Genesis 32 -34
Jacob Fears EsauGenesis 32:1 Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2 And when Jacob saw them he said, “This is God’s camp!” So he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
3 And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, 4 instructing them, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, ‘I have sojourned with Laban and stayed until now. 5 I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male servants, and female servants. I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.’ ”
6 And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him.” 7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps, 8 thinking, “If Esau comes to the one camp and attacks it, then the camp that is left will escape.”
9 And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O LORD who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. 11 Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. 12 But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’ ”
13 So he stayed there that night, and from what he had with him he took a present for his brother Esau, 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty milking camels and their calves, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16 These he handed over to his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on ahead of me and put a space between drove and drove.” 17 He instructed the first, “When Esau my brother meets you and asks you, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you?’ 18 then you shall say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a present sent to my lord Esau. And moreover, he is behind us.’ ” 19 He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, “You shall say the same thing to Esau when you find him, 20 and you shall say, ‘Moreover, your servant Jacob is behind us.’ ” For he thought, “I may appease him with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterward I shall see his face.
Perhaps he will accept me.” 21 So the present passed on ahead of him, and he himself stayed that night in the camp.
Jacob Wrestles with God22 The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh.
Jacob Meets EsauGenesis 33:1 And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two female servants. 2 And he put the servants with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. 3 He himself went on before them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
4 But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. 5 And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Jacob said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” 6 Then the servants drew near, they and their children, and bowed down. 7 Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down. And last Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down. 8 Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company that I met?” Jacob answered, “To find favor in the sight of my lord.” 9 But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.” 10 Jacob said, “No, please, if I have found favor in your sight, then accept my present from my hand. For I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God, and you have accepted me. 11 Please accept my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” Thus he urged him, and he took it.
12 Then Esau said, “Let us journey on our way, and I will go ahead of you.” 13 But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are frail, and that the nursing flocks and herds are a care to me. If they are driven hard for one day, all the flocks will die. 14 Let my lord pass on ahead of his servant, and I will lead on slowly, at the pace of the livestock that are ahead of me and at the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.”
15 So Esau said, “Let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.” But he said, “What need is there? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.” 16 So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. 17 But Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built himself a house and made booths for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth. 18 And Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, on his way from Paddan-aram, and he camped before the city. 19 And from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, he bought for a hundred pieces of money the piece of land on which he had pitched his tent. 20 There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.
The Defiling of DinahGenesis 34:1 Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to see the women of the land. 2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he seized her and lay with her and humiliated her. 3 And his soul was drawn to Dinah the daughter of Jacob. He loved the young woman and spoke tenderly to her. 4 So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, “Get me this girl for my wife.”
5 Now Jacob heard that he had defiled his daughter Dinah. But his sons were with his livestock in the field, so Jacob held his peace until they came. 6 And Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him. 7 The sons of Jacob had come in from the field as soon as they heard of it, and the men were indignant and very angry, because he had done an outrageous thing in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, for such a thing must not be done.
8 But Hamor spoke with them, saying, “The soul of my son Shechem longs for your daughter. Please give her to him to be his wife. 9 Make marriages with us. Give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 You shall dwell with us, and the land shall be open to you. Dwell and trade in it, and get property in it.” 11 Shechem also said to her father and to her brothers, “Let me find favor in your eyes, and whatever you say to me I will give. 12 Ask me for as great a bride-price and gift as you will, and I will give whatever you say to me. Only give me the young woman to be my wife.”
13 The sons of Jacob answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully, because he had defiled their sister Dinah. 14 They said to them, “We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be a disgrace to us. 15 Only on this condition will we agree with you—that you will become as we are by every male among you being circumcised. 16 Then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters to ourselves, and we will dwell with you and become one people. 17 But if you will not listen to us and be circumcised, then we will take our daughter, and we will be gone.”
18 Their words pleased Hamor and Hamor’s son Shechem. 19 And the young man did not delay to do the thing, because he delighted in Jacob’s daughter. Now he was the most honored of all his father’s house. 20 So Hamor and his son Shechem came to the gate of their city and spoke to the men of their city, saying, 21 “These men are at peace with us; let them dwell in the land and trade in it, for behold, the land is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters as wives, and let us give them our daughters. 22 Only on this condition will the men agree to dwell with us to become one people—when every male among us is circumcised as they are circumcised. 23 Will not their livestock, their property and all their beasts be ours? Only let us agree with them, and they will dwell with us.” 24 And all who went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor and his son Shechem, and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city.
25 On the third day, when they were sore, two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and came against the city while it felt secure and killed all the males. 26 They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house and went away. 27 The sons of Jacob came upon the slain and plundered the city, because they had defiled their sister. 28 They took their flocks and their herds, their donkeys, and whatever was in the city and in the field. 29 All their wealth, all their little ones and their wives, all that was in the houses, they captured and plundered.
30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me stink to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites. My numbers are few, and if they gather themselves against me and attack me, I shall be destroyed, both I and my household.” 31 But they said, “Should he treat our sister like a prostitute?”
ESV Study Bible
What I'm Reading
What Was the Shape of Jesus’ Cross?
By J. Warner Wallace 1/8/2018
Recently, after speaking at large conference, I was approached by a man who asked a question about the shape of the crucifixion cross of Jesus. He’d been approached by Jehovah’s Witnesses who challenged the traditional shape of the cross. They argued the Greek word for “cross” (stauros) simply meant an “upright pole”, “upright stake” or “torture stake”. His Jehovah’s Witness visitors claimed Jesus was actually nailed to a straight stake with a single spike through his hands and another through his feet. In my experience with Jehovah’s Witnesses, I’ve also heard them argue the traditional Christian shape of the cross was borrowed from pagan sources and, as a result, it is un-Christian to acknowledge the traditional cross shape in church architecture, worship or adornment. While the Greek words used for the cross in the New Testament are not specific about its shape (“stauros” = stake / pole and “xulon” = timber / tree), there are several evidential clues offered in the scripture to help us understand the true shape of Jesus’ cross.
Before we look at the evidence related to the cross, we need to examine the many ways Roman executed criminals on wooden structures of one kind or another throughout history. Josephus, when writing about the siege of Jerusalem ion 70AD, acknowledged the fact Roman soldiers used a variety of methods and stake shapes to execute their prisoners:
“(The Jews caught outside the walls of Jerusalem) were first whipped, and then tormented with all sorts of tortures, before they died, and were then crucified before the wall of the city … the soldiers, out of the wrath and hatred they bore the Jews, nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest” (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 5.11.1).
In addition, the first-century Roman philosopher, Seneca the Younger, described crucifixions in a variety of ways:
“I see before me crosses not all alike, but differently made by different peoples: some hang a man head downwards, some force a stick upwards through his groin, some stretch out his arms on a forked gibbet” (Seneca the Younger, “To Marcia on Consolation”, in Moral Essays, 6.20).
