The Bible Answers Short Questions From Our Readers
Plain Truth Staff
Should we buy foreign-made products?
In view of the present world economic situation, it might seem to some individuals that buying any foreign-made products would be unpatriotic. Certainly domestic producers object when competition from abroad cuts into their profits. Yet these same producers strive by every possible means to increase their own sales in foreign markets, regardless of the effect upon their competitors. But what should be the Christian attitude toward this question? — especially since PLAIN TRUTH readers live in many different nations. As citizens living in any particular nation, we must abide by the civil laws of that nation. If the law proscribes buying foreign-made products, there is no problem. Obviously, we must submit to the law. But if there are no such restrictions, then we are free to use our good judgment in accordance with Biblical principles. God has given us minds and bodies to think and work with. He gives us the ability to earn money to supply our physical needs. After we have paid to God our tithes and given offerings to Him, he expects us to use the remainder of our income wisely to provide our daily needs. If it should happen that a foreign-made product is definitely better made and cheaper in price than the comparable domestic-made product, then it would be the part of wisdom to consider purchasing the foreign-made product.
Recently while reading the Book of Psalms, I found a number of strange words and letters between the verses in the 119th Psalm. Can you tell me what these mean and what purpose they serve?
The headings in Psalm 119 at times have puzzled readers. But the answer to this question is really very simple. These words are the names of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The letters are those of the Hebrew alphabet. In this Psalm each letter of the Hebrew alphabet is spelled out in English, and the Hebrew symbol is written before it. Here is why. Psalm 119, like the majority of the psalms, was written to be sung as a song of praise to God. But unlike most other psalms it was written in a unique style. It is divided into twenty-two sections or strophes, each composed of eight lines or verses. In the first strophe (first eight verses) the first word in each line in the original Hebrew begins with Aleph, the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet. In the second strophe (verses 9-16) the same style is used and each line begins with Beth, the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This system is continued until all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet have been utilized. You can see then by this that Psalm 119 is really an intricately written poem in the original Hebrew. The alphabet was used by translators to separate its twenty-two sections for the reader because in the English translation (his acrostic pattern is not possible to reproduce. Today, in English, we have an accurate translation of the original even though it is impossible to reproduce (he poetic Hebrew form,
In John 9:3, Jesus told His disciples that the blindness of a particular man resulted from neither his sins nor the sins of his parents. Was this man predestined to be blind from birth?
Let the Bible itself give us the answer. The man was blind from birth so that "... the works of God should be made manifest in him" (verse 3). Notice verse 4: Jesus said, "I must work the works of Him that sent me." God provided certain works for Jesus to fulfill in the sight of the people. Yes, this man was predestined to be blind from birth. This was a carefully planned situation created by God to make known to the world char Jesus Christ was His Son! This was one of Christ's greatest miracles. Verse 32 tells us that "since the world began was it not heard chat any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind." The Jews also knew (hat no man could perform such a miracle without the help of God. Upon recognizing these two important facts, the Jews knew that Jesus was sent from the Father. Yet they denied Him, leaving themselves without excuse.
Is the GREAT TRIBULATION the same event as the DAY OF THE LORD? This has puzzled me.
Many have assumed that the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord are two names for the same event. Nothing could be further from the truth! They are two totally different and separate events. The Tribulation is not the Day of the Lord! For proof, turn to Matthew 24. The disciples asked Jesus when His Coming would occur, and the end of the world — "the end of this AGE" (verse 3)! Christ then explained the time order of events that would lead or point to His Second Coming. The first event would be false prophets (v. 4-5); the second, wars and rumors of wars (v. 6); third, famine (v. 7); fourth, disease epidemics or pestilences (v. 7); fifth, climaxing in THE GREAT TRIBULATION — martyrdom of saints (v. 9-10, 21). The Great Tribulation is not the time of God's Wrath, but rather, the wrath of SATAN THE DEVIL. Satan at this time realizes he has but a short time left, so he persecutes and martyrs God's people. This is one of the final acts of Satan (Rev. 20:2-3). Occurring sixth in time sequence is God's supernatural intervention: "Immediately after the TRIBULATION of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken" (Matt. 24:29). But Joel records: "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible DAY OF THE LORD come" (Joel 2:31). The Day of the Lord, spoken of in more than thirty prophecies, is clearly shown here to come after the heavenly signs. The time order of the Tribulation and the Day of the Lord correctly stated is: first, the Tribulation — Satan's wrath; second, the heavenly signs — third, the Day of the Lord — the time of God's intervention. The same time sequence is unfolded in Revelation 6, speaking of the seven seals. The fifth seal represents the Great Tribulation, followed by the heavenly signs, then the DAY OF THE LORD or God's WRATH (v. 9-17).