Solomon Prepares to Build the Temple1 Kings 5:1 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, because he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram had always loved David. 2 Then Solomon sent to Hiram, saying:
3 You know how my father David could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God because of the wars which were fought against him on every side, until the Lord put his foes under the soles of his feet.
4 But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor evil occurrence.
5 And behold, I propose to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spoke to my father David, saying, “Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, he shall build the house for My name.”
6 Now therefore, command that they cut down cedars for me from Lebanon; and my servants will be with your servants, and I will pay you wages for your servants according to whatever you say. For you know there is none among us who has skill to cut timber like the Sidonians.
7 So it was, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly and said,
Blessed be the Lord this day, for He has given David a wise son over this great people!
8 Then Hiram sent to Solomon, saying:
I have considered the message which you sent me, and I will do all you desire concerning the cedar and cypress logs.
9 My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon to the sea; I will float them in rafts by sea to the place you indicate to me, and will have them broken apart there; then you can take them away. And you shall fulfill my desire by giving food for my household.
10 Then Hiram gave Solomon cedar and cypress logs according to all his desire. 11 And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand kors of wheat as food for his household, and twenty kors of pressed oil. Thus Solomon gave to Hiram year by year.
12 So the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as He had promised him; and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty together.
13 Then King Solomon raised up a labor force out of all Israel; and the labor force was thirty thousand men. 14 And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month in shifts: they were one month in Lebanon and two months at home; Adoniram was in charge of the labor force. 15 Solomon had seventy thousand who carried burdens, and eighty thousand who quarried stone in the mountains, 16 besides three thousand three hundred from the chiefs of Solomon’s deputies, who supervised the people who labored in the work. 17 And the king commanded them to quarry large stones, costly stones, and hewn stones, to lay the foundation of the temple. 18 So Solomon’s builders, Hiram’s builders, and the Gebalites quarried them; and they prepared timber and stones to build the temple.
Solomon Builds the Temple1 Kings 6:1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord. 2 Now the house which King Solomon built for the Lord, its length was sixty cubits, its width twenty, and its height thirty cubits. 3 The vestibule in front of the sanctuary of the house was twenty cubits long across the width of the house, and the width of the vestibule extended ten cubits from the front of the house. 4 And he made for the house windows with beveled frames.
5 Against the wall of the temple he built chambers all around, against the walls of the temple, all around the sanctuary and the inner sanctuary. Thus he made side chambers all around it. 6 The lowest chamber was five cubits wide, the middle was six cubits wide, and the third was seven cubits wide; for he made narrow ledges around the outside of the temple, so that the support beams would not be fastened into the walls of the temple. 7 And the temple, when it was being built, was built with stone finished at the quarry, so that no hammer or chisel or any iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built. 8 The doorway for the middle story was on the right side of the temple. They went up by stairs to the middle story, and from the middle to the third.
9 So he built the temple and finished it, and he paneled the temple with beams and boards of cedar. 10 And he built side chambers against the entire temple, each five cubits high; they were attached to the temple with cedar beams.
11 Then the word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying: 12 “Concerning this temple which you are building, if you walk in My statutes, execute My judgments, keep all My commandments, and walk in them, then I will perform My word with you, which I spoke to your father David. 13 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel.”
14 So Solomon built the temple and finished it. 15 And he built the inside walls of the temple with cedar boards; from the floor of the temple to the ceiling he paneled the inside with wood; and he covered the floor of the temple with planks of cypress. 16 Then he built the twenty-cubit room at the rear of the temple, from floor to ceiling, with cedar boards; he built it inside as the inner sanctuary, as the Most Holy Place. 17 And in front of it the temple sanctuary was forty cubits long. 18 The inside of the temple was cedar, carved with ornamental buds and open flowers. All was cedar; there was no stone to be seen.
19 And he prepared the inner sanctuary inside the temple, to set the ark of the covenant of the Lord there. 20 The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and twenty cubits high. He overlaid it with pure gold, and overlaid the altar of cedar.
21 So Solomon overlaid the inside of the temple with pure gold. He stretched gold chains across the front of the inner sanctuary, and overlaid it with gold. 22 The whole temple he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the temple; also he overlaid with gold the entire altar that was by the inner sanctuary.
23 Inside the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high. 24 One wing of the cherub was five cubits, and the other wing of the cherub five cubits: ten cubits from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other. 25 And the other cherub was ten cubits; both cherubim were of the same size and shape. 26 The height of one cherub was ten cubits, and so was the other cherub. 27 Then he set the cherubim inside the inner room; and they stretched out the wings of the cherubim so that the wing of the one touched one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall. And their wings touched each other in the middle of the room. 28 Also he overlaid the cherubim with gold.
29 Then he carved all the walls of the temple all around, both the inner and outer sanctuaries, with carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. 30 And the floor of the temple he overlaid with gold, both the inner and outer sanctuaries.
