Ask Your Preacher
Why did God want all the older generation to die off (wander for forty years in the wilderness), and the younger generation with Joshua go into the promise land?
A Question For The Ages
Dear A Question For The Ages,
Numbers 14 explains why God had the first generation of Jews that left Egypt wander in the wilderness for forty years. God was punishing them for their lack of faith in Him. When Moses sent forty spies to investigate the land of Canaan, the majority of those spies came back and said that it was impossible to conquer the land. The people were afraid, murmured against God, and planned on returning to Egypt (Num 14:3-4).
God was incensed by their cowardice, lack of faith, and grumbling (Num 14:27). He decided to punish that generation by having them all die in the wilderness (Num 14:33-34), and their children became the ones to conquer the land (Num 14:31).
Gen 47:22 and 26 state that “the only land he [Joseph] did not buy was the land belonging to the priests.” Who were these priests?
Real Estate Agent
Dear Real Estate Agent,
The priests referred to in Gen. 47:22 and 26 are the Egyptian priests. Pharaoh had granted his priests food during the famine, so they had no need to sell their land to avoid starvation.
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)