From Jim McGuiggan... Rough justice or none at all!

Rough justice or none at all!

Here’s Harriet, she’s a single mother and a cocaine addict and she abuses her children severely and often. Here’s Henry, he’s ill and mentally challenged. He carries an iron bar and has taken to beating people with it.

What are we to do with them? We may not be sure but we are sure that we should do something to protect the defenceless and innocent and it doesn’t matter that Henry and Harriet are not in (complete) control of their actions. Harriet’s horrific background and Henry’s mental disability matter—of course—but these things have to be put aside until we deal with the very real threat these two people are to others.

“The standards of the law are standards of general application. The law takes no account of the infinite varieties of temperament, intellect, and education, which make the internal character of a given act so different in different men. It does not attempt to see men as God sees them, for more than one sufficient reason. In the first place, the impossibility of nicely measuring a man’s powers and limitations is far clearer than that of ascertaining his knowledge of law…When men live in society, a certain average of conduct, a sacrifice of individual peculiarities going beyond a certain point, is necessary to the general welfare. If, for instance, a man is born hasty and awkward, is always having accidents and hurting himself or his neighbors, no doubt his congenital defects will be allowed for in the courts of Heaven, but his slips are no less troublesome to his neighbors than if they sprang from guilty neglect. His neighbors accordingly require him, at his proper peril, to come up to their standard, and the courts which they establish decline to take his personal equation into account.” Oliver Wendell Holmes said that.

There must come a point when we render judgment because however disabled a transgressor is we simply can’t allow him to hurt his neighbor at will. At one level our response against sin (or crime) must ignore what motivates or what shaped the sinner/criminal. We have to develop, as Walter Moberly would put it, “a certain myopia” and get on with dealing with the case. He who knows all and knows how to judge all does not hold us responsible because we are not him and he expects us to judge within our limitations.

Explain it how we will, or for as long as we might, there are in fact those who are predators that hunt the defenseless. What the predator might have been or what he might be under other circumstances who can say? The man/woman before us is the one we have to deal with and not the one who might have been or might later be. When we deal severely (as we sometimes must) with transgressors we recognize our limits but we can do no other than to think that dispensing a rough sort of justice is better than dispensing no justice at all. And if we're sensitive to the fact that we too are under the Holy Father who judges all persons and takes into account all the factors that conspire to make a life then we’ll bear Matthew 7:1-5 in mind.

Aren’t we pleased that Christ is a great Savior?! The more complex and convoluted the entire human situation becomes to our eyes the more wondrous he has to be in order to save any of us. “For such a high priest is suited to our needs,” the Hebrew writer said. Pascal had good reason to say, “It is equally dangerous for man to know God without knowing his own wretchedness as it is to know his own wretchedness without knowing the Redeemer who can free him from it.”

But in saying Jesus Christ has to be great to save “any” of us I'm not suggesting we’re all equally bogged down in sins (plural) for manifestly we’re not. Or that we were all equally bogged down in sins (plural) because I know my record is in every way more littered with failures and positive trespasses than many I know. But whatever our individual differences are they came to us because we are part of a single human family. Neither sin nor righteousness began with me—they continue with me and whatever differences there are in the number of our sins or the grossness of our particular sins we’ve all been involved in the same uprising against God at some point and bear the sign of rebel on our forehead.

But I suspect if we had a richer biblical anthropology and a richer sense of human solidarity and if we were more enlightened about our limits as judges we could live more contentedly with “rough justice” and think we were being treated as well as is possible. Maybe resentment would be less of a hazard and we’d “do our time” with a freer heart.

I'm certain that if our human judges do their needed duty without arrogance and with some residue of good will toward us that we'd "take what's coming to us" in a better spirit. Then, again, even our judges have been shaped by that universal uprising against the Holy Father. Knowing what it was going to lead to in 70 AD, from the cross Jesus looked at his nation and said to his Holy Father, "They don't know what they're doing." Luke 23:14.