James "Jim" Warner Wallace (born June 16, 1961) is an American homicide detective and Christian apologist. Wallace is a Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview and an Adjunct Professor of Apologetics at Biola University in La Mirada, California. He has authored several books, including Cold-Case Christianity, God’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, in which he applies principles of cold case homicide investigation to apologetic concerns such as the existence of God and the reliability of the Gospels.
The Ultimate Reason Behind Unforgiveness
By Jean E. Jones 12/13/2016
What’s the ultimate reason behind unforgiveness? Part 5 of “Forgive Intentional Sin—Don’t Just Manage Emotions.”
Forgiving without excusing is hard, so hard it sometimes seems unforgiveness won’t ever let go.
When I stopped excusing my mother’s actions as based on ignorance and inability to help herself, I had to learn something new: forgiving without excusing. I made good progress when I prayed in ways that bolstered faith in God’s promises and good care. The anger eased significantly. But it still sometimes flared unexpectedly.
Unforgiveness & a Cry for Help | Then one day it erupted in a way that scared me. I was driving my pale blue Toyota Corolla to work as the sun was just rising, when I spied a girl in a steel blue school uniform skipping gaily, two perfect dark braids bouncing on her carefully pressed short-sleeved shirt.
Her mother loves her, I thought. And then, I hate her!
About Jean E. Jones
Sin: The Forgotten Doctrine
By Sean McDowell 1/5/2017
Studies continually show that most Americans—including many Christians—have poor theology. There is a lot of confusion about the person of Christ, the nature of salvation, and the attributes of God.
And yet there is one particular doctrine that has pressing implications for so much of Christian theology, which in my experience, seems to have been forgotten in the church and the wider culture—the sinfulness of man. Do we really grasp how deeply human nature has been corrupted by sin? Failing to grasp the nuances and depth of human sinfulness has massive implications for one’s theology and for all of life.
The consistent biblical teaching is that mankind is made in God’s image with inestimable worth, but has been deeply flawed by sin (Mark 7:21-23; John 2:24-25; Romans 3:9-20). How can I claim human sinfulness has been lost? Let me share two stories.
The Problem of Hell | Recently I was speaking at a youth group in southern California, not far from where I live. After the service, a college student, who described himself as a former Christian, wanted to discuss the “Problem of Hell.” We talked for nearly 45 minutes and he raised the standard objections against the justice of Hell: How could a loving God send someone to Hell? How can a finite sin warrant an eternal punishment? How can people enjoy Heaven knowing their loved ones are in Hell? I did my best to respond with both kindness and truth.
After our talk, it seemed that I had made almost no “dent” with his questions. He still thought God was a moral monster. And then it dawned on me: His problem was that he saw human being as basically good. If humans are basically good, and simply commit a few “sins” in their lifetime, as he believed, then Hell does seem like overkill. Moreover, Hell can only begin to make sense when we grasp the biblical view of mankind—that we are made in God’s image with infinite dignity, value, and worth, but our natures have been deeply corrupted because of sin. An unbiblical view of the nature of man was at the heart of his rejection of the faith.
Sean McDowell, Ph.D. is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, a best-selling author of over 18 books, an internationally recognized speaker, a part-time high school teacher, and the Resident Scholar for Summit, California. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell and his blog: seanmcdowell.org.Books By Sean McDowell
Sean McDowell Books:
Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists
A New Kind of Apologist: *Adopting Fresh Strategies *Addressing the Latest Issues *Engaging the Culture
The Beauty of Intolerance: Setting a Generation Free to Know Truth and Love
Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God's Design for Marriage (Thoughtful Response)
ETHIX: Being Bold in a Whatever World
More Than a Carpenter
Most Important Early Printed Editions of the Hebrew Bible
By Gleason Archer Jr.1. Bologna Edition of the Psalter, A.D. 1477.
2. Soncino Edition of Old Testament (vowel-pointed), 1488.
3. Second Bomberg Edition of Old Testament (text of Jacob ben Chayim, with Masora and Rabbinical notes,
under patronage of Daniel Bomberg), 1525–26. This became the basis of all modern editions up to 1929.
The Early Versions of the Old Testament
THE GREEK VERSIONS1. The Septuagint—translated in Alexandria 250–150 B.C. The traditional account of the origin of this version is given in the Letter of Aristaeus to Philocrates, which originated between 130 and 100 B.C. Despite fabulous embellishments, the letter reflects an actual historical event, in which the Torah at least (if not more of the Old Testament) was cast into Greek for the convenience of Greek-speaking Jews who knew little Hebrew. Paul Kahle has inferred from this letter that there were already earlier translations of the Torah which were revised by a committee in the reign of Ptolemy II (rather than being a completely new translation made at that time). Yet Kahle doubts that there was, apart from the Torah, any single standard Old Greek version, but inclines to the view that it was the early church which assembled a standard text from various Old Greek versions already current. Yet P. de Lagarde (followed by A. Rahlfs) believes there actually was a standard, original LXX text for the whole Old Testament even from pre-Christian times, and he has used very careful methodology in preparing a critical text for publication. (Rahlfs’ edition is the easiest one to obtain for study purposes today.) The following is a list of the most important manuscripts or manuscript fragments of the Septuagint.
a. Rylands Papyrus 458, containing portions of Deut. 23–28 (150 B.C.), has been preserved to us in a mummy wrapping. Kenyon (BAM, p. 63) states that it tends to favor A (Codex Alexandrinus) and Theta (Codex Washingtoniensis I, a sixth century MS) as against B (Codex Vaticanus).
b. From Qumran Four come the following cave fragments: a Leviticus fragment on papyrus which agrees well with the standard LXX text, but uses IAO instead of kyrios for “Jehovah”; another Leviticus fragment on leather which contains 26:2–16, with ten variations from the later LXX, and five other variants where the LXX MSS are themselves in disagreement; a Numbers fragment on leather, containing 3:3–4:14. In quite a few instances it uses a different Greek word from the LXX, but apparently for the same Hebrew word in the original. (These are all discussed by Burrows, MLDSS, pp. 136–37, and are apparently assigned by him to first century B.C.) D. Barthelemy reports (in “Chainon manquant de l’histoire de la Septante”  in QHBT 128) that in August 1952, the Ta’amireh tribesmen discovered in a new cave (Wadi Khabra [QHBT 269] on Nahal Heber) of the Judean Desert a scroll from the Second Revolt (second half of the first century A.D.), in fragments, all from the Minor Prophets: Micah (4:3–7 transcribed on p. 129), Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk (quote from Hab. 1:14–2:5, 13–15 on p. 134), Zephaniah, and Zechariah (from the end of the first century A.D.).
c. The Chester Beatty Papyri were found at Oxyrynchus in Egypt; #VI, ca. A.D. 150, is a papyrus codex containing portions of Numbers and Deuteronomy, tending to agree with A and Theta against B; #VII, ca. A.D. 230, contains portions of Isaiah with glosses in Fayyumic Coptic; #V, ca. A.D. 270, contains portions of Gen. (chaps. 8, 24, 25, 30–46); #IV, ca. A.D. 350, contains Gen. 9:1–44:22.
