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The Wise and the Foolish

The Wise and the Foolish ...Blessings vs. cursings (Proverbs 10:6). “Blessings are upon the head of the righteous.” Either God rewards the righteous person with blessings, or others bestow their blessings upon him because of his righteousness. On the other hand, “the mouth of the wicked conceals violence,” i.e., so that he may wait for the opportunity of practicing violence. The idea is that the wicked plot the ruin of their neighbors and thus incur their curses instead of their blessings. The verse indicates the contrast between the manifest blessedness of the righteous and the sinister activities of the wicked
Smith, James E. The Wisdom Literature and Psalms. Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co., 1996. Print. Old Testament Survey Series.

The True Worshipper

The True WorshipperGenesis 22:9–14 A true worshiper of God holds nothing back from God but obediently gives Him what He asks, trusting that He will provide. The key idea of the entire passage is summarized in the name Abraham gave to the place: Yahweh Yir’eh, The LORD will provide (or, “see”; v. 14). The explanation is, On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided (or, “seen,” yērā’eh, v. 14; cf. v. 8). This is the basis of a truth often repeated in the Old Testament: the Lord was to be worshiped in His holy mountain by the nation. “Three times a year all the men [of Israel] are to appear [yērā’eh, ‘be seen’] before the Sovereign LORD” to worship Him, bringing their offerings and sacrifices (Ex. 23:17; cf. Deut. 16:16). The Lord would see (rā’âh) the needs of those who came before Him, and would meet their needs. Thus in providing for them He would be “seen.”
Ross, Allen P. “Genesis.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuc…

Nabatean step-altar at Petra

Nabatean step-altar at Petra ‎In Exod 20:25–26, the steps leading up to an altar probably do not yet refer to an altar as depicted here, but was a kind of podium with steps of mud bricks where people could place offerings on these steps. But even the steps of that platform were so sacred that nobody was allowed to step on it. The Nabataeans, who in their capital Petra had a variety of elaborate and impressive tomb facades cut out of stone, built a series of sacrificial altars on high mounds around Petra. These altars were also cut out of stone. ‎Exod 20:25–26

View of Jericho

View of Jericho
‎If Christ crossed the Jordan opposite Jericho he must have approached the Judean mountains near the scene given above. We have here another and more general view of the fine aqueduct before illustrated. This view was taken on the 25th of April, 1894. We had just descended the Judean mountains and were about entering Jericho when we were arrested by the sight of this specimen of perfect masonry in the midst of the old landscape of the Jordan valley. We are here looking toward the east. The mountains in the distance are the mountains of Moab. On the western side of the Jordan the road from Jerusalem to Jericho becomes a true via dolorosa as the traveler descends between the walls of rock that grow higher, ravines that become frightful, and narrow passes that are less passable as he proceeds. Here for two thousand years or more travelers and pilgrims have been set upon, robbed and murdered by the dark banditti that seem as far from civilization now as in the days of Ish…

Encouragement and Exhortation

Encouragement and ExhortationJames 5:13-20 5:13–20 Pray, sing, be anointed and healed! Christians should be bold in expressing their emotions before the Lord, whether that involves sorrow expressed in prayer, or joy expressed in worship (5:13). Those who are ill should not hesitate to ask for prayer. The prayer of faith will heal, and if sin is involved and confessed, God will forgive (5:14–16; see 1 John 1:9). Elijah is our model: Though he was human just like us, his prayers had amazing results (5:17–18; see 1 Kings 17:1; 18:41–46). However, it is not always God’s will to heal the sick (see exposition on 1 Tim. 5:21–25). Suffering, if rightly understood and endured by the believer, can bring glory to God (see Exod. 4:11; John 9:1–3; see exposition on 2 Cor. 12:7–10). Note that healing is promised not through so-called faith healers but through elders of local churches. James also urged concern for the spiritually sick (5:19–20).

Willmington, H. L. Willmington’s Bible Handbook. Whea…

Byzantine Era Wall, Acrocorinth

Byzantine Era Wall, Acrocorinth
‎A Byzantine era wall built atop fourth-century BC fortifications on the Corinthian Acropolis or Acrocorinth.

