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God guided David

God guided David

Excerpt


David was up very early that day and heard the morning challenge that Goliath gave to Saul and his army. If the Israelites could provide a champion who was able to defeat Goliath, the Philistines would submit to the Jews and be their servants, but if not, the Israelites must consider themselves defeated and become the servants of the Philistines (vv. 8–9). Unfortunately, nobody in the Jewish army volunteered, including King Saul, who stood head and shoulders above his men. Since Israel had come to a crisis in this confrontation, Saul made a generous offer to the man who would silence Goliath: he would marry one of the king’s daughters, receive great riches from the king, and take his father’s house off the tax rolls. Saul hoped that somebody would be tempted by the offer and try to defeat Goliath.


Wiersbe, Warren W. Be Successful. Colorado Springs, CO: Victor/Cook Communications, 2001. Print. “Be” Commentary Series.

The Daughters of Shiloh

The Daughters of Shiloh
‎ When the edge of their fury was dulled and its heat cooled, the Israelites repented the extremity of their vengeance against Benjamin. They were horrified at the thought that one tribe should utterly disappear from among the twelve, so they sought to reëstablish the six hundred outlaw Benjamites of Rimmon. Yet in the heat of anger, each Israelite had vowed never to let any woman of his family wed with a Benjamite. How then might these lone six hundred fighting men rear families;
‎A crafty method was found which, neither breaking the vow nor yet preserving it, seemed to satisfy the not over-delicate consciences of the time. One city of Israel had neglected the common cause and sent no warriors to the war. This city was suddenly attacked, destroyed, and its marriageable women presented to the Benjamites. As there were not enough of these unhappy victims, the remaining Benjamites were secretly instructed to go to the city of Shiloh, where the maidens held a yea…

Antonia Fortress, East Gate

Antonia Fortress, East Gate
‎ Josephus’ description of the Fortress Antonia in Jerusalem mentions four towers, with three towers standing 50 cubits (about 75 feet or 23 m) high and the southeast tower, the one nearest the Temple, standing tallest at seventy cubits or about 105 feet (32 m). The Romans kept a wary eye on the Temple enclosure as Jewish religious fervor often translated into rebellious speech and seditious action. Roman troops, nearby when an angry mob threatened Paul’s life, saved him from violent death. ‎Acts 21:31–37, Acts 22:24
‎Image by user Deror avi, from Wikimedia Commons. License: Free use, attribution required

Baptism in John 3:5?

Baptism in John 3:5?

John 3:5

Excerpt


Could the text of 3:5 then possibly refer to Christian baptism? The answer is certainly not a simple one. Birth from above for John was the equivalent of salvation or eternal life. Such birth, as some scholars have noted, is in John similar to being children of God in the Synoptic Gospels (e.g., Matt 18:3; Mark 10:15). In the early church baptismal language could be used in contexts that refer to the salvation process. Examples are numerous, but a few will suffice, such as being buried and raised (e.g., Rom 6:1–11), or the putting off of the old way and the putting on of the new (e.g., Col 3:1–17), or in the commission to evangelize (e.g., Matt 28:10).

In such contexts, baptism and salvation were clearly linked in the thinking of early Christians. Was the same true for John, who later in the first century was writing reflectively on the significance of the Nicodemus story for his community of believers? In trying to answer this question, we are trying…

Clay Coin Molds

Clay Coin Molds

‎Many ancient coins were poured as hot metal into clay molds like these, taking on the image molded into the clay as they cooled. This process is called casting. Hiram, the artisan from Tyre, used a similar process to cast the bronze instruments and fixtures for Solomon’s Temple, though he cast them in clay ground rather than in discrete molds. These Roman coin molds, found in Northern England, were used in the fourth century A.D. ‎1 Kgs 7:45–46, 2 Chr 4:17

Interior of the Mosque El-Aksa

Interior of the Mosque El-Aksa

‎After a week spent in retirement in the neighborhood of the Lake of Galilee our, Savior went up again to Jerusalem to attend the Passover, which took place, according to the Harmony we follow, between March 30th and April 5th, A. D. 28. On this particular visit to Jerusalem, our Savior healed a man at the Pool of Bethesda. The Mosque of El-Aksa, which occupies a part of the place once allotted to the temple, is different in style and inferior in character to the Mosque of Omar. The edifice was originally founded by the Emperor Justinian about the middle of the sixth century, but has been much modified, no doubt, by Moslem architects, for it has been in ruins twice in consequence of earthquakes, and we may infer that but little of the original building now left can be considered strictly ancient. The interior is supported by forty-five columns, thirty-three of which are marble and twelve of common stone. Some of the windows are very good. Some wretched …

