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Thinking on Scripture with Dr. Steven R. Cook
Jeremiah 51:34-64 - God's Judgment Upon Babylon

Thinking on Scripture with Dr. Steven R. Cook

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 21, 2022 43:44


Jeremiah 51:34-64 Dr. Steven R. Cook Introduction      In Jeremiah 51:34-58, God continued to pronounce His judgment on Babylon. And in Jeremiah 51:59-64, Jeremiah directed Seraiah, an officer of the king, to perform a symbolic act that pictured Babylon's destruction. Throughout this section we are reminded that God is sovereign over the nations of the world, and that He, as the primary agent of Babylon's doom, would judge them by means of secondary agents He directed to do His will (Jer 51:1-2, 6, 11, 20-24, 29, 44, 47, 52-53, 55-56). The person operating from divine viewpoint is able to interpret God's sovereign hand working providentially through secondary forces to accomplish His will. Observations      Jeremiah opens this section with a continuation of God's judgment on Babylon. God's prophet, speaking from the viewpoint of the oppressed Judahites, states, “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has devoured me and crushed me, he has set me down like an empty vessel; he has swallowed me like a monster, he has filled his stomach with my delicacies; he has washed me away” (Jer 51:34). The picture is that of a monster who, driven by an irrational and violent hunger, consumed Judah and filled his belly with their delicacies. Judah, feeling unjustly mistreated, cries out to the Lord to render justice upon Babylon, saying, “May the violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon,' the inhabitant of Zion will say; and, ‘May my blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea,' Jerusalem will say” (Jer 51:35). J.A. Thompson states: "Nebuchadnezzar is compared with a gluttonous man devouring Jerusalem and setting her aside as one does an empty vessel whose contents have been quaffed. In a more vigorous figure still, Nebuchadnezzar is compared to a monster gulping down food, filling its belly with food that delights it and then vomiting it up. Such gluttony left torn flesh and spilt blood behind. For such unspeakable viciousness Jerusalem calls for vengeance upon her captors."[1] Jeremiah then provides the Lord's answer as follows: "Therefore, thus says the LORD, “Behold, I am going to plead your case and exact full vengeance for you; and I will dry up her sea and make her fountain dry. 37 “Babylon will become a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals, an object of horror and hissing, without inhabitants. 38 “They will roar together like young lions, they will growl like lions' cubs. 39 “When they become heated up, I will serve them their banquet and make them drunk, that they may become jubilant and may sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake up,” declares the LORD. 40 “I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams together with male goats (Jer 51:36-40)      God's language is that of a courtroom, in which He pleads Judah's case (רִיב rib) for them. Though the Babylonians had gloated over Judah like lions who had roared over their fallen prey, God would render judgment for their pride. God Himself would give them a feast, and after their celebration, He would make them drunk with His wrath, and they would be destroyed and sleep forever. Though Babylon saw themselves as ravenous lions, God likened them to helpless lambs that are led to slaughter. It would be decades later, during the reign of Belshazzar, that Babylon would fall in a single night (Daniel 5:24-31). Continuing the image of judgment, the Lord declares: "How Sheshak has been captured, and the praise of the whole earth been seized! How Babylon has become an object of horror among the nations! 42 The sea has come up over Babylon; she has been engulfed with its tumultuous waves. 43 Her cities have become an object of horror, a parched land and a desert, a land in which no man lives and through which no son of man passes. 44 I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will make what he has swallowed come out of his mouth; and the nations will no longer stream to him. Even the wall of Babylon has fallen down!" (Jer 51:41-44)      The name Sheshak is likely a codename for Babylon (an atbash), which is perhaps used here for poetic variation in the judgment. The sea that engulfs Babylon is a reference to her enemies that God would raise up to wash over her until she was destroyed. Bel was one of the chief deities in the Babylonian religion, and here God reveals the futility of trusting in a dumb idol. Babylon, though pictured as a monster that consumes others, would eventually vomit what it had consumed. God even makes a point that Babylon's walls, which were thought to be impenetrable, would be torn down in judgment. Concerning Babylon's walls, F.B. Huey states: "Babylon was renowned for its god Bel (see 50:2) and the walls that surrounded the city (see 50:15; 51:58). The outer wall was twelve feet thick, and the inner wall was twenty-one feet thick with twenty-three feet separating them. Towers were located on the walls at intervals of sixty feet. There was a ditch outside the wall that was filled with water. Both these symbols of Babylon's security would be destroyed. The defeat of a god in the ANE was tantamount to the nation's defeat. Bel would be forced to give up the wealth of nations he had taken. This was the same god the Babylonians had credited for the Lord's defeat in Jerusalem in 587. Now the Lord would show his superiority over Bel by bringing his people back to their land. The Lord had not been defeated by Bel; rather, he had used the Babylonians to punish his people. Babylon's glory days were ending. Nations would no longer stream to it (cf. Isa 2:2; Zech 14:16; Rev 21:24)."[2] Then, speaking of Israel's future release from Babylon, the Lord said: "Come forth from her midst, My people, and each of you save yourselves from the fierce anger of the LORD. 46 Now so that your heart does not grow faint, and you are not afraid at the report that will be heard in the land—for the report will come one year, and after that another report in another year, and violence will be in the land with ruler against ruler— 47 Therefore behold, days are coming when I will punish the idols of Babylon; and her whole land will be put to shame and all her slain will fall in her midst. 48 Then heaven and earth and all that is in them will shout for joy over Babylon, for the destroyers will come to her from the north, declares the LORD." (Jer 51:45-48)      After Nebuchadnezzar's death, Babylon became politically corrupt and unstable. According to Huey, “Babylon did not remain a stable empire after Nebuchadnezzar's death. His successor, Amel-Marduk, was assassinated in 560 by his brother-in-law Neriglissar (560–556). His successor, Labashi-Marduk, ruled only a few months until replaced by Nabonidus (556–539).”[3]Babylon became internally weak before it was destroyed by external forces whom God raised up against the nation which had become arrogant and trusted in its idols. The expression days are coming reveal God's pending judgment on Babylon and the rejoicing of many who will celebrate its destruction.      God would do His part to bring Babylon down, but He also called on His people to do their part by fleeing the city. The Lord said, “Indeed Babylon is to fall for the slain of Israel, as also for Babylon the slain of all the earth have fallen. 50 You who have escaped the sword, depart! Do not stay! Remember the LORD from afar, and let Jerusalem come to your mind” (Jer 51:49-50). The Lord's directive for His people to remember (זָכַר zakar) meant it was their responsibility to keep His Word in their minds and to act on it when the time of His wrath came. Only those believers who knew His promises and directives could properly understand their times and respond in faith as the Lord instructed.      Strong faith would be needed by Israelites in captivity, for their world had been turned upside down by the Babylonian destruction of Judah and the invasion of Gentiles into the temple. Jeremiah provided a glimpse into the minds of Jewish captives, who were saying, “We are ashamed because we have heard reproach; disgrace has covered our faces, for aliens have entered the holy places of the LORD'S house” (Jer 51:51). To answer their shame and concerns, the Lord said, “Therefore behold, the days are coming,' declares the LORD, ‘When I will punish her idols, and the mortally wounded will groan throughout her land. 53 Though Babylon should ascend to the heavens, and though she should fortify her lofty stronghold, from Me destroyers will come to her,' declares the LORD'” (Jer 51:52-53). Again, we see God as the primary agent who would bring about Babylon's destruction by means of secondary forces He would raise up against them. Though Babylon had built great towers for personal protection, these would be smashed and torn down in divine judgment. Jeremiah continued his prophetic announcement, saying, “The sound of an outcry from Babylon, and of great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans! 55 For the LORD is going to destroy Babylon, and He will make her loud noise vanish from her. And their waves will roar like many waters; the tumult of their voices sounds forth” (Jer 51:54-55). Here is lex talionis, in which Babylon would receive the same punishment they'd inflicted on others. Gentile nations would come from the north and crash over Babylon like destructive oceanic waves. J. A. Thompson states: "The sound of cries for help and a mighty crash in Babylon announce the end. Yahweh himself is the wrecker who silences (lit. “destroys violently”) its clamorous din (lit “mighty voice”). But in fact, it is the enemy from the north who comes with his invading army which is likened to the sea rolling over Babylon with a mighty roar…So tremendous will be the onslaught of the foe that it can best be likened to the release of the chaotic waters of the primeval ocean."[4] And Babylon's efforts to defend herself would prove futile in the face of God's judgment. God had already spoken about repaying Babylon for her sins (Jer 51:6, 11, 22, 36), and He repeated it again in the following verses, saying: "For the destroyer is coming against her, against Babylon, and her mighty men will be captured, their bows are shattered; for the LORD is a God of recompense, He will fully repay. 57 “I will make her princes and her wise men drunk, her governors, her prefects and her mighty men, that they may sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake up,” declares the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts. 58 Thus says the LORD of hosts, “The broad wall of Babylon will be completely razed and her high gates will be set on fire; so the peoples will toil for nothing, and the nations become exhausted only for fire.” (Jer 51:56-58)      Babylon was known for overcoming its enemy's forces and fortifications. But when God's wrath came upon them, their own forces and fortifications would prove ineffective, as God would fully repay them for their prideful atrocities against others. Babylon's leadership—princes, wise men, governors, prefects, and mighty men—would all face death by the Lord's hand. And the city which the Babylonians thought was impenetrable, would be completely razed to the ground. Jeremiah 51:59-64: A Symbolic Act of Babylon's Destruction After Jeremiah's prophetic pronouncement of future judgment on Babylon, he instructed a friend to perform a symbolic act that would provide a visual for what God would bring about. "The message which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the grandson of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. (Now Seraiah was quartermaster.) 60 So Jeremiah wrote in a single scroll all the calamity which would come upon Babylon, that is, all these words which have been written concerning Babylon." (Jer 51:59-60)      The preceding message was recorded and sent to Babylon by means of a Jewish official who traveled with King Zedekiah in the fourth year of his reign (ca. 594/593 B.C.). The written message likely contained Jeremiah chapters 50-51, which spoke of God's judgment on Babylon. According to Constable, “The following message was one that Jeremiah gave to Seraiah the son of Neriah when he accompanied King Zedekiah on a visit to Babylon in 593 B.C. Seraiah was Baruch's brother (cf. 32:12). The title he held, quartermaster, probably describes the official responsible for providing quarters for the king and his companions overnight as they traveled.”[5] In the closing verses of this chapter we read about Jeremiah's instruction to Seraiah. Then Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “As soon as you come to Babylon, then see that you read all these words aloud, 62 and say, ‘You, O LORD, have promised concerning this place to cut it off, so that there will be nothing dwelling in it, whether man or beast, but it will be a perpetual desolation.' 63 And as soon as you finish reading this scroll, you will tie a stone to it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates, 64 and say, ‘Just so shall Babylon sink down and not rise again because of the calamity that I am going to bring upon her; and they will become exhausted.' Thus far are the words of Jeremiah. (Jer 51:61-64)      Babylon's fate had been written by Jeremiah on a scroll, which he gave to Seraiah with the instructions to carry it to Babylon and read it aloud. Though the text does not say, it was most likely read to the Jewish captives to provide divine viewpoint concerning Babylon's future judgment and desolation. Then, after reading the scroll, Seraiah was to tie it to a stone and hurl it into the Euphrates River. Afterwards, Seraiah was to make the pronouncement that just as the scroll tied to the stone sunk to the bottom of the Euphrates River, so God was going to bring down Babylon in judgment. Theological Gleanings      Throughout Scripture we are reminded that God is sovereign over His creation and that He “works all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph 1:11). That He declares “the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure'” (Isa 46:10). God controls the offices of human rulers, for “It is He who changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and establishes kings” (Dan 2:21a), and “the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whom He wishes and sets over it the lowliest of men” (Dan 4:17b). When necessary, God controls the rulers of the world to accomplish His purposes (Prov 21:1; Ezra 1:1; Rev 17:12-13, 17). Sometimes He raises up rulers to judge His people (Isa 3:4-5; Jer 25:8-9), and sometimes to rescue them (Judg 3:9, 15). The believer who operates from divine viewpoint is able to interpret God's sovereign hand working providentially through secondary forces to accomplish His will.     [1] J. A. Thompson, The Book of Jeremiah, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1980), 762. [2] F. B. Huey, Jeremiah, Lamentations, vol. 16, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 427. [3] Ibid., 428. [4] J. A. Thompson, The Book of Jeremiah, 769. [5] Tom Constable, Tom Constable's Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), Je 51:59.

Unexpected with Hannah Love
Episode 16: Do You Know Who You Are?

Unexpected with Hannah Love

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 1, 2022 15:38


Life. It happens in seasons. Just as God appoints times and boundaries for the seasons in a calendar year, I believe that He also appoints a time in our lives for certain seasons to begin and end. They serve a purpose and are a part of a greater whole. For most of my growing up years, I was, for lack of a better word, timid. This is a quality that lasted into my young adult life. As I entered my 20's, I found myself in a really unhealthy relationship. Worse than that, it was rather abusive. Without going into too much detail, I'll just call it a season of my life. It served a purpose. And, to be honest, it served as a defining part of my life as I shifted from timid to…determined. Determined not to be a door mat again. Determined not to be used, taken advantage of, or taken for granted. It was, in fact, the first time in my life I asked myself if my situation was one that God would want for His daughter. The answer was a resounding “No”. Of course not. And by that standard, I began to see myself in a new light. By that standard, I started to really consider myself God's child, a daughter whom He loved and delighted in. This season shaped the perspective I believe God wanted me to have all along. I was a daughter of the King. Beloved and chosen. That leads me to you the question…who are you? Do you know who you are…in God? Knowing the answer to that - really knowing it deep in your heart - it will change your life. Let me give you an example of a few people in the Bible who knew the answer to this profound question. Starting in Daniel, let's read about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. The first chapter notes that one of the first things the Babylonians did was rename the exile boys they had taken captive. It was customary to give new names to slaves. In a nutshell, it reminder that their identity was stripped and this was meant to remind them of the new position in life they found themselves in. Essentially, it was an effort to erase their past. In this passage, there are four Judahites mentioned BY name. Daniel. Hananiah. Mishael. And Azariah. These were their given names at birth. In Hebrew, this is how they translate: Daniel - God is my judge. Hananiah - Yahweh is gracious. Mishael - Who is like God? Azariah - Yahweh has helped. These were some strong names. Immediately, the chef eunuch gave them new names. Belteshazzar - Protect the life of the king. Shadrach - Command of Aku (Babylonian moon god). Meshach - Who is like Aku. Abednego - Servant of Nebo (Babylonian god of wisdom). These new names spoke volumes in terms of what the Babylonian's intent was. They intended to erase the old identity of these young men and turn them into servants of THEIR culture and their gods. I just wanted to point out this development before we move on. I'll read the rest of the story through chapter 3. There are so many lessons to pull out of this incredible series of events. But today, I wanted to point out a truth that is so practical. These men knew who they were. More than that, these men never forgot who they were. Facing an outraged king, these men stood before his question “who is the god who can rescue you from my power?”. And their names answered… Yahweh is gracious. Who is like God? Yahweh has helped. And though he was not there, Daniel's name, meaning “God is my judge” also rang forth from their demeanor. They stood unflinching in the face of radical pressure. Radical politics. Radical culture. They stood, knowing who they were and Whose they were. What a testament. They had no way of knowing God would rescue them, and indeed, they were still thrown in the furnace. But they weren't alone in it. And they came out unscathed. Not even smelling of smoke. I have to believe that God LOVES standing by His children as they stand in truth. Stand in the knowledge that they are His and, therefore have freedom from the pressures of anything else.

