From Jim McGuiggan... Let's be done with smugness

Let's be done with smugness

I want to propose that a richer and more wide-eyed understanding of the horrible nature of sin is a profound moral advantage in the fight against sin.

And I wish to say that to know this should lead believers to bury their smugness and take more note of texts like
1 Peter 1:14-17 and Titus 3:1-7.

The piece will be repetitive, so some of the few that visit this web-site will find it a bit tedious. Still, maybe the patience to work through it will be worth the effort. [Having read the piece I know it isn’t very well laid out, but...]

It wears on me a bit to hear people treat all sinners alike and to hear them insist that all sins are of the same character. I do accept—and would insist—that all sin is damnable and if God in his generous grace in Jesus Christ did not deal with it none of us could bear his holy presence or gain life. But it’s silly—almost criminal—for believers to brand all sins as equally wicked when the Bible and sanctified common sense teach otherwise. (By "sanctified common sense" I mean common sense put to a holy use.)

I suppose it’s true that the more horrible we think a sin to be the more we will struggle against it. Would you say so? It’s certainly how we act at the individual and societal level. Comparatively speaking, not many of us will break into a house to steal but a vast number of us will cheat on income tax returns. Not many ladies will in fact murder their husbands but a great number of them will be guilty of gossip. I see that exceptional circumstances enter into the discussion at some point but in general terms that embrace the vast majority of us I’m sure that if we see a particular sin as horrific we avoid it or struggle bravely to avoid it. The motives may be mixed (prudence, the fear of being discovered, the ramifications for those we love, and such) but I’m fairly sure we’d all agree that the worse we feel the sin to be the more fervently we’d want to avoid it. The narrative about Joseph and Mrs Potiphar in Genesis 39:6-9, I think, illustrates motivation. None of this seems controversial to me so I’m going to take it as true

Let’s take a further step. If we truly think Sin is an abomination we’d be more set against it and even when in specific instances we sin with distressing regularity we would still be utterly opposed to it and bravely fight the good fight. If we don’t think it to be very bad then we’re lacking a weapon with which to fight it. A child raised in a morally careful and healthy home clearly has a moral advantage over a child raised in and shaped by a vicious ghetto environment. The difference is real! This too appears to be non-controversial.

I recognise that we might tend to commit a particular wrong rather than another because this one is easier to commit than the other is. It might also be easier to hide than the other so that fear of discovery and perhaps punishment of some kind would not hinder us as much. I’m thinking that it would be easier to lie about the amount of "sundry expenses" on an income tax return than it would be to work up the courage to suffocate an abusive husband. But that’s not the sort of thing I’m talking about at this precise moment though it will enter a bit later. No, at this moment I’m talking about how we view the wrong. If I see the wrong as horrible (rather than, say, of little consequence or even as maybe justifiable)—if I see it as horrible my attitude toward it and vision of it will come to my aid in avoiding it. This would be true even of a sin that could easily be hidden. The fact that it can easily be hidden might encourage me to do it but the fact that for one reason or another I think it to be monstrous would discourage me from doing it. I would have thought this to be plain truth that anyone who gave it a moment’s thought would say yes to.

You understand I’m not saying that if we all thought this sin or that was horrible that we would never do it because it’s demonstrably true that we all do things that we feel the horror of. Sadly it’s a common experience to come across people who have been caught in a great wrong and see them filled with shame and incapable of explaining why they would have done such a thing because they don’t understand why they did it. (I’ve so sinned myself.)

No, I simply want to make the point that sensing the grievous nature of sin gives us another tool with which to oppose the sin. It might not keep us from it in all cases but we are better prepared to make a fight of it than if we weren’t aware of the staggering nature of the evil. In general terms, we’d probably find it more difficult to keep the money we were overpaid for a job if it came from a poor widow rather than if it came from a thriving big industry. We’d probably think you’d have to be the lowest form of person to do the first and we’d probably say it serves the big company right for being stupid. We’re not being paid to be their accountants, don't you see.

So where has all the above been going? I’m proposing that a richer and more wide-eyed understanding of the horrible nature of sin is a moral advantage even if we don’t make use of it. I’m saying that those of us who have been privileged with light in which to walk have been given a stupendous moral advantage over those raised in moral gloom. The light is both a weapon and an inspiration. The light that exposes the loathsome nature of sin is geared to enlist our emotions and will against it and our failure to use that advantage is serious! In light of what many of us have been blessed with, Jesus’ question "what do you do more than others?" is of chilling consequence. See Matthew 5:46-48. Peter was certain that for some people it would be better if they had never known the way of righteousness. See 2 Peter 2:21. We are all equally sinners (Romans 3:23) but there are sins that are greater than others (see John 19:11, Ezekiel 16:47, 51 and elsewhere).

