God addressed Ezekiel with an unusual title which will later become Jesus’ favorite way of referring to himself. The title is “son of man.” In the original Hebrew language, it’s literally ben Adam or “son of Adam” since Adam means “humans.” Continue reading WHY “SON OF MAN”?
Several explanations help us understand David’s minimal but adequate preparations for history’s most famous confrontation: (1) a successful first shot may have drawn out the Philistine warriors, and David wanted ammunition until his own reserves arrived; (2) Goliath’s armor bearer might require military follow-through; or (3) David was preparing for prolonged fighting, dodging the heavily armed giant while peppering him with shot. Continue reading WHY FIVE STONES FOR DAVID’S BATTLE WITH GOLIATH?
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).
David may have been referring in this psalm to an ancient custom observed by mourners at funerals. They would collect the tears they shed for departed loved ones in small flasks and place them in their tombs as memorials of their love. The New International Version renders this phrase as “list my tears on your scroll.” Continue reading GOD KNOWS OUR TEARS
Marriage and the related symbols of bride and bridegroom play as large a role in Scripture as they did in real life in the ancient world. whether we consider the Old Testament picture of Israel as the bride and God as her bridegroom (Isa 62:4-5; Jer 2:2) or the New Testament picture of the church as the bride and Jesus as the bridegroom (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:21-32; Rev 21:2, 9), the message points to a special relationship God longs to have with his people. (See also BRIDE, BRIDEGROOM.) Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (MARRIAGE)
The most notable candlesticks in the Bible are those created for use in God’s house. The lamp stand or menorah that stood in the tabernalce was made of a single sheet of pure gold and had seven branches, each topped with a lamp in the shape of an almond blossom (Exod 25:31-40). Solomon’s temple had ten of these candles (1 Kings 7:49). Each lamp burned olive oil and was kept burning through the night as a symbol that God was with his chosen people at all times (Exod 27:21; 1 Sam 3:3). Extrabiblical sources suggest that in later times the middle lamp, which represented God himself, was kept burning around the clock. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CANDLESTICK/LAMP STAND)
Barzillai is not one of the better-known men of Old Testament times, but the biblical account of his life and his relationship with King David can teach us something about standing strong for a friend-or what God has taught us is right-even when there is risk involved. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (BARZILLAI: A FAITHFUL FRIEND. . .IN SPITE OF POPULAR OPINION)
The Good News that God has for people is all wrapped up in the person, life, and teachings of Jesus Christ. When Jesus started His ministry, He declared that a new time in history had arrived. The God who created this world and all its people was now on the planet in a human body. Knowing that God was not far away or disconnected from this Continue reading WHAT IS GOD’S GOOD NEWS? (MARK 1:14)
Ecclesiastes 9:15 NIV- Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (THE POOR BUT WISE MAN: MAKING A MARK)
The disciple “James the less” is mentioned only eight times in the New Testament. Four of those times his name is in a list of the twelve apostles of Jesus. Another four times, he’s mentioned in connection with his family. Continue reading JAMES, SON OF ALPHAEUS: LESS SAID THE BETTER?