The events that occurred at the Water Gate in Nehemiah’s time can be described as a spiritual revival. The people knew that God had made it possible for them to rebuild the city. Now they were ready to hear what else God would say to them. They listened intently. When Ezra opened the scroll of God’s law, they stood out of respect and anticipation over what they were about to hear.Continue reading WHY WAS EZRA’S READING OF GOD’S LAW SO POWERFUL?
If we tear our clothing, it is generally by accident unless we are tearing up an old garment for rags. This was not true in the culture of Bible times where the tearing of one’s garment was an external sign of one’s internal pain. The average person of the era did not have multiple changes of clothing like we do in our closets and dressers; consequently, they took great care to prevent accident tearing of their clothing (Exod 28:32; Matt 9:16; Mark 2:21). But there was “a time to tear and a time to mend” (Eccles 3:7); the time to intentionally tear was a time of intense grief that might have included repentance.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (TEAR A GARMENT PT 1 OF 2)
Chapter 15 and 16 of Isaiah contain the prophet’s declaration of God’s judgment against the Moabites, enemies of the Israelites. The Lord would humiliate these people. Isaiah declared, by making them bald and cutting off their beards.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (HAIRLESS MOABITES)
This verse is also part of Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. He contrasted the self-righteous attitude of a proud Pharisee with the humble and penitent attitude of a tax collector.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (GRIEF OVER SIN)
Jeremiah compared the wailing of the people of Judah over God’s punishment to laments at a funeral. The Jewish people were known for the loud and bitter mourning over the death of loved one (read 2 Sam 19:4). Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (MOURNING FOR PAY)
Garments are used as biblical symbols in almost as many ways as there are styles of clothing. Clothes are used as expression of socioeconomics status, spiritual well-being, and emotional state. They can protect, conceal, or display an inner reality of the wearer. They can last for a long time or wear out quickly (Neh 9:21; Matt 6:19). They can consist of leaves (Gen 3:7), animal skin (Gen 3:21; Matt 3:4), rags (Isa 64:6), pure white linen (Dan 7:9; Rev 19:14), or anything in between. They can be literal or figurative. Yet despite al this variety, the use of clothing as a symbol falls into a few set patterns that yield a wealth of insight. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CLOTHING)
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)
Everybody goes through difficult times. God can seem far away. Friends don’t know how to help. Or you may even feel like pushing everyone away. How have you handled rough stretches? Continue reading HOW TO MAKE IT THROUGH TOUGH TIMES