The Ark Brought into the Temple1 Kings 8:1 Now Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel, to King Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the City of David, which is Zion. 2 Therefore all the men of Israel assembled with King Solomon at the feast in the month of Ethanim, which is the seventh month. 3 So all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark. 4 Then they brought up the ark of the Lord, the tabernacle of meeting, and all the holy furnishings that were in the tabernacle. The priests and the Levites brought them up. 5 Also King Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel who were assembled with him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen that could not be counted or numbered for multitude. 6 Then the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim. 7 For the cherubim spread their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles. 8 The poles extended so that the ends of the poles could be seen from the holy place, in front of the inner sanctuary; but they could not be seen from outside. And they are there to this day. 9 Nothing was in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.
10 And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.
12 Then Solomon spoke:
“The Lord said He would dwell in the dark cloud.
13 I have surely built You an exalted house,
And a place for You to dwell in forever.”
Solomon’s Speech at Completion of the Work14 Then the king turned around and blessed the whole assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel was standing. 15 And he said: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who spoke with His mouth to my father David, and with His hand has fulfilled it, saying, 16 ‘Since the day that I brought My people Israel out of Egypt, I have chosen no city from any tribe of Israel in which to build a house, that My name might be there; but I chose David to be over My people Israel.’ 17 Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a temple for the name of the Lord God of Israel. 18 But the Lord said to my father David, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a temple for My name, you did well that it was in your heart. 19 Nevertheless you shall not build the temple, but your son who will come from your body, he shall build the temple for My name.’ 20 So the Lord has fulfilled His word which He spoke; and I have filled the position of my father David, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised; and I have built a temple for the name of the Lord God of Israel. 21 And there I have made a place for the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord which He made with our fathers, when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.”
Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven; 23 and he said: “Lord God of Israel, there is no God in heaven above or on earth below like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts. 24 You have kept what You promised Your servant David my father; You have both spoken with Your mouth and fulfilled it with Your hand, as it is this day. 25 Therefore, Lord God of Israel, now keep what You promised Your servant David my father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man sit before Me on the throne of Israel, only if your sons take heed to their way, that they walk before Me as you have walked before Me.’ 26 And now I pray, O God of Israel, let Your word come true, which You have spoken to Your servant David my father.
27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built! 28 Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O Lord my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You today: 29 that Your eyes may be open toward this temple night and day, toward the place of which You said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that You may hear the prayer which Your servant makes toward this place. 30 And may You hear the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Hear in heaven Your dwelling place; and when You hear, forgive.
31 “When anyone sins against his neighbor, and is forced to take an oath, and comes and takes an oath before Your altar in this temple, 32 then hear in heaven, and act, and judge Your servants, condemning the wicked, bringing his way on his head, and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness.
33 “When Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, and when they turn back to You and confess Your name, and pray and make supplication to You in this temple, 34 then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You gave to their fathers.
35 “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them, 36 then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.
37 “When there is famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is; 38 whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple: 39 then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men), 40 that they may fear You all the days that they live in the land which You gave to our fathers.
41 “Moreover, concerning a foreigner, who is not of Your people Israel, but has come from a far country for Your name’s sake 42 (for they will hear of Your great name and Your strong hand and Your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this temple, 43 hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, that all peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this temple which I have built is called by Your name.
44 “When Your people go out to battle against their enemy, wherever You send them, and when they pray to the Lord toward the city which You have chosen and the temple which I have built for Your name, 45 then hear in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.
46 “When they sin against You (for there is no one who does not sin), and You become angry with them and deliver them to the enemy, and they take them captive to the land of the enemy, far or near; 47 yet when they come to themselves in the land where they were carried captive, and repent, and make supplication to You in the land of those who took them captive, saying, ‘We have sinned and done wrong, we have committed wickedness’; 48 and when they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies who led them away captive, and pray to You toward their land which You gave to their fathers, the city which You have chosen and the temple which I have built for Your name: 49 then hear in heaven Your dwelling place their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause, 50 and forgive Your people who have sinned against You, and all their transgressions which they have transgressed against You; and grant them compassion before those who took them captive, that they may have compassion on them 51 (for they are Your people and Your inheritance, whom You brought out of Egypt, out of the iron furnace), 52 that Your eyes may be open to the supplication of Your servant and the supplication of Your people Israel, to listen to them whenever they call to You. 53 For You separated them from among all the peoples of the earth to be Your inheritance, as You spoke by Your servant Moses, when You brought our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord God.”
54 And so it was, when Solomon had finished praying all this prayer and supplication to the Lord, that he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven. 55 Then he stood and blessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice, saying: 56 “Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses. 57 May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us nor forsake us, 58 that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, which He commanded our fathers. 59 And may these words of mine, with which I have made supplication before the Lord, be near the Lord our God day and night, that He may maintain the cause of His servant and the cause of His people Israel, as each day may require, 60 that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other. 61 Let your heart therefore be loyal to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day.”
