In Bible times, a marriage was arranged through a legal agreement between the parents of the groom and the bride (Gen 24:4). The groom’s parents selected a woman for their son to marry, then paid the bride’s parents a dowry, or bride-price, to compensate them for the loss of her services as a daughter.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (JOSEPH & MARY’S BETROTHAL)
Engaging in sexual intercourse prior to marriage. The Song of Songs is an extended poem extolling the virtue of sexual fidelity between a king and his chosen bride. Sexual desire runs strong throughout the song as the king and his beloved anticipate their union together. At intervals the poet repeats a refrain counseling sexual restraint: “Young women of Jerusalem, I charge you, by the gazelles and the wild does of the field; do not stir up or awaken love until the appropriate time” (Song 2:7 HCSB; 3:5; 8:4). To the church in Corinth, a city well-known forContinue reading BIBLE DEFINITION OF THE DAY (PREMARITAL SEX)
The biblical text gives us a clear picture of Delilah. She was a calculating woman. She was aware of the power her sexuality gave her and quick to use sex for personal gain. While Samson had fallen in love with Delilah, she only pretended affection for him. Delilah was more than willing to let Samson use her body, for she was using him to become rich.
How Samson failed to see what was happening we cannot imagine. Her repeated efforts to get him to betray the secret of his strength seem so transparent. But Samson was blinded by his passion and was easily manipulated by Delilah. Her pretended doubt of his love, and her appeal to prove his love by revealing his secret finally wore Samson down.Continue reading A CLOSER LOOK AT DELILAH
COMPANIONSHIP – Whereas the creation of male and female mankind was “very good” (Gen 1:31), the creation of the male alone had not yet fulfilled God’s purpose for man as the image of God (Gen 2:18). This expresses no failure on God’s part; instead, it instructs us that a male creature alone is not the perfect creation that God had in mind. Adam needed a wife to be all that God intended him to be, as is normally the case with all men unless God grants otherwise (Matt 19:10-12; 1 Cor 7:6-7). The same, of course, would be true of the woman whom God made for the man (1 Cor 11:9).Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (MARRIAGE “COMPANIONSHIP”)
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)