From Jim McGuiggan... Pip, Joe & Confessing Sin

Pip, Joe & Confessing Sin

In Great Expectations, Pip, under awful threat from the convict Abel Magwitch, had stolen his sister's beer, pork pie and her husband Joe's file. Later the convict claimed that he had personally stolen the beer, pie and file and that got Pip off the hook. But the child's conscience troubled him, though he confessed he felt very little trouble about hiding the truth from his sister (who was harsh with the boy). It was Joe, trusting, kind Joe, from whom he was keeping the truth and that greatly hurt Pip and he wished he could tell him. He was afraid for several reasons. It wasn't simply a question of possible punishment but as he said himself: "I did not [tell Joe], and for the reason that I mistrusted that if I did, he would think me worse than I was. The fear of losing Joe's confidence and of thenceforth sitting in the chimney-corner at night staring drearily at my for ever lost companion and friend, tied my tongue."

What tied his tongue was not that he made light of what he did because he did not make light of it; it was fear of lost love and fear of isolation and loneliness.

There can be no doubt whatever that many of us fear to confess our wrongs for fear of punishment or for loss of reputation or fear of something more plainly self-serving; so we hide the truth and on occasion are capable of lying to cover the truth. I suppose (though I'm not sure of it) that that is the most popular reason to hide our wrongs—fear of loss or punishment. But like much else in life, there are complexities that should be recognized. (I notice that when I'm not in the mood or if I'm irritated or have suffered loss in the process that I'm not especially interested in being reminded of life's complexities.)

Take the case of our friend Pip. It's clear that he feared loss—he admits to it. But it isn't the kind of "fear" that often attacks us. His fear is real enough but it's a fear that exists because a genuine love exists for Joe. His fear wasn't that of a beating or the loss of standing with a stranger or of being taken away by the police—his fear was the loss of a friend. It wasn't a fear that Joe would spread his shame across half of England for if anyone would have kept the news to himself it would have been Joe who dearly loved Pip and knew that the child just as dearly loved him. No, Joe would protect him to the death. He weighed the telling of the story and the easing of his conscience against the possible loss of the one that was dearest in life to him.
(And think what it would have cost Joe if he had lost Pip.)

Whatever we are to make of such motivation and whatever we are to say about withholding truth it would serve us (and others) well to avoid oversimplification. We tend to that. Those that are good with a hammer, the proverb says, think every problem is a nail. I'm content to believe that confession under some circumstances is not only desirable but essential but life has a way of sometimes showing that simple solutions simply don't work.

It may well be that we that have sinned greatly do hide our wrongs for reasons that are less than honourable; but if there are grounds for "reasonable doubt" maybe we ought to grant a more charitable conclusion. I suppose the least we can do is ask ourselves, "What other possible reasons are there that might have led him/her to hide his/her wrong?"

"Yes, yes, but in the end it doesn't matter greatly. Those that sin should be aware that there are consequences to sin and they often fall on the innocent." This is indeed true. And maybe with that we should dismiss the whole question and insist that all who sin should simply blab out their confession no matter the consequences.


But then on the other hand...

by Eric Lyons, M.Min. ... Science, Common Sense, and Genesis 1:1


Science, Common Sense, and Genesis 1:1

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

The most fundamental question that a person can (and should) ask is: “Where did the Universe and everything in it (including myself) come from?” Before a person seeks answers to questions such as, “Why am I here?” or “Where am I going?” he first needs to know from whence he came? It is fitting that the only God-inspired book in the world—the Bible—answers this very question in its opening statement: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1, emp. added). In the subsequent verses, man is informed that not only did God create the heavens and the earth, but He made everything in the heavens and on the Earth (Genesis 1:2-31; cf. Exodus 20:11). According to Scripture, everything that exists in the physical Universe ultimately came from an eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, infinite Creator (Genesis 17:1; 18:14; Psalm 139; 90:2).

