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Showing posts from February 18, 2016

How 2 Samuel Fits into God’s “Story”

How2 Samuel Fits into God’s “Story”


‎The book of 2 Samuel brings almost to a climax the beginning of God’s story: God builds his nation (Israel chosen as the people of promise). This book tells, in more detail than for any other Israelite king, the story of the dynastic founder. It was critical to show that David, the man after God’s heart (1 Sam. 13:14), had valued wholehearted obedience to God above all else in the way he went about establishing his kingship. Despite his flaws, David was the model king to whom the later kings looked for inspiration. Jesus, the greatest descendant of David, established the kingdom of God at his first coming and will consummate it at his second coming. …

Easley, Kendell H. Holman Quick Source Guide to Understanding the Bible. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2002. Print.

The Outcome of Jerusalem Council

The Outcome of Jerusalem Council
Acts 15:1–21


Three important decisions emerged from the Jerusalem Council.

1. The church decided that obedience to the Mosaic law was not a condition for salvation to be imposed on Gentiles.

2. The church urged that Gentile Christians avoid certain practices for the sake of harmonious Jewish-Gentile relationships.

3. The church preserved a unity that gave credibility to its witness of the gospel.

Lea, Thomas D., and David Alan Black. The New Testament: Its Background and Message. 2nd ed. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003. Print.

Ornate Stone Frieze, Philippi

Ornate Stone Frieze, Philippi


Numbers 20:13


From the verbs “to test” and “to strive, contend,” respectively, terms referring to a site where the Israelites rebelled against Yahweh in the wilderness. Three distinct traditions of these events are preserved in the Bible. In Exod. 17:1–7the Israelites camp at Rephidim on the way to Horeb. At Rephidim they complain of thirst to Moses. Yahweh tells Moses to go ahead of the people with some elders to Horeb and strike the mountain so that water will come out of it and the people may drink. The place is called Massah and Meribah because there the Israelites “quarreled” and “tested” God (cf. Ps. 95:8; alsoDeut. 6:16; 9:22, where only Massah is mentioned).

A second tradition locates the rebellion near Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, and refers only to Meribah. The focus of this tradition is Yahweh’s judgment on Moses and Aaron. Unlike the Exodus tradition, Yahweh instructs Moses to speak to the rock to produce water, but instead Moses strikes the rock twice. B…

Pnyx from Mars Hill

Pnyx from Mars Hill
‎We are looking toward the southwest. The Pnyx is where the Athenians held their political assemblies. Here it was that Demosthenes and the other orators of Athens thundered. The Pnyx consists of a huge terrace three hundred and ninety-five feet long and two hundred and twelve feet wide, the upper margin of which is cut out of the rock. It is semicircular in form. At the back of the terrace is a perpendicular wall of rock thirteen feet in height. In the picture we see in the distance Piræus, the Athenian port where Paul landed A. D. 51. The large area of the Pnyx rests at the lower side upon a remarkable terrace. It is of Cyclopean architecture, constructed of enormous polygonal stones laid with cement. It is certainly the work of the earliest days of the republic. The so-called “pulpit of Demosthenes” is excavated in the same rock. Demosthenes was born probably about 384 or 385 B. C. He overcame physical disadvantages which would have been sufficient to destroy a…

A Mosaic in the Chapel of Jerome’s Room

A Mosaic in the Chapel of Jerome’s Room A mosaic in the chapel of Jerome’s Room, the traditional site where Jerome translated the Latin Vulgate, located under the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
Brand, Chad et al., eds. “Vulgate.” Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary 2003 : 1656. Print.

About Exodus the Book

About Exodus the Book

Exodus 3:1–22


Exodus, the second book of the Hebrew Bible and the story of Moses’ call by God to rescue his people from oppression in Egypt. After encountering God and entering into a convenant in the wilderness at Sinai, the Israelites constructed a portable shrine (tabernacle) and set out on a journey toward Canaan, the land promised by God to their ancestors as an inheritance. Exodus is the book’s Greek title in the Septuagint (LXX); in Hebrew it is called (from its opening words) ve‘elleh shmoth, ‘And these [are] the names,’ or simply Shmoth, ‘Names.’

Achtemeier, Paul J., Harper & Row and Society of Biblical Literature. Harper’s Bible dictionary 1985 : 288. Print.

Connect the Testaments

February 18: Dwelling in the Wilderness
Leviticus 1–3, John 7:1–13, Song of Solomon 6:1–5

The book of Leviticus can feel distant, abstract, and even absurd. Its opening chapters discuss odd offerings made at the tent of meeting, where God met His people when they were wandering in the wilderness after the exodus. Yet, the book signals an appreciation for all things: animals, crops, and the general need for peace—both between people and between God and people.

In Leviticus, we also find the setup for the entire Gospel of John; Jesus’ life is cast as an offering to make all people one with God again. We find the background information for Isa 53, where the Suffering Servant dies and is resurrected on behalf of God’s people.

Much of the Old and New Testaments require a general understanding of Leviticus.

Not only do these ancient rituals show the need to appreciate the entire created order, they also show how much we should appreciate a faith that doesn’t require all these rituals.


Morning and Evening

Morning, February 18      Go To Evening Reading
 “Shew me wherefore thou contendest with me.”           — Job 10:2
Perhaps, O tried soul, the Lord is doing this to develop thy graces. There are some of thy graces which would never be discovered if it were not for thy trials. Dost thou not know that thy faith never looks so grand in summer weather as it does in winter? Love is too often like a glow-worm, showing but little light except it be in the midst of surrounding darkness. Hope itself is like a star—not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity. Afflictions are often the black foils in which God doth set the jewels of his children’s graces, to make them shine the better. It was but a little while ago that on thy knees thou wast saying, “Lord, I fear I have no faith: let me know that I have faith.” Was not this really, though perhaps unconsciously, praying for trials?—for how canst thou know that thou hast faith until thy faith i…

My Utmost for His Highest

February 18th
The initiative against despair

Rise let us be going.Matthew 26:46.

The disciples went to sleep when they should have kept awake, and when they realized what they had done it produced despair. The sense of the irreparable is apt to make us despair, and we say—‘It is all up now, it is no use trying any more.’ If we imagine that this kind of despair is exceptional, we are mistaken, it is a very ordinary human experience. Whenever we realize that we have not done that which we had a magnificent opportunity of doing, then we are apt to sink in despair, and Jesus Christ comes and says—‘Sleep on now, that opportunity is lost for ever, you cannot alter it, but arise and go to the next thing.’ Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ, and go out into the irresistible future with Him.
There are experiences like this in each of our lives. We are in despair, the despair that comes from actualities, and we cannot lift ourselves out of it. The disciples in this inst…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

February 18

  To every man his work
Mark 13:34
He does the most for God’s great world who does the best in his own little world.


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