d. Papyrus 911, from Egypt, dated about the end of the third century A.D., written in a cursive uncial hand, contains fragments of Genesis 1–35, in a pre-Hexaplaric text showing affinities to MSS E and D (i.e., the Bodleian Genesis of the tenth century, at Oxford, and the Cotton Genesis of the fifth century, at the British Museum).
e. Freer Greek Manuscript V of the minor prophets (W) in Washington, comprising 33 papyrus leaves, dates from the second half of the third century A.D., written in an Egyptian hand, and containing a fairly complete text of all the prophets except Hosea. The text is of pre-Hexaplaric type, and among the uncial manuscripts it is somewhat closer to Q and Aleph than to the others. Yet it bears noteworthy affinities to such minuscule MSS as 407, 198, 233, 534, and 410—which likewise show a pre-Hexaplaric type of text.
f. Origen’s Hexapla, was written about A.D. 240. Origen lived A.D. 185–254. Because of the many divergences in the MSS of the LXX then current, and because he had noticed that some portions of the Hebrew text were missing in the LXX, Origen determined to draw up a more satisfactory Greek Old Testament in the following way. He copied out six parallel colunms (hexapla means sixfold) consisting of (1) the Hebrew original, (2) the Hebrew transliterated into Greek letters, (3) the literal Greek translation of Aquila, (TAT, 4th ed., p. 58), (4) the idiomatic Greek translation of Symmachus, (5) the Septuagint itself, and (6) the Greek translation of Theodotion. Where sections appeared in the LXX which were not in the Hebrew, he inserted an obelus (horizontal diacritical stroke) and closed with a metobelus (a stroke with a dot or short cross stroke). Where a portion in the Hebrew was not in the LXX, he inserted a Greek translation from one of the other colunms, setting it off with an asteriscus (a cross with intervening dots) and a metobelus.
Origen’s original Hexapla was apparently never copied out for publication; it was far too voluminous to be marketable. But the contents of the fifth column (the LXX plus additions) were later published by Eusebius and Pamphilus, carefully including the diacritical symbols. A copy of this has been preserved to us in the Codex Sarravianus (G), dating from the fourth or fifth century, and containing portions of Genesis through Judges. Another witness seems to be Codex Marchalianus (Q) from the sixth century, which contains portions of Isaiah through Malachi with Hexaplaric readings in the margin. (See Wurthwein, TOT, p. 53.) No other considerable section has been preserved of this edition in Greek, but fortunately it was translated into Syriac by order of Bishop Paul of Tella in 616 (cf. see “Syriac Versions” below) and some MSS of this have been preserved, with the all-important diacritical marks appearing in the Syriac text.
A Survey of Old Testament Introduction
Read The Psalms In "1" Year
Psalm 7In You Do I Take Refuge
7 A Shiggaion Of David, Which He Sang To The Lord Concerning The Words Of Cush, A Benjaminite.
1 O LORD my God, in you do I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers and deliver me,
2 lest like a lion they tear my soul apart,
rending it in pieces, with none to deliver.
3 O LORD my God, if I have done this,
if there is wrong in my hands,
4 if I have repaid my friend with evil
or plundered my enemy without cause,
5 let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it,
and let him trample my life to the ground
and lay my glory in the dust. Selah
The Story Behind December 25
By William J. Tighe
Many Christians think that Christians celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25th because the church fathers appropriated the date of a pagan festival. Almost no one minds, except for a few groups on the fringes of American Evangelicalism, who seem to think that this makes Christmas itself a pagan festival. But it is perhaps interesting to know that the choice of December 25th is the result of attempts among the earliest Christians to figure out the date of Jesus’ birth based on calendrical calculations that had nothing to do with pagan festivals.
Rather, the pagan festival of the “Birth of the Unconquered Sun” instituted by the Roman Emperor Aurelian on 25 December 274, was almost certainly an attempt to create a pagan alternative to a date that was already of some significance to Roman Christians. Thus the “pagan origins of Christmas” is a myth without historical substance.
A Mistake | The idea that the date was taken from the pagans goes back to two scholars from the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Paul Ernst Jablonski, a German Protestant, wished to show that the celebration of Christ’s birth on December 25th was one of the many “paganizations” of Christianity that the Church of the fourth century embraced, as one of many “degenerations” that transformed pure apostolic Christianity into Catholicism. Dom Jean Hardouin, a Benedictine monk, tried to show that the Catholic Church adopted pagan festivals for Christian purposes without paganizing the gospel.
In the Julian calendar, created in 45 B.C. under Julius Caesar, the winter solstice fell on December 25th, and it therefore seemed obvious to Jablonski and Hardouin that the day must have had a pagan significance before it had a Christian one. But in fact, the date had no religious significance in the Roman pagan festal calendar before Aurelian’s time, nor did the cult of the sun play a prominent role in Rome before him.
There were two temples of the sun in Rome, one of which (maintained by the clan into which Aurelian was born or adopted) celebrated its dedication festival on August 9th, the other of which celebrated its dedication festival on August 28th. But both of these cults fell into neglect in the second century, when eastern cults of the sun, such as Mithraism, began to win a following in Rome. And in any case, none of these cults, old or new, had festivals associated with solstices or equinoxes.
William J. Tighe is Associate Professor of History at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and a faculty advisor to the Catholic Campus Ministry. He is a Member of St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He is a contributing editor for Touchstone.
The Problem Of The Old Testament
By James Orr 1907
VI. REVELATION IN RELATION TO ITS RECORD
If we thus let the Bible—Old Testament and New—speak for itself, and compare it part with part: still more if we yield ourselves to its power, and strive faithfully to follow its directions, the conviction will irresistibly grow upon us that it is right when it claims to be based on divine revelation. Out of that revelation, the literature of revelation, which we call the Bible, grows. If this fact be firmly apprehended, particular questions about the dates or placing of books will not much trouble us. The revelation is there, and no changes in the dates or placing of books—none at least that are likely to be permanently brought out—can do anything to alter its fundamental outlines. If a revelation has been given, it is surely the most natural thing in the world to expect that a record should be made or kept of the stages of that revelation, either by its original recipients, or by those who stood within the circle of revelation, and possessed in an eminent degree its spirit. That such a literature exists, adequate in every respect for making known to us the revelation, animated and penetrated by its spirit, though in varying degrees,—for the strictest upholder of inspiration will hardly place the Books of Chronicles on the same level with the Gospel of John,—fitted as a whole infallibly to accomplish its great end of making men wise unto salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, and of completely furnishing the man of God unto every good work, —that such a literature exists, the only ultimate proof that can be given is the existence of the book itself; and such a book, as we have seen even from this brief inspection of its character, we have in the Bible. The simple fact that in this sacred volume, so marvellous in its own structure, so harmonious and complete in the view it gives of the dealings of God with man, so rich and exhaustless in its spiritual content, so filled with the manifest presence and power of the Spirit of God, we have everything we need to acquaint us fully with the mind and will of God for our salvation, and to supply us for all the ends of our spiritual life, is sufficient evidence that the revelation which God has given is, in every essential particular, purely and faithfully embodied in it. No more than the revelation from which it springs, is the Bible a product of mere human wisdom, but has God for its inspiring source!
