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Showing posts from February 11, 2016

Part of Our Caravan at Dothan

Part of Our Caravan at Dothan
‎Dothan stands near to the main road running southward from Galilee toward Sharon, Philistia and Egypt. The place is five miles southwest of Jenin and about twelve north of Samaria. On this main road armies have marched. It is the route of kings. Here Thothmes and Necho came from the sea coast. Through the ages soldiers came down this famous path from Parthia, Assyria, Persia, Babylonia and Syria. Turks and Crusaders trod this highway. As George Adam Smith says, “There is probably no older road in all the world than that which is used by caravans from the Euphrates to the Nile, through Damascus, Galilee, Esdraelon, the Maritime Plain and Gaza.” From the sides of Tell Dothan the brethren of Joseph could see their father’s favorite approaching from the South. And they could see the caravan of Midianites, merchantmen from the East, as they came across the Plain of Esdraelon. Did Joseph and Mary recall the boy of Hebron, his father’s love, his brothers’ envy…

God as Father

God as Father
John 14:1–14


From early in Israel’s history God was regarded as a father (cf. personal names such as Eliab, Joab “God is [my] father”; Abijah, Abiel “my father is God”). Yahweh was recognized as the father of Israel (e.g., Isa. 63:16; Jer. 3:4;Mal. 1:6), both as suzerain in the covenant relationship (e.g., Deut. 7:14) and as creator of the world (e.g., 32:6; Mal. 2:10). Just as the human father, God possesses ultimate authority (Mal. 1:6; Matt. 7:21–23). Similarly, he demonstrates his love and care for his children (Exod. 4:22–23; Deut. 1:31; Jer. 31:9, 20; Matt. 6:26–34; 18:14). The Gospels frequently distinguish between the relationship of God to his son Jesus (“my father”) and to the disciples (“your father”; cf. John 20:17). Because of Jesus’ particular nature as God’s “only begotten son” (1:14, 18) and thus the authority (8:28–38; 14:10) and intimacy (e.g., 1:18; 10:38) they share, mankind has access to the Father only through the Son (14:6). Nevertheless, Jesu…

Sea of Galilee

Sea of Galilee
‎After making himself known at Emmaus, Jesus appeared to ten of the apostles at Jerusalem, and later to eleven of the apostles when He rebuked Thomas for his lack of faith—a rebuke of love. He afterwards stood by the Sea of Galilee and gave to Peter the threefold commission after having elicited from Peter his threefold confession of love. It is here that, after a night of profitless attempt, the nets were filled with the fishes. As the Dead Sea is girdled by an almost constant hedge of driftwood, so the Sea of Galilee is girdled by a scarcely less continuous belt of ruins—the drift of her ancient towns. In the time of our Lord she must have mirrored within the outline of her guardian hills little else than city walls, castles and synagogues. Greek architecture hung its magnificence over her simple life; Herod’s castle, temple and theaters in Tiberias; the warm baths; the high-stacked houses of Gamala; the amphitheater of Gadara with the acropolis above it; the paved s…


‎The village in northern Syria is literally attested since the 3rd millennium BCE. It features remarkable buildings, sculptures, and inscriptions for the period of about 1000–600 BCE. In 717 BCE, it was conquered by the Assyrians, and Nebuchadnezzar defeated here the Egyptian army of pharaoh Necho II in 605 BCE. The picture shows the settlement mound from afar. ‎2 Chron 35:20; Isa 10:9; Jer 46:2

Be Encouraged

Be Encouraged

Paul’s stated purpose was that they might be encouraged in heart and united in love. Confidence and strength of conviction as well as cohesive unity yield a full understanding of the truth. There is no full knowledge apart from moral commitment. Complete understanding (syneseōs, “insight”) results from complete yielding. And this understanding is Christocentric. This insight into God’s ways enables believers to know (epignōsin) Christ fully.Christ, as the true mystery of God, reveals God to man (cf. John 1:18; Heb. 1:2-3). For in Him are hidden (cf. Col. 1:26) all the treasures of wisdom(sophia, cf. 1:9) and knowledge. Knowledge is the apprehension of truth; wisdom is its application to life. Knowledge is prudent judgment and wisdom is prudent action. Both are found in Christ (cf. Rom. 11:33; 1 Cor. 12:8) whose wisdom is foolishness to the world (1 Cor. 1:21-25), but who is the power of God by which a believer receives “righteousness, holiness, and redemption” (1 …

