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Showing posts from June 15, 2016

An Early Description of Paul

An Early Description of Paul

Galatians 1:1

Excerpt


The word “Paul” in Greek literally means “small,” or “little.”2 The earliest physical description we have of Paul comes from The Acts of Paul and Thecla, a second-century apocryphal writing that describes the apostle as “a man of small stature, with a bald head and crooked legs, in a good state of body, with eyebrows meeting and nose somewhat hooked, full of friendliness; for now he appeared like a man, and now he had the face of an angel.”3 Although written many years after his death, these words may well reflect an authentic tradition about Paul’s actual likeness.

A Silver Half-Shekel

A Silver Half-Shekel

The Function and Form of Psalm 1

The Function and Form of Psalm 1

Psalm 1:1–6

Excerpt


This psalm serves as an introduction, or prologue, to the collection of the Psalms in its final form. It is a teaching, or wisdom, psalm advising the readers to dedicate themselves to the study of the Law of God, the Torah, and warning them of the consequences if they don’t.

The psalm consists of two strophes. The first one (verses1–3) describes the truly pious person, stating what he refuses to do (verse1), what he does (verse2), and then describing him as like a healthy tree (verse 3). The second strophe (verses 4–6) compares the evil person to chaff, which is blown away by the wind. Such a person will not share the future happiness of the righteous but will instead be destined to destruction.


Bratcher, Robert G., and William David Reyburn. A Translator’s Handbook on the Book of Psalms. New York: United Bible Societies, 1991. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Obelisks at Karnak

Obelisks at Karnak

‎The Karnak temple complex is a vast area of obelisks, temples, and other buildings near Luxor, about 300 miles (500 km) south of Cairo, Egypt. Considered one of the holiest places in Egypt, it was dedicated mainly to the worship of the deity Amon (also called Amen or Amun). He was thought to be a self-created god who manifested himself as the sun-god Ra, hence the common pairing Amon-Ra. Obelisks normally symbolized Ra himself. Paired obelisks like those shown are often found at temple entrances. ‎Deut 4:19, Job 31:24–28, Ezek 8:16

Cart for ark of covenant reconstruction

Cart for ark of covenant reconstruction

Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives

Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives


Whose Staff

Whose Staff

Numbers 20:8

Excerpt


It could well have been Aaron’s since it was kept “before the Lord” (v.10), in which case it was not for striking but to remind Israel of their contentiousness (17:25).17 Or it could have been for striking since, according to the priestly texts, Aaron’s rod was so used during the plagues (Exod. 7:9, 20; 8:1, 13). However, it was more likely the rod of Moses, which had been employed in the performance of God’s miracles in the wilderness (Exod. 14:16; 17:9). And, more relevantly, it was used in a previous instance of drawing water from a rock (Exod. 17:1–7), in which it was identified as the one used to strike the Nile (e.g., Exod. 7:19–20). Note also “his (Moses’) rod” in verse 11. Ibn Ezra assumes that if this is so, then Moses’ rod was kept in the sanctuary, a most plausible conjecture since it (as well as Aaron’s) was called “the rod of God” (Exod. 4:20).


Milgrom, Jacob. Numbers. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1990. Print. The JPS Torah Co…

Connect the Testaments

June 15: Encouragement and Positivity
2 Chronicles 35:1–36:23; 1 John 2:28–3:4; Psalm 105:23–45

If we were to make encouragement one of our main strategies, we’d see positive results in most situations. If we made providing for others one of our goals, the world would be a kinder place. King Josiah epitomizes both of these attributes in 2 Chr 35:1–19.
Josiah’s actions mark not only a remarkable transition from being unfamiliar with God’s Word to living it out (2 Chr 34:8–33) but also a move from religiosity to compassion. Josiah could have coldly observed the Passover out of ritual, but instead, he encourages the religious leaders and empowers them to do God’s work. His encouragement changes the outcome: The religious leaders embrace their task.
Josiah also provides for them, allowing them to make the necessary changes. He frees them up from their usual obligations so that they may help others (2 Chr 35:3); he takes care of their fiscal needs (2 Chr 35:7). His example inspires others t…

Morning and Evening

Morning, June 15                                       Go To Evening Reading

         “And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh so that all that hear will laugh with me.”
         —Genesis 21:6
It was far above the power of nature, and even contrary to its laws, that the aged Sarah should be honoured with a son; and even so it is beyond all ordinary rules that I, a poor, helpless, undone sinner, should find grace to bear about in my soul the indwelling Spirit of the Lord Jesus. I, who once despaired, as well I might, for my nature was as dry, and withered, and barren, and accursed as a howling wilderness, even I have been made to bring forth fruit unto holiness. Well, may my mouth be filled with joyous laughter, because of the singular, surprising grace which I have received of the Lord, for I have found Jesus, the promised seed, and he is mine forever; This day will I lift up psalms of triumph unto the Lord who has remembered my low estate, for “my heart rejoiceth in the Lord; mine…

My Utmost for His Highest

June 15th
Get a move on


In the Matter of Drudgery. And beside this, … add. 2 Peter 1:5.

You have inherited the Divine nature, says Peter (v. 4), now screw your attention down and form habits, give diligence, concentrate. “Add” means all that character means. No man is born either naturally or supernaturally with character; he has to make a character. Nor are we born with habits; we have to form habits on the basis of the new life God has put into us. We are not meant to be illuminated versions, but the common stuff of ordinary life exhibiting the marvel of the grace of God. Drudgery is the touchstone of character. The great hindrance in the spiritual life is that we will look for big things to do. “Jesus took a towel …, and began to wash the disciples’ feet.”
There are times when there is no illumination and no thrill, but just the daily round, the common task. Routine is God’s way of saving us between our times of inspiration. Do not expect God always to give you His thrilling minut…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

June 15

  I have set thee … that thou shouldst be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.… Ye shall be witnesses unto me … unto the uttermost parts of the earth
Acts 13:47; 1:8
Men are questioning now, as they never questioned before, whether Christianity is indeed the true religion which is to be the salvation of the world. Christian men, it is for us to give our bit of answer to that question. It is for us, in whom the Christian church is at the moment partially embodied, to declare that Christianity, that the Christian faith, the Christian manhood can do that for the world which the world needs.
You ask, “What can I do?”
You can furnish one Christian life. You can furnish a life so faithful to every duty, so ready for every service, so determined not to commit sin, that the great Christian church shall be the stronger for your living in it, and the problem of the world be answered, and a certain great peace come into this poor, perplexed phase of our humanity as it sees that new …