Sin against soft but bright light is greater than sin committed where the light has not reached. It is more than a question of knowledge. To know and to experience the love of God is a profound moral blessing that multiplied millions have not known. For the richly blessed to feel superior is smugness hardly forgivable. It’s obscene to stand safe on the shore shouting scorn while poor souls are going down in the storm of moral pollution. To be well armoured and to compare ourselves favourably with the moral weaklings whose defences have been eroded by society is pathetic. It would be like a man who is able to see despising a blind man because he is blind.

I’m ashamed of our smugness.

by Taylor Richardson ... Seeing is Believing: The Design of the Human Eye


Seeing is Believing: The Design of the Human Eye

by  Taylor Richardson

If one of your friends asked you, “How do you know God exists?,” what would you say? There are many different ways to prove God’s existence, because God has given us so much evidence. Sometimes we find that evidence in things we see in the Universe, for example, the Sun. The Sun is like a giant nuclear engine. It gives off more energy in a single second than mankind has produced since the Creation. It converts 8 million tons of matter into energy every single second, and has an interior temperature of more than 20 million degrees Celsius (see Lawton, 1981). Sometimes we find evidence in the animal kingdom. Take the golden orb spider for instance. Pound for pound, the dragline silk of this spider is five times stronger than steel, and is twice as strong as the material that currently makes up SWAT teams’ bulletproof vests. In fact, due to its amazing strength and elasticity, it has been said that you could trap a jumbo jet with spider silk that is the thickness of a pencil.
And sometimes the evidence for God’s existence can even be found within our own bodies. The writer of the book of Hebrews spoke about this evidence when he said: “For every house is built by someone, but he who built all things is God” (3:4).
One of the best examples of design within the human body is the eye. Even Charles Darwin struggled with the problem of how to explain how such a complex organ as the eye could have “evolved” through naturalistic processes. In The Origin of Species he wrote:
To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest sense (1859, p. 170, emp. added).
But even though Darwin acknowledged that the eye could not have evolved, he went on to argue that it had, in fact, been produced by natural selection through an evolutionary process. It seems almost as though Darwin could not seem to make up his mind on the matter. But he is not the only one who has struggled to explain, from a naturalistic viewpoint, the intricacy of the eye. Evolutionist Robert Jastrow once wrote:
The eye is a marvelous instrument, resembling a telescope of the highest quality, with a lens, an adjustable focus, a variable diaphragm for controlling the amount of light, and optical corrections for spherical and chromatic aberration. The eye appears to have been designed; no designer of telescopes could have done better. How could this marvelous instrument have evolved by chance, through a succession of random events? (1981, pp. 96-97, emp. added).
How indeed? Though Dr. Jastrow argued that “the fact of evolution is not in doubt,” he confessed that “…there seems to be no direct proof that evolution can work these miracles.… It is hard to accept the evolution of the eye as a product of chance” (1981, pp. 101,97,98, emp. added). Considering the extreme complexity of the eye, it is easy to understand why Jastrow would make such a comment. In his book, Does God Believe in Atheists?, John Blanchard described just how complex the eye really is.
The human eye is a truly amazing phenomenon. Although accounting for just one fourth-thousandth of an adult’s weight, it is the medium which processes some 80% of the information received by its owner from the outside world. The tiny retina contains about 130 million rod-shaped cells, which detect light intensity and transmit impulses to the visual cortex of the brain by means of some one million nerve fibres, while nearly six million cone-shaped cells do the same job, but respond specifically to colour variation. The eyes can handle 500,00 messages simultaneously, and are kept clear by ducts producing just the right amount of fluid with which the lids clean both eyes simultaneously in one five-thousandth of a second (2000, p. 313).
Statements like this proves that the eye was so well designed, and so complicated, that it could not have happened by accident, as evolution teaches.


