Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from March 3, 2016

John the Baptist Birth Announced

John the Baptist Birth Announced


In this section Luke recorded how God after four hundred years once again visited Israel and raised up a prophet who would prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah. Although the Qumran community believed that God was active and revealed himself through their movement and that their Teacher of Righteousness was a prophet, for the majority of Israel the prophets had fallen asleep (2 Bar 85:1–3;1 Macc 4:46; 9:27; 14:41) and the Holy Spirit had ceased in Israel (Tosefta Soṭa 13:3). As a result most people tended to look back to the period of the law and the prophets when God was active among his people or forward to the time of the messianic age when God would once again be active and fulfill his covenant promises. Thus God’s visit to Zechariah marks for Luke the breaking in of the messianic age, i.e., the beginning of the things that God has fulfilled among his people.

The announcement of the birth of John the Baptist can be subdivided into the fo…

Sons of God

Sons of God

Job 1:6

Excerpt


The English expression the sons of God gives the impression that a father-son relationship exists between Yahweh and these beings. This expression is an example of a Hebrew idiom in which members of a particular category or class are called “sons” of that group, and in this case it is a group of divine beings (see TEV footnote). The parallel expression “sons of the prophets” (see 2 Kings 2.3, 5, 15) is rendered by NEV as “company of prophets,” by TEV, and by FRCL as “group of prophets.” So here and in 2.1; 38.7 the reference is to the members of the heavenly assembly surrounding Yahweh.


Reyburn, William David. A Handbook on the Book of Job. New York: United Bible Societies, 1992. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Scribes in Preexilic Times

Scribes in Preexilic Times

2 Kings 22:12

Excerpt


The ability to read and write was not widespread in ancient Israel, and professional secretaries were needed in the various aspects of public life. This appears to be the earliest biblical notion of the term “scribe” and has no particular religious connotation. Scribes were employed to keep accounts or transcribe legal information (Jer 32:12), military data (2 Chr 26:11), other public documents (Jgs 8:14; Is 50:1), or personal correspondence (Jer 36:18). These secretaries were essential to royal administrations, and there is frequent mention of a chief scribe who functioned as a court recorder (1 Kgs 4:3; 2 Chr 24:11), adviser (2 Sm 8:16–17; 2 Kgs 18:18; 22:12; 1 Chr 27:32; Is 36:3), and financial overseer (2 Kgs 22:3–4). Secretaries or scribes were associated with the priesthood as well, serving as recorders for temple affairs (1 Chr 24:6; 2 Chr 34:13–15).


Elwell, Walter A., and Philip Wesley Comfort. Tyndale Bible dictionary 2001 : 1171.…

Wilberforce, William

Wilberforce, William

Excerpt


‎WILBERFORCE, WILLIAM (1759–1833)

‎English philanthropist; antislavery crusader


Born in Hull, Wilberforce studied in desultory fashion at Cambridge, then in 1780 entered Parliament and became a strong supporter of William Pitt, who persuaded Wilberforce to devote himself to the abolition of the slave trade. In this cause he opposed many in the empire who had powerful vested interests, and he opposed those who regarded slavery as “a natural and scriptural institution.” The reformers finally triumphed in 1807 when the slave trade was done away with, though abolition of slavery itself had to wait until 1833.
Wilberforce, who had been converted at twenty-five, was the most famous figure associated with the Clapham Sect, which sought to do for the upper classes what Wesley had done for the lower. They used their wealth and influence in Christian outreach. He supported missions, fought to improve the condition of the poor and prisoners, and in 1804 helped to form t…

Punishment

Punishment

Excerpt


No tyranny ever has been so unprincipled as that some appearance of equity was not maintained in it; however corrupt a government be, God never suffers it to be so much so as not to be better than anarchy [Calvin]. Although bad kings often oppress the good, yet that is scarcely ever done by public authority (and it is of what is done by public authority that Peter speaks), save under the mask of right. Tyranny harasses many, but anarchy overwhelms the whole state [Horneius]. The only justifiable exception is in cases where obedience to the earthly king plainly involves disobedience to the express command of the King of kings.


Jamieson, Robert, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Vol. 2. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997. Print.

Preface

Preface

Excerpt


‎If life is a journey, then the million-word-long Holy Bible is the large-scale map with everything in it, and the hundred-word Apostles’ Creed (so called, not because apostles wrote it—despite later legend, they didn’t—but because it teaches apostolic doctrine) is the simplified road map, ignoring much but enabling you to see at a glance the main points of Christian belief. “Creed” means “belief”; many Christians of former days used to call this Creed “the Belief,” and in the second century, when it first appeared, almost as we have it now, it was called the Rule of Faith.

