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Showing posts from August 23, 2016

The Creation of the World

The Creation of the World

Genesis 1:1–2

Excerpt


These verses have traditionally been understood as referring to the actual beginning of matter, a Creation out of nothing and therefore part of day one. But the vocabulary and grammar of this section require a closer look. The motifs and the structure of the Creation account are introduced in the first two verses. That the universe is God’s creative work is perfectly expressed by the statement God created the heavens and the earth. The word bārā’ (“created”) may express creation out of nothing, but it certainly cannot be limited to that (cf. 2:7). Rather, it stresses that what was formed was new and perfect. The word is used throughout the Bible only with God as its subject.


Ross, Allen P. “Genesis.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 1. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 28. Print.

Agricultural Implements

Agricultural Implements
‎These implements from nineteenth-century Syria differ only in minor detail from those seen in ancient Egyptian paintings and others found in archeological digs. Following the numbering in the photo: 1. Plow; 2. Threshing sledge, underside (differs from ancient examples in that metal strips inset edgewise, rather than stones, are embedded); 3. Long two-pronged fork; 4. Winnowing fork; 5. Winnowing shovel; 6. Sowing tube; 7. Sieve; 8. Dung-catcher; 9. Goad; 10, 13. Sickles; 11. Yoke; 12, 14. Pruning hooks; 15. Short two-pronged fork. 1 Kgs 19:21, 1 Chr 21:23, Matt 11:29–30, John 15:2

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892)
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892) “Proclaiming the Cross”

Asked once to describe his preaching method, Charles H. Spurgeon said, “I take my text and make a bee-line to the cross” Few if any preachers in the history of the church have proclaimed the cross with such power and effectiveness as Spurgeon, the great British Baptist preacher of the nineteenth century. Even a century after his death, his sermons and other writings are still widely read and quoted.
Growing up in the home of his grandfather, a Congregational minister who had an extensive library, Spurgeon spent many hours reading classic Puritan writers. Those materials shaped the theological direction of Spurgeon whose preaching demonstrated careful theological thought along with clear presentation and illustrations drawn from everyday life.
Spurgeon’s natural pulpit gifts were recognized early. Before age 20, he was called as pastor of the historic New Park Street Baptist Church in London.…

Image of Artemis, or Diana of the Ephesians

Image of Artemis, or Diana of the Ephesians

Magi in the Ancient World

Magi in the Ancient World

Excerpt


Extrabiblical evidence offers various clues that shed light on the place of origin and positions held by the magi of Matthew 2. The historian Herodotus mentioned magi as a priestly caste of Media, or Persia, and, as the religion in Persia at the time was Zoroastrinism, Herodotus’s magi were probably Zoroastrian priests. Herodotus, together with Plutarch and Strabo, suggested that magi were partly responsible for ritual and cultic life (supervising sacrifices and prayers) and partly responsible as royal advisers to the courts of the East. Believing the affairs of history were reflected in the movements of the stars and other phenomena, Herodotus said, the rulers of the East commonly utilized the magi’s knowledge of astrology and dream interpretation to determine affairs of state. The magi were, therefore, concerned with what the movement of the stars (as signs and portents) might signify for the future affairs of history. Such an interest could account n…

Siege of a city AssyriThe city was unable, however, a Sculpture in the British Museum

Siege of a city AssyriThe city was unable, however, a Sculpture in the British Museum

SIEGE OF A CITY (ASSYRIAN SCULPTURE IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM).
Nicol, T. “Fortification, Fort, Fortified [Fenced] Cities, Fortress.” Ed. James Orr et al. The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia 1915 : 1139. Print.

