Ask Your Preacher
I'm looking for a passage in the Bible I think I read some time ago. It's where someone's eyes were opened to the spirit world of angels and demons and spiritual warfare. Can you tell me where this is found? Or did I just imagine it?
Dear Looking Around,
The story you are most likely thinking of is Elisha praying that his servant’s eyes would be opened, so he might see the angelic army protecting them. In 2 Kgs 6:14-15, the king of Syria sent an entire army to surround the city and capture Elisha, and his servant turned to him in fear and asked what they should do. Elisha told him that there was nothing to fear for those who were with them were greater than the Syrian army (2 Kgs 6:16). Elisha prayed that God would open his eyes, so he could see the chariots of fire and heavenly horseman protecting them (2 Kgs 6:17-18).
If Adam and Eve were the first and only people on the planet, then how did their children have children if there were no other children around? Yes, incest is an option (which is against the Bible), but their children's children would have had defects.
All My Children
Dear All My Children,
Eve is the mother of all living (Gen 3:20). In the beginning, there were only Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve had multiple children (Gen 5:3-4). It is morally repugnant in today’s society for someone to marry his sister, but it wasn’t that way in the beginning. In the beginning, they had no other choice. God told the family of Adam to “go forth and multiply” (Gen 1:28). When Adam’s sons and daughters intermarried, they fulfilled God’s command.
Today, we worry about children having deformities if the mother and father are too closely related. This is because of genetic mutations and defects in our DNA. Adam and Eve wouldn’t have had these defects. When God made Adam and Eve, they were genetically perfect, and their descendants wouldn’t have had to worry about hereditary deformities. God didn’t prohibit close intermarriage until almost 2,500 years after Adam and Eve (Lev 18:9-17); it took that long for genetic mutations to increase enough to become a real issue.
What were king David’s good attributes, and what were his bad ones?
Pros And Cons
Dear Pros And Cons,
That is the kind of question that is hard to answer because David, like all people, was a complicated man with a long list of strengths and weaknesses. Since it would take a novel to describe the intricacies of David’s character, we will focus on what God says was David’s greatest strength and what He said was David’s greatest weakness.
David’s greatest strength was that He was a man after God’s own heart. God specifically chose to make David king because of David’s attitude and faithfulness (1 Sam 13:14). David didn’t always make good decisions, but he looked at the world through the eyes of a man that wanted to do what God said. When David took on Goliath, he had courage because he saw Goliath’s immorality instead of Goliath’s size (1 Sam 17:45-47). David sought to follow God’s laws and let God’s Will be his guide.
David’s greatest weakness was his sin with Bathsheba. In 2 Sam 11, David yielded to temptation and slept with another man’s wife and then attempt to cover it up by having her husband killed. David allowed his power as king to cloud his judgment, and he fell into a tangled web of his own creation.
However, in the end, David received forgiveness because when Nathan confronted him with his sin, David’s heart shone through. Instead of denying the sin or killing the messenger, David uttered the humble words, “I have sinned against Jehovah.” (2 Sam 12:13)
Should the 151st psalm have been included in our Bible?
Dear Plus One,
Psalm “151” is a title given to a psalm that is accepted by the Eastern Orthodox Church as part of the Bible, but that is about it. Even the Jews consider it to be apocryphal. An apocryphal book (‘apocrypha’ means ‘hidden’) is a book that was rejected from the Bible because it was considered inauthentic. These books are not written by God and never were accepted by God’s people as divinely inspired. Some apocryphal books (such as the aforementioned Psalm) were included in the Septuagint, which confuses people at times, but even though some apocryphal books were included in the Septuagint, they were never considered God-breathed Scripture. Printed Bibles include maps, commentaries, and footnotes… and yet, we don’t consider those things to be Scripture; in the same way, the Septuagint included apocryphal books that were never viewed as the Word of God.
It is well documented that Jews didn’t consider the apocryphal books to be authored by God. Josephus, a venerated Jewish historian, specifically stated that the apocryphal books weren’t from God in his writing Against Apion. The Manual of Discipline in the Dead Sea Scrolls stated that the Apocrypha wasn’t inspired. To further prove the point, the Apocrypha itself says that it isn’t Scripture! The apocryphal book, 2 Maccabees, specifically says that it isn’t inspired by God in 15:38-39, and the author apologizes for any inaccurate information he might have provided. Though the apocryphal books are unique historical accounts, they are never quoted in the New Testament, and they were never accepted by the church or the Jewish community as divinely inspired text. That is exactly why it isn’t necessary that they be included in modern translations of the Bible – they aren’t Bible, just secular history.
The Bible says in the old times men had two or three wives. How can that be true because of the Ten Commandments?
Dear Two Many,
The Ten Commandments, which are found in Ex. 20:1-17, never address the issue of polygamy and polygamy was part of life in the Old Testament. The New Testament teaches that Christians should honor God through monogamy (1 Cor 7:1-2, 1 Tim 3:2). There are scores of examples of monogamy being God’s preference for man:
- Adam & Eve were designed monogamously (Gen. 2:24).
- No polygamy existed until 7 generations after Adam (Gen 4:19).
- Noah, the last righteous man of his day, had only one wife (Gen 7:13).
- Qualification for an elder (Tit 1:6)
- Qualification for a deacon (1 Tim 3:12)
- Qualification for a worthy widow (1 Tim 5:9)
- Every New Testament command for a husband or wife assumes monogamy in the commandments (Mk 10:12, 1 Cor 7:3, Eph 5:33, etc.).
- The comparison of Christ and the church to a husband and wife relies on a monogamous design for marriage (Eph 5:22-23).