The anatomy of the eye was first examined and recorded at Alexandria, Egypt, in the first century A.D. An anatomist, Rufus of Ephesus, described the main parts of the eye, which included the dome-like cornea at the front, the colored iris, the lens, and the vitreous humor (which gives the eye its shiny look). Today, thanks to microscopes, we now know that these, along with many other parts of the eye, work in harmony to produce the gift of sight.
Diagram of the Human Eye
The outer white layer of the eye is called the sclera, more commonly known as the “white of the eye.” This layer is an extremely durable, fibrous tissue that extends from the cornea (the clear front section of the eye) to the optic nerve (at the back of the eye). Six tiny muscles (known as the extraocular muscles, or EOMs) connect to the sclera around the eye and control the eye’s movements. Four of the muscles (known as the rectus muscles) control the horizontal and vertical movement, while two (the oblique muscles) control the rotation. All six muscles work together so that the eye moves smoothly.
The inside of the eye can be divided functionally into two distinct parts. The first is the physical “dioptric” mechanism (from the Greek word dioptra, meaning something through which one looks), which handles incoming light. This includes the cornea, iris, and lens. The cornea is the transparent, dome-shaped window (about eleven millimeters in diameter) that covers the front of the eye. Its most important function is to protect the delicate components of the eye against damage by foreign bodies. Thus, the cornea acts like a watch face, in that it lets us look through the “window” of our eye while protecting the internal components from debris and harmful chemicals. The cornea also takes care of most of the refraction (the ability of the eye to change the direction of light in order to focus it on the retina) and works with the lens to help focus items seen at varying distances as it changes its curvature. The iris and the pupil work together to let in just the right amount of light. There are two opposing sets of muscles that regulate the size of the aperture (the opening, or the pupil) according to the brightness or dimness of the incoming light. If the light is bright, the iris constricts, allowing little light to pass; but if it is dark, the iris dilates or expands, allowing more light to pass through. The light (or image) then moves through a lens that has the ability to adjust its shape to help it clarify the image by changing the focal length of the lens between 40.4 and 69.9 millimeters where it is then focused (in an inverted form) on to the retina.
Between the lens and the retina is a transparent substance (the vitreous fluid) that fills the center of the eye. This substance is important because it not only gives the eye its spherical shape, but also provides nutrition for the retinal vessels inside the eye. In children, the vitreous feels like a gel, but as we age, it gradually thins and becomes more of a liquid.
The second is the receptor area of the retina where the light triggers processes in the nerve cells. The retina plays a key role in visual perception. In his book, The Wonder of Man, Werner Gitt explains how the retina is a masterpiece of engineering design.
One single square millimetre of the retina contains approximately 400,000 optical sensors. To get some idea of such a large number, imagine a sphere, on the surface of which circles are drawn, the size of tennis balls. These circles are separated from each other by the same distance as their diameter. In order to accommodate 400,000 such circles, the sphere must have a diameter of 52 metres... (1999, p. 15).
Alan L. Gillen also praised the design of the retina in his book, Body by Design.
The most amazing component of the eye is the “film,” which is the retina. This light-sensitive layer at the back of the eyeball is thinner than a sheet of plastic wrap and is more sensitive to light than any man-made film. The best camera film can handle a ratio of 1000-to-1 photons in terms of light intensity. By comparison, human retinal cells can handle a ratio of 10 billion-to-1 over the dynamic range of light wavelengths of 380 to 750 nanometers. The human eye can sense as little as a single photon of light in the dark! In bright daylight, the retina can bleach out, turning its “volume control” way down so as not to overload. The light-sensitive cells of the retina are like an extremely complex high-gain amplifier that is able to magnify sounds more than one million times (2001, pp. 97-98, emp. added).
Without a doubt, this thin (only 0.2 mm) layer of nerve tissue is a marvel of engineering. It contains photoreceptor (light-sensitive) cells and four types of nerve cells, as well as structural cells and epithelial pigment cells. The two kinds of photoreceptor cells are referred to as rods and cones because of their shape. Each eye has about 130 million rods and 7 million cones. The rods are very sensitive to light (whether it is bright or dim), and allow the eye to see in black and white. Cones, on the other hand, are not as sensitive as rods, and function only optimally in daylight. There are three different types of cones—red light, green light, and blue light—each of which is sensitive to its respective color of light, and which allow the eye to see in full color. The rods and cones convert the different lights into chemical signals, which then travel along the optic nerve to the brain.
Not only are the images produced by the dioptric mechanism miniaturized and upside-down, but it turns out that they also are left-right inverted. The optic nerves from both eyes split up and cross each other in such a way that the left halves of the images of both eyes are received by the right hemisphere of the brain, while the right halves are received by the left. Each half of the observer’s brain receives information from only one half of the image. As Gitt went on to explain, “Note that, although the brain processes the different parts of the image in various remote locations, the two halves of the field of vision are seamlessly reunited, without any trace of a joint—amazing! This process is still far from being fully understood” (p. 17). It is hard to believe that this inverted system of sight could have been produced through evolution.
Since the eyes are one of the most important organs in the body, they must be taken care of constantly. And God designed just such a built-in cleaning system, consisting of the eyelashes, eyelids, and lacrimal glands. The lacrimal glands produce a steady flow of tears that flush away dust and other foreign materials. The tears also contain a potent anti-microbial agent known as lysozyme that destroys bacteria, viruses, etc. The eyelids and eyelashes work together to keep dirt and other debris from entering the eye. The eyelids act like windshield wipers, blinking 3-6 times a minute to moisten and clean the eye.
For many years, scientists have compared the eye to the modern manmade camera (see Miller, 1960, p. 315; Nourse, 1964, p. 154; Gardener, 1994, p. 105). True, the eye and camera do have many things in common, if the function of the camera demands that it was “made,” does it not stand to reason that the more complex human camera, the eye, also must have had a Maker? Alan Gillen explained it best when he wrote: “No human camera, artificial device, nor computer-enhanced light-sensitive device can match the contrivance of the human eye. Only a master engineer with superior intelligence could manufacture a series of interdependent light sensitive parts and reactions” (p. 99, emp. added). That master engineer was God. The writer of Proverbs knew this when he wrote, “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both” (20:12).