This, as we understand it, is the Bible’s own test of its inspiration, alike in Old Testament and in New, and by it, without nearer definition, we are content, for our present purpose, to abide. The subject is taken hold of by its wrong end, when the test of inspiration is sought primarily in minute inerrancy in external details, as those of geography, or chronology, or of physical science. Inspiration does not create the materials of its record: it works upon them. The crucial question is—Do the qualities which inspiration is expressly declared to confer on Scripture—e.g., in such a classical passage as 2 Tim. 3:15–17 —really belong to it? We think it will be difficult for any candid mind to deny that they do. Who, coming to this sacred book, with a sincere desire to know God’s will for the direction of his life, will say that he cannot find it? Who, desiring to be instructed in the way of salvation “through faith which is in Christ Jesus,” will consult its pages, and say it is not made plain to him? Who, coming to it for equipment of his spiritual life, will say that there are still needs of that life which are left unprovided for? Who, seeking direction in the way of the life everlasting, can doubt that, if he faithfully obeys its teaching, he will reach that goal? The Scripture fulfils the ends for which it was given; no higher proof of its inspiration can be demanded.
VII. RELATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT TO CHRIST
There is but one further remark we would make in closing this chapter. It relates to the place which Christ holds in Scripture, and ought to have in our study of every part of it. If what has been said of divine revelation is true, it follows that everything else in Scripture has its centre and point of connection in Him. If the Bible is a structure, Christ is the corner stone in that structure. All else in it is designed to lead up to Him, while in knowing Him, in learning to see in Him the image and revelation of the Father, in being drawn into sympathy with His Spirit, in tasting the grace of His salvation,—in coming to know that in Him we possess “the true God and eternal life,”—we gain the key which sets all else in Scripture in its true light. Without this key we are bound to miss our way in the search for its secret. No learning, no cleverness, will enable us to find it out. In vain do we go to the Old Testament, or to any part of Scripture, for the satisfaction of a mere intellectual or literary curiosity. It was not for this it was given, but to conduct us into the presence of Him who, of God, is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. What the closing verse of the 20th chapter of John’s Gospel says of that book: “But these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye may have life through His name,” may with equal truth be applied to the Bible as a whole. Christ is the central sun in that firmament: only when we are brought within the range of His beams have we the light of life.The Problem of the Old Testament
By John F. Walvoord
Prophecy In Joshua, Judges, And RuthThe books of Joshua and Judges are the historical link between Moses and David. The book of Ruth adds its historical record of the line of the Messiah leading up to David. Prophecies in these books are relatively short and connected with the historical narrative.
The Promise of the Land Given to JoshuaJoshua 1:1–9. After the death of Moses ( Deut. 34:5; Josh. 1:1 ) God announced to Joshua His purpose of giving the Promised Land to Israel. The Lord said, “I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates — all the Hittite country — to the Great Sea on the west. No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you” (vv. 3–5 ). The prophecy concluded, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (v. 9 ). The rest of the book of Joshua records how Israel conquered most of the land. At the time of Joshua it is important to note that the promises of the land were still considered literal promises. The promises were partially fulfilled in Joshua’s lifetime ( 21:43–45 ).
The Conquest of JerichoJoshua 6:1–5. In keeping with His promise to Joshua, when they came to Jericho God said, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the walls of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in” (vv. 2–3 ).
Joshua 6:6–27. As Joshua obeyed the command concerning the manner of conquest, the promise was fulfilled and they conquered Jericho, saving only Rahab, her father and mother and brothers (vv. 23, 25 ). After the conquest of Jericho, according to the Scriptures, “Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: ‘Cursed before the LORD is the man who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho: At the cost of his firstborn son will he lay its foundation; at the cost of his youngest will he set up its gates’” (v. 26 ). This was fulfilled as recorded in 1 Kings 16:34, “In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the LORD spoken by Joshua son of Nun.” The prophecy was literally fulfilled.
The Conquest of AiJoshua 7:1–8:29. After Israel’s disobedience recorded in Joshua 7, God instructed Joshua how Ai should be taken. “Then the LORD said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land. You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city’” ( 8:1–2 ).
In the course of the conquest, the Lord instructed Joshua, “Hold out toward Ai the javelin that is in your hand, for into your hand I will deliver the city” (v. 18 ). The verses that follow God’s command describe the fall of Ai and how Joshua carried out the commands of the Lord.
The Prophecy at GibeonJoshua 10:1–28. After Israel’s failure to inquire of the Lord, they were deceived into a covenant with Gibeon. The enemies of the Gibeonites attacked Gibeon with the result that Joshua had to march against Gibeon’s enemies.
At that time, “The LORD said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you’” (v. 8 ). The Scriptures that follow record the fulfillment, as the armies were totally destroyed.
The Destruction of the Northern KingsJoshua 11:1–15. When the kings in the north of the land conspired to attack Israel with a large number of horses and chariots, Scriptures record the message of the Lord to Joshua: “Do not be afraid of them, because by this time tomorrow I will hand all of them over to Israel, slain. You are to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots” (v. 6 ). The prophecy was fulfilled and Joshua fulfilled this command. The reason for hamstringing the horses was that God did not want Joshua to trust in chariots and horses for his strength.
Joshua 11:11–23. A summary of the conquest of Joshua was recorded, fulfilling the promise that the Lord had given Joshua in Joshua 1. Though the Lord was said to have fulfilled all His promises, as the book of Judges makes clear, much of the territory had not yet been possessed ( Josh. 13:1–19:51 ). But God had given them every portion of the land that they had set their feet on (cf. 1:3 ).
Joshua 21:43–45. The interpretation of verses 43–45 must be considered in the light of the later revelation. Scriptures state, “So the LORD gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their forefathers, and they took possession of it and settled there. The LORD gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers. Not one of the enemies withstood them; the LORD handed all their enemies over to them. Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled” (vv. 43–45 ). The Lord had not failed to keep His promise even though Israel had failed by faith to conquer all the land. The amillennial view advanced by some that this fulfilled the promise of the land given to Abraham is without scriptural foundation, as later promises picture a future possession of the land because the children of Israel had not possessed all the land ( Judg. 1:19, 21, 27, 29–34; 2:1–3, 20–23; 3:1–4 ).
The Promise of Victory over the CanaanitesJudges 1:1–8. After Joshua’s death, the Lord gave instruction for the continued battle to obtain the land: “Judah is to go; I have given the land into their hands” (v. 2 ). The Simeonites assisted Judah in conquering the land. Important in their conquest was the destruction of Jerusalem, which was set on fire (v. 8 ).
Prophecy of God’s Chastening Israel for DisobedienceJudges 2:1–3. The familiar picture of Israel’s failure in the time of Judges is described in God’s statement to Israel: “Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this? Now therefore I tell you that I will not drive them out before you; they will be thorns in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you” (vv. 2–3 ).
