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Showing posts from May 18, 2015

Nazareth from the Latin Mount

Nazareth from the Latin Mount Here is a charming picture, probably the most beautiful to be gained from any point of observation about Nazareth. It is a restful place, thoroughly in keeping with the silent years of our Lord’s life. There is not much stir. There is no bustle or noise. The people walk about quietly. The mountains which encircle the town, rising toward the heavens, are in themselves restful to the eye, and the whole town seems friendly to a life of meditation. It is as different and distinct from other towns of the same size in Palestine as though it belonged to a different country. There is more of devotion in the churches, more of dignity and taste in the bearing of the people. The beautiful, tender and sympathetic life of our Lord seems to have been shared by the people of the place. As we looked down upon this lovely town from the Latin Mount in the early morning of the 7th of May, 1894, the air was soft, the sky clear and deep, and the very olive groves and vineyar…

Favor before the Egyptians

Favor before the EgyptiansI will give this people favor refers to something God will give to the Israelites as a group, including Moses. But it is something that will be recognized in the sight of the Egyptians. So favor may be understood as "prestige" (jb), or some quality that would command the "respect" of the Egyptians. It may be easier to think of the Egyptians as the object of God’s action, as in 3:21 tev: "I will make the Egyptians respect you." In some languages the idea of "face" will be helpful here; for example, "I will lift up your face before the Egyptians," or "I will cause you to have face before.…"
The second clause, and when you go …, states the purpose of God’s favor, so it is better introduced as "so that when you leave" (see 3:21 tev). Some translations such as njb relate the two clauses even more closely: "I shall ensure that the Egyptians are so much impressed with this people that when y…

The Authors Motive for Writing

The Authors Motive for Writing15 ‘Peter’s’ concern, however, extends far beyond the brief span of life still left to him: he will make the effort (again his favourite verb spoudazein, as at 10a: cf. also 5a) to see that, even after his departure, his correspondents (here he seems to be envisaging the Church generally as well) may be able on all occasions to recall these things. In other words, he plans to leave behind him a permanent testimony to which they can refer; there is perhaps a hint that apostolic writings were not only treasured but read at services. For departure (exodos) as a dignified euphemism for death, cf. Lk. 9:31 (Jesus’s death, foreshadowed at the Transfiguration); Wis. 3:2; 7:6; Irenaeus, Haer. iii. 1. 1 (of the deaths of Peter and Paul). At first sight the cast of the sentence, with its future tense, seems to imply that he is promising a further work, and on the theory of Petrine authorship commentators have often identified this either as some document now lost …

Casesarea Maritima

Casesarea Maritima Casesarea Maritima. The site plan displays the location of Field G where the coin hoard was unearthed. Since 1978, excavations in this field have exposed portions of the Roman and Byzantine period city. Map courtesy of JECM. Hoarding the Gold Solidus
The Joint Expedition to Caesarea (JECM) has unearthed a spectacular hoard of gold coins during the summer season of its on-going excavation of the port city build by Herod, King of Judea. Excavators discovered 99 Byzantine solidi deposited in a carefully prepared hiding place as they worked to clarify the structure of what may be a large residence. The house lies in Field G between the Crusader fortifications and the north wall of Herod’s port. This high ground constituted a residential quarter of the Roman and Byzantine city. Ninety-nine Byzantine solidi. An extraordinary gold coin hoard unearthed at Caesarea. In 1978 work in area 5 of Field G revealed a peristyle structure with a mosaic floor along the east side of a…

Bind and Write Them

Bind and Write ThemProverbs 3:3 The command to "bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart" further indicates that the character of the student is in view rather than just his behavior. Some have suggested that the binding of love to the neck means that it is here a kind of necklace that beautifies the individual. But the parallel between "neck" and "heart" here implies that fidelity is more than an ornament to the neck. The neck houses the throat which, in Hebrew anthropology, is the very life of the person. Love and faithfulness are to become part of the student’s heart and life.46 The influence of Deuteronomy here is evident.47
The translation "a good name" (v. 4) is somewhat paraphrastic. The text actually reads, "Then you will win favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man."48 This means that others will recognize the competence and intelligence of the wise individual.