31 For the entrance of the inner sanctuary he made doors of olive wood; the lintel and doorposts were one-fifth of the wall. 32 The two doors were of olive wood; and he carved on them figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold; and he spread gold on the cherubim and on the palm trees. 33 So for the door of the sanctuary he also made doorposts of olive wood, one-fourth of the wall. 34 And the two doors were of cypress wood; two panels comprised one folding door, and two panels comprised the other folding door. 35 Then he carved cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers on them, and overlaid them with gold applied evenly on the carved work.
36 And he built the inner court with three rows of hewn stone and a row of cedar beams.
37 In the fourth year the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid, in the month of Ziv. 38 And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished in all its details and according to all its plans. So he was seven years in building it.
Solomon Prepares to Build the Temple2 Chronicles 2:1 Then Solomon determined to build a temple for the name of the Lord, and a royal house for himself. 2 Solomon selected seventy thousand men to bear burdens, eighty thousand to quarry stone in the mountains, and three thousand six hundred to oversee them.
3 Then Solomon sent to Hiram king of Tyre, saying:
As you have dealt with David my father, and sent him cedars to build himself a house to dwell in, so deal with me. 4 Behold, I am building a temple for the name of the Lord my God, to dedicate it to Him, to burn before Him sweet incense, for the continual showbread, for the burnt offerings Morning and Evening, on the Sabbaths, on the New Moons, and on the set feasts of the Lord our God. This is an ordinance forever to Israel.
5 And the temple which I build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods. 6 But who is able to build Him a temple, since heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him? Who am I then, that I should build Him a temple, except to burn sacrifice before Him?
7 Therefore send me at once a man skillful to work in gold and silver, in bronze and iron, in purple and crimson and blue, who has skill to engrave with the skillful men who are with me in Judah and Jerusalem, whom David my father provided. 8 Also send me cedar and cypress and algum logs from Lebanon, for I know that your servants have skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and indeed my servants will be with your servants, 9 to prepare timber for me in abundance, for the temple which I am about to build shall be great and wonderful.
10 And indeed I will give to your servants, the woodsmen who cut timber, twenty thousand kors of ground wheat, twenty thousand kors of barley, twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.
11 Then Hiram king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon:
Because the Lord loves His people, He has made you king over them.
12 Hiram also said:
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who made heaven and earth, for He has given King David a wise son, endowed with prudence and understanding, who will build a temple for the Lord and a royal house for himself!
13 And now I have sent a skillful man, endowed with understanding, Huram my master craftsman 14 (the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre), skilled to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, purple and blue, fine linen and crimson, and to make any engraving and to accomplish any plan which may be given to him, with your skillful men and with the skillful men of my lord David your father.
15 Now therefore, the wheat, the barley, the oil, and the wine which my lord has spoken of, let him send to his servants. 16 And we will cut wood from Lebanon, as much as you need; we will bring it to you in rafts by sea to Joppa, and you will carry it up to Jerusalem.
17 Then Solomon numbered all the aliens who were in the land of Israel, after the census in which David his father had numbered them; and there were found to be one hundred and fifty-three thousand six hundred. 18 And he made seventy thousand of them bearers of burdens, eighty thousand stonecutters in the mountain, and three thousand six hundred overseers to make the people work.
Solomon Builds the Temple2 Chronicles 3:1 Now Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 2 And he began to build on the second day of the second month in the fourth year of his reign.
3 This is the foundation which Solomon laid for building the house of God: The length was sixty cubits (by cubits according to the former measure) and the width twenty cubits. 4 And the vestibule that was in front of the sanctuary was twenty cubits long across the width of the house, and the height was one hundred and twenty. He overlaid the inside with pure gold. 5 The larger room he paneled with cypress which he overlaid with fine gold, and he carved palm trees and chainwork on it. 6 And he decorated the house with precious stones for beauty, and the gold was gold from Parvaim. 7 He also overlaid the house—the beams and doorposts, its walls and doors—with gold; and he carved cherubim on the walls.
8 And he made the Most Holy Place. Its length was according to the width of the house, twenty cubits, and its width twenty cubits. He overlaid it with six hundred talents of fine gold. 9 The weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold; and he overlaid the upper area with gold. 10 In the Most Holy Place he made two cherubim, fashioned by carving, and overlaid them with gold. 11 The wings of the cherubim were twenty cubits in overall length: one wing of the one cherub was five cubits, touching the wall of the room, and the other wing was five cubits, touching the wing of the other cherub; 12 one wing of the other cherub was five cubits, touching the wall of the room, and the other wing also was five cubits, touching the wing of the other cherub. 13 The wings of these cherubim spanned twenty cubits overall. They stood on their feet, and they faced inward. 14 And he made the veil of blue, purple, crimson, and fine linen, and wove cherubim into it.
15 Also he made in front of the temple two pillars thirty-five cubits high, and the capital that was on the top of each of them was five cubits. 16 He made wreaths of chainwork, as in the inner sanctuary, and put them on top of the pillars; and he made one hundred pomegranates, and put them on the wreaths of chainwork. 17 Then he set up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand and the other on the left; he called the name of the one on the right hand Jachin, and the name of the one on the left Boaz.