ESV: Chronological
July 31: 1 Chronicles 3–4

ESV: Chronological

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 31, 2022 8:01


1 Chronicles 3–4 1 Chronicles 3–4 (Listen) Descendants of David 3 These are the sons of David who were born to him in Hebron: the firstborn, Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelite; the second, Daniel, by Abigail the Carmelite, 2 the third, Absalom, whose mother was Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur; the fourth, Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith; 3 the fifth, Shephatiah, by Abital; the sixth, Ithream, by his wife Eglah; 4 six were born to him in Hebron, where he reigned for seven years and six months. And he reigned thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 5 These were born to him in Jerusalem: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon, four by Bath-shua, the daughter of Ammiel; 6 then Ibhar, Elishama, Eliphelet, 7 Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, 8 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet, nine. 9 All these were David's sons, besides the sons of the concubines, and Tamar was their sister. 10 The son of Solomon was Rehoboam, Abijah his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son, 11 Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, 12 Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son, 13 Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son, 14 Amon his son, Josiah his son. 15 The sons of Josiah: Johanan the firstborn, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum. 16 The descendants of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son; 17 and the sons of Jeconiah, the captive: Shealtiel his son, 18 Malchiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama and Nedabiah; 19 and the sons of Pedaiah: Zerubbabel and Shimei; and the sons of Zerubbabel: Meshullam and Hananiah, and Shelomith was their sister; 20 and Hashubah, Ohel, Berechiah, Hasadiah, and Jushab-hesed, five. 21 The sons of Hananiah: Pelatiah and Jeshaiah, his son1 Rephaiah, his son Arnan, his son Obadiah, his son Shecaniah. 22 The son2 of Shecaniah: Shemaiah. And the sons of Shemaiah: Hattush, Igal, Bariah, Neariah, and Shaphat, six. 23 The sons of Neariah: Elioenai, Hizkiah, and Azrikam, three. 24 The sons of Elioenai: Hodaviah, Eliashib, Pelaiah, Akkub, Johanan, Delaiah, and Anani, seven. Descendants of Judah 4 The sons of Judah: Perez, Hezron, Carmi, Hur, and Shobal. 2 Reaiah the son of Shobal fathered Jahath, and Jahath fathered Ahumai and Lahad. These were the clans of the Zorathites. 3 These were the sons3 of Etam: Jezreel, Ishma, and Idbash; and the name of their sister was Hazzelelponi, 4 and Penuel fathered Gedor, and Ezer fathered Hushah. These were the sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah, the father of Bethlehem. 5 Ashhur, the father of Tekoa, had two wives, Helah and Naarah; 6 Naarah bore him Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni, and Haahashtari. These were the sons of Naarah. 7 The sons of Helah: Zereth, Izhar, and Ethnan. 8 Koz fathered Anub, Zobebah, and the clans of Aharhel, the son of Harum. 9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.”4 10 Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm5 so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked. 11 Chelub, the brother of Shuhah, fathered Mehir, who fathered Eshton. 12 Eshton fathered Beth-rapha, Paseah, and Tehinnah, the father of Ir-nahash. These are the men of Recah. 13 The sons of Kenaz: Othniel and Seraiah; and the sons of Othniel: Hathath and Meonothai.6 14 Meonothai fathered Ophrah; and Seraiah fathered Joab, the father of Ge-harashim,7 so-called because they were craftsmen. 15 The sons of Caleb the son of Jephunneh: Iru, Elah, and Naam; and the son8 of Elah: Kenaz. 16 The sons of Jehallelel: Ziph, Ziphah, Tiria, and Asarel. 17 The sons of Ezrah: Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon. These are the sons of Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered married;9 and she conceived and bore10 Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah, the father of Eshtemoa. 18 And his Judahite wife bore Jered the father of Gedor, Heber the father of Soco, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah. 19 The sons of the wife of Hodiah, the sister of Naham, were the fathers of Keilah the Garmite and Eshtemoa the Maacathite. 20 The sons of Shimon: Amnon, Rinnah, Ben-hanan, and Tilon. The sons of Ishi: Zoheth and Ben-zoheth. 21 The sons of Shelah the son of Judah: Er the father of Lecah, Laadah the father of Mareshah, and the clans of the house of linen workers at Beth-ashbea; 22 and Jokim, and the men of Cozeba, and Joash, and Saraph, who ruled in Moab and returned to Lehem11 (now the records12 are ancient). 23 These were the potters who were inhabitants of Netaim and Gederah. They lived there in the king's service. Descendants of Simeon 24 The sons of Simeon: Nemuel, Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, Shaul; 25 Shallum was his son, Mibsam his son, Mishma his son. 26 The sons of Mishma: Hammuel his son, Zaccur his son, Shimei his son. 27 Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters; but his brothers did not have many children, nor did all their clan multiply like the men of Judah. 28 They lived in Beersheba, Moladah, Hazar-shual, 29 Bilhah, Ezem, Tolad, 30 Bethuel, Hormah, Ziklag, 31 Beth-marcaboth, Hazar-susim, Beth-biri, and Shaaraim. These were their cities until David reigned. 32 And their villages were Etam, Ain, Rimmon, Tochen, and Ashan, five cities, 33 along with all their villages that were around these cities as far as Baal. These were their settlements, and they kept a genealogical record. 34 Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah the son of Amaziah, 35 Joel, Jehu the son of Joshibiah, son of Seraiah, son of Asiel, 36 Elioenai, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah, 37 Ziza the son of Shiphi, son of Allon, son of Jedaiah, son of Shimri, son of Shemaiah—38 these mentioned by name were princes in their clans, and their fathers' houses increased greatly. 39 They journeyed to the entrance of Gedor, to the east side of the valley, to seek pasture for their flocks, 40 where they found rich, good pasture, and the land was very broad, quiet, and peaceful, for the former inhabitants there belonged to Ham. 41 These, registered by name, came in the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah, and destroyed their tents and the Meunites who were found there, and marked them for destruction to this day, and settled in their place, because there was pasture there for their flocks. 42 And some of them, five hundred men of the Simeonites, went to Mount Seir, having as their leaders Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi. 43 And they defeated the remnant of the Amalekites who had escaped, and they have lived there to this day. Footnotes [1] 3:21 Septuagint (compare Syriac, Vulgate); Hebrew sons of; four times in this verse [2] 3:22 Hebrew sons [3] 4:3 Septuagint (compare Vulgate); Hebrew father [4] 4:9 Jabez sounds like the Hebrew for pain [5] 4:10 Or evil [6] 4:13 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew lacks Meonothai [7] 4:14 Ge-harashim means valley of craftsmen [8] 4:15 Hebrew sons [9] 4:17 The clause These are . . . married is transposed from verse 18 [10] 4:17 Hebrew lacks and bore [11] 4:22 Vulgate (compare Septuagint); Hebrew and Jashubi-lahem [12] 4:22 Or matters (ESV)

ESV: Every Day in the Word
July 3: 1 Chronicles 3–4; 1 Corinthians 6; Psalm 2; Proverbs 18:17–18

ESV: Every Day in the Word

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 3, 2022 12:13


Old Testament: 1 Chronicles 3–4 1 Chronicles 3–4 (Listen) Descendants of David 3 These are the sons of David who were born to him in Hebron: the firstborn, Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelite; the second, Daniel, by Abigail the Carmelite, 2 the third, Absalom, whose mother was Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur; the fourth, Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith; 3 the fifth, Shephatiah, by Abital; the sixth, Ithream, by his wife Eglah; 4 six were born to him in Hebron, where he reigned for seven years and six months. And he reigned thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 5 These were born to him in Jerusalem: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon, four by Bath-shua, the daughter of Ammiel; 6 then Ibhar, Elishama, Eliphelet, 7 Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, 8 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet, nine. 9 All these were David's sons, besides the sons of the concubines, and Tamar was their sister. 10 The son of Solomon was Rehoboam, Abijah his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son, 11 Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, 12 Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son, 13 Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son, 14 Amon his son, Josiah his son. 15 The sons of Josiah: Johanan the firstborn, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum. 16 The descendants of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son; 17 and the sons of Jeconiah, the captive: Shealtiel his son, 18 Malchiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama and Nedabiah; 19 and the sons of Pedaiah: Zerubbabel and Shimei; and the sons of Zerubbabel: Meshullam and Hananiah, and Shelomith was their sister; 20 and Hashubah, Ohel, Berechiah, Hasadiah, and Jushab-hesed, five. 21 The sons of Hananiah: Pelatiah and Jeshaiah, his son1 Rephaiah, his son Arnan, his son Obadiah, his son Shecaniah. 22 The son2 of Shecaniah: Shemaiah. And the sons of Shemaiah: Hattush, Igal, Bariah, Neariah, and Shaphat, six. 23 The sons of Neariah: Elioenai, Hizkiah, and Azrikam, three. 24 The sons of Elioenai: Hodaviah, Eliashib, Pelaiah, Akkub, Johanan, Delaiah, and Anani, seven. Descendants of Judah 4 The sons of Judah: Perez, Hezron, Carmi, Hur, and Shobal. 2 Reaiah the son of Shobal fathered Jahath, and Jahath fathered Ahumai and Lahad. These were the clans of the Zorathites. 3 These were the sons3 of Etam: Jezreel, Ishma, and Idbash; and the name of their sister was Hazzelelponi, 4 and Penuel fathered Gedor, and Ezer fathered Hushah. These were the sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah, the father of Bethlehem. 5 Ashhur, the father of Tekoa, had two wives, Helah and Naarah; 6 Naarah bore him Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni, and Haahashtari. These were the sons of Naarah. 7 The sons of Helah: Zereth, Izhar, and Ethnan. 8 Koz fathered Anub, Zobebah, and the clans of Aharhel, the son of Harum. 9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.”4 10 Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm5 so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked. 11 Chelub, the brother of Shuhah, fathered Mehir, who fathered Eshton. 12 Eshton fathered Beth-rapha, Paseah, and Tehinnah, the father of Ir-nahash. These are the men of Recah. 13 The sons of Kenaz: Othniel and Seraiah; and the sons of Othniel: Hathath and Meonothai.6 14 Meonothai fathered Ophrah; and Seraiah fathered Joab, the father of Ge-harashim,7 so-called because they were craftsmen. 15 The sons of Caleb the son of Jephunneh: Iru, Elah, and Naam; and the son8 of Elah: Kenaz. 16 The sons of Jehallelel: Ziph, Ziphah, Tiria, and Asarel. 17 The sons of Ezrah: Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon. These are the sons of Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered married;9 and she conceived and bore10 Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah, the father of Eshtemoa. 18 And his Judahite wife bore Jered the father of Gedor, Heber the father of Soco, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah. 19 The sons of the wife of Hodiah, the sister of Naham, were the fathers of Keilah the Garmite and Eshtemoa the Maacathite. 20 The sons of Shimon: Amnon, Rinnah, Ben-hanan, and Tilon. The sons of Ishi: Zoheth and Ben-zoheth. 21 The sons of Shelah the son of Judah: Er the father of Lecah, Laadah the father of Mareshah, and the clans of the house of linen workers at Beth-ashbea; 22 and Jokim, and the men of Cozeba, and Joash, and Saraph, who ruled in Moab and returned to Lehem11 (now the records12 are ancient). 23 These were the potters who were inhabitants of Netaim and Gederah. They lived there in the king's service. Descendants of Simeon 24 The sons of Simeon: Nemuel, Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, Shaul; 25 Shallum was his son, Mibsam his son, Mishma his son. 26 The sons of Mishma: Hammuel his son, Zaccur his son, Shimei his son. 27 Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters; but his brothers did not have many children, nor did all their clan multiply like the men of Judah. 28 They lived in Beersheba, Moladah, Hazar-shual, 29 Bilhah, Ezem, Tolad, 30 Bethuel, Hormah, Ziklag, 31 Beth-marcaboth, Hazar-susim, Beth-biri, and Shaaraim. These were their cities until David reigned. 32 And their villages were Etam, Ain, Rimmon, Tochen, and Ashan, five cities, 33 along with all their villages that were around these cities as far as Baal. These were their settlements, and they kept a genealogical record. 34 Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah the son of Amaziah, 35 Joel, Jehu the son of Joshibiah, son of Seraiah, son of Asiel, 36 Elioenai, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah, 37 Ziza the son of Shiphi, son of Allon, son of Jedaiah, son of Shimri, son of Shemaiah—38 these mentioned by name were princes in their clans, and their fathers' houses increased greatly. 39 They journeyed to the entrance of Gedor, to the east side of the valley, to seek pasture for their flocks, 40 where they found rich, good pasture, and the land was very broad, quiet, and peaceful, for the former inhabitants there belonged to Ham. 41 These, registered by name, came in the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah, and destroyed their tents and the Meunites who were found there, and marked them for destruction to this day, and settled in their place, because there was pasture there for their flocks. 42 And some of them, five hundred men of the Simeonites, went to Mount Seir, having as their leaders Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi. 43 And they defeated the remnant of the Amalekites who had escaped, and they have lived there to this day. Footnotes [1] 3:21 Septuagint (compare Syriac, Vulgate); Hebrew sons of; four times in this verse [2] 3:22 Hebrew sons [3] 4:3 Septuagint (compare Vulgate); Hebrew father [4] 4:9 Jabez sounds like the Hebrew for pain [5] 4:10 Or evil [6] 4:13 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew lacks Meonothai [7] 4:14 Ge-harashim means valley of craftsmen [8] 4:15 Hebrew sons [9] 4:17 The clause These are . . . married is transposed from verse 18 [10] 4:17 Hebrew lacks and bore [11] 4:22 Vulgate (compare Septuagint); Hebrew and Jashubi-lahem [12] 4:22 Or matters (ESV) New Testament: 1 Corinthians 6 1 Corinthians 6 (Listen) Lawsuits Against Believers 6 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! 4 So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, 6 but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers!1 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous2 will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,3 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. Flee Sexual Immorality 12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined4 to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin5 a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. Footnotes [1] 6:8 Or brothers and sisters [2] 6:9 Or wrongdoers [3] 6:9 The two Greek terms translated by this phrase refer to the passive and active partners in consensual homosexual acts [4] 6:16 Or who holds fast (compare Genesis 2:24 and Deuteronomy 10:20); also verse 17 [5] 6:18 Or Every sin (ESV) Psalm: Psalm 2 Psalm 2 (Listen) The Reign of the Lord's Anointed 2   Why do the nations rage1    and the peoples plot in vain?2   The kings of the earth set themselves,    and the rulers take counsel together,    against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying,3   “Let us burst their bonds apart    and cast away their cords from us.” 4   He who sits in the heavens laughs;    the Lord holds them in derision.5   Then he will speak to them in his wrath,    and terrify them in his fury, saying,6   “As for me, I have set my King    on Zion, my holy hill.” 7   I will tell of the decree:  The LORD said to me, “You are my Son;    today I have begotten you.8   Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,    and the ends of the earth your possession.9   You shall break2 them with a rod of iron    and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.” 10   Now therefore, O kings, be wise;    be warned, O rulers of the earth.11   Serve the LORD with fear,    and rejoice with trembling.12   Kiss the Son,    lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,    for his wrath is quickly kindled.  Blessed are all who take refuge in him. Footnotes [1] 2:1 Or nations noisily assemble [2] 2:9 Revocalization yields (compare Septuagint) You shall rule (ESV) Proverb: Proverbs 18:17–18 Proverbs 18:17–18 (Listen) 17   The one who states his case first seems right,    until the other comes and examines him.18   The lot puts an end to quarrels    and decides between powerful contenders. (ESV)

