Writing to the Corinthian church, Paul tells married couples to stay together (1 Corinthians 7:10-11). Jesus also taught that marriage is permanent (Matthew 19:3-9). Paul states that having a non-Christian spouse is not a valid reason for divorce. If the unbelieving spouse deserts and will not return, Paul makes an allowance for the dissolution of the marriage. Jesus, meanwhile, listed unfaithfulness as another ground for divorce. Continue reading WHEN IS DIVORCE ALLOWED?
Many a marriage has fizzled because both husband and wife latch onto the nation of submission, and both are destroyed by it. The husband may like the feeling of dominance, but he discovers too late he no longer has any emotional tie with his wife. Sometimes, tragically, the husband’s sense of dominance becomes perverted and hurtful. Sometimes a wife submits as a survival strategy, fails to grow as a person, loses her love for the man, questions her value as a believer, and settles into a half-life of emotional and spiritual solitude. But submission is meant to help a marriage, not hurt it. So how does it work? Continue reading IF A WIFE IS TO SUBMIT TO HER HUSBAND, HOW MUCH? IN WHAT AREAS? AT WHAT COST?
Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Those words would have made a good motto for Israel during its period of the judges. The seemingly endless cycle in which the Israelites found themselves went like this: The people of Israel would rebel against God, so God would allow their enemies often the Philistines-to mistreat them. After serval decades of oppression, the Israelites would call out to God for help. Then God would send a judge-a military leader-to deliver them from their enemies. One of the last of these judges was Samson. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (SAMSON: A STRONG AND WEAK MAN)
Sex is such a strong instinct that it affects every other motivation and loyalty. Biologists are just now discovering how the sex drive governs social organization in animal species from monkeys to dolphins. All animals live in hierarchies, and those hierarchies govern who mate with whom. Sex affects everything. Continue reading WHY IS SEXUAL PURITY SO IMPORTANT “1 THESSALONIANS 4:3-8”
Israel’s greatest problem throughout its history was syncrestism-the mixing of pagan religion with worship of the true God. God judged Israel severely for failing to keep worship clean and pure. And one of the easiest inroads to Israel’s heart was through intermarriage with pagan peoples. Ezra knew this well, thus his vehement and emotional opposition to takign foreign spuses. Continue reading WHY WAS EZRA SO UPSET ABOUT MIXED MARRIAGE? EZRA 9
Eve enjoys the distinction of being the first woman-in all of human history. Talk about special. Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE “EVE, THE MOTHER OF HUMANKIND”
The Israelites found themselves in the midst of a Canaanite culture that was awash in pagan immorality. These heathen nations had merged spirituality with sensuality to create a very alluring and very dangerous combination. To keep His people from joining this around-the-clock celebration of perversion. God decreed severe punishment for those guilty of sexual sin. Continue reading WHY WERE PENALTIES FOR SEXUAL SIN SO SEVERE? (LEVITICUS 18:29)
Ancient Israelites attached a severe social stigma to rape. A young woman victim was “ruined”-she became an outcast with no means of financial support and no prospects for a family of her own. So the law imposed on the perpetrator the responsibility of care for the victim-providing her a home and family-at considerable cost to him. Such an arrangement also reduced the need of the victim’s family to seek forcible revenge, thus sparing the culture much violence. Continue reading OLD TESTAMENT LAW REQUITES A MAN WHO RAPES A VIRGIN TO MARRY HER. WHY FORCE THE VICTIM OF SUCH A TERRIBLE CRIME MARRY THE PERPETRATOR?
Laban was the brother of Jacob’s mother, Rebekah (Genesis 29:10). This relationship would have made Laban’s daughter Rachel-the woman whom Jacob wanted to marry-Jacob’s first cousin. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (MARRIAGE AMONG RELATIVES)
Sheep appear more often than any other animal in the pages of the Bible, mentioned over seven hundred times. They often represent people, and in a special case, one particular person (discussed below). Sheep are gentle and social creatures that function best in a flock, but their individual tendencies lead them to wander. That combination requires an attentive shepherd to guide and tend a large flock. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (LAMB/SHEEP)