Solomon Blesses the Assembly
62 Then the king and all Israel with him offered sacrifices before the Lord. 63 And Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace offerings, which he offered to the Lord, twenty-two thousand bulls and one hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the children of Israel dedicated the house of the Lord. 64 On the same day the king consecrated the middle of the court that was in front of the house of the Lord; for there he offered burnt offerings, grain offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar that was before the Lord was too small to receive the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings.
Solomon Dedicates the Temple
65 At that time Solomon held a feast, and all Israel with him, a great assembly from the entrance of Hamath to the Brook of Egypt, before the Lord our God, seven days and seven more days-fourteen days. 66 On the eighth day he sent the people away; and they blessed the king, and went to their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the good that the Lord had done for His servant David, and for Israel His people.
2 Chronicles 5:1 So all the work that Solomon had done for the house of the Lord was finished; and Solomon brought in the things which his father David had dedicated: the silver and the gold and all the furnishings. And he put them in the treasuries of the house of God.
2 Now Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel, in Jerusalem, that they might bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord up from the City of David, which is Zion. 3 Therefore all the men of Israel assembled with the king at the feast, which was in the seventh month. 4 So all the elders of Israel came, and the Levites took up the ark. 5 Then they brought up the ark, the tabernacle of meeting, and all the holy furnishings that were in the tabernacle. The priests and the Levites brought them up. 6 Also King Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel who were assembled with him before the ark, were sacrificing sheep and oxen that could not be counted or numbered for multitude. 7 Then the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim. 8 For the cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles. 9 The poles extended so that the ends of the poles of the ark could be seen from the holy place, in front of the inner sanctuary; but they could not be seen from outside. And they are there to this day. 10 Nothing was in the ark except the two tablets which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they had come out of Egypt.
The Ark Brought into the Temple
11 And it came to pass when the priests came out of the Most Holy Place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without keeping to their divisions), 12 and the Levites who were the singers, all those of Asaph and Heman and Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, stood at the east end of the altar, clothed in white linen, having cymbals, stringed instruments and harps, and with them one hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets— 13 indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying:
“For He is good,
For His mercy endures forever,”
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
Compiled by Richard S. Adams
A man who is intimate with God
will never be intimidated by men.
--- Greg Simas
The aspect of the cross in discipleship is lost altogether in the present-day view of following Jesus. The cross is looked upon as something beautiful and simple instead of a stern heroism. Our Lord never said it was easy to be a Christian; He warned men that they would have to face a variety of hardships, which He termed bearing the cross.
--- Oswald Chambers
Joy is the flag which is flown from the castle of the heart when the King is in residence there.
... from here, there and everywhere
Thanks to Meir Yona
A Great Slaughter About Ascalon. Vespasian Comes To Ptolemais.
1. Now the Jews, after they had beaten Cestius, were so much elevated with their unexpected success, that they could not govern their zeal, but, like people blown up into a flame by their good fortune, carried the war to remoter places. Accordingly, they presently got together a great multitude of all their most hardy soldiers, and marched away for Ascalon. This is an ancient city that is distant from Jerusalem five hundred and twenty furlongs, and was always an enemy to the Jews; on which account they determined to make their first effort against it, and to make their approaches to it as near as possible. This excursion was led on by three men, who were the chief of them all, both for strength and sagacity; Niger, called the Persite, Silas of Babylon, and besides them John the Essene. Now Ascalon was strongly walled about, but had almost no assistance to be relied on [near them], for the garrison consisted of one cohort of footmen, and one troop of horsemen, whose captain was Antonius.
2. These Jews, therefore, out of their anger, marched faster than ordinary, and, as if they had come but a little way, approached very near the city, and were come even to it; but Antonius, who was not unapprized of the attack they were going to make upon the city, drew out his horsemen beforehand, and being neither daunted at the multitude, nor at the courage of the enemy, received their first attacks with great bravery; and when they crowded to the very walls, he beat them off. Now the Jews were unskillful in war, but were to fight with those who were skillful therein; they were footmen to fight with horsemen; they were in disorder, to fight those that were united together; they were poorly armed, to fight those that were completely so; they were to fight more by their rage than by sober counsel, and were exposed to soldiers that were exactly obedient; and did every thing they were bidden upon the least intimation. So they were easily beaten; for as soon as ever their first ranks were once in disorder, they were put to flight by the enemy's cavalry, and those of them that came behind such as crowded to the wall fell upon their own party's weapons, and became one another's enemies; and this so long till they were all forced to give way to the attacks of the horsemen, and were dispersed all the plain over, which plain was wide, and all fit for the horsemen; which circumstance was very commodious for the Romans, and occasioned the slaughter of the greatest number of the Jews; for such as ran away, they could overrun them, and make them turn back; and when they had brought them back after their flight, and driven them together, they ran them through, and slew a vast number of them, insomuch that others encompassed others of them, and drove them before them whithersoever they turned themselves, and slew them easily with their arrows; and the great number there were of the Jews seemed a solitude to themselves, by reason of the distress they were in, while the Romans had such good success with their small number, that they seemed to themselves to be the greater multitude. And as the former strove zealously under their misfortunes, out of the shame of a sudden flight, and hopes of the change in their success, so did the latter feel no weariness by reason of their good fortune; insomuch that the fight lasted till the Evening, till ten thousand men of the Jews' side lay dead, with two of their generals, John and Silas, and the greater part of the remainder were wounded, with Niger, their remaining general, who fled away together to a small city of Idumea, called Sallis. Some few also of the Romans were wounded in this battle.
