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Showing posts from September 3, 2015

Saul Slain

Saul Slain ‎Meanwhile, unknown to David and his men, the final tragedy of Saul’s wild life had come. The Philistine army attacked the king and his still loyal troops by Mount Gilboa. The dejected Israelites soon fled, nor can we find that there was any fierce battling, expect with the little group of Saul’s personal attendants. His sons stood by him devotedly. Jonathan, fighting at their head, was slain.
‎“And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers.” Doubtless the hosts of the Philistines surrounded the desperate little circle of those noted warriors, assailing them from afar. For Saul the last scene of all was come. Too enfeebled to fight further, he dreaded lest he be made prisoner and insulted, perchance tortured, by the enemy. He bade his armor bearer slay him; and when the man refused, Saul took his own sword and fell upon it so that he died. “And when his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise, upon his s…

Learn Christ

Learn ChristEphesians 4:20–21Ephesians 4:20–21. In sharp contrast to their former manner of life, the readers are reminded of what they were taught concerning Christ, both in the initial proclamation of the gospel and through subsequent instruction. Over against the hardness, ignorance, and depravity which characterize the pagan world to which they once belonged, Paul sets forth the whole process of Christ-centered teaching. His expressions in vv. 20 and 21 are quite striking, and ‘evoke the image of a school’.
The first formulation, ‘you did not learn Christ that way’, is without parallel. The phrase ‘to learn a person’ appears nowhere else in the Greek Bible, and to date it has not been traced in any prebiblical Greek document. In Colossians, the same verb is used of the readers having ‘learned’ the ‘grace of God’ from Epaphras, who had given them systematic instruction in the gospel (Col. 1:7). Here in Ephesians Christ himself is the content of the teaching which the readers learn…

Church of Nativity

Church of Nativity
‎Church of Nativity entrance

Dolmen "stone bed"

Dolmen "stone bed"
‎Dolmen are found everywhere in the Hula Valley and in the northern part of the region east of the Jordan River. During the Middle Bronze Age I (2200–2000 BCE), it was used as a burial chamber for nomads. Perhaps with the term “stone bed” or “stone grave,” Deut 3:11 refers to such a dolmen as the grave of the legendary king Og of Bashan. ‎Deut 3:11

Scribe of Egypt

Scribe of Egypt ‎Scribes were vital to functional religion, government, and commerce. In Mesopotamia they mastered cuneiform script and the materials needed to write it, from a reed stylus on clay to metal tools on bronze. Egyptian scribes wrote, painted, or chiseled hieroglyphics on nearly any surface they could use, including cloth. Hebrew scribes usually wrote on parchment or papyrus in a script adapted from the Phoenician alphabet. Some of the earliest examples of Hebrew script are found on pottery fragments called ostraca. ‎2 Sam 20:25, 1 Chr 27:32, Ezra 7:6, Jer 36:26, Acts 23:9, 1 Cor 1:20

A Sharp Two-Edged Sword

A Sharp Two-Edged SwordRevelation 1:16 Ver. Revelation 1:16.—He holds the Churches in his hand as a precious possession, which he sustains as a glory to himself. These Churches are as planets, which shine, not with their own light, but that of the sun; which shine most brightly in the night of “tribulation,” which (like him who holds them in his right hand) are a guide to the wanderer, and are ever moving, yet ever at rest. Out of his mouth a sharp two-edged sword. This metaphor runs through both Old and New Testaments. It is frequent in this book (ch. 2:12, 16; 19:15, 21; comp. Luke 2:35; Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12; Ps. 45:3; 57:4; 59:7; 64:3; 149:6; Prov. 12:18; Isa. 11:4; 49:2, etc.). The sharp words of men and the searching words of God are both spoken of under this figure of the sword. Tertullian and Richard of St. Victor explain the two edges as the Law and the Gospel. Other still more fanciful explanations have been given. “Two-edged” (δίστομος) is literally “two-mouthed,” and perha…

