LP: God often refers to Himself as ‘Us’, for example Genesis 1:26: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…’” and Genesis 3:22: “Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil…’” The word for God which is used in the original Hebrew Bible is elohim, which is a plural word. Surely this reflects the plurality of the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—the Trinity? Ed: God does often refer to Himself in the plural. In the two verses quoted above, it seems He is speaking to the angels. We look like them (Hebrews 13:2). We know they were there at the creation of the world (Job 38:7). They are God’s servants who do His work (Psalm 103:20), and so their words and actions are those of God Himself. Sometimes angels are referred to as
IF SOMEONE ASKED you if you believe in God, you may say “yes”. But if they asked you “which god?”, what would you say? We live in a world where it is popular to downplay the distinction between different religions: to adopt the comfortable notion that all faiths lead to God in different ways. It’s an appealing and comforting idea, but it is not true—at least not as far as the Bible is concerned. In Psalms 145 and 146 we have an excellent summary of who God is, or in other words the name He goes by. Here is an excerpt: Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever, Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry.
HELEN WAS complaining to her husband about their son. “He promised faithfully to tidy his room and he hasn’t done a thing!” Dad said nothing, but shrugged his shoulders. “And you’re not much better,” she railed. “You threaten to punish him and don’t. No wonder I can’t believe a word he says.” Human Oaths What a different world it would be if everybody always meant what they said! In a court of law, witnesses are usually required to swear an oath or give an affirmation that they are telling the truth—in an attempt to ensure that they really do tell the truth. Because it’s acknowledged that very often, people do not. ‘Your word is your bond’ used to be a popular maxim. It is a principle which is endorsed strongly by the Lord Jesus: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely,
JESUS CHRIST WAS known throughout his life as Jesus of Nazareth (for example Matthew 21:11). He was from a small village in the north of Israel. When the Roman governor put him to death he wrote the accusation on his cross: “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews” (John 19:19). This might seem inconsequential to us, but it was one reason why many people in Jesus’ day could not accept him as the Messiah (the anointed king). Because the Jews knew that their Messiah would come from Bethlehem: But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the one to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting (Micah 5:2). Bethlehem was a town in the south of Israel in the Judean hill country. It was renowned as the birthplace of
THE MORE WE LEARN about the universe, the more we’re amazed at its intricacy and its vastness—from the functioning of a living cell to the unimaginable magnificence of space. The Bible tells us God made it all (Genesis 1:1). Through the Microscope The phenomenon of life has always been a source of wonder, but it’s only relatively recently that we’ve started to learn just how spectacularly complex it is. In the 17th Century, with the invention of the microscope, it was discovered that living things contain tiny components which were named cells. By the 19th Century it had been established that cells are the basic building blocks of all living things, and scientists were discovering the bewildering array of different kinds of cells which perform different functions in every organism, from plants to plankton to people. During the 20th Century we learned to look inside the cell and we’ve now
The Bible can be a daunting book. In this series we look at what it is, and how to read it. IF YOU REALLY want to understand the Bible, the first thing you must do is read it. By reading the text you will become familiar with it. When you read one part it will begin to remind you of something you have already read. As your familiarity with the book increases so will your understanding. As the Bible says itself, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Understandably this may seem to be quite a daunting task, the Bible is after all a very large book. It is therefore helpful to have a bit of an overview of what it’s all about. For the Bible isn’t just one book, but a collection of 66 books, written by different authors over a period of
THIS IS A short prophecy, consisting of just one chapter, about Israel’s Arab neighbours. It applies particularly to our days, and it has an amazing outcome! Esau and Jacob The name Obadiah is Hebrew, meaning ‘servant of Yahweh’, the God of Israel. Interestingly, the prophecy is about both Israel and Arabs. The nation of Edom was descended from Esau, who was brother to Jacob the ancestor of Israel. Edom was located south and east of the Dead Sea. Today it is the southern part of the Kingdom of Jordan. The Edomites were always hostile to Israel, just as their ancestor Esau had been to Jacob (see Genesis 27:41). When the Babylonians invaded Judah around 586 bc, the Edomites took the opportunity to persecute the Jews(verses 11–14). Mount Esau and Mount Zion Mount Esau (vs. 8, 9, 19, 21), sometimes called Mount Seir, is another name for the country of Edom.