The Holy Bible: containing the Old and New Testaments with the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical Books [New Revised Standard Version]
Devotionals, notes, poetry and more
by Bill Federer
“To sink the foe or save the maimed, Our mission and our pride, We’ll carry on ’til Kingdom Come, Ideals for which we’ve died.” Thus went the anthem of the US Coast Guard, which was established this day, August 4, 1790, when Congress authorized ten boats to be built for the Revenue Marine. Four years later they were charged with stopping slave-traders from bringing new slaves from Africa. They freed almost 500 slaves. At a US Coast Guard commencement, President Reagan stated: “It’s our prayer to serve America in peace. It’s our commitment to defend her in war.”
Compiled by Richard S. Adams
In all unbelief there are these two things:
a good opinion of one's self,
and a bad opinion of God.
--- Horatius Bonar
There are people to-day who are going through an onslaught of destruction that paralyses all our platitudes and preaching; the only thing that will bring relief is the consolations of Christ. It is a good thing to feel our own powerlessness in the face of destruction, it makes us know how much we depend upon God.
--- Oswald Chambers
Baffled to Fight Better: Job and the Problem of Suffering
If the race fell in Adam, much more shall it be restored in Christ. If death reigned by one, much more shall grace reign by one.
--- Charles Hodge
... from here, there and everywhere
Thanks to Meir Yona
8. Now John was detained afterward within the walls of Gischala, by the fear he was in of Josephus; but within a few days Tiberias revolted again, the people within it inviting king Agrippa [to return to the exercise of his authority there]. And when he did not come at the time appointed, and when a few Roman horsemen appeared that day, they expelled Josephus out of the city. Now this revolt of theirs was presently known at Taricheae; and as Josephus had sent out all the soldiers that were with him to gather corn, he knew not how either to march out alone against the revolters, or to stay where he was, because he was afraid the king's soldiers might prevent him if he tarried, and might get into the city; for he did not intend to do any thing on the next day, because it was the sabbath day, and would hinder his proceeding. So he contrived to circumvent the revolters by a stratagem; and in the first place he ordered the gates of Taricheae to be shut, that nobody might go out and inform [those of Tiberias], for whom it was intended, what stratagem he was about; he then got together all the ships that were upon the lake, which were found to be two hundred and thirty, and in each of them he put no more than four mariners. So he sailed to Tiberias with haste, and kept at such a distance from the city, that it was not easy for the people to see the vessels, and ordered that the empty vessels should float up and down there, while himself, who had but seven of his guards with him, and those unarmed also, went so near as to be seen; but when his adversaries, who were still reproaching him, saw him from the walls, they were so astonished that they supposed all the ships were full of armed men, and threw down their arms, and by signals of intercession they besought him to spare the city.
9. Upon this Josephus threatened them terribly, and reproached them, that when they were the first that took up arms against the Romans, they should spend their force beforehand in civil dissensions, and do what their enemies desired above all things; and that besides they should endeavor so hastily to seize upon him, who took care of their safety, and had not been ashamed to shut the gates of their city against him that built their walls; that, however, he would admit of any intercessors from them that might make some excuse for them, and with whom he would make such agreements as might be for the city's security. Hereupon ten of the most potent men of Tiberias came down to him presently; and when he had taken them into one of his vessels, he ordered them to be carried a great way off from the city. He then commanded that fifty others of their senate, such as were men of the greatest eminence, should come to him, that they also might give him some security on their behalf. After which, under one new pretense or another, he called forth others, one after another, to make the leagues between them. He then gave order to the masters of those vessels which he had thus filled to sail away immediately for Taricheae, and to confine those men in the prison there; till at length he took all their senate, consisting of six hundred persons, and about two thousand of the populace, and carried them away to Taricheae.
10. And when the rest of the people cried out, that it was one Clitus that was the chief author of this revolt, they desired him to spend his anger upon him [only]; but Josephus, whose intention it was to slay nobody, commanded one Levius, belonging to his guards, to go out of the vessel, in order to cut off both Clitus's hands; yet was Levius afraid to go out by himself alone to such a large body of enemies, and refused to go. Now Clitus saw that Josephus was in a great passion in the ship, and ready to leap out of it, in order to execute the punishment himself; he begged therefore from the shore, that he would leave him one of his hands; which Josephus agreed to, upon condition that he would himself cutoff the other hand; accordingly he drew his sword, and with his right hand cut off his left, so great was the fear he was in of Josephus himself. And thus he took the people of Tiberias prisoners, and recovered the city again with empty ships and seven of his guard. Moreover, a few days afterward he retook Gischala, which had revolted with the people of Sepphoris, and gave his soldiers leave to plunder it; yet did he get all the plunder together, and restored it to the inhabitants; and the like he did to the inhabitants of Sepphoris and Tiberias. For when he had subdued those cities, he had a mind, by letting them be plundered, to give them some good instruction, while at the same time he regained their good-will by restoring them their money again.
The War of the Jews: The History of the Destruction of Jerusalem (complete edition, 7 books)
by D.H. Stern
and is gracious in speech
will have the king as his friend.