Judges 2:20–23. Further revelation was given concerning the Lord’s anger with Israel: “Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and said, ‘Because this nation has violated the covenant that I laid down for their forefathers and has not listened to me, I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the LORD and walk in it as their forefathers did.’ The LORD has allowed those nations to remain; he did not drive them out at once by giving them into the hands of Joshua” (vv. 20–23 ).
Prophecy about Deborah and BarakJudges 4:1–11. Deborah and Barak, fourth and fifth judges of Israel, were promised victory over Sisera. This prophecy was fulfilled and Sisera was killed (vv. 12–24 ).
Prophecy Given to GideonJudges 6:11–24. Scriptures record God’s selection of Gideon as a judge over Israel. In verse 14 it was recorded, “The LORD turned to him [Gideon] and said, ‘Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?’”
Judges 7:1–25. The three hundred warriors chosen by God attained a decisive victory over Midian, fulfilling the prophecy literally.
Prophecy of Deliverance from the Ammonites and PhilistinesJudges 10:13–14. Because the children of Israel forsook the Lord, God told them that He would not heed their cry. “But you have forsaken me and served other gods, so I will no longer save you. Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble!” (vv. 13–14 )
Judges 11:1–40. Because of their willingness to come back to God, however, God allowed Jephthah to be raised up as the ninth judge of Israel, and he delivered Israel from their enemies.
Prophecy Related to SamsonJudges 13–16. The story of Samson is one of the enigmatic stories of the Bible. His birth was announced by the Angel of the Lord to his father Manoah. Early feats of strength and departures from God were described ( 14:1–16:19 ). God’s promise to Samson’s mother concerning her child that “he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines” ( 13:5 ) was nevertheless fulfilled.
After Samson was captured by the Philistines, blinded, and shackled to grind grain in prison, his strength returned, and in destroying the pillars on which the temple was built, he was able to kill more in his death than in his life ( 16:23–31 ).
The books of Joshua and Judges set the stage for the coming of Samuel, the last of the judges and the first of the prophets. In contrast to the book of Judges, which is one of moral and physical defeat, the book of Joshua is largely one of victory.
Nestled between Judges and 1 Samuel, however, is the book of Ruth, which, though it contains no prophecies of the future, is itself a reminder that God’s purpose is to fulfill the promise of a coming Messiah. The lovely story of Ruth is one of the links leading up to David.
Every Prophecy of the Bible: Clear Explanations for Uncertain Times
Job Did Not Curse God, Will You?
By Richard S. Adams
Last year at this time, and the year before that and the year before that, etc. etc. I was reading Job. Every new year started in Job, but after all these years I decided to stop using my through the Bible in a year reading plan. Instead I am using M’Cheyne Reading Plan. Here is his biography, The Biography of Robert Murray M'Cheyne and here he is on Wikipedia, click here. (Ps 6:5) 5 For in death there is no remembrance of you; Richard S. Adams | Lover of Christ, husband of Lily, father of four, grandfather of eleven, Masters in Divinity and Certificate in Spiritual Direction from George Fox Evangelical Seminary in 2008, on staff at Portland Seminary since 2009.
According to the web site bibleplan.org, "The 19th Century Scottish minister, Robert Murray M’Cheyne, (sometimes spelled McCheyne) who lived from 1813-1843, prepared a plan for Bible reading to take readers through the New Testament and Psalms twice a year, and through the rest of the Bible once each year. There are approximately 4 chapters per day in this plan.
This year I am also switching from the New Revised Standard Version which I have used sinced 2006 and instead I want to use the English Standard Version. I want a more literal English translation and many of the people whose books I enjoy reading recommend the ESV.
So instead of Job this January it is Genesis, Matthew, Ezra, Nehemiah and Acts, but our culture's ever increasing hatred, yes hatred for God and the things of God reminds me of Job. Remember he was advised to curse God and die. That sounds post-modern to me.
Tuesday Lily asked me what I thought of the Psalm reading for that day, especially verse 5.
in Sheol who will give you praise?
I guess the people alive right now who hate God will get their wish, they will have no memory of God. I cannot think of anything worse.
Despite more and more people laughing at the thought of a sovereign God many continue to blame God for their circumstances, situations, and even the people who haunt their lives? Aren't our yesterday choices (as well as the choices of others) what bring us to where we are today?
Well, yes and no. We deceive ourselves if we think our best choices are enough. Do we really have control over our life or are our attempts to control others as well as ourselves nothing but wishful imaginations? Control is an easy concept, but slippery in application. It is a very short rope that cannot be depended on to lead us through a maze, help us cross a ravine or pull us from a pit. By all means we should always do our best, but our very best efforts are no guarantee of success.
Job is a good example of this. He demonstrates the 'devil did “NOT” make him do it.’ Despite pressure from his wife he did not curse God. Also, he did not get his questions answered. In the end we will most likely take our unanswered questions to the grave with us, but despite that we are still accountable and responsible. We may fail and we may die despite our best efforts, our best choices, and the best of attitudes. Why? Because regardless of what we may think, we are not in control of our life. If we do die, God promises we will not perish.
How we react or respond to life's circumstances, situations and people is a daily shaping and molding process, a process we "can" control, but the results are the Lord's. If we choose to respond in the mind of Christ, instead of reacting in the flesh, our submission to the process is our gift to the Lord.
(Ps 6:5) 5 For in death there is no remembrance of you;
Richard S. Adams | Lover of Christ, husband of Lily, father of four, grandfather of eleven, Masters in Divinity and Certificate in Spiritual Direction from George Fox Evangelical Seminary in 2008, on staff at Portland Seminary since 2009.Articles
The Continual Burnt Offering
By H.A. Ironside - 1941
January 11Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. ESV
The sabbath was given to Israel not only as a memorial of God’s creation-rest, but as a reminder of their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt in order that they might enjoy the rest of Canaan (Deuteronomy 5:12-15). In giving them one day out of every seven for physical rest and spiritual upbuilding, God had their needs in view. His sabbath was made for man. He designed it for His people’s blessing. It is a sad commentary on the perversity of the human heart that many of them saw in this gracious provision a restriction upon their liberty, against which they rebelled saying, “When will the New Moon be past.. .And the Sabbath?” (Amos 8:5), because of their desire to indulge in trade and the acquisition of wealth.
Deuteronomy 5:12–15 12 “ ‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. ESV
Amos 8:5 saying, “When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great and deal deceitfully with false balances, ESV
On the other hand, long before our Lord appeared on earth they had hedged the sabbath about with so many of their own rules and regulations that what God intended to be a joy and a delight had become a heavy burden and an oppression of their spirits.
Similarly do men treat the Christian day of rest and worship, which for intelligent believers has displaced the sabbath of the law. But how we should miss them were our Lord’s days taken from us and if we were forced to labor seven days a week with no respite for spiritual, cultural or physical upbuilding!
O day of rest and gladness, O day of joy and light,
O balm of care and sadness, Most beautiful, most bright,
On thee the high and lowly, Through ages joined in tune
Sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy!” To the great God Triune.