The Suffering Servant

The Suffering Servant
Isaiah 52:13–53:12


The Messiah Servant suffered willingly and silently (cf. Matt. 26:63; 27:11–14;Luke 23:9). The unjust judicial proceedings Christ was subjected to were reflected in 53:8. The Jewish Sanhedrin violated their own laws by (1) convening at the house of Caiaphas rather than the regular meeting place, (2) meeting at night rather than during the day, (3) convening on the eve of a Sabbath and a festival, (4) pronouncing the judgment the same day as the trial, and (5) ignoring the formalities allowing for the possibility of acquittal in cases involving a capital sentence. Although condemned with wicked criminals (the two thieves), Christ was buried in the tomb of a rich man (cf.Matt. 27:57–60).

Hughes, Robert B., and J. Carl Laney. Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001. Print. The Tyndale Reference Library.

Restored Statues from Gozan (Tell Halaf)

Restored Statues from Gozan (Tell Halaf) ‎ The stone statues shown here, reconstructions of those that ornamented the façade of Aramaean King Kapara’s tenth-century B.C. palace at Gozan (modern Tell Halaf, Syria), stand at the entrance to the National Museum of Aleppo, Syria. The Assyrians under Adad-Nirari II (reigned c. 912 B.C.–891 B.C.) exacted tribute from Gozan, and Adad-Nirari III annexed it as an Assyrian province in 808 B.C. ‎2 Kgs 17:6, 2 Kgs 18:11, 2 Kgs 19:12, 1 Chr 5:26, Isa 37:12 ‎ Image by user ‏سائد راجي‎, from Wikimedia Commons. License: Public Domain

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

February 11

As many as I love I … chasten
Rev. 3:19
I once saw a dark shadow resting on the bare side of a hill. Seeking its cause I saw a little cloud, bright as the light, floating in the clear blue above. Thus it is with our sorrow. It may be dark and cheerless here on earth; yet look above and you shall see it to be but a shadow of His brightness whose name is Love.

Dean Alford

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

Connect the Testaments

February 11: God’s Will: It’s Confusing
Exodus 26–27;John 5:1–15; Song of Solomon 3:6–11

It’s sometimes difficult to understand why God does what He does, or why He asks us to do certain things. God goes so far as to list precise materials and calculations in Exod 26 for the tabernacle—the portable temple the Hebrew people built for God in the wilderness. You can imagine the conversation:
Nadab says, “Aaron, is it okay if I use leather for this curtain?”
Aaron responds, “No, you know the rules. If God commands it, you have to do it. I don’t want another golden calf incident. I made that mistake once; I won’t make it twice.”
“But there is more leather,” says Nadab.

“I’m not having this discussion any longer,” Aaron says sternly. “Let’s just get the job done.” (“For an elder, you think he would know better,” Aaron says under his breath.)

Aaron, in this fictional scene, is rightfully frustrated because God does know better. Most of us know the answer before we ask God, “Why?” But we ask Hi…

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest

February 11th
Is your hope in God faint and dying?

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose imagination is stayed on Thee. Isaiah 26:3 (R.V. marg.).

Is your imagination stayed on God or is it starved? The starvation of the imagination is one of the most fruitful sources of exhaustion and sapping in a worker’s life. If you have never used your imagination to put yourself before God, begin to do it now. It is no use waiting for God to come; you must put your imagination away from the face of idols and look unto Him and be saved. Imagination is the greatest gift God has given us, and it ought to be devoted entirely to Him. If you have been bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, it will be one of the greatest assets to faith when the time of trial comes, because your faith and the Spirit of God will work together. Learn to associate ideas worthy of God with all that happens in Nature—the sunrises and the sunsets, the sun and the stars, the changing seasons, an…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings.

Morning, February 11      Go To Evening Reading
   “And they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”          — Acts 4:13
A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus Christ. You have read lives of Christ, beautifully and eloquently written, but the best life of Christ is his living biography, written out in the words and actions of his people. If we were what we profess to be, and what we should be, we should be pictures of Christ; yea, such striking likenesses of him, that the world would not have to hold us up by the hour together, and say, “Well, it seems somewhat of a likeness;” but they would, when they once beheld us, exclaim, “He has been with Jesus; he has been taught of him; he is like him; he has caught the very idea of the holy Man of Nazareth, and he works it out in his life and every-day actions.” A Christian should be like Christ in his boldness. Never blush to own your religion; your profession will never disgrace you: take care you never disgrace…