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Showing posts from April 14, 2015


King ‎This painting on a potsherd found in the palace Ramat Rahel just south of Jerusalem probably shows a king, since in general only kings were allowed to sit down. Nevertheless, it is impossible to say which Judean king this could be.

Pre-Flood Culture

Pre-Flood Culture Excerpt Pre-flood culture had undergone a thorough demonization. Fallen angels (demons) had taken over the souls and bodies of men and through marriage had produced Nephilim (fallen ones) who became the violent “mighty men who were of old, men of renown” (6:4). Marriage had been demonized, and violence was idolized. Sexual violence was de jure. Therefore God decided to wipe the world clean of every trace of humanity, except for the man Noah.More Hughes, R. Kent. Genesis: Beginning and Blessing. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2004. Print. Preaching the Word.

Symbolism of Blindness

Symbolism of Blindness Excerpt Some of Jesus’ healings of the blind may function as symbolic characterizations of the revelation and recognition of Jesus’ profound identity. That may be the case in the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida in Mark8:22-26. The painstaking, step-by-step manner in which Jesus performs this healing characterizes the way he is trying to bring his disciples to understand and ‘see’his profound identity. This healing serves as a symbolic anticipation and transition to the confession of Jesus as ‘the Christ’ in Mark 8:29. Similarly, Bartimaeus, healed of his blindness, represents the insightful disciple who follows Jesus to Jerusalem, the place of his suffering and death (Mark 10:46-52). The healing of the man born blind in John 9 characterizes the spiritual ‘blindness’ of the Jews and indicates how Jesus is the ‘light of the world.’ The concept of blindness was particularly appropriate for metaphorical use; it often characterized spiritual ‘blindness’ or lac…

Altar of burned offering

Altar of burned offering ‎On a large monolithic altar of burned offering (picture on the left) the fatty portions of the sacrifice were burned first. According to the Semitic notion, those portions were the best parts of the sacrificial animal, which thus were offered to God in appreciation. The altars of burned offering often had a bezel around it, so that the blood of the sacrifice could be thrown against the base of the altar underneath the bezel. Frankincense was only burned on altars like that in the Postexilic Period. But besides those types, there also were small, cubic altars of incense all over the Near East. They were normally 10 by 10 by 10 cm and were used in private homes. ‎Exod 30:1, 30:27; 31:8; 35:15; 37:25; 40:5; Lev 4:7; 1 Macc 4:49; 2 Macc 2:5; Luke 1:11

Divorce letter

Divorce letter ‎A husband could write his wife a certificate of divorce, and thus could end the marriage if he found “something objectionable” about her. It is still disputed which incidents are considered objectionable. ‎Deut 24:1–4; Isa 50:1; Jer 3:8; Matt 5:31; 19:7; Mark 10:4

Behold Ye

Behold Ye Excerpt “Behold” is plural here, literally, “behold ye.” The usual form is singular. John is calling upon all the saints to wonder at the particular kind of love God has bestowed upon them. “What manner of” ispotapēn(ποταπην), “from what country, race or tribe?” The word speaks of something foreign. The translation could read, “Behold, what foreign kind of love the Father has bestowed upon us.” The love of God is foreign to the human race. It is not found naturally in humanity. When it exists there, it is in a saved individual, andby reason of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Smith suggests, “from what far realm? What unearthly love, … how other-worldly.”More Wuest, Kenneth S. Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997. Print

Thou Shall Not Commit Adultery

Thou Shall Not Commit Adultery The seventh commandment (Deut. 5:18) calls for sexual purity and the honoring of marriage as God’s appointed way for the proper use and enjoyment of human sexuality. In ancient Israel, adultery was considered a capital crime (22:22), while in today’s society, it’s hardly considered a sin, let alone a crime. God can forgive sexual sins (1 Cor. 6:9–11) but He doesn’t promise to interfere with the painful consequences (2 Sam. 12:13–14; Prov. 6:20–35; Gal. 6:7–8; Heb. 13:4). It’s disgusting the way the media glorify sex and turn fornication and adultery into entertainment.
Wiersbe, Warren W. Be Equipped. Colorado Springs, CO: Chariot Victor Pub., 1999. Print. “Be” Commentary Series.


