Daily Archives: August 18, 2018

August 18: Connecting the Dots

Isaiah 37:14–38:22; Luke 13:1–35; Job 9:1–11

When we don’t have all the facts, we still like to connect the dots. Questions make us uncomfortable, so we draw lines with answers that make us feel safe and that fit our worldview. But sometimes we hold too tightly to the picture that results.

Job’s friends were guilty of this error. Although they affirmed true things about God’s character, they connected the dots in unhelpful ways. For example, in Job 8, Bildad pointed to God’s justice and stated that Job’s hardship couldn’t be for nothing. Therefore, he must have sinned. Job also affirmed God’s justice, wisdom, and strength, but he didn’t buy into Bildad’s worldview. In Job 9, he acknowledged that God was beyond his understanding. Job might have suffered, but he kept his high opinion of God.

Job wanted answers, too. He longed for God to make Himself known and settle the matter (Job 9:3). Job mourned that he had no way of defending himself before God: “There is no arbiter between us that he might lay his hand on both of us. May he remove his rod from me, and let his dread not terrify me; then I would speak and not fear him, for in myself I am not fearful” (Job 9:33–35). In the end, when Job requested an answer from God—who alone could answer his questions—God silenced him. He restored Job’s prosperity, but Job still had to live without knowing why.

When we don’t have the answer, we should still affirm God’s love and goodness, acknowledging that “He is the one who does great things beyond understanding and marvelous things beyond number” (Job 9:10). And we do have one answer that quiets our fretful hearts—we know the arbiter and what He has done for us, which makes it easier to live with the unanswered questions.

How are you sharing the good news of Jesus with someone who is dealing with difficult questions?

Rebecca Van Noord[1]


[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

August 18 Treating Others with Consideration

“[Love] does not act unbecomingly” (1 Cor. 13:5).

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Considerate behavior demonstrates godly love and adds credibility to your witness.

When I was a young child, I loved to slurp my soup. I didn’t see any harm in it, even though my parents constantly objected. Then one evening I ate with someone who slurped his soup. He was having a great time, but I didn’t enjoy my meal very much. Then I realized that proper table manners are one way of showing consideration for others. It says, “I care about you and don’t want to do anything that might disrupt your enjoyment of this meal.”

On a more serious note, I know a couple who got an annulment on the grounds that the husband was rude to his wife. She claimed that his incessant burping proved he didn’t really love her. The judge ruled in her favor, stating that if the husband truly loved her, he would have been more considerate. That’s a strange story but a true one, and it illustrates the point that love is not rude.

“Unbecomingly” in 1 Corinthians 13:5 includes any behavior that violates acceptable Biblical or social standards. We could paraphrase it, “Love is considerate of others.” That would have been in stark contrast to the inconsiderate behavior of the Corinthians—many of whom were overindulging at their love feasts and getting drunk on the Communion wine (1 Cor. 11:20–22). Some women were overstepping bounds by removing their veils and usurping the role of men in the church (1 Cor. 11:3–16; 14:34–35). Both men and women were corrupting the worship services by trying to outdo one another’s spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 14:26).

Undoubtedly the Corinthians justified their rude behavior, just as we often justify ours. But rudeness betrays a lack of love and is always detrimental to effective ministry. For example, I’ve seen Christians behave so rudely toward non-Christians who smoke that they destroyed any opportunity to tell them about Christ.

Be aware of how you treat others—whether believers or unbelievers. Even the smallest of courtesies can make a profound impression.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask the Holy Spirit to monitor your behavior and to convict you of any loveless actions. As He does, be sure to confess and forsake them.

For Further Study: Read Luke 7:36–50. How did Jesus protect the repentant woman from the Pharisee’s rudeness?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 243). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

AUGUST 18 GOD’S ETERNAL WORK

The creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption.

Romans 8:21

Is it possible that some of our brothers and sisters in Christ have forgotten that even though we are Christians, we live day by day in unredeemed physical bodies?

Yes, brethren, this is orthodox Christian theology, given to us by the Apostle Paul in these words: “Even though we have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we groan within ourselves, waiting for the redemption of the body” (see Romans 8:23). These bodies of ours will be redeemed, for that is the promise of God. But in this life they are not yet actually redeemed. That is why we cannot do God’s eternal work ourselves, for only the Holy Spirit of God can bring about His eternal purposes.

If we are to successfully engage in the Christian witness God expects of us while we are here on this earth, we must consciously know and experience the indwelling illumination of the Holy Spirit of God. We must depend upon His gifts and His enduement and His anointing if we hope to cope with the universal blight which is upon mankind.

Lord, Your Word says that “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). I know from personal experience that I need the power of Your indwelling Spirit to overcome the influence of the flesh.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

How The Left Is Outsourcing Censorship Of The Internet…

Liberals control every newspaper in America, as far as I know, except the Manchester Union Leader. They control CBS, ABC, NBC and every cable network except Fox News. They control what is left of the news magazines, and pretty much every other magazine, too. Only talk radio and the pesky internet lie outside their grasp, so that is where they seek to impose censorship.

But they have a problem: the First Amendment. The government can’t suppress conservative speech on the ground that it is “hate speech,” i.e., something that liberals don’t like. That was recently reaffirmed by a 9-0 decision of the Supreme Court.

So liberals have outsourced censorship of the internet to the tech titans of Silicon Valley.

Unfortunately, most political conversation these days occurs not on the “free” internet, where independent sites like Power Line reside, but rather on social media–Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and so on. Other players include Google (in its search capacity), Apple, Pinterest, Spotify, etc. Happily–if you are a leftist–all of these tech companies are run by liberals. And because they are private companies, they are not constrained by the First Amendment. They can restrict or ban conservative communications on the ground that they are “hate speech,” or on no grounds whatsoever, with impunity.

