We sometimes think of the Old Testament as a book in which God makes repeated appearances of many kinds. But when we put a time line next to the account, we quickly realize that God’s manifest presence was far more rare and purposeful than we realized. The last time God made a direct appearance in Genesis he visited Jacob in a dream (46:1-7) and assured him his family would become “a great nation” while in Egypt (v. 3). Over four hundred years would pass before God would make another recorded appearance. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (MOUNT SINAI)
To kill an innocent animal seems quite cruel. Our modern sensibilities are often by this requirement. But the lesson is this: Sin is serious! It offends a holy God. Human behavior bears consequences for all of creation. Continue reading ANIMAL SACRIFICE SEEMS BARBARIC AND PRIMITIVIE. WHY WOULD GOD REQUIRE SUCH AN UNPLEASANT RELIGIOUS EXERICSE?
When Jacob’s sons learn that their sister, Dinah, had been raped by Shechem, son of Hamor the Hivite, and that Hamor had approached their father to ask for Dinah’s hand in marriage for the offender, they stepped in and gave Shechem a condition-every male must be circumcised so the Shechemites would be like them. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (LEVI: FROM VIOLENCE TO PRIESTHOOD)
Some walled cities of Bible times had an inner wall and an outer wall for maximum protection (see note on 2 Samuel 18:24). To strengthen these walls, the space between them was filled with dirt and rubble at selected points. Houses were sometimes built right into the city wall by placing them on top of these piles of rubble. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (A HOUSE ON A WALL)
Can we feel sorry for the man who invented murder?
Sure. Cain probably felt sorry for himself. He was the first child born into mankind’s fallen state. He friends a cursed land. It would have been a difficult life. He might have felt bitter. Perhaps he felt justified in keeping his best produce for himself and offering God the rest. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (CAIN: THE “FIRST” DRIP IN THE FLOOD)