Daily Archives: May 19, 2019

May 19 Results of Prayer

Scripture Reading: Luke 18:1–5

Key Verse: Luke 18:1

Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.

Yesterday we discussed three elements that will make our prayers more effective. Today, let’s talk about the results we can expect from our efforts toward improvement.

There are ten things that should accompany devoted prayer:

  1. A growing relationship with Christ
  2. A change in perspective: God’s versus your own
  3. A positive faith attitude
  4. Peace in the midst of pressure
  5. A purifying effect on you morally
  6. Spiritual growth in every area of your life
  7. A passion to obey God
  8. Reliance upon God to meet every need
  9. Power in your service for God
  10. Productivity in every area of life

What do you think about this list? Are you seeing some of the results mentioned above? Whether you are gaining victory in one area or all ten, you can be certain that, as you devote yourself to prayer, God will allow amazing things to happen in your life. He will use you in ways you never thought possible, and you will discover a relationship with Him that is indescribable.

Prayer is so simple. Truly, it is the act of communicating openly with God. It is a matter of giving time to the Father to let Him do in your life what He chooses to do. Are you ready to take your prayer life to a higher level? God is listening because He loves you.

Lord, help me to recognize that I can gain far more depth of character from spending time with You that I ever will by reading how-to books.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 146). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Why Both Christians & Unbelievers Should Fear God — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

According to statistics, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness, affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older. That equates to 18.1 percent of the total population. When we consider the vast number of people who are plagued with fear, it’s amazing to consider that there are many different types of causes or sources to the anxiety. There is a phobia-based anxiety and then a more general anxiety disorder as well. At the end of the day, millions of people in America are afraid of many different things, but we would be shocked to know how small the percentage of people is in America who actually fear God.

Why You Should Fear the Wrath of God

There are many people today who are living life in complete rejection of God’s presence and complete denial of his authority. Some claim to be agnostic while others embrace atheism. Still others live such lives as Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians and Catholics while rejecting the authority of God. Religion is not what shields people from God’s wrath. Countless numbers of people have gone to hell while being very much committed to religion.

Years ago, a wicked Pharaoh ruled Egypt and placed the Jews under brutal slave practices. God raised up a prophet named Moses to lead the people out of the land of Egypt. However, when Moses went before the wicked king to announce the plan and demands of God, the arrogant king responded by saying, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover, I will not let Israel go” (Exodus 5:2). It would not be long before the God of all creation made himself known to the arrogant and confused ruler. It would be a lesson he would never forget. We must not forget that Pharaoh was very much a religious man—but he refused to bow to the one true and living God.

In this life, we have many things that can cause us to fear. Such examples may include the fear of spiders, snakes or violent storms. Still others fear disease and death itself. While there are things in this life that instill fear into the hearts of people, we must be reminded that we must fear God. Storms and snakes may damage your physical body, but it’s God who can damn your soul in hell for eternity. Listen to the words of Jesus:

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Matt. 10:28).

If you have never turned to God by faith in Jesus Christ and repented of your rebellion and the violation of God’s law—you have a reason to fear God. Consider the fact that the very Creator of the entire universe—the sovereign ruler of the entire world—has given us specific demands, yet as a rebel of his law you will be judged by him. Holy justice will be executed on your soul and there will be no plea bargain. In short, you should fear God. Jesus said, “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).

Click here to read more.
Source: Church Leaders

via Why Both Christians & Unbelievers Should Fear God — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

May 19 Those Trying Times

Scripture Reading: James 1:1–8

Key Verse: Isaiah 10:15

Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it? Or shall the saw exalt itself against him who saws with it? As if a rod could wield itself against those who lift it up, or as if a staff could lift up, as if it were not wood!

Your nine o’clock meeting is scheduled to begin in thirty minutes, and you are late to work. Traffic reports warn commuters to take an alternate route. The interstate is blocked with a stalled car.

