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Showing posts from February 17, 2014

The Function and Form of Psalm 1

The Function and Form of Psalm 1Psalm 1:1-6 ‎This psalm serves as an introduction, or prologue, to the collection of the Psalms in its final form. It is a teaching, or wisdom, psalm advising the readers to dedicate themselves to the study of the Law of God, the Torah, and warning them of the consequences if they don’t.
‎The psalm consists of two strophes. The first one (verses 1–3) describes the truly pious person, stating what he refuses to do (verse 1), what he does (verse 2), and then describing him as like a healthy tree (verse 3). The second strophe (verses 4–6) compares the evil person to chaff, which is blown away by the wind. Such a person will not share the future happiness of the righteous but will instead be destined to destruction.
Bratcher, Robert G., and William David Reyburn. A Translator’s Handbook on the Book of Psalms. New York: United Bible Societies, 1991. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

The Hebrew Manuscripts and the Early Versions

The Hebrew Manuscripts and the Early Versions ‎WE NO LONGER have access to infallible originals of the various books of the Hebrew Scriptures. The earliest copies which have been preserved to us are in some instances no closer than a thousand years to the time of original composition. Nevertheless they constitute our primary authority today as to the inspired Word of God, and all our copies and translations of the Holy Scriptures are necessarily dependent upon the earliest and best available manuscripts of the Hebrew and Aramaic originals. We must therefore review the written evidence upon which our modern printed editions of the Hebrew Bible are based, and have some idea of the large and varied body of evidence with which Old Testament textual criticism has to deal. …
Archer, Gleason, Jr. A Survey of Old Testament Introduction. 3rd. ed. Chicago: Moody Press, 1994. Print.

Seeing God

Seeing GodIsaiah 55:8-11 [Three] reasons are given for seeking the Lord. (1) Man’s thoughts and ways are not those of God. Man therefore cannot evaluate his own spiritual condition nor can he dictate the terms of his acceptance before the Lord (55:8f.). (2) As moisture accomplishes its purpose in the physical realm, so the word of God will fulfill God’s purpose in the hearts of those who humble themselves before him (55:10f.). (3) Those who answer God’s invitation “will go out with joy,” they will be “led forth with peace.”
Smith, James E. The Major Prophets. Joplin, MO: College Press, 1992. Print. Old Testament Survey Series.

Chaff

ChaffPsalm 1:4 Excerpt ‎The ancient farmer crushed stalks of grain with a weighty, ox–drawn sled and then tossed them in the air. The lighter bits of straw and husks were blown away. ‎Chaff is a frequent symbol of the wicked. They are insubstantial and worthless, destined to be discarded by God.
Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print.

Job's Character

Job's CharacterJob 1:1 Excerpt ‎Job’s character is described by the use of two pairs of qualities: blameless and upright, and one who feared God and turned away from evil. The first pair depicts Job as a morally good man, and the second pair as a religious person. The first word is translated in the King James Version (KJV) as “perfect,” which suggests a state of sinlessness. The idea is more exactly one of “moral integrity.” Upright translates a word having to do with “straightness” and again focuses upon Job’s honesty in his dealings. This first pair of terms in Hebrew is found in Psalm 25.21, translated by RSV as “integrity and uprightness,” and by TEV as “goodness and honesty”; in Psalm 37.37 they occur in parallel. In many languages the first pair of descriptions used of Job are rendered idiomatically; for example, “having one heart” or “speaking with one mouth.” Also common are terms for straightness, “going on the straight road,” and confidence, “man on whose word people r…

Transformation of the Land

Transformation of the LandIsaiah 55:12 Excerpt ‎ That this transformation of the vegetation of the desert is not to be taken literally, any more than in Isa. 41:17–20, is evident from the shouting of the mountains, and the clapping of hands on the part of the trees. On the other hand, however, the prophet says something more than that Israel will return home with such feelings of joy as will cause everything to appear transformed.
Keil, Carl Friedrich, and Franz Delitzsch. Commentary on the Old Testament. Vol. 7. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1996. Print.

Prosperity

ProsperityPsalm 1:3
‎For all who take their delight in living by God’s Word, there is prosperity. Under the image of a fruitful tree, the psalmist declared that whatever the righteous do will prosper (cf. 92:12-14). Two qualifications need to be noted. First, the fruit, that is, the prosperity, is produced in its season and not necessarily immediately after planting. Second, what the godly person does will be controlled by the Law of God (1:2). So if a person meditates on God’s Word, his actions will be godly, and his God-controlled activities will prosper, that is, come to their divinely directed fulfillment.
Ross, Allen P. “Psalms.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck. Vol. 1. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 790. Print.

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

February 17
Finding SustainingExodus 39:1–40:38; John 6:52–71; Song of Solomon 5:5–9
Following Jesus isn’t like developing a crisis-aversion system. So often, it’s tempting to treat our faith in this way—relying on Him when things get tough or when others expect us to do so. But He wants us to rely on Him continually.

After Jesus miraculously fed the crowds, He told them that He was the bread of life. But they were fickle. They wanted evidence—another sign. Instead of feeding their transient desires, Jesus delivered hard teaching: “The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood resides in me and I in him” (John 6:54–56).

For the Jews, this teaching would have been shocking and strange—drinking blood was forbidden by Old Testament law, and He was speaking about His own body. They followed Jesus because they wanted a sign, a prophe…