Only a God can judge wellonly a God like Jesus Christ can judge well. Until the day he does that and rights all wrongs [Acts 17:31] we'll have to bear with rough justice or none at all. 

by Eric Lyons, M.Min. ... Philip Pullman and The Golden Compass


Philip Pullman and The Golden Compass

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

On December 7, 2007 theaters worldwide released the much anticipated movie The Golden Compass. The movie has generated a great deal of discussion, especially among Christians, because it is based upon Philip Pullman’s first novel in his controversial trilogy titled His Dark Materials. Critics contend that the trilogy is “anti-Christian” and “atheism for kids” (“Pullman Not...,” 2007), but Today on NBC and other media outlets contend that Pullman is “not promoting atheism” (“Pullman Not...,” 2007, emp. added). When interviewed on the Today show a month prior to the movie’s release and asked to respond to those who say The Golden Compass is anti-Christian, Pullman stated:
I always mistrust people who tell us how we should understand something. They know better than we do what the book means or what this means and how we should read it or whether we should read it or not. I don’t think that is democratic. I prefer to trust the reader. I prefer to trust what I call the democracy of reading. But everybody has the right to form their own opinions and read what they like and come to their own conclusions about it (“Pullman on...,” 2007).
If there ever was a politically correct statement, this was it. The question was, “What is your response that this book is anti-Christian?” Is it or isn’t it? Pullman evaded the question altogether and indirectly attacked his critics by painting them as untrustworthy know-it-alls.
Fortunately, Pullman elsewhere has addressed his thoughts concerning God and Christianity more directly, allowing the public to see beyond the politically correct answers he gave on the eve of The Golden Compass’s release in theaters. In 2001, he penned an article titled “The Republic of Heaven.” It appeared in The Horn Book Magazine—a bi-monthly journal of children’s and young adult literature (see “About Us,” 2007). Those familiar with Pullman’s trilogy know that his republic of Heaven represents the antithesis of the biblical, celestial heaven of Almighty God. The republic is the “here and now,” which supposedly is all there is, and is ruled by men, not by a King in Heaven. In addressing his “republic of Heaven,” Pullman wrote: “[W]e must find a way of believing that we are not subservient creatures dependent on the whim of some celestial monarch, but free citizens of the republic of Heaven” (2001). He pointed out early in the article that the children’s books he loves “are saying something important about the most important subject...which is the death of God and its consequences.” He continued: “I take it that there really is no God anymore; the old assumptions have all withered away. That’s my starting point: that the idea of God with which I was brought up is now perfectly incredible” (Pullman, 2001).
Despite Pullman’s attempt to skirt questions about the anti-God, humanistic ideologies in his writings, his anti-Christian sentiments as portrayed through his imagined republic are very clear. He hails a republic as the “antithesis” of a celestial realm ruled by God. “This world is where the things are that matter.... [T]his earth is our true home, and nowhere else is.” How do humans function in such a world? What about right and wrong? According to Pullman, “It’s no good to say, ‘X is good and Y is evil because God says they are’; the King is dead, and that argument won’t do for free citizens of the republic.... Satan; he’s dead, too. There’s no one responsible but us. Goodness and evil have always had a human origin” (2001, emp. added). Of course, Pullman’s ideology is also pro-evolution. In seeking to answer “Why does the world exist?” he contended that there is “overwhelmingly powerful evidence for evolution by natural selection. The neo-Darwinians tell us that the processes of life are blind and automatic; there has been no purpose in our coming here” (2001).
But, one might ask, are Pullman’s personal ideologies really played out in his books for young people? Pullman actually hinted that there is no better place to spread one’s ideas. He suggested:
[W]e need a story, because it’s no good persuading people to commit themselves to an idea on the grounds that it’s reasonable. How much effect would the Bible have had for generations and generations if it had just been a collection of laws and genealogies? What seized the mind and captured the heart were the stories it contains.
So if we are to see what a republic of Heaven might look like, we must look for evidence of it, as I’ve been suggesting, in the realm of stories. And one of the few places we can be certain of finding stories, these days, is in books that are read by children (2001, italics in orig.).
Pullman knows that a good story can impact the world—for good or bad. Sadly, the story of a great republic that he has been selling in His Dark Materials trilogy is anti-God, anti-Creation, and anti-Christianity. Perhaps the directors and producers of the movie The Golden Compass chose to downplay the deeper meaning of Pullman’s writings, but parents would be wise to pass on both the movie and the book on which it is based.