Pulling out into the roadway, you tell yourself to relax. But a red sports car decides you are occupying his lane of traffic and cuts in front of you. The damage from the collision is minor, but you’ll have to wait for the police to arrive and then make a report.

You arrive at work only to learn the meeting was canceled due to your absence, and the boss wants to see you in his office immediately.

Trials and hardships are a part of life. Each of us experiences them. Many times they arrive without warning and leave us feeling out of control. But God has a design for troubled times. He uses each trial to draw us into a greater dependence on Him.

Hannah Whitall Smith wrote, “In order really to know God, inward stillness is absolutely necessary.” When God is the anchor of your soul, His faithfulness and strength always overshadow life’s pressures. Stillness and trust in Him are our strength (Isa. 30:15). Draw close to Jesus Christ, and He will calm the winds of adversity in your life.

Lord, still my spirit. Relieve my anxieties. Calm the winds of adversity in my life.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 146). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

May 19 The Greatest Test

Scripture reading: Psalm 103:1–22

Key verses: Psalm 103:1–2

Bless the Lord, O my soul;

And all that is within me, bless His holy name!

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And forget not all His benefits.

  1. C. S. Lewis declared, “Praise is inner health made audible.” Psalm 103 begins with this same thought.

At times, it seems difficult to praise God. Trouble abounds and sorrow clouds our eyes. Before we know it, we cannot see the goodness of the Lord. Then our spiritual blindness places us in a position of direct attack from our adversary, the devil.

Satan’s mission is one of discouragement. He knows he cannot have a believer’s soul, but he does not give up. Therefore, he seeks to do the one thing that will render your life ineffective for the Lord, and that is to discourage you and rob you of your joy.

Discouragement is the enemy’s highest goal, but praises spoken in adoration of the Lord change feelings of defeat into glorious triumph.

Is something burdening you? Take it to the Lord in prayer. Refreshment and encouragement await you. The secret of praise is not found in waiting until everything in your life is peaceful and calm. It is learning to praise God in the most difficult moments. This is the greatest test of faith and love. Can you sing your praises to the Lord regardless of the situation? If so, you will abide in the joy of the Lord.

I praise You, Lord, despite my circumstances. I worship You, despite my difficulties. In Your presence I seek refreshment and encouragement.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 146). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Obama’s Illegal Spying on Americans Labeled “Operation Hammer” Will Soon Be Exposed — The Gateway Pundit

One of the many illegal actions that President Obama partook during his eight years in office was the assimilation of personal data on all Americans.  His “Operation Hammer” will soon be uncovered and show his contempt for Americans and the rule of law.

Maxine Waters slipped up during a 2013 interview with journalist Roland Martin. In this interview Waters said –

…I think some people are missing something here. The President [Obama] has put in place an organization that contains a kind of database than no one has ever seen before in life. That’s going to be very, very powerful and whoever …and that database will have information about everything on every individual in ways that it’s never been don before.”


Maxine was right and Obama’s spying was soon uncovered  –

Just five months after the Martin interview, Obama was exposed by NSA leaker Eric Snowden for operating a massive government surveillance program which targeted just about every American to ever use a cellular or communicate from the internet. The Washington Post described the program as a massive expansion of President George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program.

Obama’s illegal initiative labeled “Operation Hammer” was in full force in March 2016, via American Report:

FBI Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division Peter Strzok and his supposed paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, exchanged a cryptic, indeed coded, text message on Sunday, March 19, 2017, twenty-six minutes after retired U.S. Air Force Four Star General Thomas McInerney read our exclusive “Whistleblower Tapes” exposé over America’s airwaves, revealing “The Hammer.”

The Hammer is the Stasi-like secret surveillance system created by CIA/NSA/FBI contractor-turned-whistleblower Dennis L. Montgomery for Obama’s intelligence chiefs, CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

The Hammer, under the Obama administration, negated every American’s constitutional rights to privacy, turning the United States into a police state where the federal government was weaponized by the Obama administration against its political enemies.

