6/10/15

From Mark Copeland... "EQUIPPING THE SAINTS FOR MINISTRY" Diversity Of Function In The Body




                  "EQUIPPING THE SAINTS FOR MINISTRY"

                   Diversity Of Function In The Body

INTRODUCTION

1. "Equipping The Saints For Ministry" has been the theme for this
   present series of lessons...
   a. It is based upon the thought that an important work of the Lord's
      church is to prepare each member of the body of Christ to do his
      or her part
   b. This thought is taken from Paul's comments in Ep 4:11-16

2. I have sought to illustrate that "Equipping The Saints For Ministry"
   is both a providential necessity as well as a practical one...
   a. If we want the Lord to open doors for us so we can be used by Him
      to reach lost souls, we must equip ourselves to be of service 
      (the PROVIDENTIAL necessity)
   b. If we want those who come our way to feel that this congregation
      is important to them and vice versa, we must provide opportunity
      for every member to serve! (the PRACTICAL necessity)

3. Indeed, if we desire growth in the body of Christ, EVERY member must
   be doing his or her part! - cf. Ep 4:16

4. At this point, I believe there is value in stressing the truth that
   there must be diversity of function in the body of Christ...
   a. This point is often overlooked when churches think about how they
      might involve every member
   b. Yet failure to appreciate this truth can hinder true growth, and
      at the same time be very frustrating for the members of the body
      of Christ

[Consider, then, the following points taken from Paul's comments to the
churches at Rome and Corinth...]

I. THE BODY OF CHRIST HAS MANY MEMBERS

   A. TO THE CHURCH AT CORINTH, PAUL STRESSED THIS POINT...
      1. Just as the physical body, though one, has many members - 1Co 12:12a
      2. So it is with the body of Christ - 1Co 12:12b,14

   B. HE TOLD THE BRETHREN IN ROME THE SAME THING...
      1. As we have many members in our physical body - Ro 12:4a
      2. So the body of Christ is made up of many who are members of
         one another - Ro 12:5

[This point of the similarity between the physical body containing many
members and the body of Christ having many members is a simple one, but
it helps prepare us for the next point that is often neglected...]

II. NOT ALL MEMBERS HAVE THE SAME FUNCTION

   A. THIS POINT IS MADE MOST CLEARLY TO THE SAINTS AT ROME...
      1. All the members do not have the same function - Ro 12:5b
      2. We have gifts differing according to the grace given to us
         - Ro 12:6-8

   B. BUT IT IS IMPLIED IN WRITING TO THE CORINTHIANS AS WELL...
      1. God has appointed several different functions in the church
         - 1Co 12:28
      2. The rhetorical questions then asked by Paul imply that not all
         members have the same function - 1Co 12:29-30

   C. INDEED, OTHER NEW TESTAMENT WRITERS IMPLY THE SAME...
      1. James, in his warning about becoming teachers - Jm 3:1
      2. Peter, in his exhortation to be good stewards of the
         "manifold" grace of God - 1Pe 4:10-11

   D. FAILURE TO APPRECIATE THIS POINT CAN BE DETRIMENTAL...
      1. Detrimental to individual members
         a. When members are led to believe that all Christians are to
            be alike, serving in the same way, it encourages some
            Christians to be what they are not, nor ever can be
         b. This leads to failure in their attempts to serve, which in
            turn can lead to discouragement and apathy
      2. Detrimental to the function of the body itself
         a. The body of Christ is designed by God to accomplish several
            functions (e.g., evangelism, edification, benevolence)
         b. But when people are expected to do the same thing, other
            important functions go undone

[This leads us to the final point I wish to make about diversity of
function in the body of Christ...]

III. EVERY FUNCTION IS CRUCIAL TO THE OPERATION OF THE BODY

   A. NO ONE CAN SAY THAT THEY OR THEIR ROLES ARE NOT IMPORTANT...
      1. As Paul illustrated in 1Co 12:15-20
      2. There is no place for low self-esteem among members of the
         body of Christ!

   B. NO ONE CAN SAY THAT WHAT OTHERS DO IS NOT IMPORTANT...
      1. As Paul illustrated in 1Co 12:21-22
      2. There is no place for an arrogant independence among members
         of the body of Christ!

   C. THIS PLACES SEVERAL CHALLENGES BEFORE US...
      1. First, to be aware of the different ways that members can
         serve in the body
      2. Second, to encourage members to develop those functions that
         best suit their abilities and opportunities to serve
      3. Third, to provide direction and opportunity for those willing
         and prepared to serve in their different functions

CONCLUSION

1. I plan to offer suggestions on how we might meet these challenges as
   the series continues

2. For now, though, I hope we appreciate more fully the points made in this lesson...
   a. The body of Christ has many members
   b. Not all members have the same function
   c. Every function is crucial to the operation of the body

3. In closing this lesson, let me offer this quote from Flavil Yeakley,
   taken from his book, "WHY CHURCHES GROW", which confirms the points
   I have been making...

   "Some congregations have been built around one particular kind of
   ministry or program. In those congregations, the only members who
   are really involved are those taking part in that one special
   program. But the church is a body. A body must have diversity if
   it is to survive. Evangelism, edification, benevolence, and worship
   are functions required of every local congregation. Successful
   congregational development requires a balanced program involving
   many areas of activity." (p. 114)

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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Elisha and the Lads of Bethel by Wayne Jackson, M.A.



