Context: King Nebudhadnezzar had a dream. God showed Daniel the dream and its interpretation (he would lose his senses for a time, roam the earth like an animal, and lose reign of his kingdom). It came to pass.
"All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” While the words were still in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar.…
A continuing theme throughout the Old Testament (the book of Ezekiel being no exception) can be summed up in the following verse: "...I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it." Ezekiel 17:24
God is faithful and He keeps his promises.
"I have become the laughingstock of all peoples, the object of their taunts all day long. He has filled me with bitterness; he has sated me with wormwood. He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes; my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, 'My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the LORD.' Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him. The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.
Context: God has just announced judgment on Israel--saying that He will give them over to the Chaldeans and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, who will capture them.
"Now therefore thus says he LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city of which you say, 'It is given into the hand of the kind of Babylon by sword, by famine, and by psetilence': Behold, I will gather them from all the countries to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation. I will bring them back to this place, and I will make them dwell in safety. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in …
One of the many glimpses of Jesus in the Old Testament:
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon this shoulder and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of the peace there will e no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this." Isaiah 9:6-7
A couple weeks ago, my friend Kim and I spent the week in Lafayette, Indiana at the Biblical Counseling Conference sponsored by Faith Church.
Kim and I are in the process of certification as biblical counselors. We have (1) taken the basic training course for biblical counselors ("Track 1"), (2) read 1,000 pages from required theology texts (3) viewed at least 10 hours of biblical counseling with an ACBC (Association of Certified Biblical Counselors) certified counselor either via live sessions or via video, and now we are in the process of (4) writing our exam papers, which involves answering 24 theology questions (such as: "What does it mean that the Bible is inspired?", "Who and What is man?", "Why did Christ die?" "What is the church?", etc.) and 28 biblical counseling questions (such as "What are the goals of biblical counseling?", "What is data gathering and why is it important?", "Develop a biblical view…
"The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's." Song of Solomon 1:1
Finding it difficult to quote just a section of Song of Solomon and keep the context intact, I will simply quote verse 1 and leave you with John MacArthur's description of this particular book (which I think sums it up quite nicely).
"Song of Solomon should be taken at face value and interpreted in the normal historical sense, understanding the frequent use of poetic imagery to depict reality. To do so understands that Solomon recounts 1) his own days of courtship, 2) the early days of his first marriage, followed by 3) the maturing of this royal couple through the good and bad days of life. The Song of Solomon expands on the ancient marriage instructions of Genesis 2:24 ("Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."), thus providing spiritual music for a lifetime of marital harmony. It is given by God to demonstrate His i…
"The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil." Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
Comment: Proverbs is commonly refered to as "The Book of Wisdom". As I read through it and I notice God instructing men, women, and children, I'm always struck by the fact that when God addresses potential stumbling blocks and pitfalls for men it's in the area of sexual sin and when He addresses pitfalls for women it involves our tongue and speech, specifically the area of "nagging" (often addressing the contentious woman).
The all knowing, all powerful, almighty God of the universe who knows us because he created us both male and female saw it important to point out that women have a tendency to wear down men with their speech. Hmmm, must be something to it, then ...
"A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife's quarreling is a continued dripping of rain." Proverbs 19:13
"It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife." Proverbs 21:9
For those of you who may be new to the blog, a couple weeks ago I posted the following information:
"In keeping with our church theme this year of "Diligence" our pastor has challenged the congregation to read all 66 books of the Bible in 66 days. That would be a book a day. I said, "I take that challenge." It starts February 1 and goes through April 7. Though February-April is chock full of events I've already committed myself to participating in and/or completing, I didn't want to miss this opportunity to be in God's Word in a specific way for a specific time with God's people.
I thought as long as I am doing the reading, I might as well post about it too. My plan is to post a few verses a day from each book and perhaps a few of my own thoughts about the experience along the way.
Feel free to read along with me if you'd like."
Today, I thought I'd post a follow up on "66 in 66". If you've been a frequent flyer on the …
"Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation. Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them. Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever. He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful. He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever. He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations. The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy; they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness. He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name! The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!" Psalm 11…
Context: Job had just lost everything and all his children in the span of a day. Job responds.
"Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.' In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong." Job 1:20-22
Context: After Job lost everything he owned and all his children, he was also afflicted physically with boils all over this body. As he lay in pain, he started to question God and the condition of his present circumstances, as he was sure (and he was right) that he had not sinned against God. God responds.
"Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: 'Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. Will you even put me in the wrong?
Will you condemn me that you may be in the right? Have you an arm like God,
Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Emily, Ethan, Carissa, and Alli. Tonight we made chocolate mint cookies.
This was our first attempt at sifting dry ingredients. They took to it quite nicely.
In the above photo, I was attempting to take a picture of the cookie sheet, but slowly three heads emerged into the shot (life just hasn't been the same since the idea of "photo bombing" came on the scene).
The finished product (quite tasty).
In our living room, we have four very comfortable chairs and then it's folding chairs. Carissa has figured out how to make the "leftover seating" as comfortable as the choice seating (and she has trained Alli in on the procedure). It started out with one chair, then one chair to sit in and one chair for her feet. Now it is a chair to sit in, one for her feet, and a blanket for warmth (what's next, I ask, a mini refrigerator and foot massages?)
