Garments are used as biblical symbols in almost as many ways as there are styles of clothing. Clothes are used as expression of socioeconomics status, spiritual well-being, and emotional state. They can protect, conceal, or display an inner reality of the wearer. They can last for a long time or wear out quickly (Neh 9:21; Matt 6:19). They can consist of leaves (Gen 3:7), animal skin (Gen 3:21; Matt 3:4), rags (Isa 64:6), pure white linen (Dan 7:9; Rev 19:14), or anything in between. They can be literal or figurative. Yet despite al this variety, the use of clothing as a symbol falls into a few set patterns that yield a wealth of insight. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CLOTHING)
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)
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)
SORROW- Emotional, mental, or physical pain or stress. Hebrew does not have a general word for sorrow. Rather it uses about 15 different words to express the different dimensions of sorrow. Some speak to emotional pain (Ps 13:2). Trouble and sorrow were not meant to be part of the human experience. Humanity’s sin brought sorrow to them (Gen 3:16-19). Sometimes God was seen as chastising His people for their sin (Amos 4:6-12). To remove sorrow, the prophets urged repentance that led to obedience (Joel 2:12-13; Hos 6:6). Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SORROW)
Yes and no. Yes, prayer can cure sickness. In prayer we ask God to extend help, especially when we feel helpless. God answers prayers, often providing what we ask, sometimes not, but always giving what is best-even if that answer hurts. God heals the sick. Jesus showed us that in person. Healing is a miracle, though medical science plays its part, too. It’s important to remember that God, not our prayer to God, is the healing agent. Continue reading CAN PRAYER CURE SICKNESS?
Solomon, the Teacher, remarks that the increase of knowledge and wisdom only brings greater grief and sorrow. The state of affairs naturally begs the question: Why be educated? Why not live out your life in happy ignorance? Continue reading IF KNOWLEDGE BRINGS GRIEF, WHY SHOULD ANYONE BE EDUCATED?