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=1147

Elisha and the Lads of Bethel

by Wayne Jackson, M.A.

Q.

In 2 Kings 2, forty-two boys made fun of Elisha for being bald. The prophet then called bears out of the woods to attack the boys as punishment for their disrespect. Isn’t this morally evil—for God’s representative to take vengeance on these boys for such an insignificant thing?

A.

In the book of 2 Kings, there is an intriguing narrative that has generated considerable controversy. Concerning the prophet Elisha, the text reads as follows.
And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them (2 Kings 2:23-24).
Atheists have appealed to this incident in an attempt to involve the Bible in moral difficulty. A careful consideration of the facts, however, will dissolve the problem.
First, the translation, “there came forth little children out of the city” (KJV) is an unfortunate rendition (cf. “young lads”—ASV, or “youths”—NIVNKJV). The Hebrew word rendered “children” derives fromna’ar—used 235 times in the Old Testament. Na’ar is a very broad root word, and can have reference to anyone from a newborn child to an adult. Further, the Hebrew word rendered “little” comes fromqatan, and generally means young or small. In commenting on this term in 2 Kings 2:23, theTheological Wordbook of the Old Testament remarked:
Elisha being taunted (cf. qalasqarah) by young lads (perhaps teen-age ruffians) (II Kgs 2:23) who as members of covenant families ought to have been taught God’s law whereby cursing his servant was tantamount to cursing him and rightly punishable by death (qalal) (Harris, et al., 1980, 2:795).
Obviously, therefore, the immediate context in which na’ar is used will determine the maturity of the subject so designated.
Second, the young men of Bethel mocked Elisha. The Hebrew word qalas means to scoff at, ridicule, or scorn. The term does not suggest innocent conduct. Note the Lord’s comment elsewhere: “They mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and scoffed at his prophets, until the wrath of Jehovah arose against his people, till there was no remedy” (2 Chronicles 36:16).
Too, the expression, “Go up...Go up,” is held by many scholars to reflect the wish of these young men that the prophet go ahead and ascend (as did Elijah—2 Kings 2:11), i.e., leave the Earth, that they might be rid of him! Also, the taunt, “thou bald head,” was likely a reproach. Old Testament scholar John Whitcomb has suggested that this was an expression “of extreme contempt. They were pronouncing a divine curse upon him, for which baldness was often the outward sign (cf. Isaiah 3:17a,24)” (1971, p. 68).
Third, when it is said that Elisha “cursed them,” there is no implication of profanity (as our modern word suggests), nor was this a venting of passion for personal revenge. Holy men of God sometimes were empowered with divine authority to pronounce an impending judgment upon rebellious persons (cf. Genesis 9:25, 49:7, Deuteronomy 27:15ff., and Joshua 6:26). Christ uttered a curse upon the barren fig tree (Mark 11:21) as an object lesson of the doom that was to be visited upon Jerusalem. Also, it is stated clearly that Elisha’s curse upon them was “in the name of the Lord,” meaning by “divine appointment, inspiration, authority” (see Orr, 1956, 4:2112).
Fourth, the tragedy that befell these young men obviously was of divine design. Elisha, as a mere man, would have no power to call forth wild animals out of the woods merely at his bidding. But the sovereignty of Jehovah over the animal kingdom frequently is affirmed in the Scriptures. God sent fiery serpents to bite the Israelites (Numbers 21:6); the Lord slew a disobedient young prophet by means of a lion (1 Kings 13:24ff.); yet, He shut the lions’ mouths to protect Daniel (Daniel 6:22). He prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah (Jonah 1:17), and guided one to Peter’s hook (Matthew 17:24ff.). Clearly, therefore, it was Jehovah who brought those bears out of the forest.
Additionally, if, when the divine record says that the bears “tare” the lads, it means they were killed (and not all scholars are sure that death is indicated), then it was a divine punishment. As Alfred Edersheim has written: “[I]t should be noticed that it was not Elisha who slew those forty-two youths, but the Lord in His Providence, just as it had been Jehovah, not the prophet, who had healed the waters of Jericho” (n.d., 6:107).
It is the general view of conservative Bible scholars that the young men of Bethel likely were idolaters whose reproaches upon Elisha were expressions of contempt for his prophetic office, and thus, ultimately directed at the God Whom he served. Thus, their punishment was a divine judgment intended to serve as a dramatic example in horribly wicked times.

