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Showing posts from June 24, 2015

Feast of Pentecost

Feast of Pentecost The feast of Pentecost was in NT times the name for the celebration of the Feast of Weeks because it occurred on the fiftieth day after Passover. It was a one-day festival in which special sacrifices were offered, and originally it was a harvest (firstfruits) festival (Exod. 23:16; 34:22; Lev. 23:15–21; Num. 28:26; Deut. 16:9–12). It is possible, but not certain, that as early as this time this festival was associated with the giving of the Law on Sinai. There is an interesting tradition, of a later period, that the Law had been initially promulgated in the seventy languages of the nations that made up the whole world (b. Shab. 88b). Even more intriguing is what Philo, writing well before the time of Luke, says about the giving of the Law: “Then from the midst of the fire that streamed from heaven there sounded forth to their utter amazement a voice, for the flame became the articulate speech in the language familiar to the audience” (Decal. 46). If Luke knew such …

Old Testament Wisdom: An Introduction

The Structure of JobJob 1:1 To some extent the shape of the book depends on one’s predisposition, but three different ways of viewing the structure commend themselves. Readers may emphasize (1)the diction, (2) the dramatic movement, and (3)the individual components in outline form. By discounting brief prosaic introductions and observations, the first approach yields two parts, prose and poetry. The second perspectiveuses narrative introductions—and to some extent conclusions—to distinguish three divisions, specifically Job 1:1–2:10; Job 2:11–31:40; Job 32:1–42:17. The third approach divides the book into five discrete sections: chapters 1–2; 3–31; 32–37; 38:1–42:6; 42:7–17
Crenshaw, James L. Old Testament Wisdom: An Introduction. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998. Print.

Job's Character

Job's CharacterJob 1:1 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 rest.”

Mount Tabor

Mount Tabor
To the right and to the east of our pilgrims, as they passed through the plains of Esdrælon, they would see Mount Tabor. Tabor is one of the traditional mounts of transfiguration. Hermon, on the north, contests with Tabor this honor. Churches have been built upon Tabor and pilgrimages have been made to it, and for fifteen centuries it has been honored as one of the shrines of the Holy Land. Tabor is situated on the frontier of Issachar and Zebulun. It was here that Deborah directed Barak to assemble an army, and hence the Israelites marched into the plain and defeated Sisera.—Judges, 4. It is more than 2,000 feet above the sea, and is dome-like in form. The slopes are wooded, the soil fertile, the pasture rich. The view from Mount Tabor is extensive. To the east the north end of the sea of Tiberias is visible, and in the extreme distance the blue chain of the Bashan Mountains. Toward the south and north the view resembles that from the high ground above Nazareth. To the w…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

June 24

  Thy heart is not right in the sight of God
        Acts 8:21
The worst of all mockeries is a religion that leaves the heart unchanged: a religion that has everything but the love of Christ enshrined in the soul.

F. Whitfield

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

Connect the Testaments

June 24: It’s Simple
Nehemiah 7:66–8:18; 1 John 5:6–12; Psalm 110:1–7

I tend to complicate matters. Determined to understand the nuances of a problem, I spend more time constructing a solution than I need to. Often, delaying a simple solution is my way of avoiding action that requires me to be courageous, intentional, or perhaps admit I’m wrong.

John’s first letter addresses a complication of the gospel message. False teachers were causing division in the community by spreading incorrect doctrines about Christ’s humanity and divinity. Without understanding that Christ isboth man andGod, some people in the community were in danger of diminishing Christ’s saving work and confusing the gospel. John spends the greater portion of the letter guiding his readers through the murky doctrines the false teachers had introduced.

However, John’s climactic point at the close of his letter is far from complex. First John 5:11–12 contains a statement about belief that is both simple and decisive: “An…

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest

June 25th
Receiving one’s self in the fires of sorrow

What shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? But for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify Thy name.John 12:27–29 (R.V.).
My attitude as a saint to sorrow and difficulty is not to ask that they may be prevented, but to ask that I may preserve the self God created me to be through every fire of sorrow. Our Lord received Himself in the fire of sorrow, He was saved not from the hour, but out of the hour.

We say that there ought to be no sorrow, but there is sorrow, and we have to receive ourselves in its fires. If we try and evade sorrow, refuse to lay our account with it, we are foolish. Sorrow is one of the biggest facts in life; it is no use saying sorrow ought not to be. Sin and sorrow and suffering are, and it is not for us to say that God has made a mistake in allowing them.

Sorrow burns up a great amount of shallowness, but it does not always make a man better. Suffering either gives me my self or it destroys m…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening

Morning, June 25                                                 Go To Evening Reading

“Get thee up into the high mountain.” 
         — Isaiah 40:9
Our knowledge of Christ is somewhat like climbing one of our Welsh mountains. When you are at the base you see but little: the mountain itself appears to be but one-half as high as it really is. Confined in a little valley, you discover scarcely anything but the rippling brooks as they descend into the stream at the foot of the mountain. Climb the first rising knoll, and the valley lengthens and widens beneath your feet. Go higher, and you see the country for four or five miles round, and you are delighted with the widening prospect. Mount still, and the scene enlarges; till at last, when you are on the summit, and look east, west, north, and south, you see almost all England lying before you. Yonder is a forest in some distant county, perhaps two hundred miles away, and here the sea, and there a shining river and the smoking chimneys of …