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Showing posts from April 18, 2017

Resurrection

ResurrectionRomans 8:11 Excerpt The most startling characteristic of the first Christian preaching is its emphasis on the resurrection. The first preachers were sure that Christ had risen, and sure, in consequence, that believers would in due course rise also. This set them off from all the other teachers of the ancient world. There are resurrections elsewhere, but none of them is like that of Christ. They are mostly mythological tales connected with the change of the season and the annual miracle of spring. The Gospels tell of an individual who truly died but overcame death by rising again. And if it is true that Christ’s resurrection bears no resemblance to anything in paganism it is also true that the attitude of believers to their own resurrection, the corollary of their Lord’s, is radically different from anything in the heathen world. Nothing is more characteristic of even the best thought of the day than its hopelessness in the face of death. Clearly, the resurrection is of the v…

Moses Strikes the Rock Twice

Moses Strikes the Rock TwiceNumbers 20:10–11 Excerpt Milgrom has examined Moses’ actions against the backdrop of Egyptian and Mesopotamian magicians and diviners as well as in the context of the nature of God revealed in the Pentateuch. Moses’ actions were tantamount to that of an idolatrous pagan magician, and thus Milgrom notes, “Here, in a direct address to his people, Moses ascribes miraculous powers to himself and Aaron. Indeed by broadcasting one word, nôṣîʾ,“we shall bring forth”—Moses and Aaron might be interpreted as having put themselves forth as God.… Israel had to be released from more than chains; it still had to purged of its pagan background.363 In summary, Milgrom states, “Against the backdrop of the Pentateuchal sensitivity to man’s usurping of God’s powers, Moses’ act is manifestly shocking.”364 The collapse of character was so critical that he would suffer severely for his actions and his attitudes. He would not experience the fullness of God’s promise, the ultimate g…

Rabbinical Beliefs about Soul and Body

Rabbinical Beliefs about Soul and BodyExcerpt The three days after death were called “days of weeping,” which were followed by four “days of lamentation,” thus making up the seven “days of mourning” (see Genesis 27:41 Days of Mourning). According to rabbinical thought, the spirit wanders about the sepulcher for three days seeking an opportunity to return into the body; but when the aspect of the body changes, it hovers no more but leaves the body to itself. The friends of the deceased were in the habit of visiting the sepulcher for three days after death and burial, probably because they supposed they would thus be nearer to the departed soul. When the fourth day came, and decomposition took place, and the soul, as they supposed, went away from the sepulcher, they beat their breast and made loud lamentations. This explains the allusion to the “four days” in this text and in verse39. The saying that one had been in the grave four days was equivalent to saying that bodily corruption had b…

The Talmud

The Talmud is a compilation of rabbinic discussions that comprise the foundation of Jewish law and tradition. The Talmuds are structured as expansions and commentary on the Mishnah, an early written compilation of the Oral Torah produced circa 200 CE. These Talmudic commentaries on Jewish morals, values, customs, history and biblical interpretation had previously been passed down orally. To preserve these oral traditions, the Talmuds were assembled in written form. Two different Talmuds were…

Connect the Testaments

April 18: Operating Standards Deuteronomy 33:1–34:12; 2 Corinthians 8:16–24; Psalm 46 Sometimes I operate on the premise that if I’m honoring God and following Him, I don’t have to be concerned with what other people think. But carrying this too far is just as faulty as basing my identity on the approval of others. One leads to foolish pride and independence, and the other results in idolatry. Paul, upon receiving a generous gift from believers in Jerusalem, felt called to explain his actions to the Corinthian church. He was intentional about how he would accept the gift, “lest anyone should find fault with us in this abundant gift that is being administered by us” (2 Cor 8:20). He explains why he is so concerned: “For we are taking into consideration what is honorable not only before the Lord but also before people” (2 Cor 8:21). In his ministry, Paul considered how his actions would be interpreted by observers. Since he experienced opposition in the community, he wanted to communicate h…

Morning and Evening

Morning, April 18Go To Evening Reading
“She bound the scarlet line in the window.” —Joshua 2:21
Rahab depended for her preservation upon the promise of the spies, whom she looked upon as the representatives of the God of Israel. Her faith was simple and firm, but it was very obedient. To tie the scarlet line in the window was a very trivial act in itself, but she dared not run the risk of omitting it. Come, my soul, is there not here a lesson for thee? Hast thou been attentive to all thy Lord’s will, even though some of his commands should seem non-essential? Hast thou observed in his own way the two ordinances of believers’ baptism and the Lord’s Supper? These neglected, argue much unloving disobedience in thy heart. Be henceforth in all things blameless, even to the tying of a thread, if that be a matter of command.
This act of Rahab sets forth a yet more solemn lesson. Have I implicitly trusted in the precious blood of Jesus? Have I tied the scarlet cord, as with a Gordian knot in my w…

My Utmost for His Highest

April 18th Readiness God called unto him … and he said, Here am I.Exodus 3:4. When God speaks, many of us are like men in a fog, we give no answer. Moses’ reply revealed that he was somewhere. Readiness means a right relationship to God and a knowledge of where we are at present. We are so busy telling God where we would like to go. The man or woman who is ready for God and His work is the one who carries off the prize when the summons comes. We wait with the idea of some great opportunity, something sensational, and when it comes we are quick to cry—“Here am I.” Whenever Jesus Christ is in the ascendant, we are there; but we are not ready for an obscure duty. Readiness for God means that we are ready to do the tiniest little thing or the great big thing, it makes no difference. We have no choice in what we want to do; whatever God’s program may be we are there, ready. When any duty presents itself we hear God’s voice as Our Lord heard His Father’s voice, and we are ready for it with all …

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

April 18 Lo, I am with you all the days Matt. 28:20 (R.V., margin) “All The Days”—in winter days, when joys are fled; in sunless days, when the clouds return again and again after rain; in days of sickness and pain; in days of temptation and perplexity, as much as in days when the heart is as full of joy as the woodlands in spring are full of song. That day never comes when the Lord Jesus is not at the side of His saints. Lover and friend may stand afar, but He walks with them through the fires; He fords with them the rivers; He stands by them when face to face with the lion. We can never be alone. We must always add His resources to our own when making our calculations. F. B. Meyer

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