The theory that atheistic evolutionists have advanced for several decades now, which supposedly best explains our existence from a purely naturalistic perspective, is known as the Big Bang. It has circulated via science textbooks all over the world. One of the leading publishers of science curricula for many years has been Prentice Hall. In their 1992 General Science textbook, titled A Voyage of Discovery, they included the following section on “The Birth and Death of the Universe”:
How was the universe born and how will it end? Most astronomers believe that about 18 to 20 billion years ago all the matter in the universe was concentrated into one very dense, very hot region that may have been much smaller than a period on this page. For some unknown reason, this region exploded. This explosion is called the big bang. One result of the big bang was the formation of galaxies, all racing away from one another (Hurd, et al., p. 61, emp. in orig.).
Since 1992 the “birth of the Universe” has been shaved substantially (from 18 to 20 billion years ago to 12 to 15 billion years ago—see Biggs, et al., 2003, p. 159), but the theory is more or less the same. Ask an atheist how the Universe came to be and you likely will hear that “it all started with a big bang.”

So which is it? Did everything in the physical Universe come into existence via the supernatural or the natural? Was it caused by a purely naturalistic Big Bang or an infinite Mighty God? How did Earth get here? How did the other seven planets in our Solar System come into being? Whence came the Milky Way and the billions of other galaxies in the Universe? How did the multiplied quadrillions of stars (some of which are hundreds of times bigger than the Sun) come into existence? Although atheistic, evolutionary scientists are fond of ridiculing Genesis 1:1 as being unreasonable and unscientific, the fact is, Scripture’s explanation for ultimate origins is both sensible and scientific.

First, a study of the material Universe reveals that all physical effects must have adequate causes that precede the effects (a truism known as the Law of Cause and Effect). One drop of rain does not flood an entire city, a paper airplane cannot carry an astronaut to the Moon, nor can a fire extinguisher cool the Sun. But what about the effect of the Universe itself? What was its cause? Was the gargantuan Universe caused by an explosion of a minute ball of matter or by an omnipotent Creator? Just as easily as one can know that a paper airplane is unable to transport an astronaut to the Moon, he can know that naturalistic explanations (e.g., Big Bang theory) are not adequate causes for the Universe. But God is.

Second, from what we observe in nature, matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed. Scientists refer to this fact as the First Law of Thermodynamics. Evolutionists allege that the Universe began with the explosion of a ball of matter several billion years ago, yet they never have provided a reasonable explanation for the cause of the “original” ball of matter. An attempt was made a few years ago in the April 28, 2007 issue of New Scientist magazine titled “The Beginning: What Triggered the Big Bang?” Notice the last line of the featured article: “[T]he quest to understand the origin of the universe seems destined to continue until we can answer a deeper question: why is there anything at all instead of nothing?” (194[2601]:33, emp. added). The fact is, a logical, naturalistic explanation for the origin of the “original” ball of matter that supposedly led to the Universe does not exist. It cannot exist so long as the First Law of Thermodynamics is true (i.e., in nature matter/energy cannot create itself).

Third, since the physical Universe exists, and yet it could not have created itself, then the Universe is either eternal or something/someone outside of the Universe must have created it. Relatively few scientists propose that the Universe is eternal. In fact, there would be no point in attempting to explain the “beginning” of the Universe if atheists believed it always existed. What’s more, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that matter and energy become less usable over time, has led most scientists to conclude that the Universe has not always existed (else we would be out of usable energy; see Miller, 2007). But, if matter is not eternal, and it cannot create itself, then the only logical conclusion is that something/someone outside of nature (i.e., supernatural) caused the Universe and everything in it. Christians call this Someone, “the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 40:28).

Finally, not only do the scientific Laws of Thermodynamics and the Law of Cause and Effect support the truth of Genesis 1:1, so also does the fact that design demands a designer. Just as sure as a painting demands a painter and a law a law-giver, the orderly, law-abiding, picturesque heavens and Earth demand, not a random, mindless, unexplained explosion (when have explosions ever caused order and design?), but an intelligent Designer. As the psalmist wrote: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (19:1). What’s more, “the whole earth is full of His glory” (Isaiah 6:3). Indeed, both the heavens and the Earth testify day after day and night after night to anyone and everyone who will listen (Psalm 19:2-4) that “He who built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4).

Naturalistic explanations for the Universe and its laws leave an explanatory void that only a supernatural Being (i.e., God) can fill. If man will only open his eyes and ears, he will discover what both Heaven and Earth reveal: that “the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3). Rather, “God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1, emp. added).


Biggs, Alton, et al. (2003), Science (New York: McGraw-Hill).

Hurd, Dean, George Mathias, and Susan Johnson, eds. (1992), General Science: A Voyage of Discovery (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall).

Miller, Jeff (2007), “God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective,” Reason & Revelation, 27[4]:25-31, April, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3293.