Ancient Jerusalem

Ancient Jerusalem There is nothing left of the ancient Jericho but a few mounds and ruined aqueducts, which we see in the above picture. Josephus says that "palm trees here grow to an unusal size, the gardens produce honey and balsam, henna and myroballanum." Of these rich products not one remains. It is said that Cleopatra transferred the balsam trees to the gardens of Heliopolis in Egypt. In the distance we again see the Moab Mountains. At the base of these mountains at the beginning of the level plain flows the River Jordan. This region was at one time considered the garden of Palestine. In the time of the Crusades it is said that kings cultivated plantations of sugar cane in the plains of Jericho. In the ancient city at present no people live. Near by is the fountain of Elisha, the Mount of the Temptation. Quarantania rises loftily above the plain at this point. In 1863 the writer rode to the summit of the mound, where he gained a charming view of this plain of the Jord…

The Bridge over the Jordan

The Bridge over the Jordan ‎This is a bridge over the Hasbany, one of the leading sources of the Jordan. Leaving the plain of Huleh, we crossed the bridge which tradition assigns to Roman times, but it perhaps belongs to a much later date than that. It is sorely in need of repairs. You will observe a rock-paved roadway coming down to the bridge from the right. This extends up the hill the same way; but directiy over the bridge this rock road has been removed, and there is nothing now but the layer of stone which makes up the arch of the bridge to constitute a roadway. It is a wild, picturesque place. This prong of the Jordan dashes down the declivity, throwing up its spray on all sides. “We pass up a deep gorge, worn by the mountain stream and cut into a channel, at some points nearly 200 feet deep. Along its bed the stream dashes against great volcanic bowlders, while the banks are lined with oleanders, willows, honeysuckle, and other sweet and flowering shrubs. The noise of the wat…

Socoh and Azekah

Socoh and Azekah were located about thirty kilometers (about eighteen miles) southwest of Jerusalem. Socoh was one of three towns by this name in the Old Testament. To indicate which of these towns is intended, the writer adds which belongs to Judah, that is, this Socoh was located in the lowlands of Judah. The name Socoh comes from a root meaning "to hedge" or "to shut in." nbe translates this name as Vallado, that is, "Enclosure."
Azekah: another town in the lowlands of Judah, about five kilometers (three miles) north of Socoh. The name means "hoed ground." nbe translates this name as Cavada, that is, "Dug out."

Joy in God’s Faithfulness

Joy in God’s Faithfulness
14 sSing, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has taken away your judgments,
He has cast out your enemy.
tThe King of Israel, the Lord, uis in your midst;
You shall 6see disaster no more.
16 In that day vit shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Do not fear;
Zion, wlet not your hands be weak.
17 The Lord your God xin your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
yHe will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”[1]

Connect the Testaments

May 18: A Higher Calling
1 Chronicles 6:1–81; 1 Timothy 4:6–16; Psalm 78:13–29

It’s easy to get self-absorbed when we’re criticized—or when we think others are criticizing us. Because of our real or imagined defects, we start to believe other people don’t take us seriously. It’s easy to get off course in an attempt to defend ourselves.

As a young leader, Timothy may have dealt with criticism in the Ephesian community because of his age. Paul gives him advice: “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim 4:12).

Paul doesn’t offer defensive solutions. Rather, he calls Timothy to be a living example of his teaching. He reinforces Timothy’s calling by encouraging him to stay focused on his call, speech, and conduct. By being the contrast to the rumors about him, Timothy thwarts criticism.
But Paul isn’t simply giving leadership advice. By reaffirming Timothy’s purpose and calling, he is helping Timothy …

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest

May 18th
Careful unreasonableness

Behold the fowls of the air … consider the lilies of the field. Matthew 6:26, 28.

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they simply are! Think of the sea, the air, the sun, the stars and the moon—all these are, and what a ministration they exert. So often we mar God’s designed influence through us by our self-conscious effort to be consistent and useful. Jesus says that there is only one way to develop spiritually, and that is by concentration on God. ‘Do not bother about being of use to others, believe on Me’—pay attention to the Source, and out of you will flow rivers of living water. We cannot get at the springs of our natural life by common sense, and Jesus is teaching that growth in spiritual life does not depend on our watching it, but on concentration on our Father in heaven. Our heavenly Father knows the circumstances we are in, and if we keep concentrated on Him we will grow spiritually as the lilies.

The people who influence us m…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening

Morning, May 18                                                Go To Evening Reading

“In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him.” 
         — Colossians 2:9, 10
All the attributes of Christ, as Godand man, are at our disposal. All the fulness of the Godhead, whatever that marvellous term may comprehend, is ours to make us complete. He cannot endow us with the attributes of Deity; but he has done all that can be done, for he has made even his divine power and Godhead subservient to our salvation. His omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, immutability and infallibility, are all combined for our defence. Arise, believer, and behold the Lord Jesus yoking the whole of his divine Godhead to the chariot of salvation! How vast his grace, how firm his faithfulness, how unswerving his immutability, how infinite his power, how limitless his knowledge! All these are by the Lord Jesus made the pillars of the temple of salvation; and all, without diminution…