Until the Day of Christ Jesus

Until the Day of Christ Jesus

Philippians 1:6

Excerpt


Paul expressed the confidence that the growth would take place “until the day of Christ Jesus.” He glanced backward to their salvation and forward to the completion of their character when the Lord returns. No doubt the reference to the “day of Christ Jesus” is the “day of the Lord” so common in the Old Testament (Joel 2:1; Amos 5:20). The question is why the end times were included at this point. Although Paul could have thought in terms of the imminent coming of the Lord, he also was more aware of a delay than earlier in his ministry.16 Paul’s use of the phrase “until the day” actually called to mind the consummation of the present age. It was Paul’s way of making two emphases: sanctification was an ongoing process and the process would continue to the end of the age. At that time the believers would be complete in character. They needed not to fear the judgment which characterized that day.


Melick, Richard R. Philippians, Colossians…

My Utmost for His Highest

August 24th
The spiritual index


Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Matthew 7:9.

The illustration of prayer that Our Lord uses here is that of a good child asking for a good thing. We talk about prayer as if God heard us irrespective of the fact of our relationship to Him (cf. Matthew 5:45). Never say it is not God’s will to give you what you ask, don’t sit down and faint, but find out the reason, turn up the index. Are you rightly related to your wife, to your husband, to your children, to your fellow-students—are you a ‘good child’ there? ‘Oh, Lord, I have been irritable and cross, but I do want spiritual blessing.’ You cannot have it, you will have to do without until you come into the attitude of a good child.

We mistake defiance for devotion; arguing with God for abandonment. We will not look at the index. Have I been asking God to give me money for something I want when there is something I have not paid for? Have I been asking God …

Morning and Evening

Morning, August 24Go To Evening Reading

“The breaker is come up before them.” —Micah 2:13
Inasmuch as Jesus has gone before us, things remain not as they would have been had he never passed that way. He has conquered every foe that obstructed the way. Cheer up now thou faint-hearted warrior. Not only has Christ travelled the road, but he has slain thine, enemies. Dost thou dread sin? He has nailed it to his cross. Dost thou fear death? He has been the death of Death. Art thou afraid of hell? He has barred it against the advent of any of his children; they shall never see the gulf of perdition. Whatever foes may be before the Christian, they are all overcome. There are lions, but their teeth are broken; there are serpents, but their fangs are extracted; there are rivers, but they are bridged or fordable; there are flames, but we wear that matchless garment which renders us invulnerable to fire. The sword that has been forged against us is already blunted; the instruments of war which the…

Connect the Testaments

August 24: Who Is Trustworthy?
Isaiah 48:1–49:26; Luke 19:11–48; Job 11:1–12

We might get sidetracked when reading the Parable of the Ten Minas. Businessmen aren’t sympathetic characters in our modern world. In movies and sometimes in life, they’re often flat, miserly characters who take advantage of naïve individuals and community values.

Although there is often an element of truth to some stereotypes, it can be too easy to take sides. And we’re forced to take sides in this parable. Whose view is correct—the people of the city who hate the nobleman, the fearful servant, or the nobleman and his faithful servants?

The response of the masses seems unjustified. The two servants entrusted with minas are faithful characters, but not the focus of the parable. When the final servant is summoned, we expect an interesting turn of events. Will we sympathize with him? We’ve already heard that the citizens hate the nobleman, and the final servant seems to confirm this: “For I was afraid of you bec…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

August 24

  I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing
Ezek. 36:26
What is thy season this morning? Is it the season of drought? Then that is the season for showers. Is it a season of great heaviness and black clouds? Then that is the season for showers. “As thy days so shall thy strength be.” “I will give thee showers of blessings.” The word is in the plural. All kinds of blessings God will send. All God’s blessings go together, like links in a golden chain. If He gives converting grace, He will also give comforting grace. He will send “showers of blessings.” Look up today, O parched plant and open thy leaves and flowers for a heavenly watering.

Spurgeon

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