3. Yet were not the spirits of the Jews broken by so great a calamity, but the losses they had sustained rather quickened their resolution for other attempts; for, overlooking the dead bodies which lay under their feet, they were enticed by their former glorious actions to venture on a second destruction; so when they had lain still so little a while that their wounds were not yet thoroughly cured, they got together all their forces, and came with greater fury, and in much greater numbers, to Ascalon. But their former ill fortune followed them, as the consequence of their unskilfulness, and other deficiencies in war; for Antonius laid ambushes for them in the passages they were to go through, where they fell into snares unexpectedly, and where they were encompassed about with horsemen, before they could form themselves into a regular body for fighting, and were above eight thousand of them slain; so all the rest of them ran away, and with them Niger, who still did a great many bold exploits in his flight. However, they were driven along together by the enemy, who pressed hard upon them, into a certain strong tower belonging to a village called Bezedeh However, Antonius and his party, that they might neither spend any considerable time about this tower, which was hard to be taken, nor suffer their commander, and the most courageous man of them all, to escape from them, they set the wall on fire; and as the tower was burning, the Romans went away rejoicing, as taking it for granted that Niger was destroyed; but he leaped out of the tower into a subterraneous cave, in the innermost part of it, and was preserved; and on the third day afterward he spake out of the ground to those that with great lamentation were searching for him, in order to give him a decent funeral; and when he was come out, he filled all the Jews with an unexpected joy, as though he were preserved by God's providence to be their commander for the time to come.
4. And now Vespasian took along with him his army from Antioch, [which is the metropolis of Syria, and without dispute deserves the place of the third city in the habitable earth that was under the Roman empire, 2 both in magnitude, and other marks of prosperity,] where he found king Agrippa, with all his forces, waiting for his coming, and marched to Ptolemais. At this city also the inhabitants of Sepphoris of Galilee met him, who were for peace with the Romans. These citizens had beforehand taken care of their own safety, and being sensible of the power of the Romans, they had been with Cestius Gallus before Vespasian came, and had given their faith to him, and received the security of his right hand, and had received a Roman garrison; and at this time withal they received Vespasian, the Roman general, very kindly, and readily promised that they would assist him against their own countrymen. Now the general delivered them, at their desire, as many horsemen and footmen as he thought sufficient to oppose the incursions of the Jews, if they should come against them. And indeed the danger of losing Sepphoris would be no small one, in this war that was now beginning, seeing it was the largest city of Galilee, and built in a place by nature very strong, and might be a security of the whole nation's [fidelity to the Romans].
The War of the Jews: The History of the Destruction of Jerusalem (complete edition, 7 books)
by D.H. Stern
the man with whom ADONAI is angry falls into it.
Complete Jewish Bible : An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B'Rit Hadashah (New Testament)
by Frank W. Boreham
Tramp! tramp! tramp! tramp! It was like the regular and rhythmic beat of a great machine. File after file, column after column, I watched the troops pass by. Tramp! tramp! tramp! tramp! On they went, and on, and on; all in perfect time and step; tramp! tramp! tramp! tramp! It reminded me of that haunting passage that tells us that 'all these men of war that could keep rank came with a perfect heart to make David king over all Israel.' They could keep rank! It is a suggestive record. There is more in it than appears on the surface. They could keep rank! Right! Left! Right! Left! Tramp! tramp! tramp! tramp! All these men of war that could keep rank came with a perfect heart to make David king over all Israel.
Half the art of life lies in learning to keep step. It is a great thing—a very great thing—to be able to get on with other people. Let me indulge in a little autobiography. I once had a most extraordinary experience, an experience so altogether amazing that all subsequent experiences appear like the veriest commonplaces in comparison. The fact is, I was born. Such a thing had never happened to me before, and I was utterly bewildered. I did not know what to make of it. My first impression was that I was all alone and that I had the solar system all to myself. Like Robinson Crusoe, I fancied myself monarch of all I surveyed. But then, like Robinson Crusoe, I discovered a footprint, and found that the planet on which I had been so mysteriously cast was inhabited.. There were two of us—myself and The Other Fellow.
As soon as I could devise means of locomotion, I set out, like Robinson Crusoe, to find out what The Other Fellow was like. I had a kind of instinct that sooner or later I should have to fight him. I found that he differed from me in one essential particular. He had hundreds of millions of heads; I had but one. He had hundreds of millions of feet; hundreds of millions of hands; hundreds of millions of ears and eyes; I had but two. But for all that, it never occurred to me that he was greater than I. Myself always appeared to me to be vastly more important than The Other Fellow. It was nothing to me that he starved so long as I had plenty of food. It was nothing to me that he shivered so long as I was wrapped up snugly. I do not remember that it ever once crossed my mind in the first six months of my existence that it would be a bad thing if he died, with all his hundreds of millions of heads, and left me all alone upon the planet. I was first, and he was nowhere. I was everything, and he was nothing. Why, dear me, I must have cut my first teeth before it occurred to me that there was room on the planet for both of us; and I must have cut my wisdom teeth before I discovered that the world was on the whole more interesting to me because of his presence on it. And since then I have spent some pains, in a blundering, unskilful kind of a way, in trying to make myself tolerable to him. And the longer I live the more clearly I see that, although he is an odd fellow at times, he is very quick to respond to and reciprocate such advances. He is discovering, as I am, that walking in step has a pleasure peculiar to itself.
