The Bible depicts Barak, a military leader during the time of the judges in Israel, as a great man of faith-so great that he is mentioned by name in the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11 (v32). Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (BARAK: CLAIMING THE FULL BLESSING)
HADES- (Ha’ dez)- The Greek noun hades is used 61 times in the Greek OT (Septuagint) to translate the Hebrew term she’ ol, which refers to the grave or the realm of the dead (Gen 37:35; 1 Sam 2:6; Prov 15:24; cp Ps 16:10 and Acts 2:27, 31). Although the biblical writers were familiar with pagan concepts of a realm of departed spirits ruled by a deity (the meaning of hades in pagan Greek literature), and they occasionally alluded to such ideas, this concept is not taught in Scripture. The picture generally presented by Sheol is the tomb, where the bodies of the dead lie in silence. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY “HADES”
The first chapter of Exodus gives only a few facts about the years the Israelites spent in Egypt. If was clear from what God revealed to Abraham that they were destined to live in this country for several centuries. “Know certainly,” the Lord told Abraham, “that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years” (Genesis 15:13 NKJV). Continue reading YEARS IN EGYPT (EXODUS 1)
Before they are symbols for us, trees are examples to us. The psalm writers looked at trees and recognized that their pattern of growth and life was an expression of praise to their Creator. Psalm 96:12 declares, “Let the field and everything in them rejoice. Then all the trees in the forest will sing joyfully.” And Isaiah 55:12 says, “All the trees will clap their hands.” Trees reach upward. Even when planted crooked or sideways, a tree will bend its trunk to vertical-an amazing picture of their purpose to remind us of our own purpose to praise God always. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (TREE)
This plague consisted of a thick, heavy darkness that fell across the land of Egypt for three days (Exodus 10:22). This must have been an eerie blackness with no sliver of light, similar to the total darkness a person experiences deep within a cave when all of the lights are turned out. It was so frightening that the Egyptians did not venture outside their houses (Exodus 10:23). Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (DEEP DARKNESS)
Sometimes good motives moves us to do bad things.
Jehoshaphat was a good king of Judah who strengthened his cities and his army to the point that the surrounding kings feared to attack. He then sent his officers throughout the country with Levites and priests to teach his people the law of the Lord. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (JEHOSHAPHAT: BAD COMPANY)
The Sabbath was once-weekly rest from normal business to worship and honor God. Those who sought to gain commercial advantage during this respite were not only upsetting the community’s economy, they were also offending God. Everyone knew the Sabbath requirements, so no one in the nation could plead ignorance of this all important rule. Continue reading WHY WAS GATHERING WOOD ON THE SABBATH A CAPITAL CRIME?
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)
Gazing into someone’s eyes can make us feel as though we are seeing into the person’s soul. In the Bible, as in life, we find many types of eyes, including, beautiful eyes (Gen 29:17; Song of Sol 1:15; 4:1); prideful, arrogant eyes (Pro 6:17); lustful eyes (2 Pet 2:14); sad eyes (Ps 6:6); and desiring eyes (Zech 2:8). People who are seeking revenge take “an eye for an eye” (Exod 21:23-25; Lev 24:20; Deut 19:21). How a person judges morality is described as “doing right in [one’s] own eyes” (Judg 17:6; 21:25; 2 Kings 10:5, all ESV). This contrast with doing “what was right in the eyes of the LORD” (1 Kings 15:5, 11; 2 Kings 14:3, all ESV). The use of eyesight as an image is varied and far-reaching, but two main uses emerge in Scripture. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (EYE)
Asa set a good example for his son and successor, Jehoshaphat. As the fourth king of Judah, Jehoshaphat continued to suppress pagan worship and to encourage worship of the one true God as his father had done. He implemented a nationwide program of teaching his officials and the people of the land to practice justice and follow the Lord’s commands (2 Chronicles 17:7-9).
The king himself practiced what he preached. When confronted by a huge army composed of Edomites, Moabites, and Ammonites, he prayed to the Lord for divine assistance. “We do not know what to do,” he admitted, “but we are looking to you for help” (2 Chronicles 20:12 NLT).
His army marched off to battle with the words of a psalm on their lips. When Judah’s army arrived at the battle site, there was no battle to fight. The allied enemy army had been mysteriously ambushed by an unknown foe. This created confusion among the soldiers of the allied enemy army, and they began to slaughter one another. The only thing Jehoshaphat’s troops had to do was pick up the spoils the confused army had abandoned (2 Chronicles 20:22-25).
During Jehoshaphat’s reign the bitter feelings between Judah and Israel grew more cordial. He and Ahab, king of the Northern Kingdom, formed an alliance against their common enemy-the nation of Aram, or Syria. They attempted to recapture the city of Ramoth Gilead from the Syrians, but their campaign was not successful. As it turned out, the wicked king Ahab was killed in this battle (1 Kings 22:29-36).
Jehoshaphat died after reigning over Judah for twenty-five years. He was commended for his leadership because “he walked in the way of his father Asa” and did “what was right in the sight of the LORD” (2 Chronicles 20:32 NKJV).