The name Isaac—'laughter'—suggests his optimistic disposition, someone not afflicted by fear and doubt. Isaac serves as a type of Christ, honoring his father.
Isaac was a genuine peacemaker, yielding to interlopers and suffering wrong while trusting God to provide. In all his actions, Isaac exemplified a peacemaker.
The first commandment sets the stage for understanding Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac. God wanted to know: Would Abraham put Him first and have no other god?
Christianity is not for the faint of heart. Jesus urges us to count the cost of discipleship. Many of the patriarchs had to make hard choices, as do we.
Mike Ford, asking us to thoughtfully calculate the cost of our discipleship, warns us about the perils of looking, using the metaphor of plowing a furrow with a plow behind an animal. Looking back is dangerous because we may plow a crooked furrow and get h. . .
Wanderlust is the desire to travel and see new things. All of our patriarchs were pilgrims, seeking a more permanent homeland than the one they left behind.
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes that a spiritual Israelite, following Jacob's example, undergoes a metamorphosis in which his own stubborn, self-centered will is broken so that God's creative work can be completed within him. Abraham, whose very name connotes f. . .
Just as the child of the flesh persecuted the child of promise, the spiritual children of God can expect persecution from those living according to the flesh.
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the typology suggested by Abraham's concealing from Abimelech his true relationship with Sarah. The incident symbolizes Abraham's temptation to compromise his spiritual principles to acquire worldly knowledge (typified by the u. . .
John Ritenbaugh examines the three levels of faith exercised by the roll call of the faithful in Hebrews 11: (1) Faith that motivates (2) Faith that provides vision, and (3) Faith that brings understanding- accumulated incrementally by calculating or addin. . .
The biblical instructions for Sabbath keeping apply far more to the church than to the Israelites, who did not have the fullness of scriptural counsel.
John Ritenbaugh, suggesting that much of Protestantism shares more of an approach to Deism (that is, God establishes His laws and then abandons His creation to their machinations) than to Theism (that is, God maintains watchful control on His Creation), ta. . .
With godly hope, we need to envision the successful accomplishment of God's purpose for us, realizing that God has bound that promise with an oath.
Richard Ritenbaugh, cuing in on Exodus 12:1-2, heralding the beginning of the sacred year in the springtime, when the foliage is sprouting and budding, points out that this season corresponds to one of the sacred appointed times of the year, the Days of Un. . .
Circumcision was the sign God gave Abraham indicating that his descendants would ascend to greatness, acquiring physical and spiritual blessings.
By studying eating in the experiences of those in the Bible, we plumb a deep well of instruction from which we can draw vital lessons to help us through life.
In Galatians 6, verse 16, the apostle Paul refers to the church as "the Israel of God." Why? Why not "the Judah of God," or "the Ephraim of God" or "the Galilee of God?" Why did God not inspire Paul to call the church by Israel's original name, Jacob&mdash. . .
Martin Collins, focusing on the myriad forms of humor in the Bible, including God's own wry sense of humor and wit. Paradoxically learning to laugh makes us see more seriously. The Bible contains many examples of subtle humor, including situation comedy, i. . .
The Bible is full of marriage symbolism. We have been invited to participate in the very Marriage Supper of Jesus Christ—not just as a guest, but as the Bride!
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