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Showing posts from February 12, 2016

Source of the Fire

Source of the Fire
James 3:6

Excerpt


the tongue is only the fuse; the source of the deadly fire is hell itself (lit., “Gehenna,” a place in the Valley of Hinnom south of Jerusalem where human sacrifice had been offered [Jer. 7:31] and where continuous burning of rubbish made it a fit illustration of the lake of fire).


Blue, J. Ronald. “James.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 828. Print.

Winepress (cross section and top view)

Winepress (cross section and top view)
‎Ripe grapes are put in the left basin (a) wherein they are trodden with bare feet. The juice from the squashed grapes flows through a groove (b) into the right basin (c), from where it is filled into jugs. The overflowing juice collects itself at the deepest place (d). Wine presses like that were cut out of the rock in order to prevent the juice from seeping down into the ground. ‎Num 18:27, 18:30; Deut 15:14; 16:13; Neh 13:15; Job 24:11; Prov 3:10; Isa 5:2; 16:10; 63:3; Jer 25:30; Lam 1:15; Hos 9:2; Joel 2:24; 3:13; Haggai 2:16;Sirach 33:16–17; Matt 21:33; Mark 12:1; Rev 14:19–20

Zakkur Stele Mentioning “Bar-Hadad Son of Hazael”

Zakkur Stele Mentioning “Bar-Hadad Son of Hazael”
‎Zakkur ruled Hamath in the late ninth century B.C., sometime after Irhuleni, who joined Ahab of Israel in his 853 B.C. coalition against Shalmaneser III. Zakkur inscribed a stele, found at Tell Afis, Syria (near Aleppo), that tells his version of his conflict with “Bar-Hadad son of Hazael, king of Aram,” and Bar-Hadad’s anti-Assyrian coalition, over Zakkur’s annexation of Hadrach (Zech 9:1). By the time the stele was sculpted, around 800 B.C., Zakkur had apparently become an Assyrian vassal, so Bar-Hadad and allies resisted this annexation strenuously. ‎1 Kgs 19:15, 17, 2 Kgs 8:8–29, 2 Kgs 9:14–15, 2 Kgs 10:32, 2 Kgs 12:17–18, 2 Kgs 13:3, 22–25, Amos 1:4, Zech 9:1
‎Image by user Rama, from Wikimedia Commons. License: CC BY-SA 2.0 France

God’s Vengeance on Sennacherib

God’s Vengeance on Sennacherib
‎In his resistance to Sennacherib, king Hezekiah was upheld and guided by the celebrated prophet Isaiah, whose book has been preserved in the Bible. Isaiah assured his sovereign that God’s fiat of destruction was gone forth against the Assyrians for their blasphemy. Their host was at that moment gathering for the second time under the walls of Jerusalem; their camp lay close at hand. Yet Isaiah declared they should not shoot one arrow against the walls. ‎Even so it came to pass. Just what were the earthly means used for the divine vengeance we do not know. It may have been some deadly plague, some poisonous gas inhaled. The Bible tells us only that the angel of the Lord “smote” them, “cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains.” Sennacherib and a few hundred fled back in terror into Assyria. When the people of Jerusalem looked forth next morning, there was nothing left of the mighty Assyria army but the empty camps, and a vast hos…

Temptation

Temptation
Excerpt


The proof of Christ’s ability to understand human weakness sympathetically is found in his own experience of temptation (4:15). Christ was tempted in all areas in which man is tempted (Matt. 4:1–11; 1 John 2:16), and with particular temptations suited for him. He experienced temptation to the full degree and yet did not sin.


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

“Temple A,” Laodicea, Wide View

“Temple A,” Laodicea, Wide View
‎A wide-angle view of central Laodicea’s partly restored “Temple A,” which was dedicated to an unidentified deity.

He Went Up on the Mountain

He Went Up on the Mountain
Matthew 5:1

Excerpt


The place where Jesus went up can be either a mountain or a “hill,” since the Greek word can mean either. Some commentators see here an intended contrast to Sinai, where the Law was given. However, there are no grounds, implicit or explicit, for identifying the mountain as a “New Sinai.” More


Newman, Barclay Moon, and Philip C. Stine. A Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew. New York: United Bible Societies, 1992. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

February 12

  What mean these stones?… Ye also as living stones
Josh. 4:21; 1 Peter 2:5 (R.V.)

There should be something so remarkable, so peculiar about the life and conversation of a Christian that men should be compelled to ask, “What does this mean?” … Is there anything in your character, words, and habits of life so different from the world around you that men are involuntarily compelled to ask themselves or others, “What does this mean?” Not that there is to be a forced singularity, a peculiarity for the sake of being peculiar; that were merely to copy the pharisaism of ancient days.… Oh, that we might realize that this is the purpose for which God sends us into the world, as He sent His only begotten Son!

S. A. Blackwood

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

Connect the Testaments

February 12: Liar or Lord?
Exodus 28:1–29:46; John 5:16–30;Song of Solomon 4:1–3

When Jesus made a defense of His healing on the Sabbath, He was upping the ante instead of defusing the situation: “My Father is working until now, and I am working” (John 5:17). For the Jews, such a claim was blasphemous. Not only was Jesus breaking the Sabbath, He was equating Himself with the Father and thus claiming to be God. He was presenting the people with a choice.
Jesus provides compelling insight into His relationship with God. Jesus’ authority stems from His relationship with the Father, which is one of complete submission. In fact, He can do nothing on His own. Whatever the Father does, He does likewise. There is complete trust and openness—the Father loves the Son and shows Him all that He is doing. Both the Father and the Son give life. But with authority, the Father has also given the Son judgment.
Jesus presents His audience with an ultimatum as He carries out God’s will on earth: “The one…

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest

February 12th
Must I listen?


And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. Exodus 20:19.

We do not consciously disobey God, we simply do not heed Him. God has given us His commands; there they are, but we do not pay any attention to them, not because of willful disobedience but because we do not love and respect Him. “If ye love Me, ye will keep My commandments.” When once we realize that we have been ‘disrespecting’ God all the time, we are covered with shame and humiliation because we have not heeded Him.
“Speak thou with us … but let not God speak with us.” We show how little we love God by preferring to listen to His servants only. We like to listen to personal testimonies, but we do not desire that God Himself should speak to us. Why are we so terrified lest God should speak to us? Because we know that if God does speak, either the thing must be done or we must tell God we will not obey Him. If it is only the servant’s …

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

Morning, February 12      Go To Evening Reading
   “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.”          — 2 Corinthians 1:5
There is a blessed proportion. The Ruler of Providence bears a pair of scales—in this side he puts his people’s trials, and in that he puts their consolations. When the scale of trial is nearly empty, you will always find the scale of consolation in nearly the same condition; and when the scale of trials is full, you will find the scale of consolation just as heavy. When the black clouds gather most, the light is the more brightly revealed to us. When the night lowers and the tempest is coming on, the Heavenly Captain is always closest to his crew. It is a blessed thing, that when we are most cast down, then it is that we are most lifted up by the consolations of the Spirit. One reason is, because trials make more room for consolation. Great hearts can only be made by great troubles. The spade of trouble digs the r…