‎When folk enquire into Christianity, their advisers naturally want to get them studying the Bible and to lead them into personal trust in the living Christ as soon as they can; and rightly so. But as means to both ends, it helps to take them through the Creed, as both a preliminary orientation to the Bible and a preliminary analysis of the convictions on which faith in Christ must rest. …


Packer, J. I.…

The Emperor Was Supreme

The Emperor Was Supreme

Excerpt


The Roman emperor was “supreme” in the Roman provinces to which this Epistle was addressed. The Jewish zealots refused obedience. The distinction between “the king as supreme” and “governors sent by him” implies that [Augustine in Grotius]. Scripture prescribes nothing upon the form of government, but simply subjects Christians to that everywhere subsisting, without entering into the question of the right of the rulers (thus the Roman emperors had by force seized supreme authority, and Rome had, by unjustifiable means, made herself mistress of Asia), because the de facto governors have not been made by chance, but by the providence of God.


Jamieson, Robert, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Vol. 2. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997. Print.

Connect the Testaments

March 3: It May Seem Bland
Numbers 3:1–39; John 12:1–19; Psalm 3–4

Let’s just admit it: genealogies and lists, like the one in Num 3:1–39, are the most boring elements of the Bible. But they do something for us that other formats cannot—they give us a sense of history and lineage.

With a genealogy, we can do more than just trace people; we can map their relationships to others and to the events that happen through those relationships. We can also determine who was involved in those major events.

Genealogies and lists give us a small glimpse into God’s providential work, even though we may not recognize them as such. God worked among the people in those lists. He chose to use them. They didn’t deserve to be used by God in mighty ways, but they were. Some of the people in Num 3:1–39 were given seemingly insignificant tasks: “The responsibility of the sons of Merari was the supervision of the frames of the tabernacle, its bars, pillars, bases, and all its vessels and all its service,” amo…

Morning and Evening

Morning, March 3      Go To Evening Reading
 “I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.”  — Isaiah 48:10
Comfort thyself, tried believer, with this thought: God saith, “I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” Does not the word come like a soft shower, assuaging the fury of the flame? Yea, is it not an asbestos armour, against which the heat hath no power? Let affliction come—God has chosen me. Poverty, thou mayst stride in at my door, but God is in the house already, and he has chosen me. Sickness, thou mayst intrude, but I have a balsam ready—God has chosen me. Whatever befalls me in this vale of tears, I know that he has “chosen” me. If, believer, thou requirest still greater comfort, remember that you have the Son of Man with you in the furnace. In that silent chamber of yours, there sitteth by your side One whom thou hast not seen, but whom thou lovest; and ofttimes when thou knowest it not, he makes all thy bed in thy affliction, and smooths thy pillow for thee. T…

My Utmost for His Highest

March 3rd
The unrelieved quest


Feed My sheep.John 21:17.

This is love in the making. The love of God is un-made, it is God’s nature. When we receive the Holy Spirit He unites us with God so that His love is manifested in us. When the soul is united to God by the indwelling Holy Spirit, that is not the end; the end is that we may be one with the Father as Jesus was. What kind of oneness had Jesus Christ with the Father? Such a oneness that the Father sent him down here to be spent for us, and He says—“As the Father hath sent Me, even so send I you.”

Peter realizes now with the revelation of the Lord’s hurting question that he does love Him; then comes the point—Spend it out. Don’t testify how much you love Me, don’t profess about the marvellous revelation you have had, but—“Feed My sheep.” And Jesus has some extraordinarily funny sheep, some bedraggled, dirty sheep, some awkward butting sheep, some sheep that have gone astray! It is impossible to weary God’s love, and it is impossible …

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

March 3

  There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb, by the way of mount Seir, unto Kadesh-barnea
Deut. 1:2
Eleven days, and yet it took them forty years! How was this? Alas! we need not travel far for the answer. It is only too like ourselves. How slowly we get over the ground! What windings and turnings! How often we have to go back and travel over the same ground, again and again. We are slow travelers because we are slow learners. Our God is a faithful and wise, as well as a gracious and patient Teacher. He will not permit us to pass cursorily over our lessons. Sometimes, perhaps, we think we have mastered a lesson and we attempt to move on to another, but our wise Teacher knows better, and He sees the need of deeper ploughing. He will not have us mere theorists or smatterers; He will keep us, if need be, year after year at our scales until we learn to sing.

C. H. M.

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