Saturday, September 28, 2013

Moms in the Bible - Herodias

Chapter 9 – Herodias

There’s a woman in the New Testament who was about as low-class and immoral as they come, and yet she was the wife of a King. I’m talking about Herodias, who was first married to Herod Philip, her father’s half-brother, and had a daughter by him. She left her husband and had an affair with his half-brother Herod Antipas. They then married. I guess she had a thing for half-uncles. Her new husband, King Herod, was the one responsible for beheading John the Baptist. Herodias had a major part to play in that tragedy.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

God’s Answers To Our Complaints, Part 1

Do you complain about these things? I do. Then I look to the Bible for the answers. Here are some complaints and God’s response:

 Life is too hard. [groan] Things are out of hand. This is impossible!
God’s answer is found in Luke 18: 27: Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

Nobody loves me, everybody hates me. Guess I’ll go eat worms.
God’s answer is

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Moms in the Bible - Hannah

Chapter 8 – Hannah

There was a man, Elkanah, who had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, sons and daughters, but Hannah had none. Oh boy, I can just imagine that household in a time when child-bearing was the main worth of a woman. The husband, Elkanah, used to give double portions of meat to Hannah because he loved her and she was barren, but he may not have made things any better by doing that. The Bible tells us in 1st Samuel that her rival, Peninnah, kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday's Random Thoughts

If you can't see something, do you believe it exists? 

I believe in many things that I can't see. I've never seen the wind. I've never seen history. (I've never seen most of my blog readers.) But I see the effects of the wind, though the wind is invisible. We have historical records, but it is by 'faith'  that I (and most people) believe that certain events happened.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Moms in the Bible - Hagar

Chapter 7 – Hagar

Hagar was an Egyptian maidservant to Sarah, Abraham’s wife (they were still called Sarai and Abram at that time).  Since Sarah was having no luck conceiving and since she really wanted to have children, she offered her servant up to her husband as a surrogate wife. I wonder what Hagar thought of this arrangement. Was she happy to get to be the master’s second wife? Was she angry or disgusted that she had to be his sexual partner? She probably

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Wrath of God

God’s love is more amazing because of His wrath.

There has recently been some discussion over a certain denomination’s decision to leave out a favorite hymn from their new hymnal because of a verse that reads in part "Till on that cross as Jesus died/The wrath of God was satisfied."  (See article) The committee that made the decision not to include this popular old hymn gave as its reason that

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Moms in the Bible - Gomer

Chapter 6 – Gomer

We have a little saying at our house whenever one of us says something catty or judgmental about someone: “Sluts are people, too.” It gets a laugh, but it’s also a reminder not to be harsh or critical. Well, speaking of sluts, Gomer was one. She was the wife of the great prophet Hosea.
And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.
Right away we get the picture, the analogy is between Israel and Hosea’s soon-to-be-adulterous wife, Gomer. There’s a lot written that will explain and interpret the book of Hosea, but let’s just look at this one point about Gomer: she played around. Her first child was Hosea’s, but then she has two more kids, a girl and a boy, and they are obviously not her husband’s. Hosea loves her anyway even after she gets herself deep into the prostitution life. He buys her back. Wow, what a great image of God’s unconditional love.
Gomer is definitely not the best picture of how to be a good mom, but one thing is in her favor – she goes back to Hosea. She may have loved her life of “whoredom”, but in the end she chose to stay with the one who loved her most.

Next Saturday – Hagar

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Hebrew Letter Quph, part 2

As I explained last week, the Hebrew letter quph matches up with three books in the Bible: Psalms, Mark, and 2nd John. Mark's gospel is unique because it emphasizes Jesus’ actions more than His teachings, moving quickly from one episode to another. Thus we get our connection to the quph word qal (swift).
Mark describes Jesus’ journeys through Galilee, the surrounding areas, and then to Judea at a rapid pace. In fact, the swiftness is revealed in the actually telling of the events. An example of this unique swiftness presents itself early on in chapter 1, verses 10 – 14 (this is from Young’s Literal Translation so you can see the fast pace exactly as it was written. Although it is divided into 5 verses, notice the punctuation - just two sentences:
 9 And it came to pass in those days, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John at the Jordan;
 10 and immediately coming up from the water, he saw the heavens dividing, and the Spirit as a dove coming down upon him;
 11 and a voice came out of the heavens, `Thou art My Son -- the Beloved, in whom I did delight.'
 12 And immediately doth the Spirit put him forth to the wilderness,  13 and he was there in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by the Adversary, and he was with the beasts, and the messengers were ministering to him.
There are nearly identical scenes recorded in Matthew, Mark, and Luke that tell of  the healing of the demon-possessed man, the feeding of the 5000, the healings at Gennesaret, the healing of the boy with an evil spirit, and the rich young man, which all are told in Mark with the addition of the word ran to portray that “swiftness”.
Find out more in Crossing the Scriptures.