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Showing posts from July 28, 2016


‎ In this picture we look toward the north and directly away from the Sea of Galilee. One of our muleteers stands in a perfect wilderness of flowers. The view obtained on the 9th of May, 1894, at ten o’clock a. m. It is on the edge of the plain of Gennesaret; the flowers are in full bloom; the birds are singing on the edge of the lake; the sun is bright and glorious; the morning is cool and delightful; no sweeter day could be imagined than the one on which we stood in the presence of this traditional ruin, where possibly stood one of the cities where our Lord performed so many of His works. The same kind of weeds and thistles are found at Bethsaida (Tâbighah) as are found at Capernaum or Tell Hum. Both places are nearly on a level. The woe of extinction pronounced upon Capernaum, Chorazin and Bethsaida has been fulfilled, as the “stones of emptiness” that mark the sites of those ancient cities bear witness. They live only as their names are enshrined in the Gospels with the…

Patmos, the Place of Exile

Patmos, the Place of Exile

Revelation 1:9

In Revelation 1:9 John says that he was on the island of Patmos “on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.” He also indicates that he is a fellow participant in their “tribulations.” The Roman historian Tacitus informs us that the Romans used some of the Aegean islands as places of banishment and exile during the 1st century (Annals, 3:68; 4:30; 15:71). Thus the language of the author and the evidence of Tacitus, joined to Christian traditions from the 2nd and 3rd centuries about John’s banishment, support the likelihood that Patmos was a place of exile or political confinement.

Elwell, Walter A., and Barry J. Beitzel. Baker encyclopedia of the Bible1988 : 1620. Print.

Mourning for Userhet

Mourning for Userhet

‎In this Egyptian tomb painting, women mourn for Userhet. A nobleman contemporaneous with Thutmose IV (reigned c. 1397–1388 B.C.), Userhet’s titles included “Overseer of Amun’s Fields.” His prestigious burial place, in the Valley of the Kings across the Nile from Thebes, underscores his high rank. In Bible times, mourners often placed their hands on their head, tore their clothing, wore garments of coarse cloth, wailed, and sat or lay on dust and ashes or applied them to their heads. Female mourners often left their hair uncombed and unbraided. ‎Gen 37:34, 2 Sam 13:19, Esther 4:1, Job 42:5–6, Jer 6:26, Amos 8:10, Matt 11:21, Rev 18:7 ‎Image by the Yorck Project, from Wikimedia Commons. License: Public Domain



‎In order to separate the edible part of the cereal grain from the stalks and the ears, one either drew a threshing sledge pulled by an ox for days over the grain, or the sheaves were beaten with a wooden flail to loosen the grain. ‎Judg 6:11; 2 Kings 13:7; Josh 10:11; Amos 1:3; Micah 4:13; 1 Cor 9:10

St. Paul’s Gate

St. Paul’s Gate

‎Bab esh Sherki, the eastern gate of Damascus, is sometimes called St. Paul’s Gate, as it is supposed that through it St. Paul, then called Saul, entered the street called Straight, and was led to the house of Judas. It is an ancient Roman portal, with three arches. The central and southern arches are now built up. The northern arch now in use is concealed by the Saracenic gate, at right angles to it. Immediately outside the gate, we see a large tower which is said to have been erected in the early ages of Mohammedan rule. These battlements are surmounted by a tapering minaret. This picture was taken by our artist from outside of the wall, and the ground we see is said to have been the site of furnaces for the manufacture of those finely glazed and richly colored tiles and finished vessels for which Damascus was once celebrated. If one has courage enough to ascend the dilapidated stairway of the tower in sight, a fine view of the city and its surroundings may be obtai…

Genesis 6 and the Sons of God

Genesis 6 and the Sons of God

‎Several views exist regarding the identity of the sons of God in Gen 6. These interpretations also affect how we should understand biblical references to supernatural beings including angels and foreign gods.

Sons of God as Divine Beings
‎The sons of God may be divine beings (e.g., angels). If so, the sin in question was a transgression of the human realm by these heavenly beings. Their involvement with human women led to a widespread breakdown in morality and an increase in wickedness and corruption. The offspring of these unions, then Ephraim (Gen 6:4), were considered quasi-divine and possessed unusual height (“giants”).

‎This was the dominant view among Jewish and Christian thinkers until after the fourth-century ad when Augustine championed an alternative (see below). It was also the exclusive view until the mid-second century ad. …

Barry, John D. et al. Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016. Print.

Acrocorinth Wall

Acrocorinth Wall
‎The remaining wall of the Acrocorinth, Corinth’s Acropolis, from midway up the hill.

Connect the Testaments

July 28: I Will Laud Your Deeds
2 Samuel 19:1–43; 2 Peter 3:1–13; Psalm 145:1–21

I grew up in a family of stoics. Through example, my siblings and I were taught to keep our emotions to ourselves. Displays of excessive affection or sorrow were regarded with some suspicion, and this played out in our expressions of faith.

Psalm 145 directly challenges such a mindset. The psalmist expresses why confessing God’s faithfulness is so important, especially to those we influence: “One generation will laud your works to another, and will declare your mighty deeds” (Psa 145:4). God’s mighty deeds were His redemptive acts—especially the exodus from Egypt. His greatness (Psa 145:6), His righteousness (Psa 145:7), His glory, and His power (Psa 145:11, 12) were expressed.

Our praise should be centered on God’s ultimate restorative work through His Son—an act that has brought us back into intimate communion with Him. We can bring our sorrows and failures to Him: “Yahweh upholds all who are falling, and…

Morning and Evening

Morning, July 28 Go To Evening Reading

“So foolish was I, and ignorant; I was as a beast before thee.”          —Psalm 73:22
Remember this is the confession of the man after God’s own heart; and in telling us his inner life, he writes, “So foolish was I, and ignorant.” The word “foolish,” here, means more than it signifies in ordinary language. David, in a former verse of the Psalm, writes, “I was envious at the foolish when I saw the prosperity of the wicked,” which shows that the folly he intended had sin in it. He puts himself down as being thus “foolish,” and adds a word which is to give intensity to it; “so foolish was I.” How foolish he could not tell. It was a sinful folly, a folly which was not to be excused by frailty, but to be condemned because of its perverseness and wilful ignorance, for he had been envious of the present prosperity of the ungodly, forgetful of the dreadful end awaiting all such. And are we better than David that we should call ourselves wise! Do we profess…

My Utmost for His Highest

July 28th
After obedience—what?

And straightway He constrained His disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side.… Mark 6:45–52.

We are apt to imagine that if Jesus Christ constrains us, and we obey Him, He will lead us to great success. We must never put our dreams of success as God’s purpose for us; His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have an idea that God is leading us to a particular end, the desired goal; He is not. The question of getting to a particular end is a mere incident. What we call the process, God calls the end.

What is my dream of God’s purpose? His purpose is that I depend on Him and His power now. If I can stay in the middle of the turmoil calm and unperplexed, that is the end of the purpose of God. God is not working towards a particular finish; His end is the process—that I see Him walking on the waves, no shore in sight, no success, no goal, just the absolute certainty that it is all right because I see Him walking on the sea. It is the pro…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

July 28

  Your heavenly Father knoweth
Matt. 6:32
The Master judges by the result, but our Father judges by the effort. Failure does not always mean fault. He knows how much things cost, and weighs them where others only measure. Your Father! Think how great store His love sets by the poor beginnings of the little ones, clumsy and unmeaning as they may be to others. All this lies in this blessed relationship, and infinitely more. Do not fear to take it all as your own.

Mark Guy Pearse

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