On thee at the creation, The light first had its birth;
On thee, for our salvation, Christ rose from depths of earth;
On thee our Lord victorious, The Spirit sent from heaven,
And thus on thee most glorious, A triple light was given.
--- C. Wordsworth
Devotionals, notes, poetry and more
Stop doing things that don’t work
1/11/2018 Bob Gass
‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.’
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. ESV
The story’s told of a couple who decided to go duck hunting together. They heard that they needed a good duck hunting dog, so they went to a kennel and got one. They heard that they needed a good shotgun, so they went to the store and bought one. Then they went hunting. At the end of the day they hadn’t got a single duck. The husband said to his wife, ‘Honey, we’ve got to be doing something wrong here.’ His wife replied, ‘Well, maybe if we throw the dog up a little higher he could catch a duck this time.’ When it comes to the Christian life, we try to accomplish things with tools that don’t work or don’t make sense. A dog is not the right weapon to get ducks – you need firepower to bring a duck down. Why did Paul write, ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom’? Because when the word of Christ dwells richly in your heart, you’re equipped with God’s wisdom. You can’t solve a problem by using the very elements that caused it. You need God’s wisdom, and it’s found in His Word. Less than 30 per cent of Christians read their Bible daily. Think about that: 70 per cent of Christians look for the answer in the wrong places. When you have a problem, the first thing you should ask is, ‘What does God’s Word say about this?’ ‘The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple’ (Psalm 119:130 NKJV). Instead of doing things that don’t work – turn to God’s Word.
01-11-2016 and 03-27-2021
Each morning I warm up the car after I put Lily’s bucket of towels in the trunk. I pray for her and ask God to bring her home safe to me. I know she is a blessing wherever she goes and I ask God that those she blesses might in turn bless her. This morning as I was praying it suddenly dropped into my spirit that she is an extension of God’s life, for me, and an expression of God’s love, for me, and extension of God’s power, in me, because God has used her to change me in so many ways. That is how we are all supposed to be to one another. Why did it take me so long to begin to understand this?
When someone fails to find meaning in their life, or the meaning they found turns out to be insufficient, they can experience an existential frustration or noögenic neurosis. It may appear to be a mental disease, but it is the result of attitude.
In logotherapy, finding the meaning of life is at the root of mental happiness. If someone does not find the meaning of their life, they can feel directionless, unfulfilled, and depressed. Similar symptoms manifest if someone decided on a meaning but it fails to motivate the person, such as if it is a cause in which they do not really believe, or if the person discovers that the cause is not what they originally thought it was. This lack of certainty in the foundation of a person can cause symptoms that might appear to be linked to a mental disease. A noögenic neurosis can result in deep depression, indecisiveness, or apathy, which may be confused for something with a neurological cause. However, a change of attitude may change the person's entire outlook and resolve the symptoms.
Reading this today (03-27-2021) my mornings are still pretty much the same except my prayers are longer and continue after Lily leaves for work. I'm still working on my web site and YouTube Channel, but I am walking in more gratefulness than I did back in 2016. Over the years God has gotten bigger and better as my understanding increases. More and more I realize how blessed I am and my prayer that Jesus will come soon has become more and more earnest. To die and have the angels come and take your spirit to the Lord would be great, but to meet Jesus in the air ... what could be better?!!! Come Lord Jesus, come.
by Bill Federer
He was the grandson of Princeton president Jonathan Edwards, whose preaching began the Great Awakening revival. He became the president of Yale, serving for twenty-two years. His name was Timothy Dwight, and he died this day, January 11, 1817. Finding many of Yale’s students enamored with French enlightenment, Timothy Dwight often visited with students on campus, logically answering questions of faith. By the end of his tenure, not only did the majority of the student body profess Christianity, but many became ministers. Timothy Dwight wrote: “Where there is no religion, there is no morality…. the ultimate foundation of… life, liberty and property is buried in ruins.”American Minute
Thomas R. Kelly
There was a natural attractiveness and love able ness about Thomas Kelly that drew students and colleagues to him. His rich humor, all remember. "He laughed with the rich hearty abandon of wind and sun upon the open prairie. I have never heard richer, heartier laughter than his. He delighted in earth's incongruities, all the more perhaps because he saw eternal things and the values that transcend the earth even the… publicans and sinners among the students respected and loved him; he said to all, with Walt Whitman, 'Not till the sun refuses you do I refuse you.' "
A daughter, Lois, was born early in 1928 and the Kelly family built themselves a new home which they gaily shared with their student friends. But by 1930, the burning urge to be on with the quest, to broaden horizons, to extend opportunities led to a decision to study philosophy at what was still regarded as the most distinguished center in the United States, at Harvard University. At great personal sacrifice and once again with the loyal encouragement of Lael Kelly, they gave up their new home, borrowed money and went to Cambridge, Massachusetts for the year. In 1931, he had an opportunity to fill a year's vacancy at Wellesley College while the professor of philosophy was on sabbatical leave. This meant opportunity for a further year of study at Harvard and he accepted it eagerly. He felt that his scholarship was getting the stimulus it had long lacked. At Wellesley in 1931-32 he not only taught the traditional courses and managed a seminar in Contemporary Realism, but supplemented the family income by preaching in a Congregational Church each Sunday at Fall River.
At Harvard the great event of the year was a course in directed reading under Professor A. N. Whitehead. It was in this reading that he conceived his first interest in the French philosopher, Emile Meyerson, upon whom he later wrote his only published book. He had taken a course in Cosmologies Ancient and Modern under Professor Whitehead the previous year and the turn of Professor Whitehead's thought grew on him and intrigued him. In June 1932, he wrote Professor A. L. Gillett, "I have begun to look in the direction of Whitehead for a richer analysis of the datum and find him tremendous." As Professor Whitehead talked, Thomas Kelly felt, as others have done, as though he were present at the day of creation and saw and shared in the whole drama, for there was no mistaking the fact that this great metaphysician possessed "a feeling of intimacy with the inside of the cosmos" to borrow a phrase of Justice Holmes. Professor Whitehead's child-fresh font of unusual and apt words that he minted to illuminate some experience also gripped Thomas Kelly and gave him new courage to allow himself great freedom in his own style of expression-a trait that is peculiarly striking in the devotional essays included in this volume.
Compilation by RickAdams7
There is a tendency to see divine intervention
in things that happen in the normal course of miracles.
--- Robert Brault
The truly powerful ideas
are precisely the ones
that never have to justify themselves.
--- Dallas Willard
In the holy flirtation with the world, God occasionally drops a handkerchief. These handkerchiefs are called saints.
--- Frederick Buechner
Peace is a deep disposition of the heart.
It is an ability to let go of the need to be right, an ability based on
the knowledge that our rightness or wrongness in any issue is
totally irrelevant to God’s love for us or for our neighbor.
--- Roberti Bondi
... from here, there and everywhere
by D.H. Stern
but fear ADONAI, and turn from evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and give strength to your bones.