REFERENCES

Edersheim, Albert (no date), The Bible History—Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Harris, R.L., G.L. Archer, and B.K. Waltke (1980), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament(Chicago, IL: Moody).
Orr, James, ed. (1956), International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Whitcomb, John C. (1971), Solomon to the Exile (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Consider God’s Creation—Think About God’s Greatness by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1591

Consider God’s Creation—Think About God’s Greatness

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Christians in the 21st century think too little about God’s creation; consequently, we think too little about God. We are so enamored with ourselves—our schedules, our work, our technology, our extracurricular activities, etc., that we often fail to see the stars and smell the roses. Today, perhaps more than any time in history, man misses the apparently simple things in life that should cause us to meditate continually upon the greatness of the Creator. Of course, nothing is more important for Christians to meditate on than God’s Word (Psalm 1:2; see Lyons, 2011), but in conjunction with God’s special revelation (His Word), we ought to ponder about how God’s amazing natural revelation testifies to His infinite power, intelligence, and care.
Time and again, Holy Writ points to God’s creation as proof of His greatness. Since the time of Job, Noah, and going as far back as Adam, man has learned some wonderful things about God by considering His amazing creation. Paul wrote: “Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead” (Romans 1:20, emp. added).
Perhaps no other book of the Bible leads man to deeper meditation on God’s greatness than the book of Psalms. Yet, interestingly, oftentimes this same inspired book turns man’s attention to God’s creation. In Psalm 8, for example, the psalmist praised the excellent name of the Lord Who set His “glory above the heavens,” Who made the Moon, stars, man, and even “the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas.” What did the psalmist conclude? “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:9). In Psalm 19:1, we are reminded that “[t]he heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.” In Psalm 33, we learn of one of the reasons that humanity is to fear and stand in awe of the Lord (33:8)—because “by the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth…. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast” (33:6,9).
Consider the climax of the book of Job, when God spoke to the patriarch out of a whirlwind. Instead of informing Job of the exact reasons for his serious suffering, God spoke to him about His creation. Beginning in Job 38:39 and going through chapters 39, 40, and 41, God spoke to Job about several different animals, including the lion, the hawk, Behemoth, and Leviathan. Of all of the things God could have said to Job, He spent some 77 verses talking about some of His animal creation. He chose to teach Job about His all-powerful, all-knowing, supreme nature by describing some of His magnificent animal creation.
The prophet Isaiah once wrote about being allowed to see a vision of the throne of God. In the Lord’s presence were angelic beings crying out one to another, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:3). What is the basis of this praise? What is one reason we should be driven to worship God? Isaiah revealed one of the pillars of God’s praise in the very next line: “The whole earth is full of His glory” (6:3).
Indeed, the beauty, splendor, and design of God’s creation should drive us closer to the Creator. His “fingerprints” should make us stand in awe of Him. They should drive us to our knees in worship of Him. And they should compel us to tell others about Him. As the psalmist sang, we should “declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised” (96:3-4).

REFERENCE

Lyons, Eric (2011), “Take Time with the Text,” Apologetics Press,http://www.apologeticspress.org/article/1130.



Another Antiquated Dinosaur Engraving by Eric Lyons, M.Min.



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=2423

Another Antiquated Dinosaur Engraving

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Last week we posted our most recent Reason & Revelation article, in which we examined various dinosaur carvings from around the world (see Butt and Lyons, 2008). We highlighted a Stegosaurusfrom the Ta Prohm temple near Siem Reap, Cambodia, an Apatosaurus-like dinosaur from Natural Bridges National Monument in southeastern Utah, and a dinosaur-like figure from the Havasupai Canyon in northern Arizona. Another interesting dinosaur-like engraving lies in the floor of the Carlisle Cathedral in Carlisle, England.
Founded in the 12th century, the Carlisle Cathedral has served as a meeting place for the people of northwest England for 900 years. One of the bishops of Carlisle in the 15th century was Richard Bell. He served in this position for 17 years, resigned in 1495, and died one year later (see Pryde, et al., 1996, p. 236). Bell’s body was then laid to rest in a tomb along a main aisle inside the cathedral. His tomb is inlaid with brass and currently is covered by a protective rug in order to preserve the brass engravings as much as possible. In 2002, the Canon Warden of the cathedral removed the rug in order for United Kingdom resident Philip Bell (apparently no relation to Richard Bell) to examine the tomb. According to Bell,
The brass shows Bishop Richard Bell (1.44 m or 4 ft 8½ inches long) under a Gothic canopy (2.9 m or 9 ft 5 in long), dressed in his full vestments, with his mitre (bishop’s cap) and crosier (hooked staff).
used with permission from CreationOnTheWeb.com
 
But it is the narrow brass fillet (2.9 m or 9½ ft long), running around the edge of the tomb, that contains the items of particular interest. Owing to the passage of time (and countless thousands of tramping feet!) parts of the fillet have long since been lost, including the entire bottom section. However, in between the words of the Latin inscription, there are depictions of various...fish, an eel, a dog, a pig, a bird... (2003, 25[4]:40).
Most remarkable, however, is an engraving of two animals with long necks and long tails. Although some of the brass engraving is worn due to 500 years of wear and tear, these curious creatures are clearly of some extinct animal. In truth, more than any other creature, they resemble the sauropod dinosaurs that once roamed the Earth.
used with permission from Enlightened.org.uk
What do critics have to say about the engravings? After passing off the animal on the left as “some kind of big cat,” one popular skeptical Web site admitted: “The animal to the right, though, does look rather more like a quadrupedal dinosaur than any other sort of animal, past or present” (“Bishop Bell’s...,” 2007). What’s more, the skeptics acknowledged the unlikelihood of the engraving being a hoax: “In the case of Bishop Bell’s dinosaur, there is no corresponding profit motive, or any other apparent motive; and also, any tampering with the tomb would have to be done in situ, in Carlisle Cathedral, and it is hard to see how a hoaxer could have gone about his work unobserved” (“Bishop Bell’s...”).
It seems clear, even to skeptics, that at least one of the two curious engravings looks like a dinosaur. What is so spectacular about a dinosaur being engraved on a tomb built in 1496? Simply that the engraving is more than 300 years older than the first dinosaur fossils found in modern times. We have no evidence of humans finding dinosaur fossils and reconstructing their skeletons until the middle of the 19th century. So how did someone engrave such a convincing picture of a dinosaur in the late 15th century? The obvious, but often rejected answer, is men once lived with these creatures, and proof of their coexistence is found all over the world in the form of physical, historical, and biblical evidence (Butt and Lyons, 2008; Lyons, 2007; Lyons, 2001). Thus, evolution’s multi-million-year-dinosaur timetable is wrong.

