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Showing posts from August 4, 2015

"Fight" Figure

"Fight" Figure

David spares Saul’s life (1 Sam. 26). When David had an opportunity to kill Saul, he held back. He reasoned, “Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless? As surely as the Lord lives … the Lord Himself will strike him; either his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish” (vv. 9–10). David’s trust in God was vividly demonstrated in his restraint. So too was his determination to do right, no matter how another provoked him. The New Testament expresses this principle in a different way. We are to do good to those who persecute us so that we can be like the Lord, who does good to His enemies (see Matt. 5:43–48). How important to learn to do good, even to those who try to do us harm.

Richards, Larry, and Lawrence O. Richards. The Teacher’s Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1987. Print.

Jerusalem at the Time of Jesus

Jerusalem at the Time of Jesus
By the time of Jesus, the city of Jerusalem had grown from a modest military fortress to a world-class city with a newly renovated temple that rivaled nearly any in the ancient world. Public pools were fed by the Gihon Spring and by two aqueducts that brought water to the city from as far as 7 miles (11 km) away. The towns of Bethphage and Bethany were located on the eastern slopes of the Mount of Olives, which lay to the east of Jerusalem. See also Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus.

Crossway Bibles. The ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008. Print.

Coin of Herod I

Coin of Herod I ‎The Romans named Herod I (“the Great”) Judea’s king in 40 B.C. He took the throne in 37, ruling until 4 B.C. This eight-prutah coin was the largest denomination he minted; bread cost 10 prutahs per loaf. The bronze coin’s obverse features a helmet with chin straps. Above the helmet, two olive branches flank a star. The reverse, with date corresponding to 40 B.C., shows a tripod-mounted Greek ceremonial bowl. The surrounding Greek phrase means “of King Herod.” Herod, a Jew, oriented himself toward the influential Hellenic culture. ‎Matt 2:1–22, Luke 1:5, Acts 23:35


Demon demon, the English transliteration of a Greek term (daimōn) originally referring to any one of numerous, vaguely defined spirit beings, either good or bad. In the NT they are understood as evil spirits, opposed to God and God’s people. In the KJV, the term is regularly translated ‘devil,’ a word that appears in the RSV only as the translation of a different Greek term meaning ‘accuser’ or ‘slanderer’ (diabolos). It is used as a virtual synonym for ‘Satan.’  In the ancient world, there was widespread belief in spiritual powers or beings that existed in addition to the well-known gods and goddesses. These beings were not understood as necessarily evil, though some might be. The idea that many or even all such beings were allied with the forces of darkness and wickedness only came into focus, probably under the influence of Persian thought, during the intertestamental period of Judaism. There are traces of the belief in harmful spirits in the OT writings (e.g., Gen. 6:1-4; Lev. 16…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

August 4

  Created in Christ Jesus unto good works
        Eph. 2:10

Let us ask Him to work in us to will those good works, so that our will, without being impaired in its free operation, may be permeated and molded by His will, just as light suffuses the atmosphere without displacing it. And let us also expect that He will infuse into us sufficient strength that we may be able to do His will unto all pleasing. Thus, day by day, our life will be a manifestation of those holy volitions and lovely deeds which shall attest the indwelling and in working of God. And men shall see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven.

F. B. Meyer

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

Barry, John D., and Rebecca Kruyswijk. Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan

August 4: In Grief
Isaiah 7:1–8:22; Luke 2:22–52; Job 2:11–13

It’s difficult to know how to respond to people suffering grief. Those brave enough to speak often attempt to rationalize another’s grief with ill-timed theological truths. Those who feel inadequate or awkward about reaching out to grieving people sometimes avoid them altogether.
Job’s friends are well known for misinterpreting Job’s suffering. But they aren’t often recognized for the moments when they responded to Job’s anguish with wisdom. When Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar first heard of the tragedy, they immediately came to comfort Job:
“Thus they lifted up their eyes from afar, but they did not recognize him, so they raised their voice, and they wept, and each man tore his outer garment and threw dust on their heads toward the sky. Then they sat with him on the ground for seven days and seven nights, but no one spoke a word to him because they saw that his suffering was very great” (Job 2:12–13).
Often we try to diminis…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, August 4      Go To Evening Reading

         “The people that do know their God shall be strong.”
         — Daniel 11:32

Every believer understands that to know God is the highest and best form of knowledge; and this spiritual knowledge is a source of strength to the Christian. It strengthens his faith. Believers are constantly spoken of in the Scriptures as being persons who are enlightened and taught of the Lord; they are said to “have an unction from the Holy One,” and it is the Spirit’s peculiar office to lead them into all truth, and all this for the increase and the fostering of their faith. Knowledge strengthens love, as well as faith. Knowledge opens the door, and then through that door we see our Saviour. Or, to use another similitude, knowledge paints the portrait of Jesus, and when we see that portrait then we love him, we cannot love a Christ whom we do not know, at least, in some degree. If we know but little of the excellences of Jesus, what he has done for us…

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest

August 4th
The brave comradeship of God

Then He took unto Him the twelve. Luke 18:31.

The bravery of God in trusting us! You say—‘But He has been unwise to choose me, because there is nothing in me; I am not of any value.’ That is why He chose you. As long as you think there is something in you, God cannot choose you because you have ends of your own to serve; but if you have let Him bring you to the end of your self-sufficiency, then He can choose you to go with Him to Jerusalem, and that will mean the fulfilment of purposes which He does not discuss with you.
We are apt to say that because a man has natural ability, therefore he will make a good Christian. It is not a question of our equipment but of our poverty; not of what we bring with us, but of what God puts into us; not a question of natural virtues, of strength of character, knowledge, and experience—all that is of no avail in this matter. The only thing that avails is that we are taken up into the big compelling of God and …