ESV: Through the Bible in a Year
July 3: 1 Chronicles 3–4; Psalm 2; Matthew 3–4

ESV: Through the Bible in a Year

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 3, 2022 14:38


Old Testament: 1 Chronicles 3–4 1 Chronicles 3–4 (Listen) Descendants of David 3 These are the sons of David who were born to him in Hebron: the firstborn, Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelite; the second, Daniel, by Abigail the Carmelite, 2 the third, Absalom, whose mother was Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur; the fourth, Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith; 3 the fifth, Shephatiah, by Abital; the sixth, Ithream, by his wife Eglah; 4 six were born to him in Hebron, where he reigned for seven years and six months. And he reigned thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 5 These were born to him in Jerusalem: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon, four by Bath-shua, the daughter of Ammiel; 6 then Ibhar, Elishama, Eliphelet, 7 Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, 8 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet, nine. 9 All these were David's sons, besides the sons of the concubines, and Tamar was their sister. 10 The son of Solomon was Rehoboam, Abijah his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son, 11 Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, 12 Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son, 13 Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son, 14 Amon his son, Josiah his son. 15 The sons of Josiah: Johanan the firstborn, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum. 16 The descendants of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son; 17 and the sons of Jeconiah, the captive: Shealtiel his son, 18 Malchiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama and Nedabiah; 19 and the sons of Pedaiah: Zerubbabel and Shimei; and the sons of Zerubbabel: Meshullam and Hananiah, and Shelomith was their sister; 20 and Hashubah, Ohel, Berechiah, Hasadiah, and Jushab-hesed, five. 21 The sons of Hananiah: Pelatiah and Jeshaiah, his son1 Rephaiah, his son Arnan, his son Obadiah, his son Shecaniah. 22 The son2 of Shecaniah: Shemaiah. And the sons of Shemaiah: Hattush, Igal, Bariah, Neariah, and Shaphat, six. 23 The sons of Neariah: Elioenai, Hizkiah, and Azrikam, three. 24 The sons of Elioenai: Hodaviah, Eliashib, Pelaiah, Akkub, Johanan, Delaiah, and Anani, seven. Descendants of Judah 4 The sons of Judah: Perez, Hezron, Carmi, Hur, and Shobal. 2 Reaiah the son of Shobal fathered Jahath, and Jahath fathered Ahumai and Lahad. These were the clans of the Zorathites. 3 These were the sons3 of Etam: Jezreel, Ishma, and Idbash; and the name of their sister was Hazzelelponi, 4 and Penuel fathered Gedor, and Ezer fathered Hushah. These were the sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah, the father of Bethlehem. 5 Ashhur, the father of Tekoa, had two wives, Helah and Naarah; 6 Naarah bore him Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni, and Haahashtari. These were the sons of Naarah. 7 The sons of Helah: Zereth, Izhar, and Ethnan. 8 Koz fathered Anub, Zobebah, and the clans of Aharhel, the son of Harum. 9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.”4 10 Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm5 so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked. 11 Chelub, the brother of Shuhah, fathered Mehir, who fathered Eshton. 12 Eshton fathered Beth-rapha, Paseah, and Tehinnah, the father of Ir-nahash. These are the men of Recah. 13 The sons of Kenaz: Othniel and Seraiah; and the sons of Othniel: Hathath and Meonothai.6 14 Meonothai fathered Ophrah; and Seraiah fathered Joab, the father of Ge-harashim,7 so-called because they were craftsmen. 15 The sons of Caleb the son of Jephunneh: Iru, Elah, and Naam; and the son8 of Elah: Kenaz. 16 The sons of Jehallelel: Ziph, Ziphah, Tiria, and Asarel. 17 The sons of Ezrah: Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon. These are the sons of Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered married;9 and she conceived and bore10 Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah, the father of Eshtemoa. 18 And his Judahite wife bore Jered the father of Gedor, Heber the father of Soco, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah. 19 The sons of the wife of Hodiah, the sister of Naham, were the fathers of Keilah the Garmite and Eshtemoa the Maacathite. 20 The sons of Shimon: Amnon, Rinnah, Ben-hanan, and Tilon. The sons of Ishi: Zoheth and Ben-zoheth. 21 The sons of Shelah the son of Judah: Er the father of Lecah, Laadah the father of Mareshah, and the clans of the house of linen workers at Beth-ashbea; 22 and Jokim, and the men of Cozeba, and Joash, and Saraph, who ruled in Moab and returned to Lehem11 (now the records12 are ancient). 23 These were the potters who were inhabitants of Netaim and Gederah. They lived there in the king's service. Descendants of Simeon 24 The sons of Simeon: Nemuel, Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, Shaul; 25 Shallum was his son, Mibsam his son, Mishma his son. 26 The sons of Mishma: Hammuel his son, Zaccur his son, Shimei his son. 27 Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters; but his brothers did not have many children, nor did all their clan multiply like the men of Judah. 28 They lived in Beersheba, Moladah, Hazar-shual, 29 Bilhah, Ezem, Tolad, 30 Bethuel, Hormah, Ziklag, 31 Beth-marcaboth, Hazar-susim, Beth-biri, and Shaaraim. These were their cities until David reigned. 32 And their villages were Etam, Ain, Rimmon, Tochen, and Ashan, five cities, 33 along with all their villages that were around these cities as far as Baal. These were their settlements, and they kept a genealogical record. 34 Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah the son of Amaziah, 35 Joel, Jehu the son of Joshibiah, son of Seraiah, son of Asiel, 36 Elioenai, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah, 37 Ziza the son of Shiphi, son of Allon, son of Jedaiah, son of Shimri, son of Shemaiah—38 these mentioned by name were princes in their clans, and their fathers' houses increased greatly. 39 They journeyed to the entrance of Gedor, to the east side of the valley, to seek pasture for their flocks, 40 where they found rich, good pasture, and the land was very broad, quiet, and peaceful, for the former inhabitants there belonged to Ham. 41 These, registered by name, came in the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah, and destroyed their tents and the Meunites who were found there, and marked them for destruction to this day, and settled in their place, because there was pasture there for their flocks. 42 And some of them, five hundred men of the Simeonites, went to Mount Seir, having as their leaders Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi. 43 And they defeated the remnant of the Amalekites who had escaped, and they have lived there to this day. Footnotes [1] 3:21 Septuagint (compare Syriac, Vulgate); Hebrew sons of; four times in this verse [2] 3:22 Hebrew sons [3] 4:3 Septuagint (compare Vulgate); Hebrew father [4] 4:9 Jabez sounds like the Hebrew for pain [5] 4:10 Or evil [6] 4:13 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew lacks Meonothai [7] 4:14 Ge-harashim means valley of craftsmen [8] 4:15 Hebrew sons [9] 4:17 The clause These are . . . married is transposed from verse 18 [10] 4:17 Hebrew lacks and bore [11] 4:22 Vulgate (compare Septuagint); Hebrew and Jashubi-lahem [12] 4:22 Or matters (ESV) Psalm: Psalm 2 Psalm 2 (Listen) The Reign of the Lord's Anointed 2   Why do the nations rage1    and the peoples plot in vain?2   The kings of the earth set themselves,    and the rulers take counsel together,    against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying,3   “Let us burst their bonds apart    and cast away their cords from us.” 4   He who sits in the heavens laughs;    the Lord holds them in derision.5   Then he will speak to them in his wrath,    and terrify them in his fury, saying,6   “As for me, I have set my King    on Zion, my holy hill.” 7   I will tell of the decree:  The LORD said to me, “You are my Son;    today I have begotten you.8   Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,    and the ends of the earth your possession.9   You shall break2 them with a rod of iron    and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.” 10   Now therefore, O kings, be wise;    be warned, O rulers of the earth.11   Serve the LORD with fear,    and rejoice with trembling.12   Kiss the Son,    lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,    for his wrath is quickly kindled.  Blessed are all who take refuge in him. Footnotes [1] 2:1 Or nations noisily assemble [2] 2:9 Revocalization yields (compare Septuagint) You shall rule (ESV) New Testament: Matthew 3–4 Matthew 3–4 (Listen) John the Baptist Prepares the Way 3 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”1 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,   “The voice of one crying in the wilderness:  ‘Prepare2 the way of the Lord;    make his paths straight.'” 4 Now John wore a garment of camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, 6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,' for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” The Baptism of Jesus 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him,3 and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son,4 with whom I am well pleased.” The Temptation of Jesus 4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,   “‘Man shall not live by bread alone,    but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,   “‘He will command his angels concerning you,' and   “‘On their hands they will bear you up,    lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” 7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,   “‘You shall worship the Lord your God    and him only shall you serve.'” 11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. Jesus Begins His Ministry 12 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: 15   “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,    the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—16   the people dwelling in darkness    have seen a great light,  and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,    on them a light has dawned.” 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”5 Jesus Calls the First Disciples 18 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”6 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. Jesus Ministers to Great Crowds 23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them. 25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. Footnotes [1] 3:2 Or the kingdom of heaven has come near [2] 3:3 Or crying: Prepare in the wilderness [3] 3:16 Some manuscripts omit to him [4] 3:17 Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved [5] 4:17 Or the kingdom of heaven has come near [6] 4:19 The Greek word anthropoi refers here to both men and women (ESV)

Thinking on Scripture with Dr. Steven R. Cook
When God Disrupts the World

Thinking on Scripture with Dr. Steven R. Cook

Play Episode Listen Later May 27, 2022 57:23


     Pastors who preach the gospel of grace and accurately teach God's Word are dangerous men. They will disrupt your worldly thinking and cause great damage to your human viewpoint perspective. And they should. If exposed to their teaching for any period of time, you'll experience an epistemological shift that will fundamentally shake the foundations of your metaphysical and ethical views on life. The blessed result will be a radical new way of thinking built on the foundation of God and His Word. We have Jesus to thank for such good men. Those who support these teachers through prayer, encouragement, and financial support are accomplices to their disruptive activities and will be appropriately rewarded by God, both in time and eternity.      Biblically, God has a well-established pattern of disrupting the lives and activities of sinful people. He disrupted and dispelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden after they'd sinned (Gen 3:1-24). He quarantined Noah and His family in the Ark and then disrupted the world by means of a universal flood (Gen 6:1—8:22). He confused the languages of those building the Tower of Babel, disrupting their activity and scattering them geographically (Gen 11:1-9). He disrupted Egypt by sending severe plagues that destroyed the nation, and afterwards, His people were expelled in a great exodus (Ex 5:1—14:31). In 586 B.C., God disrupted the Judahites and drove them into Babylonian captivity for seventy years (Jer 25:11-12; 29:10), and this because they broke covenant with Him and worshiped idols and committed horrible sins, including child sacrifice (Jer 7:25-34). Disrupt and divide. That's the pattern. Those who love God and abide by His Word celebrate His actions in the world.      God's greatest disruption so far occurred when He sent His Son into the world, into Satan's hostile kingdom of darkness, to be the Light of the world and to provide salvation to those enslaved to sin (John 1:5-9; 3:19-21; Gal 5:1, Col 1:13-14). Jesus declared “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12). When Jesus presented divine viewpoint to others, on several occasions it is recorded that “a division occurred” because of Him (John 7:43; 9:16; 10:19). As a result of His teaching, we learn that “many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him” (John 6:66). But those who were positive to His teaching stayed with Him (John 6:67-69). On one occasion, Jesus said, “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; 52 for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three” (Luke 12:51-52). When Jesus commissioned His apostles to go into all the world, they obeyed His directive and became “men who upset the world” because of their teachings (Acts 17:6). As Christians, we are called to be “diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3), but never at the price of God's will or at the price of His truth.      Today, God works through Christians to promote the gospel of grace and biblical teaching. Those who walk with God and teach His Word continue to disrupt Satan's kingdom by calling out of it a people for God who are to mature spiritually and live in the light of Holy Scripture. By learning God's Word, Christians can identify worldly conversations and either avoid them or disrupt them by interjecting biblical truth. Of course, not everyone wants to hear truth, and the personal choices of others should be respected. God is a perfect Gentleman and never forces Himself on anyone, and neither should we. However, this does not mean we are to conform to the world about us or surrender our biblical values for the sake of peace. Christians are to be lights in the world and this means learning and living God's Word and interjecting His truth into our daily discussions and activities. We are not neutral.      In the future, we know God will cause further disruptions when He removes all Christians from the world by means of the rapture (1 Th 4:13-18). Following that event, He will send great judgments upon the earth for seven years, upon the wicked who deserve it (Rev 6:1—18:24). At Christ's second coming, the King of kings and Lord of lords will slay all who oppose Him (Rev 19:1-21), arrest and confine Satan (Rev 20:1-3), and then establish His kingdom on earth for a thousand years (Rev 20:4-6). The reign of Christ on the earth will be a time when righteousness prevails. Isaiah says of Messiah, “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this” (Isa 9:7; cf., Jer 23:5; 33:15; Dan 2:44). Afterwards, God will separate forever into the Lake of Fire all who have rejected His offer of salvation (Rev 20:11-15). Finally, God will destroy the current heavens and earth and create a new heavens and earth. For “according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells” (2 Pet 3:13; cf., Rev 21:1—22:21). There will be no further disruptions in the eternal state. Until then, we thank and praise God for His disruptions!  