And that is exactly what they are doing. This is a big topic. I brought it up this morning while hosting the Laura Ingraham radio show, and it blew up, ultimately consuming half of the three-hour show. Many aspects of the left’s outsourcing of censorship to liberal-run corporations need to be explored, but for now, this is an astonishing example: “Silicon Valley Strikes Back: Facebook Censors PragerU After Google Lawsuit.”

Source: How The Left Is Outsourcing Censorship Of The Internet…

Clinton Saga Continues: Watchdog Publishes New Batches of Hillary’s Emails

The email scandal continues to haunt Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and ex-Democratic presidential nominee, as Judicial Watch, a non-profit conservative organization, has unearthed two new batches of Clinton’s emails and called for a new investigation into her mishandling of classified government data.

Source: Clinton Saga Continues: Watchdog Publishes New Batches of Hillary’s Emails

Senate intel committee head sees no evidence of Russian collusion, says probe ‘frustrating as hell’

 

After 19 months of a “frustrating as hell’ probe, the Senate Intelligence Committee has found “no factual evidence” of the Trump campaign colluding with Moscow, the chairman, Richard Burr, says.

Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), who heads the last bipartisan probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, shared in an interview with AP while there is “no factual evidence today that [it] received” on any collusion between President Donald Trump and Moscow after almost two years of the probe, the committee is not ready to end it. After all, he says he doesn’t want to be the guy who missed something in the town where nothing “stays classified or secret forever.”

Burr would not give a timeline for the end of the investigation, and the committee wants to do some challenging interviews. It has recently requested that persecuted WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange testify before committee staff “at a mutually agreeable time and location.” Senators also want to talk to Christopher Steele, the author of the notorious dossier about Trump that turned out to be paid for by Democrats.

As for the other episode that the mainstream media and the ‘Resistance’ love to single out as proof of collusion (the Trump Tower meeting), Burr said that he sees no “reason today” to bring back Donald Trump Jr., who appeared before the committee in 2017, to testify about his short meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

So far, the work of the bipartisan probe has not been marred by tensions between Democrats and Republicans, as was the case with the probe in the House that ruled there was no collusion. The leading Democrat on the Senate committee, a known ‘Russiagater’ from Virginia, Sen. Mark Warner, expressed his confidence in Burr in May.

In July, the committee backed the conclusions of 2017 intelligence community assessment (ICA) that Russia meddled in the US presidential election, saying that it “believes the conclusions of the ICA are sound” and confirmed by “open source” information.

The ICA document, released in January 2017, is long on faith and assertions and short on evidence. It stated that the key judgments made by the US intelligence community came from “a body of reporting from multiple sources that are consistent with our understanding of Russian behaviour.” It even devoted several pages to RT, focusing mainly on its output from 2012 as examples of Russian media influencing American voters in 2016.

Back then, Assange slammed the report for its lack of sources. While the topic of Russia’s meddling in US affairs never seems to fade away, no solid facts have been presented so far. Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusations. “Until we see facts, everything else will be just blather,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

Source: Senate intel committee head sees no evidence of Russian collusion, says probe ‘frustrating as hell’

Press needs to restore its credibility on FBI and Justice Department — Christian Research Network

 

“This is an absolutely stunning development, suggesting a “deep state” conspiracy hidden even from superiors and driven on the basis of undisclosed dollars ultimately from the opposition candidate going to the wife of a DOJ official. Even moderate senators like Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have been shocked by this and called for a special counsel to investigate the FBI.”  

(Mark Penn – The Hill)  I will never call the mainstream media “the enemy of the people.” But I will call them out for having strayed from fairly reporting some of the biggest stories of the last two years. No matter how egregious their errors, they insist on pointing fingers elsewhere and reinforcing their political biases, in ways unimaginable to those of us who grew up in the Walter Cronkite era.

A few days ago, The Hill’s John Solomon revealed that Congress has discovered that Bruce Ohr — one of the highest-ranking Department of Justice (DOJ) officials reporting to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — was in continuous secret communication with former British spy Christopher Steele, the author of the salacious Trump-Russia dossier produced for an opposition research firm on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic Party.

Steele also just happened to be a paid informant for the FBI but was later dismissed for lying about his contacts with the media. The FBI used Steele’s dossier to apply for warrants to surveil Trump campaign consultant Carter Page. And, it turns out, part of the FBI’s substantiation for those warrants was a Yahoo News article which was, in fact, not independent reporting but simply the same story from the same source — Steele — although Steele apparently never told the FBI he was connected to it. View article →

via Press needs to restore its credibility on FBI and Justice Department — Christian Research Network

Top Senate Investigator: After 19 Months, Still No Evidence of Trump-Russia Collusion — The Gateway Pundit

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating allegations of collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia to fix the 2016 presidential election, told the Associated Press in an interview published Saturday that after nineteen months of investigation, “there is “no factual evidence today that we’ve received” on collusion or conspiracy between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign.”

 

Sen. Richard Burr, official photo.

That should have been the headline and lede of the AP report about the interview, instead that was buried in the fourth paragraph. The AP headline is the anodyne, “AP Interview: Top Republican says Russia probe difficult“.

The lede:

For much of the last two years, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr has been the Russia investigator who is seen but rarely heard on Capitol Hill.

In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, the North Carolina Republican opened up about the investigation that has now consumed 19 months of his life. He says it has been “frustrating as hell” and much more difficult than he originally envisioned. But he says the integrity of the investigation — and its importance to the institution of the Senate — is something he has labored to protect.

The buried lede:

Burr said there is “no factual evidence today that we’ve received” on collusion or conspiracy between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign. But he said he’s still open on the issue and hasn’t personally come to any final conclusions, since the investigation isn’t finished.”

