We have seen that names have significant meanings, and as discussed earlier, Elimelech, whose name means "My God is King", left Bethlehem with Naomi his wife and their two sons. The birth of these two boys must have brought joy and happiness, yet, having perished in Moab actually caused their very names to lose their original meanings.
During the Biblical festival of Shavuot, the book of Ruth is read. It's a powerful story of faith, restoration and redemption. The book opens with a famine in all the land surrounding Bethlehem, forcing a difficult decision upon Naomi's husband, Elimelech. Now, Bethlehem (beth: "house", lechem: "bread") literally means “house of bread”, so the irony of Elimelech's departure from his home, "house of bread", during a famine, is lost on English speaking readers, but reveals that every detail in the word of God can be meaningful, especially the meanings of names.
The story of the Exodus is a story of miracles – yet in the beginning when Moses first appeared before Pharaoh to deliver the children of Israel from 400 years of slavery, the Israelites were severely tempted and became angry because of the initial hardships that were laid upon them.
For over 15 years we've been covering Christian Persecution, and whenever I come across an amazing story of how a saint endured such hardships, it encourages me. I remember reading about Watchman Nee and his imprisonment. The Chinese government would change the guards at his cell daily for fear that Nee would lead them to the Lord. Their fears were justified — many of those guards did come to faith! Apparently Watchman Nee had learned a powerful lesson from the Apostle Paul.
This interesting passage speaks of a time when Israel had no blacksmiths to make weapons and was without any armament to defend themselves. The enemy had succeeded to disarm Israel by removing their weapons, and those who forged them! He's attempting the same tactic today.
When Ruth pledged her alligence to Naomi and to the God of Israel, it wasn't based on, "What ifs?" or circumstances. It was a faith rooted in her devotion to Naomi and God even to the point of death!
In the midst of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln called Vicksburg "the key to the Confederacy", and told his generals, "We do not yet have the key in our pocket!"
On January 1st 1863, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation which proclaimed freedom for all slaves in the ten states which were in rebellion. At the time, when U.S. Secretary of State Seward took the document to the President to sign, Lincoln took a pen, and held it for a moment. He then removed his hand and dropped his pen. Lincoln turned to Seward and said, "I have been shaking hands since nine o'clock this morning and my right arm is almost paralyzed. If my name ever goes into history, it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it." He hesitated, then took the pen, and without wavering, took the document and boldly signed it!
In the days of Isaac, there was famine in the land of Israel. It appeared then, that the right thing to do was to go to Egypt where there was plenty. But the Lord instructed Issac not to go, and instead cling to the promise that He made with His father, Abraham.
This season of the Resurrection also occurs during a significant Old Testament feast day, the feast of “Firstfruits” (Hebrew, “bikoreem”). When Yeshua (Jesus) rose from the dead he was the firstfruit of the resurrection. On that day the keys of Hell and Death were obtained by our Lord. The apostle Paul connected the resurrection with the feast of Firstfruits in his letter to the congregation at Corinith. "But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep."
In the mid 1850's a troubled teenager from Northfield, Massachusetts moved to Boston to try to find work. He hadn't gone to school beyond the fifth grade; he couldn't spell, his grammar was awful and his manners were brash and crude. Thankfully, an uncle took him on as a shoe salesman–on condition that he be obedient and that he attend church.
2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. We mentioned recently how we've been really going through some stuff this past month and we're just exhausted. Well, when I read this story, it got me thinking. When a power […]
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. A king was seated in a garden, and one of his counselors was speaking of the wonderful works of God. "Show me a sign," said the king, "and I will believe." "Here are four acorns," said the counselor, […]
The setting in 1 Samuel 14 is war between the Israelites and the Philistines; and while King Saul relaxed under a pomegranate tree [1 Samuel 14:2], his son Jonathan along with his armor-bearer left the camp quietly to see if the Lord would fight the battle on their behalf. Jonathan had no idea what he would face out there, how many Philistines he would encounter, their battle skills or strategies. He only knew that if God delivered the enemy into his hands he would be victorious. And he was.
Most people have never heard of the first overseas missionary from America to Burma, Adoniram Judson. Judson was a brilliant man who learned to read when he was only 3. He went to college when he was just 16. He graduated valedictorian of his class at the age of 19. He was the son of a pastor, having been raised with Godly values, however while in college, he met a student named Jacob Eames, a deist who denied the miracles of the Bible. By the time Judson finished college he had turned completely from the Lord. For a short while, he lived a vagabond and reckless life, until a series of God-incidences turned his life inside out.
David is called a “man after God’s own heart.” Considering that he lusted after his neighbor's wife, committed adultery with her, and had her husband murdered, the Lord's description of him is remarkable. How could a man who was convicted a murderer and an adulterer also be called one after God’s own heart?
Failure is never a pleasant feeling. It isn’t enjoyable to lose a job, see a relationship falter, or fail a test. But the disappointment we feel when we face defeat can be turned to joy if we look at it the right way!
If you ever have the chance to visit Jerusalem, one place you must see is Solomon's quarries – also known as Zedekiah's cave.It's a gigantic underground quarry beneath the old city of Jerusalem, an amazing archeological site which offers a glimpse of the handiwork of the builders of the first temple of King Solomon. Can you imagine, as the Temple was under construction, what the craftsmen and the builders must have been thinking about this glorious house they were building?
Tonight begins one of the highest holy days of all the feasts of the Bible, Rosh ha Shana (Head of the Year). According to Jewish tradition, Rosh haShana is the Day of Judgment, the day when the righteous have their names inscribed in the Book of Life and the wicked are judged for their transgressions. It is a day to commemorate the creation of the world, the creation of mankind, and the Akeida, the binding of Isaac to the altar. On this day only the ram’s horn (or the shofar) is blown in synagogues all over the world to commemorate the ram that was provided in lieu of Isaac’s life and call us to repentance.
I'm not sure where I read it, but the idea has always been ingrained in my mind — if you want to be a good teacher, be a good student. When Yeshua (Jesus) lived on the earth, his disciples were called "talmudim". The Hebrew literally means "students". "Talmudim" comes from the verb, "Lilmod", "to learn". In essence, talmudim are learners.