ESV: Read through the Bible
May 21: 1 Chronicles 3–5; John 8:1–20

ESV: Read through the Bible

Play Episode Listen Later May 21, 2022 14:19


Morning: 1 Chronicles 3–5 1 Chronicles 3–5 (Listen) Descendants of David 3 These are the sons of David who were born to him in Hebron: the firstborn, Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelite; the second, Daniel, by Abigail the Carmelite, 2 the third, Absalom, whose mother was Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur; the fourth, Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith; 3 the fifth, Shephatiah, by Abital; the sixth, Ithream, by his wife Eglah; 4 six were born to him in Hebron, where he reigned for seven years and six months. And he reigned thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 5 These were born to him in Jerusalem: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon, four by Bath-shua, the daughter of Ammiel; 6 then Ibhar, Elishama, Eliphelet, 7 Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, 8 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet, nine. 9 All these were David's sons, besides the sons of the concubines, and Tamar was their sister. 10 The son of Solomon was Rehoboam, Abijah his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son, 11 Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, 12 Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son, 13 Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son, 14 Amon his son, Josiah his son. 15 The sons of Josiah: Johanan the firstborn, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum. 16 The descendants of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son; 17 and the sons of Jeconiah, the captive: Shealtiel his son, 18 Malchiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama and Nedabiah; 19 and the sons of Pedaiah: Zerubbabel and Shimei; and the sons of Zerubbabel: Meshullam and Hananiah, and Shelomith was their sister; 20 and Hashubah, Ohel, Berechiah, Hasadiah, and Jushab-hesed, five. 21 The sons of Hananiah: Pelatiah and Jeshaiah, his son1 Rephaiah, his son Arnan, his son Obadiah, his son Shecaniah. 22 The son2 of Shecaniah: Shemaiah. And the sons of Shemaiah: Hattush, Igal, Bariah, Neariah, and Shaphat, six. 23 The sons of Neariah: Elioenai, Hizkiah, and Azrikam, three. 24 The sons of Elioenai: Hodaviah, Eliashib, Pelaiah, Akkub, Johanan, Delaiah, and Anani, seven. Descendants of Judah 4 The sons of Judah: Perez, Hezron, Carmi, Hur, and Shobal. 2 Reaiah the son of Shobal fathered Jahath, and Jahath fathered Ahumai and Lahad. These were the clans of the Zorathites. 3 These were the sons3 of Etam: Jezreel, Ishma, and Idbash; and the name of their sister was Hazzelelponi, 4 and Penuel fathered Gedor, and Ezer fathered Hushah. These were the sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah, the father of Bethlehem. 5 Ashhur, the father of Tekoa, had two wives, Helah and Naarah; 6 Naarah bore him Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni, and Haahashtari. These were the sons of Naarah. 7 The sons of Helah: Zereth, Izhar, and Ethnan. 8 Koz fathered Anub, Zobebah, and the clans of Aharhel, the son of Harum. 9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.”4 10 Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm5 so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked. 11 Chelub, the brother of Shuhah, fathered Mehir, who fathered Eshton. 12 Eshton fathered Beth-rapha, Paseah, and Tehinnah, the father of Ir-nahash. These are the men of Recah. 13 The sons of Kenaz: Othniel and Seraiah; and the sons of Othniel: Hathath and Meonothai.6 14 Meonothai fathered Ophrah; and Seraiah fathered Joab, the father of Ge-harashim,7 so-called because they were craftsmen. 15 The sons of Caleb the son of Jephunneh: Iru, Elah, and Naam; and the son8 of Elah: Kenaz. 16 The sons of Jehallelel: Ziph, Ziphah, Tiria, and Asarel. 17 The sons of Ezrah: Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon. These are the sons of Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered married;9 and she conceived and bore10 Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah, the father of Eshtemoa. 18 And his Judahite wife bore Jered the father of Gedor, Heber the father of Soco, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah. 19 The sons of the wife of Hodiah, the sister of Naham, were the fathers of Keilah the Garmite and Eshtemoa the Maacathite. 20 The sons of Shimon: Amnon, Rinnah, Ben-hanan, and Tilon. The sons of Ishi: Zoheth and Ben-zoheth. 21 The sons of Shelah the son of Judah: Er the father of Lecah, Laadah the father of Mareshah, and the clans of the house of linen workers at Beth-ashbea; 22 and Jokim, and the men of Cozeba, and Joash, and Saraph, who ruled in Moab and returned to Lehem11 (now the records12 are ancient). 23 These were the potters who were inhabitants of Netaim and Gederah. They lived there in the king's service. Descendants of Simeon 24 The sons of Simeon: Nemuel, Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, Shaul; 25 Shallum was his son, Mibsam his son, Mishma his son. 26 The sons of Mishma: Hammuel his son, Zaccur his son, Shimei his son. 27 Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters; but his brothers did not have many children, nor did all their clan multiply like the men of Judah. 28 They lived in Beersheba, Moladah, Hazar-shual, 29 Bilhah, Ezem, Tolad, 30 Bethuel, Hormah, Ziklag, 31 Beth-marcaboth, Hazar-susim, Beth-biri, and Shaaraim. These were their cities until David reigned. 32 And their villages were Etam, Ain, Rimmon, Tochen, and Ashan, five cities, 33 along with all their villages that were around these cities as far as Baal. These were their settlements, and they kept a genealogical record. 34 Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah the son of Amaziah, 35 Joel, Jehu the son of Joshibiah, son of Seraiah, son of Asiel, 36 Elioenai, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah, 37 Ziza the son of Shiphi, son of Allon, son of Jedaiah, son of Shimri, son of Shemaiah—38 these mentioned by name were princes in their clans, and their fathers' houses increased greatly. 39 They journeyed to the entrance of Gedor, to the east side of the valley, to seek pasture for their flocks, 40 where they found rich, good pasture, and the land was very broad, quiet, and peaceful, for the former inhabitants there belonged to Ham. 41 These, registered by name, came in the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah, and destroyed their tents and the Meunites who were found there, and marked them for destruction to this day, and settled in their place, because there was pasture there for their flocks. 42 And some of them, five hundred men of the Simeonites, went to Mount Seir, having as their leaders Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi. 43 And they defeated the remnant of the Amalekites who had escaped, and they have lived there to this day. Descendants of Reuben 5 The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (for he was the firstborn, but because he defiled his father's couch, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel, so that he could not be enrolled as the oldest son; 2 though Judah became strong among his brothers and a chief came from him, yet the birthright belonged to Joseph), 3 the sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 4 The sons of Joel: Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, Shimei his son, 5 Micah his son, Reaiah his son, Baal his son, 6 Beerah his son, whom Tiglath-pileser13 king of Assyria carried away into exile; he was a chief of the Reubenites. 7 And his kinsmen by their clans, when the genealogy of their generations was recorded: the chief, Jeiel, and Zechariah, 8 and Bela the son of Azaz, son of Shema, son of Joel, who lived in Aroer, as far as Nebo and Baal-meon. 9 He also lived to the east as far as the entrance of the desert this side of the Euphrates, because their livestock had multiplied in the land of Gilead. 10 And in the days of Saul they waged war against the Hagrites, who fell into their hand. And they lived in their tents throughout all the region east of Gilead. Descendants of Gad 11 The sons of Gad lived over against them in the land of Bashan as far as Salecah: 12 Joel the chief, Shapham the second, Janai, and Shaphat in Bashan. 13 And their kinsmen according to their fathers' houses: Michael, Meshullam, Sheba, Jorai, Jacan, Zia and Eber, seven. 14 These were the sons of Abihail the son of Huri, son of Jaroah, son of Gilead, son of Michael, son of Jeshishai, son of Jahdo, son of Buz. 15 Ahi the son of Abdiel, son of Guni, was chief in their fathers' houses, 16 and they lived in Gilead, in Bashan and in its towns, and in all the pasturelands of Sharon to their limits. 17 All of these were recorded in genealogies in the days of Jotham king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam king of Israel. 18 The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had valiant men who carried shield and sword, and drew the bow, expert in war, 44,760, able to go to war. 19 They waged war against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab. 20 And when they prevailed14 over them, the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hands, for they cried out to God in the battle, and he granted their urgent plea because they trusted in him. 21 They carried off their livestock: 50,000 of their camels, 250,000 sheep, 2,000 donkeys, and 100,000 men alive. 22 For many fell, because the war was of God. And they lived in their place until the exile. The Half-Tribe of Manasseh 23 The members of the half-tribe of Manasseh lived in the land. They were very numerous from Bashan to Baal-hermon, Senir, and Mount Hermon. 24 These were the heads of their fathers' houses: Epher,15 Ishi, Eliel, Azriel, Jeremiah, Hodaviah, and Jahdiel, mighty warriors, famous men, heads of their fathers' houses. 25 But they broke faith with the God of their fathers, and whored after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them. 26 So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, the spirit of Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and he took them into exile, namely, the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river Gozan, to this day. Footnotes [1] 3:21 Septuagint (compare Syriac, Vulgate); Hebrew sons of; four times in this verse [2] 3:22 Hebrew sons [3] 4:3 Septuagint (compare Vulgate); Hebrew father [4] 4:9 Jabez sounds like the Hebrew for pain [5] 4:10 Or evil [6] 4:13 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew lacks Meonothai [7] 4:14 Ge-harashim means valley of craftsmen [8] 4:15 Hebrew sons [9] 4:17 The clause These are . . . married is transposed from verse 18 [10] 4:17 Hebrew lacks and bore [11] 4:22 Vulgate (compare Septuagint); Hebrew and Jashubi-lahem [12] 4:22 Or matters [13] 5:6 Hebrew Tilgath-pilneser; also verse 26 [14] 5:20 Or they were helped to prevail [15] 5:24 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew and Epher (ESV) Evening: John 8:1–20 John 8:1–20 (Listen) 8 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”]] I Am the Light of the World 12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13 So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father1 who sent me. 17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” 19 They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come. Footnotes [1] 8:16 Some manuscripts he (ESV)

Second Presbyterian Church Sermons
Humble Service to Brothers and Sisters

Second Presbyterian Church Sermons

Play Episode Listen Later May 8, 2022


Big Idea: Obadiah conveys God’s passionate opposition to unbrotherliness because it is deadly and can lead to damnation. We must especially love our brothers and sisters because Christ died not only to save us but to make us a covenant family. The Deadly Progression of Unbrotherliness While “unbrotherliness” is a cumbersome word, it most clearly describes the sin Obadiah is confronting. Someone might not understand “covenant infidelity,” but anyone who has a sibling or even a very close friend knows what unbrotherliness is! It is when someone who is very close to you genetically or relationally disrespects you. We must also understand that sin is always progressive. In this case, it began with passivity. When Jerusalem was being attacked, the Edomites “stood aloof.” The next step of the progression was to “look down” as in looking down one’s nose with despising patronage. It is to consider oneself better than the one being abused. The third step was mockery. The Edomites had so divorced themselves from their brothers that they felt superior enough to mock them in their tragedy. The final step for the Edomites was actually waiting at the crossroads for those Judahites who escaped from the city and mercilessly cutting them down with the sword. The Ultimate Judgment of Unbrotherliness Against this grave sin, God threatens judgment, which will lead to repentance among his elect and damnation on those who refuse. If you have been convicted by the sin of unbrotherliness in your own life, you should be encouraged, because warnings work to bring about repentance in the hearts of those who belong to the Lord. Repent, and do so knowing you still belong to Him. For those who continue in unbrotherliness, God promises damnation. Heaven is for the family of God, only for those who have been “given the right to be called children of God.” So anyone who has God’s DNA (“Christ in us the hope of glory”) loves their brothers and sisters in Christ. Those who refuse to love demonstrate that they are not God’s sons and daughters and will not therefore be found in heaven. Discussion Questions Can you think of a particular sin in your own life or someone else’s for which a clear progression can be noted? What is the opposite of this deadly progression? How has Christ demonstrated true brotherliness to us? Read Matthew 25:31-46. Is there an instance of unbrotherliness in your own life for which you were convicted? How can you repent of this both before God and man? How might the fact that God judges the sin of unbrotherliness have been encouraging to the original readers of this passage? What implications does it have for us?

