Skip to main content


Showing posts from March 18, 2015


Ephes-dammin Excerpt Ephes-dammim was located about six kilometers (about four miles) northeast of Socoh. The meaning of this name is uncertain. But it refers to the same place that is called “Pas Dammim” in 1 Chr 11:13 (and, in some versions that are based on the Septuagint, in 2 Sam 23:9). Since the reference is to the same place, translators would be justified in using the same spelling here and in the other passages where this place is referred to. More Omanson, Roger L., and John Ellington. A Handbook on the First Book of Samuel. New York: United Bible Societies, 2001. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Megiddo: Tunnel

Megiddo: Tunnel ‎ Megiddo. The tunnel, now repaired and open for visitors to walk through, led to a hidden spring outside the city, ensuring a water supply to those besieged inside the city during wartime. The tunnel, 65 meters long, starts at the bottom of a 25 meter shaft. This water system from the time of King Ahab, 9th century B.C., demonstrates the impressive engineering ability of our ancestors.

Assyrian scribes

Assyrian scribes
‎This fresco from Tell Ahmar/Til Barsib in northern Syria shows two Assyrian scribes. The left scribe writes with a reed pen on papyrus, the right one is pressing cuneiform characters with a metal stylus on a clay tablet. Hence two of the most important possibilities of taking records are depicted here. Clay tablets, when fired in a kiln, are much more durable than papyrus leaves. The scribes were mainly in the service of the court or the military. The picture is from the early 8th century BCE. ‎2 Sam 8:17; 20:25; 1 Kings 4:3; 12:11; 18:18; 19:2; 22:3, 22:8–10; Ezra 4:8, 4:9, 4:17, 4:23; Neh 13:13; Ps 45:1; Isa 10:1; 36:3, 36:22; 37:2; Jer 8:8; 36:10; Ezek 9:2

The Forces of Evil

The Forces of EvilEphesians 6:12 Excerpt Verse 12 provides further reason for being strong and deploying the armor of God and goes on to name other supernatural enemies, using some of the same terminology found in 1:21and 3:10 (see comments there). Unfortunately, throughout its history the Christian church has often tended to view human opponents as the enemy to be fought. Sometimes this has been an exegetical position, concluding that structures of government constitute the enemy. Sometimes it has been de facto, as Christians lash out against those who oppose them. Paul’s negative clarification (not against) should have prevented that error. The enemy is not a visible and relatively weak humanity (the meaning of flesh and blood),* not even powerful human authorities. This enemy is in the heavenly realms and is therefore unseen, possessing a tactical advantage over those whose vision is earthbound. More Liefeld, Walter L. Ephesians. Vol. 10. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 199…

Rule, Authority, Power, and Dominion

Rule, Authority, Power, and Dominion Excerpt The four synonyms (RSV “rule…authority…power…dominion”) indicate spiritual powers which are here not primarily regarded as evil, but which simply exist. In Jewish thought these powers were viewed as angels, of which there were ranks and degrees, or as spirits (evil); in Greek thought they were seen as lesser gods and powers. The author here takes their existence for granted and does not argue about it. See a similar list in Colossians 1.16, where the words appear in the plural; of the four words used here in Ephesians 1.21, three of them are also in the Colossians passage; the only difference is that Colossians has “throne” (first word) and Ephesians has “power” (third word). More Bratcher, Robert G., and Eugene Albert Nida. A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. New York: United Bible Societies, 1993. Print. UBS Handbook Series

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

March 18

  They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint
Isa. 40:31
The eagle that soars in the upper air does not worry itself as to how it is to cross rivers.


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

March 18

Words and Music by Elisha A. Hoffman 1839–1929

  The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength … (2 Timothy 4:17)

  Oh, help me, Lord, to take the time
  To set all else aside,
  That in the secret place of prayer
  I may with you abide.

One of the loneliest feelings we can have comes when we face a time of need without having a loving friend to talk to about it. Everyone needs at least one trusted friend in whom to confide.
Pastor Elisha A. Hoffman, author and composer of more than 2,000 gospel songs, gives the following account of the writing of this well-loved hymn:
  During a pastorate in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, there was a woman to whom God permitted many visitations of sorrow and affliction. Coming to her home one day, I found her much discouraged. She unburdened her heart, concluding with the question, “Brother Hoffman, what shall I do? What shall I do?” I quoted from the Word, then added, “You cannot do better than to take all of your sorro…

My Utmost for His Highest

March 18th

Shall I rouse myself up to this?

Perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Cor. 7:1.

“Having therefore these promises.” I claim the fulfilment of God’s promises, and rightly, but that is only the human side; the Divine side is that through the promises I recognize God’s claim on me. For instance, am I realizing that my body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, or have I a habit of body that plainly will not bear the light of God on it? By sanctification the Son of God is formed in me, then I have to transform my natural life into a spiritual life by obedience to Him. God educates us down to the scruple. When He begins to check, do not confer with flesh and blood, cleanse yourself at once. Keep yourself cleansed in your daily walk.
I have to cleanse myself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit until both are in accord with the nature of God. Is the mind of my spirit in perfect agreement with the life of the Son of God in me, or am I insubordinate in intellect? Am I formin…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening

Morning, March 18                                               Go To Evening Reading

         “Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
— Galatians 3:26
The fatherhood of God is common to all his children. Ah! Little-faith, you have often said, “Oh that I had the courage of Great-heart, that I could wield his sword and be as valiant as he! But, alas, I stumble at every straw, and a shadow makes me afraid.” List thee, Little-faith. Great-heart is God’s child, and you are God’s child too; and Great-heart is not one whit more God’s child than you are. Peter and Paul, the highly- favoured apostles, were of the family of the Most High; and so are you also; the weak Christian is as much a child of God as the strong one.

         “This cov’nant stands secure,
         Though earth’s old pillars bow;
         The strong, the feeble, and the weak,
         Are one in Jesus now.”

All the names are in the same family register. One may have more grace than another, but God our h…

Connect the Testaments

March 18: Is This “Bad” from God?
Numbers 20–21; 1 Corinthians 3:1–4:21; Psalm 18:31–50

God has granted us incredible grace in the salvation that Jesus’ death and resurrection offers, but that very grace is often used as a theological excuse. It’s dangerous to say that bad things come from God, but there are times when they actually do. What makes them good is how He uses them to help us grow. The great grace God offers doesn’t mean our sins go unpunished.
We see God directly issue what seems “bad” in Num 21:5–7. First we’re told: “The people spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why have you brought us from Egypt to die in the desert? There is no food and no water, and our hearts detest this miserable food’ ” (Num 21:5). Then, Yahweh sends poisonous snakes that bite the people, causing them to die (Num 21:6). Why would a good God do such a horrific thing?
In Numbers 21:1–4, the people had experienced a miraculous victory against the Canaanites living in Arad—a people they were losin…