“About Us” (2007), The Horn Book Magazine, [On-line], URL: http://www.hbook.com/aboutus/.
“Pullman Not Promoting Atheism in ‘Golden Compass’” (2007), Today, [On-line], URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21595083/.
“Pullman on the ‘Compass’ Controversy,” (2007), Today, [On-line], URL: http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&brand= msnbc&tab=m5&rf=http: //www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21595083/ &fg=&from=00&vid=aba48491- 7d9b-41ff-9e1c-d65ead8d6c6e&playlist= videoByTag:mk:us:vs:0:tag:News _Editors%20Picks:ns:MSNVideo_Top_Cat:ps: 10:sd:-1:ind:1:ff:8A.
Pullman, Philip (2001), “The Republic of Heaven,” The Horn Book Magazine, 77:655-667, November/December, [On-line], URL: http://www.hbook.com/magazine/articles/2001/nov01_pullman.asp.

From Mark Copeland... Paul Returns To Antioch (Acts 18:18-23)

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                  Paul Returns To Antioch (18:18-23)


1. After a long and successful stay in Corinth, Paul...
   a. Began the last leg of his second missionary journey
   b. From Corinth to Antioch of Syria
   c. By way of Cenchrea, Ephesus, Caesarea, and Jerusalem

2. Luke's description of the last leg of Paul's second journey is 
   a. Covered in only six verses - Ac 18:18-23
   b. Immediately followed by the start of his third journey - Ac 18:23

[Though brief, Luke's description contains several things of interest. 
So let's follow along on...]


      1. Paul left Corinth, joined by Aquila and Priscilla - Ac 18:18
         a. With whom Paul had stayed in Corinth - Ac 18:1-3
         b. Mentioned later in several epistles - Ro 16:3; 1Co 16:19;
            2Ti 4:19
      2. In nearby Cenchrea, Paul cut his hair - Ac 18:18
         a. Cenchrea - a port city, about nine miles from Corinth
         b. Home of Phoebe, a servant of the church there - Ro 16:1
         c. Paul had taken a vow, perhaps the Nazarite vow - cf. Num 6:1-21
         d. As a Jew, Paul had no problems observing certain elements of
            the Law, understanding it was not necessary to be saved - cf.
            Ac 21:20-26; 1Co 9:19-23; Ga 5:4-6
      3. Arriving at Ephesus - Ac 18:19-21
         a. Aquila and Priscilla stayed; they later had a church in
            their home - cf. 1Co 16:19
         b. Paul reasoned with the Jews in the synagogue - cf. Ac 17:1-3 
         c. The Jews wanted him to stay longer
            1) But he was anxious to get to Jerusalem
            2) Some manuscripts indicate it was to keep the feast
               (Passover - cf. Ramsay)
         d. He promised to return, God willing; which he did - cf. Ac 19:1

      1. Paul sailed from Ephesus to Caesarea - Ac 18:21-22
         a. Caesarea was Palestine's chief port - ESV Study Bible
         b. Where Paul would visit again later - cf. Ac 21:8
      2. Went "up" (elevation-wise) and visited the church - Ac 18:22
         a. Most likely the church in Jerusalem
         b. "About sixty-five miles inland, the terms 'going up' and
            'going down' are used so frequently of the journey to and 
            from Jerusalem as to establish this usage." - Stott, J.R.W.
            (1994). The Message of Acts: the Spirit, the church & the 
            world. The Bible Speaks Today. Leicester, England: 
            InterVarsity Press.

      1. He went "down" to Antioch - Ac 18:22
         a. Antioch of Syria was actually north of Jerusalem
         b. But it was "downhill" in relation to Jerusalem
      2. He spent "some time" in Antioch of Syria - Ac 18:23
         a. Probably from early summer of AD 52 to early spring of 53
            - Stott, ibid.
         b. Thus Paul's second journey that began in Antioch was 
            completed - cf. Ac 15:36-40

[Luke immediately begins his record of Paul's third missionary journey
(Ac 18:23).  But let's use the rest of this study to summarize...]