Complete Jewish Bible : An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B'Rit Hadashah (New Testament)
by Frank W. Boreham
It was a sultry summer's day a hundred and fifty years ago, and John Wesley was on the rocky road to Dublin. 'The wind being in my face, tempering the heat of the sun, I had a pleasant ride to Dublin. In the evening I began expounding the deepest part of the Holy Scripture, namely, the First Epistle of John, by which, above all other, even above all other inspired writings, I advise every young preacher to form his style. Here are sublimity and simplicity together, the strongest sense and the plainest language! How can any one that would speak as the oracles of God use harder words than are to be found here?' With which illuminating extract from the great man's journal we may dismiss him, the road to Dublin, and the text from which he preached in the Irish capital, all together. I have no further business with any of them. The thing that concerns me is the suggestive declaration, made by the most experienced preacher of all time, that sublimity and simplicity always go hand in hand. Here, in this deepest part of Holy Scripture, says the master, are sublimity and simplicity together. 'By this, above all other writings, I advise every preacher to form his style. How can any one that would speak as the oracles of God use harder words than are to be found here?' Such words from such a source are like apples of gold in pictures of silver, and I am thankful that I chanced to come upon the great man that hot July night in Dublin, and gather this distilled essence of wisdom as it fell from his eloquent lips.
I have often wondered why we teach children to pray that their simplicity may be pitied.
Gentle Jesus, meek and mild,
Look upon a little child!
Pity my simplicity!
Suffer me to come to Thee!
Why 'pity my simplicity'? It is the one thing about a little child that is really sublime, sublimity and simplicity being, as we learned at Dublin, everlastingly inseparable. Pity my simplicity! Why, it is the sweet simplicity of a little child that we all admire and love and covet! Pity my simplicity! Why, it is the unspoiled and sublime simplicity of this little child of mine that takes my heart by storm and carries everything before it. And, depend upon it, the heart of the divine Father is affected not very differently. This soft, sweet little white-robed thing that kneels on my knee, with its arms around my neck, lisping its
Gentle Jesus, meek and mild,
Look upon a little child!
Pity my simplicity!
Suffer me to come to Thee!
shames me by its very sublimity. It outstrips me, transcends me, and leaves me far behind. It soars whilst I grovel; it flies whilst I creep. That is what Jesus meant when He took a little child and set him in the midst of the disciples and said, 'Whosoever shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven!' The simplest, He meant, is always the sublimest. And it was because the great Methodist had so perfectly caught the spirit of his great Master that he declared so confidently that night at Dublin, 'Simplicity and sublimity lie here together!'
It is always and everywhere the same. In literature sublimity is represented by the poet. What could be more sublime than the inspired imagination of Milton? And yet, and yet! The very greatest of all our literary critics, in his essay on Milton, feels it incumbent upon him to point out that imagination is essentially the domain of childhood. 'Of all people,' he says, 'children are the most imaginative. They abandon themselves without reserve to every illusion. Every image which is strongly presented to their mental eye produces on them the effect of reality. No man, whatever his sensibility may be, is ever affected by Hamlet or Lear as a little girl is affected by the story of poor Red Ridinghood. She knows that it is all false, that wolves cannot speak, that there are no wolves in England. Yet, in spite of the knowledge, she believes; she weeps; she trembles; she dares not go into a dark room lest she should feel the teeth of the monster at her throat.' And from these premisses, Macaulay proceeds to his inevitable conclusion. 'He who, in an enlightened and literary society, aspires to be a great poet must,' he says, 'first become a little child. He must take to pieces the whole web of his mind. He must unlearn much of that knowledge which has perhaps constituted hitherto his chief title to superiority. His very talents will be a hindrance to him. His difficulties will be proportioned to his proficiency in the pursuits which are fashionable among his contemporaries; and that proficiency will in general be proportioned to the vigour and activity of his mind.' Could there be any finer comment on the words of the Master?
'Simplicity and sublimity always go together!' said John Wesley that hot July night at Dublin.
'Whosoever shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven!' said the Master on that memorable day in Galilee.
'He who aspires to be a great poet must first become a little child!' says Lord Macaulay in his incomparable essay on Milton.
I have carefully put the Master in His old place. He is in the midst, with the very greatest of our modern apostles on the one side of Him, and the very greatest of our modern historians on the other. But they are all three of them saying the same thing, each in his own way. It is a pity that we teach our children that the sublimest thing about them—their simplicity—is a thing of which they need to be ashamed. And the way in which their tiny tongues stumble over the great word seems to show that, following a true instinct, they do not take kindly to that clause in their bedtime prayer.
I am told that, away beyond the Never-Never ranges, there is a church from which the children are excluded before the sermon begins. I wish my informant had not told me of its existence. I am not often troubled with nightmare, my supper being quite a frugal affair. But just occasionally I find myself a victim of the terror by night. And when I am mercifully awakened, and asked why I am gasping so horribly and perspiring so freely, I have to confess that I was dreaming that I had somehow become the minister of that childless congregation. As is usual after nightmare, I look round with a sense of inexpressible thankfulness on discovering that it was only a horrid dream. An appointment to such a charge would be to me a most fearsome and terrifying prospect. I could not trust myself. In a way, I envy the man who can hold his own under such circumstances. His transcendent powers enable him to preserve his sturdy humanness of character, his charming simplicity of diction, his graphic picturesqueness of phrase, and his exquisite winsomeness of behaviour without the extraneous assistance which the children render to some of us. But I could not do it. I should go all to pieces. And so, when I dream that I have entered a pulpit from which I can survey no roguish young faces and mischievous wide-open eyes, I fancy I am ruined and undone. I watch with consternation as the little people file out during the hymn before the sermon, and I know that the sermon is doomed. The children in the congregation are my salvation.