Behold the Lamb of God

Behold the Lamb of GodVer. John 1:36.—And steadfastly regarding (see Mark. 10:21, 27; Luke 20:17; 22:61)—with eager and penetrating glance, as though something might be learned from his slightest movements—Jesus as he walked; “walked,” not towards John, as on the previous day, but in some opposite direction. This implies that their relative functions were not identical, and not to be confounded. This is the last time when the Baptist and the Christ were together, and the sublime meekness of John, and his surrender of all primary claims to deference, throw light on the unspeakable and gentle dignity of Jesus. He saith, Behold the Lamb of God. The simple phrase, without further exposition, implies that he was recalling to their minds the mighty appellation which he had bestowed upon the Saviour on the previous day, with all the additional interpretation of the term with which it had then been accompanied. The brevity of the cry here marks the emphasis which it bore, and the rich associ…

The Sign of Hezekiah

The Sign of Hezekiah ‎ Great must have been the honor given to Isaiah after the downfall of Sennacherib; and great the respect shown by the surrounding nations to Judah, her king, and her prophet. The wealth and glory of Hezekiah’s later days and the splendor of his kingdom seem to have been almost akin to those of David and Solomon. Hezekiah had his scribes and his collection of wise savings even as Solomon. He had also like Joshua the beatitude of a direct sign from God. In the crucial moment of his illness Isaiah, to convince him of his promised recovery, turned back the shadow cast by the sun upon a dial.
‎Then Hezekiah composed a hymn of thankfulness. “The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth."
‎“The Lord was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the Lord.”

Bozrah, Western Gate

Bozrah, Western Gate
‎Bozrah, meaning “sheepfold”, was the capital city of Edom. Situated southeast of the Red Sea, the city was the homeland of Jacob’s twin brother, Esau. The modern Jordanian city of Busaira surrounds the ruins of the ancient city. This Bozrah is not to be confused with the one of the same name (also called Bezer) that Jeremiah mentions in connection with the nation of Moab. ‎Gen 36:23, 1 Chr 1:44, Amos 1:12

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

September 3

  My presence shall go with thee
Exod. 33:14
We should never leave our prayer closets in the morning without having concentrated our thoughts deeply and intensely on the fact of the actual presence of God there with us, encompassing us, and filling the room as literally as it fills Heaven itself. It may not lead to any distinct results at first, but, as we make repeated efforts to realize the presence of God, it will become increasingly real to us. And, as the habit grows upon us, when alone in a room, or when treading the sward of some natural woodland temple, or when pacing the stony street—in the silence of night, or amid the teeming crowds of daylight—we shall often find ourselves whispering the words, “Thou art near; thou art here, O Lord.”

F. B. Meyer

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

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

September 3rd
The waters of satisfaction scattered

… nevertheless he would not drink thereof but poured it out unto the Lord. 2 Samuel 23:16.
What has been like water from the well of Bethlehem to you recently—love, friendship, spiritual blessing? Then at the peril of your soul, you take it to satisfy yourself. If you do, you cannot pour it out before the Lord. You can never sanctify to God that with which you long to satisfy yourself. If you satisfy yourself with a blessing from God, it will corrupt you; you must sacrifice it, pour it out, do with it what common sense says is an absurd waste.

How am I to pour out unto the Lord natural love or spiritual blessing? In one way only—in the determination of my mind. There are certain acts of other people which one could never accept if one did not know God, because it is not within human power to repay them. But immediately I say—‘This is too great and worthy for me, it is not meant for a human being at all, I must pour it out unto the Lord’

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, September 3      Go To Evening Reading
“Thou whom my soul loveth.”          — Song of Solomon 1:7
It is well to be able, without any “if” or “but,” to say of the Lord Jesus—“Thou whom my soul loveth.” Many can only say of Jesus that they hope they love him; they trust they love him; but only a poor and shallow experience will be content to stay here. No one ought to give any rest to his spirit till he feels quite sure about a matter of such vital importance. We ought not to be satisfied with a superficial hope that Jesus loves us, and with a bare trust that we love him. The old saints did not generally speak with “buts,” and “ifs,” and “hopes,” and “trusts,” but they spoke positively and plainly. “I know whom I have believed,” saith Paul. “I know that my Redeemer liveth,” saith Job. Get positive knowledge of your love of Jesus, and be not satisfied till you can speak of your interest in him as a reality, which you have made sure by having received the witness of the Holy Spirit…