According to the secretly-recorded audio tapes released by Federal Judge G. Murray Snow, Brennan’s and Clapper’s illicit super surveillance system “The Hammer” wiretapped Trump “a zillion times.”

Late that Sunday evening, just hours after General McInerney’s radio appearance, Strzok and Page exchanged a text message that explicitly referenced Dennis Montgomery and Montgomery’s attorney Larry E. Klayman.

Only a few hours earlier, General McInerney had referenced Montgomery and Klayman on “Operation Freedom,” exactly the same names about which Strzok and Page were now texting.

General McInerney appeared on Dr. Dave Janda’s “Operation Freedom” that broadcasts from terrestrial radio station WAAM 1600.

The next morning, the Russian Collusion investigation was born.

The day after the airing of General McInerney’s discussion related to Obama’s spying, FBI Directory James Comey went before a House committee [emphasis added], via American Report:

Early the following morning, Monday, March 20, 2017, FBI Director Jim Comey announced before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that the FBI Counterintelligence Division, where Strzok served as Deputy Assistant Director, was investigating Trump’s connections to the Kremlin, and that the FBI had “no information” to support Trump’s tweet claiming that President Obama wiretapped Trump.

That morning, FBI Director Jim Comey lied to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and to the American people.

Comey was well aware that President Trump was under illegal surveillance because Montgomery had already turned over to Comey’s FBI mountains of evidence confirming the existence of Brennan’s and Clapper’s illegal surveillance system.

On August 19, 2015, Montgomery turned over to FBI Director Jim Comey’s office 47 hard drives that he alleges contain over 600 million pages of documentation from Brennan’s and Clapper’s secret surveillance system.

Comey lied [again].

According to the “Washington Examiner,” former FISA court counsel Joe diGenova stated during an April 24, 2019, Fox News panel discussion:

The problem for Brennan and Clapper and Comey and Baker and all of them now is, is that the FISA court has already communicated with the Justice Department about its findings. And their findings are that for more than four years before the election of Donald Trump, there was an illegal spying operation going on by FBI contractors, four of them, to steal personal information, electronic information about Americans, and to use it against the Republican Party.

There are going to be indictments. There’s going to be grand juries. John Brennan isn’t going to need one lawyer. He’s going to need five. . .

. . . The Obama administration, for more than four years before the 2016 election, allowed four contractors working for the FBI to illegally surveil American citizens, illegally. The FISA court has already found that.

Dan Bongino believes Obama’s spying will be a major part of his corrupt legacy –

Obama spied.  Comey lied.  Deep State tried.  Now they have no where to hide!

via Obama’s Illegal Spying on Americans Labeled “Operation Hammer” Will Soon Be Exposed — The Gateway Pundit

Ted Malloch: The Christian Idea of the State — The Gateway Pundit

Last week President Trump welcomed Viktor Orban, the Prime Minister of Hungary in the White House.

Orban is the present leader of the Hungarian national conservative, Fidesz Party.
This word means “civitas” or civic alliance in Hungarian, and signals what Orban and his ilk stand for.

Handshakes apart, it was a particularly warm meeting of minds and souls.

Orban is “probably like me,” Trump announced in a joint appearance at the Oval Office with the visiting dignitary. “A little bit controversial, but that’s OK … you’ve done a good job, and you’ve kept your country safe,” Trump sighed, while suggesting that Orban, a controversial leader — “has done a tremendous job” and is “respected all over Europe.”

It seemed as if Trump had finally met his real soul mate.

In fact, they are remarkably alike.

The two leaders share not only strong conservative and nationalist patriotic zeal, they express a similar fondness for what could be called, the Christian idea of the state.

What is that political philosophy?

Biblically, the state is an institution ordained by God, embracing both government and citizens, organized for the administration of justice and based on the monopoly of coercive power over a particular territory.