I fancy that the custom to which I have referred was in vogue in the church to which the Rev. Bruno Leathwaite Chilvers ministered. Everybody knows Mr. Chilvers; at least everybody who loves George Gissing knows that very excellent gentleman. Mr. Chilvers loved to adorn his dainty discourses with certain words of strangely grandiloquent sound. '"Nullifidian," "morbific," "renascent"—these were among his favourites. Once or twice he spoke of "psychogenesis" with an emphatic enunciation which seemed to invite respectful wonder. In using Latin words which have become fixed in the English language, he generally corrected the common errors of quantity and pronounced words as nobody else did. He often alluded to French and German authors in order that he might recite French and German quotations.' And so on. Poor Mr. Chilvers! I am sure that the little children filed out during the hymn before the sermon. No man with a scrap of imagination could look into the dimpled face of a little girl I know and hurl 'nullifidian' at her. No man could look down into a certain pair of sparkling eyes that are wonderfully familiar to me and talk about things as 'morbific' or 'renascent.' If only the little tots had kept their seats for the sermon, it would have saved poor Mr. Chilvers from committing such atrocities. As it is, they went and he collapsed. Can anybody imagine John Wesley talking to his summer-evening crowd at Dublin about 'nullifidian,' or quoting German? I will say nothing of the Galilean preacher. The common people heard Him gladly. He was so simple and therefore so sublime. As Sir Edwin Arnold says:
The simplest sights He met—
The Sower flinging seed on loam and rock;
The darnel in the wheat; the mustard-tree
That hath its seeds so little, and its boughs
Widespreading; and the wandering sheep; and nets
Shot in the wimpled waters—drawing forth
Great fish and small—these, and a hundred such,
Seen by us daily, never seen aright,
Were pictures for Him from the page of life,
Teaching by parable.
Therein lay the sublimity of it all.
A little child, especially a little child of a distinctly restless and mischievous propensity, is really a great help to a minister, and it is a shame to deprive the good man of such assistance. It is only by such help that some of us can hope to approximate to real sublimity. Lord Beaconsfield used to say that, in making after-dinner speeches, he kept his eye on the waiters. If they were unmoved, he knew that he was in the realms of mediocrity. But when they grew excited and waved their napkins, he knew that he was getting home. Lord Cockburn, who was for some time Lord Chief Justice of Great Britain, when asked for the secret of his extraordinary success at the bar, replied sagely, 'When I was addressing a jury, I invariably picked out the stupidest-looking fellow of the lot, and addressed myself specially to him—for this good reason: I knew that if I convinced him I should be sure to carry all the rest!' Dr. Thomas Guthrie, in addressing gatherings of ministers, used to tell this story of Lord Cockburn with immense relish, and earnestly commended its philosophy to their consideration. I was reading the other day that Dr. Boyd Carpenter, formerly Bishop of Ripon and now Canon of Westminster, on being asked if he felt nervous when preaching before Queen Victoria, replied, 'I never address the Queen at all. I know there will be present the Queen, the Princes, the household, and the servants down to the scullery-maid, and I preach to the scullery-maid.' Little children do not attend political dinners such as Lord Beaconsfield adorned; nor Courts of Justice such as Lord Cockburn addressed; nor Royal chapels like that in which Dr. Boyd Carpenter officiated. And, in the absence of the children, the only chance of reaching sublimity that offered itself to these unhappy orators lay in making good use of the waiter, the stupid juryman, and the scullery-maid. If the Rev. Bruno Leathwaite Chilvers really cannot induce the children to abandon the bad habit in which they have been trained, I urge him, as a friend and a brother, to adopt the same ingenious expedient. But if he can get on the right side of a little child, persuade him to sit the sermon out, and vow that he will look straight into that bright little face, and say no word that will not interest that tiny listener, I promise him that before long people will say that his sermons are simply sublime. Robert Louis Stevenson knew what he was doing when he discussed every sentence of Treasure Island with his schoolboy step-son before giving it its final form. It was by that wise artifice that one of the greatest stories in our language came to be written.
The fact, of course, is that in the soul's sublimest moments it hungers for simplicity. One of Du Maurier's great Punch cartoons represented a honeymoon conversation between a husband and wife who had both covered themselves with glory at Cambridge. And the conversation ran along these highly intellectual lines:
'What would Lovey do if Dovey died?'
'Oh, Lovey would die too!'