9 Honor ADONAI with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your income.
10 Then your granaries will be filled
and your vats overflow with new wine.
Complete Jewish Bible : An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B'Rit Hadashah (New Testament)
|Book||Approximate Writing Date||Author|
|2. Genesis||1445–1405 B.C.||Moses|
|3. Exodus||1445–1405 B.C.||Moses|
|4. Leviticus||1445–1405 B.C.||Moses|
|5. Numbers||1445–1405 B.C.||Moses|
|6. Deuteronomy||1445–1405 B.C.||Moses|
|7. Psalms||1410–450 B.C.||Multiple Authors|
|8. Joshua||1405–1385 B.C.||Joshua|
|9. Judges||c. 1043 B.C.||Samuel|
|10. Ruth||c. 1030–1010 B.C.||Samuel (?)|
|11. Song of Solomon||971–965 B.C.||Solomon|
|12. Proverbs||971–686 B.C.||Solomon primarily|
|13. Ecclesiastes||940–931 B.C.||Solomon|
|14. 1 Samuel||931–722 B.C.||Anonymous|
|15. 2 Samuel||931–722 B.C.||Anonymous|
|16. Obadiah||850–840 B.C.||Obadiah|
|17. Joel||835–796 B.C.||Joel|
|18. Jonah||c. 760 B.C.||Jonah|
|19. Amos||c. 755 B.C.||Amos|
|20. Hosea||755–710 B.C.||Hosea|
|21. Micah||735–710 B.C.||Micah|
|22. Isaiah||700–681 B.C.||Isaiah|
|23. Nahum||c. 650 B.C.||Nahum|
|24. Zephaniah||635–625 B.C.||Zephaniah|
|25. Habakkuk||615–605 B.C.||Habakkuk|
|26. Ezekiel||590–570 B.C.||Ezekiel|
|27. Lamentations||586 B.C.||Jeremiah|
|28. Jeremiah||586–570 B.C.||Jeremiah|
|29. 1 Kings||561–538 B.C.||Anonymous|
|30. 2 Kings||561–538 B.C.||Anonymous|
|31. Daniel||536–530 B.C.||Daniel|
|32. Haggai||c. 520 B.C.||Haggai|
|33. Zechariah||480–470 B.C.||Zechariah|
|34. Ezra||457–444 B.C.||Ezra|
|35. 1 Chronicles||450–430 B.C.||Ezra (?)|
|36. 2 Chronicles||450–430 B.C.||Ezra (?)|
|37. Esther||450–331 B.C.||Anonymous|
|38. Malachi||433–424 B.C.||Malachi|
|39. Nehemiah||424–400 B.C.||Ezra|
A Daily Devotional by Oswald Chambers
My Utmost for His Highest
What my obedience to God costs other people
They laid hold upon one Simon, … and on him they laid the cross. --- Luke 23:26.
If we obey God it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the sting comes in. If we are in love with our Lord, obedience does not cost us anything, it is a delight, but it costs those who do not love Him a good deal. If we obey God it will mean that other people’s plans are upset, and they will gibe us with it — ‘You call this Christianity?’ We can prevent the suffering; but if we are going to obey God, we must not prevent it, we must let the cost be paid.
Our human pride entrenches itself on this point, and we say — ‘I will never accept anything from anyone.’ We shall have to, or disobey God. We have no right to expect to be in any other relation than our Lord Himself was in (see Luke 8:2–3).
Stagnation in spiritual life comes when we say we will bear the whole thing ourselves. We cannot. We are so involved in the universal purposes of God that immediately we obey God, others are affected. Are we going to remain loyal in our obedience to God and go through the humiliation of refusing to be independent, or are we going to take the other line and say — ‘I will not cost other people suffering’? We can disobey God if we choose, and it will bring immediate relief to the situation, but we shall be a grief to our Lord. Whereas if we obey God, He will look after those who have been pressed into the consequences of our obedience. We have simply to obey and to leave all consequences with Him.
Beware of the inclination to dictate to God as to what you will allow to happen if you obey Him.
the Poetry of R.S. Thomas
I have come to the borders
of the understanding. Instruct
me, God, whether to press
onward or to draw hack.
To say I am a child
is a pretence at humility
that is unworthy of me.
Rather am I at one with those
minds, all of whose instruments
are beside the point of
their sharpness. I need a technique
other than that of physics
for registering the ubiquity
of your presence. A myriad prayers
are addressed to you in a thousand
languages and you decode
them all. Liberty for you
is freedom from our too human
senses, yet we die
when they nod. Call your horizons
in. Suffer the domestication
for a moment of the ferocities
you inhabit, a garden for us to refine
our ignorance in under the boughs of love.
Give thanks in all circumstances. --- 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
How may the habit of thankfulness be formed and maintained? (Sermons and Addresses)
If you wish to establish the habit of doing a certain thing, take pains to do that thing on every possible occasion and avoid everything inconsistent with it. If you wish to form the habit of thankfulness, just begin by being thankful—not next year but tonight; not for some great event or experience but for whatever has just occurred, whatever has been pleasant and, yes, for whatever has been painful. Find some special occasion for thanksgiving this very night. And then go on searching for material for gratitude and continuing to be thankful hour by hour, day by day. Thus the habit will be formed by a very law of human nature.
But remember that good habits cannot be maintained without attention. They require self-control, self-constraint. Isn’t the habit of thankfulness worth taking pains to maintain? I once dined with Ole Bull, the celebrated violinist, and found him a man of generous soul, full of noble impulses and enthusiasm, rich with the experience of travel. And I was interested in a remark of his: “When I stop practicing one day, I see the difference; when I stop two days, my friends see the difference; when I stop a week, everybody sees the difference.” Here was a man who by lifelong labor had cultivated a wonderful natural gift until he was probably the foremost of his time, and yet he could not afford to stop practicing for a single week or even for a single day. “They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever” (1 Cor. 9:25). Shall we shrink from vigilance and effort to keep up the habit of thankfulness to God?
Thankfulness helps to allay anxiety. Notice what the apostle says to the Philippians: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God… will guard your hearts and your minds” (Phil. 4:6–7). Notice that we are to prevent anxiety by prayer as to the future with thanksgiving for the past.
Thankfulness cannot fail to deepen penitence. “God’s kindness leads you toward repentance” (Rom. 2:4). When we are in the habit of thankfully recalling the kindnesses and mercies of our heavenly Father, we perceive more clearly and lament more earnestly the evil of sin against him, and what is more, this will strengthen us to turn from our sins to his blessed service.
Thankfulness brightens hope. “I love to think on mercies past, And future good implore.” If we have been accustomed to set up milestones of God’s mercy on the path of life, then every glance backward will help us to look forward with more of humble hope.
Thankfulness strengthens for endurance and exertion. We all know how much more easily and effectively those work who work cheerfully, and the very nutriment of cheerfulness is found in thankfulness as to the past and hope as to the future.