“The Universe Before Ours” (2007), New Scientist, 194[2601]:28-33, April 28.

From Mark Copeland... The Conversion Of The Jailer (Acts 16:25-40)

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

               The Conversion Of The Jailer (16:25-40)


1. In Ac 16:25-40, we have another example of conversion...
   a. Commonly called "The Conversion Of The Jailer"
   b. Which included the conversion of his household

2. In Ac 16:30 we find a familiar passage...
   a. In which Paul is confronted by the Philippian jailer
   b. Who asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

3. This is a very important question...
   a. Salvation from sin is our greatest need - cf. Ro 6:23
   b. The answer must be according to the Word of God

4. The answer given is often limited to what is mentioned in Ac 16:31...
   a. Without consideration of all that is said in the context
   b. Without noting what is taught elsewhere in the Scriptures

[If one were to ask today, "What Must I Do To Be Saved?", how should we
reply?  Shall we limit our response to the words of Ac 16:31?  Well,
consider first of all...]


      1. Yet Jesus wanted repentance to be preached in His name - Lk 24:46-47
      2. And so the apostles often preached the need to repent of sins
         a. As Peter did in his first two sermons - Ac 2:37-38; 3:19
         b. As did Paul in his sermon in Athens - Ac 17:30-31
      -- Shall we conclude that repentance is not necessary because it is
         not mentioned in the conversion of the Philippian jailer?

      1. Yet Jesus taught of the necessity of confessing Him before
         others - Mt 10:32-33
      2. And so the apostles often mentioned the importance of confessing
         a. Confessing with the mouth the Lord Jesus leads to salvation 
            - Ro 10:9-10
         b. Confessing that Jesus is the Son of God leads to abiding in
            God - 1Jn 4:15
      -- Shall we conclude that confession is not necessary because it is
         not mentioned in the conversion of the Philippian jailor?

[We would be mishandling the Scriptures to suggest because repentance
and confession are not mentioned in Ac 16:31 that they are not necessary
to salvation.  But now let's consider...]


      1. The jailer was told to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ - Ac 16:31
      2. This is consistent with what Jesus Himself taught
         a. Believing in the Son is key to having eternal life - Jn 3:36
         b. Unless we believe in Him, we will die in our sins - Jn 8:24
      3. And so the apostles often proclaimed the importance of faith in
         a. That one might have life in His name - Jn 20:30-31
         b. That believing with the heart leads to righteousness - Ro 10:9-10
      -- Faith in Christ is imperative to salvation, because of what the
         Bible says about it

      1. We notice that the jailor and his family were baptized 
         immediately - Ac 16:33
      2. Similar to what we read elsewhere in other cases of conversion
         a. The 3000 baptized on the day of Pentecost - Ac 2:41
         b. The Ethiopian eunuch was baptized as soon as he saw water
            - Ac 8:35-38
         c. Paul encouraged not to delay - Ac 22:16
      3. Why were they baptized immediately, even when it was after
         midnight? - cf. Ac 16:25,33
         a. Peter said it was for the remission of sins - Ac 2:38
         b. Paul was told it was to wash away sins - Ac 22:16
         c. Paul later wrote that it was a cutting away of the body of
            sins - Col 2:11-13
         d. Peter later wrote that it saves us through the resurrection
            of Christ - 1Pe 3:21
      -- When one sees what is revealed about baptism in the New 
         Testament, we can understand why it was received as soon as 
         possible by those who heard the gospel

         1. Some appeal to the mention of "household" to infer infants 
            were included in the baptism
      2. Yet the text states that:
         a. Paul "spoke the word of the Lord...to all who were in his
            house", implying that all were able to listen and understand
            what was said - Ac 16:32
         b. The jailer rejoiced, "having believed in God with all his
            household"; i.e., everyone believed, implying the ability of
            all to believe what they heard - Ac 16:34
      3. There is nothing here to preclude what we have already concluded
         as necessary requirements to be a subject qualified for baptism:
         a. Repentance - Ac 2:38
         b. Whole-hearted faith - Ac 8:37
      -- Infants are incapable of faith and repentance, and nothing in 
         the text implies that infants were in the household of the 


1. Why does Paul only mention faith in answer to the question in Ac 16:31...?
   a. Because the answer takes into consideration one's spiritual state
      or condition
   b. For the jailor, he first needed to be told to believe in Jesus
   c. For the 3000 on Pentecost, they already believed by the time they
      asked their question, so faith is not even mentioned (but implied
      nonetheless) - cf. Ac 2:36-37