REFERENCES

Bell, Philip (2003), “Bishop Bell’s Brass Behemoths,” Creation, 25[4]:40-44, September-November.
“Bishop Bell’s Dinosaurs” (2007), Skepticwiki, June, [On-line], URL:http://skepticwiki.org/index.php/Bishop_Bell’s_Dinosaurs.
Butt, Kyle and Eric Lyons (2008), “Physical Evidence for the Coexistence of Dinosaurs and Humans—Part I,” Reason & Revelation, 28[3]:17-23, March.
Lyons, Eric (2001), “Behemoth and Leviathan—Creatures of Controversy,” Reason & Revelation, 21[1]:1-7, January.
Lyons, Eric (2007), “Historical Support for the Coexistence of Dinosaurs and Humans—Part I & PartII,” Reason & Revelation, 27[9-10]:65-71,73-79, September-October.
Pryde, E.B., D.E. Greenway, S. Porter, and I. Roy (1996), Handbook of British Chronology(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), third edition.

Are Americans Abandoning God? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=2019

Are Americans Abandoning God?

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

With the appalling erosion of traditional American values having reached crisis proportions, one would fully expect the foundational principles of the Republic gradually to be jettisoned. Sadly, such expectations are being realized nationwide. One of—if not the central—bedrock of American civilization that has been compromised significantly is belief in the God of the Bible. A recent survey conducted by Harris Poll found that 42 percent of U.S. adults are not “absolutely certain” there is a God—a figure that compares to 34 percent who felt that way when asked that same question only three years ago (“Nearly Half...,” 2006). Little wonder. For some fifty years now, the public school and university system of this country has been steadily chipping away at belief in God and the Christian religion, largely through its unilateral indoctrination of youth with the godless theory of evolution. Many American universities are now firmly in the grip and under the control of atheists, agnostics, and skeptics who forthrightly reject belief in God, and who embrace a materialistic view of origins.
What a tragedy! The United States was launched under such drastically different circumstances. Indeed, the foundational premise for severing ties with England, and the central rationale and justification for establishing a new nation, was articulated by the Founders in their declared intention to establish their independence. In the very first sentence of that seminal document, they insisted that “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle[d] them” to achieve “the separate and equal station” of a new nation. The “Nature’s God” to whom they referred was the God of the Bible. In the second sentence they declared that they had been “created” (not evolved) by their “Creator” who invested them with “certain unalienable Rights.” In other words, the American Republic had a right to exist on the basis of the authority of the God of the Bible. Further, they justified their intentions by “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world.” And they staked the entire enterprise on “a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.” Four times in the brief literary missive that launched the United States of America, the Founders alluded to the God of the Bible; yet now, 230 years later, nearly half of Americans are not “absolutely certain” there is a God!
To grasp the depth of commitment and reliance on the God of the Bible that the Founders and Framers of American civilization possessed, consider several proclamations that ushered forth from the Continental Congress during the tumultuous years of the American Revolution (1776-1783). These expressions, though perhaps tedious to today’s reader, are filled with spiritually uplifting, life-sustaining principles. For example, on November 1, 1777, the Congress issued the following proclamation to the country:
FORASMUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of: And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence; but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary War, for the Defense and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased, in so great a Measure, to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops, and to crown our Arms with most signal success:
It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive Powers of these UNITEDSTATES to set apart THURSDAY, the eighteenth Day of December next, for SOLEMNTHANKSGIVING and PRAISE: That at one Time and with one Voice, the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor; and that, together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may join the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favor; and their humble and earnest Supplication that it may pleaseGOD through the Merits of JESUS CHRIST, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance; That it may please him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Governments of these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole: To inspire our Commanders, both by Land and Sea, and all under them, with that Wisdom and Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty GOD, to secure for these United States, the greatest of all human Blessings, INDEPENDENCEand PEACE: That it may please him, to prosper the Trade and Manufactures of the People, and the Labor of the Husbandman, that our Land may yield its Increase: To take Schools and Seminaries of Education, so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue and Piety, under his nurturing Hand; and to prosper the Means of Religion, for the promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom, which consisteth “in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost.”
And it is further recommended, that servile Labor, and such Recreation, as, though at other times innocent, may be unbecoming the Purpose of this Appointment, be omitted on so solemn an Occasion (Journals of..., 1904-1937, 9:854-851).
Attest, Cha. Thompson, Secretary
God save the United-States of America
The political leaders of America made no bones about their total reliance and dependency on the God of the Bible as well as the precepts of Jesus Christ.
One year later, on November 17, 1778, the Continental Congress again issued a proclamation intended for the entire nation:
It having pleased Almighty God, through the course of the present year, to bestow great and manifold mercies on the people of these United States; and it being the indispensable duty of all men gratefully to acknowledge their obligations to Him for benefits received: Resolved, That it be, and hereby is recommended to the legislative or executive authority of each of the said states, to appoint Wednesday, the 30th day of December next, to be observed as a day of public thanksgiving and praise, that all the people may, with united hearts, on that day, express a just sense of his unmerited favors; particularly in that it hath pleased him, by his overruling providence, to support us in a just and necessary war, for the defense of our rights and liberties, by affording us seasonable supplies for our armies, by disposing the heart of a powerful monarch to enter into alliance with us, and aid our cause; by defeating the councils and evil designs of our enemies, and giving us victory over their troops; and, by the continuance of that union among these states, which, by his blessing, will be their future strength and glory.
