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Showing posts from December 18, 2014

Pan Flute

Pan Flute
‎The figurine shows the Greek god Pan with the flute that is his trademark. In the Greek-Italian area, this type of flute is known since 6th/5th century BCE. It is also played in Palestine since the 1st century BCE. The Bible does not mention the pan flute.

Pronunciation of God's Name

Pronunciation of God's NameExodus 3:14-15 Yahweh. The most important name for God in the OT is the tetragrammaton YHWH (occurs about 6,800 times), usually pronounced ‘Yahweh,’ though the known pronunciation was lost in the postexilic period. Due to the increasing sanctity attached to the name and the consequent desire to avoid misuse, the title ¯Adonai (Heb., ‘My Great Lord’) was pronounced in place of the tetragrammaton. In written texts the vowels of ¯Adonai were combined with the consonants YHWH to remind readers to pronounce ¯Adonai instead of Yahweh. The incorrect hybrid, ‘Jehovah,’ arose from Christian misunderstanding in the late Middle Ages. The respect for the sanctity of the personal name of God is reflected in modern Judaism. The origin of the name Yahweh (usually translated ‘LORD’ in English Bibles) remains uncertain. Even the biblical sources are divided at this point. The Yahwist (J) traces the revelation of the name Yahweh to the primeval period (Gen. 4:26), while …

Hero's Temple

Hero's Temple

‎The inner courts of Herod’s Temple were accessible by 10 gates, through which only Jews could enter. Inside there were several chambers and a courtyard where sacrifices were made. At one end was the holy place—a two-room sanctuary used by Jewish priests. The expansive building project of Herod’s Second Temple and Temple Mount was completed in approximately AD 62–64, only to be destroyed by the Romans in AD 70.

Pearl Necklace

Pearl Necklace
‎Necklaces worn by women were made of more or less precious stones (mainly carnelian, frit, sometimes agate), but sometimes also of shells. Earrings made from metal were always popular. ‎Prov 1:9; Song 4:9; Ezek 16:11; 1 Pet 3:3

The Power of the Word Unto Wisdom

The Power of the Word Unto WisdomExcerpt The testimonies of the Lord are “wonderful,” i.e., superhuman in their excellence. Their sublimity and mystery are what attracts the psalmist to them. The unfolding of that word equips the simple who need instruction to discern between right and wrong. He craved this wisdom food, and opened his mouth to receive it. He boldly suggests that those who love God’s name are entitled to his mercy. He asks for guidance so that he might avoid both temptation from within and trial from without. He urges God to redeem him from oppressors so that he may freely practice his faith. He asks that God might illuminate the darkness that surrounds him with the light of his presence. The righteous indignation which he feels at one moment for the lawlessness of men (v. 53) is tempered here by profound sorrow and pity. More Smith, James E. The Wisdom Literature and Psalms. Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co., 1996. Print. Old Testament Survey Series

Bedouin Village near Caesarea Philippi

Bedouin Village near Caesarea Philippi
‎Here is a camp of Bedouin Arabs with their tents. Childhood and youth and old age are here. Beyond are the desolate mountains, fit surroundings for such a group of ignorant, superstitious and degraded people. These children of nature have been living in tents for thousands of years. No wonder that with such creatures as these below on the plain, the dream and desire of Peter, on the mountain, should not be gratified by his Master. Peter, amidst the glory of the transfiguration, desired to remain on the heights. He would have three tabernacles built—one for Jesus, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah. He would spend the rest of his life in the rapture of this royal fellowship, amidst the splendor of this celestial epiphany; but it was like Christ to go down into the plain where the people needed His presence, for it was as they came down from this mountain of transfiguration that they came to the multitude. “And when they were come to the multi…

Difficulty with the Concept of Personified Wisdom

Difficulty with the Concept of Personified WisdomProverbs 8:22–36 Excerpt A special problem is the personification of wisdom in Pr. 8:22ff. Jb. 28 anticipates this personification by depicting wisdom as a mystery inscrutable to men but apparent to God. In Pr. 1:20-33wisdom is likened to a woman crying in the streets for men to turn from their foolish ways and to find instruction and security in her (cf. also Pr. 3:15-20). The personification continues in Pr. 8 and reaches its climax in vv. 22ff., where wisdom claims to be the first creation of God and, perhaps, an assistant in the work of creation (8:30; cf.3:19; the difficult ’āmôn, ‘as one brought up’ in av, should be translated ‘master workman’, as in rv, rsv; see W. F. Albright inWisdom in Israel and in the Ancient Near East, p. 8). The purpose of wisdom’s recitation of her credentials is to attract men to pay her rightful heed, as 8:32-36 indicates. Therefore, caution must be exercised in reading into this passage a view of hypo…