I said a moment ago that half the air of life lies in learning to keep step. Conversely, half the tragedy of life consists in our failure so to do. Here are Mr. and Mrs. Cardew. All lovers of Mark Rutherford know them well. They were both of them really excellent people; a minister and his wife; deeply attached to one another; and yet as wretched as wretched could be. How are you going to account for it? It is vastly important just because it is so common. Domestic difficulties rarely arise out of downright wickedness. Husband and wife may be as free from all outward fault as poor Mr. and Mrs. Cardew. Mark Rutherford thinks that Mr. Cardew was chiefly to blame, and his verdict is probably just. A man takes a considerably longer stride than a woman; but, for all that, it is still possible, even in these days of hobble skirts, for man and maid to walk in step, as all true lovers know. But it can only be managed by his moderating his ungainly stride to her more modest one, and, perhaps, by her unconsciously lengthening her step under the invigorating influence of his support. Which is a parable. Mark Rutherford says that 'Mr. Cardew had not learned the art of being happy with his wife; he did not know that happiness is an art; he rather did everything he could do to make the relationship intolerable. He demanded payment in coin stamped from his own mint, and if bullion and jewels had been poured before him he would have taken no heed of them. He did not take into account that what his wife said and what she felt might not be the same; that persons who have no great command over language are obliged to make one word do duty for a dozen; and that, if his wife was defective at one point, there were in her whole regions of unexplored excellence, of faculties never encouraged, and an affection to which he offered no response.' There is more philosophy in the cunning way in which those happy lovers in the lane accommodate their strides to the comfort of each other than we have been accustomed to suspect. It is done very easily; it is done almost unconsciously; but they must be very careful to go on doing it long after they have left the leafy old lane behind them.
I do not mean to suggest that husbands and wives are sinners above all people on the face of the earth. By no means. Is there a club, a society, an office, or a church in the wide, wide world that does not shelter a most excellent individual whose one and only fault is that he cannot get on with anybody else? That is, of course, my way of putting it. It is not his. He would say that nobody else can get on with him. Which again takes our minds back to the troops. A raw Scotch lad joined the expeditionary force, and on the first parade day his mother and sister came proudly down to see him march. Jock, sad to say, was out of step. At least that is my way of putting it. But it is not the only way. 'Look, mother!' said his fond sister, 'look, they're a' oot o' step but our Jock!' It is not for me to decide whether Jock is right or whether the others are. But since the others are all in step with each other, I am afraid the presumptive evidence is rather heavily against Jock. And Jock is well known to all of us. Nobody likes him, and nobody knows why they don't like him. In many respects he is a paragon of goodness. He loves his church, or he would not have stuck to it year in and year out as he has done. He is not self-assertive; he is quite willing to efface his own personality and be invisible. He is generous to a fault. Nobody is more eager to do anything for the general good. And yet nobody likes him. The only thing against him is that he has never disciplined himself to get on with other people. He has never tried to accommodate himself to their stride. He can't keep rank. They're a' oot o' step but our Jock! Poor Jock!
I know that out of all this a serious problem emerges. The problem is this: why should Jock destroy his own personality in order to render himself an exact replica of every other man in the regiment? Is individuality an evil thing that must be wiped out and obliterated? The answer to this objection is that Jock is not asked to sacrifice his personality; he is asked to sacrifice his angularity. The ideal of British discipline is, not to turn men into machines, but to preserve individuality and initiative; and yet, at the same time, to make each man of as great value to his comrades as is by any means possible. In the church we do the same. Brown means well, but he is all gush. You ask him to do a thing. 'Oh, certainly, with the greatest pleasure in the world!' But you have an awkward feeling that he will undertake a thousand other duties in the same airy way, and that the chances of his doing the work, and doing it well, are not rosy. Smith, on the other hand, is cautious. He, too, means well; but he is unduly scared of promising more than he can creditably fulfil; and, as a matter of fact, this bogy frightens him out of doing as much as he might and should. Now here you have Brown running and Smith crawling. You know perfectly well that Brown will exhaust himself quite prematurely, and that Smith will never get there. And between Brown's excited scamper and Smith's exasperating crawl the main host jogs along at a medium pace. Now Brown's personality is a delightful thing. You can't help loving him. His willingness is charming, and his enthusiasm contagious. And Smith's steady persistence and extreme conscientiousness are most admirable. They do us all good. But if, whilst preserving and developing their personalities, we could strip them of their angularities, and get them to walk in step at one steady and regular pace—tramp! tramp! tramp! tramp!—we should surely stand a better chance of making David king over all Israel!
