Birth is our universal means of arrival in life. We can’t begin to experience all that life has to offer until we have passed through the moment of birth. Life has a formative phase in the womb that the psalmist describes beautifully: Continue reading SINGS AND SYMBOLS (BIRTH)
Use of rocky sites as places of refuge (Num 24:21; Judg 15:8; 20:47) led to the frequent image of God as a rock, that is, a source of protection. Titles of God include the “Stone of Israel” (Gen 49:24 NASB), the Rock (Deut 32:4), the Rock of salvation (32:15), the Rock who begot Israel (32:18), “a rock that is high above me” (Ps 61:2 HCSB). Isaiah 8:13-14 pictures of the Lord of hosts as a “rock to stumble over” (NASB) to the unholy people of Israel and Judah. Paul identified Christ as the spiritual Rock that nourished Israel in the Continue reading DEFINITION OF ROCK
There’s no nice way to say it. Rahab was a harlot-in modern parlance, a hooker. At her home atop the wall that surrounded the bustling, ancient city of Jericho, Rahab took in strange men and gave out sexual favors.
Because of her prominent role in the story of Israel, a few prim and proper types have tried to improve Rahab’s image by engaging in a bit of revisionist history. “Maybe,” they’ve suggested, “she wasn’t actually a ‘lady of the night.’ Perhaps she was only an ‘innkeeper.'” Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (RAHAB: THE SHADY LADY)
It is cosmic conflict between the forces of good and evil. The outcome has been determined, but the ongoing conflict still includes a great number of victories and defeats. The soul and life of each person is the battleground. Continue reading WHAT IS SPRITUAL WARFARE?
Old Testament rules of holiness had a vital either/or quality about them, unlike more tolerant religious rules of the present day. These older rules paint a portrait of a holy and just God, one whose will cannot be dismissed and whose word cannot be ignored. On one occasion that illustrates the stringency of these rules, a bystander tried to save the ark of the covenant from a fall, but in so doing violated the rule of holiness and lost his life (2 Samuel 6:6-7). Continue reading WHY WOULD PEOPLE DIE IF THEY GOT TOO CLOSE TO GOD?
Sex is such a strong instinct that it affects every other motivation and loyalty. Biologists are just now discovering how the sex drive governs social organization in animal species from monkeys to dolphins. All animals live in hierarchies, and those hierarchies govern who mate with whom. Sex affects everything. Continue reading WHY IS SEXUAL PURITY SO IMPORTANT “1 THESSALONIANS 4:3-8”
Skipping the next 30 years in Jesus’ life, Matthew jumps to the start of his ministry, marked by two events: baptism and temptation. Continue reading JESUS GOES PUBLIC
The Israelites found themselves in the midst of a Canaanite culture that was awash in pagan immorality. These heathen nations had merged spirituality with sensuality to create a very alluring and very dangerous combination. To keep His people from joining this around-the-clock celebration of perversion. God decreed severe punishment for those guilty of sexual sin. Continue reading WHY WERE PENALTIES FOR SEXUAL SIN SO SEVERE? (LEVITICUS 18:29)
Although King Solomon was noted for his wisdom, he made some very foolish decisions. Some of his lapses in judgment would even have to be categorized as dumb mistakes and fatal sins. Continue reading SOLOMON’S SHORTCOMINGS
To kill an innocent animal seems quite cruel. Our modern sensibilities are often by this requirement. But the lesson is this: Sin is serious! It offends a holy God. Human behavior bears consequences for all of creation. Continue reading ANIMAL SACRIFICE SEEMS BARBARIC AND PRIMITIVIE. WHY WOULD GOD REQUIRE SUCH AN UNPLEASANT RELIGIOUS EXERICSE?