God created Adam, the first man, out of dust. Adam couldn’t find a helper that suited him so God made him fall into a deep sleep and removed one of his ribs.
And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
The union between Adam and Eve was the first marriage and it is the pattern for all subsequent marriages. Read the rest of this entry
Have you ever prayed to God for something and found that afterward everything in your life seemed to go wrong? John Newton apparently experienced this but he realized that the troubles he experienced were in fact God’s way of answering his prayers. He wrote a hymn called I asked the Lord that I might grow in which he expressed both his frustration and his faith. Here are the words.
1 I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of his salvation know,
And seek more earnestly his face.
2 ‘Twas he who taught me thus to pray;
And he, I trust, has answered prayer:
But it has been in such a way
As almost drove me to despair. Read the rest of this entry
On his final trip to Jerusalem, Jesus stopped to heal a blind man named Bartimaeus.
As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Read the rest of this entry
Gehenna was the name of a valley near Jerusalem which, in the time of Jesus, was used as a garbage dump. Even the bodies of convicted criminals were disposed of there. A fire was continually burning to consume the trash. Jesus spoke of Gehenna several times but the word is usually translated as “Hell.” Did the translators make a mistake or was Jesus applying the name of the valley to a place of future punishment? Many false teachers who deny the existence of Hell claim that Jesus was only talking about the valley. The best way to answer this question is to look at what Jesus said about it. Read the rest of this entry
There is a vacancy on the US Supreme Court. The fact that abortion and same sex marriage are now legal in the United States is the result of decisions by this court, so naturally anyone who has strong views on these subjects is concerned about who will be chosen to fill the vacancy.
Christians should do what we can to make sure the next member of the Supreme Court holds views on these and other issues that are compatible with what the Bible teaches but we have another tool for influencing the court that others do not. We can and should pray that God will move the court to make the right decisions in the cases that come before it.
The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.
If God can control the hearts of kings he can certainly control the hearts of Supreme Court justices. Read the rest of this entry
In chapter ten of First Samuel Saul was anointed as king of Israel but his actual reign began in response to a crisis which occurred in the next chapter.
Then Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh-gilead, and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a treaty with us, and we will serve you.”
But Nahash the Ammonite said to them, “On this condition I will make a treaty with you, that I gouge out all your right eyes, and thus bring disgrace on all Israel.” Read the rest of this entry
The twelfth chapter of Acts begins with Herod’s persecution of the church.
About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people.
(This was neither the Herod who tried to kill Jesus when he was born or the one responsible for the death of John the Baptist. The fact that the Bible tells of three kings named Herod can be confusing to people who are just beginning to study the Bible. All three Herods did have one thing in common; all were enemies of Jesus and his followers.) Read the rest of this entry
The members of the church in Jerusalem were generous in helping members who were in need.
There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
In doing this they were following the command of Jesus to lay up treasures in Heaven. But what would have happened if they had decided to keep their possessions for their own use? Shortly after this a severe persecution broke out. Read the rest of this entry
Imagine that a scientist invents a time machine, travels back in time, and meets Adam and Eve just a few days after they are created. If he knew nothing of the Bible’s account of their origin he would assume they had been conceived, born, and grown to maturity just as other people have. If he tried to estimate their ages from their appearance he would conclude they were much older than they really were.
But suppose he noticed that they had no navels. Would he come to the correct conclusion that they had been specially created by God or would be stick to his belief that they had been born just as other humans are and try to find some other explanation for their lack of navels? Read the rest of this entry