Blanchard, John (2000), Does God Believe in Atheists? (Auburn, MA: Evangelical Press).
Darwin, Charles (1859), On the Origin of Species (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; a facsimile of the first edition).
Gardner, Lynn (1994), Christianity Stands True (Joplin, MO: College Press).
Gillen, Alan L. (2001), Body by Design (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Gitt, Werner (1999), The Wonder of Man (Bielefeld, Germany: Christliche Literatur-Verbreitung E.V.).
Jastrow, Robert (1981), The Enchanted Loom: Mind in the Universe (New York: Simon and Schuster).
Lawton, April (1981), “From Here to Infinity,” Science Digest, 89[1]:98-105, January/February.
Miller, Benjamin and Goode, Ruth (1960), Man and His Body (New York: Simon and Schuster).
Nourse, Alan E., ed. (1964), The Body (New York: Time, Inc.).

From Mark Copeland... Conflict Over Circumcision (Acts 15:1-35)

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                 Conflict Over Circumcision (15:1-35)


1. During his first missionary journey, Paul saw that God "opened a door
   of faith to the Gentiles" - Ac 14:27
   a. The conversion of Sergius Paulus - Ac 13:6-12
   b. The conversion of many Gentiles in Antioch of Pisidia - Ac 13:42-49
   c. The conversion of Greeks in Iconium - Ac 14:1

2. It wasn't long before the question of Gentiles in the church became an
   a. Should the Gentiles be accepted without first converting to 
   b. Should they be required to be circumcised, and keep the Law of

[After a "long time" in Antioch of Syria, Paul and the church were
faced with a crisis regarding the issue of the Gentiles...]


      1. Teaching that Gentiles could not be saved without circumcision 
         - Ac 15:1
      2. With whom Paul and Barnabas strongly disagreed - Ac 15:2
      3. This conflict might have involved Peter - Ga 2:11-16 (some
         think this was during Ac 15:1-2; others think it was later)

      1. Accompanied by "certain others" (such as Titus) - Ac 15:2; 
         Ga 2:1
      2. To talk to the apostles and elders, which Paul did "by
         revelation" - Ac 15:2; Ga 2:2
      3. On the way, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria - Ac 15:3
         a. Describing the conversion of the Gentiles
         b. Causing great joy among the brethren

[Since the men causing disturbance came from Judea, Paul and his 
companions went to Jerusalem, to locate the actual origin of this
problem.  This led to...]


      1. Formal reception by the church
         a. Paul's party was received by the church, the apostles, and
            the elders - Ac 15:4
         b. To whom Paul reported all that God had done with them - Ac 15:4; cf. Ac 14:27
         c. Some of the sect of the Pharisees objected - Ac 15:5
            1) Likely Jewish Christians who had been Pharisees
            2) Demanding Gentiles be circumcised and keep the Law of
      2. Private meeting with some who were "of reputation"
         a. In which Paul explained the gospel which he preached - Ga 2:1-2
         b. Where some false brethren tried to compel Titus (a Gentile)
            to be circumcised, which Paul refused - Ga 2:3-6
         c. James, Peter, and John commended Paul for his work among the
            Gentiles - Ga 2:7-10
            1) Extending to him the right hand of fellowship
            2) Asking only that he remember the poor (something he was 
               careful do on his remaining missionary journeys)

      1. The speech of Peter - Ac 15:6-11
         a. How God selected him to be the first to preach to the
            Gentiles - cf. Ac 10:1-43
         b. How God bore witness to their acceptability by giving them
            the Spirit - cf. Ac 10:44-48; 11:15-18
         c. That God purified them through faith, just as He did the
         d. That they should not test God, by placing a burden on the
            Gentiles which they themselves could not bear
         e. That God will save the Jews in the same way, through the
            grace of the Lord Jesus - cf. Ac 2:38 (Jews) with Ac 10:48
      2. The testimony of Paul and Barnabas - Ac 15:12 
         a. How God did many miracles and wonders through them among the
         b. Which the multitude listened to quietly
      3. The counsel of James - Ac 15:13-21
         a. Reminding them of what Simon (Peter) had just said
         b. Reminding them of the Old Testament prophecy of Amos - Am 9:11-12
         c. Offering his judgment:
            1) Not to trouble the Gentiles who were turning to God
            2) But write to them, asking them to abstain from:
               a) Things polluted by idols (i.e., meats offered to idols)
               b) Sexual immorality
               c) Things strangled
               d) Blood 
         d. This would go a long way in keeping peace between Jewish and
            Gentile converts

[With the testimony of Paul and Barnabas, Peter, and James, supported by
God's approval through miraculous signs and prophetic scriptures, the 
conflict came to a quick resolution (for the time being)...]


