Ask Your Preacher
How am I to understand Psalm 19:1-4 when it says, "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world. In them, He has set a tabernacle for the sun."(NIV)?
Declaring My Confusion
Dear Declaring My Confusion,
Ps 19:1-4 is dealing with the same issue as Rom 1:20. God designed the world, so it would be a testimony to Him. God’s invisible attributes are so clearly seen in this world that it is as if the heavens are literally crying out about God’s glory. Paul quoted Psalm 19 in Rom 10:18 as a proof that all mankind has evidence of God’s existence. His creation leaves us without excuse.
What is the "pure offering" referred to in this Old Testament prophecy? Malachi 1:11 “‘For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same, My name shall be great among the Gentiles, and in every place, incense shall be offered unto My name, and a pure offering: for My name shall be great among the heathen,’ says the LORD of hosts."
Offering Up A Question
Dear Offering Up A Question,
The pure offering that the church will provide God with is in contrast to the polluted offerings that the Jewish nation was giving God. Mal 1:7-8 says that the Jews were offering blemished, lame, and sick animals to God – the exact opposite of what they were supposed to do (Ex 12:5). Israel worshipped God with the worst of what they had, instead of giving God the best of their lives and flocks.
In the church, the Lord’s people offer their lives as living sacrifices to God (Rom 12:1), and God’s people love Him with a whole heart. The church doesn’t just offer God their pure offerings at Jerusalem like the Jews did; the church gives God their offerings all across the globe (Jhn 4:20-23).
I don't understand this scripture: “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5 NIV)
Was I born a sinner? I thought all children were born sinless?
The NIV reading of that text sure sounds like David is saying that he was born in sin, but the NIV isn’t a word-for-word translation and takes liberty in translating that verse (read “What’s The Best Translation” for more details on Bible translations). Other translations, such as the New American Standard and New King James (much more literal translations), simply say “I was brought forth in iniquity.” (NKJV) This is a much more generic statement than saying David was born sinful. Ps 51:5 could mean one of two things:
- David was born sinful.
- David was born into a sinful world.
We need to look at other verses to see what the Bible teaches about babies being born in sin. The sum teachings of the Bible say that babies are born without sin, and babies are perfect in God’s sight (even David, the writer of Psalm 51, recognized that his dead child was going to be in heaven [2 Sam 12:23]). Sin is not a birthright; it is a choice (Gen 4:6-7, Jas 1:13-15). Humans sin when they choose to do wrong; they are not born in sin.
The false teaching of ‘original sin’ is very common in today’s society. If a congregation teaches that you are born in sin, they are false teachers. Sin is a choice we make in life (Isa 7:15-16), and all humans are born upright and good (Eccl 7:29).
In Exodus 12, God said that you must perform a ritual by eating a lamb or goat. Are we still supposed to eat a lamb or goat to remember Passover?
The Passover was a Jewish festival that the Jews celebrated every year in remembrance of when God ‘passed over’ their homes during the Egyptian curses (Ex 12:27). It was a Jewish feast for Jewish people – christians are not bound to keep it. We have a new Passover lamb, and we celebrate His sacrifice every time we take the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor 5:7).
I ran across an old Scandinavian myth that mentioned that in Genesis one, God created man and woman. Then in Genesis two, He took a rib from Adam and created Eve. Was there a woman created before Eve?
Missing A Missus?
Dear Missing A Missus,
Scandinavian myths aside (after all, they call them ‘myths’ for a reason), the Bible teaches that Adam and Eve were the first man and woman. The confusion comes when people read Genesis 1 and see that God made man and woman and then read Genesis 2 and see God making man and woman all over again. The key is to realize that chapter one is an overview of the entire six days of creation (which includes the creation of man on day six), and Genesis chapter two is a more detailed account of what happened when God made Adam and Eve.
Think of chapter two as a microscope honing in to get a closer look at the most important detail of the creation story – the creation of humans.