It is all a matter of discipline. The ploughman comes up from the country with a long ungainly stride. The city man, accustomed to crowded pavements, comes with a short and mincing step. They are drilled for a fortnight side by side, and away they go. Right! Left! Right! Left! Tramp! tramp! tramp! tramp! The harmony is perfect. Jock must submit himself to the same rigid process of training. He may be firmly convinced that the stride of the regiment is too short or too long. But if, on that ground, he adopts a different one, nobody but his gentle and admiring little sister will believe that he is right and they are wrong. Jock's isolated attitude invariably reflects upon himself. 'The whole regiment is out of step!' he declares, drawing attention to his different stride. That is too often the trouble with Jock. 'The members of our Church do not read the Bible!' he says. It may be sadly true; but it sounds, put in that way, like a claim that he is the one conscientious and regular Bible-reader among them. 'The members of our Church do not pray!' he exclaims sadly. It may be that a call to prayer is urgently needed; but poor Jock puts the thing in such a light that it appears to be a claim on his part that he alone knows the way to the Throne of Grace. 'Among the faithless faithful only he!' 'The members of our Church are not spiritually-minded!' he bemoans; but somehow, said as he says it, it sounds suspiciously like an echo of little Jack Horner's 'What a good boy am I!'
In the correspondence of Elizabeth Fry there occurs a very striking and suggestive passage. When Mrs. Fry began to meet with great success in her work among the English prisons, some of the Quakers feared that her triumphs would engender pride in her own soul and destroy her spirituality. At last the thing became nauseous and intolerable, and she wrote, 'The prudent fears that the good have for me try me more than most things, and I find that it calls for Christian forbearance not to be a little put out by them. I am confident that we often see the Martha spirit of criticism enter in, even about spiritual things. O Lord, enable us to keep our ranks in righteousness!'
Tramp! tramp! tramp! tramp!
'And Enoch walked with God.'
'And Noah walked with God.'
'And Abraham walked with God.'
'And Moses walked with God.'
Tramp! tramp! tramp! tramp!
'All these men of war that could keep rank came with a perfect heart to make David king over all Israel.'
'O Lord, enable us to keep our ranks in righteousness!'
Mushrooms on the Moor
A Daily Devotional by Oswald Chambers
Prayer in the Father’s house
Wist ye not that I must be in My Father’s house?
--- Luke 2:49 (R.V.).
Our Lord’s childhood was not immature manhood: our Lord’s childhood is an eternal fact. Am I a holy innocent child of God by identification with my Lord and Saviour? Do I look upon life as being in my Father’s house? Is the Son of God living in His Father’s house in me?
The abiding Reality is God, and His order comes through the moments. Am I always in contact with Reality, or do I only pray when things have gone wrong, when there is a disturbance in the moments of my life? I have to learn to identify myself with my Lord in holy communion in ways some of us have not begun to learn as yet. “I must be about My Father’s business,”—live the moments in My Father’s house.
Narrow it down to your individual circumstances—are you so identified with the Lord’s life that you are simply a child of God, continually talking to Him and realizing that all things come from His hands? Is the Eternal Child in you living in the Father’s house? Are the graces of His ministering life working out through you in your home, in your business, in your domestic circle? Have you been wondering why you are going through the things you are? It is not that you have to go through them, it is because of the relation into which the Son of God has come in His Father’s providence in your particular sainthood. Let Him have His way, keep in perfect union with Him.
The vicarious life of your Lord is to become your vital simple life; the way He worked and lived among men must be the way He lives in you.
My Utmost for His Highest: Quality Paperback Edition
the Poetry of RS Thomas
Mostly it was wars
With their justification
Of the surrender of values
For which they fought. Between
Them they laid their plans
For the next, exempted
From compact by the machine's
Was out of date; wisdom consisted
In a revision of the strict code
Of the spirit. To keep moving
Was best; to bring the arrival
Nearer departure; to synchronize
The applause, as the public images
Stepped on and off the stationary
Aircraft. The labour of the years
Was over; the children were heirs
To an instant existence. They fed the machine
Their questions, knowing the answers
Already, unable to apply them.
Honor your healer even before you need him!
BIBLE TEXT / Exodus 14:10–15 / As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites caught sight of the Egyptians advancing upon them. Greatly frightened, the Israelites cried out to the Lord. And they said to Moses, “Was it for want of graves in Egypt that you brought us to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, taking us out of Egypt? Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us be, and we will serve the Egyptians, for it is better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness’?” But Moses said to the people, “Have no fear! Stand by and witness the deliverance which the Lord will work for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you will never see again. The Lord will battle for you; you hold your peace.”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to Me? Tell the Israelites to go forward.…”
MIDRASH TEXT / Exodus Rabbah 21, 7 / Why do you cry out to Me? Thus it is written, “Did you pray before your trouble came?” (Job 36:19, authors’ translation). Why is this so? Rabbi Elazar ben Pedat said, “As the maxim says, ‘Honor your healer even before you need him!’ ” And Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish says, “Prepare your prayer before Your Creator so that you won’t have adversaries above.”