      1. Paul was able to encourage churches 
         a. In Syria, Cilicia - Ac 15:41
         b. In Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia - Ac 16:1-5
      2. Paul was able to establish churches
         a. In Philippi - Ac 16:11-40
         b. In Thessalonica - Ac 17:1-4
         c. In Berea - Ac 17:10-12
         d. In Athens - Ac 17:34
         e. In Corinth - Ac 18:1-8

      1. Paul began lasting relations with co-workers
         a. Silas - Ac 15:40; 16:19,25,40; 17:4,10,14-15; 18:5; 2Co 1:19;
            1Th 1:1; 2Th 1:1
         b. Timothy - Ac 16:1; 17:14-15; 18:5; 19:22; 20:4; Ro 16:21;
            1Co 4:17; 16:10; 2Co 1:1,19; Php 1:1; 2:19; Col 1:1; 1Th 1:1;
            3:2,6; 2Th 1:1; 1Ti 1:2,18; 6:20; 2Ti 1:2; Phm 1; He 13:23
         c. Luke (author of Acts) - Ac 16:10-13,16; 20:6,13-15; 21:1-17;
            27:1-28:16; Col 4:14; 2Ti 4:11; Phm 24
         d. Aquila and Priscilla - Ac 18:1-3,18; Ro 16:3; 1Co 16:19;
            2Ti 4:19
      2. Paul began lasting relations with brethren
         a. Brethren at Philippi (Lydia, the jailor, Clement, Euodia,
            Syntche) - Php 1:3-8; 4:1-3,15-18
         b. Brethren at Thessalonica - 1Th 1:2-4; 2:17-20; 3:6-10; 2Th 1:3-4,11-12; 3:1-5
         c. Brethren at Corinth (Gaius, Chole, Crispus, household of
            Stephanas) - Ac 18:8; 1Co 1:11,14-16; 16:15,17; Ro 16:23

      1. Mentioning churches to whom epistles were written
         a. Antioch of Pisidia, Lystra Iconium, Derbe (Galatians)
         b. Philippi (Philippians)
         c. Thessalonica (1st & 2nd Thessalonians)
         d. Corinth (1st & 2nd Corinthians)
      2. Introducing persons whose impact is felt in the books of the New
         a. Luke (author of the gospel of Luke and book of Acts)
         b. Timothy (recipient of 1st & 2nd Timothy) 


1. Paul's second missionary also contained notable examples of 
   a. Lydia of Thyatira - Ac 16:13-15
   b. The Philippian jailer - Ac 16:25-34
   c. The Corinthians - Ac 18:8

2. We also read of worthy examples of character...
   a. Timothy, the dedicated disciple - Ac 16:1-3
   b. Lydia, the hospitable convert - Ac 16:15
   c. The noble (fair-minded) Bereans - Ac 17:11

May such examples of conversion and character inspire us us in our own
devotion to the Lord...!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2013

