Displaying items by tag: Israel

Monday, 01 January 2018 01:05

Happy New Year!

The new year is the time at which a new calendar year begins and the calendar's year count increases by one.

Many cultures celebrate the event in some manner and the first day of January is often marked as a national holiday.

In the Gregorian calendar, the most widely used calendar system, New Year occurs on Jan. 1 (New Year's Day). This was also the case both in the old Roman calendar (at least after about 713 BCE) and in the Julian calendar that succeeded it.

Other calendars have been used historically in different parts of the world; some calendars count years numerically, while others do not.

During the Middle Ages in western Europe, while the Julian calendar was still in use, authorities moved New Year's Day variously, depending upon locale, to one of several other days, among them: March 1, March 25, Easter, Sept. 1 and Dec. 25. Beginning in 1582, the adoption of the Gregorian calendar and changes to the Old Style and New Style dates meant the various local dates for New Year's Day changed to using one fixed date, Jan. 1.

The widespread official adoption of the Gregorian calendar and marking Jan. 1 as the beginning of a new year is almost global now. Regional or local use of other calendars continue, along with the cultural and religious practices that accompany them. In Latin America, various native cultures continue the observation of traditions according to their own calendars. Israel, China, India and other countries, continue to celebrate New Year on different dates.

  

Published in Headline News:
Tuesday, 29 March 2016 12:47

Judges 6-14

Gideon

6 The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. 2 Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. 3 Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. 4 They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. 5 They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count them or their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. 6 Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help.

7 When the Israelites cried out to the Lord because of Midian, 8 he sent them a prophet, who said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 9 I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians. And I delivered you from the hand of all your oppressors; I drove them out before you and gave you their land. 10 I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.”

11 The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

Published in Inspiration:
Monday, 26 October 2015 06:16

El Chay - Living God

The Name:

This title sets Israel's God apart from the false gods of the surrounding nations. Unlike idols of wood and stone, made by human hands, the Living God is himself Maker of heaven and earth. He alone is the source of our life. We live because he lives. The prophet Jeremiah reminded God's people that "every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. His images are a fraud; they have no breath in them" (Jeremiah 10:14).

Key Scripture:

And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: "O LORD, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God." (2 Kings 19:15-16)

 

Published in Inspiration:
Thursday, 22 October 2015 06:09

Ish - Husband

The Name:

Ish is the Hebrew word for "husband" in Hosea 2:16. The word baal in the Hebrew Scriptures can also be translated "husband" (as well as "lord," "owner," or "master"), though it usually refers to the Canaanite fertility god Baal (baal does occur in Hosea 2:16, "master").

Remarkably, in Isaiah and Jeremiah, this is also used to describe God as the husband of his people Israel. Though we never pray to baal, we do pray to the God who is the ideal husband, the one who provides for and protects his people and who refuses to divorce us no matter how unfaithful we may be. In the New Testament Jesus is presented as the bridegroom and the church as his bride.

Key Scripture:

"In that day," declares the LORD,
"you will call me ‘my husband';
you will no longer call me ‘my master.'. . .
I will betroth you to me forever;
I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,
in love and compassion.
I will betroth you in faithfulness,
and you will acknowledge the LORD." (Hosea 2:16, 19-20)

 

Published in Inspiration:
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