Tonight we continued reading from Sammy and His Shephe…
Context: Mordecai sent word to Esther that there was a plot to destroy all the Jews (of which Esther was one) and that the king had approved it. Esther sent word to Mordecai that she could not go before the king unless she was summoned and if she did so and was not accepted by the king, she would be put to death. Mordecai replied in the following verses:
"For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?' Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, "Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.' Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him." Esther 4…
Context: Nehemiah heard that the wall of Jerusalem was broken down and its gates were destroyed and he prayed the following prayer:
'As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. And I said, 'O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father's house have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses. Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, 'If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples, but if you r…
Context: After the temple of God was built, Solomon prayed to God.
"Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who with his hand has fulfilled what he promised with his mouth to David my father, saying, 'Since the day that I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house, that my name might be there, and I chose no man as prince over my people Israel; but I have chosen Jerusalem that my name may be there, and I have chosen David to be over my people Israel.' Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house of the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. But the LORD said to David my father, 'Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that is was in your heart. Nevertheless, it is not you who shall build the house, but your son who shall be born to you shall build the house for my name.' Now the LORD has fulfilled his promise that he made. For I have risen in the …
Context: After finding out that he would not be the one to build the temple of the LORD but it would be his son, Solomon, David prayed this prayer:
There is none like you, O LORD, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. And who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God went to redeem to be his people, making for yourself a name for great and awesome things, in driving out nations before your people whom you redeemed from Egypt: And you made your people Israel to be your people forever, and you, O LORD, let the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house be established forever, and do as you have spoken, and your name will be established and magnified forever, saying, 'The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, is Israel's God,' and the house of your servant David will be established before you. For you, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him. Therefore…
Context: King Sennacherib of Assyria sent word to king Hezekiah that he would destroy Judah as he had many other cities and people, and that his God would not be able to save him as their gods were not able to save them. He urged that Hezekiah surrender to him.
"And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD and said: 'O LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. Incline your ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God, Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. So now, O LORD our God, save us, please, from his hand, that ll the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O LORD, are God alone." 2 Kings 19:15-19
"When David's time to die drew near, he commanded Solomon his on, saying, 'I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn, that the LORD may establish his word that he spoke concerning me, saying, 'If your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne in Israel." 1 Kings 2:1-4
The book of 1 Kings (and 2 Kings) goes on to report a few kings who "did what was right in the eyes of the LORD as David his father had done" and a long line of kings who "did evil in the sight of the LORD."
Context: David had sinned against God by committing adultery with Bathsheba and then, when finding out that Bathsheba was pregnant, he attempted to cover his sin by having her husband killed. Nathan the prophet was then sent by God to David. (Additional back information: David's background before becoming the king is that of a shepherd).
"And the LORD sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, 'There were tow men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was a like a daughter to him. Now there cam a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or her to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man's lamb and prepared it for the man…
Context: David is speaking to Goliath (from the Philistine army) who has spent days taunting the armies of Israel with his words and demanding that a soldier come out and fight him.
"Then David said to the Philistine, 'You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand ... that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword or spear. For the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you into our hand." 1 Samuel 17:45-47
Context: Naomi's daughter-in-law, Ruth (widow to Naomi's son), followed her from her homeland to a strange land. There, she married Boaz and gave birth to a son.
"Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him. Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name saying, 'A son has been born to Naomi.' They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David." Ruth 4:14-17 (ESV)
Context: This takes place shortly afte rthe death of Moses. Joshua is preparing to lead the children of Israel into the land promised to them by God after spending 40 years in the wilderness. God is speaking to Joshua in this passage of Scripture.
"Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to the all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be…
Context: Shortly after Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt (after 400 years of slavery in Egypt) with Pharaoh and his men in hot pursuit behind them:
"When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the LORD. They said to Moses, 'Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: 'Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians?' For it would have been better for us to serve than to die in the wilderness.' And Moses said to the people, 'Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent." Exodus 14:10-14
Context: Though Joseph had forgiven his brothers for evil they had done against him in his youth, once their father died, the brothers feared Joseph would take vengeance on them, and they concocted a story (lie) to protect themselves.
"When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, 'It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.' So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, 'Your father gave this command before he died: 'Say to Joseph, 'Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.' And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.' Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also fell down before him and said, 'Behold, we are you servants.' but Joseph said to them, 'Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about th…
A couple weeks ago, in keeping with our church theme this year of "Diligence" our pastor challenged the congregation to read all 66 books of the Bible in 66 days. That would be a book a day. I said, "I take that challenge." It starts February 1 (today) and goes through April 7. Though February is chock full of events I've already committed myself to participating in and/or completing, I didn't want to miss this opportunity to be in God's Word in a specific way for a specific time with God's people.
Shortly after our pastor presented this challenge to our church the Desiring God website posted this article about reading whole books of the Bible in one sitting. It even breaks down the timeline a bit, so I thought I would present it here for those who are interested.
I thought as long as I am doing the reading, I might as well post about it too. My plan is to post a few verses a day from each book and perhaps a few of my own thoughts about the experie…