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Showing posts from April, 2018

huppim and shuppim

So, who were Huppim and Shuppim?  (1 Chronicles 7:12, 15)  Parents, please note: these are perfect names if you are expecting twins!    Not much is known about Hup and Shup (I'm thinking that was their nicknames) except that they were sons of Ir, and descendants of Benjamin, one of the twelve sons of Jacob (aka Israel).   The meaning of their names is not clear.  Their descendants would be known as Huphamites and Shuphamites, respectively (Num. 26:39).  Okay, now on to what I'm really writing about... The first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles is filled with names .  Lots of names.  And genealogies.   These are the passages you hope you are not called on to read aloud in discussion groups.   Why all these names, and why all the attention to genealogies ?  Keep in mind that all Scripture is inspired and profitable... but not every section is equally profitable in every way.  The 12th chapter of Romans may have more readily applicable teaching than do these genealogies, b

reading 2 kings 16-17

A new altar for Ahaz, the problem with people, and what it is that God wants... The fall of Samaria (722/21 BC). Chapter 17 of 2 Kings is a pause in the recounting of the history of Israel, and an evaluation, at the occasion of the d estruction of the city of Samaria by Shalmaneser IV, king of Assyria. Most of the citizens of the northern kingdom (Israel) are exiled and resettled  permanently into other areas of the Assyrian empire. ( Other people groups are also brought in and settled in Samaria, and through intermarriage  their descendants would become known as Samaritans, but that’s another story .) Chapter 17 tells us the reason why this disaster has come about. But first we must back up to chapter 16… “ When King Ahaz went to Damascus to  meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, he saw the altar that was at Damascus. And King Ahaz sent to Uriah the priest a model of the altar, and its  pattern, exact in all its details. And Uriah the priest built the altar; in accordance with a


Here are a few random quotes from G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)...  "Reason is itself a matter of faith.   It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts  have any relation to reality at all." “The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister.”  “If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.”  “Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable.”  “If you happen to read fairy tales, you will observe that one idea runs from one end of them to the other--the idea that peace and happiness can only exist on some condition. This idea, which is the core of ethics, is the core of the nursery-tales.”  “The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”  “If seeds in the black earth can turn into such beautiful roses, what might not the heart of man become in its long journey toward the stars?” 

you have, now ask

In the early hours one morning this week I had the word "ask" upon my mind and heart.  This drew me to God's Word to find appropriate verses  about "asking", which led in turn to passages about the freeness of God's grace toward us in Christ to meet all our needs.    I've placed these verses  on cards for review and memory.   Here are five verses on the topic of "you have", followed by five verses on " ask."  You have... "And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace."  (John 1:16)   In Christ's fullness we have received... "grace upon grace" which emphasizes  ongoing supply .  Each day has needs, and each day the Lord has supplied grace.     "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?"  (Romans 8:32)   This  follows Paul's teaching that God's salvation extends from eternity past to

open hands, open homes

"Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality." (Romans 12:13 HCSB) This is a short verse, but touches upon a large topic in the Bible.  You may want to go deeper into the Word on the issue of sharing our resources and our homes with those in need.  Below are some key passages to consider.   For further study :   Genesis 1-3 ... God provides food and covering for his creatures; humans are soul/body beings who have material needs as well as spiritual. Exodus 23:6-11 ... In the Law God gives many instructions about the care and protection of the poor, widows, the fatherless, and resident aliens (“sojourners”). Job 29:11-16 ... In one of the oldest books of the Bible, Job speaks of his care for the poor. Psalm 112:9 ... The care of the poor is a characteristic (and blessing) of righteousness. Isaiah 1:17; Jeremiah 7:6 ... Justice toward the poor is a big issue in the writings of the OT Prophets. Matthew 6:19-21; 19:16-22; 25:31-46 .

Boethius' consolation

While reading C. S. Lewis's last work, The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature , I was introduced to Boethius, or more specifically, Anicius Manlius Severinus Bo√ęthius (AD 480 -- 524).  He was a very influential author, bridging the Roman classical / early Christian periods and the Medieval world.   He was imprisoned the last couple years of his life, and died at age 44.  His best known work is The Consolation of Philosophy, written right before he died.  Here's just a couple of excerpts of an imaginary conversation with Lady Philosophy... On discontent... "What though Plenty pour her gifts  With a lavish hand,  Numberless as are the stars,  Countless as the sand,  Will the race of man, content,  Cease to murmur and lament?  Nay, though God, all-bounteous, give  Gold at man’s desire —  Honours, rank, and fame — content  Not a whit is nigher;  But an all-devouring greed  Yawns with ever-widening need.  Then what bounds c