Today intentional abstention from food and drink for a given period of time is more likely associated with preparation for a medical test or in conjunction with a weight-loss plan than with spiritual development. But in the Bible, the physical act of fasting was employed in order to enrich an awareness of mortal vulnerability and to sharpen awareness of the Lord’s ability to provide.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (FAST PT 1 OF 3)
It’s one thing to speak the truth to people in power when you have nothing to lose. It’s quite another to speak the truth when you have everything to lose. The Old Testament prophet Nathan faced the prospect of losing everything, including his life, if he spoke the truth to the most powerful man in Israel. Yet that was exactly what God called him to do.Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (NATHAN)
Many Christians feel that dancing is wrong, the vertical substitute for horizontal immorality. This verse certainly speak to the dangers of dance. Captivated by the sensuality of dance, Herod made a foolish promise that he had to keep for political reasons. John the Baptist lost his life because of a sexy dance.Continue reading IS DANCING RIGHT OR WRONG?
Hushai was a friend and supporter of King David. During Absalom’s rebellion (2 Sam 15:30). Hushai expressed his sorrow over David’s exile by tearing his clothes (Gen 37:34) and throwing dust on his head.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (DUST ON THE HEAD)
While the Hebrews of the Exodus were still camped in what is now Jordan, their leader, Joshua, sent two spies to scout the fortified border town of Jericho.
The spies went straight to the house of a prostitute, Rahab, And they spent the night.Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (RAHAB)
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)
There are a number of cautionary tales in the Bible, but few are as seamy and sad as this one.
Looking down on the city of Jerusalem form the atop his royal palace one fine spring evening, Israel’s King David spotted a fine young woman. She wasn’t merely attractive; she was “very beautiful.” And, of all the things she might have been doing, she was bathing. Continue reading WOMAN OF THE DAY (BATHSHEBA: THE VERY BEAUTIFUL WOMAN WITH THE VERY TRAGIC LIFE)
We all have someone in our lives with whom a close relationship seems impossible. Maybe it’s a sibling, a parent, a child, or even a spouse. For whatever reasons, we just can’t seem to get along. Outside of our families, most of us have other difficult relationships-with bosses, neighbors, business associates, coworkers, clients. Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (RUTH: THE DREAM DAUGHTER-IN-LAW)
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)
The “vinegar” that Boaz offered Ruth was probably a drink similar to wine that had been fermented longer than usual until it developed a sour taste. This is the same type of drink that was offered to Jesus on the cross (Matthew 27:34, 48). Continue reading SOUR WINE AND ROASTED GRAIN