      1. The apostles, elders, and the whole church agree to send a
         delegation - Ac 15:22
      2. Judas and Silas, selected to accompany Paul and Barnabas along
         with the letter - Ac 15:22
      3. A copy of this letter is preserved by Luke - Ac 15:23-29
      4. Note:  those who caused the trouble are identified as having
         done so without any authority from those in Jerusalem - Ac 15:24

      1. Paul and the delegation return to Antioch, and deliver the
         letter - Ac 15:30
      2. The multitude rejoice over its encouragement - Ac 15:31
      3. Judas and Silas exhort the brethren with many words - Ac 15:32-34
         a. Judas eventually returned to the apostles in Jerusalem
         b. Silas stayed in Antioch, later to join Paul on his travels 
            - cf. Ac 15:40
      4. Paul and Barnabas remain in Antioch, teaching and preaching
         - Ac 15:35


1. The conflict over circumcision and the Law illustrates the challenges
   faced by the early church...
   a. The challenge of transition from the Old Covenant to the New
   b. The challenge of accepting into the church those who were 
      considered "unclean"
2. But the challenges were overcome, in large part due to the apostle
   a. A Hebrew of the Hebrews, but also an apostle to the Gentiles
   b. Whom God used to help bridge Jew and Gentile together

To fulfill what Jesus died to accomplish on the cross, to bring peace
between Jew and Gentile, making one new body (Ep 2:11-16).  This ought
to remind us who are Gentiles how blessed we are to be able to come
into the fellowship with God and His people.  