From Gary... Bible Reading July 11

Bible Reading 

July 11

The World English Bible

July 11
2 Kings 19-21

2Ki 19:1 It happened, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of Yahweh.
2Ki 19:2 He sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.
2Ki 19:3 They said to him, Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of rejection; for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.
2Ki 19:4 It may be Yahweh your God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master has sent to defy the living God, and will rebuke the words which Yahweh your God has heard. Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.
2Ki 19:5 So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah.
2Ki 19:6 Isaiah said to them, Thus you shall tell your master, Thus says Yahweh, Don't be afraid of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.
2Ki 19:7 Behold, I will put a spirit in him, and he shall hear news, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.
2Ki 19:8 So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah; for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish.
2Ki 19:9 When he heard say of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, Behold, he is come out to fight against you, he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying,
2Ki 19:10 Thus you shall speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Don't let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.
2Ki 19:11 Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly: and shall you be delivered?
2Ki 19:12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them, which my fathers have destroyed, Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden that were in Telassar?
2Ki 19:13 Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivvah?
2Ki 19:14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of Yahweh, and spread it before Yahweh.
2Ki 19:15 Hezekiah prayed before Yahweh, and said, Yahweh, the God of Israel, who sit above the cherubim, you are the God, even you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth.
2Ki 19:16 Incline your ear, Yahweh, and hear; open your eyes, Yahweh, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, with which he has sent him to defy the living God.
2Ki 19:17 Of a truth, Yahweh, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands,
2Ki 19:18 and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone; therefore they have destroyed them.
2Ki 19:19 Now therefore, Yahweh our God, save us, I beg you, out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you Yahweh are God alone.
2Ki 19:20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, Whereas you have prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard you.
2Ki 19:21 This is the word that Yahweh has spoken concerning him: The virgin daughter of Zion has despised you and ridiculed you; the daughter of Jerusalem has shaken her head at you.
2Ki 19:22 Whom have you defied and blasphemed? and against whom have you exalted your voice and lifted up your eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel.
2Ki 19:23 By your messengers you have defied the Lord, and have said, With the multitude of my chariots am I come up to the height of the mountains, to the innermost parts of Lebanon; and I will cut down the tall cedars of it, and the choice fir trees of it; and I will enter into his farthest lodging place, the forest of his fruitful field.
2Ki 19:24 I have dug and drunk strange waters, and with the sole of my feet will I dry up all the rivers of Egypt.
2Ki 19:25 Haven't you heard how I have done it long ago, and formed it of ancient times? now have I brought it to pass, that it should be yours to lay waste fortified cities into ruinous heaps.
2Ki 19:26 Therefore their inhabitants were of small power, they were dismayed and confounded; they were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb, as the grass on the housetops, and as grain blasted before it is grown up.
2Ki 19:27 But I know your sitting down, and your going out, and your coming in, and your raging against me.
2Ki 19:28 Because of your raging against me, and because your arrogance is come up into my ears, therefore will I put my hook in your nose, and my bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way by which you came.
2Ki 19:29 This shall be the sign to you: You shall eat this year that which grows of itself, and in the second year that which springs of the same; and in the third year sow, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat its fruit.
2Ki 19:30 The remnant that has escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.
2Ki 19:31 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and out of Mount Zion those who shall escape: the zeal of Yahweh shall perform this.
2Ki 19:32 Therefore thus says Yahweh concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come to this city, nor shoot an arrow there, neither shall he come before it with shield, nor cast up a mound against it.
2Ki 19:33 By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and he shall not come to this city, says Yahweh.
2Ki 19:34 For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake, and for my servant David's sake.
2Ki 19:35 It happened that night, that the angel of Yahweh went forth, and struck in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred eighty-five thousand: and when men arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.
2Ki 19:36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and lived at Nineveh.
2Ki 19:37 It happened, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Esar Haddon his son reigned in his place.
2Ki 20:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick to death. Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, Thus says Yahweh, Set your house in order: for you shall die, and not live.
2Ki 20:2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed to Yahweh, saying,
2Ki 20:3 Remember now, Yahweh, I beg you, how I have walked before you in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in your sight. Hezekiah wept sore.
2Ki 20:4 It happened, before Isaiah was gone out into the middle part of the city, that the word of Yahweh came to him, saying,
2Ki 20:5 Turn back, and tell Hezekiah the prince of my people, Thus says Yahweh, the God of David your father, I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears: behold, I will heal you; on the third day you shall go up to the house of Yahweh.
2Ki 20:6 I will add to your days fifteen years; and I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for my own sake, and for my servant David's sake.
2Ki 20:7 Isaiah said, Take a cake of figs. They took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.
2Ki 20:8 Hezekiah said to Isaiah, What shall be the sign that Yahweh will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of Yahweh the third day?
2Ki 20:9 Isaiah said, This shall be the sign to you from Yahweh, that Yahweh will do the thing that he has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?
2Ki 20:10 Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to decline ten steps: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten steps.
2Ki 20:11 Isaiah the prophet cried to Yahweh; and he brought the shadow ten steps backward, by which it had gone down on the dial of Ahaz.
2Ki 20:12 At that time Berodach Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah; for he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick.
2Ki 20:13 Hezekiah listened to them, and showed them all the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious oil, and the house of his armor, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah didn't show them.
2Ki 20:14 Then came Isaiah the prophet to king Hezekiah, and said to him, What did these men say? and from where did they come to you? Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country, even from Babylon.
2Ki 20:15 He said, What have they seen in your house? Hezekiah answered, All that is in my house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.
2Ki 20:16 Isaiah said to Hezekiah, Hear the word of Yahweh.
2Ki 20:17 Behold, the days come, that all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have laid up in store to this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, says Yahweh.
2Ki 20:18 Of your sons who shall issue from you, whom you shall father, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.
2Ki 20:19 Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of Yahweh which you have spoken. He said moreover, Isn't it so, if peace and truth shall be in my days?
2Ki 20:20 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made the pool, and the conduit, and brought water into the city, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
2Ki 20:21 Hezekiah slept with his fathers; and Manasseh his son reigned in his place.