The structure of the state is obtained by understanding the normative, political manner in which the state functions in the basic ontological aspects of reality.

This ‘principled realism’ has its foundation in the Old Testament and the moral foundation for legitimate government, the ten precepts or commandments, given at Sinai.

According to the Christian worldview, human government was instituted by God to protect our unalienable rights from our own selfish tendencies (Genesis 9:6; Romans 13:1–7).

Human nature is of course capable of both vice and virtue.

We know our tendency to infringe on our neighbor’s rights in an effort to improve our own life. Therefore, we know government and political systems must exist to protect freedom and to keep evil tendencies at bay.

The right of self-determination and governance of nation states allows for a more civilized society.

In this new definition in the New Testament and under the long centuries called, Christendom, the Ruler served as protector of his population. But they were not above the law.

It also secured the biblical vision of independent nations we have come to know.

Since the Westphalian peace in Europe (1648) this vision has witnessed a variety of regimes but the notion of limited government and separation of powers guide all those that endure.

Threats have come from those with imperial designs, whether ancient kingdoms, third reichs or communist revolutions.

The Christian centuries were marked by religion taking a prominent place in public life and a thorough and open debate about just policies.

In this post-Christian era of globalism and totalitarianism — from the left and the right — the basis and fact of both of these principles has been more or less eradicated.

There is less and less freedom and the State has increasingly taken a monolithic and bureaucratic stranglehold on both persons and families, and on the other mediating structures so critical to a Christian definition of life. This includes the Church itself.

Trump and Orban start from a totally different and non-liberal place.

They are conservatives and nation builders, not leftist socialists, who decry all countries, and want none.

Their very definitions are radically diametrical to the prevailing globalist elite and its cosmopolitan ideology of—no borders, no, nations, and no limits on governmental control.

The Trump-Orban view of the world would alter all this and return us to the sound and just sovereignty of nations.

The world is taking notice of this friendship and the worldview it represents!

via Ted Malloch: The Christian Idea of the State — The Gateway Pundit

Pirro: Deep State to Be ‘Exposed’ — ‘Grab Your Popcorn’ | Breitbart News

Saturday on Fox News Channel’s “Justice,” host Jeanine Pirro predicted the so-called “deep state” was on the verge of being exposed, which she called “true reality TV.”

During her “Opening Statement” segment, Pirro called former FBI Director James Comey the “head” of what she likened to a crime family, adding that he and others in that “crime family” were arrogant and believed they were above the law.

“We are not going quietly into the night. Grab your popcorn, Junior Mints or whatever makes you happy,” Pirro said.  “The real show is about to begin. This will be true reality TV — no scripts, no rehearsals, just a gang of criminals pointing fingers at each other to save their own hides. A version of true crime and reality show ‘Survivor’ — the deep state exposed.”

Source: Pirro: Deep State to Be ‘Exposed’ — ‘Grab Your Popcorn’

Sunday Talks: Maria Bartiromo Interviews Rep. Doug Collins…. — The Last Refuge

Maria Bartiromo discusses ongoing investigative events with House Judiciary Ranking Member Doug Collins.  In addition to discussing the direction of the attorney general inquiry, Rep. Collins notes his intent to release more investigative transcripts next week.

As suspected Bartiromo notes the IG Horowitz investigation is continuing as more evidence is uncovered, and has not yet reached the preliminary draft report phase. This would indicate none of the DOJ/FBI officials, ‘principals’ who would be permitted to review the OIG draft, have any indication of the IG evidence.

via Sunday Talks: Maria Bartiromo Interviews Rep. Doug Collins…. — The Last Refuge

BOOM! Trey Gowdy BUSTS Spygate Wide Open — Junk Dossier Was Used 5 Times and NOT just 4 Times by Deep State – December Transcript is Key (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Former Rep Trey Gowdy joined Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures this morning.

This was an EXPLOSIVE interview!