Burr is careful to tell the AP that because the investigation is ongoing, he has not drawn a final conclusion and is open to the idea of Trump-Russia collusion. However, Burr and a fellow Republican on the Intel committee, James Lankford (OK), warn that when the committee issues its report it will likely provoke ‘vehement disagreement’ about its conclusions. Burr notes what may be an insurmountable standard for Trump’s accusers, that the committee must be able to prove any claims of collusion.

Burr won’t give a timeline for the end of the investigation or a final report, which could create fissures in the panel’s so-far bipartisan unity. Many Democrats are likely to disagree that there is no evidence of collusion, if that is the committee’s final conclusion.

“I am sure there will be people at the end of this who feel that we came to a conclusion that they vehemently disagree with,” Burr said. “I know that from a committee’s integrity standpoint we’ve got to prove what we find. And if you can’t prove it then we can’t make the claim.”

…Lankford says it’s possible the final report will split the committee.

“The hardest part is when staff starts going through all of the details and writes the last report,” Lankford says. “And then we start having people say, I won’t say that. That’s the threat.”

The AP article, which can be read at this link, states the committee is working on two reports set to be issued by the end of September,”one on the Obama administration’s response to Russia’s election interference, and a second on Russia’s election meddling on social media.”

The committee is in the midst of negotiations with attorneys for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and the Trump-Russia dossier author Christopher Steele, seeking testimony from both men.

via Top Senate Investigator: After 19 Months, Still No Evidence of Trump-Russia Collusion — The Gateway Pundit

Russian Foreign Ministry on Syria, Maria Butina and UK Big Lies

Article Image

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova (MZ below) said conditions in Syria are improving – despite conflict resolution far from achieved.

“Over the past two weeks, the Syrian forces successfully liberated about 2,000 square kilometers,” MZ explained – over 90% of the country free from US-supported terrorists.

In scores of liberated areas, many thousands of Syrian refugees returned to their home towns and villages.

“(I)ntensive work is underway to create an infrastructure for accommodating almost 1 million refugees and IDPs,” said MZ.

Russia continues spearheading efforts to supply food, medical care and other humanitarian aid to many thousands of Syrian civilians.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry slammed the disgraceful involvement of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Israel in evacuating White Helmets terrorists from liberated Syrian areas.

MZ blasted the White Helmets saying the following:

“(H)ow come these fearless humanitarian workers need to be evacuated from Syria? (Why an urgency to do it?) Why can’t the White Helmets stay there as peace returns to cities and communities?”

“How come the White Helmets are not there to distribute bread rations or to restore medical aid stations and civilian infrastructure?”

“Have they thought about Syrian children who have to go to school, and what are civilians supposed to do?”

“What happened to their commitment to the humanitarian cause? As a matter of fact, it never existed to begin with.”

“All the White Helmets did was contribute to fake stories, in exchange for huge sums of money, on the alleged chemical weapons attacks, and helped spread this propaganda online.”

“They alleged that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people. That is all there is to it. That is what all these would-be humanitarian efforts were all about.”

White Helmets are US, NATO, Israel, UN-supported terrorists – not civil defense workers, as falsely claimed. Aiding them is a high crime against humanity.

On July 15, Russian national Maria was arrested in America, falsely charged with acting as an unregistered foreign agent – a bald-faced lie.

In detention, she’s been harshly mistreated, her health adversely affected.

Trump regime efforts are “forc(ing) her to cooperate with” its anti-Russia agenda “by making her living conditions as difficult as possible,” MZ explained.

Accusations against her are “frivolous” and fabricated. She and other Russian nationals are held as US political prisoners.

According to MZ, Russian authorities continue to be denied information about and access to Sergey and Yulia Skripal, adding:

“Britain continues to ignore requests for legal assistance sent by the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation to London regarding the criminal lawsuit opened by the Russian Investigative Committee on March 16 in connection with the attempted murder of Yulia Skripal in a manner that endangers the general public.”

US sanctions imposed on Russia for the incident it had nothing to do with flagrantly violate international law.

They’re all about the Trump and Theresa May regimes partnering in waging political and economic war on Russia – risking something far more serious.

Source: Russian Foreign Ministry on Syria, Maria Butina and UK Big Lies

FBI Dealt Blow By DC Judge; Must Address Measures Taken To Verify Steele Dossier

The FBI has been dealt a major blow after a Washington DC judge ruled that the agency must respond to a FOIA request for documents concerning the bureau’s efforts to verify the controversial Steele Dossier, before it was used as the foundation of a FISA surveillance warrant application and subsequent renewals.

US District Court Judge Amit Mehta – who in January sided with the FBI’s decision to ignore the FOIA request, said that President Trump’s release of two House Intelligence Committee documents (the “Nunes” and “Schiff” memos) changed everything.

Judge Amit Mehta

Considering that the FBI offered Steele $50,000 to verify the Dossier’s claims yet never paid him, BuzzFeed has unsuccessfully tried to do the same to defend themselves in a dossier-related lawsuit, and a $50 million Soros-funded investigation  to continue the hunt have turned up nothing that we know of – whatever documents the FBI may be forced to cough up regarding their attempts to verify the Dossier could prove highly embarrassing for the agency.

[I]f Mr. Steele could get solid corroboration of his reports, the F.B.I. would pay him $50,000 for his efforts, according to two people familiar with the offer. Ultimately, he was not paid. –NYT

What’s more, forcing the FBI to prove they had an empty hand will likely embolden calls to disband the special counsel investigation – as the agency’s mercenary and politicized approach to “investigations” will be laid all the more bare for the world to see. Then again, who knows – maybe the FBI verified everything in the dossier and it simply hasn’t leaked.