CONTEXT / In the story of the Israelites fleeing Egypt, there is an interesting juxtaposition of verses. Moses tells the Israelites to “Have no fear! Stand by and witness the deliverance which the Lord will work for you today.” In other words, God will save you. God, on the other hand, simply tells Moses and the Israelites, “Why do you cry out to Me? Tell the Israelites to go forward.…” In other words, “Save yourselves. If you put more distance between yourselves and the Egyptians, then the crisis will be averted.”
The Rabbis see Moses as calling out to God too soon. There is no real need for divine assistance; they have the answer in their hands. And the Rabbis quote a verse from Job to prove their point. Elihu, one of Job’s friends, attempts to put Job’s suffering into perspective, asking him, “Did you pray before your trouble came?” This is the same as Moses, who prayed too soon. The Rabbis ask, Why is this so? Why did Moses take it upon himself to pray before it was really necessary? Rabbi Elazar ben Pedat quotes a maxim that says ‘Honor your healer even before you need him!” Similarly, Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish extends the analogy: “Prepare your prayer before Your Creator so that you won’t have adversaries above.”
In the liturgy, God is often called רוֹפֵא/rofeh, “healer.” In the weekday Amidah, recited three times daily, we address God as “the healer (רוֹפֵא/rofeh) of the sick of Israel.” Thus, the advice of Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish, to be prepared before God, flows directly from that of Rabbi Elazar ben Pedat. Rabbi Elazar says to show respect to your healer; Rabbi Shimon expands this to say that we should respect the “Divine Doctor,” whose aid and support we will someday need.
Searching for Meaning in Midrash: Lessons for Everyday Living
This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. --- Ephesians 5:32.
Saints are married, united to Christ, who is the best husband, “outstanding among ten thousand” (Song 5:10). ASIN: B007SRUATE
Christ is a husband who cannot be paralleled
for tender care. The spouse cannot be as considerate of her own soul as Christ is considerate of her. If she wanders out of the way, he guides her. If she stumbles, he holds her hand. If she falls, he raises her. If she is sad, he comforts her with promises.
for ardent affection. No husband loves like Christ. He has given real demonstrations of his love to his spouse. He has sent her a love letter—his Word—and he has given her a love token—his Spirit.
Christ loves more than any other husband:
He puts richer clothes on his bride. “He has clothed me with garments of salvation… a robe of righteousness” (Isa. 61:10). [Because of] this robe, God looks on us as if we had not sinned and we are reputed righteous—as righteous as Christ, “so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).
He gives his bride not only his golden garments but his image. Christ imparts “the splendor of his holiness” (Ps. 29:2). “The splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect” (Ezek. 16:14). Christ never thinks he has loved his spouse enough till he can see his own face in her.
Christ discharges those debts that no other husband can. Our sins are the worst debts we owe. If all the angels contributed money, they could not pay one of these debts, but Christ frees us from these. He says to justice what Paul said concerning Onesimus: “If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me” (Philem. 18).
Christ has suffered more for his spouse than any husband ever did for a wife. He suffered poverty and scandal. He who crowned the heavens with stars was himself crowned with thorns. He was regardless of his life; he leaped into the sea of his Father’s wrath to save his spouse from drowning.
Christ’s love does not end with his life. He loves his spouse forever. Well may the apostle call it “this love that surpasses knowledge” (Eph. 3:19).
--- Thomas Watson
Take Heart: Daily Devotions with the Church's Great Preachers
A Bathroom, a Leg, and $1.50 August 7
What would you expect from a baby whose father abandoned her at birth, and whose mother died when she was three? Taken in by impoverished neighbors, Eleanor Chestnut was an unhappy child, lonely and hungry for a mother’s love. She didn’t get it. Nor was she offered much of an education. But she was stubborn; and when she discovered a school where she could earn her way through both the academy and college, she enrolled and did just that. She developed a yen for medicine. While in school she also joined a Presbyterian church and acquired a corresponding interest in missions.
In 1888 Eleanor entered Woman’s Medical College in Chicago, where she completed the programs for both doctors and nurses while living in an attic and eating mostly oatmeal. Following that—a stint at Moody Bible Institute.
On August 7, 1893 Eleanor was appointed a medical missionary and assigned to south China. Her work there was complicated by a poor grasp of the language and by impoverished conditions, and she continually found herself in arduous straits. On one occasion she became responsible for a demented patient who had ruined his brain with opium. “He thinks he is continually being pursued by demons,” she wrote a friend. “I have no place for him but my study. He is sometimes violent and has to be carefully watched. So I am sitting here on guard now.”
But her affection for the people of Lien-chou was boundless. She used her own bathroom as an operating room, and once used skin from her own leg as a graft for a coolie whose own leg was healing poorly following surgery. She established a women’s hospital in Lien-chou, living on $1.50 a month so the rest of her salary could be used to buy bricks.
She served China selflessly for ten years, then on October 29, 1905, her missions compound was attacked by an anti-foreign mob. Eleanor might have escaped had she not returned to aid her colleagues. Her final act of service was ripping a piece from her dress to bind a child’s wound.
Then Jesus asked, “Which one of these three people was a real neighbor to the man who was beaten up by robbers?” The teacher answered, “The one who showed pity.” Jesus said, “Go and do the same!”