Dried Dill Seeds

Dried Dill Seeds
‎Dill grows both wild and in cultivation throughout most Bible lands. Gardeners and farmers grow it mostly for its seeds, which they dry and use or sell as a condiment and digestive aid. When Jesus chided his opponents for tithing dill, he was referring to dill seed. He was not discouraging his followers from tithing per se, but was directing them to focus on core issues such as mercy rather than on less important details. ‎Isa 28:25, 27, Matt 23:23 ‎Image by user Miansari66, from Wikimedia Commons. License: Public Domain

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

September 7

  The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost
Rom. 15:13
In spiritual as in earthly things there is great strength in hope, and, therefore, God’s people are carefully to cultivate that grace. A well-grounded hope that, having been made new creatures in Jesus Christ, we are His; that with our names, though unknown to fame, written in the Book of Life, we have grace in possession and Heaven in prospect; that after a few more brief years, pure as the angels that sing before the throne, we shall be brought with gladness into the palace of the King, to be like Christ and with Christ, seeing Him eye to eye and face to face—such hopes are powerful springs of action.

Guthrie

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

Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan

September 5: I Loved You; I Love You Now
Hosea 11:1–12:14; Acts 5:1–42; Job 16:10–22

“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son” (Hos 11:1). This line is beautiful if read alone, but it is sad when read in context: “When I called them, they went from my face. They sacrificed to the Baals, and they sacrificed to idols” (Hos 11:2). It’s incredible how quickly we forget God’s mercy and provision. All too soon we return to putting our desires before His.
When we put things in front of God’s will—false gods and our own misguided ways (Baals and idols)—we thwart His will not only for our lives, but also for the lives of others. For each of us, God has a tremendous plan that also affects others, for His glory and for the betterment of the world. When we fail to seek His will, we neglect our faith and operate by our own agenda, setting His work aside.
Our missteps can have terribly painful consequences: “The sword rages in [my people’s] cities; it consumes [their…

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

September 7th
Springs of benignity


The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water. John 4:14.

The picture Our Lord gives is not that of a channel but a fountain. ‘Be being filled,’ and the sweetness of vital relationship to Jesus will flow out of the saint as lavishly as it is imparted to him. If you find your life is not flowing out as it should, you are to blame; something has obstructed the flow. Keep right at the Source, and—you will be blessed personally? No, out of you will flow rivers of living water, irrepressible life.

We are to be centres through which Jesus can flow as rivers of living water in blessing to everyone. Some of us are like the Dead Sea, always taking in but never giving out, because we are not rightly related to the Lord Jesus. As surely as we receive from Him, He will pour out through us, and in the measure He is not pouring out, there is a defect in our relationship to Him. Is there anything between you and Jesus Christ? Is there anything that…

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

September 6th
Diffuseness of life


Rivers of living water. John 7:38.

A river touches places of which its source knows nothing, and Jesus says if we have received of His fulness, however small the visible measure of our lives, out of us will flow the rivers that will bless to the uttermost parts of the earth. We have nothing to do with the outflow—“This is the work of God that ye believe.…” God rarely allows a soul to see how great a blessing he is.

A river is victoriously persistent, it overcomes all barriers. For a while it goes steadily on its course, then it comes to an obstacle and for a while it is baulked, but it soon makes a pathway round the obstacle. Or a river will drop out of sight for miles, and presently emerge again broader and grander than ever. You can see God using some lives, but into your life an obstacle has come and you do not seem to be of any use. Keep paying attention to the Source, and God will either take you round the obstacle or remove it. The river of the S…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, September 6      Go To Evening Reading
“In the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.”          — Philippians 2:15
We use lights to make manifest. A Christian man should so shine in his life, that a person could not live with him a week without knowing the gospel. His conversation should be such that all who are about him should clearly perceive whose he is, and whom he serves; and should see the image of Jesus reflected in his daily actions. Lights are intended for guidance. We are to help those around us who are in the dark. We are to hold forth to them the Word of life. We are to point sinners to the Saviour, and the weary to a divine resting-place. Men sometimes read their Bibles, and fail to understand them; we should be ready, like Philip, to instruct the inquirer in the meaning of God’s Word, the way of salvation, and the life of godliness. Lights are also used for warning. On our rocks and shoals a light-house is sure to be e…