Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Sweating Blood

Did Jesus really perspire drops of blood?

And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. -Luke 22:44

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Ahab

Ahab was the seventh king of Israel since Jeroboam I, the son and successor of Omri, and the husband of Jezebel of Sidon, according to the Hebrew Scriptures. The Hebrew Bible presents Ahab as a wicked king. He is criticised for following the ways of his wife Jezebel, killing his subject Naboth, and leading the nation of Israel into idolatry.

The existence of Ahab is historically supported outside of the Bible. Shalmaneser III documented 853 BC that he defeated an alliance of a dozen kings in the Battle of Qarqar; one of these was Ahab.

Ahab became king of Israel in the thirty-eighth year of Asa, king of Judah, and reigned for twenty-two years, according to 1 Kings. William F. Albright dated his reign to 869–850 BC, while E. R. Thiele offered the dates 874–853 BC. Most recently, Michael D. Coogan has dated Ahab's reign to 871–852 BC.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Cain and Abel

Genesis 4:1-16

1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.

2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.

4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

6 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?

10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.

11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;

12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

13 And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.

15 And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

16 And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Amos

Amos wrote the book of Amos.

The prophet Amos lived among a group of shepherds in Tekoa, a small town approximately ten miles south of Jerusalem. Amos made clear in his writings that he did not come from a family of prophets, nor did he even consider himself one. Rather, he was “a grower of sycamore figs” as well as a shepherd (Amos 7:14–15). Amos’s connection to the simple life of the people made its way into the center of his prophecies, as he showed a heart for the oppressed and the voiceless in the world.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Deuteronomy

Name. The name comes from the Greek word which means a second or repeated law. It contains the last words of Moses which were likely delivered during the last seven days of his life. It is not a mere repetition of the law, but rather an application of the law in view of the new conditions Israel would meet in Canaan, and because of their former disobedience. Purpose. To lead Israel to obedience and to warn them against disobedience. The spirit and aim of the law is explained in such a way as to present both encouragement and warning.

Contents. It consists of three addresses of Moses, given on the plains of Moab at the close of the wilderness wanderings of Israel, in which he gives large sections of the law formerly given, together with additions necessary to meet the new conditions. There is also the appointment of Joshua as Moses' successor and the farewell song of blessing of Moses and the record of his death.

Style. The style is warmer and more oratorical than that of former books. Its tone is more spiritual and ethical and its appeal is "to know God," "love God" and "obey God."

Occasion and Necessity of the Book. (1) A crisis had come in the life of Israel. The life of the people was to be changed from that of wandering in the wilderness to that of residence in cities and villages and from dependence upon heavenly manna to the cultivation of the fields. Peace and righteousness would depend upon a strict observance of the laws. (2) A new religion of Canaan against which they must be put on guard. The most seductive forms of idolatry would be met everywhere and there would be great danger of yielding to it.

The Key-Word. "Thou shalt," so often repeated as, "thou shall," and "shalt not." The key-verses are 11:26-28.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Solomon's Dream from God

1 Kings 3:5-15

5 In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.

6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

7 And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.

8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.

9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.

11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;

12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.

14 And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.

15 And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Blessing of Holiness and Blameless

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: -Ephesians 1:4
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