Feast of Pentecost


Feast of Pentecost

Excerpt


The feast of Pentecost was in NT times the name for the celebration of the Feast of Weeks because it occurred on the fiftieth day after Passover. It was a one-day festival in which special sacrifices were offered, and originally it was a harvest (firstfruits) festival (Exod. 23:16;34:22; Lev. 23:15–21; Num. 28:26; Deut. 16:9–12). It is possible, but not certain, that as early as this time this festival was associated with the giving of the Law on Sinai.


Witherington, Ben, III. The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998. Print.

Ripening Olive, Israel

Ripening Olive, Israel



Lower Than the Angels


Lower Than the Angels

Excerpt


Here the LXX takes Elohim (being a plural form) to mean “angels;” as also in Ps. 97:7 and 138:1. The correct rendering of the Hebrew may be, “thou madest him a little short of God,” with reference to his having been made “in God’s image,” “after God’s likeness,” and having dominion over creation which was given him. But, if so, Elohim must be understood in its abstract sense of “Divinity” (so Gesenius), rather than as denoting the Supreme Being. Otherwise, “thyself” would have been the appropriate expression, the psalm being addressed to God. The argument is not affected by the difference of translation. Indeed, the latter rendering enhances still more the position assigned to man.


SpSpence-Jones, H. D. M., ed. Hebrews. London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909. Print. The Pulpit Commentary.

Roman Scribe Tomb Relief

Roman Scribe Tomb Relief


No scribes, no scripture. Modern Bible students owe much to ancient scribes. From the day that the original human writer wrote a given portion of Scripture until Gutenberg invented the printing press, every copy of any Bible portion was hand-copied from an older copy. Much of what we know of ancient cultures is due to extant documents and inscriptions, in various ancient scripts, that scribes produced or oversaw in production. This photograph shows a Roman scribe’s portrait from a tombstone in Flavia Solva, a Roman city in modern Austria.

1 Chr 24:6, Ezra 7:6, Neh 8:13, Neh 13:13, Esther 3:12, Esther 8:9, Ps 45:1, Matt 2:4, Matt 8:19, Matt 13:52

‎Image by Hermann A.M. Mucke, from Wikimedia Commons. License: Public Domain


Beth She’an: Colonnaded Street

Beth She’an: Colonnaded Street


‎A colonnaded street exposed in the Beth She’ excavations. The streets crossed the Roman-Byzantine city in a grid pattern. Magnificent public buildings lined the streets. They were all destroyed by the severe earthquake of 749 A.D.

Morning and Evening








Morning, April 14      Go To Evening Reading

         “All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head.” 
         — Psalm 22:7

Mockery was a great ingredient in our Lord’s woe. Judas mocked him in the garden; the chief priests and scribes laughed him to scorn; Herod set him at nought; the servants and the soldiers jeered at him, and brutally insulted him; Pilate and his guards ridiculed his royalty; and on the tree all sorts of horrid jests and hideous taunts were hurled at him. Ridicule is always hard to bear, but when we are in intense pain it is so heartless, so cruel, that it cuts us to the quick. Imagine the Saviour crucified, racked with anguish far beyond all mortal guess, and then picture that motley multitude, all wagging their heads or thrusting out the lip in bitterest contempt of one poor suffering victim! Surely there must have been something more in the crucified One than they could see, or else such a great and mingled crowd would not unanimously have honoured him with such contempt. Was it not evil confessing, in the very moment of its greatest apparent triumph, that after all it could do no more than mock at that victorious goodness which was then reigning on the cross? O Jesus, “despised and rejected of men,” how couldst thou die for men who treated thee so ill? Herein is love amazing, love divine, yea, love beyond degree. We, too, have despised thee in the days of our unregeneracy, and even since our new birth we have set the world on high in our hearts, and yet thou bleedest to heal our wounds, and diest to give us life. O that we could set thee on a glorious high throne in all men’s hearts! We would ring out thy praises over land and sea till men should as universally adore as once they did unanimously reject.

         “Thy creatures wrong thee, O thou sovereign Good!
         Thou art not loved, because not understood:
         This grieves me most, that vain pursuits beguile
         Ungrateful men, regardless of thy smile.”
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Go To Morning Reading      Evening, April 14

         “Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him.” 
         Isaiah 3:10

It is well with the righteous ALWAYS. If it had said, “Say ye to the righteous, that it is well with him in his prosperity,” we must have been thankful for so great a boon, for prosperity is an hour of peril, and it is a gift from heaven to be secured from its snares: or if it had been written, “It is well with him when under persecution,” we must have been thankful for so sustaining an assurance, for persecution is hard to bear; but when no time is mentioned, all time is included. God’s “shalls” must be understood always in their largest sense. From the beginning of the year to the end of the year, from the first gathering of evening shadows until the day-star shines, in all conditions and under all circumstances, it shall be well with the righteous. It is so well with him that we could not imagine it to be better, for he is well fed, he feeds upon the flesh and blood of Jesus; he is well clothed, he wears the imputed righteousness of Christ; he is well housed, he dwells in God; he is well married, his soul is knit in bonds of marriage union to Christ; he is well provided for, for the Lord is his Shepherd; he is well endowed, for heaven is his inheritance. It is well with the righteous—well upon divine authority; the mouth of God speaks the comforting assurance. O beloved, if God declares that all is well, ten thousand devils may declare it to be ill, but we laugh them all to scorn. Blessed be God for a faith which enables us to believe God when the creatures contradict him. It is, says the Word, at all times well with thee, thou righteous one; then, beloved, if thou canst not see it, let God’s word stand thee in stead of sight; yea, believe it on divine authority more confidently than if thine eyes and thy feelings told it to thee. Whom God blesses is blest indeed, and what his lip declares is truth most sure and steadfast.


Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings. Complete and unabridged; New modern edition. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006. Print.

My Utmost for His Highest








April 14th

Inspired invincibility



Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me. Matthew 11:29.

“Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth.” How petty our complaining is! Our Lord begins to bring us into the place where we can have communion with Him, and we groan and say—‘Oh Lord, let me be like other people!’ Jesus is asking us to take one end of the yoke—‘My yoke is easy, get alongside Me and we will pull together.’ Are you identified with the Lord Jesus like that? If so, you will thank God for the pressure of His hand.

“To them that have no might, He increaseth strength.” God comes and takes us out of our sentimentality, and our complaining turns into a psalm of praise. The only way to know the strength of God is to take the yoke of Jesus upon us and learn of Him.

“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Where do the saints get their joy from? If we did not know some saints, we would say—‘Oh, he, or she, has nothing to bear.’ Lift the veil. The fact that the peace and the light and the joy of God are there is proof that the burden is there too. The burden God places squeezes the grapes and out comes the wine; most of us see the wine only. No power on earth or in hell can conquer the Spirit of God in a human spirit, it is an inner unconquerableness.

If you have the whine in you, kick it out ruthlessly. It is a positive crime to be weak in God’s strength.


Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering, 1986. Print.

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour








April 14

  My soul, wait thou only upon God
        Ps. 62:5

Did it ever occur to you that if you do not hear God’s answer to prayer, it may be not because He is dumb, but because you are deaf; not because He has no answer to give, but because you have not been listening to it? We are so busy with our service, so busy with our work, and sometimes so busy with our praying, that it does not occur to us to stop our own talking and listen if God has some answer to give us with “the still small voice”; to be passive, to be quiet, to do nothing, say nothing, in some true sense think nothing; simply to be receptive and waiting for the voice. “Wait thou only upon God,” says the Psalmist; and again, “Wait on the Lord.”

Selected


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