That said, while the FBI will likely be forced to acknowledge the documents thanks to the Thursday ruling, the agency will still be able to try and convince the judge that there are other grounds to withhold the records.

In January, Mehta blessed the FBI’s decision not to disclose the existence of any records containing the agency’s efforts to verify the dossier – ruling that Trump’s tweets about the dossier didn’t require the FBI and other intelligence agencies to act on records requests.

But then the ground shifted,” writes Mehta of Trump declassifying the House memos. “As a result of the Nunes and Schiff Memos, there is now in the public domain meaningful information about how the FBI acquired the Dossier and how the agency used it to investigate Russian meddling.”

The DOJ also sought to distinguish between the Steele Dossier and a synopsis of the dossier presented to both Trump and then-President Obama in 2016, however Mehta rejected the attempt, writing “That position defies logic,” while also rejecting the government’s refusal to even say if the FBI has a copy of that synopsis.

“It remains no longer logical nor plausible for the FBI to maintain that it cannot confirm nor deny the existence of documents,” Mehta wrote.

It is simply not plausible to believe that, to whatever extent the FBI has made efforts to verify Steele’s reporting, some portion of that work has not been devoted to allegations that made their way into the synopsis. After all, if the reporting was important enough to brief the President-elect, then surely the FBI thought enough of those key charges to attempt to verify their accuracy. It will be up to the FBI to determine which of the records in its possession relating to the reliability of the Dossier concerns Steele’s reporting as discussed in the synopsis.

“This ruling represents another incremental step in revealing just how much the FBI has been able to verify or discredit the rather personal allegations contained in that synopsis derived from the Steele dossier,” said Brad Moss, a lawyer pressing the lawsuit for the pro-transparency group, the James Madison Project. “It will be rather ironic if the president’s peripheral actions that resulted in this ruling wind up disclosing that the FBI has been able to corroborate any of the ‘salacious’ allegations.”

In other words, the FBI must show what they did to verify the claims contained within the Nunes and Schiff memos.

Because the case was heard on appeal, the ruling will not take immediate effect, notes Politico, which adds that the appeals court is now likely to remand the case to Mehta, while the FBI is going to try and convince him the records should remain unreleased.

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/386451281/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-amgM00R2qcTBS0m6lq4N&show_recommendations=false

Source: FBI Dealt Blow By DC Judge; Must Address Measures Taken To Verify Steele Dossier

August 18, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And

“If the righteous is scarcely saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (1 Pe 4:15–18). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.


Evaluate Suffering

Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved what will become of the godless man and the sinner? (4:15–18)

Not all suffering brings Holy Spirit relief. Trouble stemming from lawless actions obviously does not constitute suffering for righteousness. If any believer is a murderer, or thief (capital crimes in the ancient world), he or she has no right to complain about being punished, nor any right to expect the Spirit’s graces. The same applies if any should suffer as an evildoer (kakopoios), a more general term that encompasses all crimes without exception (cf. 2:14; 3 John 11).

The surprising inclusion of the term rendered troublesome meddler (allotriepiskopos), used only here in the New Testament, and at first seemingly minor in comparison to Peter’s previous terms, shows that all sins, not just crimes, forfeit the Holy Spirit’s comfort and rest. The word literally means, “one who meddles in things alien to his calling,” “an agitator,” or “troublemaker.” Paul’s exhortations to the Thessalonians illustrate the word’s meaning:

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you. (1 Thess. 4:11)

For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. (2 Thess. 3:11–12)

Christians are never to be troublemakers or agitators in society or in their places of work (cf. 1 Tim. 2:1–3; Titus 3:1–5). They may confront the sins in the lives of other believers, help administer church discipline, challenge unbelievers with the gospel, and exhort fellow saints to greater levels of godliness; but regarding others’ private matters that do not concern them, believers should never intrude inappropriately. More specifically, Peter was referring to political activism and civil agitation—disruptive or illegal activity that interferes with the smooth functioning of society and government. Such activity would compel the authorities to mete out punishment (Rom. 13:2–4; for a broader discussion of these issues, see chapter 13 of this volume). It is wrong for believers to view that punishment as persecution for their faith. If they step outside the faith and bring trouble, hostility, resentment, or persecution on themselves, they have no more right to expect Holy Spirit relief than if they were murderers. That Peter here includes allotriepiskopos in his list of sins may mean that some disciples, in their zeal for the truth and resentment of paganism, were causing trouble in society for reasons beyond a sincere and legitimate concern for the gospel.

I remember a conversation I once had with a Russian pastor who had suffered greatly under Soviet communism. I asked if he or his fellow Christians ever rebelled against that form of government. He replied that it was all their convictions that if they were ever resented and persecuted by the secular authorities, it would be for the gospel only. The Russian church actually grew strong in that environment, and he wondered how pastors in America could have holy people without their suffering for the gospel.

If anyone suffers as a Christian his suffering qualifies for Holy Spirit blessing. He should not feel ashamed (aischunō, “dishonored”), but rather because of this benediction of supernatural comfort he is to glorify God in this name (Christian). First-century believers referred to one another, such as “brethren” (Acts 1:15–16; 6:3; 9:30; 12:17; 15:13), “saints” (Acts 9:13; Rom. 8:27; 15:25; 1 Cor. 16:1), and those of “the Way” (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22). Ironically, however, Christian was not a name first assumed by believers themselves; instead, because it was originally a derisive designation given them by the world, it was associated with hatred and persecution (cf. Acts 11:26; 26:28). It has become, and should remain, the dominant and beloved name by which believers are known—those who belong to Christ.