ESV: Straight through the Bible
May 1: 1 Chronicles 3–4

ESV: Straight through the Bible

Play Episode Listen Later May 1, 2022 8:01


1 Chronicles 3–4 1 Chronicles 3–4 (Listen) Descendants of David 3 These are the sons of David who were born to him in Hebron: the firstborn, Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelite; the second, Daniel, by Abigail the Carmelite, 2 the third, Absalom, whose mother was Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur; the fourth, Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith; 3 the fifth, Shephatiah, by Abital; the sixth, Ithream, by his wife Eglah; 4 six were born to him in Hebron, where he reigned for seven years and six months. And he reigned thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 5 These were born to him in Jerusalem: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon, four by Bath-shua, the daughter of Ammiel; 6 then Ibhar, Elishama, Eliphelet, 7 Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, 8 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet, nine. 9 All these were David's sons, besides the sons of the concubines, and Tamar was their sister. 10 The son of Solomon was Rehoboam, Abijah his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son, 11 Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, 12 Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son, 13 Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son, 14 Amon his son, Josiah his son. 15 The sons of Josiah: Johanan the firstborn, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum. 16 The descendants of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son; 17 and the sons of Jeconiah, the captive: Shealtiel his son, 18 Malchiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama and Nedabiah; 19 and the sons of Pedaiah: Zerubbabel and Shimei; and the sons of Zerubbabel: Meshullam and Hananiah, and Shelomith was their sister; 20 and Hashubah, Ohel, Berechiah, Hasadiah, and Jushab-hesed, five. 21 The sons of Hananiah: Pelatiah and Jeshaiah, his son1 Rephaiah, his son Arnan, his son Obadiah, his son Shecaniah. 22 The son2 of Shecaniah: Shemaiah. And the sons of Shemaiah: Hattush, Igal, Bariah, Neariah, and Shaphat, six. 23 The sons of Neariah: Elioenai, Hizkiah, and Azrikam, three. 24 The sons of Elioenai: Hodaviah, Eliashib, Pelaiah, Akkub, Johanan, Delaiah, and Anani, seven. Descendants of Judah 4 The sons of Judah: Perez, Hezron, Carmi, Hur, and Shobal. 2 Reaiah the son of Shobal fathered Jahath, and Jahath fathered Ahumai and Lahad. These were the clans of the Zorathites. 3 These were the sons3 of Etam: Jezreel, Ishma, and Idbash; and the name of their sister was Hazzelelponi, 4 and Penuel fathered Gedor, and Ezer fathered Hushah. These were the sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah, the father of Bethlehem. 5 Ashhur, the father of Tekoa, had two wives, Helah and Naarah; 6 Naarah bore him Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni, and Haahashtari. These were the sons of Naarah. 7 The sons of Helah: Zereth, Izhar, and Ethnan. 8 Koz fathered Anub, Zobebah, and the clans of Aharhel, the son of Harum. 9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.”4 10 Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm5 so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked. 11 Chelub, the brother of Shuhah, fathered Mehir, who fathered Eshton. 12 Eshton fathered Beth-rapha, Paseah, and Tehinnah, the father of Ir-nahash. These are the men of Recah. 13 The sons of Kenaz: Othniel and Seraiah; and the sons of Othniel: Hathath and Meonothai.6 14 Meonothai fathered Ophrah; and Seraiah fathered Joab, the father of Ge-harashim,7 so-called because they were craftsmen. 15 The sons of Caleb the son of Jephunneh: Iru, Elah, and Naam; and the son8 of Elah: Kenaz. 16 The sons of Jehallelel: Ziph, Ziphah, Tiria, and Asarel. 17 The sons of Ezrah: Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon. These are the sons of Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered married;9 and she conceived and bore10 Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah, the father of Eshtemoa. 18 And his Judahite wife bore Jered the father of Gedor, Heber the father of Soco, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah. 19 The sons of the wife of Hodiah, the sister of Naham, were the fathers of Keilah the Garmite and Eshtemoa the Maacathite. 20 The sons of Shimon: Amnon, Rinnah, Ben-hanan, and Tilon. The sons of Ishi: Zoheth and Ben-zoheth. 21 The sons of Shelah the son of Judah: Er the father of Lecah, Laadah the father of Mareshah, and the clans of the house of linen workers at Beth-ashbea; 22 and Jokim, and the men of Cozeba, and Joash, and Saraph, who ruled in Moab and returned to Lehem11 (now the records12 are ancient). 23 These were the potters who were inhabitants of Netaim and Gederah. They lived there in the king's service. Descendants of Simeon 24 The sons of Simeon: Nemuel, Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, Shaul; 25 Shallum was his son, Mibsam his son, Mishma his son. 26 The sons of Mishma: Hammuel his son, Zaccur his son, Shimei his son. 27 Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters; but his brothers did not have many children, nor did all their clan multiply like the men of Judah. 28 They lived in Beersheba, Moladah, Hazar-shual, 29 Bilhah, Ezem, Tolad, 30 Bethuel, Hormah, Ziklag, 31 Beth-marcaboth, Hazar-susim, Beth-biri, and Shaaraim. These were their cities until David reigned. 32 And their villages were Etam, Ain, Rimmon, Tochen, and Ashan, five cities, 33 along with all their villages that were around these cities as far as Baal. These were their settlements, and they kept a genealogical record. 34 Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah the son of Amaziah, 35 Joel, Jehu the son of Joshibiah, son of Seraiah, son of Asiel, 36 Elioenai, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah, 37 Ziza the son of Shiphi, son of Allon, son of Jedaiah, son of Shimri, son of Shemaiah—38 these mentioned by name were princes in their clans, and their fathers' houses increased greatly. 39 They journeyed to the entrance of Gedor, to the east side of the valley, to seek pasture for their flocks, 40 where they found rich, good pasture, and the land was very broad, quiet, and peaceful, for the former inhabitants there belonged to Ham. 41 These, registered by name, came in the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah, and destroyed their tents and the Meunites who were found there, and marked them for destruction to this day, and settled in their place, because there was pasture there for their flocks. 42 And some of them, five hundred men of the Simeonites, went to Mount Seir, having as their leaders Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi. 43 And they defeated the remnant of the Amalekites who had escaped, and they have lived there to this day. Footnotes [1] 3:21 Septuagint (compare Syriac, Vulgate); Hebrew sons of; four times in this verse [2] 3:22 Hebrew sons [3] 4:3 Septuagint (compare Vulgate); Hebrew father [4] 4:9 Jabez sounds like the Hebrew for pain [5] 4:10 Or evil [6] 4:13 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew lacks Meonothai [7] 4:14 Ge-harashim means valley of craftsmen [8] 4:15 Hebrew sons [9] 4:17 The clause These are . . . married is transposed from verse 18 [10] 4:17 Hebrew lacks and bore [11] 4:22 Vulgate (compare Septuagint); Hebrew and Jashubi-lahem [12] 4:22 Or matters (ESV)

TonioTimeDaily
I am secularly naked, and I am secularly unashamed!

TonioTimeDaily

Play Episode Listen Later Apr 24, 2022 52:01


"Scholars have long recognized that many of the Nevi'im or prophetic books in the Hebrew Bible have the Israelite god Yahweh speak his judgement over a capital city (using it as pars pro toto for the state it governs), personifying this city as a woman who has committed various sins, so that she has become a "prostitute" / "whore" and/or an "adulteress", and thus deserves various punishments, almost always including being subjected to rape.[1]: 214–235  This judgement and punishment is usually applied when the city is subjected to a siege and conquered by foreign soldiers.[1]: 214–235  Although this metaphor, in which Yahweh often addresses a city as if it were his wife or virgin daughter who has forsaken him and her own honour, is often applied to Jerusalem (and once to Samaria), it is also applied to non-Israelite cities such as Babylon and Nineveh.[1]: 214–235  Caroline Vander Stichele (2000) demonstrated that similar patterns exist in the narrative of the "Whore of Babylon" (probably a personification of Rome, and by extension the Roman Empire) in the Book of Revelation in the New Testament (the Greek Bible).[119] Gordon and Washington (1995) remarked: '[T]he city as an object of violence is always a feminine Other, reinforcing the status of the feminine as secondary, and facilitating a pornographic objectification of women by setting the female as the model victim.'[101]: 318  Scholz (2021) argued that these threats of rape and other punishments do not only serve as a warning to the Israelites and Judahites or to foreign peoples not to fall into sin lest they be judged and punished, but especially towards all women. Ezekiel 16 and 23 in particular send a double message to not just Israelite and Judahite society in general not to be unfaithful to Yahweh, but to women in those societies not to be unfaithful to their husbands (especially by having sex with foreign men); women who do, will be publicly raped, shamed, and executed by foreign soldiers to deter other women from marital infidelity." -According to Wikipedia. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/antonio-myers4/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/antonio-myers4/support

St. Paul's Lockport Sermons
Sermon for Lent Midweek 1

St. Paul's Lockport Sermons

Play Episode Listen Later Mar 9, 2022 11:38


St. Peter calls us Christians “sojourners and exiles.” We are not in the place where we are truly from, where we are supposed to be. He recalls the memory of the ancient Judahites who went into exile in Babylon because of their sin. These people were held far from their homes as second-class citizens, with no temple to worship God. They wept at the fact of their exile, even as their captors mocked them. This is the image we have of our life on earth as Christians. We are not yet in the place we should be. Baptized and believing in Christ, we have started on our way to our goal. That it our future hope, which we hold to by faith in Jesus, the resurrection and life with God forever. Even if we are living in the place where we grew up, we are still pilgrims and exiles to this place, for the life in Christ is opposed to the life approved by the world.

ESV: Digging Deep into the Bible
January 4: Psalm 3; Genesis 4; 1 Chronicles 4; Luke 2:1–21

ESV: Digging Deep into the Bible

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 4, 2022 11:59


Psalms and Wisdom: Psalm 3 Psalm 3 (Listen) Save Me, O My God A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son. 3   O LORD, how many are my foes!    Many are rising against me;2   many are saying of my soul,    “There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah1 3   But you, O LORD, are a shield about me,    my glory, and the lifter of my head.4   I cried aloud to the LORD,    and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah 5   I lay down and slept;    I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.6   I will not be afraid of many thousands of people    who have set themselves against me all around. 7   Arise, O LORD!    Save me, O my God!  For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;    you break the teeth of the wicked. 8   Salvation belongs to the LORD;    your blessing be on your people! Selah Footnotes [1] 3:2 The meaning of the Hebrew word Selah, used frequently in the Psalms, is uncertain. It may be a musical or liturgical direction (ESV) Pentateuch and History: Genesis 4 Genesis 4 (Listen) Cain and Abel 4 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten1 a man with the help of the LORD.” 2 And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. 3 In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6 The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted?2 And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to3 you, but you must rule over it.” 8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother.4 And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?” 10 And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.5 14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 Then the LORD said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. 16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod,6 east of Eden. 17 Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad fathered Mehujael, and Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech. 19 And Lamech took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. 20 Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. 21 His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. 22 Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah. 23 Lamech said to his wives:   “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;    you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say:  I have killed a man for wounding me,    a young man for striking me.24   If Cain's revenge is sevenfold,    then Lamech's is seventy-sevenfold.” 25 And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed7 for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” 26 To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the LORD. Footnotes [1] 4:1 Cain sounds like the Hebrew for gotten [2] 4:7 Hebrew will there not be a lifting up [of your face]? [3] 4:7 Or is toward [4] 4:8 Hebrew; Samaritan, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate add Let us go out to the field [5] 4:13 Or My guilt is too great to bear [6] 4:16 Nod means wandering [7] 4:25 Seth sounds like the Hebrew for he appointed (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: 1 Chronicles 4 1 Chronicles 4 (Listen) Descendants of Judah 4 The sons of Judah: Perez, Hezron, Carmi, Hur, and Shobal. 2 Reaiah the son of Shobal fathered Jahath, and Jahath fathered Ahumai and Lahad. These were the clans of the Zorathites. 3 These were the sons1 of Etam: Jezreel, Ishma, and Idbash; and the name of their sister was Hazzelelponi, 4 and Penuel fathered Gedor, and Ezer fathered Hushah. These were the sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah, the father of Bethlehem. 5 Ashhur, the father of Tekoa, had two wives, Helah and Naarah; 6 Naarah bore him Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni, and Haahashtari. These were the sons of Naarah. 7 The sons of Helah: Zereth, Izhar, and Ethnan. 8 Koz fathered Anub, Zobebah, and the clans of Aharhel, the son of Harum. 9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.”2 10 Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm3 so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked. 11 Chelub, the brother of Shuhah, fathered Mehir, who fathered Eshton. 12 Eshton fathered Beth-rapha, Paseah, and Tehinnah, the father of Ir-nahash. These are the men of Recah. 13 The sons of Kenaz: Othniel and Seraiah; and the sons of Othniel: Hathath and Meonothai.4 14 Meonothai fathered Ophrah; and Seraiah fathered Joab, the father of Ge-harashim,5 so-called because they were craftsmen. 15 The sons of Caleb the son of Jephunneh: Iru, Elah, and Naam; and the son6 of Elah: Kenaz. 16 The sons of Jehallelel: Ziph, Ziphah, Tiria, and Asarel. 17 The sons of Ezrah: Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon. These are the sons of Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered married;7 and she conceived and bore8 Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah, the father of Eshtemoa. 18 And his Judahite wife bore Jered the father of Gedor, Heber the father of Soco, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah. 19 The sons of the wife of Hodiah, the sister of Naham, were the fathers of Keilah the Garmite and Eshtemoa the Maacathite. 20 The sons of Shimon: Amnon, Rinnah, Ben-hanan, and Tilon. The sons of Ishi: Zoheth and Ben-zoheth. 21 The sons of Shelah the son of Judah: Er the father of Lecah, Laadah the father of Mareshah, and the clans of the house of linen workers at Beth-ashbea; 22 and Jokim, and the men of Cozeba, and Joash, and Saraph, who ruled in Moab and returned to Lehem9 (now the records10 are ancient). 23 These were the potters who were inhabitants of Netaim and Gederah. They lived there in the king's service. Descendants of Simeon 24 The sons of Simeon: Nemuel, Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, Shaul; 25 Shallum was his son, Mibsam his son, Mishma his son. 26 The sons of Mishma: Hammuel his son, Zaccur his son, Shimei his son. 27 Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters; but his brothers did not have many children, nor did all their clan multiply like the men of Judah. 28 They lived in Beersheba, Moladah, Hazar-shual, 29 Bilhah, Ezem, Tolad, 30 Bethuel, Hormah, Ziklag, 31 Beth-marcaboth, Hazar-susim, Beth-biri, and Shaaraim. These were their cities until David reigned. 32 And their villages were Etam, Ain, Rimmon, Tochen, and Ashan, five cities, 33 along with all their villages that were around these cities as far as Baal. These were their settlements, and they kept a genealogical record. 34 Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah the son of Amaziah, 35 Joel, Jehu the son of Joshibiah, son of Seraiah, son of Asiel, 36 Elioenai, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah, 37 Ziza the son of Shiphi, son of Allon, son of Jedaiah, son of Shimri, son of Shemaiah—38 these mentioned by name were princes in their clans, and their fathers' houses increased greatly. 39 They journeyed to the entrance of Gedor, to the east side of the valley, to seek pasture for their flocks, 40 where they found rich, good pasture, and the land was very broad, quiet, and peaceful, for the former inhabitants there belonged to Ham. 41 These, registered by name, came in the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah, and destroyed their tents and the Meunites who were found there, and marked them for destruction to this day, and settled in their place, because there was pasture there for their flocks. 42 And some of them, five hundred men of the Simeonites, went to Mount Seir, having as their leaders Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi. 43 And they defeated the remnant of the Amalekites who had escaped, and they have lived there to this day. Footnotes [1] 4:3 Septuagint (compare Vulgate); Hebrew father [2] 4:9 Jabez sounds like the Hebrew for pain [3] 4:10 Or evil [4] 4:13 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew lacks Meonothai [5] 4:14 Ge-harashim means valley of craftsmen [6] 4:15 Hebrew sons [7] 4:17 The clause These are . . . married is transposed from verse 18 [8] 4:17 Hebrew lacks and bore [9] 4:22 Vulgate (compare Septuagint); Hebrew and Jashubi-lahem [10] 4:22 Or matters (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: Luke 2:1–21 Luke 2:1–21 (Listen) The Birth of Jesus Christ 2 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when1 Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,2 who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.3 The Shepherds and the Angels 8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14   “Glory to God in the highest,    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”4 15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. 21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. Footnotes [1] 2:2 Or This was the registration before [2] 2:5 That is, one legally pledged to be married [3] 2:7 Or guest room [4] 2:14 Some manuscripts peace, good will among men (ESV)