And it is further recommended, that, together with devout thanksgiving, may be joined a penitent confession of our sins, and humble supplication for pardon, through the merits of our Savior; so that, under the smiles of Heaven, our public councils may be directed, our arms by land and sea prospered, our liberty and independence secured, our schools and seminaries of learning flourish, our trade be revived, our husbandry and manufactures increased, and the hearts of all impressed with undissembled piety, with benevolence and zeal for the public good. And it is also recommended, that recreations unsuitable to the purpose of such a solemnity may be omitted on that day.
Done in Congress, this 17th day of November, 1778, and in the third year of the independence of the United States of America (Journals of..., 1904-1937, 12:1138-1139).
Four months later, the Continental Congress issued a Fast Day Proclamation:
Whereas, in just punishment of our manifold transgressions, it hath pleased the Supreme Disposer of all events to visit these United States with a destructive calamitous war, through which His divine Providence hath, hitherto, in a wonderful manner, conducted us, so that we might acknowledge that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong: and whereas, there is but too much Reason to fear that notwithstanding the chastisements received and benefits bestowed, too few have been sufficiently awakened to a sense of their guilt, or warmed our Bosoms with gratitude, or taught to amend their lives and turn from their sins, that so He might turn from His wrath. And whereas, from a consciousness of what we have merited at His hands, and an apprehension that the malevolence of our disappointed enemies, like the incredulity of Pharaoh, may be used as the scourge of Omnipotence to vindicate his slighted Majesty, there is reason to fear that he may permit much of our land to become the prey of the spoiler, and the Blood of the innocent be poured out that our borders to be ravaged, and our habitations destroyed:
Resolved, That it be recommended to the several states to appoint the first Thursday in May next, to be a day of fasting, Thanksgiving humiliation and prayer to Almighty God, that he will be pleased to avert those impending calamities which we have but too well deserved: that he will grant us his grace to repent of our sins, and amend our lives, according to his holy word: that he will continue that wonderful protection which hath led us through the paths of danger and distress: that he will be a husband to the widow and a father to the fatherless children, who weep over the barbarities of a savage enemy: that he will grant us patience in suffering, and fortitude in adversity: that he will inspire us with humility and moderation, and gratitude in prosperous circumstances: that he will give wisdom to our councils, firmness to our resolutions, and victory to our arms That he will have Mercy on our Foes, and graciously forgive them, and turn their Hearts from Enmity to Love.
That he will bless the labours of the husbandman, and pour forth abundance, so that we may enjoy the fruits of the earth in due season. That he will cause union, harmony, and mutual confidence to prevail throughout these states: that he will bestow on our great ally all those blessings which may enable him to be gloriously instrumental in protecting the rights of mankind, and promoting the happiness of his subjects and advancing the Peace and Liberty of Nations. That he will give to both Parties to this Alliance, Grace to perform with Honor and Fidelity their National Engagements. That he will bountifully continue his paternal care to the commander in chief, and the officers and soldiers of the United States: that he will grant the blessings of peace to all contending nations, freedom to those who are in bondage, and comfort to the afflicted: that he will diffuse useful knowledge, extend the influence of true religion, and give us that peace of mind, which the world cannot give: that he will be our shield in the day of battle, our comforter in the hour of death, and our kind parent and merciful judge through time and through eternity.
Done in Congress, this 20th day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-nine, and in the third year of our independence.
John Jay, President.
Attest, Charles Thomson, Secretary (Journals of…, 1904-1937, 13:343-344).
Seven months later, on October 20, 1779, Congress issued still another proclamation:
Whereas it becomes us humbly to approach the throne of Almighty God, with gratitude and praise for the wonders which his goodness has wrought in conducting our forefathers to this western world; for his protection to them and to their posterity amid difficulties and dangers; for raising us, their children, from deep distress to be numbered among the nations of the earth; and for arming the hands of just and mighty princes in our deliverance; and especially for that he hath been pleased to grant us the enjoyment of health, and so to order the revolving seasons, that the earth hath produced her increase in abundance, blessing the labors of the husbandmen, and spreading plenty through the land; that he hath prospered our arms and those of our ally; been a shield to our troops in the hour of danger, pointed their swords to victory and led them in triumph over the bulwarks of the foe; that he hath gone with those who went out into the wilderness against the savage tribes; that he hath stayed the hand of the spoiler, and turned back his meditated destruction; that he hath prospered our commerce, and given success to those who sought the enemy on the face of the deep; and above all, that he hath diffused the glorious light of the gospel, whereby, through the merits of our gracious Redeemer, we may become the heirs of his eternal glory: therefore, Resolved, That it be recommended to the several states, to appoint Thursday, the 9th of December next, to be a day of public and solemn thanksgiving to Almighty God for his mercies, and of prayer for the continuance of his favor and protection to these United States; to beseech him that he would be graciously pleased to influence our public councils, and bless them with wisdom from on high, with unanimity, firmness, and success; that he would go forth with our hosts and crown our arms with victory; that he would grant to his church the plentiful effusions of divine grace, and pour out his holy spirit on all ministers of the gospel; that he would bless and prosper the means of education, and spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth; that he would smile upon the labors of his people and cause the earth to bring forth her fruits in abundance; that we may with gratitude and gladness enjoy them; that he would take into his holy protection our illustrious ally, give him victory over his enemies, and render him signally great, as the father of his people and the protector of the rights of mankind; that he would graciously be pleased to turn the hearts of our enemies, and to dispense the blessings of peace to contending nations; that he would in mercy look down upon us, pardon our sins and receive us into his favor, and finally, that he would establish the independence of these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue, and support and protect them in the enjoyment of peace, liberty and safety. as long as the sun and moon shall endure, until time shall be no more. Done in Congress, ∥ the 20th day of October, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-nine, and in the 4th year of the independence of the United States of America.
Samuel Huntington, President.
Attest, Charles Thomson, Secretary (Journals of..., 1904-1937, 15:1191-1193).
Again, no hesitation to acknowledge the God of the Universe and His Son Jesus Christ as the keys to national survival and success. A year later, now into the fourth year of war with Britain, Congress issued another proclamation in October 1780:
Whereas it hath pleased Almighty God, the Father of all mercies, amidst the vicissitudes and calamities of war, to bestow blessings on the people of these states, which call for their devout and thankful acknowledgments, more especially in the late remarkable interposition of his watchful providence, in rescuing the person of our Commander in Chief and the army from imminent dangers, at the moment when treason was ripened for execution; in prospering the labors of the husbandmen, and causing the earth to yield its increase in plentiful harvests; and, above all, in continuing to us the enjoyment of the gospel of peace;
It is therefore recommended to the several states to set apart Thursday, the seventh day of December next, to be observed as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer; that all the people may assemble on that day to celebrate the praises of our Divine Benefactor; to confess our unworthiness of the least of his favors, and to offer our fervent supplications to the God of all grace; that it may please him to pardon our heinous transgressions and incline our hearts for the future to keep all his laws that it may please him still to afford us the blessing of health; to comfort and relieve our brethren who are any wise afflicted or distressed; to smile upon our husbandry and trade and establish the work of our hands; to direct our public councils, and lead our forces, by land and sea, to victory; to take our illustrious ally under his special protection, and favor our joint councils and exertions for the establishment of speedy and permanent peace; to cherish all schools and seminaries of education, build up his churches in their most holy faith and to cause the knowledge of Christianity to spread over all the earth.
Done in Congress, the last day of October, 1780, and in the fifth year of the independence of the United States of America (Journals of..., 1904-1937, 18:950-951).
The next year, on October 26, 1781, Congress called upon God to bless the Continental army:
Whereas, it hath pleased Almighty God, the supreme Disposer of all Events, father of mercies, remarkably to assist and support the United States of America in their important struggle for liberty, against the long continued efforts of a powerful nation: it is the duty of all ranks to observe and thankfully acknowledge the interpositions of his Providence in their behalf. Through the whole of the contest, from its first rise to this time, the influence of divine Providence may be clearly perceived in many signal instances, of which we mention but a few.
In revealing the councils of our enemies, when the discoveries were seasonable and important, and the means seemingly inadequate or fortuitous; in preserving and even improving the union of the several states, on the breach of which our enemies placed their greatest dependence; in increasing the number, and adding to the zeal and attachment of the friends of Liberty; in granting remarkable deliverances, and blessing us with the most signal success, when affairs seemed to have the most discouraging appearance; in raising up for us a powerful and generous ally, in one of the first of the European powers; in confounding the councils of our enemies, and suffering them to pursue such measures as have most directly contributed to frustrate their own desires and expectations; above all, in making their extreme cruelty of their officers and soldiers to the inhabitants of these states, when in their power, and their savage devastation of property, the very means of cementing our union, and adding vigor to every effort in opposition to them.
And as we cannot help leading the good people of these states to a retrospect on the events which have taken place since the beginning of the war, so we beg recommend in a particular manner that they may observe and acknowledge to their observation, the goodness of God in the year now drawing to a conclusion: in which a mutiny in the American Army was not only happily appeased but became in its issue a pleasing and undeniable proof of the unalterable attachment of the people in general to the cause of liberty since great and real grievances only made them tumultuously seek redress while they abhorred the thoughts of going over to the enemy, in which the Confederation of the United States has been completed by the accession of all without exception in which there have been so many instances of prowess and success in our armies; particularly in the southern states, where, notwithstanding the difficulties with which they had to struggle, they have recovered the whole country which the enemy had overrun, leaving them only a post or two upon on or near the sea: in which we have been so powerfully and effectually assisted by our allies, while in all the conjunct operations the most perfect union and harmony has subsisted in the allied army: in which there has been so plentiful a harvest, and so great abundance of the fruits of the earth of every kind, as not only enables us easily to supply the wants of the army, but gives comfort and happiness to the whole people: and in which, after the success of our allies by sea, a General of the first Rank, with his whole army, has been captured by the allied forces under the direction of our illustrious Commander in Chief.
It is therefore recommended to the several states to set apart the 13th day of December next, to be religiously observed as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer; that all the people may assemble on that day, with grateful hearts, to celebrate the praises of our gracious Benefactor; to confess our manifold sins; to offer up our most fervent supplications to the God of all grace, that it may please Him to pardon our offenses, and incline our hearts for the future to keep all his laws; to comfort and relieve all our brethren who are in distress or captivity; to prosper our husbandmen, and give success to all engaged in lawful commerce; to impart wisdom and integrity to our counselors, judgment and fortitude to our officers and soldiers; to protect and prosper our illustrious ally, and favor our united exertions for the speedy establishment of a safe, honorable and lasting peace; to bless all seminaries of learning; and cause the knowledge of God to cover the earth, as the waters cover the seas.
DONE by the United States in Congress assembled, this nineteenth Day of March, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand seven Hundred and eighty two, and in the sixth Year of our Independence.
John Hanson, President
Attest. Charles Thomson, Sec’ry (Journals of..., 1904-1937, 21:1074-1076).
The next year, 1782, the year before the conclusion of the war, Congress issued two proclamations, the first in March:
The goodness of the Supreme Being to all his rational creatures, demands their acknowledgments of gratitude and love; his absolute government of this world dictates, that it is the interest of every nation and people ardently to supplicate his favor and implore his protection.
When the lust of dominion or lawless ambition excites arbitrary power to invade the rights, or endeavor to wrest from a people their sacred and invaluable privileges, and compels them, in defence of the same, to encounter all the horrors and calamities of a bloody and vindictive war; then is that people loudly called upon to fly unto that God for protection, who hears the cries of the distressed, and will not turn a deaf ear to the supplication of the oppressed.
Great Britain, hitherto left to infatuated councils, and to pursue measures repugnant to her own interest, and distressing to this country, still persists in the design of subjugating these United States; which will compel us into another active and perhaps bloody campaign.