There is a world of philosophy behind the nonsense. We do not make love in the language of the psychologist; we make love in the language of the little child. When life approaches to sublimity, it always expresses itself with simplicity. In the depth of mortal anguish, or at the climax of human joy, we do not use a grandiloquent and incomprehensible phraseology. We talk in monosyllables. As we grow old, and draw near to the gates of the grave, we become more and more simple. In his declining years, John Newton wrote, 'When I was young I was sure of many things. There are only two things of which I am sure now; one is that I am a miserable sinner, and the other that Christ is an all-sufficient Saviour.' What is this but the soul garbing itself in the most perfect simplicities as the only fitting raiment in which it can greet the everlasting sublimities?
'Here are sublimity and simplicity together!' exclaimed John Wesley on that hot July night at Dublin. 'How can any one that would speak as the oracles of God use harder words than are to be found here? By this I advise every young preacher to form his style!'
'He who aspires to be a great poet—as sublime as Milton—must first become a little child!' declares the greatest of all littérateurs.
'Whosoever shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven!' says the Master Himself, taking a little child and setting him in the midst of them.
'Pity my simplicity!' pleads this little thing with its soft arms round my neck.
'Give me that simplicity!' say I.
Mushrooms on the Moor
A Daily Devotional by Oswald Chambers
The brave comradeship of God
Then He took unto Him the twelve. --- Luke 18:31.
The bravery of God in trusting us! You say—‘But He has been unwise to choose me, because there is nothing in me; I am not of any value.’ That is why He chose you. As long as you think there is something in you, God cannot choose you because you have ends of your own to serve; but if you have let Him bring you to the end of your self-sufficiency, then He can choose you to go with Him to Jerusalem, and that will mean the fulfilment of purposes which He does not discuss with you.
We are apt to say that because a man has natural ability, therefore he will make a good Christian. It is not a question of our equipment but of our poverty; not of what we bring with us, but of what God puts into us; not a question of natural virtues, of strength of character, knowledge, and experience—all that is of no avail in this matter. The only thing that avails is that we are taken up into the big compelling of God and made His comrades (cf. 1 Cor. 1:26–30 ). The comradeship of God is made up out of men who know their poverty. He can do nothing with the man who thinks that he is of use to God. As Christians we are not out for our own cause at all, we are out for the cause of God, which can never be our cause. We do not know what God is after, but we have to maintain our relationship with Him whatever happens. We must never allow anything to injure our relationship with God; if it does get injured, we must take time and get it put right. The main thing about Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain and the atmosphere produced by that relationship. That is all God asks us to look after, and it is the one thing that is being continually assailed.
My Utmost for His Highest: Quality Paperback Edition
the Poetry of RS Thomas
But the chemicals in
My mind were not
Ready, so I let
Him go on, dissolving
The word on my
Tongue. Friend, I had said,
Life is too short for
Religion; it takes time
To prepare a sacrifice
For the God. Give yourself
To science that reveals
All, asking no pay
For it. Knowledge is power;
The old oracle
Has not changed. The nucleus
In the atom awaits
Our bidding. Come forth,
We cry, and the dust spreads
Its carpet. Over the creeds
And masterpieces our wheels go.
Our translation of the maxim “By the measure that a person measures, so is he measured” is not a literal one. Instead, we attempt to capture the meaning of the aphorism. The Hebrew itself uses a plural verb, מוֹדְדִין/mod’din, in the latter phrase. Thus, we could translate the saying as: “By the measure that a person measures, by it they measure him.”
Without this short grammar lesson, we might assume that “he is measured” by God, the measuring being done through a divine hand. However, the Hebrew shows a subtle difference: the plural “they measure him.” Who are they? If God (the singular) is not meting out justice, then who are they (the plural) who are measuring a person?
Perhaps “they” are the same “they” whom we often refer to: “They’re wearing shorter hemlines this year.” “They are all trying this new diet.” “Do you know what they are talking about?” “They” is the public, the world, society. In the end, they are us. We are the ones wearing shorter hemlines, trying this new diet, talking about a certain topic.
Perhaps it is society in general that judges itself. We (plural) have to act in such a way that there is justice in the world. We (plural) have to make the measure for measure possible. “By the measure that a person measures, they measure him.” The way we view others is how they view us. It’s not God but you and I who judge one another.
The rabbi met with family members a few hours following their mother’s death. After talking about her death, and then her life, they shifted the conversation to the funeral and what would happen at the cemetery. The grown son wanted to discuss the burial.
“Rabbi, I’ve been to funerals where the family does all of the shoveling, some where they do a little shoveling, and others where they don’t do any shoveling at all. What is the correct way?”
The rabbi explained that traditionally the family and friends were the ones who actually buried the dead and filled in the grave. “First of all, in ancient times there weren’t professional grave diggers. Secondly, it was a mitzvah: l’vayat ha-met, accompanying the dead to their final resting place, and k’vurat ha-met, burying the dead. Third, and perhaps most importantly, it was considered a great act of ḥesed, of kindness. It was the very last thing we could do for someone we loved.”
The daughter of the deceased seemed a little uncomfortable. “I’m bothered by the image of throwing dirt on my mother … it just doesn’t seem right.”