--- Luke 10:36,37.
On This Day 365 Amazing And Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs And Heroes
Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON
Morning - August 7
“The upright love thee” --- Song of Solomon 1:4.
Believers love Jesus with a deeper affection then they dare to give to any other being. They would sooner lose father and mother than part with Christ. They hold all earthly comforts with a loose hand, but they carry him fast locked in their bosoms. They voluntarily deny themselves for his sake, but they are not to be driven to deny him. It is scant love which the fire of persecution can dry up; the true believer’s love is a deeper stream than this. Men have laboured to divide the faithful from their Master, but their attempts have been fruitless in every age. Neither crowns of honour, nor frowns of anger, have untied this more than Gordian knot. This is no every-day attachment which the world’s power may at length dissolve. Neither man nor devil have found a key which opens this lock. Never has the craft of Satan been more at fault than when he has exercised it in seeking to rend in sunder this union of two divinely welded hearts. It is written, and nothing can blot out the sentence, “The upright love thee.” The intensity of the love of the upright, however, is not so much to be judged by what it appears as by what the upright long for. It is our daily lament that we cannot love enough. Would that our hearts were capable of holding more, and reaching further. Like Samuel Rutherford, we sigh and cry, “Oh, for as much love as would go round about the earth, and over heaven—yea, the heaven of heavens, and ten thousand worlds—that I might let all out upon fair, fair, only fair Christ.” Alas! our longest reach is but a span of love, and our affection is but as a drop of a bucket compared with his deserts. Measure our love by our intentions, and it is high indeed; ’tis thus, we trust, our Lord doth judge of it. Oh, that we could give all the love in all hearts in one great mass, a gathering together of all loves to him who is altogether lovely!
Evening - August 7
“Satan hindered us.” --- 1 Thessalonians 2:18.
Since the first hour in which goodness came into conflict with evil, it has never ceased to be true in spiritual experience, that Satan hinders us. From all points of the compass, all along the line of battle, in the vanguard and in the rear, at the dawn of day and in the midnight hour, Satan hinders us. If we toil in the field, he seeks to break the ploughshare; if we build the wall, he labours to cast down the stones; if we would serve God in suffering or in conflict—everywhere Satan hinders us. He hinders us when we are first coming to Jesus Christ. Fierce conflicts we had with Satan when we first looked to the cross and lived. Now that we are saved, he endeavours to hinder the completeness of our personal character. You may be congratulating yourself, “I have hitherto walked consistently; no man can challenge my integrity.” Beware of boasting, for your virtue will yet be tried; Satan will direct his engines against that very virtue for which you are the most famous. If you have been hitherto a firm believer, your faith will ere long be attacked; if you have been meek as Moses, expect to be tempted to speak unadvisedly with your lips. The birds will peck at your ripest fruit, and the wild boar will dash his tusks at your choicest vines. Satan is sure to hinder us when we are earnest in prayer. He checks our importunity, and weakens our faith in order that, if possible, we may miss the blessing. Nor is Satan less vigilant in obstructing Christian effort. There was never a revival of religion without a revival of his opposition. As soon as Ezra and Nehemiah begin to labour, Sanballat and Tobiah are stirred up to hinder them. What then? We are not alarmed because Satan hindereth us, for it is a proof that we are on the Lord’s side, and are doing the Lord’s work, and in his strength we shall win the victory, and triumph over our adversary.
Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
I WANT A PRINCIPLE WITHIN
Charles Wesley, 1707–1788
So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man. (Acts 24:16)
Order my footsteps by Thy Word,
And make my heart sincere;
Let sin have no dominion, Lord,
But keep my conscience clear.
The Bible has much to say about the importance of a Christian having a strong “inner man” (Ephesians 3:16). For instance the word conscience appears more than 30 times throughout the New Testament. The conscience has been described as the “rudder of the soul” or the believer’s “principle within.” One of the prime responsibilities of Christian living is to keep the conscience clear as to the things of God so that we might live worthy lives before our fellowmen. But the conscience must be continually enlightened and developed by an exposure to God’s Word if it is to serve as a reliable guide for our lives. A conscience that is allowed to become hardened and insensitive to sin will ultimately lead to spiritual and moral disaster. We must allow God to develop our consciences and then our consciences are able to develop us.
Charles Wesley was very strong in his teaching about the necessity of an enlightened conscience for believers. Part of the Wesleyan concept for the doctrine of holiness was that God’s people should be so sensitive to sin that eventually they would be able to live without known sin in their lives.
This song text first appeared in the 1749 edition of Wesley’s Hymns and Sacred Poems, with the title “For a Tender Conscience.” These words are still a worthy goal for our daily living:
I want a principle within of watchful, Godly fear, a sensibility of sin, a pain to feel it near. Help me the first approach to feel of pride or wrong desire, to catch the wand’ring of my will and quench the Spirit’s fire.
From Thee that I no more may stray, no more Thy goodness grieve, grant me the filial awe, I pray, the tender conscience give. Quick as the apple of an eye, O God, my conscience make! Awake my soul when sin is nigh and keep it still awake.