2. What answer should we give to those who ask today, "What must I do to
   be saved?"...
   a. Our answer depends upon what the spiritual state or condition the
      person is in
   b. If they have yet to believe in Jesus, then the need to believe in
      Him - Ac 16:30
   c. If they believe in Jesus, then the need to repent, confess, and be
      baptized for the remission of their sins - Ac 2:38; 22:16; Ro 10:9-10; Ga 3:26-27

3. Our answer should entail all found in the Word of the Lord...
   a. Paul proceeded to speak the word of the Lord to the jailor and his
      family - Ac 16:32
   b. Such evidently included the need to be baptized immediately - Ac 16:33

A proper answer to "What must I do to be saved?" will take into 
consideration both the spiritual state of the inquirer and all that
that the Word of God reveals on the subject.  

Have you responded to what the Bible teaches regarding salvation in

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2013

From Gary... Bible Reading June 20

Bible Reading  

June 20

The World English Bible

June 20
2 Samuel 1-3

2Sa 1:1 It happened after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag;
2Sa 1:2 it happened on the third day, that behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul, with his clothes torn, and earth on his head: and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance.
2Sa 1:3 David said to him, Where do you come from? He said to him, I have escaped out of the camp of Israel.
2Sa 1:4 David said to him, How did it go? Please tell me. He answered, The people have fled from the battle, and many of the people also have fallen and are dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.
2Sa 1:5 David said to the young man who told him, How do you know that Saul and Jonathan his son are dead?
2Sa 1:6 The young man who told him said, As I happened by chance on Mount Gilboa, behold, Saul was leaning on his spear; and behold, the chariots and the horsemen followed hard after him.
2Sa 1:7 When he looked behind him, he saw me, and called to me. I answered, Here I am.
2Sa 1:8 He said to me, Who are you? I answered him, I am an Amalekite.
2Sa 1:9 He said to me, Stand, I pray you, beside me, and kill me; for anguish has taken hold of me, because my life is yet whole in me.
2Sa 1:10 So I stood beside him, and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was on his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them here to my lord.
2Sa 1:11 Then David took hold on his clothes, and tore them; and likewise all the men who were with him:
2Sa 1:12 and they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of Yahweh, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword.
2Sa 1:13 David said to the young man who told him, Where are you from? He answered, I am the son of a foreigner, an Amalekite.
2Sa 1:14 David said to him, How were you not afraid to put forth your hand to destroy Yahweh's anointed?
2Sa 1:15 David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall on him. He struck him, so that he died.
2Sa 1:16 David said to him, Your blood be on your head; for your mouth has testified against you, saying, I have slain Yahweh's anointed.
2Sa 1:17 David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son
2Sa 1:18 (and he bade them teach the children of Judah the song of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jashar):
2Sa 1:19 Your glory, Israel, is slain on your high places! How the mighty have fallen!
2Sa 1:20 Don't tell it in Gath. Don't publish it in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
2Sa 1:21 You mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew nor rain on you, neither fields of offerings; For there the shield of the mighty was vilely cast away, The shield of Saul was not anointed with oil.
2Sa 1:22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, Jonathan's bow didn't turn back. Saul's sword didn't return empty.
2Sa 1:23 Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives. In their death, they were not divided. They were swifter than eagles. They were stronger than lions.
2Sa 1:24 You daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet delicately, who put ornaments of gold on your clothing.
2Sa 1:25 How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan is slain on your high places.
2Sa 1:26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan. You have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.
2Sa 1:27 How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!