Bible Fiber
Bible Fiber #13: Obadiah

Bible Fiber

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 15, 2021 16:33 Transcription Available


The descendants of Jacob became the people of Israel and the progenitors of the Abrahamic covenant. The descendants of Esau became the Edomites, a distinct people group that sometimes allied with her Judahite neighbor and sometimes warred against her. Thus, they fulfilled the message of the Lord, given to Rebekah while the twins were still in utero: “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples born of you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the elder shall serve the younger” (Gen. 25:23). Obadiah makes sure to remind the hearers of his oracle that the Edomite problem has persisted over many generations. He does so by often referring to Edom not by the contemporary name of her cities but as “the house of Esau” or “Mount Esau.” Listen to last week's podcast on Obadiah and the Edomites for the full history. As always, we first have to address the dating of the prophetic book. Obadiah was most likely composed after the Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem, since the prophet writes as if he were an eyewitness to the horrific events. Jeremiah 49 includes an oracle against Edom with some of Obadiah's very same language. The two prophets likely lived close to the same time, but which prophet influenced which, no one can know for sure. So, why is Obadiah's book placed after Amos in the order of the canonized books if Amos probably ministered two hundred years before Obadiah? Because Amos's book both starts and ends with a message for the Edomites. 

Harvest Community Church (PCA) in Omaha, NE
“Light Breaks Into Darkness” – Isaiah 9:1-7