The United States in Congress assembled, therefore, taking into consideration our present situation, our multiplied transgressions of the holy laws of our God, and his past acts of kindness and goodness towards us, which we ought to record with the liveliest gratitude, think it their indispensable duty to call upon the several states, to set apart the last Thursday in April next, as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, that our joint supplications may then ascend to the throne of the Ruler of the Universe, beseeching Him to diffuse a spirit of universal reformation among all ranks and degrees of our citizens; and make us a holy, that so we may be an happy people; that it would please Him to impart wisdom, integrity and unanimity to our counsellors; to bless and prosper the reign of our illustrious ally, and give success to his arms employed in the defence of the rights of human nature; that He would smile upon our military arrangements by land and sea; administer comfort and consolation to our prisoners in a cruel captivity; protect the health and life of our Commander in Chief; grant us victory over our enemies; establish peace in all our borders, and give happiness to all our inhabitants; that he would prosper the labor of the husbandman, making the earth yield its increase in abundance, and give a proper season for the in gathering of the fruits thereof; that He would grant success to all engaged in lawful trade and commerce, and take under his guardianship all schools and seminaries of learning, and make them nurseries of virtue and piety; that He would incline the hearts of all men to peace, and fill them with universal charity and benevolence, and that the religion of our Divine Redeemer, with all its benign influences, may cover the earth as the waters cover the seas.
Done by the United States in Congress assembled, &c. &c. (Journals of..., 1904-1937, 22:137-138).
Later that year, with the war reaching its conclusion, another thanksgiving proclamation was issued in October:
It being the indispensable duty of all nations, not only to offer up their supplications to Almighty God, the giver of all good, for his gracious assistance in a time of public distress, but also in a solemn and public manner to give him praise for his goodness in general, and especially for great and signal interpositions of his Providence in their behalf; therefore, the United States in Congress assembled, taking into their consideration the many instances of divine goodness to these states, in the course of the important conflict in which they have been so long engaged; the present happy and promising state of public affairs; and the events of the war in the course of the year now drawing to a close, particularly the harmony of the public councils, which is so necessary to the success of the public cause; the perfect union and good understanding which has hitherto subsisted between them and their allies, notwithstanding the artful and unwearied attempts of the common enemy to divide them; the success of the arms of the United States and those of their allies, and the acknowledgment of their independence by another European power, whose friendship and commerce must be of great and lasting advantage to these states; do hereby recommend it to the inhabitants of these states in general, to observe, and request the several states to interpose their authority in appointing and commanding the observation of Thursday, in the 28 day of November next, as a day of solemn thanksgiving to God for all his mercies: and they do further recommend to all ranks, to testify their gratitude to God for his goodness, by a cheerful obedience to his laws, and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness. Given, &c (Journals of..., 1904-1937, 23:647).
Finally, with the Revolutionary War ended, on October 18, 1783, Congress called for a day of public thanksgiving by issuing the following joyous proclamation:
Whereas it hath pleased the Supreme Ruler of all human events, to dispose the hearts of the late belligerent powers to put a period to the effusion of human blood, by proclaiming a cessation of all hostilities by sea and land, and these United States are not only happily rescued from the dangers and calamities to which they have been so long exposed, but their freedom, sovereignty and independence ultimately acknowledged by the king of Great Britain. And whereas in the progress of a contest on which the most essential rights of human nature depended, the interposition of Divine Providence in our favor hath been most abundantly and most graciously manifested, and the citizens of these United States have every reason for praise and gratitude to the God of their salvation. Impressed, therefore, with an exalted sense of the magnitude of the blessings by which we are surrounded, and of our entire dependence on that Almighty Being, from whose goodness and bounty they are derived, the United States in Congress assembled do recommend it to the several States, to set apart the second Thursday in December next, as a day of public thanksgiving, that all the people may then assemble to celebrate with grateful hearts and united voices, the praises of their Supreme and all bountiful Benefactor, for his numberless favors and mercies. That he hath been pleased to conduct us in safety through all the perils and vicissitudes of the war; that he hath given us unanimity and resolution to adhere to our just rights; that he hath raised up a powerful ally to assist us in supporting them, and hath so far crowned our united efforts with success, that in the course of the present year, hostilities have ceased, and we are left in the undisputed possession of our liberties and independence, and of the fruits of our own land, and in the free participation of the treasures of the sea; that he hath prospered the labor of our husbandmen with plentiful harvests; and above all, that he hath been pleased to continue to us the light of the blessed gospel, and secured to us in the fullest extent the rights of conscience in faith and worship. And while our hearts overflow with gratitude, and our lips set forth the praises of our great Creator, that we also offer up fervent supplications, that it may please him to pardon all our offenses, to give wisdom and unanimity to our public councils, to cement all our citizens in the bonds of affection, and to inspire them with an earnest regard for the national honor and interest, to enable them to improve the days of prosperity by every good work, and to be lovers of peace and tranquillity; that he may be pleased to bless us in our husbandry, our commerce and navigation; to smile upon our seminaries and means of education, to cause pure religion and virtue to flourish, to give peace to all nations, and to fill the world with his glory.
Done by the United States in Congress assembled, witness his Excellency Elias Boudinot, our President, this 18th day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three, and of the sovereignty and independence of the United States of America the eighth (Journals of..., 1904-1937, 25:699-701).
Such overt expressions of the Founders’ belief in and reliance on God were commonplace. They believed that the future of the Republic was inextricably linked to what they styled their “entire dependence on that Almighty Being.” For a significant number of Americans now to abandon belief in God by expressing uncertainty regarding His existence is nothing short of astonishing, appalling, and shameful. The end result of abandoning belief in God will be the demise of the Republic—the loss of the freedom to worship the one true God and practice the one true religion of Christ.

