Topical Commentary

BUSINESS CONFERENCE © mbbirdy | iStockPhoto.comInformed by Scripture, history, and the languages of the Bible, we share our thoughts on various matters of faith and offer unique perspectives that are sure to be a source of enlightenment and encouragement.  Always grounded in Scripture, we aren't wed to any denominational traditions, so we can find and share the good news!

 

We recently received this question about Elijah's sacrifice on Mount Carmel:

ELIJAH'S OFFERING AT CARMEL - unknownHow are we to understand the sacrifice that Elijah offered on an altar on Mount Carmel in light of Deuteronomy 12:13-14?

"Be careful that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every place you see, but in the place which the LORD chooses in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you."

 

Was Elijah's offering a sin?

Let's begin the answer with some historical context...

MISTY SUNRISE OVER GOLDEN WHEAT FIELD IN CENTRAL KANSAS © Ricardo Reitmeyer | Dreamstime.comDuring His ministry in the first century, Yeshua frequently delivered His message using parables. 

 

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: "I WILL OPEN MY MOUTH IN PARABLES; I WILL UTTER THINGS HIDDEN SINCE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD."  (Matthew 13:34-35)

 

There are about 30 parables recorded in the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  You may have heard that Yeshua taught in parables for the purpose of hiding the true meaning of His message from unbelievers and those who opposed Him.  This is not true for at least two reasons.

First, Matthew 13:35 tells us that Messiah spoke in parables to reveal knowledge and "utter things hidden since the foundation of the world."  Here Matthew quotes Psalm 78 verse 2, "I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old..."  Here is the full context of that verse structured in the poetic form in which it was originally written:

HALLOWEEN PUMPKIN- © Eti Swinford | Dreamstime.comSeveral of our readers have asked for our thoughts and observations regarding Halloween... something along the same lines as our "Why we do not celebrate Christmas and Easter" articles. 

Always willing to serve, we offer the following remarks and our top 10 reasons why we do not celebrate Halloween.

 

 

10. Halloween is a consumerist, junk-food fueled celebration of begging.

SALT © Twilightartpictures | Dreamstime.comAn old friend recently began teaching about a passage from Matthew:

"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again?" (Matthew 5:13)

 

Knowing about my interest in the Hebrew/Jewish perspective of things, he asked if there was anything in particular I knew about that verse.  I did not... but I set out to study the passage to develop a better understanding of it.

I began with the three basics: context, context, context! :)

HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE based on ROW OF CANDLES © Emicristea | Dreamstime.comThe United States Congress established the Days of Remembrance as our nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust and created the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a permanent living memorial to the victims. In 2013, the Museum designated Never Again: Heeding the Warning Signs as the theme for the annual observance. In accordance with its Congressional mandate, the Museum is responsible for leading the nation in commemorating the Days of Remembrance, and for encouraging and sponsoring appropriate observances throughout the United States. 

Torah Portion

שׁפטים (Shoftim)

 

 

or view this week's triennial cycle reading.

Today is

Yom Chamishi, 5 Elul, 5778

Thursday, August 16, 2018

 

Learn more about this date in history.