Have we let Jesus add us to His one new body, the church...? - cf. Ac

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2012

From Gary... Bible Reading June 10

Bible Reading  

June 10

The World English Bible

June 9
1 Samuel 11, 12

1Sa 11:1 Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabesh Gilead: and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve you.
1Sa 11:2 Nahash the Ammonite said to them, On this condition will I make it with you, that all your right eyes be put out; and I will lay it for a reproach on all Israel.
1Sa 11:3 The elders of Jabesh said to him, Give us seven days' respite, that we may send messengers to all the borders of Israel; and then, if there be none to save us, we will come out to you.
1Sa 11:4 Then came the messengers to Gibeah of Saul, and spoke these words in the ears of the people: and all the people lifted up their voice, and wept.
1Sa 11:5 Behold, Saul came following the oxen out of the field; and Saul said, What ails the people that they weep? They told him the words of the men of Jabesh.
1Sa 11:6 The Spirit of God came mightily on Saul when he heard those words, and his anger was kindled greatly.
1Sa 11:7 He took a yoke of oxen, and cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the borders of Israel by the hand of messengers, saying, Whoever doesn't come forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen. The dread of Yahweh fell on the people, and they came out as one man.
1Sa 11:8 He numbered them in Bezek; and the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand.
1Sa 11:9 They said to the messengers who came, Thus you shall tell the men of Jabesh Gilead, Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have deliverance. The messengers came and told the men of Jabesh; and they were glad.
1Sa 11:10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you shall do with us all that seems good to you.
1Sa 11:11 It was so on the next day, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and struck the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it happened, that those who remained were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.
1Sa 11:12 The people said to Samuel, Who is he who said, Shall Saul reign over us? bring the men, that we may put them to death.
1Sa 11:13 Saul said, There shall not a man be put to death this day; for today Yahweh has worked deliverance in Israel.
1Sa 11:14 Then said Samuel to the people, Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there.
1Sa 11:15 All the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before Yahweh in Gilgal; and there they offered sacrifices of peace offerings before Yahweh; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.
1Sa 12:1 Samuel said to all Israel, Behold, I have listened to your voice in all that you said to me, and have made a king over you.
1Sa 12:2 Now, behold, the king walks before you; and I am old and gray-headed; and behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my youth to this day.
1Sa 12:3 Here I am: witness against me before Yahweh, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose donkey have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I taken a ransom to blind my eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.
1Sa 12:4 They said, You have not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither have you taken anything of any man's hand.
1Sa 12:5 He said to them, Yahweh is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand. They said, He is witness.
1Sa 12:6 Samuel said to the people, It is Yahweh who appointed Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.
1Sa 12:7 Now therefore stand still, that I may plead with you before Yahweh concerning all the righteous acts of Yahweh, which he did to you and to your fathers.
1Sa 12:8 When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried to Yahweh, then Yahweh sent Moses and Aaron, who brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them to dwell in this place.
1Sa 12:9 But they forgot Yahweh their God; and he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the army of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab; and they fought against them.
1Sa 12:10 They cried to Yahweh, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken Yahweh, and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve you.
1Sa 12:11 Yahweh sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side; and you lived in safety.
1Sa 12:12 When you saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, you said to me, No, but a king shall reign over us; when Yahweh your God was your king.
1Sa 12:13 Now therefore see the king whom you have chosen, and whom you have asked for: and behold, Yahweh has set a king over you.
1Sa 12:14 If you will fear Yahweh, and serve him, and listen to his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of Yahweh, and both you and also the king who reigns over you are followers of Yahweh your God, well:
1Sa 12:15 but if you will not listen to the voice of Yahweh, but rebel against the commandment of Yahweh, then will the hand of Yahweh be against you, as it was against your fathers.
1Sa 12:16 Now therefore stand still and see this great thing, which Yahweh will do before your eyes.
1Sa 12:17 Isn't it wheat harvest today? I will call to Yahweh, that he may send thunder and rain; and you shall know and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of Yahweh, in asking for a king.
1Sa 12:18 So Samuel called to Yahweh; and Yahweh sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared Yahweh and Samuel.
1Sa 12:19 All the people said to Samuel, Pray for your servants to Yahweh your God, that we not die; for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.
1Sa 12:20 Samuel said to the people, "Don't be afraid; you have indeed done all this evil; yet don't turn aside from following Yahweh, but serve Yahweh with all your heart:
1Sa 12:21 and don't turn aside; for then would you go after vain things which can't profit nor deliver, for they are vain.
1Sa 12:22 For Yahweh will not forsake his people for his great name's sake, because it has pleased Yahweh to make you a people to himself.
1Sa 12:23 Moreover as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against Yahweh in ceasing to pray for you: but I will instruct you in the good and the right way.
1Sa 12:24 Only fear Yahweh, and serve him in truth with all your heart; for consider how great things he has done for you.
1Sa 12:25 But if you shall still do wickedly, you shall be consumed, both you and your king."