To glorify God in this context means to praise Him for the privilege and honor of suffering for this name, because of all He has done, is doing, and will forever do for His saints. Not only does this kind of suffering produce joy over heavenly reward and the blessing of God, it also purifies the church. Here Peter’s thought returns to the Malachi 3:1–3 imagery (see comments on v. 12, earlier in this chapter). The Lord will purge His temple, His people. It is time (kairos), designating a decisive, crucial moment—in this context, the season—for judgment to begin. The Greek for judgment is krima and refers to a judicial process that renders a decision on someone’s sin. The word identifies a matter for ajudication (cf. 1 Cor. 6:7) and is used especially for divine judgment (cf. Rom. 2:5; 5:16 11:33). Divine judgment on believers is the decision God renders on their sin, which includes chastening and leads to cleansing (cf. 5:9–10) of the household of God, but not eternal condemnation:

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1).

But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world. (1 Cor. 11:32)

Household is Peter’s reference to the church; other New Testament verses also make that meaning plain (cf. 2:5; Gal. 6:10; Eph. 2:19; 1 Tim. 3:15; Heb. 3:6; 10:21).

Peter poses the comparative question, if [judgment] begins with [believers] first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? The answer is plain: judgment concludes with Christ’s final condemnation of the ungodly at the Great White Throne (Rev. 20:11–15; cf. Matt. 7:21–23; 25:44–46). Though God chastens His own people now, His future judgment of the lost will be infinitely more devastating (cf. Dan. 12:2; Matt. 13:41–42, 49–50; 22:11–14; 25:41; Mark 9:44–49; Luke 13:23–28; 16:23–24; Rev. 14:10–11).

It is infinitely better for people to endure suffering with joy now as believers being purified for effective testimony and eternal glory than to later bear eternal torment as unbelievers (cf. Luke 16:19–31). Peter reinforced that point for his readers with a quotation from the Septuagint rendering of Proverbs 11:31, And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved what will become of the godless man and sinner? With difficulty is the adverb molis (related to molos, “toil”), which means “hardly” or “scarcely” (see uses in Acts 14:18; 27:7, 8, 16) and reveals the difficulty with which believers are brought to final salvation through the fires of unjust suffering, divine purging, and God-ordained discipline:

It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. (Heb. 12:7–8)

Paul affirmed this necessity in response to his own severe suffering at the hands of the wicked Jews who stoned him at Lystra. Luke gives the account of the suffering and Paul’s response in Acts 14:19–22,

But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and entered the city. The next day he went away with Barnabas to Derbe. After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”

That was only one incident in a long list of unjust pains that the apostle endured, chronicled especially in 2 Corinthians 1:3–11; 4:7–18; 6:4–11; 7:5; 11:23–33, and culminating in 12:7–10, in which Paul reveals that his suffering was to humble and thereby strengthen him:

Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Jesus said believers would have tribulation in this world, including being persecuted even to death (John 16:2–3, 33), and that such suffering would come to them because it came to Him (Matt. 10:24–25) to make “the captain of their suffering perfect through sufferings” (Heb. 2:10, kjv; cf. 1 Peter 1:11). It was hard for Jesus to be the Savior because of the immeasurable pain He endured from exposure to this sinful world and His having to be under the curse of God for all the sins of all who would ever believe. If it was with excruciating difficulty that He gave Himself to redeem sinners, and with painful difficulty that the redeemed endure to their final glory, does anyone think the godless man and the sinner, who has lived his life without suffering for righteousness’ sake (because he is unrighteous), will simply die and go out of existence or be given a place in heaven because God is nothing but loving and forgiving? That is a foolish thought. Peter is saying the ungodly’s eternal suffering, compared to the godly’s temporal suffering, is far greater. Paul draws the distinction between the earthly sufferings of the saints and the endless punishment of the lost this way:

[Persecution] is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power. (2 Thess. 1:5–9)[1]


16 Nevertheless, some instances of suffering are undeserved, such as our identification with the name of Christ. In such cases, that person should not “be ashamed, but praise [i.e., glorify] God that you bear that name.” And among the early disciples, it is Peter who knows—agonizingly so—the truth of this fact: there is honor in the name. The painful memories, though lying many years in the past, serve to motivate the Christian elder statesman: do not be ashamed (as I was as a young man), but glorify God in the present context. Believers will need to be reminded that persecution, as Goppelt, 322, has pointed out, is due not so much to particular behaviors per se as to faith and character.[2]


4:16 / While it is obviously a disgrace if a professing believer is guilty of besmirching the name of Christ by getting involved in any sort of civil crime, there is no cause for shame if suffering is due solely on account of being a Christian. The earliest disciples were known as Nazarenes, after the home-town of their Master Jesus (Acts 24:5). The nickname Christian was first popularly applied to his followers at Antioch on the Orontes in Syria (Acts 11:26). That was no doubt due to the name Christ being frequently used by believers when referring to their Master, but it will also reflect the fact that the messiahship of Jesus was recognized by the general public as a prominent factor in the apostolic preaching (“Christ” is, of course, simply the Greek version of the Hebrew term “Messiah”). Whatever the reason for opponents calling them by the name Christian, let believers praise God when they are so labeled.

By the translation that you bear that name, the niv has paraphrased the Greek (which literally is simply “in this name”) and assumes that name refers back to the title Christian earlier in the verse. For readers familiar with the ot, however, name can be a technical term for the presence of God (Deut. 12:11; Ps. 74:7; Isa. 18:7; Jer. 7:10–14 and passim). Peter’s assurance that you can praise God “in this name” may therefore be intended to convey the meaning “the divine presence is evident in your lives, and you can rejoice in relying on the presence of God being with you through whatever suffering you may face on account of your faith.”[3]


4:16. Legitimate suffering for the name of Christ is again mentioned in this verse in direct contrast to the behavior pattern described in the previous verse. Christian appears only three times in the New Testament, but in each case it identifies the true followers of Jesus. Peter connected this name with true and valuable suffering. Some readers were suffering because of their faithful identification with Jesus Christ through their lifestyle choices or their verbal testimony. Faithfulness to Christ will produce suffering and persecution. The reverse also seems to be true: a lack of persecution in a believer’s life may suggest a less-than-faithful lifestyle and testimony.[4]


16. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.