2Ki 21:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Hephzibah.
2Ki 21:2 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, after the abominations of the nations whom Yahweh cast out before the children of Israel.
2Ki 21:3 For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made an Asherah, as did Ahab king of Israel, and worshiped all the army of the sky, and served them.
2Ki 21:4 He built altars in the house of Yahweh, of which Yahweh said, In Jerusalem will I put my name.
2Ki 21:5 He built altars for all the army of the sky in the two courts of the house of Yahweh.
2Ki 21:6 He made his son to pass through the fire, and practiced sorcery, and used enchantments, and dealt with those who had familiar spirits, and with wizards: he worked much evil in the sight of Yahweh, to provoke him to anger.
2Ki 21:7 He set the engraved image of Asherah, that he had made, in the house of which Yahweh said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name forever;
2Ki 21:8 neither will I cause the feet of Israel to wander any more out of the land which I gave their fathers, if only they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that my servant Moses commanded them.
2Ki 21:9 But they didn't listen: and Manasseh seduced them to do that which is evil more than did the nations whom Yahweh destroyed before the children of Israel.
2Ki 21:10 Yahweh spoke by his servants the prophets, saying,
2Ki 21:11 Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations, and has done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, who were before him, and has made Judah also to sin with his idols;
2Ki 21:12 therefore thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, Behold, I bring such evil on Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears shall tingle.
2Ki 21:13 I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab; and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.
2Ki 21:14 I will cast off the remnant of my inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies;
2Ki 21:15 because they have done that which is evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even to this day.
2Ki 21:16 Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; besides his sin with which he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh.
2Ki 21:17 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and all that he did, and his sin that he sinned, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
2Ki 21:18 Manasseh slept with his fathers, and was buried in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza: and Amon his son reigned in his place.
2Ki 21:19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned two years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Meshullemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah.
2Ki 21:20 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, as did Manasseh his father.
2Ki 21:21 He walked in all the way that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshiped them:
2Ki 21:22 and he forsook Yahweh, the God of his fathers, and didn't walk in the way of Yahweh.
2Ki 21:23 The servants of Amon conspired against him, and put the king to death in his own house.
2Ki 21:24 But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place.
2Ki 21:25 Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
2Ki 21:26 He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza: and Josiah his son reigned in his place.

From Gary... SONSHINE

This picture brings a flood of memories to my mind. Our first house was in Valley Falls and had a beautiful sun porch a bit bigger than this.  Since we were located on a hill, there was a vista associated with the porch and I fondly recall the time I spent gazing through all those windows (there were at least two more banks in the lengthwise direction).  The things I saw though those panes are still in my mind- even after 30 years. And the brightness of the picture reminded me of the morning views I enjoyed (the windows had a South-Easterly orientation).  Naturally, I associate the following from the book of John with this...

John, Chapter 8 (NASB)
Joh 8:12  Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."

We spent many years in that wonderful little house and while living there I decided to become a Christian. We are old now, but inside I still feel young; especially when I remember how Jesus, as the light of my life has changed things. Drinking, smoking, bad language (and I mean really, really bad) are gone from my life and its all due to the light of the world (Jesus) who really does change people.  Remember this, the next time you look out a window into the bright sunshine (or should I say SONSHINE). God can change you too!!!!