Forgiving All Sin

For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.

Leviticus 16:30 (KJV)

Before – Is God forgiving of all sin? Can He forgive all sin? Sure we’re familiar with Mark 3:29 wherein Yeshua explains that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is an unforgivable sin, but what about other sin? Is there any sin in which God has no right to forgive? “No”, you might say. “God forgives all sin through the atonement of Yeshua.” But there’s a reason this question arises, and it starts here with this word “before”. Continue reading “Forgiving All Sin”

The Naked Serpent

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”

Genesis 3:1 (NASB)

Crafty – The introduction of the serpent immediately puts us on guard. Crafty is a term to cause even the most gullible person to become timid of another. It’s definitely not how we’d introduce a friend, right? “Hi, Mom, this is my friend Tom. He’s very crafty.” I don’t think Mom would sit well with that one. And maybe that’s the intent of this verse – to put us on guard, to cause us to recoil at the serpent’s entrance. Or is it? Continue reading “The Naked Serpent”

The Sovereign’s Statutes

You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you; you shall not walk in their statutes.

Leviticus 18:3 (NASB)

Statutes – God is sovereign. So what is a characteristic of a sovereign being? One accepted characteristic is someone who exercises supreme and permanent authority through the enactment of laws. He is a lawgiver. Continue reading “The Sovereign’s Statutes”

In the Middle of the Garden

but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’

Genesis 3:3 (NASB)

Middle of the garden –  Did you catch what Eve said here? She just told the serpent that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is located in the center of the garden. There’s a problem with that statement, do you know what it is? Continue reading “In the Middle of the Garden”

Help Wanted

And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

Genesis 2:20 (KJV)

There was not found – Have you ever wondered why God mentions in verse 18 that it’s not good for Adam to be alone, but then detours into a set of verses about Adam naming all the animals only to return again to Adam’s help meet? From where did this detour come? These verses almost appear out of place, interrupting the story of how God creates Eve. Continue reading “Help Wanted”

A Hardened Heart

And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.

Exodus 4:21

Harden – The picture here is that YHWH actively hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that he would become stubborn. Whereas Pharaoh was previously softer and possibly could have been merciful, YHWH caused it not to be so. Imagine the philosophical problems that arise from this. Continue reading “A Hardened Heart”

The River

And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.

Exodus 1:21 (KJV)

Cast into the river – Israel has an amazing history with “the river”. This is the scene that sets in motion the redemptive power of YHWH. And it is here where Moses’ life begins, when so many other Hebrew boys die. Continue reading “The River”

Love the Sinner

Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD.

Psalm 104:35 (KJV)

Sinners – Love the sinner, but hate the sin. Isn’t this how we’ve come to understand it? Shouldn’t we have compassion and patience toward those who are sinful and work with them in love to bring them to Yeshua? Well not according to David, or should I say, not according to most English translations of this specific verse (NIV, NASB, NRSV, ESV, etc.). Continue reading “Love the Sinner”

Law of Liberty

And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.

Exodus 32:16 (KJV)

Graven – So many of us look at the law as a burden, or restrictive. We definitely don’t refer to it as freedom, or life-giving. But the Hebrew language provides a little gem here in verse 16 that might just cause us to rethink our bias. Continue reading “Law of Liberty”

Perfection in Plainness

And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.

Genesis 25:27 (KJV)

Plain – In all my readings of Jacob as a young man, I am baffled at how he could possibly obtain the mercy of God and be found just and good. The Bible accounts of Jacob being deceptive (exactly what his name means) toward his older brother, and even to his father. He robbed Esau of his birthright, and later tricked Isaac to give him Esau’s blessing. He was fearful of the consequences of his deceit and fled to his uncle Laban’s house for a while until Esau’s anger subsided. And the King James Version would have us believe Jacob was “plain” and a homebody. Continue reading “Perfection in Plainness”