  • “As a Christian.” The contrast between the preceding verse and this one is marked by the adversative however. Peter indicates that the suffering which a Christian at times experiences is not because of criminal activities or misdemeanors. When a Christian suffers persecution, he must have a clear conscience, so that he is able to defend himself without shame.

The name Christian occurs three times in the New Testament. During the early years of the fifth decade, believers “were called Christians first at Antioch” (Acts 11:26). They were known as followers of Christ and as the verb called indicates, the name did not originate with the believers but with “the unconverted population of Antioch.” Before that time, Christians described themselves as “disciples” (e.g., Acts 6:1), “believers” (see Acts 4:32), and those “who belonged to the Way” (Acts 9:2).

Some fifteen years after the name Christian was first used in Antioch, Herod Agrippa II asked Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” (Acts 26:28). The use of this name seems to have evoked ridicule rather than respect. Moreover, its use spread rapidly throughout the Roman Empire. When Peter wrote his epistle, presumably from Rome, the term Christian appears to have been well known among the Gentiles. Peter composed his letter when the persecutions instigated by Nero were at hand and the name Christian was an accusation. Two Roman historiographers, Tacitus and Suetonius, report on Nero’s cruelties toward Christians after the burning of Rome in a.d. 64. Tacitus writes, “Nero substituted as culprits, and punished with the utmost refinements of cruelty, a class of men … whom the crowd styled Christians.” Suetonius comments that “punishment was inflicted on the Christians.”

Peter exhorts the readers to suffer as Christians and tells them that they ought not to be ashamed of the name by which they are called.

  • “Do not be ashamed.” As a wise pastor, Peter knows the heart of man. When a believer meets scorn, ridicule, and contempt because of his faith, shame often prevents him from witnessing for Christ. Accordingly, Peter instructs the reader to overcome shame.

Ashamed of Jesus! that dear Friend

On whom my hopes of heaven depend!

No; when I blush, be this my shame,

That I no more revere His name.

—Joseph Grigg

  • “Praise God that you bear that name.” The opposite of shame is praise. Shame for Jesus turns a man into a coward, but praise for God makes a man bold. The apostle, who personally had denied Jesus three times in succession (Matt. 26:69–75), now urges his readers to praise God in the face of suffering for Christ (Acts 5:41).

What is the meaning of the term name? It refers either to Christ (as is evident from the broader context—“If you are insulted because of the name of Christ” [v. 14]) or to the believer who bears the name Christian. Because of the significance of the name Christian for the bearer, especially in Peter’s day, many scholars prefer this interpretation. A literal reading of the text is, “But in that name let him glorify God” (NASB). The phrase in that name can mean “in his capacity as a Christian.”

Practical Considerations in 4:16

When the Christian faith permeates society, one of its effects is that the Christian name is a title of respect. At times, politicians seeking votes among their constituents point out that they are church-attending Christians. Many people are of the opinion that if they are known and recognized as a Christian, they improve their status and promote their influence in a Christian community.

But when Christians are a minority group in society, they frequently are the objects of scorn, reproof, attack, and even persecution. They take the brunt of the devil’s fury directed against the followers of Christ. In the early church, the bold confession I am a Christian was often heard on the lips of martyrs. In their suffering they praised God.[5]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2004). 1 Peter (pp. 254–258). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[2] Charles, D. J. (2006). 1 Peter. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 350). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Hillyer, N. (2011). 1 and 2 Peter, Jude (p. 132). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Walls, D., & Anders, M. (1999). I & II Peter, I, II & III John, Jude (Vol. 11, p. 76). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[5] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Epistles of Peter and the Epistle of Jude (Vol. 16, pp. 178–179). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 08/18/2018

Satanic Temple Trucks in Baphomet Statue for Event Calling for Equality After Ten Commandments Installed at Arkansas Capitol   Aug 17, 2018 03:07 pm

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The group known as The Satanic Temple temporarily unveiled its goat-headed Baphomet statue during a rally outside of the Arkansas capitol building on Thursday in calling for equal representation in light of the installment of a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds. Supporters cheered as the covering was removed from the homage to Satan,…

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‘Evil Is a Make-Believe Concept’: Couple Who Biked Around the World, Concluding Humans Are Basically Good, Killed by ISIS Terrorists   Aug 17, 2018 11:01 am

TAJIKISTAN — A couple who had quit their jobs and set off on a biking expedition last July, concluding from their travels that “humans are kind” and “vil is a make-believe concept,” were killed by Islamic terrorists while traveling through Tajikistan last month. Lauren Geoghegan and Jay Austin, both 29, operated a blog entitled “Simply Cycling: Traveling the…

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19-Year-Old Who Tied Up Teen, Forced Her to Perform Sex Act Will Not Serve Jail Time   Aug 14, 2018 06:41 pm

CHESTERFIELD, Va. — A 19-year-old man who allegedly tied up a 14-year-old girl and forced her to perform a sex act will not serve any jail time after a judge stayed the initial criminal sentence in its entirety last week following consideration of arguments that included that the encounter was “consensual” and advising the defense, “I need to hear some positive…

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Father Sentenced After Rubbing Hot Sauce, Cayenne Pepper in Infant Daughter’s Eyes, Devising Ways to Torture Child   Aug 13, 2018 09:15 am