Harvest Community Church (PCA) in Omaha, NE

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 12, 2021


Well, you have your Bible, please open up with me to Isaiah. We're going to be in Isaiah 9:1-7. Over the last couple of weeks or so leading up to Christmas, Pastor Jacob has been working through the story of Christ's birth in the Gospel of Matthew, one of the most popular text. I think we would all agree in the Bible and yet the events that we read about in that passage and Mark or in Matthew Chapters one and two and in the corresponding infancy narrative in Luke's Gospel are stories and events that didn't arise out of the blue. In other words, the event of Christ's birth were events that were planned before the foundation of the world and events that were anticipated in the Old Testament. Today we're going to look at just one of those prophecies that looks forward to Christ's birth. It looks forward to Christ's incarnation some seven hundred years before it actually took place. So hear now the word of the Lord from Isaiah 9:1-7, I will be reading out of the English Standard Version. "But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. 2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. 3 You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. 4 For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. 5 For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. Isaiah 9:1-7, ESV This is the word of the Lord. In the year sixty-nine A.D., about two thousand years ago or so, a year that's been called the so-called "Long Year" by historians. The Roman Empire went through something of a tense period of conflict and civil war. It actually all started the previous year back in sixty-eight A.D., when one of the most deranged emperors to ever govern Rome died. His name was Nero, and in 68 A.D., Nero killed himself. His successor, a guy named Galba, Emperor Galba, became emperor. Now, when word of this event, this transition of power, reached the eastern boundaries of the empire, where two generals named Vespasian and his son, Titus, were busy leveling Jerusalem and the surrounding area because of a large scale Jewish revolt that was underway. The younger of the two generals, whose name was General Titus dropped everything to go back to Rome and congratulate the new emperor who had ascended to the throne. You see, if you were among the first to greet the new guy and to make sure that he likes you, well, in the end, that would work out on your behalf. So that was Titus' plan, get the new guy to like me. So he began his long journey back to Rome to greet Emperor Galba. On his long, way back, a few things happened. First, long before Titus even got to Rome, Emperor Galba was assassinated a few months after he took control in January of 69 A.D. A new emperor named Otho took power of the empire in Rome. Right when that happened, something else happened. Another general and another area of the empire whose name was Vitellius decided that now was his opportunity to become emperor, and so he declared himself emperor and decided to march upon Rome and against Otho and his supporters. A few months later, Vitellius successfully overthrew the second guy named Otho as emperor. Given all of this upheaval that was going on in Rome, what was Titus, the first general who was going back to Rome to congratulate the first guy who had now died, what was he going to do? In the midst of all of this upheaval, he was kind of stuck in the middle and wondering, who should he get behind? You see, if you tied yourself to the wrong guy. That wasn't good because their downfall would eventually be your downfall. Well, in the end, here's what Titus did. He decided that with all of this turmoil unfolding, he'd go back and make sure that his dad Vespasian became emperor, and a few months later, Vespasian and marched on Rome, and he became emperor, too. Now, if you found that whole historical synopsis to be somewhat dizzying and confusing, that's because it is. Un the history of the Roman Empire sixty-nine A.D. was a dark and tumultuous year of political upheaval. It saw, if you were counting four different emperors in the course of a year, it was a year of backbiting and civil war. If, like General Titus, you were caught in the middle of all that, well, your next move would seal your own fate as well. You see, your future was bound up in who you supported. Support the wrong guy and you're not going to have much of a future. When you think about it, even if you support the winner and this is the kind of environment you call home, how long do you think you really have until somebody comes for you next? Now, on the one hand, the events of that story of sixty-nine A.D. and the tumultuous time of the Roman Empire are far removed in a variety of ways from our own context. On the other hand, you and I are always faced, we're always faced with decisions in life like Titus about who or what to support who or what to hitch our future ambitions to. Whether we're talking about the world of politics or our own future ambitions, or even something that's inconsequential as the world of sports. We're always trying to navigate this world and hopefully come out on top by supporting the right causes and the right people. Be that as it may, the Bible tells us that whatever we decide to get behind in this world, whatever alliances we gravitate towards and however shrewd we are in navigating this environment of competing forces, no amount of skillful maneuvering in the present can give us the kind of triumph that we look for or the satisfaction that we long for. You see, the Bible tells us that there are many good things and right things to get behind in this world, spiritually speaking, we live in a world of sin and unbelief and darkness. This world could never and will never yield a solution to its own problems. Our only hope then, while we live in this world, is to get behind somebody who is not of this world, but who nevertheless came into this world some two thousand years ago to triumph over the present darkness. So our big idea this morning is this walk in the light of the Son. Now we'll talk about the historical setting of our passage, Isaiah chapter nine, in just a moment. For now, keep in mind that when Isaiah writes what he writes here in Isaiah nine, some seven hundred years before Christ's birth and incarnation, Isaiah is speaking into a bleak and dark situation that's unfolding in his own day. He sees God's people descending into a time of darkness and gloom. Yet, in the context of that, he also looks forward to a future day where he sees a dramatic reversal on the horizon, a reversal that subverts expectations. So as we look at our passage, we'll see first how Isaiah describes this reversal as glory that overcomes gloom and then how he explains this reversal as deliverance that overcomes bondage. First, a description of how glory overcomes gloom and versus one through three and then an explanation deliverance, overcoming bondage and verses four through seven. Most commentators break this passage down and those two parts, and so I'm following accordingly. 1. How Glory Overcomes Gloom 2. Deliverance that Overcomes Bondage How Glory Overcomes Gloom So let's begin with seeing how glory overcomes gloom. Now throughout this passage, again, keep in mind that Isaiah is looking forward. He's looking forward to a future day. He's standing in about the seven hundred B.C., and yet he's looking to a future day on the horizon. To appreciate the descriptions that Isaiah provides of that coming day, we have to first appreciate when he says what he says. In other words, we have to appreciate something about the historical context in which Isaiah is prophesying. As we'll see, it's a context of doom and gloom and darkness. Understand that in the lead up to what Isaiah tells us here in Isaiah chapter nine, the prophet has been speaking from Isaiah seven through Isaiah eight, and now into Isaiah, nine, into a particular situation that was transpiring in Judah during the reign of King Ahaz around seven hundred thirty-four B.C. You see at that time, King Ahaz and the kingdom he led, known as Judah, were faced with a kind of international turmoil of their own. You see immediately to their north and alliance was forming. Actually, an alliance had already formed between two nations between Syria and the 10 northern tribes of Israel. This new alliance that had formed just north of Ahaz decided to put Ahaz and the Kingdom of Judah in their crosshairs. In fact, they were intent with overthrowing Ahaz and the Kingdom of Judah. As Isaiah is writing what he's writing, those armies from the North are already on the move. They're already pressing down southward, taking over city after city in Judah intent on overthrowing Ahaz and his kingdom. So Ahaz is faced with the potential loss of the kingdom he governs. He has a choice to make. Would he get behind the Israel-Syria alliance so that they would stop attacking him? Perhaps he could surrender to them while he still has time left and promised to pay them tribute so that they wouldn't attack him any longer? Kind of like paying the mafia for protection. Or on the other hand, maybe Ahaz would rather than align himself with that alliance to turn to the real superpower of the day a nation known as Assyria and get behind them so that they would offer him protection from this alliance forming in the north. In short, Ahaz is faced with a decision about what alliances to form, about who to get behind so that perhaps his kingdom that was under attack would be spared. Before he makes that decision, the prophet Isaiah comes to him in Isaiah chapter seven, and he pleads with Ahaz not to get behind anyone. Rather, he tells him to forsake all of these worldly alliances and the geopolitical wheeling and dealing that's going on in the day and instead look to the Lord. To trust that the Lord is going to deliver Judah from international threats near and far, just like he's always done throughout their history. Does Ahaz listen to Isaiah's advice? Well, no, he doesn't. Instead, and we would find this out if we were looking at Isaiah seven, he proceeds with forming an alliance with Assyria and though it saves Judah in the short term, ultimately, it's the decision that would lead to the devastation of his kingdom. First, after he makes that decision, Syria and the 10 northern tribes of Israel would be devastated by Assyria, the superpower of the day. That might have been good news for someone like Ahaz, who was only living in the short term by what he could see. After Ahaz is gone later, in history after he dies, Judah would suffer at the hands of that superpower too. Throughout Isaiah chapter seven and eight in the lead up to Isaiah nine, the prophet Isaiah looks forward to the future, and he outlines the consequences for rejecting the way of faith that he held out for Ahaz. Isaiah announces that because many in Judah, including the king himself, have rejected the way of faith and have chosen instead to live in the short term by what their eyes could see, the nation as a whole would be plunged into deep darkness and gloom. Even in that darkness, here's the good news. God would preserve a faithful remnant, a portion of his people who still trusted in him. Who were marked not merely by their national identity as Israelite or Judahites, but by their spiritual identity as a people who hunger and thirst for the Lord and for his promises. For people like that, here's where we come to the burst of light in Isaiah 9:1, the day of salvation would eventually dawn. Look again at verse one where we read, "But there will be no gloom for her, who was in anguish." There will be gloom after Ahaz, gloom will set in for the nation of Judah. Isaiah is looking beyond that at this point, and he says, "But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations." Back in the early 1990s, and some of you might remember this, one of the most dangerous cities in the world was Medellin, Colombia. In fact, at the time, I think it was labeled the most dangerous city in the world. During the heights of Pablo Escobar's drug cartel, which was based in Medellin. The city had something like a murder rate of nearly 400 murders per 100,000 people. It was by far the highest in the world. To give you a comparison, the highest murder rate in the United States today is St. Louis, which is about 64 murders per 100,000 people. So that was, you know, doing the math something like eight fold what St. Louis is today. Moreover, the poverty rate in Medellin in the early 1990s was something like 50 percent. The infrastructure of the city left much to be desired. After Escobar's death that the city underwent this incredible transformation, the homicide rate plummeted, the poverty rate fell too. Over the course of the next few decades, Medellin has been transformed into what one publication calls it one of the smartest cities in the world. Now, of course, all cities have issues Medellin included, but the transformation that city has undergone in three decades is truly remarkable. Well, when our text opens in verse one, we hear Isaiah announce an even more remarkable transformation than that. He tells us that the lands to the north of Judah and Jerusalem, the lands of Zebulon and Neftali would be transformed. Now this was land that was originally settled by God's people all the way back in the book of Joshua. The people of God who lived there, the Israelites who lived there under King David and under King Solomon, they flourished in that place. After Solomon died, well, that land quickly became a land of idolatry. False worship sprang up on the mountains of Zebulon and Neftali and the surrounding regions, and the land became a setting for international conflict. It was eventually land that was devastated by Assyria, in Ahaz's own day. We learn in the Bible that after a Syria devastated the land of Zebulon and Neftali, the carried away the Jewish population that lived there and then repopulated it again with pagan gentiles who didn't worship the Lord instead. In God's providence Assyria turned this land into a place of deep darkness and gloom in more ways than one. Yet, Isaiah looks forward to a day when that depleted and dark territory would be the first to be transformed. Of course, the kind of transformation that Isaiah envisions and Isaiah 9:1 has nothing to do with the implementation of any social or technological program. It has nothing to do with any kind of earthly glory whatsoever. Rather, Isaiah sees transformation of this territory because God himself is on the move. Understand that whenever we hear about light breaking into darkness in the Bible, it's nearly always associated with the presence of the glory of God. For example, the psalmist proclaims in Psalm 104:1-2, "You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light, as with a garment." The advent of light into the world, then, is nothing more and nothing less than the emergence of God's presence into the world, to dwell with his people. And to deal with the dominance of spiritual darkness that had overtaken not only the land but also the world. As Isaiah looks forward to this day, the advent of God's glorious presence, well, he tells us in verse three that this really has nothing to do at all with a geographical plot of land. Rather, it has everything to do with what this will mean for God's people. Look at verse three, where the prophet Isaiah proclaims quote, "You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you, as with joy at the harvest as they are glad when they divide the spoil." Again, Isaiah is peering forward to a future day just like he was in versus one through two. As an aside, what's interesting is that throughout these verses, these first three verses in Isaiah, he sees these events of the future as so certain that he actually speaks about them in the past tense. He did that when he spoke of God's presence back in the land, and now he does that again when he talks about the effects that this has on God's people. So what is the effect that God's presence has on God's people? Well, first he talks about the multiplication of God's people. Remember, in Isaiah's own day as he's writing this prophecy, those who were actually looking to God by faith were few. It was maybe a small remnant among the people of Judah and Israel who actually believed in the Lord and love the Lord. In the future, Isaiah tells us when light breaks through the darkness, he sees a dramatic increase in numbers. Not only Jews, but also pagans from the nations would soak in the light of God's presence. Remember, because of Assyria, those northern regions became a mixture of gentiles and Jews, which is why Isaiah calls them here Galilee of the Nations. When light arrives, when God's presence breaks into human history, he paints this picture where even a remnant of the Gentiles will be transformed from a people of unbelief to a people of faith. God's people, then we learn when God's presence arrives would swell numerically. They would spread out geographically, and we only need to read through the book of Acts to see how that takes shape and in their growth. We also learn that their joy would increase, too. If you're looking at the imagery of verse three Isaiah likens the joy of God's people when God's presence arrives to that of a farmer after a bountiful harvest. Much of you farmers are joyful right now, that's the kind of joy that's envisioned here. Then he pictures that likewise as joy of a victorious army dividing up plunder after a battle that they won. But that leads to the question why? Why are they so joyful? Why are they filled with such joy? Well, very simply, the joy of God's people is conditioned by nothing other than the fact that with the advent of this light, they now dwell secure in the presence of God. When I was a kid, my parents were kind enough. Year in and year out to take my sister and I on a number of great vacations. Often one of the places we would go to was the happiest place on Earth, Walt Disney World. Now, as a kid who was spoiled and got to go to Walt Disney World fairly often, you would think that I would appreciate the thoughtfulness of my parents and the sacrifice that it was to take me there year in and year out and that as a kid, I would have simply just appreciated being at Walt Disney World, but that that would have been enough for me. But if that's what you're assuming, then you've never vacationed with kids. You see, without fail, every time we went on one of these extravagant vacations as a kid, even to Disney, it was never enough just to be on vacation. I always wanted something more. I remember one year in particular as a kid, that there was this toy Davy Crockett rifle that I saw in one of the gift shops, the gift shop that Disney strategically locates just to drive every parent crazy. I had to have it. For days in the so-called Happiest Place on Earth, all I thought about was this toy rifle asking my parents for every five minutes and unable to find any semblance of joy in the so-called Happiest Place on Earth until I held this overpriced faux wooden rifle in my hands. Talk about needing to shift my priorities. If we're all honest with ourselves, I think this also captures how we too often live in God's world, too. You see, when we become Christians, I think many of us can attest to the fact that God was enough. To be in his presence, to be in his church and to study his word might have felt like drinking water from a fire hose. It was a lot, but it was also a satisfying place to be. At some point we settle in and we often begin to obsess over comparatively insignificant things. Remember, in verse three of our passage, God's people are rejoicing with exceedingly exceeding joy simply because they're in God's presence. Their joy isn't conditioned by anything else other than God is in their midst. Friends, that's a game changer for God's people. That's everything in dictating our joy in the Christian life, too. But is that enough for you? Does that reality by itself produce joy in your life, or is your joy conditioned by a host of far more insignificant factors? If you profess Christ, let me ask you this, do people know you by your joy? You see, one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is joy, and we're called to be known as God's people for our joy. So do people know you as someone who professes steadfast joy in Christ? Or are you on the flip side, known more is a critical curmudgeon, as a bitter killjoy, always upset about something and always with an axe to grind. Now, of course, that's not to say we need to fake it when we walk through real suffering in life and when the world feels like a two ton elephant on our back. But even in suffering, the Bible tells us that there is a profound, not superficial, but substantive joy in knowing God and being in his presence. Joy in trusting that our identity as Sons of God is rooted and secured through the work of Christ. Friends, it's true that we live in an angry and scared and delusional world, but we're a people who don't belong to this world. We don't think like this world. We don't relate with each other in the back biting and exhausting way that citizens of this world relate with each other. Our joy is not and cannot be conditioned by anything in this world because if it is, it's understandable why we would be a miserable kind of people. We have what the world does not. So let me exhort you with this don't so obsess over the scraps of life that you fail to appreciate the feast that's laid before us in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Find your joy, real joy, substantive joy in Jesus Christ. So Isaiah describes this future day when God's glorious presence would powerfully break into the world and his people would flourish in quantity and quality as a result. When we turn to verses four through seven, Isaiah puts meat on the bones, as it were, by describing for us more about the character of God's presence in the world and more reason that we have to be a joyful people as we pilgrim in this world. Deliverance that Overcomes Bondage So this leads to the second point deliverance that overcomes bondage. Now, when we turn to verses four through seven, if you're looking at your Bible, you may notice that in verses four or five and six, Isaiah begins at least in the English translation. With this word for the idea here is that in each of these verses, Isaiah is explaining both the nature of God's advent and the reasons we have to be a people of joy. In doing this, he gives us three what we call vignettes, three pictures to explain God's advent as our deliverance out of bondage, the bondage of darkness. So let's take a look at these three vignettes. First look at verse four, where Isaiah tells us that through the advent of God's glorious presence, God's people are delivered from bondage. They're pictured here as a people who were once pressed down with a wooden bar on their necks. That's this idea of a yoke with a rod in the hands of a taskmaster used against them. This symbolism pictures God's people living under an oppressive burden, a burden that that clearly goes beyond merely physical things. When the light arrives, what happens? Well, this burden is dramatically broken. Notice that the relief they experience is also likened in our passage to the relief that was brought about by Gideon in the book of Judges. That's what this reference at the final line of verse for when we hear about Midian, that's what that calls to mind. If you don't know the story in the book of judges. When God's people, particularly in the north of Israel, the land of Zebulon and Naftali were oppressed by the Midianites, God raised up Gideon to deliver them. If you were to look at the book of Judges and read about that deliverance, you would find that Gideon's triumph over the Midianites was, by all accounts, unexpected. It subverted expectations because the Lord called Gideon to go up against Midian with only 300 men. Yet, through that unexpected band of men led by Gideon, God saved his people. In the same way, I say, tells us that the deliverance that God's advent brings will come about in an equally, actually an even more unexpected way. A way that subverts expectations. We'll have to wait until verse six to hear more about that. In verse five Isaiah tells us that through the advent of God's presence, it's as if a war has also been won. The imagery is that of a military equipment being burned by fire. What's important in this imagery is that at no point in Isaiah's forward looking future picture that he gives; do we hear anything about God's people actually fighting a battle or winning a battle. In fact, the only picture we have is that of God's people enjoying the end of a battle that's already been won. As Alec Motera puts it, "They have entered the battlefield only after the fighting is done." They win a victory without actually fighting a war on their own. Now these two vignettes the one in verse four and the one in verse five are both helpful for us in explaining God's advent. They explain the character of God's presence and what it means, what he breaks into human history. They explain the reasons that we have to be a people of joy. When we come to verses six and seven, the final two verses in our passage, we also come to the vignette, the picture that holds everything else together, this is the one in verses six through seven that explains the victory. This is the one that explains the nature of the burdens lifted, and this is the one that puts flesh and blood to the coming of God's presence into the world. Unexpectedly, at least for those hearing and reading this and Isaiah's own day, the climax of deliverance is a child. Talk about deliverance through unexpected means. Yet in this child, we find that God himself has come. Notice in verse six that there are four names that are ascribed to this child. This is a famous passage; it was read for us earlier. Most of us probably all know what these titles are, we read Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Now, each of these four names, when you really get down to it, would simply be inappropriate to give to any ordinary child, even a child who's born into royalty because each one of these titles are packed with notions of divinity. Let's just look at two of these. First, the title wonderful counselor may seem tame on the surface of things. It may seem as if this is simply somebody who doles out pious and positive advice, and that's about it. Kind of like a motivational speaker of sorts. That's not at all with this title suggests. In fact, one commentator named Paul House opts for a translation "wonderful planner", because this title points to one who plans supernatural things and then carries them out. It has nothing to do with somebody who just sits on high and doles out positive advice that you can take or leave. In short, the language here suggests that this child is vested with the knowledge to plan redemption and then the authority to carry it out. The next title, Mighty God, suggests even more clearly that than the first the divinity of this child. This is a child who embodies the power of God in his person. Who defeats the enemies of God, and then, like God himself, is the rightful object of worship for the people of God. Understand, then, that the descriptions and the titles that are given to this son point to a ruler that the world could never produce on its own. This is one who represents perfectly God's people before God and who in turn perfectly rules over God's people as God's true king. It's no surprise, then, that Isaiah nine, this passage that we've been reading and studying and preaching on is cited in Matthew chapter four at the outset of Jesus's public ministry in Galilee of the Gentiles and applied to Jesus. It's no surprise that Jesus, in his incarnation, is described in John one as light that had broken into the world. John 1:09 tells us of Jesus, the true light which gives light to everyone, has come. The future hope that Isaiah declares then for the small and faithful remnant in his own day, living in darkness, living in gloom has nothing to do with political deliverance from an international enemy. It has nothing to do with anything earthly whatsoever. It has nothing to do with getting behind the right earthly power or the right earthly king or the right earthly kingdom. Rather, the ultimate hope that Isaiah holds out to them and us is Jesus Christ. The one who has dealt with our greatest enemies of sin and death and the devil and the only one through whom, to paraphrase the Apostle Paul in Colossians one, transfers us his people from the domain of darkness to his own glorious kingdom of light. Application Friends, the gospel tells us that the things this world values, things that may have a veneer of wisdom and power, of things that we might be really tempted in our own lives to invest all of our capital into are ultimately things that are powerless to do what we really need from them. So often the world pulls us into thinking that our ultimate hope depends on what we get behind in this world. You see these metaphors of light and darkness, metaphors that we find all over the scriptures, are also commonplace elsewhere in life. Typically, when the world wants to baptize something as good, even if it's not good, it's associated with light. Any time the world wants to identify something as evil, it cloaks it in the metaphor of darkness. For example, the Philadelphia Eagles are a team of light, and the Dallas Cowboys are a team of deep, deep darkness. That's true. Yet the Bible tells us that the true light, the true light that has come into this world has nothing to do with this world. The true light is not found in what looks powerful in this world. Rather, it's found in what the world considers lowly and despised. It found in the one who is born to a teenage girl from a backwater town in Galilee of the nations, on the fringes of the most powerful empire in the first century A.D. By all accounts, the light that dawns in the first century A.D. in Jesus Christ subverts expectations in a plethora of ways. Yet in this child lies the power of God. Friends like General Titus and Ahaz before him, we're often driven by angst about being on the winning team. After all, nobody wants to be on the "wrong side of history". The Bible pleads with us to vest our hope not in anything that this world values, but in this child, Jesus Chris. The one who stands at the center of human history and the one who stands at the end of human history. So if you're not a Christian this morning, let me ask you this. What alliances in this world are you banking on right now? How's that working out for you? You see, the Bible pleads with us, as do I, to ally yourself above everything else with God's king, Jesus Christ through faith alone. That is our only hope in this ruthless and dark, dark world. At the same time, this passage calls all of us, whether you're a Christian or not, to check our allegiances and to align ourselves or realign ourselves with the true light and the true king. This is what I want to leave us with. That is just as we do not seek salvation from anything that this world offers, so too do not despair, the apparent dominance of darkness in this world. You see, there's much in this world that could distress us if we let it. I don't think I need to say that, but I'll say it when we look out into our neighborhoods and into our worlds, we see that the darkness of sin and unbelief hangs over everything. Then we turn inward and then we examine our own hearts and we see our own sin. When we do that, how many of us have cried out with the Apostle Paul, "wretched man that I am, who will save me from this body of death?" While there will always, always be much to pray for, and there's always much that could drive us to despair, understand the light of the glory of God's presence has already broken into this world. The church has already spread abroad all across the world and continues to do so to this very day, even in places that we would identify as places of deep darkness and persecution for the church. The Spirit, we know is also actively at work in the church, actively at work, even in our own local church, in our ministries, at work in our members. All of us are learning day by day what it means to walk in the light of the glory of God. The Bible tells us that the light has already dawned and far from disappearing or fading into the night sky, the Bible looks forward to the day when Jesus Christ will come again in a second advent and the light of the glory of God will be so bright that sun and moon will no longer have a purpose in the new heavens and the new Earth. Revelation 21 has something to say about that. Again, there's much we could despair over in this world, but brothers and sisters, the first advent that we celebrate has already come. The second, I promise you, is on its way. In the meantime, the Lord, our God, through his Spirit, is in our midst. What alliance could be any more consequential than that one? Pray with me. Father, we thank you for what Isaiah looked forward to, that we look back upon. That is the advent and appearing of your glory and your Son. Lord, we thank you for Jesus Christ. We thank you that Jesus Christ was and did everything that Isaiah looked forward to in his own day. Lord, I pray that as we walk, as sojourners and exiles in this often dark world that you would help us remember who we are and whose we are. That you would help us correct any battle allegiances that we have with this world. That you would instead realign us day by day with what is true and what is right and what is good. What we ask this in Christ name. Amen.

