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The Consolation of Israel

The Consolation of Israel

Luke 2:25

Excerpt


This refers to the consolation that would be brought about by the inauguration of the messianic age. CompareLuke 2:26, where this consolation is described as “seeing the Lord’s Christ” (cf. also 1:54, 68–75). For Luke, this referred not to the fulfillment of Jewish political hopes involving deliverance from their enemies and restoration of David’s throne but rather to the salvation Jesus brought. This is clear when one compares 2:30 with such verses as 19:10. See the discussion at 1:69. Like other devout model believers (Anna, 2:38; Joseph of Arimathea, 23:51; cf. also 12:36; Acts 24:15), Simeon was looking forward to Israel’s consolation (2:25), i.e., Jerusalem’s redemption (2:38); the coming of God’s kingdom (23:51); the Master’s return (12:36); the resurrection of the just and the unjust (Acts 24:15).


Stein, Robert H. Luke. Vol. 24. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992. Print. The New American Commentary.

Woe to Me!

Woe to Me!

Isaiah 6:5

Excerpt


This vision of God’s majesty, holiness, and glory made Isaiah realize that he was a sinner. When Ezekiel saw God’s glory he too responded with humility. (Cf. the responses of Job, Job 42:5-6; Peter, Luke 5:8; and the Apostle John, Rev. 1:17.) Isaiah had pronounced woes (threats of judgment) on the nation (Isa. 5:8-23), but now by saying Woe to me!(cf. 24:16) he realized he was subject to judgment. This was because he was unclean. When seen next to the purity of God’s holiness, the impurity of human sin is all the more evident. The prophet’s unclean lips probably symbolized his attitudes and actions as well as his words, for a person’s words reflect his thinking and relate to his actions. Interestingly Isaiah identified with his people who also were sinful (a people of unclean lips).


Martin, John A. “Isaiah.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 1. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 1045. Print.

“Spoken by the Prophets”

“Spoken by the Prophets”

Excerpt


The first line is from Isa. 62:11, the rest from Zech. 9:9. John (12:14f.) makes it clear that Jesus did not quote the passage himself. In Matthew, it is not so plain, but probably it is his own comment about the incident. It is not Christ’s intention to fulfil the prophecy, simply that his conduct did fulfil it. More


Robertson, A.T. Word Pictures in the New Testament. Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1933. Print.

Words Not Heard By Human Ear

Words Not Heard By Human Ear

Excerpt


Both by day and by night, God’s creation is speaking (v. 2), but this speech is not heard with the human ear. Verse 3 should read, “There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard” (NIV). We hear the voice of God in creation by seeing His wisdom and power. Certainly, so complex an entity as our universe (and the universes beyond our own universe) demands a Creator and Sustainer. To believe that the universe evolved out of nothing and arranged itself in this orderly manner is folly.


Wiersbe, Warren W. Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the Old Testament. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1993. Print.

No Vain Repetitions

No Vain Repetitions

Excerpt


Used of stammerers who repeat the words, then mere babbling or chattering, empty repetition. The etymology is uncertain, but it is probably onomatopoetic like “babble.” The worshippers of Baal on Mount Carmel (I Kings 8:26) and of Diana in the amphitheatre at Ephesus who yelled for two hours (Acts 19:34) are examples. The Mohammedans may also be cited who seem to think that they “will be heard for their much speaking” (ἐν τῃ πολυλογιᾳ [en tēi polulogiāi]). Vincent adds “and the Romanists with their paternosters and avast.” The Syriac Sinaitic has it: “Do not be saying idle things.” Certainly, Jesus does not mean to condemn all repetition in prayer since he himself prayed three times in Gethsemane “saying the same words again” (Matt. 26:44). “As the Gentiles do,” says Jesus. “The Pagans thought that by endless repetitions and many words they would inform their gods as to their needs and weary them (‘fatigare deos’) into granting their requests” (Bruce).

Robert…

The Nature of Christ

The Nature of Christ

Philippians 2:6

Excerpt


The word translated nature (morphē) in verses 6 and 7 is a crucial term in this passage. This word (trans. “form” in the KJV and NASB) stresses the inner essence or reality of that with which it is associated (cf. Mark16:12). Christ Jesus, Paul said, is of the very essence (morphē) of God, and in His incarnation, He embraced perfect humanity. His complete and absolute deity is here carefully stressed by the apostle. The Savior’s claim to deity infuriated the Jewish leaders (John 5:18) and caused them to accuse Him of blasphemy (John 10:33).