Gowdy did not hold back in his spygate discussion with Maria Bartiromo.

Trey Gowdy: There’s a lot of serious questions that need to be asked. When did the Russian probe begin? When did it become hopelessly co-mingled with the Trump campaign? What was the factual predicate? Where are the transcripts, if any exist between the informants and the telephone calls to George Papadopoulos? Why the defensive briefing so inadequate of President Trump? Why didn’t they do a follow-up defensive briefing? That doesn’t even get to the whole FISA abuse in the fall. That’s just the spring and summer of 2016. There’s lots of questions and I hope Bill Barr finds someone who is skilled enough to answer them…

Maria Bartiromo: I’m really glad you brought that up. The FBI’s conversations with George Papadopoulos. Because when the FBI agent sends in informants to someone they’re looking at, typically those conversations are recorded, right? Those people are wired.

Trey Gowdy: Yeah, if the bureau is going to sends in an informant the informant is going to be wired. If the bureau is monitoring telephone calls there’s going to be a transcript of that. Some of us are fortunate enough to know those transcripts exist. But they haven’t been made public. And I think one in particular has the potential to actually persuade people… There is some information in these transcripts that has the potential to be a game changer if it’s ever made public… If you have exculpatory evidence that was not shown to the court, that ain’t good. I’ve seen it. Johnny (Ratcliffe) has seen it. I’d love for your viewers to see it.

More on the junk dossier…

Trey Gowdy: We can call it a dossier. It sounds official. It’s really something the National Enquirer would blush if they printed it. So we know it was used four times by the United States government. What we’re trying to figure out is if it was used a fifth time in the intelligence assessment and you’ve got Brennan and Clapper and Comey, all three who know full well whether or not it was used in the intelligence assessment, but they’re giving you different versions. So there is information that exists in December of 2016 and I hope anyone who has access to it, Senator Burr, Devin (Nunes), whoever is open minded, go look at that and I think it will help you understand whether or not that dossier, that unverified hearsay, was used five times or just four times by the United States government. It’s pretty bad if it was used four times. It’s REALLY BAD if it was used five times!

This is getting really good.
The sharks are circling.

Via Sunday Morning Futures:

via BOOM! Trey Gowdy BUSTS Spygate Wide Open — Junk Dossier Was Used 5 Times and NOT just 4 Times by Deep State – December Transcript is Key (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

May 18-19, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

News – 5/18/2019

Jordan awaits Trump deal with fear, rumors
As the US administration prepares to roll out its long-awaited plan for peace in the Middle East, also known as the “deal of the century,” there are indications of growing instability and consternation in Jordan. Facing increased demands for major political and economic reforms in the kingdom, King Abdullah II seems to be worried that the kingdom will pay a heavy price whether it accepts or rejects the deal.

Syria accuses Israel of airstrikes on targets outside Damascus
Syrian state media accused Israel’s Air Force of launching a strike against targets outside Syria’s capital of Damascus late Friday night and claimed the country’s air defenses intercepted a number of missiles. “Aerial defenses detected hostile targets coming from the direction of Quneitra and intercepted them,” a military source was quoted by Syria’s SANA news agency as saying.

Saudi Arabia and Gulf states have agreed to deploy U.S. forces to deter Iran
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have agreed to a request for a renewed deployment of US forces to deter Iran, the Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported Saturday. According to the report, the deployment of the forces comes as part of the cooperation agreement between Washington and the Arab states in the Gulf, and will take place both at sea and on land.

British Foreign Office advises Iranian-British nationals against Iran travel
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has intensified it’s warning to both British and British-Iranian dual nationals on travel to Iran, advising both parties to avoid travelling to Iran at all costs, stating that there is a risk being “arbitrarily detained in Iran.” The strict warning comes a few days after an Iranian British Council Member Aras Amri was reportedly sentenced to 10 years in prison for allegedly spying on Iran for the British government.