Eye of a Needle

Eye of a Needle ‎The picture shows some needles that were found in Samaria. The eye of a needle is the smallest transfixion that exists in the daily life of Palestinians. In one of the Gospel parables it is juxtaposed to the bigness of a camel. ‎Matt 19:24; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25

The True Worshipper

The True WorshipperGenesis 22:9–14 Excerpt A true worshiper of God holds nothing back from God but obediently gives Him what He asks, trusting that He will provide. The key idea of the entire passage is summarized in the name Abraham gave to the place:Yahweh Yir’eh, The Lord will provide(or, “see”; v. 14). The explanation is, On the mountain of the Lordit will be provided (or, “seen,” yērā’eh, v. 14; cf. v. 8). This is the basis of a truth often repeated in the Old Testament: the Lord was to be worshiped in His holy mountain by the nation. “Three times a year all the men [of Israel] are to appear [yērā’eh, ­be seen‘] before the Sovereign Lord” to worship Him, bringing their offerings and sacrifices (Ex. 23:17; cf. Deut. 16:16). The Lord would see (rā’âh) the needs of those who came before Him, and would meet their needs. Thus in providing for them He would be “seen.” More Ross, Allen P. “Genesis.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and …

Caraway

Caraway
‎Caraway or Persian Cumin is a biennial plant that is used as a spice in bread and other foods. However, it is also used as a remedy for colic and as a fragrance component in perfumes. ‎Isa 28:25, Isa 28:27; Matt 23:23

The Promise of the Father

The Promise of the Father Excerpt Jesus particularly urges his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until God the Father sends them his Holy Spirit. They won’t have the grace or power to preach the gospel unless they are first plunged into the Holy Spirit, just as John the Baptist used to plunge people into water. They must wait — prayerful and ready — for the Holy Spirit. Once they have received the Spirit they will be able to preach the Gospel not only in Jerusalem, but in the rest of Judea, among their old enemies the Samaritans and to the whole world. More Knowles, Andrew. The Bible Guide. 1st Augsburg books ed. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg, 2001. Print

A Great Voice

A Great VoiceRevelation 1:10–11 Excerpt great voice—summoning solemn attention; Greek order, “I heard a voice behind me great (loud) as (that) of a trumpet.” The trumpet summoned to religious feasts, and accompanies God’s revelations of Himself. More Jamieson, Robert, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Vol. 2. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997. Print.

Be Aware of the Dynamics of Group Communication

Be Aware of the Dynamics of Group Communication Excerpt ‎Understanding the dynamics of communication in groups and learning to orchestrate and affect those dynamics are tremendous assets for a leader. Being able to recognize the signs that indicate that communication is breaking down and to know how to intervene effectively when the group climate begins to sour, can save a meeting, a program, and perhaps future relationships among participants. ‎Social scientists have observed that people usually express ideas and information through their words, but their feelings are expressed through subtle body language, tone of voice, facial expression, and so on. The group leader does well to listen with the eyes as well as the ears, to both the person who is talking and to those who are reacting in one way or another. These group dynamics are especially relevant for anyone who is conducting a meeting. … More Vassallo, Wanda. Church Communications Handbook: A Complete Guide to Developing a Strateg…

Humanity of Jesus

Humanity of Jesus Excerpt Theologians have puzzled over the exact relationship between Jesus’ humanity and deity. All we can say with confidence is that Jesus is both God and man. As a human being, He descended from Adam, was born, and lived a normal human life. He felt hunger and physical exhaustion. He knew rejection and pain. He enjoyed wedding celebrations and parties. He felt pity for the helpless, frustration at the dullness of His followers, and anger at the heartless indifference of the religious leaders to human suffering. He was truly human, in the best and the ideal sense of that word. As a human being He is our example. More Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print

The Obelisk at Heliopolis

The Obelisk at Heliopolis
‎Where once the immense and magnificent Temple of the Sun stood there are found now a few mounds, the remains of walls and this solitary obelisk, erected from one thousand seven hundred to two thousand four hundred years before Christ in the reign of Usertsen I. It is sixty-two feet four inches high above the level of the ground, sixty-six feet six inches in height above the pavement. These obelisks are expressions of old religious faiths as well as memorials of distinguished men under whose direction they were erected. The obelisks of the Pharaohs are of red granite, called syenite. An unfinished obelisk is even now to be seen in the quarries at syene “still adhering to the native rock with traces of the workmen’s tools so clearly seen on its surface that one might suppose they had been suddenly called away and intended soon to return and finish their work.”  