--- John A. Broadus
Scandal of the Century
American Christianity suffered from clergy scandals long before the televangelist disgraces of the 1980s. The most popular pastor of his time, Henry Ward Beecher, created “the scandal of the century” in 1870, and to this day no one knows the full story.
Beecher, pastor of Brooklyn’s Plymouth Church, was a witty, dynamic, larger-than-life political activist, promoting heartfelt causes like racial equality and woman suffrage. Though theologically liberal, he became the best known preacher in America.
But his speaking engagements and church duties kept him away from home, and he grew distant from his wife, Eunice. Beecher was an imposing man with broad shoulders, flowing hair, and grayish-blue eyes full of expression. He exuded vitality and charm, especially with women. Rumors began surfacing about his involvements, and when Elizabeth Tilton came into his life the rumors rose to the surface like gaseous bubbles.
“Libby’s” husband, journalist Theodore Tilton, traveled widely, and she was lonely. She approached Beecher for counseling and soon became his closest confidante. In 1870 Libby confessed that she and Beecher had become intimate. Beecher denied all but kissing Libby and giving her emotional support, and the situation simmered for years.
It burst on the public on January 11, 1875, when Tilton sued Beecher for alienating his wife’s affections. Eunice stood by her husband, but she aged instantly, her hair turning white. The trial dragged on, becoming the talk of the nation. In the end the jury was deadlocked. While Beecher’s supporters gave him the benefit of the doubt, the New York Times spoke for most when it editorialized on July 3, 1875: “Sensible men throughout the country will in their hearts be compelled to acknowledge that Mr. Beecher’s management of his private affairs has been entirely unworthy of his name, position, and sacred calling.”
Beecher himself admitted as much to attorneys who once apologized for disturbing him on Sunday. “We have it on good authority,” he said, “that it is lawful to pull an ass out of the pit on the Sabbath. Well, there never was a bigger ass, or a deeper pit.”
Anyone who desires to be a church official wants to be something worthwhile. That’s why officials must have a good reputation and be faithful in marriage. They must be self-controlled, sensible, well-behaved, friendly to strangers, and able to teach.
--- 1 Timothy 3:1-2.
Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON
Morning - January 11
“These have no root." --- Luke 8:13.
My soul, examine thyself this morning by the light of this text. Thou hast received the word with joy; thy feelings have been stirred and a lively impression has been made; but, remember, that to receive the word in the ear is one thing, and to receive Jesus into thy very soul is quite another; superficial feeling is often joined to inward hardness of heart, and a lively impression of the word is not always a lasting one. In the parable, the seed in one case fell upon ground having a rocky bottom, covered over with a thin layer of earth; when the seed began to take root, its downward growth was hindered by the hard stone and therefore it spent its strength in pushing its green shoot aloft as high as it could, but having no inward moisture derived from root nourishment, it withered away. Is this my case? Have I been making a fair show in the flesh without having a corresponding inner life? Good growth takes place upwards and downwards at the same time. Am I rooted in sincere fidelity and love to Jesus? If my heart remains unsoftened and unfertilized by grace, the good seed may germinate for a season, but it must ultimately wither, for it cannot flourish on a rocky, unbroken, unsanctified heart. Let me dread a godliness as rapid in growth and as wanting in endurance as Jonah’s gourd; let me count the cost of being a follower of Jesus, above all let me feel the energy of his Holy Spirit, and then I shall possess an abiding and enduring seed in my soul. If my mind remains as obdurate as it was by nature, the sun of trial will scorch, and my hard heart will help to cast the heat the more terribly upon the ill-covered seed, and my religion will soon die, and my despair will be terrible; therefore, O heavenly Sower, plough me first, and then cast the truth into me, and let me yield thee a bounteous harvest.
Evening - January 11
“I have prayed for thee.” --- Luke 22:32.
How encouraging is the thought of the Redeemer’s never- ceasing intercession for us. When we pray, he pleads for us; and when we are not praying, he is advocating our cause, and by his supplications shielding us from unseen dangers. Notice the word of comfort addressed to Peter—“Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat; but”—what? “But go and pray for yourself.” That would be good advice, but it is not so written. Neither does he say, “But I will keep you watchful, and so you shall be preserved.” That were a great blessing. No, it is, “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” We little know what we owe to our Saviour’s prayers. When we reach the hill-tops of heaven, and look back upon all the way whereby the Lord our God hath led us, how we shall praise him who, before the eternal throne, undid the mischief which Satan was doing upon earth. How shall we thank him because he never held his peace, but day and night pointed to the wounds upon his hands, and carried our names upon his breastplate! Even before Satan had begun to tempt, Jesus had forestalled him and entered a plea in heaven. Mercy outruns malice. Mark, he does not say, “Satan hath desired to have you.” He checks Satan even in his very desire, and nips it in the bud. He does not say, “But I have desired to pray for you.” No, but “I have prayed for you: I have done it already; I have gone to court and entered a counterplea even before an accusation is made.” O Jesus, what a comfort it is that thou hast pleaded our cause against our unseen enemies; countermined their mines, and unmasked their ambushes. Here is a matter for joy, gratitude, hope, and confidence.
DAY BY DAY
Lina Sandell Berg, 1832–1903 Translated by Andrew L. Skoog, 1856–1934
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
It is a common tendency for people to look ahead. They wonder—what will happen next? That’s why the pseudo science of astrology is booming today as never before. Because we are apprehensive of the future, wondering when some health problem or perhaps a financial difficulty will surprise us, we long for a reassuring word of comfort.
“Day by Day” was written by a young Swedish woman who learned early in life the all-important lesson of living each day with the conscious presence and strength of her Lord. Lina Sandell has often been called the “Fanny Crosby of Sweden” for her many contributions to Gospel hymnody. From her pen flowed approximately 650 hymns which strongly influenced the waves of revival that swept the Scandinavian countries during the latter half of the 19th century.
At the age of 26 Lina had an experience that greatly influenced her life. She was accompanying her father aboard ship to the city of Gothenburg, Sweden, across Lake Vattern. The ship gave a sudden lurch and Lina’s father, a devout Lutheran minister, fell overboard and drowned before the eyes of his devoted daughter. Although Lina had written many hymn texts prior to this tragic experience, now more than ever poetic thoughts that expressed a tender, child-like trust in her Lord began to flow freely from her broken heart.
Day by day and with each passing moment, strength I find to meet my trials here; trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment, I’ve no cause for worry or for fear. He whose heart is kind beyond all measure gives unto each day what He deems best—lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure, mingling toil with peace and rest.
Ev’ry day the Lord Himself is near me with a special mercy for each hour; all my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me, He whose name is Counsellor and Pow’r. The protection of His child and treasure is a charge that on Himself He laid: “As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,” this the pledge to me He made.
For Today: Deuteronomy 33:25; Psalm 55:22; Isaiah 14:3; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Hebrews 4:16.
Practice the kind of deep and peaceful trust that Lina Sandell has expressed in this hymn. Focus only on the challenges and difficulties of today and trust the Lord for tomorrow. Sing this message as you go ---
Brett Meador | Athey Creek
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