Israel’s greatest problem throughout its history was syncretism-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 people’s Ezra knew this well, thus his vehement and emotional opposition to taking foreign spouses. Continue reading WHY WAS EZRA SO UPSET ABOUT MIXED MARRIAGES?
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)
In addition to rebuilding Jerusalem in a physical sense, Nehemiah was also concerned for the spiritual rebuilding of his people. He was so angry toward the Jewish men who had married pagan woman-a-flagrant disobedience of God’s command (Joshua 23:12-13)-that he beat some of them and pulled out their hair. This violent and serious punishment showed the severity of their sin. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (A SEVERE PUNISHMENT)
The custom described in this verse is known as the law of levirate marriage. If a man died and he and his wife had no children, his brother was expected to take his widow as his wife. This would keep the deceased man’s property in the family and possibly produce sons who would carry on his family name (Deuteronomy 25:6). Continue reading MARRIAGE OF A BROTHER’S WIFE
Isn’t it amazing how an entire life can change in a moment? That’s the way it happened for the unnamed woman we meet in John 4.
On a nothing-special day in the Samaritan village of Sychar, she was minding her own business when she realized her household water jar was empty. It was unbearably hot out. Perfect, she thought. She probably wouldn’t have to see anyone or talk to anybody. Grabbing her water jar, she slipped out the door. Continue reading WOMAN OF THE BIBLE (THE SAMARITAN WOMAN: MEETING THE THIRST QUENCHER)
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)
Paul was no chauvinist. He taught the spiritual equality of women and men (Gen 3:28) and wrote eloquently about husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church-sacrificially and unconditionally (Ephesians 5:25-33). But to a church in a corrupt culture where marriages were in disarray, the brave Paul argued that submission was essential for any institution-government, church, or family. Without authority, chaos reigns. Continue reading WHY DID PAUL SPEAK SO MUCH ABOUT WIVES SUBMITTING TO THEIR HUSBANDS?
Jael is the Bible character who sparks one-liners about “splitting headaches.” She’s the woman who jokesters like to refer to as “as expert at helping men ‘get things through their thick skulls!” But we are getting ahead of ourselves. A bit of context in needed.
Following the Israelites’ crossing of the Jordan River, Israel’s campaign to conquer and settle the promised land got off to a spectacular start. But over time, for multiple reasons, the effort sputtered and lost stem. Taking over a country is trying, not to mention tiring.
By Joshua’s final days, the people of God had pretty much given up attempting to squash the pockets of Canaanite resistance that were popping up left and right. After Joshua went to glory, the nation went off the rails. Continue reading WOMAN OF THBE BIBLE (JAEL:THE HOSTESS WITH THE HAMMER)
Breaking of the marriage covenant. An action contrary to the pattern of “one man, one woman, one lifetime” revealed by God in Gen. 1:27; 2:21-25. The root idea implied a cutting of the marriage bond. While ancient cultures different in details, most had a concept of marriage and a corresponding concept of divorce. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY “DIVORCE”
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?