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Showing posts from November 20, 2015

Meaning and Purpose of Discipline

Meaning and Purpose of Discipline
Proverbs 3:11–12 The third section is formally like the second. It is cited in Heb 12:5–6. While the idea of punishment is certainly present (cf. Job 5:17–18 and 2 Sam 7:14), “discipline” primarily involves teaching or training rather than punishment for wrongdoing.53 It is analogous to military training, in which, although the threat of punishment is present, even stern discipline is not necessarily retribution for offenses. Hardship and correction are involved, however, which are always hard to accept.
A HYMN TO WISDOM (Pr. 3:13–18) Pr. 3:13–18 This section is more a hymn than typical exhortation. It has none of the imperatives generally associated with exhortation. It personifies Wisdom,54 and its beginning (“Blessed …”) is elsewhere used in the instructional hymn.55 On the other hand, nothing suggests that it does not belong with the present text. In context it supports the general exhortation to pursue Wisdom.56
The hymn is formally structured as a…

Looking up the northeast corner of the Great Pyramid, Egypt

Looking up the northeast corner of the Great Pyramid, Egypt
‎“Here the vast mass has full sway over us; it overpowers and overwhelms us.… See how the great block dwindle and dwindle as the eye soars upward and follows them until they merge and melt into the mountainous bulk of the mass; and still it rises ever higher, to the distant peak where the Arab, waving his black garment, seems like a tiny insect.…" ‎“Here is the very embodiment and potentiality of that ancient state of which the Pharaoh was the soul. Think of the organization of men and means, of force and skilled labor, required to quarry these 2,300,000 blocks, each weighing about two and a half tons, to transport them across the Nile and lift them to the rising courses of this ever-growing monster, till the capstone is 481 feet from the pavement. The base of the sea of stone which forms each face is 755 feet long, and the square which it forms on the ground includes a field of over thirteen acres. When you have walked a…

The Rock in the Temple

The Rock in the Temple ‎ We present to our readers a rare view furnished also by our American consul at Jerusalem. We see as perfect a photograph as can be secured of the rock itself over which the dome of Omar rises. The inside of the mosque is so dark that it requires the light a long time to place the image of the object before the camera upon the plate. The impression from which this picture is printed required three or four hours. Such a picture we could not have possibly secured, for when we were in the holy city the mosque of Omar was filled with visitors nearly all the time. This is the most historic rock in the world. It is the sphinx of the Holy Land; the threshing floor of Araunah where David built an altar; the spot on which Abraham offered Isaac; the site of the great altar of the temple; and thus thrice an historical and sacred place. It was evidently known as a holy place in the days of the Emperor Constantiue. But the true history of the rock is lost under a mass of M…

Monumental Pillars in Syria

Monumental Pillars in Syria

The Witness of Two People

The Witness of Two People John 17–18 Jesus now reverts to the topic of testimony. The shifts back and forth between Jesus as witness and Jesus as judge would appear sudden and awkward if the dispute in chapter Matthew 5 had not already prepared readers for the irony of Jesus’ dual role, which in turn reflects Yahweh’s functioning as both witness and judge in the trial scenes of Isa. 40–55. 
Having stressed his self-authenticating witness, Jesus can now return to the conventions of ordinary Jewish trials—In your law it is written that the witness of two people is true. As he did in John 5:31–7, he again accommodates himself to the law’s requirements (cf. Deut. 19:15). But the concession to the opponents’ standard of judgement (‘your law’) is ironic. The law required two witnesses, not including the accused, and an appeal to God is not envisaged as one of these. The force of Jesus’ mention of the law appears to be that if the law demands two human witnesses, then he will supply two div…

Light

LightMatthew 5:15–16 Of the various possible uses of light, Jesus obviously has in mind the bringing of illumination through the revelation of God’s will for his people. Since Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12; John 9:5), so also his followers should reflect that light. Like lights from a city illuminating the dark countryside or a lamp inside a house providing light for all within it, Christians must let their good works shine before the rest of the world so that others may praise God. The good works are most naturally seen as the fruits in keeping with repentance” of Matthew 3:8. This verse does not contradict Matthew 6:1 because there the motive for good behavior in public is self-glorification rather than bringing glory to God.
Both metaphors of salt and light raise important questions about Christian involvement in society regarding all forms of separatism or withdrawal. We are not called to control secular power structures; neither are we promised that we can Christia…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

November 20
  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world
John 16:33
Tribulation is God’s threshing—not to destroy us, but to get what is good, heavenly, and spiritual in us separated from what is wrong, earthly, and fleshly. Nothing less than blows of pain will do this. The evil clings so to the good, the golden wheat of goodness in us is so wrapped up in the strong chaff of the old life that only the heavy flail of suffering can produce the separation.

J. R. Miller

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

Connect the Testaments

November 20: Rejected and Despised by Men
2 Kings 6:1–7:20; Mark 15:16–47; Proverbs 6:20–27

In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus’ crucifixion and death occur in stages of mockery and humiliation. The story is propelled by those who scorn—the soldiers, the chief priests and scribes, and even those who pass by. Jesus is spat on, stripped of His clothing, and mockingly forced to wear a purple robe with a crown of thorns. Throughout, He silently receives His undue punishment.

It’s not until Jesus nears death that Mark slows the narrative: “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ (which is translated, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’)” (Mark 15:34).
These words have been spoken before, and this pain and humiliation has previously been told. In Psalm 22, the psalmist cries out to God in the midst of being mocked and scorned by his enemies. The song of lament relates the bitter anguish the psalmist experiences at the hands of enemies. “He trusts …

My Utmost for His Highest

November 20th
The forgiveness of God


In whom we have … the forgiveness of sins. Eph. 1:7.

Beware of the pleasant view of the Fatherhood of God—God is so kind and loving that of course He will forgive us. That sentiment has no place whatever in the New Testament. The only ground on which God can forgive us is the tremendous tragedy of the Cross of Christ; to put forgiveness on any other ground is unconscious blasphemy. The only ground on which God can forgive sin and reinstate us in His favour is through the Cross of Christ, and in no other way. Forgiveness, which is so easy for us to accept, cost the agony of Calvary. It is possible to take the forgiveness of sin, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and our sanctification with the simplicity of faith, and to forget at what enormous cost to God it was all made ours.

Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace; it cost God the Cross of Jesus Christ before He could forgive sin and remain a holy God. Never accept a view of the Fatherhood of God i…

Morning and Evening

Morning, November 20      Go To Evening Reading
“0 Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul.” — Lamentations 3:58
Observe how positively the prophet speaks. He doth not say, “I hope, I trust, I sometimes think, that God hath pleaded the causes of my soul”; but he speaks of it as a matter of fact not to be disputed. “Thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul.” Let us, by the aid of the gracious Comforter, shake off those doubts and fears which so much mar our peace and comfort. Be this our prayer, that we may have done with the harsh croaking voice of surmise and suspicion, and may be able to speak with the clear, melodious voice of full assurance. Notice how gratefully the prophet speaks, ascribing all the glory to God alone! You perceive there is not a word concerning himself or his own pleadings. He doth not ascribe his deliverance in any measure to any man, much less to his own merit; but it is “thou”“O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life.”