Boston Police investigates three fires at two Chabad houses
Police in the Boston area have opened a multi-jurisdictional probe after a fire was reported at the Chabad Jewish Center in Needham, Massachusetts, just one hour after a fire was reported at the Arlington home and Chabad house of Rabbi Avi Bukiet and his family. That brings to three the number of suspicious fires since last Saturday night, when a blaze damaged outside shingles at the Bukiets’ home.

Gun-loving Swiss asked to toughen laws or risk EU tension
Swiss voters go to the polls on Sunday to decide whether to tighten up their gun laws to conform with European Union regulations. Switzerland is not a member of the EU, but is part of the Schengen open-border treaty. After the 2015 Paris attacks in which 130 people died, the EU issued Schengen members with new restrictions on automatic and semi-automatic weapons.

US lifts steel and aluminium tariffs on Canada
The US has reached a deal with Canada to lift tariffs on steel and aluminium imports in a move that could lead to approval for a new North American trade deal. In a joint statement, the US and Canada announced that a 25% tariff on steel imports, and of 10% on aluminium, will end in 48 hours. It is widely expected the US and Mexico will make a similar announcement soon.

ICE to hire contractor to transport 225,000 migrants to shelters across the US
The Trump administration is looking to hire a private contractor that will be responsible for transporting approximately 225,000 migrant children and families to shelters across the country…as they wait for their asylum claims to be processed. ICE seeking the services of a “highly responsible” contractor that “fully embraces the philosophy” of treating all unaccompanied minors (UACs) and family units (FAMUs) with “dignity and respect,”…

US Air Force deploys missiles that can fry Iran and North Korea’s weapons with microwaves as Saudi urges Trump to launch airstrikes now
THE US Air Force has deployed 20 missiles which can zap enemy electronics with powerful pulses rendering weapons virtually useless. They can be launched into enemy airspace at low altitude and emit blasts of high-power microwave energy that immediately disable any devices targeted. The Counter-Electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) is the brainchild of Boeing’s Phantom Works lab.

China unveils terrifying new armoured truck which launches swarms of killer drones to attack its enemies
A CHINESE defence firm has unveiled a terrifying new battle truck which can unleash a swarm of killer drones behind enemy lines. The armoured war machine – based on a Russian Tigr vehicle – can direct the drones so they simultaneously converge on targets and detonate their explosive payloads. The mighty YJ2080 is equipped with 12 launch tubes – four for reconnaissance drones and the other eight for explosive laden drones which can travel at 110mph.

Missouri follows Alabama by passing restrictive abortion bill
Missouri lawmakers passed a bill on Friday that prohibits women from seeking an abortion after the eighth week of pregnancy, days after Alabama enacted the most restrictive abortion law in the United States. The legislation allows for an abortion after the eighth week only in the case of medical emergencies. On Wednesday, Alabama banned abortions at any time, with the same exception.

California braces for feet of snow from storms; ‘significant severe weather event’ to impact Plains
It may be May, but Spring has not quite sprung in the Golden State. Parts of California still resemble a scene out of winter, with a series of storms bringing several feet of snow to mountain areas, ahead of a “significant” severe weather threat across the nation’s midsection.

China Launches Campaign to ‘Dismantle’ and Eliminate House Churches
China’s government launched a new campaign in April to eradicate underground house churches so that only state-sanctioned and heavily restricted Three-Self churches remain.

The coming civil war over abortion
A civil war is coming to America, only this time, it will be abortion, rather than slavery, that divides the nation. And while I hope will all my heart that it will not be a physically violent war, the ideological conflict will certainly be violent and intense.

North Korea suffering ‘extreme drought,’ worst in nearly 40 years amid fears of food shortages
The Hermit Kingdom is also apparently the barren kingdom.North Korea disclosed on Wednesday it is suffering its worst drought in nearly four decades, amid growing concerns the country is dangerously short on food.