Great Sphinx at Giza

Great Sphinx at Giza

‎Scholars still debate the age and builder of the Great Sphinx at Giza, Egypt, near modern Cairo. Responsible Egyptologists have posted construction dates from the sixth millennium B.C. to 2450 B.C. The most common view is that it was built by Pharaoh Khafra, who ruled about 2560-2530 B.C. ‎Gen 12:10–20, Gen 26:2, Gen 37:28, Gen 41:46, Gen 45:4–13, Gen 46:3–7, Exod 1:7–14

Bible as Progressive Revelation

Bible as Progressive Revelation

We speak of God’s progressive revelation. This does not mean God began to reveal Himself crudely and learned to do a better job as He went along. Genesis is as much His revelation as is John.
Progressive revelation means God revealed Himself progressively to people as they were able to grasp and understand Him. Thus we have a clearer revelation of God in John than in Genesis, but the same God is revealed in both books.
How would Einstein teach arithmetic to a small child? He would not start out with the equation for the theory of relativity or for splitting the atom. He would begin with two plus two equals four. That is not all the arithmetic he knows; but that is as much as the child can grasp. Years later he would teach the child, now an adult, about complex theories. This is also how God revealed Himself to humanity. He did not reveal everything about Himself at one time. He did it gradually.

Hobbs, Herschel H. My Favorite Illustrations. Nashville, …

Clay Cylinder of Sennacherib

Clay Cylinder of Sennacherib

‎From a Photograph by Clarke and Davies. ‎With a cuneiform account of eight campaigns of Sennacherib, king of Assyria, from 705–681 B.C. Now in the British Museum.

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

August 23
  I am the Lord, I change not Mal. 3:6
Our hope is not hung upon such untwisted thread as “I imagine so,” or “it is likely”; but the cable, the strong rope of our fastened anchor, is the oath and promise of Him who is eternal verity. Our salvation is fastened with God’s own hand and Christ’s own strength to the strong stake of God’s unchanging nature.

William Rutherford

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

My Utmost for His Highest

August 23rd
Prayer choice and prayer conflict


When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and pray to thy Father which is in secret. Matthew 6:6.

Jesus did not say—‘Dream about thy Father in secret,’ but ‘pray to thy Father in secret.’ Prayer is an effort of will. After we have entered our secret place and have shut the door, the most difficult thing to do is to pray. We cannot get our minds into working order, and the first thing that conflicts is wandering thoughts. The great battle in private prayer is the overcoming of mental wool-gathering. We have to discipline our minds and concentrate on wilful prayer.
We must have a selected place for prayer and when we get there the plague of flies begins—This must be done, and that. “Shut thy door.” A secret silence means to shut the door deliberately on emotions and remember God. God is in secret, and He sees us from the secret place; He does not see us as other people see us, or as we see ourselves. When we live in the secret place it beco…

Morning and Evening

Morning, August 23Go To Evening Reading

“The voice of weeping shall be no more heard.” —Isaiah 65:19
The glorified weep no more, for all outward causes of grief are gone. There are no broken friendships, nor blighted prospects in heaven. Poverty, famine, peril, persecution, and slander, are unknown there. No pain distresses, no thought of death or bereavement saddens. They weep no more, for they are perfectly sanctified. No “evil heart of unbelief” prompts them to depart from the living God; they are without fault before his throne and are fully conformed to his image. Well may they cease to mourn who have ceased to sin; They weep no more because all fear of change is past; They know that they are eternally secure. Sin is shut out, and they are shut in. They dwell within a city which shall never be stormed; they bask in a sun which shall never set; they drink of a river which shall never dry; they pluck fruit from a tree which shall never wither. Countless cycles may revolve, but eterni…

Connect the Testaments

August 23: God the Innovator
Isaiah 45:14–47:15; Luke 18:9–19:10; Job 10:11–22

Innovators often say they learn more from their failures than their successes. The successes come as a result of repeated failures, whether in business or in life. We must learn from our mistakes if we are to expect a different, brighter future.

God expects us to learn from our failures—the depths of which we can best understand in comparison to the glory of His successes. God speaks about Himself not only to remind people of His abilities but also to explain where His authority begins and theirs ends.

In Isaiah 45:1–2, God gave Cyrus a lesson in these boundaries—both by what He said and by what He did not say. Like other kings of the time, Cyrus would have thought himself godlike, but God’s detailed description of what He was about to do left Cyrus with no doubt about who was in charge:

“And I will give you the treasures of darkness and treasures of secret places so that you may know that I am Yahweh, the on…