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Showing posts from February 4, 2016

Early Egyptian and Assyrian Pottery

Early Egyptian and Assyrian Pottery

Reconciliation

Reconciliation
Romans 5:10–11

Excerpt


There are four important NT passages which treat of the work of Christ under the figure of reconciliation, namely, Rom. 5:10f; 2 Cor. 5:18ff.; Eph. 2:11ff.;Col. 1:19ff. The important Gk. words are the noun katallagē and the verbskatallassō and apokatallassō. Reconciliation properly applies not to good relations in general but to the doing away of an enmity, the bridging over of a quarrel. It implies that the parties being reconciled were formerly hostile to one another. The Bible tells us bluntly that sinners are ‘enemies’ of God (Rom. 5:10; Col. 1:21; Jas. 4:4). We should not minimize the seriousness of these and similar passages. An enemy is not someone who comes a little short of being a friend. He is in the other camp. He is altogether opposed. The NT pictures God in vigorous opposition to everything that is evil.


Morris, L. L. “Reconciliation.” Ed. D. R. W. Wood et al. New Bible dictionary 1996 : 1002. Print.

You Will be Blessed

You Will be Blessed
Excerpt


The context of Peter’s question makes it almost rhetorical. Though the adversary, through physical suffering or material hardship, would distress those who were eager (zēlōtai, lit., “zealots”) to do good, no real harm can come to those who belong to Christ. For even if suffering should occur, Christians are blessed and thus should not be frightened. The word here translated “blessed” (makarioi; cf. 4:14) was used by Jesus (Matt. 5:3-11). To be “blessed” in this context does not mean to “feel delighted” but to be “highly privileged.” Christians are not to be afraid of what men can do to them (cf. Matt. 10:28). Consequently 1 Peter 3:14 concludes with a quotation from Isaiah 8:12 which, in context, is part of an exhortation to fear God rather than men.


Raymer, Roger M. “1 Peter.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 850. Print.

Who’s in the Box?

Who’s in the Box? ‎By the first century AD it had become a Jewish custom to place the bones of a decomposed corpse in a stone box called an ossuary. Several of these containers were discovered in Jerusalem in the 20th century.

Difficulty with the Concept of Personified Wisdom

Difficulty with the Concept of Personified Wisdom
Proverbs 8:22–36

Excerpt


A special problem is the personification of wisdom in Pr. 8:22ff. Jb. 28anticipates this personification by depicting wisdom as a mystery inscrutable to men but apparent to God. In Pr. 1:20-33 wisdom is likened to a woman crying in the streets for men to turn from their foolish ways and to find instruction and security in her (cf. also Pr. 3:15-20). The personification continues in Pr. 8 and reaches its climax in vv. 22ff., where wisdom claims to be the first creation of God and, perhaps, an assistant in the work of creation (8:30; cf. 3:19; the difficult ’āmôn, ‘as one brought up’ in av, should be translated ‘master workman’, as in rv, rsv; see W. F. Albright in Wisdom in Israel and in the Ancient Near East, p. 8). The purpose of wisdom’s recitation of her credentials is to attract men to pay her rightful heed, as 8:32-36 indicates. Therefore, caution must be exercised in reading into this passage a view of hypo…

Brick Makers at Work

Brick Makers at Work Brick makers at work; a wooden model from an ancient Egyptian tomb. The Israelites in Egypt were brick makers (Exod. 5:6–9). J.A.D.

Dearman, J. Andrew. “Brick.” Ed. Mark Allan Powell. The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated) 2011 : 106. Print.

Jordan River: Water

Jordan River: Water ‎ It’s hard to resist touching the Jordan water because it is so clear and creates such a serene atmosphere, and because of its famous healing and purifying qualities. Bottles of water from the River Jordan were in great demand among pilgrims way back at the beginning of the century. And there are stories of Russian pilgrims who made long, arduous journeys to the Holy Land before the revolution, to be baptized in the Jordan in their funeral shrouds and thus ensure themselves resurrection after death.

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

February 4

  Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing
Ps. 145:16
Desire, it is a dainty word! It were much that He should satisfy the need, the want; but He goeth far beyond that. Pity is moved to meet our need; duty may sometimes look after our wants; but to satisfy the desire implies a tender watchfulness, a sweet and gracious knowledge of us, an eagerness of blessing. God is never satisfied until He has satisfied our desires.

Mark Guy Pearse

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

February 4th
The overmastering majesty of personal power


For the love of Christ constraineth us. 2 Cor. 5:14.

Paul says he is overruled, overmastered, held as in a vice, by the love of Christ. Very few of us know what it means to be held in a grip by the love of God; we are held by the constraint of our experience only. The one thing that held Paul, until there was nothing else on his horizon, was the love of God. “The love of Christ constraineth us”—when you hear that note in a man or woman, you can never mistake it. You know that the Spirit of God is getting unhindered way in that life.
When we are born again of the Spirit of God, the note of testimony is on what God has done for us, and rightly so. But the baptism of the Holy Ghost obliterates that for ever, and we begin to realize what Jesus meant when He said—“Ye shall be witnesses unto Me.” Not witnesses to what Jesus can do—that is an elementary witness—but “witnesses unto Me.” We will take everything that happens as happening…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening

Go To Morning Reading      Evening, February 4
 “Your refuge from the avenger of blood.”          — Joshua 20:3
It is said that in the land of Canaan, cities of refuge were so arranged, that any man might reach one of them within half a day at the utmost. Even so the word of our salvation is near to us; Jesus is a present Saviour, and the way to him is short; it is but a simple renunciation of our own merit, and a laying hold of Jesus, to be our all in all. With regard to the roads to the city of refuge, we are told that they were strictly preserved, every river was bridged, and every obstruction removed, so that the man who fled might find an easy passage to the city. Once a year the elders went along the roads and saw to their order, so that nothing might impede the flight of any one, and cause him, through delay, to be overtaken and slain. How graciously do the promises of the gospel remove stumbling blocks from the way! Wherever there were by-roads and turnings, there were fixed up…

Connect the Testaments

February 4: What Type of Savior?
Exodus 9:1–10:29; John 2:1–12; Song of Solomon 1:15–17

It’s tempting to operate life on our own terms and only call on God when we hit a crisis. If we’re not busy studying how God has worked in the past and relying on the work of the Spirit in our lives, we can easily fall into the pattern of calling on Him to meet our desires rather than realizing that He is the first to deliver what we need.
In John 2, we get a sense of what this was like for Mary and the disciples at the wedding in Cana. While Mary wants Jesus to save the day—and save the bridegroom from certain ruin and humiliation—Jesus shows her that He is no magician. His soft rebuke reminds her that His plan of salvation exceeds what she can perceive: “What does your concern have to do with me, woman? My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4). (This phrase seems derogatory to our modern ears, but it actually would have been normal language between a son and mother in the first century AD.) However, a…