Any description of God will necessarily use terms and ideas solidly anchored in humor experience. Our own experience, after all, is our only reference point for knowing God. It should be no surprise, then, that most of the emotions people feel are attributed to God at some time: jealousy, fatigue, rapture, love, and even hate. Continue reading IS GOD CAPABLE OF HATE AS WELL AS LOVE? (PSALM 5:5)
Old Testament rules of holiness had a vital either/or quality about them, unlike more tolerant religious rules of the present day. These older rules paint a portrait of a holy and just God, one whose will cannot be dismissed and whose word cannot be ignored. On one occasion that illustrates the stringency of these rules, a bystander tried to save the ark of the covenant from a fall, but in so doing violated the rule of holiness and lost his life (2 Samuel 6:6-7). Continue reading WHY WOULD PEOPLE DIE IF THEY GOT TOO CLOSE TO GOD?
Hebrew term with several meanings. 1. Seventh son of Ishmael (Gen 25:14; 1 Chron 1:30). 2. Arab tribe perhaps descended from 1. The Massa are listed among the people who paid tribute to King Tiglath-pileaser III (745-727 bc) of Assyria. Some interpret the use of Massa in the titles of collections of proverbs (Prov 30:1; 31:1) as referring to the Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY “MASS”
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)
40. Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.
41. Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word.
42. So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word. Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (PSALM 119:40-45)
9. A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.
10. A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.
11. A just weight and balance are the LORD’S: all the weights of the bag are his work. Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (PROVERBS 16:9-12)
The harvest and preparation of grain for use as food requires the separation of the kernels from the stalks on which they grow. Because most harvesting today is done mechanically, the significance of a threshing floor and its usefulness as a symbol is somewhat lost to us. A threshing floor was a large, open, hard surface, so threshing floors were often located on hilltops. After bundles of stalks were laid on the surface of the Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (THRESHING FLOOR)
We should note at the outset that in the era before clocks and precise record keeping, numbers were often an estimation. Three and five signified a little, and forty a lot more. That is not to say that forty was never an accurate number, only that precision was not the intent of biblical authors. Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS & SYMBOLS (FORTY)
Brimstone, literally “the stone that burns” is another name for the mineral sulfur. It is found at the surface around the Dead Sea, where it was deposited during the breakdown of sedimentary rocks, Sulfur, when burned, produces an acrid and poisonous smoke. It was sometimes used as a disinfectant, as a fumigant, or as an antiparasitic. It was also associated with volcanic activity. Sulfur’s distinctive odor is present in odorized natural gas, skunk spray, grapefruit, and garlic. It was also used to make the most effective black gunpowder. Today it is used in fertilizer and pesticides, and is also an essential mineral for the human body. Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (BRIMSTONE)
In the ancient world fish were a staple food and fishing was a common occupation. Of Jesus’ twelve disciples, seven of them worked as fishermen. Jesus commissioned these men using familiar symbolism, saying, “Come, follow me! I will teach you how to catch people instead of fish” (Matt 4:19). The fishing profession that was their livelihood became a symbol for their new calling of spreading the good news of salvation. Both at
Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (FISH)