Tornado Alley ‘about to wake up’: Wall of storms threaten 18 states
Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes will threaten almost 1 million square miles of 18 states in coming days as tumultuous spring weather sweeps the nation.

Govt.-funded lab seeks to buy ‘fresh’ aborted baby heart, pancreas from almost anyone
 The Center for Medical Progress (CMP), the citizen journalism organization responsible for the undercover video series exposing Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted baby body parts, revealed today that over the past month, government-funded researchers at University of California San Diego (UCSD) have sought to purchase hearts and pancreases from aborted fetuses from CMP.

School Announces Tariff on Students Not Wearing Pro-LGBT Clothing
An Australian public school landed in hot water after announcing that students not wearing pro-LGBT clothing on a coordinated dress-down day would be expected to double their ‘voluntary’ charitable donations.

Ocasio-Cortez Mocks Conservative Christians, Botches Scripture
Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) made her disdain for conservative Christians clear this week with multiple attacks she made on social media about people of faith.

Gov. DeSantis: Dumping Migrants in Florida is Unacceptable
Florida’s governor plans to fight any federal plans to fly hundreds of immigrants weekly from the Mexican border to South Florida, saying Friday he’ll take his case to President Donald Trump.

Pakistan doctor arrested after 400 children diagnosed with HIV
Authorities investigating if Muzaffar Ghangharo, who has Aids, knowingly spread virus

BREAKING – The fight for America begins: Trump to invoke Insurrection Act that authorizes National Guard, military action inside U.S. borders
 This is bombshell breaking news. See the emergency Counterthink video update, below.

Farm Crisis: Suicides Spike In Rural America As Trade War Deepens
The deepening trade war between the US and China has roiled complex global supply chains and America’s Heartland. The latest breakdown in negotiations comes at a time when soybean exports to China have crashed, and huge stockpiles are building, have resulted in many farmers teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. Mounting financial stress in the Midwest has allowed a public health crisis, where suicide rates among farmers have hit record highs, according to one trade organization’s interview with the South China Morning Post.

Wells Fargo Banker Pleads Guilty To Helping Launder Millions For Sinaloa Cartel
Luis Figueroa of Tijuana admitted to the scheme which spanned the United States, according to Business Insider.

Who Wants This War With Iran?
Speaking on state TV of the prospect of a war in the Gulf, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei seemed to dismiss the idea. “There won’t be any war. … We don’t seek a war, and (the Americans) don’t either. They know it’s not in their interests.”

Beijing Backs Iran, “Firmly Opposes” Unilateral US Sanctions
In the latest sign of Beijing’s frustration with the US, the Chinese leadership have reiterated their opposition to American sanctions against Iran. After a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, Chinese Foregin Minister Wang Yi reiterated Beijing’s ‘firm opposition’ to unilateral US sanctions against Iran.

Deep State Treason: Former State Dept. Official Under Trump Tells China To Quit Negotiating Until Trump Is Removed In 2020
Deep state traitors no longer hide their deep hatred for the American people —Mrs. Susan Thornton, the former acting assistant secretary of state in the Trump administration, told her Beijing audience to stop negotiating until President Trump is removed from office in 2020.

BREAKING: Junk Anti-Trump Russia Steele Dossier Appears Tampered With – Pages Were Replaced
…The fake Trump – Russia dossier that Obama’s corrupt FBI and DOJ used to obtain the Carter Page FISA warrant appear doctored.  Internet sleuths have uncovered material differences in the Steele dossier.