MOORHEAD, Minn. — A Minnesota father has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison after allegedly rubbing hot sauce and cayenne pepper in his infant daughter’s mouth, nose and eyes, and tormenting her in other ways, because he was tired of her crying and knew that she was too young to tell anyone what he was doing to her. Shawn Foltz, 42, was sentenced on…

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Freedom From Religion Foundation Wants Sheriff’s Office to Remove ‘For God and Country’ Patches   Aug 11, 2018 01:42 pm

SIDNEY, Ohio — One of the nation’s most conspicuous Church-State separation groups has written to a sheriff’s office in Ohio to claim that the “For God and Country” patches worn on deputy uniforms are unconstitutional. The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter on Wednesday to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to request that the…

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‘Try to Find God,’ Brother of Nikolas Cruz Told Parkland Shooter Following School Massacre   Aug 13, 2018 03:29 pm

“Try to find God,” the brother of Nikolas Cruz urged the Parkland shooter while visiting him following the massacre of 17 people at a high school in Florida, newly-released video footage reveals. “You say you have a demon. Try to find God because God is good. God will be there for you. When you’re thinking in your head, just try to connect with God,” Zachary Cruz…

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Chelsea Clinton Claims Roe v. Wade Helped Add Trillions to Economy by Allowing Women to Enter Workforce   Aug 15, 2018 11:27 am

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore NEW YORK — Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former president Bill Clinton and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, claimed during a “Rise Up for Roe” abortion “rights” event on Saturday that Roe v. Wade has helped add over three trillion to the U.S. economy in that it has allowed women to enter the workforce and make a living…

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Nepal Implements Anti-Conversion Law   Aug 15, 2018 07:21 pm

Photo Credit: Pavel Novak Nepal (Mission Network News) — Anti-conversion laws are going into effect this month in Nepal. According to David Curry of Open Doors USA, it’s part of a bigger push by India to “Hinduize” their neighbors. “ trying to ‘Hinduize’ their country, and Nepal has been under great pressure from India to strengthen their Hindu…

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Baker Back in Court After Colorado Claims He Discriminated by Declining to Make Cake Celebrating ‘Gender Transition’   Aug 15, 2018 04:54 pm

Photo Credit: Alliance Defending Freedom LAKEWOOD, Co. — The baker in Colorado whose case involving his refusal to make a cake for a same-sex “wedding” celebration is back in court after the Colorado Civil Rights Division has approved another man’s discrimination complaint against him, this time for declining to create a pink and blue cake to celebrate a “gender…

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Religious Studies Professor Claims Opposing Abortion Conflicts With Jesus’ Teaching on ‘Abundant Life’   Aug 14, 2018 11:58 am

ELON, N.C. — A religious studies professor at Elon University in North Carolina has published a column in which she claims that opposing abortion in cases where the woman does not wish to be a mother at the time “flies in the face of Jesus’ teaching that He came to bring abundant life” as the child might not have a good family or home life, and that women should…

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More than Conquerors? (Carson)

The Reformed Reader

D.A. Carson “Love of God” Collection (3 vols.)What does it mean in Romans 8:37 when Paul says that followers of Christ are “more than conquerors” (ESV) or “have complete victory” (NET)?  D. A. Carson gives some good answers to this question based on the context of Romans 8:

First, the “us” to whom the apostle refers includes all Christians. All Christians are the ones whom God has foreknown, “predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son,” called, justified, glorified (8:29–30). The people referred to are not the elite of the elect; they are ordinary Christians, all genuine Christians.

Second, the actual evidence that they are “more than conquerors” is that they persevere regardless of all opposition. That opposition may take the form of horrible persecution, of the kind that Scripture describes (8:35–38). It may be some other hardship, all the way to famine. The glories of life will not finally seduce them; the…

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August 18 Of Wine and Wineskins

No one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results. Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.—Matt. 9:16–17

Whenever repairing clothing or attaching a new patch to an old garment, the tailor or seamstress must be careful to follow particular guidelines and avoid certain mistakes. In like manner, believers cannot combine outmoded and external traditions of self-righteousness and ritual with the gospel of grace and forgiveness.

With these words, Jesus illustrates the truth that the old way cannot contain His new way: “Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined.” Old wineskins eventually dry up and crack, and if you try to pour new wine into them, they will burst and spill the wine. Fresh wine requires a fresh skin. By analogy, the only life that can contain genuine holiness is the regenerate life granted by God when the Spirit draws a person to faith and repentance, when he or she trusts Christ as Lord and Savior.

The old wineskins refer not to God’s law and the Old Testament but to the rabbinical traditions that supplanted and contradicted God’s truth. Thus Jesus’ bringing in His new teachings in place of some old or unbiblical teachings does not mean He sets aside the divine law for some kind of ill-defined, licentious, anything-goes form of grace. The Lord unmistakably declares that He came to fulfill the Father’s law, not destroy it. Law and grace, rightly understood, have always been compatible with the believer’s benefit and blessing.

ASK YOURSELF

The subtext for this passage is that the self-righteous are focused on the value of their “wineskins,” while the true believer places his worth in the value of the “new wine.” What’s the difference?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 239). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

AUGUST 18 THE TRUE CHRISTIAN IS A SAINT IN EMBRYO

…The appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

2 TIMOTHY 1:10

Christianity, being in full accord with all the facts of existence, takes into account the acknowledged moral imbalance in human life, and the remedy it offers is not a new philosophy but a new life!

The ideal to which the Christian aspires is not to walk in the perfect way but to be transformed by the renewing of his mind and conformed to the likeness of Christ!