2Sa 2:1 It happened after this, that David inquired of Yahweh, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? Yahweh said to him, Go up. David said, Where shall I go up? He said, To Hebron.
2Sa 2:2 So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
2Sa 2:3 His men who were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they lived in the cities of Hebron.
2Sa 2:4 The men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. They told David, saying, The men of Jabesh Gilead were those who buried Saul.
2Sa 2:5 David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh Gilead, and said to them, Blessed be you of Yahweh, that you have shown this kindness to your lord, even to Saul, and have buried him.
2Sa 2:6 Now Yahweh show loving kindness and truth to you: and I also will reward you for this kindness, because you have done this thing.
2Sa 2:7 Now therefore let your hands be strong, and be valiant; for Saul your lord is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them.
2Sa 2:8 Now Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's army, had taken Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;
2Sa 2:9 and he made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel.
2Sa 2:10 Ishbosheth, Saul's son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David.
2Sa 2:11 The time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
2Sa 2:12 Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.
2Sa 2:13 Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out, and met them by the pool of Gibeon; and they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool.
2Sa 2:14 Abner said to Joab, Please let the young men arise and play before us. Joab said, Let them arise.
2Sa 2:15 Then they arose and went over by number: twelve for Benjamin, and for Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.
2Sa 2:16 They caught everyone his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow's side; so they fell down together: therefore that place was called Helkath Hazzurim, which is in Gibeon.
2Sa 2:17 The battle was very severe that day: and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David.
2Sa 2:18 The three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild gazelle.
2Sa 2:19 Asahel pursued after Abner; and in going he didn't turn to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner.
2Sa 2:20 Then Abner looked behind him, and said, Is it you, Asahel? He answered, It is I.
2Sa 2:21 Abner said to him, Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and grab one of the young men, and take his armor. But Asahel would not turn aside from following him.
2Sa 2:22 Abner said again to Asahel, Turn aside from following me: why should I strike you to the ground? how then should I hold up my face to Joab your brother?
2Sa 2:23 However he refused to turn aside: therefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear struck him in the body, so that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place: and it happened, that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still.
2Sa 2:24 But Joab and Abishai pursued after Abner: and the sun went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah, that lies before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon.
2Sa 2:25 The children of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner, and became one band, and stood on the top of a hill.
2Sa 2:26 Then Abner called to Joab, and said, "Shall the sword devour forever? Don't you know that it will be bitterness in the latter end? How long shall it be then, before you bid the people return from following their brothers?"
2Sa 2:27 Joab said, As God lives, if you had not spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone away, nor followed everyone his brother.
2Sa 2:28 So Joab blew the trumpet; and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more.
2Sa 2:29 Abner and his men went all that night through the Arabah; and they passed over the Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and came to Mahanaim.
2Sa 2:30 Joab returned from following Abner: and when he had gathered all the people together, there lacked of David's servants nineteen men and Asahel.
2Sa 2:31 But the servants of David had struck of Benjamin, and of Abner's men, so that three hundred sixty men died.
2Sa 2:32 They took up Asahel, and buried him in the tomb of his father, which was in Bethlehem. Joab and his men went all night, and the day broke on them at Hebron.
2Sa 3:1 Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: and David grew stronger and stronger, but the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.
2Sa 3:2 To David were sons born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess;
2Sa 3:3 and his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
2Sa 3:4 and the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;
2Sa 3:5 and the sixth, Ithream, of Eglah, David's wife. These were born to David in Hebron.
2Sa 3:6 It happened, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner made himself strong in the house of Saul.
2Sa 3:7 Now Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah: and Ishbosheth said to Abner, Why have you gone in to my father's concubine?
2Sa 3:8 Then was Abner very angry for the words of Ishbosheth, and said, Am I a dog's head that belongs to Judah? This day do I show kindness to the house of Saul your father, to his brothers, and to his friends, and have not delivered you into the hand of David; and yet you charge me this day with a fault concerning this woman.
2Sa 3:9 God do so to Abner, and more also, if, as Yahweh has sworn to David, I don't do even so to him;
2Sa 3:10 to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beersheba.
2Sa 3:11 He could not answer Abner another word, because he feared him.
2Sa 3:12 Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf, saying, Whose is the land? saying also, Make your league with me, and behold, my hand shall be with you, to bring about all Israel to you.
2Sa 3:13 He said, Well; I will make a league with you; but one thing I require of you: that is, you shall not see my face, unless you first bring Michal, Saul's daughter, when you come to see my face.
2Sa 3:14 David sent messengers to Ishbosheth, Saul's son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, whom I pledged to be married to me for one hundred foreskins of the Philistines.
2Sa 3:15 Ishbosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Paltiel the son of Laish.
2Sa 3:16 Her husband went with her, weeping as he went, and followed her to Bahurim. Then said Abner to him, Go, return: and he returned.
2Sa 3:17 Abner had communication with the elders of Israel, saying, In times past you sought for David to be king over you:
2Sa 3:18 now then do it; for Yahweh has spoken of David, saying, By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies.
2Sa 3:19 Abner also spoke in the ears of Benjamin: and Abner went also to speak in the ears of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and to the whole house of Benjamin.
2Sa 3:20 So Abner came to David to Hebron, and twenty men with him. David made Abner and the men who were with him a feast.
2Sa 3:21 Abner said to David, I will arise and go, and will gather all Israel to my lord the king, that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may reign over all that your soul desires. David sent Abner away; and he went in peace.
2Sa 3:22 Behold, the servants of David and Joab came from a foray, and brought in a great spoil with them: but Abner was not with David in Hebron; for he had sent him away, and he was gone in peace.
2Sa 3:23 When Joab and all the army who was with him had come, they told Joab, saying, Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he has sent him away, and he is gone in peace.
2Sa 3:24 Then Joab came to the king, and said, What have you done? behold, Abner came to you; why is it that you have sent him away, and he is quite gone?
2Sa 3:25 You know Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive you, and to know your going out and your coming in, and to know all that you do.
2Sa 3:26 When Joab was come out from David, he sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the well of Sirah: but David didn't know it.
2Sa 3:27 When Abner was returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into the midst of the gate to speak with him quietly, and struck him there in the body, so that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother.
2Sa 3:28 Afterward, when David heard it, he said, I and my kingdom are guiltless before Yahweh forever of the blood of Abner the son of Ner:
2Sa 3:29 let it fall on the head of Joab, and on all his father's house; and let there not fail from the house of Joab one who has an issue, or who is a leper, or who leans on a staff, or who falls by the sword, or who lacks bread.
2Sa 3:30 So Joab and Abishai his brother killed Abner, because he had killed their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle.
2Sa 3:31 David said to Joab, and to all the people who were with him, Tear your clothes, and gird yourselves with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner. King David followed the bier.
2Sa 3:32 They buried Abner in Hebron: and the king lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Abner; and all the people wept.
2Sa 3:33 The king lamented for Abner, and said, Should Abner die as a fool dies?
2Sa 3:34 Your hands were not bound, nor your feet put into fetters. As a man falls before the children of iniquity, so you fell. All the people wept again over him.
2Sa 3:35 All the people came to cause David to eat bread while it was yet day; but David swore, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or anything else, until the sun be down.
2Sa 3:36 All the people took notice of it, and it pleased them; as whatever the king did pleased all the people.
2Sa 3:37 So all the people and all Israel understood that day that it was not of the king to kill Abner the son of Ner.
2Sa 3:38 The king said to his servants, "Don't you know that there a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel?
2Sa 3:39 I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah are too hard for me. May Yahweh reward the evildoer according to his wickedness."