Read the Bible
December 6 – Vol. 2

Read the Bible

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2021 3:18


The prophecy of Habakkuk—or, more precisely, the “oracle that Habakkuk the prophet received”—is cast not as something he is to deliver to others, but as a response to his own complaint before the Lord. The fact that it was written down and preserved in the canon means that in God's providence either Habakkuk or someone else thought it was so important others should read it. It should not remain a private communication (like the private revelations that Paul sometimes received, 2 Cor. 12:1–10).The nature of Habakkuk's protest is set out in Habakkuk 1. The setting is apparently about the time of the final Babylonian assault (Hab. 1:6). Initially Habakkuk's complaint concerns the decline of his own people and culture (Hab. 1:2–5). He has cried to the Lord for help, and expects heaven-sent revival. “How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?” (Hab. 1:2). The rest of his complaint lists the symptoms of a culture in disintegration: violence, injustice, wrong, strife, conflict, and the Law of God paralyzed.But God answers with words Habakkuk does not want to hear. Habakkuk wants revival; God promises judgment (Hab. 1:6–11). If Habakkuk is so concerned about the injustice, he should know that God is going to do something about it: he is going to punish it. God will do something astonishing: he will raise up the Babylonians, “that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwelling places not their own” (Hab. 1:6). They will come “bent on violence” and “gather prisoners like sand” (Hab. 1:9). God does not pretend that the Babylonians are fine folk. After describing the massive strength of their armed forces, he scathingly calls them “guilty men, whose own strength is their god” (Hab. 1:11). These guilty men, intoxicated by the ferocity of their own violence, are the people God is going to deploy to chasten his own covenant people—in response to Habakkuk's prayer that God would do something about the injustice in the land.God's response does not satisfy Habakkuk. The second complaint (Hab. 1:12–2:1) goes to the heart of the issue. Granted that God is eternal and faithful to his covenant people; granted too that he is “too pure to look on evil” (Hab. 1:13) and therefore must punish his own covenant community, the burning question remains: “Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?” (Hab. 1:13, italics added). For however wicked the Judahites are, the Babylonians are worse. How can God use the more wicked to punish the less wicked?What other examples of this are there in history, sacred and profane? This podcast is designed to be used alongside TGC's Read The Bible initiative (TGC.org/readthebible). The podcast features devotional commentaries from D.A. Carson's book For the Love of God (vol. 2) that follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan.

Thinking on Scripture with Dr. Steven R. Cook
Jeremiah 19:1-15 - Child Sacrifice, Cannibalism, and God‘s Judgment on Judah

Thinking on Scripture with Dr. Steven R. Cook

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 21, 2021 40:15


     This pericope opens with a directive from the Lord (Thus says the LORD) to Jeremiah who instructed him, saying, “Go and buy a potter's earthenware jar, and take some of the elders of the people and some of the senior priests” (Jer 19:1). God called His prophet to make a trip to the local potter's shop in order to purchase a pot. Jeremiah bought a specific kind of jar (בַּקְבֻּק baqbuq) that had a narrow neck and was used for pouring liquid. It's likely the name of the jar was an onomatopoeia, where the name sounded like the kind of noise it made as the liquid was being poured out. Apparently, Jeremiah's message was for the leadership of the city, as he was instructed to take some elders and senior priests along with him.      The Lord instructed Jeremiah, saying, “Then go out to the valley of Ben-hinnom, which is by the entrance of the potsherd gate, and proclaim there the words that I tell you” (Jer 19:2). After visiting the potter's shop, the Lord instructed Jeremiah to head to the valley of Ben-hinnom, which is just south of Jerusalem. It's likely the potsherd gate was near the potter's shop and was known as the place where the potter would discard broken vessels that were no longer useful and could not be repaired.      The content of Jeremiah's message was then given by the Lord who instructed His prophet, saying, “Hear the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Behold I am about to bring a calamity upon this place, at which the ears of everyone that hears of it will tingle.'” Hear the word of the Lord was the common phrase spoken by a prophet who spoke for the Lord. This reveals that the message was not from the prophet himself, but was actually God's Word to the people. The plural reference to the “kings of Judah” likely includes the current leadership as well as the prior dynasty of kings responsible for the deplorable state of affairs in Jeremiah's day. Jeremiah used God's proper name, YHWH (יהוה), eight times in this chapter. YHWH (יהוה) was God's covenant name with Israel and would have reminded the people of their relationship with Him. Jeremiah also used one of God's titles, referring to Him as “the LORD of hosts”—literally, the LORD of the armies—who was also identified as “the God of Israel.” It should be remembered that Israel was a theocracy and God was their Judge, Lawgiver, and King (see Isa 33:22). They were in a binding contract with Him which included blessings and cursings depending on whether they obeyed or disobeyed (Deut 11:26-28; 28:1-68). Because of Israel's long history of idolatry and rebellion, they had chosen the path of cursing. Because God has integrity and keeps His Word, He was about to fulfill His promise to judge them based on the agreement of the Mosaic Covenant. God was about to unleash a calamity (רָעָה raah – evil, misery, distress, injury, calamity) upon Judah and Jerusalem, and the result was that “the ears of everyone that hears of it will tingle.” Here was a sensation that one could feel all the way up to one's ears as the news of terrible calamity was about to be unleashed on the nation. God then explains why this was going to happen. He said: "Because they have forsaken Me and have made this an alien place and have burned sacrifices in it to other gods, that neither they nor their forefathers nor the kings of Judah had ever known, and because they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent 5 and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My mind." (Jer 19:4-5)      Jeremiah mentions three reasons for God's judgment: 1) They had forsaken the Lord, which meant the covenant relationship had been abandoned. Once they had forsaken the Lord and His righteous directives, all forms of evil followed. 2) They had made Jerusalem an alien place where sacrifices were made to idols. 3) Their pagan sacrifices had degenerated to the place where they sacrificed their innocent children to Baal.      Idolatry had permeated Judahite culture to such an extent that they'd lost their identity as God's people and were no longer distinct from the pagan cultures around them. Forsaking Yahweh did not lead to atheism, but idolatry, which is a form of thievery, as it gives worship to manmade objects instead of the Lord. Biblically, there is only one God (Isa 45:5-6), and to worship someone or something in His place is to steal the glory due Him (Isa 42:8). Furthermore, idolatry subverts the Lord's authority and eventuates in social and judicial perversions. Being only a block of wood or stone, idols cannot provide, protect, or guide those who worship them, but neither do they make demands contrary to the proclivity of the fallen human heart. And when there is no check on the human heart to restrain its sinful inclinations, the result is a breakdown in morality that weakens society and leads to harmful behavior, especially toward the righteous, vulnerable, and innocent within a community. Sadly, many churches in America have become superficial and useless, reflecting more the values of our declining culture rather than the holiness God expects of those who are His children and possess His Word.      According to the Mosaic Law, human sacrifice was regarded as murder (Lev 18:21; Deut 12:31; 18:10), and God prescribed death for those who practiced it (Lev 20:1-2). We know from Scripture that by the end of his life King Solomon turned away from the Lord and worshipped idols, even building places of worship for them (1 Ki 11:4-8). These pagan worship sites were later used by Israelites to sacrifice their children (Jer 32:31-35). It is recorded that two of Israel's kings, Ahaz and Manasseh, caused their sons to be burned alive to pagan gods (2 Ki 16:1-3; 21:1-6). Apparently, other Israelites were also sacrificing their sons and daughters to idols (Psa 106:34-38; Jer 7:30-31; 19:4-5; 32:31-35; Ezek 16:20-21). Paul tells us that such sacrifices are actually offered to demons (1 Cor 10:20), so it's no surprise that such sacrifices are hellish. Because Israel became corrupt, God destroyed and expelled them from the land by means of military defeat from their enemies. Child sacrifice is mentioned in the list of sins that brought the nation to destruction (2 Ki 17:6-23).      When it comes to sacrificing their children, the United States of America outdoes all previous cultures. As of 2021, more than 62 million babies have been aborted in America since Roe v. Wade.[1] Most children are sacrificed for the parent's self-interest. Of unintended pregnancies in the USA, four in 10 are aborted, which amounts to roughly 3,000 per day.[2] And girls are more likely to be aborted than boys, which translates to a form of gendercide.[3] The killing of innocent human life is a violation of the sixth commandment, which states, “You shall not murder” (Deut 5:17). Today, we don't have idol centers located in temples or fields where children are sacrificed to a pagan deity; rather, we have clinical offices with well-educated and well-paid hitmen who use their surgical tools and vacuums to murder the innocent. Our government not only legalizes such activity, but uses tax dollars to fund it. We are a nation guilty before a just and holy God, and one wonders how long such evil can continue before the Lord's judgment falls and renders to us what we deserve? It's unimaginable to serve a God who cannot or will not judge us if we continue our current course of spiritual and moral decline. Of course, forgiveness is available to those who humble themselves and turn to Christ as their Savior. This is true for any sin, however heinous, even murder.      We know Judah was unrepentant and that God's judgment was coming upon them. Jeremiah continued His message from the Lord, saying, “therefore, behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when this place will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-hinnom, but rather the valley of Slaughter” (Jer 19:6). God would change the name of this valley to fit the crime that was committed there; namely, the slaughter of innocent children. In this way it was to serve as a memorial that recalled Judah's unfaithfulness to God and the evil that fell upon the children of the nation.      The leaders of Judah had other plans, but God would overrule them and bring about His judgment. The Lord said, “I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hand of those who seek their life; and I will give over their carcasses as food for the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth” (Jer 19:7). God's judgment would be terrible and swift. And the punishment would fit the crime, as they would be put to death by the Babylonians whom God would raise up as a weapon against them, and their dead bodies He would give as food for the birds of the sky and the beasts of the fields. Such language is employed of Jesus at His Second Coming when He puts down rebellion before establishing His kingdom on earth (Rev 19:11-18).      The city of Jerusalem would be destroyed in such a way that others would see and be amazed. God said, “I will also make this city a desolation and an object of hissing; everyone who passes by it will be astonished and hiss because of all its disasters” (Jer 19:8). God would intentionally make Jerusalem an object lesson for others to see; no doubt, that others might learn to fear the Lord.      God revealed further judgment in which He would create a distressing situation that would result in Israelites engaging in cannibalism. God said, “I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they will eat one another's flesh in the siege and in the distress with which their enemies and those who seek their life will distress them” (Jer 19:9). God knows the wickedness of the human heart and the perversities that materialize when there is no restraint on sin. One day these Judahites were sacrificing their children to Baal and Molech, and in a short time they would resort to eating them! God had warned of this judgment upon the nation if they turned away from Him and lived sinful lives (Deut 28:53-57; cf. Jer 11:1-8). Later, Jeremiah wrote about how this came to pass during the Babylonian siege (Lam 2:20; 4:10).      God instructed Jeremiah, saying, “Then you are to break the jar in the sight of the men who accompany you” (Jer 19:10). Here, Jeremiah's act was itself a Word from the Lord, as it communicated in visual form the mind of God toward Judah and Jerusalem. And after breaking the jar, Jeremiah gave a message, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Just so will I break this people and this city, even as one breaks a potter's vessel, which cannot again be repaired; and they will bury in Topheth because there is no other place for burial” (Jer 19:11). Just as Jeremiah easily broke the jar, so God would break His people and Jerusalem for their sins. And just as the potter's jar could not be repaired, and would be thrown into a trash heap, so the Israelites, who were guilty of horrible sins, would be killed and buried in Topheth because there is no other place for their corpses. The Lord continued, saying, “This is how I will treat this place and its inhabitants,” declares the LORD, “so as to make this city like Topheth” (Jer 19:12).      Jeremiah offered no call to repentance. Rather, the picture is one of judgment that is sudden and final. The clay jar is broken and that's it. God's judgment was upon that generation to whom Jeremiah spoke, but His judgment did not render His former promises to the nation obsolete, as future generations could know God's grace and blessing. Walter Kaiser states: "The fact that this sin-sickness cannot be “cured” does not mean that there are no future possibilities for a restoration to God's favor again. This word of judgment is for the present generation; there will be no reversals for those who have failed to respond so frequently to the message currently being delivered, but the promises of God made to the patriarchs and others about his choice of the nation, his gift of the seed that will bring salvation, his gift of the land, and especially his gift of the gospel (that is, that in your seed all the nations of the earth will be blessed), are all irrevocable (Rom 11:29)."[4]      Speaking about the destruction of the city, Jeremiah continued, saying, “The houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will be defiled like the place Topheth, because of all the houses on whose rooftops they burned sacrifices to all the heavenly host and poured out drink offerings to other gods” (Jer 19:13). The reason for God's judgment is clear. His people had turned away from Him and been worshiping openly on rooftops, offering sacrifices and drink offerings to astral deities and other gods. Because of their unfaithfulness to the covenant, God would destroy Judah, and Jerusalem would burn (Jer 7:16-20; 32:29-30).      After giving his object lesson with the clay pot, we learn, “Then Jeremiah came from Topheth, where the LORD had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the LORD'S house and said to all the people” (Jer 19:14). Once in the temple courtyard, Jeremiah said, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am about to bring on this city and all its towns the entire calamity that I have declared against it, because they have stiffened their necks so as not to heed My words'” (Jer 19:15).      Because Israel was in a special relationship with God, they were to live righteous lives and not in conformity with the fallen world around them. In this way, they were to have a right attitude and a humble heart that was willing to do God's will. Instead, the leadership and people stiffened their necks and defied God's Word and lived sinfully by worshipping idols and sacrificing the innocent. Judah's prolonged sinfulness had blinded them to their depraved spiritual condition and they were beyond repair by preaching (Jer 25:3) or by prayer (Jer 7:16). Judgment was coming.      Jeremiah's message fell on hard hearts and was not received kindly. The next chapter reveals the resistance and hostility Jeremiah received for speaking God's Word, with the result that