In a sense, the blood was the ransom price that atoned for their sins. It was to be drained from the animal and poured on the ground at the base of the altar.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (EATING BLOOD FORBIDDEN)
The Old Testament story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego runs parallel to that Daniel. Like the prophet of lions’ den fame, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were Jewish captives living in Babylon. Like Daniel, they earned positions as wise and trustworthy advisers of the king of Babylon. And like him, they inspired envy and enmity among their Babylonian counterparts in the king’s government. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (SHADRACH, MESHACH, AND ABEDNEGO: INTO THE FIRE)
What is righteousness? Most of us immediately think of a person trying to keep a list of rules, like a little boy or girl who never steps over the line. When Paul speaks of righteousness in Romans, he means far more than this commonsense understanding of the word. He draws on the Old Testament concept of righteousness, which speaks of a proper relationship between God and a person, or between God and His people. Continue reading “RIGHTEOUSNESS”