June 10
1 Samuel 13, 14

1Sa 13:1 Saul was forty years old when he began to reign; and when he had reigned two years over Israel,
1Sa 13:2 Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel, of which two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in the Mount of Bethel, and one thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent.
1Sa 13:3 Jonathan struck the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba: and the Philistines heard of it. Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, Let the Hebrews hear.
1Sa 13:4 All Israel heard say that Saul had struck the garrison of the Philistines, and also that Israel was had in abomination with the Philistines. The people were gathered together after Saul to Gilgal.
1Sa 13:5 The Philistines assembled themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the seashore in multitude: and they came up, and encamped in Michmash, eastward of Beth Aven.
1Sa 13:6 When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait (for the people were distressed), then the people did hide themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in coverts, and in pits.
1Sa 13:7 Now some of the Hebrews had gone over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead; but as for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.
1Sa 13:8 He stayed seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel didn't come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.
1Sa 13:9 Saul said, Bring here the burnt offering to me, and the peace offerings. He offered the burnt offering.
1Sa 13:10 It came to pass that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might greet him.
1Sa 13:11 Samuel said, What have you done? Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you didn't come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines assembled themselves together at Michmash;
1Sa 13:12 therefore said I, Now will the Philistines come down on me to Gilgal, and I haven't entreated the favor of Yahweh: I forced myself therefore, and offered the burnt offering.
1Sa 13:13 Samuel said to Saul, You have done foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of Yahweh your God, which he commanded you: for now would Yahweh have established your kingdom on Israel forever.
1Sa 13:14 But now your kingdom shall not continue: Yahweh has sought him a man after his own heart, and Yahweh has appointed him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept that which Yahweh commanded you.
1Sa 13:15 Samuel arose, and got him up from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin. Saul numbered the people who were present with him, about six hundred men.
1Sa 13:16 Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people who were present with them, abode in Geba of Benjamin: but the Philistines encamped in Michmash.
1Sa 13:17 The spoilers came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies: one company turned to the way that leads to Ophrah, to the land of Shual;
1Sa 13:18 and another company turned the way to Beth Horon; and another company turned the way of the border that looks down on the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness.
1Sa 13:19 Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel; for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears:
1Sa 13:20 but all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his plowshare, mattock, axe, and sickle;
1Sa 13:21 yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the plowshares, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to set the goads.
1Sa 13:22 So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan: but with Saul and with Jonathan his son was there found.
1Sa 13:23 The garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash.
1Sa 14:1 Now it fell on a day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who bore his armor, Come, and let us go over to the Philistines' garrison, that is on yonder side. But he didn't tell his father.
1Sa 14:2 Saul abode in the uttermost part of Gibeah under the pomegranate tree which is in Migron: and the people who were with him were about six hundred men;
1Sa 14:3 and Ahijah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod's brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the priest of Yahweh in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. The people didn't know that Jonathan was gone.
1Sa 14:4 Between the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistines' garrison, there was a rocky crag on the one side, and a rocky crag on the other side: and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh.
1Sa 14:5 The one crag rose up on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba.
1Sa 14:6 Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, Come, and let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that Yahweh will work for us; for there is no restraint to Yahweh to save by many or by few.
1Sa 14:7 His armor bearer said to him, Do all that is in your heart: turn and, behold, I am with you according to your heart.
1Sa 14:8 Then said Jonathan, Behold, we will pass over to the men, and we will disclose ourselves to them.
1Sa 14:9 If they say thus to us, Wait until we come to you; then we will stand still in our place, and will not go up to them.
1Sa 14:10 But if they say thus, Come up to us; then we will go up; for Yahweh has delivered them into our hand: and this shall be the sign to us.
1Sa 14:11 Both of them disclosed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said, Behold, the Hebrews come forth out of the holes where they had hid themselves.
1Sa 14:12 The men of the garrison answered Jonathan and his armor bearer, and said, Come up to us, and we will show you a thing. Jonathan said to his armor bearer, Come up after me; for Yahweh has delivered them into the hand of Israel.
1Sa 14:13 Jonathan climbed up on his hands and on his feet, and his armor bearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armor bearer killed them after him.
1Sa 14:14 That first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armor bearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were half a furrow's length in an acre of land.
1Sa 14:15 There was a trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people; the garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled; and the earth quaked: so there was an exceeding great trembling.
1Sa 14:16 The watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked; and behold, the multitude melted away, and they went here and there.
1Sa 14:17 Then said Saul to the people who were with him, Number now, and see who is gone from us. When they had numbered, behold, Jonathan and his armor bearer were not there.
1Sa 14:18 Saul said to Ahijah, Bring here the ark of God. For the ark of God was there at that time with the children of Israel.
1Sa 14:19 It happened, while Saul talked to the priest, that the tumult that was in the camp of the Philistines went on and increased: and Saul said to the priest, Withdraw your hand.
1Sa 14:20 Saul and all the people who were with him were gathered together, and came to the battle: and behold, every man's sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great confusion.
1Sa 14:21 Now the Hebrews who were with the Philistines as before, and who went up with them into the camp, from the country all around, even they also turned to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan.
1Sa 14:22 Likewise all the men of Israel who had hid themselves in the hill country of Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, even they also followed hard after them in the battle.
1Sa 14:23 So Yahweh saved Israel that day: and the battle passed over by Beth Aven.
1Sa 14:24 The men of Israel were distressed that day; for Saul had adjured the people, saying, Cursed be the man who eats any food until it be evening, and I be avenged on my enemies. So none of the people tasted food.
1Sa 14:25 All the people came into the forest; and there was honey on the ground.
1Sa 14:26 When the people were come to the forest, behold, the honey dropped: but no man put his hand to his mouth; for the people feared the oath.
1Sa 14:27 But Jonathan didn't hear when his father commanded the people with the oath: therefore he put forth the end of the rod who was in his hand, and dipped it in the honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened.
1Sa 14:28 Then answered one of the people, and said, Your father directly commanded the people with an oath, saying, Cursed be the man who eats food this day. The people were faint.
1Sa 14:29 Then said Jonathan, My father has troubled the land. Please look how my eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey.
1Sa 14:30 How much more, if haply the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies which they found? for now has there been no great slaughter among the Philistines.
1Sa 14:31 They struck of the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. The people were very faint;
1Sa 14:32 and the people flew on the spoil, and took sheep, and cattle, and calves, and killed them on the ground; and the people ate them with the blood.
1Sa 14:33 Then they told Saul, saying, Behold, the people sin against Yahweh, in that they eat with the blood. He said, you have dealt treacherously: roll a great stone to me this day.
1Sa 14:34 Saul said, Disperse yourselves among the people, and tell them, Bring me here every man his ox, and every man his sheep, and kill them here, and eat; and don't sin against Yahweh in eating with the blood. All the people brought every man his ox with him that night, and killed them there.
1Sa 14:35 Saul built an altar to Yahweh: the same was the first altar that he built to Yahweh.
1Sa 14:36 Saul said, Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and take spoil among them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them. They said, Do whatever seems good to you. Then said the priest, Let us draw near here to God.
1Sa 14:37 Saul asked counsel of God, Shall I go down after the Philistines? will you deliver them into the hand of Israel? But he didn't answer him that day.
1Sa 14:38 Saul said, Draw near here, all you chiefs of the people; and know and see in which this sin has been this day.
1Sa 14:39 For, as Yahweh lives, who saves Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die. But there was not a man among all the people who answered him.
1Sa 14:40 Then said he to all Israel, You be on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side. The people said to Saul, Do what seems good to you.
1Sa 14:41 Therefore Saul said to Yahweh, the God of Israel, Show the right. Jonathan and Saul were taken by lot; but the people escaped.
1Sa 14:42 Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son. Jonathan was taken.
1Sa 14:43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, Tell me what you have done. Jonathan told him, and said, I did certainly taste a little honey with the end of the rod that was in my hand; and behold, I must die.
1Sa 14:44 Saul said, God do so and more also; for you shall surely die, Jonathan.
1Sa 14:45 The people said to Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? Far from it: as Yahweh lives, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he has worked with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan, that he didn't die.
1Sa 14:46 Then Saul went up from following the Philistines; and the Philistines went to their own place.
1Sa 14:47 Now when Saul had taken the kingdom over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, and against the children of Ammon, and against Edom, and against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines: and wherever he turned himself, he put them to the worse.
1Sa 14:48 He did valiantly, and struck the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of those who despoiled them.
1Sa 14:49 Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, and Ishvi, and Malchishua; and the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the younger Michal:
1Sa 14:50 and the name of Saul's wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of the captain of his army was Abner the son of Ner, Saul's uncle.
1Sa 14:51 Kish was the father of Saul; and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.
1Sa 14:52 There was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul: and when Saul saw any mighty man, or any valiant man, he took him to him.