Though possessing full deity (John 1:14; Col. 2:9), Christ did not consider His equality with God (Phil. 2:6) as something to be grasped or held onto. In other words, Christ did not hesitate to set aside His self-willed use of deity when He became a man. As God, He had all the rights of deity, and yet during His incarnate state He surrendered His right to manifest Himself visibly as the God of all splendor a…

Praying to His Father

Praying to His Father

Excerpt


As Jesus turns to address the Father his speech implies that he is taken up into the eternal presence (cf. Brown 1970:747). He speaks as if his work were already complete (for example, v. 4). Indeed, he even says, “I am no longer in this world” (v. 11, completely obscured in the NIV). But right after that he says, I say these things while I am still in the world(v. 13). He is right there with his disciples just before his death, but he is praying from the realm of eternity. Just as the book of Revelation reveals from a heavenly perspective the certainty of God’s unfolding will, so this prayer of Jesus shows that he is completely confident in the outworking of that will.


Whitacre, Rodney A. John. Vol. 4. Downers G

Connect the Testaments

June 29: Behind the Scenes
Esther 3:1–7:10; 3 John 1:1–4; Psalm 117:1–118:16

Sometimes life can look so bleak that it seems as if all hope is gone. This was the situation for Esther and Mordecai: “Letters were sent by couriers to all the provinces of the king to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, women, and children” (Esther 3:13). Genocide was upon Esther, Mordecai, and their people, and it seemed that little could be done.
Yet God unexpectedly used Esther to do His work and made Mordecai a hero for thwarting the enemies’ plan to destroy God’s people (Esther 5–7). As a result, the people who wanted to kill Mordecai ended up dead (Esther 7:7–10). But these events depicted more than poetic justice; they provide an example of hope in the midst of adversity. This story shows that God is at work even when we don’t realize He is there—when even prayer feels like a waste of energy.
While God is not a “character” in the book of Esther, His presence is implic…

Morning and Evening

Morning, June 29Go To Evening Reading

         “Them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” —1 Thessalonians 4:14
Let us not imagine that the soul sleeps in insensibility. “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise,” is the whisper of Christ to every dying saint. They “sleep in Jesus,” but their souls are before the throne of God, praising him day and night in his temple, singing hallelujahs to him who washed them from their sins in his blood. The body sleeps in its lonely bed of earth, beneath the coverlet of grass. But what is this sleep? The idea connected with sleep is “rest,” and that is the thought which the Spirit of God would convey to us. Sleep makes each night a Sabbath for the day. Sleep shuts fast the door of the soul, and bids all intruders tarry for a while, that the life within may enter its summer garden of ease. The toil-worn believer quietly sleeps, as does the weary child when it slumbers on its mother’s breast. Oh! happy they who die in the Lord; they res…

My Utmost for His Highest

June 29th
Direction of discipline


And if thy right hand offend thee cut it off and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Matthew 5:30.

Jesus did not say that everyone must cut off the right hand, but—‘If your right hand offends you in your walk with Me, cut it off.’ There are many things that are perfectly legitimate, but if you are going to concentrate on God you cannot do them. Your right hand is one of the best things you have, but Jesus says if it hinders you in following His precepts, cut it off. This line of discipline is the sternest one that ever struck mankind.
When God alters a man by regeneration, the characteristic of the life to begin with is that it is maimed. There are a hundred and one things you dare not do, things that to you and in the eyes of the world that know's you are as your right hand and your eye, and the unspiritual person says—‘Whatever is wrong in …

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

June 29

  Sleep on now, and take your rest
Mark 14:41
Never did that sacred opportunity to watch with Christ return to His disciples. Lost then, it was lost forever. And now when Jesus is still beholding the travail of His soul in the redemption of the world if you fail to be with Him watching for souls as they that must give account, remember that the opportunity will never return. “Watch, therefore,” says your Lord, “lest coming suddenly, he may find you sleeping.”

A. J. Gordon

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