The true Christian is a saint in embryo. The heavenly genes are in him and the Holy Spirit is working to bring him on into a spiritual development that accords with the nature of the Heavenly Father from whom he received the deposit of divine life. Yet he is here in this mortal body subject to weakness and temptation, and his warfare with the flesh sometimes leads him to do extreme things.

The work of the Holy Spirit in the human heart is not an unconscious or automatic thing. Human will and intelligence must yield to and cooperate with the benign intentions of God. I think it is here that we go astray. Either we try to make ourselves holy and fail miserably, as we certainly must; or we seek to achieve a state of spiritual passivity and wait for God to perfect our natures in holiness as one might wait for a robin egg to hatch or a rose to burst into bloom. The New Testament knows nothing of the working of the Spirit in us apart from our own moral responses. Watchfulness, prayer, self-discipline and acquiescence in the purposes of God are indispensable to any real progress in holiness![1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

California Christians, Prepare for Civil Disobedience

As California appears poised to pass a draconian bill that directly attacks your religious freedoms, it’s time for you to draw a line in the sand. If the bill passes, you must choose to obey God rather than man. It’s time for civil disobedience.
— Read on www.christianpost.com/voice/california-christians-prepare-for-civil-disobedience.html

August 18 Discerning True from False

Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

Matthew 7:17

The Didache, one of the earliest Christian writings after the New Testament, gives several guidelines for discerning true from false prophets. First, a true prophet will not wear out his welcome but will move on, tending to his ministry and mission. But a false prophet may hang around indefinitely, concerned only about serving his own interests.

Second, unlike the false prophet, the true prophet is averse to excessive appeals for money. He is content with support for the basic needs of life and ministry.

Third, a true prophet’s lifestyle will correspond to the righteous standards he teaches. A false prophet very likely will teach one thing and practice another.

A true minister of the gospel will demonstrate what Paul wrote, “For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ” (2 Cor. 2:17).[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 251). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

Persecution Growing Christian Genocide in Nigeria Exceeds 6,000 in Six Months | Persecution

ICC Note: Christians continue to be a recurring target for Islamist radicals such as Boko Haram and Fulani militants in Nigeria. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) estimates that more than 6,000 Christians have died in Nigeria only at the hands of jihadist for 2018 so far.

8/17/2018 Nigeria (Tribune Paper) – According to the Christian Association of Nigeria, more than 6,000 Christians have been murdered by Islamist Jihadists since the beginning of 2018. Not many people outside Nigeria seem to care.

The Nigerian government has frequently attributed these murders to clashes between farmers and herdsmen. During the Obama Administration, U.S. State Department personnel were quick to attribute this violence to inequality, poverty, and unemployment and to assert that the violence could not possibly be related to religion, Sharia Law, or Jihadist ideology.

[Full Story]
— Read on www.persecution.org/2018/08/17/growing-christian-genocide-nigeria-exceeds-6000-six-months/

August 18, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

26 Servants, lazy. Vinegar to the teeth is an irritant that is unpleasant to experience, and smoke to the eyes is a hindrance to progress. This little proverb portrays the aggravation in sending a lazy servant on a mission—it could be a confusing, unpleasant ordeal.[1]


10:26 / Two vivid similes, smarting to the senses, convey the trouble that a lazy messenger causes. On the sluggard, compare 24:23–24 and 26:13–16; and for the trustworthy messenger, see 25:13.[2]


10:26 Vinegar sets the teeth on edge, and smoke irritates the eyes. In the same way, a lazy messenger who dillydallies on the way proves exasperating, frustrating, and annoying to those who send him.[3]


10:26 The sluggard person is a comic figure in the proverbs. Here the sluggard (Heb., ‘asel) is an irritant to the one who sends him on an errand. He is like the sour taste of vinegar in the mouth, the burning of smoke in the eyes.[4]


10:26. Just as vinegar (made from wine) is sour tasting, and as smoke irritates the eyes, so a sluggard (see comments on 6:6–11) aggravates his employers, those who send him to do some work or go on an errand. He is aggravating because he fails to carry out his responsibilities.[5]


[1] Ross, A. P. (2008). Proverbs. In T. Longman III, Garland David E. (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Proverbs–Isaiah (Revised Edition) (Vol. 6, p. 113). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Murphy, R. E., & Carm, O. (2012). Proverbs. In W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston (Eds.), Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (p. 51). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 816). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[4] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 754). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[5] Buzzell, S. S. (1985). Proverbs. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 927). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

08/18/18 Mercy — ChuckLawless.com

READING: Jeremiah 38-40, Psalm 74, 79

“Let your compassion come to us quickly.”

Psalm 79:8

The enemy had invaded Jerusalem and desecrated God’s temple. The neighbors of Israel were ridiculing them. The people of God, though, were guilty of sin and deserving of judgment.

Nevertheless, they sought God’s help in their desperation—but for the sake of His name. They knew the nations would ask, “Where is their God?,” and they wanted God to save them for the glory of His name. Their cry was one that most of us likely need to pray at some point: “Do not hold past iniquities against us;let your compassion come to us quickly,for we have become very weak” (Psa. 79:8).

Hear the desperation in that prayer. The people knew they were guilty. They realized they needed forgiveness, and only God’s compassion could make a difference. They needed it quickly, for they had grown weary under the enemy’s attack. Their hearts were exhausted under the weight of their own sin and conviction. Any hope they had rested in the mercy of God—and there we learn that His mercy trumps our rebellion.

ACTION STEPS: 

  • Thank God for His mercy.
  • Tell somebody today how grateful you are that God does not give up on you.

PRAYER: “God, I’m a guilty sinner in need of grace and mercy every day. Thank You for Your love.”

TOMORROW’S READING: Review and catch up day

via 08/18/18 Mercy — ChuckLawless.com