Jun. 9, 10
John 13

Joh 13:1 Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his time had come that he would depart from this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
Joh 13:2 During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him,
Joh 13:3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he came forth from God, and was going to God,
Joh 13:4 arose from supper, and laid aside his outer garments. He took a towel, and wrapped a towel around his waist.
Joh 13:5 Then he poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Joh 13:6 Then he came to Simon Peter. He said to him, "Lord, do you wash my feet?"
Joh 13:7 Jesus answered him, "You don't know what I am doing now, but you will understand later."
Joh 13:8 Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I don't wash you, you have no part with me."
Joh 13:9 Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!"
Joh 13:10 Jesus said to him, "Someone who has bathed only needs to have his feet washed, but is completely clean. You are clean, but not all of you."
Joh 13:11 For he knew him who would betray him, therefore he said, "You are not all clean."
Joh 13:12 So when he had washed their feet, put his outer garment back on, and sat down again, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you?
Joh 13:13 You call me, 'Teacher' and 'Lord.' You say so correctly, for so I am.
Joh 13:14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.
Joh 13:15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.
Joh 13:16 Most certainly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his lord, neither one who is sent greater than he who sent him.
Joh 13:17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Joh 13:18 I don't speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen. But that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.'
Joh 13:19 From now on, I tell you before it happens, that when it happens, you may believe that I am he.
Joh 13:20 Most certainly I tell you, he who receives whomever I send, receives me; and he who receives me, receives him who sent me."
Joh 13:21 When Jesus had said this, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, "Most certainly I tell you that one of you will betray me."
Joh 13:22 The disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom he spoke.
Joh 13:23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was at the table, leaning against Jesus' breast.
Joh 13:24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, and said to him, "Tell us who it is of whom he speaks."
Joh 13:25 He, leaning back, as he was, on Jesus' breast, asked him, "Lord, who is it?"
Joh 13:26 Jesus therefore answered, "It is he to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it." So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.
Joh 13:27 After the piece of bread, then Satan entered into him. Then Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly."
Joh 13:28 Now no man at the table knew why he said this to him.
Joh 13:29 For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus said to him, "Buy what things we need for the feast," or that he should give something to the poor.
Joh 13:30 Therefore, having received that morsel, he went out immediately. It was night.
Joh 13:31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.
Joh 13:32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him immediately.
Joh 13:33 Little children, I will be with you a little while longer. You will seek me, and as I said to the Jews, 'Where I am going, you can't come,' so now I tell you.
Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just like I have loved you; that you also love one another.
Joh 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
Joh 13:36 Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus answered, "Where I am going, you can't follow now, but you will follow afterwards."
Joh 13:37 Peter said to him, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."
Joh 13:38 Jesus answered him, "Will you lay down your life for me? Most certainly I tell you, the rooster won't crow until you have denied me three times.