ProtevangeliumGenesis 3:15 Excerpt Christian tradition has referred to3:15as the protevangeliumsince it has been taken as the prototype for the Christiangospel. Historically interpreters have differed about whether “her seed” refers to an individual or is a collective singular indicating all humanity. The LXX version may be the earliest attested interpretation of “seed” as an individual. It translates the Hebrewzeraʿ(“seed”) with the Greeksperma, a neuter noun. The expected antecedent pronoun is “it [auto] will crush your head,” but the Greek has “he” (autos), which suggests that the translators interpreted “seed” as an individual.209 The Targums, Jewish pseudepigrapha, and later rabbinic commentators, however, generally viewed the “seed” as collective for humankind. Christian interpreters showed a mixed opinion.210 Justin and Irenaeus interpreted the woman of3:15as the virgin Mary by drawing a parallel with Eve. Greek Fathers, such as Chrysostom, viewed3:15as a depiction of the strugg…

Proverbs 3:34

Proverbs 3:34 Excerpt But the heart of James’s letter is found in the quotation of Proverbs 3:34 in James 4:6. The rest of the letter gives specific examples of what “humble” in Proverbs 3:34 means (see “humble,”4:7; “draw close” 4:8; “bow down,” 4:10; “grief,” 4:9; “weep,” 5:1; “be patient,”5:7; “confess your sins,” 5:16). The purpose is that God’s grace, not his opposition, may be experienced. More Hughes, Robert B., and J. Carl Laney. Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001. Print. The Tyndale Reference Library.


MeeknessMatthew 5:5 In the NT meekness (prautēs and adjective praus) refers to an inward attitude, whereas*gentleness is expressed rather in outward action. It is part of the fruit of Christ-like character produced only by the Spirit (Gal. 5:23, AV). The meek do not resent adversity because they accept everything as being the effect of God’s wiseand loving purpose for them, so that they accept injuries from men also (as Moses above), knowing that these are permitted by God for their ultimate good (cf.2 Sa. 16:11). The meekness and gentleness of Christ was the source of Paul’s own plea to the disloyal Corinthians (2 Cor. 10:1). He enjoined meekness as the spirit in which to rebuke an erring brother (2 Tim. 2:25, AV), and when bearing with one another (Eph. 4:2). Similarly, Peter exhorted that the inquiring or arguing heathen should be answered in meekness (1 Pet. 3:15, AV). Supremely meekness is revealed in the character of Jesus (Mt. 11:29, AV; 21:5, AV), demonstrated in superlative …

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

April 14

  My soul, wait thou only upon God
Ps. 62:5
Did it ever occur to you that if you do not hear God’s answer to prayer, it may be not because He is dumb, but because you are deaf; not because He has no answer to give, but because you have not been listening for it? We are so busy with our service, so busy with our work, and sometimes so busy with our praying, that it does not occur to us to stop our own talking and listen if God has some answer to give us with “the still small voice”; to be passive, to be quiet, to do nothing, say nothing, in some true sense think nothing; simply to be receptive and waiting for the voice. “Wait thou only upon God,” says the Psalmist; and again, “Wait on the Lord.”


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

Connect the Testaments

April 14: Tearing Down to Build Up
Deuteronomy 28:1–68; 2 Corinthians 7:2–7; Psalm 41

It’s difficult to take rebuke, especially when it’s unsolicited. We feel exposed and embarrassed when our sin is brought to light. And if we don’t have the humility to accept rebuke, the experience can leave us at odds with the brave soul who assumes the task.

For Paul, who rebuked the Corinthians, news of their love was a relief and comfort to him: “But God, who comforts the humble, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted among you, because he reported to us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more” (2 Cor 7:6–7).

We form community when others challenge us and encourage us to live for God. While community can fulfill our social needs, it’s this common purpose that draws us together. When we take rebuke graciously and seek forgiveness from God, it forges the bond of community. When we rebel,…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, April 14                                                Go To Evening Reading

         “All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head.”  — Psalm 22:7
Mockery was a great ingredient in our Lord’s woe. Judas mocked him in the garden; the chief priests and scribes laughed him to scorn; Herod set him at nought; the servants and the soldiers jeered at him, and brutally insulted him; Pilate and his guards ridiculed his royalty; and on the tree all sorts of horrid jests and hideous taunts were hurled at him. Ridicule is always hard to bear, but when we are in intense pain it is so heartless, so cruel, that it cuts us to the quick. Imagine the Saviour crucified, racked with anguish far beyond all mortal guess, and then picture that motley multitude, all wagging their heads or thrusting out the lip in bitterest contempt of one poor suffering victim! Surely there must have been something more in the crucified One than they could see, or else such a…

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

April 14th
Inspired invincibility

Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me. Matthew 11:29.

“Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth.” How petty our complaining is! Our Lord begins to bring us into the place where we can have communion with Him, and we groan and say—‘Oh Lord, let me be like other people!’ Jesus is asking us to take one end of the yoke—‘My yoke is easy, get alongside Me and we will pull together.’ Are you identified with the Lord Jesus like that? If so, you will thank God for the pressure of His hand.
“To them that have no might He increaseth strength.” God comes and takes us out of our sentimentality, and our complaining turns into a psalm of praise. The only way to know the strength of God is to take the yoke of Jesus upon us and learn of Him.
“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Where do the saints get their joy from? If we did not know some saints, we would say—‘Oh, he, or she, has nothing to bear.’ Lift the veil. The fact that the peace and the light and the joy of G…