The number four and groups of four connect with our sense of place in the horizontal world. Everything around us is in one of four directions: east, west, north, or south. In the worldview of the Old Testament, complete descriptions were often developed in sets of four. When the tax collector Zacchaeus expressed his practical faith in Jesus, he included a promise to “pay four times as much as I owe to those I have cheated in any way” (Luke 19:8). Jesus accepted that commitment as a sign of genuine repentance, symbolic of completeness. And there are four Gospels, a complete picture of the life of Christ.Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (FOUR/4)
1.Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me.
2 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (EZEKIEL 14:1-11 “IDOLATRY WILL BE PUNISHED”)
The prophet Zephaniah declared that God would eventually punish the Assyrians for their cruelty and pagan worship (Judges 1:6 and Nahum 2:3). Their capital city, Nineveh, would become a laughingstock among the nations.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (MOCKERY AND RIDICULE)
1.Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.
2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (HOSEA 4:1-19 “GOD’S CHARGE AGAINST ISRAEL”)
9.Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the Lord, and because of the words of his holiness.
10 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right.Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (JEREMIAH 23:9-21 “JUDGMENT ON FALSE PROPHETS”)
It’s one thing to speak the truth to people in power when you have nothing to lose. It’s quite another to speak the truth when you have everything to lose. The Old Testament prophet Nathan faced the prospect of losing everything, including his life, if he spoke the truth to the most powerful man in Israel. Yet that was exactly what God called him to do.Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (NATHAN)
Elisha was a yond man plowing his father’s fields when he first encountered the prophet Elijah. Elisha immediately dropped everything to follow him. For years, he served as an apprentice while Elijah performed his duties as a prophet-often under and lows, to his courageous obedience and crippling doubts. He observed the way Elijah interacted with kings and commoners. He studied the prophet’s personal relationship with God.Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (ELISHA “FOLLOWING A TOUGH ACT”)
Jeremiah showed the faith in the future of Judah, even while Jerusalem, the capital city, was on the verge of failing to the Babylonian army. He bought a plot of land in his hometown of Anathoth, confident that the land would be useful again after the Jewish people returned from the exile in Babylon.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (JEREMIAH’S SHOW OF FAITH)
In a vision the prophet Ezekiel saw the temple of the Jewish people in Jerusalem. He was shocked to see on its walls paintings or sculptures of unclean animals that God’s people were not supposed to eat (Leviticus 11:1-19).Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (IDOLS IN THE TEMPLS)
Saul was a young man dutifully searching for his father’s stray donkeys. Samuel was the renowned prophet, priest, and judge of Israel reluctantly searching for his nation’s first king. When their paths crossed, the course of Israel’s history changed dramatically.
Samuel had served as the Lord’s representative leader of Israel for decades, but he was growing old. When his sons proved to be unfit to succeed him, the people of Israel demanded that a king be appointed to rule over them. They were envious of the monarchies common in surrounding nations.Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (SAUL: WRESTILING WITH DEOMONS)