REFERENCES

Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789 (1904-1937), ed. Worthington C. Ford, et al. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office) [On-line], URL:http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwjc.html.
“Nearly Half of Americans Uncertain God Exists: Poll” (2006), Breitbart.com, October 31, [On-line],URL: http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/10/31/061031235233.s0l4o4wy.html.


From Jim McGuiggan... THE EPHESIAN FIRE

THE EPHESIAN FIRE

There's no way to come up with a modern equivalent to 50,000 drachmas in terms of pounds and pennies or dollars and cents but it comes out at something like 50,000 working-days pay. That's what these converts burned! Books they once made a living by or books they shaped their lives by; books they now thought were an offense to Jesus who had become their Lord—that's what they burned! See Acts 19:17-41.
When we're not into magic and gods and idolatry of the crass and obvious kind I'd have thought their bonfire, while impressive, wouldn't be spectacular, but since Ephesus was a town that would literally riot over the idol industry you've got to sit up and pay attention. Maybe to burn your entire tobacco crop in Virginia or your vineyards in France or your poppies in South America or to destroy your dairy-herd in parts of England—maybe that would come close to the emotional equivalent of what they did. [You have your own illustration?]
They burned a lot of money!
They burned an established means of livelihood!
They burned an offense to God and Jesus, the Lord Christ!
They burned bridges that led back to idolatry!
They said a definitive and permanent no to the satanic!
They made themselves a threatened minority!
They defied their vast city!
They became part of a tiny group that defied the colossal world!

Augustine said in his Confessions (4:14:21), "One loving spirit sets another on fire." That's an established truth we keep forgetting though millions of us have experienced it more than once.
These nameless Ephesians make you feel like standing up to applaud and even the atheistic (or has he been misread and was a Joban figure instead?) Nietzsche, taking a brave stand against a lily-livered religion that make weakness a virtue and honorable strength a vice—he commands our admiration. When in his Thus Spoke Zarathustra the prophet urges a would-be follower: "Neglect not the hero in your soul!" we're reminded that however wrong he was, Nietzsche wasn't gutless, in his own life he took his own medicine and we're compelled to think how lightly many of us hold our inherited creeds.
If we are sensitive at all, there are people all around us, Christian and non-Christian who disturb our sleep.
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

From Gary.... Bible Reading June 10



Bible Reading   

June 10

The World English Bible


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.