Almighty God of truth and love, to me Thy pow’r impart; the burden from my soul remove, the hardness from my heart. O may the least omission pain my reawakened soul, and drive me to that grace again which makes the wounded whole.
For Today: Acts 23:1; Romans 2:15; Ephesians 1:4; 2 Timothy 1:8, 9
Ask God to give you a greater sensitivity to those attitudes and actions that could harden the response of your conscience. Carry this musical prayer with you ---
Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions
Monday, August 7, 2017 | After Pentecost
Proper 13, Monday
Psalms (Morning) Psalm 80
Psalms (Evening) Psalm 77 (79)
Old Testament 2 Samuel 7:1–17
New Testament Acts 18:1–11
Gospel Mark 8:11–21
Index of Readings
To the leader: on Lilies, a Covenant. Of Asaph. A Psalm.
1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
2 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might,
and come to save us!
3 Restore us, O God;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.
4 O LORD God of hosts,
how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears,
and given them tears to drink in full measure.
6 You make us the scorn of our neighbors;
our enemies laugh among themselves.
7 Restore us, O God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.
8 You brought a vine out of Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
9 You cleared the ground for it;
it took deep root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade,
the mighty cedars with its branches;
11 it sent out its branches to the sea,
and its shoots to the River.
12 Why then have you broken down its walls,
so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
13 The boar from the forest ravages it,
and all that move in the field feed on it.
14 Turn again, O God of hosts;
look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine,
15 the stock that your right hand planted.
16 They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down;
may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance.
17 But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,
the one whom you made strong for yourself.
18 Then we will never turn back from you;
give us life, and we will call on your name.
19 Restore us, O LORD God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.
Psalm 77 (79)
To the leader: according to Jeduthun. Of Asaph. A Psalm.
1 I cry aloud to God,
aloud to God, that he may hear me.
2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
my soul refuses to be comforted.
3 I think of God, and I moan;
I meditate, and my spirit faints. Selah
4 You keep my eyelids from closing;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5 I consider the days of old,
and remember the years of long ago.
6 I commune with my heart in the night;
I meditate and search my spirit:
7 “Will the Lord spurn forever,
and never again be favorable?
8 Has his steadfast love ceased forever?
Are his promises at an end for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah
10 And I say, “It is my grief
that the right hand of the Most High has changed.”
11 I will call to mind the deeds of the LORD;
I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will meditate on all your work,
and muse on your mighty deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is so great as our God?
14 You are the God who works wonders;
you have displayed your might among the peoples.
15 With your strong arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
16 When the waters saw you, O God,
when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
the very deep trembled.
17 The clouds poured out water;
the skies thundered;
your arrows flashed on every side.
18 The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
your lightnings lit up the world;
the earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way was through the sea,
your path, through the mighty waters;
yet your footprints were unseen.
20 You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
[ A Psalm of Asaph.
1 O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple;
they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
2 They have given the bodies of your servants
to the birds of the air for food,
the flesh of your faithful to the wild animals of the earth.
3 They have poured out their blood like water
all around Jerusalem,
and there was no one to bury them.
4 We have become a taunt to our neighbors,
mocked and derided by those around us.
5 How long, O LORD? Will you be angry forever?
Will your jealous wrath burn like fire?
6 Pour out your anger on the nations
that do not know you,
and on the kingdoms
that do not call on your name.
7 For they have devoured Jacob
and laid waste his habitation.
8 Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors;
let your compassion come speedily to meet us,
for we are brought very low.
9 Help us, O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and forgive our sins,
for your name’s sake.
10 Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants
be known among the nations before our eyes.
11 Let the groans of the prisoners come before you;
according to your great power preserve those doomed to die.
12 Return sevenfold into the bosom of our neighbors
the taunts with which they taunted you, O Lord!
13 Then we your people, the flock of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
from generation to generation we will recount your praise. ]
2 Samuel 7:1–17
7 Now when the king was settled in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2 the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” 3 Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the LORD is with you.”
4 But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan: 5 Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the LORD: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? 6 I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. 7 Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” 8 Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the LORD of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; 9 and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house. 12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. When he commits iniquity, I will punish him with a rod such as mortals use, with blows inflicted by human beings. 15 But I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever. 17 In accordance with all these words and with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.
18 After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together—by trade they were tentmakers. 4 Every sabbath he would argue in the synagogue and would try to convince Jews and Greeks.
5 When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with proclaiming the word, testifying to the Jews that the Messiah was Jesus. 6 When they opposed and reviled him, in protest he shook the dust from his clothes and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 Then he left the synagogue and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God; his house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Crispus, the official of the synagogue, became a believer in the Lord, together with all his household; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul became believers and were baptized. 9 One night the Lord said to Paul in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; 10 for I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to harm you, for there are many in this city who are my people.” 11 He stayed there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
11 The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, asking him for a sign from heaven, to test him. 12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” 13 And he left them, and getting into the boat again, he went across to the other side.
14 Now the disciples had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” 16 They said to one another, “It is because we have no bread.” 17 And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” They said to him, “Twelve.” 20 “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” And they said to him, “Seven.” 21 Then he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”
The Book of Common Prayer: And Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church