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Showing posts from September 30, 2015

The Bowls of Darius and Artaxerxes

The Bowls of Darius and Artaxerxes ‎Darius “the Great” ruled the Persian Empire from 522–486 BC. Artaxerxes I ruled from 464–424 BC. Ezra-Nehemiah often mentions both, as Darius authorized the rebuilding of the house of God (Ezra 6:5).

Triple Gate and Temple Mount bulge

Triple Gate and Temple Mount bulge

Oil Press

Oil Press ‎Oil is extracted from the olives by pressing. They had to be crushed under considerable weight. There were different kinds of olive press, but the basic idea was to roll a heavy stone over the olives. This kind of press is pictured at the bottom: Persons or animals moved a smaller stone in which a long pole was inserted over a large cylindrical stone. Another method to press olives is illustrated at the top: The olives were put into special baskets that were placed under a log anchored in a wall. The long log had heavy stones attached and acted as a kind of fulcrum on the olives. The fulcrum produced weight on the olives—or on the tiny bags with the pulp and seeds that resulted from crashing the olives -, squeezing the oil out. ‎1 Kings 5:11; Job 24:11

Be Ready for Action

Be Ready for Action
1 Pete 1:13
Have your minds ready for action is literally “gird up the loins of your mind.” To “gird the loin” was an appropriate metaphor for people in the Middle East at that time. These people normally wore long gowns, and when someone prepared for any strenuous activity, he “girded” his robe, that is, he tied his robe securely (by using a belt, for example), to make sure that his robe would not be in the way. The metaphor therefore came to mean “be ready for action.” The area of readiness in this verse is the mind, and the full meaning of the metaphor is therefore to prepare oneself mentally (compare NIV “prepare your minds for action”; SPCL “Think well what you are about to do”; GECL “Keep that goal in mind with strong determination”). A literal translation (for example, NAB, RSV) would produce a very unnatural expression without making the meaning clear.
Have your minds ready for action may be somewhat better expressed in some languages as “prepare your minds…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

September 30
  He shall give his angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways
Ps. 91:11
Count no duty too little, no round of life too small, no work too low, if it come in thy way, since God thinks so much of it as to send His angels to guard thee in it.

Mark Guy Pearse

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 30: Key Players and Main Narratives
Malachi 2:10–4:6; Acts 28:1–31;Job 31:23–40

The book of Acts ends on a somewhat unsatisfying note. After all that Paul has been through—imprisonment, trial, shipwreck—we expect a showdown with Caesar or mass conversions of the Jews. Instead, the plot seems to sputter out.
Paul arrives in Rome and appeals to the Jews living there. He quotes Isaiah to the Jewish leaders: “You will keep on hearing, and will never understand, and you will keep on seeing and will never perceive” (Acts 28:26). When they fail to respond, Paul determines to reach out to the Gentiles. “They also will listen” (Acts 28:28) and will respond differently.
The poignant end of this book leaves Paul “proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness, without hindrance” (Acts 28:30). Facing either rejection or reception, he continues proclaiming the good news to both Jew and Gentile.
Paul is a key player in the Church t…

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

September 30th
The commission of the call

Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake. Col. 1:24.
We make calls out of our own spiritual consecration, but when we get right with God He brushes all these aside, and rivets us with a pain that is terrific to one thing we never dreamed of, and for one radiant, flashing moment we see what He is after, and we say—“Here am I, send me.”
This call has nothing to do with personal sanctification, but with being made broken bread and poured-out wine. God can never make us wine if we object to the fingers He uses to crush us with. If God would only use His own fingers, and make me broken bread and poured-out wine in a special way! But when He uses someone whom we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, and makes those the crushers, we object. We must never choose the scene of our own martyrdom. If ever we are going to …

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings. Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.

Morning, September 30      Go To Evening Reading
“Sing forth the honour of his name, make his praise glorious.”          — Psalm 66:2
It is not left to our own option whether we shall praise God or not. Praise is God’s most righteous due, and every Christian, as the recipient of his grace, is bound to praise God from day to day. It is true we have no authoritative rubric for daily praise; we have no commandment prescribing certain hours of song and thanksgiving: but the law written upon the heart teaches us that it is right to praise God; and the unwritten mandate comes to us with as much force as if it had been recorded on the tables of stone, or handed to us from the top of thundering Sinai. Yes, it is the Christian’s duty to praise God. It is not only a pleasurable exercise, but it is the absolute obligation of his life. Think not ye who are always mourning, that ye are guiltless in this respect, or imagine that ye can discharge your duty to your God without songs of praise. You are…