From Gary.... Beautiful!!!

As I viewed my blog pictures today I saw this picture and thought: HOW BEAUTIFUL!!!  Aesthetically pleasing came to mind as I considered its composition and then realized I don't use the word aesthetic very often. So, I looked it up and here are the results...

aesthetics ~ noun    very rare
 1. (art) the branch of philosophy dealing with beauty and taste (emphasizing the evaluative criteria that are applied to art)
traditional aesthetics assumed the existence of universal and timeless criteria of artistic value
aesthetic ~ noun    very rare
 1. (philosophy) a philosophical theory as to what is beautiful
he despised the esthetic of minimalism

Funny, I didn't even realize I was thinking about Philosophy. Then, I wondered- what does GOD consider beautiful??? Probably a lot more than I will ever be able to understand, but here are a couple of verses to start with...

Exodus, Chapter 28 (NASB)
Exo 28:40  "For Aaron's sons you shall make tunics; you shall also make sashes for them, and you shall make caps for them, for glory and for beauty.

Isaiah, Chapter 62 (NASB)
Isa 62:1  For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, And for Jerusalem's sake I will not keep quiet, Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, And her salvation like a torch that is burning.
Isa 62:2  The nations will see your righteousness, And all kings your glory; And you will be called by a new name Which the mouth of the LORD will designate.
Isa 62:3  You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, And a royal diadem in the hand of your God. 

GOD called Aaron's sons clothing beautiful and those with the "new name" beautiful as well.  Since the New Testament refers to those following God's way as "Christians" (Acts 11:26), then if you call yourself a Christian- you are beautiful!!!  Funny, I never thought of myself that way before- but who am I to argue with God!!!  Beautiful means BEAUTIFUL- DEAL WITH IT!!!!