Tag Archives: sacrifice

WHAT’S THE MEANING OF SAMUEL’S PROVER, “OBEDIENCE IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE”?

Samuel understood that sacrifices aren’t always sacrificial. He confronted Saul with the sin of going through the motions of sacrifice to avoid doing what God commanded. Saul was like the spoiled child who was ordered to leave the cookies in the jar. Instead, he cleaned out the jar but left one cookie behind, saying, “Well, I didn’t take them all!”

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DEFINITION OF THE DAY (FIRE)

The word “fire” in our English Bibles normally translates the Hebrew word esh in the Old Testament and the Greek word pur (the root from which such English term as “pyromaniac” and “pure” are derived) in the NT. Both terms signify the physical manifestations of burning heat:, light, and flame. Ancient peoples kindled fire either by rapidly rubbing dry pieces of wood together creating enough fiction to ignite dry vegetation or by striking flint rocks thus creating sparks (cp. 2 Macc 10:3). Normally, fires were maintained and perpetuated to avoid the need for kindling. Abraham, for example, apparently carried a torch with him on his way to sacrifice Isaac in order to prevent having to kindle one at the altar (Gen 22:6-7).

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DEFINITION OF THE DAY (CROSS,CRUCIFIXION)

THE SYMBOLIC MEANING: Jesus Himself establish established the primary figurative interpretation of the cross as a call to complete surrender to God. He used it five times as a symbol of true discipleship in terms of self-denial, taking up one’s cross, and following Him (Mark 8:34; 10:38; Matt 16:24; Luke 9:23; 14:27). Building on the Roman practice of bearing the crossbeam to the place of execution, Christ intended this to point to the necessary death of self, involving the sacrifice of one’s individuality for the purpose of following Jesus completely; and a willingness to imitate Jesus thoroughly, even to the extent of martyrdom.

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OLD TESTAMENT ORIGIN OF THE PASSOVER

THE PASSOVER is the Old Testament feast that celebrates and remembers God’s liberation of Israel from Egypt. After Joseph saved Egypt from starvation (Genesis 41), the Israelites lived in Egypt as guests. Eventually, the Egyptians forgot about Joseph and enslaved the Israelites for hundreds of years (Exodus 1:6-14).

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SHEPHERD IMAGERY IN THE BIBLE

OLD TESTAMENT

  • God is the Shepherd (Gen 49:24; Ps 23; 80:1).
  • God’s appointed leaders are undershepherds (Ezek 34).
  • Many people in the Old Testament were shepherds by trade, like Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Rachel, Jacob, Moses, and David.
  • Foreign leaders were sometimes called shepherds when their leadership impacted God’s people (Isa 44:28).
  • The prophets depicted the distress of Israel without leadership or bad leader in terms of a flock without a shepherd (Ezek 34:1-10; Zech 10:2; 13:7).
  • The prophets used shepherds imagery to point to the Messiah to come (Ezek 34:22-24; 37:24; Isa 40:11; Zech 13:7; see also Matt 26:31; Mark 14:27).
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THE ALTAR OF INCENSE

Any priest could offer incense accompanied by some of the grain offering on the altar of incense. It is possible that priests offered incense by itself, although there are no clear indications for this practice (Leviticus 10:1-3; Numbers 16:16-18; Deuteronomy 33:10; 1 Samuel 2:28; Ezekiel 8:10-11).

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PURITY, IMPURITY, AND THE TABERNACLE

The issue of purity was very important for the Israelites. The Tabernacle was at the center of all of Israel’s life. God’s presence in the midst of the camp determined the life of the people. An important function of the Mosaic Law was to instruct people on how to live in the presence of a holy God. The holy and the impure cannot coexist. Thus, God provided a means to cleanse what had become impure. God chose purification rites and sacrifices to prevent the destruction of the people when they became impure. The following table shows the main causes for ritual and moral impurity and the prescription for achieving purity anew.

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JESUS AND SACRIFICES

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WHY WAS EZEKIEL TOLD NOT TO GRIEVE THE DEATH OF HIS WIFE?

Ezekiel loved his wife, but God told him not to grieve publicly when she died. This was to be a living message to the people concerning their abandonment of God. Yes, grief would come to them, the grief of captivity. They would suffer at the hands of Babylonian conquerors, and their homes, lands, and precious temple would be destroyed. Would they be as mute as Ezekiel, or in grief repent of sin and return to the worship of God?

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MEN OF THE BIBLE (ELIJAH “SOLO, BUT NOT ALONE”)

As a prophet of God in Israel during the reign of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, Elijah was an endangered species. The evil royal couple had done everything in their power to rid the nation of God’s spokespeople so that their own prophets of the false gods Baal and Asherah could do their work unopposed.

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