“I know what you mean,” the rabbi replied. “But let’s be honest: Coming to grips with your mother’s death and saying goodbye is a terribly hard thing. Nothing we do is going to make the funeral or the burial easy. Judaism tries to make it meaningful through two acts: showing proper respect for the dead, and helping us take the first steps toward healing. Judaism holds it is much better to have the people who knew and loved the deceased to bury her, rather than having it handled by a bunch of strangers who view it merely as a job. With the grave diggers, it probably is ‘throwing dirt onto the box.’ With the family, however, it’s more like ‘placing earth in the grave’ so that we can put the loved one to rest. Some people even see it as the equivalent, at life’s end, to what we do for a child at life’s beginning—tucking them into their crib. I grant you that it’s not easy. It’s hard work physically, and it’s hard work emotionally. But there is a sense of feeling good that you did this final kindness for your mother.”
“Is there a prescribed ‘measure’ of how much shoveling we are supposed to do, Rabbi?”
“Well, ideally, we fill in the whole grave. Minimally, we at least cover the casket.”
“And when did this tradition start?”
“It goes back to the Bible, all the way back to Isaac, who buried Abraham, to Jacob who buried Isaac. Even Joseph, viceroy of Egypt, returned to Israel with Jacob’s body and personally buried his father.”
Searching for Meaning in Midrash: Lessons for Everyday Living
Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
--- Habakkuk 2:3.
Sudden or slow, dramatic or invisible, “it will certainly come.” ISBN-13: 978-0825440458
And, says the prophet, it “will not delay.” That is the fear that often haunts us. That “too late” is a grievous reality, a grim and fearful fact of life.
Often that is what we feel about ourselves. Once we might have really closed with Christ and taken what he offers us. But now the character is fixed, our habits are settled, the channels are cut that the rivers must run in to the end. It is too late. And there is dreadful truth in that.
“Are you still sleeping?” said the Master sadly, the glorious office he had offered his friends left unaccepted; sleep on, it does not matter now. The chance is lost, the opportunity is past, sleep on!
Every failure, in a way, is irremediable. Always our record must be by that amount less than it might and should and could have been. And we look wistfully across at Christ and then sadly enough at what we are. That is what I might have been, and this is what I am; that is what I was offered, and this is what I chose! Fool that I was, but now—it is too late.
But the whole point of the Gospel is that, in one glorious way, it is not yet too late for anyone. If you have not seen that in Christ, have you seen Christ at all? Always he faced the poorest, the most soiled and tangled life with the sure confidence that even yet it could be righted; yes, and he would do it now. And how often and how strangely he was justified in cases that looked just impossible! Aye, and why should he not be so in you and me? It is to us, remember, to plain ordinary folk like you and me that he gives his bewildering promises; it is on us he makes his staggering claims; it is for us he prays those astounding prayers of his with their tremendous hopes! To that, then, he feels even yet we can attain.
No, it is not too late, even for you and me, to throw ourselves on Jesus Christ, really to take, really to use that strange power that he offers and so really grow into his blessed likeness, not too late for God’s dream of us to come really true.
Up! up! and back into the thick of things with steady hearts and quiet eyes. And, even though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
--- Arthur John Gossip
Take Heart: Daily Devotions with the Church's Great Preachers
Three Loves, and a Fourth August 4
Our passions can often be channeled for God’s glory. Wilfred Grenfell developed three loves, the first being sports. He swam in cold rivers and sailed the Irish Sea. At 18 he found another passion when a doctor showed him a human brain chemically preserved. Grenfell decided at once to become a physician.
While in medical school, he developed his third love. Passing a large tent one Evening, he ducked in, thinking it a circus. It was a revival meeting, and an aged man was droning on in prayer. Grenfell started to leave when another man leaped up and announced a hymn “while our brother continues his prayer.” The man, D. L. Moody, proceeded to preach so effectively that Grenfell was converted on the spot. He had found his third love—the Lord.
Those passions—sports, medicine, and God—led Grenfell to volunteer with an organization called Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. The mission sponsored a mercy ship that ministered to thousands living on boats and along the North Atlantic coastline. The work spread to Newfoundland, and on August 4, 1892, Grenfell sailed into the waters of Labrador to begin a lifetime of ministry.
Grenfell soon saw that two hospitals were needed there, an onshore clinic for coastal residents and a floating hospital for fishing fleets. He raised money, established the hospitals, and the work soon included numerous hospitals and dispensaries throughout the cold, bitter land. He started schools and orphanages for the young. He organized cooperative stores for Labradorians to barter their furs and fish for supplies. He spent his life sailing along northern shores and traveling by dogsled across frozen landscapes, caring for the sick, teaching the young, preaching the Gospel. His whole life was a glorious indulgence in his three loves.
He found a fourth love as well. One day aboard a ship he met a beautiful woman, a total stranger, fell violently in love with her, and proposed without even asking her name. She accepted. The two ministered side by side for the rest of their lives.
Trust the LORD and live right!
The land will be yours, and you will be safe.
Do what the LORD wants, And he will give you your heart’s desire.
On This Day 365 Amazing And Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs And Heroes
Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON
Morning - August 4
“The people that do know their God shall be strong.” --- Daniel 11:32.