Mundy's Quote for the Day

Mundy's Quote for the Day Reverend Lynwood F. Mundy
Hannah’s Prayer
2 And Hannah prayed and said:
    “My heart rejoices in the LORD;     My horn [government] is exalted in the LORD.     I smile at my enemies,     Because I rejoice in Your salvation.
    2      “No one is holy like the LORD,     For there is none besides You,     Nor is there any rock like our God.
    3      “Talk no more so very proudly;     Let no arrogance come from your mouth,     For the LORD is the God of knowledge;     And by Him actions are weighed.     4      “The bows of the mighty men are broken,     And those who stumbled are girded with strength.     5      Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,     And the hungry have ceased to hunger.     Even the barren has borne seven,     And she who has many children has become feeble.
    6      “The LORD kills and makes alive;     He brings down to the grave and brings up.     7      The LORD makes poor and makes rich;     He brings low and li…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

December 18

  Cleanse thou me from secret faults
Ps. 19:12
The world needs men who are free from secret faults. Most men are free from gross, public faults.

Selected

Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1997. Print.

Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

December 18

THERE’S A SONG IN THE AIR! Josiah G. Holland, 1819–1881

    Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God … (Luke 2:13)

What a beautiful scene is drawn for us in this joyful Christmas hymn! As we visualize once more the glorious chorus of angels, the brilliant star, and Mary watching over her babe in the lowly manger, we feel like joining the “heavenly throng” in their “tumult of joy” to greet our Savior and King!

Josiah G. Holland created one of the most thoughtful and thrilling of all the carols that we sing during this season. It is no wonder that the angels’ song rang out so jubilantly: They knew it was the King of heaven and earth they serenaded. How little did those who followed the brilliant light of the star realize that through the ages the whole earth would be illumined by Christ the Lord (Revelation 22:16). Like those who saw the star, we “rejoice in the light, and we echo the song …”

Born in Belchertown, Massachusetts, Josia…

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year.

December 18th
The test of loyalty


And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God. Romans 8:28.

It is only the loyal soul who believes that God engineers circumstances. We take such liberties with our circumstances, we do not believe God engineers them, although we say we do; we treat the things that happen as if they were engineered by men. To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty, and that is to our Lord. Suddenly God breaks up a particular set of circumstances, and the realization comes that we have been disloyal to Him by not recognizing that He had organized them. We never saw what He was after, and that particular thing will never be repeated all the days of our life. The test of loyalty always comes just there. If we learn to worship God in the trying circumstances, He will alter them in two seconds when He chooses.
Loyalty to Jesus Christ is the thing that we ‘stick at’ to-day. We will be loyal to work, to service, to any…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, December 18      Go To Evening Reading
         “Rend your heart, and not your garments.”
— Joel 2:13
GARMENT-RENDING and other outward signs of religious emotion, are easily manifested and are frequently hypocritical; but to feel true repentance is far more difficult, and consequently far less common. Men will attend to the most multiplied and minute ceremonial regulations—for such things are pleasing to the flesh—but true religion is too humbling, too heart-searching, too thorough for the tastes of the carnal men; they prefer something more ostentatious, flimsy, and worldly. Outward observances are temporarily comfortable; eye and ear are pleased; self-conceit is fed, and self-righteousness is puffed up: but they are ultimately delusive, for in the article of death, and at the day of judgment, the soul needs something more substantial than ceremonies and rituals to lean upon. Apart from vital godliness all religion is utterly vain; offered without a sincere heart, every form …

Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan

December 18: Into the Family
Jeremiah 33:1–34:22; Romans 8:1–17; Proverbs 22:1–16

As people once bound to sin and destined for death, our ability to approach God personally—to call Him our Father—should astound us. Yet we sometimes forget to pray. We can take it for granted that He looks out for our every need.
The concept of approaching God as Father would have been a radical concept for the Roman community. In his letter to the church there, Paul discusses how our former lives without God were nothing but slavery to sin and death, the wages of sin. Christ’s work has set us free from this trajectory: “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself confirms to our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer together with him so that we may also be glorified together with him” (Rom 8:…