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.
we must soberly count the cost before we embark on our spiritual trek. Are we willing to give up our job, our family, or even our life to follow God's plan?
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 faithfulness, learned to work through fearful catch-22 dilemmas, walking by …
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.
Abraham, the father of the faithful, did not have a blind faith; it was based upon observation of God's proven track record of faithfulness.
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.
If we hold fast to principles, though it may seem initially uncomfortable and fearful, we will eventually receive respect and even admiration.
Richard Ritenbaugh introduces his discussion of the prophesied destiny of Ephraim and Manasseh by reviewing God's propensity to bypass the firstborn, selecting for His purposes a second or third sibling, exampled in His selection of Abel over Cain, Shem over Japheth, Jacob over Esau, Joseph over Reuben, David over his brothers, …
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), takes issue with the Dispensationalist views of John Darby and Cyrus …
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.
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.
Paul refers to the church as 'the Israel of God.' Why not 'the Judah of God'? Why did God not inspire Paul to call the church "the Jacob of God"?
The Hebrew word used to mark appointed times connotes a pilgrimage. The Hebrew year contained five steps or seasons, corresponding to God's holy times.
Circumcision was the sign God gave Abraham indicating that his descendants would ascend to greatness, acquiring physical and spiritual blessings.
Richard Ritenbaugh, continuing on the topic of the creative imagination, reminds us that this capacity begins at age two, and allows children (of all ages) to transcend their current surroundings, enabling them to put themselves into other situations beyond normal reality. Dr. Jerome Singer suggests that children who use their …
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, intoxication humor, picaresque humor, satiric humor and taunt songs, verbal …
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!