Every believer understands that to know God is the highest and best form of knowledge; and this spiritual knowledge is a source of strength to the Christian. It strengthens his faith. Believers are constantly spoken of in the Scriptures as being persons who are enlightened and taught of the Lord; they are said to “have an unction from the Holy One,” and it is the Spirit’s peculiar office to lead them into all truth, and all this for the increase and the fostering of their faith. Knowledge strengthens love, as well as faith. Knowledge opens the door, and then through that door we see our Saviour. Or, to use another similitude, knowledge paints the portrait of Jesus, and when we see that portrait then we love him, we cannot love a Christ whom we do not know, at least, in some degree. If we know but little of the excellences of Jesus, what he has done for us, and what he is doing now, we cannot love him much; but the more we know him, the more we shall love him. Knowledge also strengthens hope. How can we hope for a thing if we do not know of its existence? Hope may be the telescope, but till we receive instruction, our ignorance stands in the front of the glass, and we can see nothing whatever; knowledge removes the interposing object, and when we look through the bright optic glass we discern the glory to be revealed, and anticipate it with joyous confidence. Knowledge supplies us reasons for patience. How shall we have patience unless we know something of the sympathy of Christ, and understand the good which is to come out of the correction which our heavenly Father sends us? Nor is there one single grace of the Christian which, under God, will not be fostered and brought to perfection by holy knowledge. How important, then, is it that we should grow not only in grace, but in the “knowledge” of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Evening - August 4
“I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands.” --- Haggai 2:17.
How destructive is the hail to the standing crops, beating out the precious grain upon the ground! How grateful ought we to be when the corn is spared so terrible a ruin! Let us offer unto the Lord thanksgiving. Even more to be dreaded are those mysterious destroyers—smut, bunt, rust, and mildew. These turn the ear into a mass of soot, or render it putrid, or dry up the grain, and all in a manner so beyond all human control that the farmer is compelled to cry, “This is the finger of God.” Innumerable minute fungi cause the mischief, and were it not for the goodness of God, the rider on the black horse would soon scatter famine over the land. Infinite mercy spares the food of men, but in view of the active agents which are ready to destroy the harvest, right wisely are we taught to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” The curse is abroad; we have constant need of the blessing. When blight and mildew come they are chastisements from heaven, and men must learn to hear the rod, and him that hath appointed it.
Spiritually, mildew is no uncommon evil. When our work is most promising this blight appears. We hoped for many conversions, and lo! a general apathy, an abounding worldliness, or a cruel hardness of heart! There may be no open sin in those for whom we are labouring, but there is a deficiency of sincerity and decision sadly disappointing our desires. We learn from this our dependence upon the Lord, and the need of prayer that no blight may fall upon our work. Spiritual pride or sloth will soon bring upon us the dreadful evil, and only the Lord of the harvest can remove it. Mildew may even attack our own hearts, and shrivel our prayers and religious exercises. May it please the great Husbandman to avert so serious a calamity. Shine, blessed Sun of Righteousness, and drive the blights away.
Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
BREAK THOU THE BREAD OF LIFE
Mary Ann Lathbury, 1841–1913
I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35)
As Christians, our supreme occupation must always be with Christ Himself—not merely our church, denomination or religious system. Reading the Bible and spending time in prayer are vital to our spiritual well-being. But even these activities are a means to an end, the end purpose being that they bring us into a closer relationship with God Himself. Notice the words of this hymn:
Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord …
And in Thy book revealed I see the Lord.
Although it is often used as a communion service hymn, this hymn’s real teaching is that God’s Word—“the Bread of Life” should nourish our spiritual lives and bring us into an ever closer relationship with our Lord.
• The hymn’s author, Mary Lathbury, was a longtime associate with the Chautauqua Assembly, a Methodist camp meeting located on beautiful Lake Chautauqua in New York. In 1877 at the request of the camp director, Miss Lathbury wrote these words to be used as a theme song for the Bible study sessions. The music was composed by the gifted music director of Chautauqua, William F. Sherwin. The hymn has since been widely used at the camp grounds, as it has been by Christians everywhere for times of quiet reflection upon the things of God.
Break Thou the bread of life, Dear Lord, to me, as Thou didst break the loaves beside the sea: Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord; my spirit pants for Thee, O living Word.
Bless thou the truth, dear Lord, to me—to me, as Thou didst bless the bread by Galilee: Then shall all bondage cease, all fetters fall, and I shall find my peace, my All in all.
Thou art the bread of life, O Lord, to me; Thy holy Word the truth that saveth me: Give me to eat and live with Thee above; teach me to love Thy truth, for Thou art love.
O send Thy Spirit, Lord, now unto me, that He may touch my eyes and make me see: Show me the truth concealed within Thy Word, and in Thy book revealed I see the Lord.
For Today: Psalm 63:1; 119:45; Jeremiah 15:16; Matthew 14:13-21
Determine that your life will reflect complete peace and contentment as you allow Christ to nourish and fill you with Himself. Use this hymn to help in this spiritual quest.
Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions
Friday, August 4, 2017 | After Pentecost