Think of all the blood shed by sacrifices over the years. When preparing for the first Passover, God told the children of Israel in Exodus 12:13, “when I see the blood, I will pass over you.” On the day Solomon dedicated the temple in 1 Kings 8:63, he offered 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. That alone is more blood than I can imagine. Think of all the sacrifices for sin: peace offerings, the evening sacrifice, and countless thousands of animals that shed their blood over the years.
Sex is defined as the state of being male or female according to a person’s biology, specifically his or her DNA, hormones, and most importantly, his or her reproductive organs. The current world view says that the definition of sex ends here. It is strictly biological and not necessarily the same as one’s expressed gender.
Like our Lord, let us live with the end in mind. Consider what you desire to accomplish by the end and live for that purpose today. Focus on how your life in the present will bring glory and honor to your Father in the future.
When Moses boldly asked God to “show me Your glory,” the Lord responded, “No man can see my face and live” (Exodus 33:18, 20). Man, tainted by sin, cannot bear to be in the presence of God. Jesus says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” How do we purify our hearts?
Cornelius “feared God” (verse 2). This was a technical term that the Jews used to refer to pagans who had abandoned, or did not follow, the pagan religions, but instead favored the worship of Jehovah. Gentiles at this time and place in the world could have varying degrees of adherence to Judaism. They could be benefactors like the centurion in Luke 7:1-10, who supported the Jewish community and presumably were sympathetic to Jewish beliefs. There were “God-fearers” like the one here in our text, Acts 10:2, and others such as Acts 13:16, 16:14, 17:4. There is an important mention of this category of “God-fearers” in an inscription from approximately 210 A.D. in Aphrodisias in modern Turkey.
Elijah was a deeply discouraged man. He had lost hope and had lost heart. Life was no longer worth living. His was a wasted existence. There was no use in even trying anymore. What could be said or done to help this man overcome his discouragement? God shows us the way.