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Showing posts from July 21, 2017

Feast of Dedication

Feast of DedicationJohn 10:22 Excerpt Another joyous festival that lasted for eight days was the Feast of the Dedication of the Temple (1 Macc 4:52–592 Macc 10:6–8), familiar to modern readers as Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights. The specific dedication that prompted the feast occurred in 164 bc, when Judas Maccabeus reconsecrated the temple in Jerusalem after it had been defiled by Antiochus IV Epiphanes. The celebrations commenced on the 25th day of the ninth month (Kislev) and were marked at night by blazing lights and lanterns. The stories of brave opposition by the Maccabees to the crushing forces of paganism were recounted, and the feast was one of praise to God for his marvelous deliverance of the Jews during the Maccabean period. More Elwell, Walter A., and Philip Wesley Comfort. Tyndale Bible Dictionary2001: 483. Print. Tyndale Reference Library.

Theophany

TheophanyExodus 3:2 Excerpt theophany ... [is a] manifestation of God. The ot contains a number of narratives of or poetic allusions to God revealing himself to men and women. Theophanies frequently are associated with particular holy places, representing the foundation legend of a sanctuary (Gen. 12:6-713:1818:128:1-17; Exod. 40:34-38) or the call of a prophet within it (Isa. 6:1-8). They tend to follow a literary pattern with Canaanite roots: God appears, frequently as divine warrior or king, surrounded by fire or in splendor (Deut. 33:2; Pss. 18:8104:2; Ezek. 1:27-28; Hab. 3:4), and sometimes riding like Baal upon the wind and clouds (Pss. 18:1068:33104:3); nature trembles (Exod. 19:18; Judg. 5:4-5; Pss. 18:7;

John 14.1–8

John 14.1–8.Excerpt I am the way, the truth, and the life (so most translations) is a fairly literal translation of the Greek text. Of the major modern language translations, only GeCL has a dynamic equivalent: “I am the way, and I am also the goal since in me you have the truth and the life.” Even this restructuring is rather ambiguous for the average reader. What are the relation between the words waytruth, and life? In the present context Jesus as “the way”is the primary focus, and “truth” and “life” are somehow related to Jesus as “the way.” Thus there are two possible interpretations: (1) The emphasis may be on the goal to which the way leads (note GeCL). If this exegesis is followed, one may translate “I am the way that leads to the truth and to life”; or, expressed more fully, “I am the way that leads to the truth (about God) and to the life (that God gives).” (2) However, the emphasis may be on the way itself. If this exegesis is followed, “truth” and “life”must be taken as q…

Angels of the Seven Churches

Angels of the Seven ChurchesRevelation 1:20 Excerpt The ‘seven stars’ of the Patmos vision are explained as referring to ‘the angels (angeloi) of the seven churches’ (Rev. 1:20), to whom the letters of Rev. 2 and 3 are then addressed. The ‘angel’ concept is problematic. It is often taken either of guardian angels or of human leaders or bishops of the churches. Both suggestions involve difficulty. Elsewhere in Rev.,angelos certainly means ‘angel’, but the 'angel’ can scarcely be made to share responsibility for the sins of the church. The interpretation ‘bishop’ seems contrary to usage, and unsupported by effective parallels. There is no such emphasis on episcopacy as later in Ignatius. Nor can this view be based on the inferior reading ‘your wife’ in 2:20 (sou inserted by dittography). And again it would be strange to hold one man individually and absolutely responsible for the church. angelos is literally ‘messenger’, but the initially attractive idea that the angeloi might be mess…

Connect the Testaments

July 21: Truth and Honesty Can Be Painful 2 Samuel 7:1–8:18; 1 Peter 4:12–19; Psalm 137:1–9 A commitment to honesty and truth often puts us in unexpected spiritual situations—something David experiences in 2 Sam 7. David thinks he will build God a great house—a temple—but instead God plans to build a house for him—a legacy. Because David seeks God, God does great things through him. Yet, as David discovers, being part of God’s work and living in His will isn’t without difficulty or pain. Consciously or subconsciously, we often cling to the notion that “If I do good works for God, He will owe me.” Isn’t that the assumption behind the statement, “I am loyal to God, but He has afflicted me with pain”? We frame our pain in light of God’s role. Instead, we should view it in relation to the sin of our world. We sin, just as people did in the past, so why should we not expect pain? Like David, Peter and his fellow missionaries experience a great deal of pain in doing God’s work. Peter encourages…

Morning and Evening

Morning, July 21Go To Evening Reading
“The daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.” —Isaiah 37:22
Reassured by the Word of the Lord, the poor trembling citizens of Zion grew bold, and shook their heads at Sennacherib’s boastful threats. Strong faith enables the servants of God to look with calm contempt upon their most haughty foes. We know that our enemies are attempting impossibilities. They seek to destroy the eternal life, which cannot die while Jesus lives; to overthrow the citadel, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail. They kick against the pricks to their own wounding, and rush upon the bosses of Jehovah’s buckler to their own hurt.
We know their weakness. What are they but men? And what is man but a worm? They roar and swell like waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame. When the Lord ariseth, they shall fly as chaff before the wind, and be consumed as crackling thorns. Their utter powerlessness to do damage to the cause of God and his truth, may make…

My Utmost for His Highest

July 21st The gateway to the kingdom Blessed are the poor in spirit. Matthew 5:3. Beware of placing Our Lord as a Teacher first. If Jesus Christ is a Teacher only, then all He can do is to tantalize me by erecting a standard I cannot attain. What is the use of presenting me with an ideal I cannot possibly come near? I am happier without knowing it. What is the good of telling me to be what I never can be—to be pure in heart, to do more than my duty, to be perfectly devoted to God? I must know Jesus Christ as Saviour before His teaching has any meaning for me other than that of an ideal which leads to despair. But when I am born again of the Spirit of God, I know that Jesus Christ did not come to teach only: He came to make me whatHe teaches I should be. The Redemption means that Jesus Christ can put into any man the disposition that ruled His own life, and all the standards God gives are based on that disposition. The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount produces despair in the natural man…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

July 21 Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling: for it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure Phil. 2:12, 13 What a staggering weight of thought is excited by these words! Stay, my soul, and wonder that the Eternal God should stoop to work within thy narrow limits. Is it not a marvel indeed, that He, whom the heavens cannot contain, and in whose sight they are not clean, should trouble Himself to work on such material, so unpromising, and amid circumstances so uncongenial? How careful should we be to make Him welcome, and to throw no hindrance in His way! How eager to garner up all the least movements of His gracious operation, as the machinist conserves the force of his engine; and as the goldsmith, with miserly care, collects every flake of gold-leaf! Surely we shall be sensible of the fear of holy reverence and the trembling of eager anxiety; as we “work out,” into daily act and life, all that God our Father is “working in.” F. B. Meyer

 Har…