Headlines – 5/18/2019

US Israel-Palestinian peace plan ‘a surrender act’ – Palestinian FM

Don’t let Trump steer Middle East off cliff, Palestinians urge EU

Ahead of peace plan, Israeli and Palestinian leaders meet in Hebron over kosher Iftar meal

How Palestine Divides Messianic Jews

Clashes reported in West Bank between Palestinians, settlers

German parliament declares Israel boycott campaign antisemitic

Israeli company targeted Nigerian election in Facebook disinformation campaign

Likud says immunity for Netanyahu won’t be a part of coalition deals

Syrian TV says Damascus targeted “from direction of” Israel

Syria says Israel carries out strike, claims to intercept missiles

Soaring oil prices cast shadow on US ahead of Opec meeting

Iran’s top diplomat presses efforts to save nuclear deal

Eyeing Iran, US official says all alleged sanctions breaches taken seriously

As Tensions Rise Between U.S. and Iran, Each Side Is Waiting for the Other to Blink

Trump says Iran, too, may be confused about war signals

Trump is getting ‘bad advice’ from his advisers on Iran: Top Iranian businessman

‘If Iran Attacks There Will Be War’: Congressional Leaders Get Classified Briefing on Iran Threat

GOP lawmaker on Iran threat: Directive was to ‘kill and kidnap American soldiers’

US ‘sitting by the phone’ but heard nothing from Iran

Iran Can ‘Easily’ Hit U.S. Warships, Revolutionary Guards Official Says

Insurer says Iran’s Guards likely to have organized tanker attacks

Iran’s Mideast Proxies Pledge It Will Never Fight Alone. Here’s a Look at Who They Are

UAE’s Gargash: Western countries agree on Iran being a disruptive force

US-Iran conflict would hit energy supplies, says Iranian general

Iran urges China, Russia ‘concrete action’ to save nuclear deal

US warns airliners flying in Persian Gulf amid Iran tensions

UK warns British-Iranians against all travel to Iran

Saudi project clears 1,024 Houthi mines, explosive devices in Yemen

The US accidentally killed more than a dozen Afghan policemen in an airstrike after a ‘miscommunication’

Muslims in Sri Lanka pray at vandalized mosques amid tight security

Putin hails new Russian laser weapons

Russia to Set Up ‘Fake News Database’

N.Korea demands UN action over ship seizure by ‘gangster’ US

Labor declares Brexit talks dead as May’s premiership crumbles

Venezuela’s Maduro says Norway talks sought ‘peaceful agenda’ with opposition

Protesters at Venezuela’s US embassy to face criminal charges

Venezuela Sells $570 Million From Gold Reserve Despite Sanctions

The stock market fears more trade retaliation from China is coming next week

U.S. Treasury’s Mnuchin rejects subpoena for Trump tax returns

The other Trump Tower meeting: Barr looking into leaks after Comey briefed Trump on dossier

AG Barr’s critics, who claimed Trump ‘obstruction,’ would be ‘guilty’ by own standards: Ari Fleischer

Mueller’s House testimony likely off until at least June

No Mueller, no McGahn and stalled investigations leave House Democrats frustrated

James Carafano: Why Trump’s immigration speech is a game-changer

Trump national emergency declaration faces first test in California court

ICE to hire contractor to transport 225,000 migrants to shelters across the US

Border Patrol to fly migrants from Texas to California three times per week to ease overcrowding

DeSantis: Florida ‘cannot accommodate’ influx of migrants expected for processing

Trump’s new tool for collecting social-media-bias stories has one unusual question on it: Are you a US citizen?

Some US Cities Are Moving Into Real-Time Facial Surveillance

New York State Senate introduces bill to make texting while walking illegal

6.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Taron, Papua New Guinea

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Sindangsari, Indonesia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Mohean, India

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Iquique, Chile

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Abepura, Indonesia

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Agung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 25,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 19,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 13,000ft

Newly forming underwater volcano discovered near Mayotte, source of intense earthquake swarm

Brazil’s Vale warns another mining dam at risk of collapse

Revealed: air pollution may be damaging ‘every organ in the body’

Bayer to reportedly appeal $2B Roundup ruling with preemption argument

With sights set on Supreme Court, Missouri latest US state to restrict abortion

Missouri lawmaker apologizes for using term ‘consensual rapes’ in abortion bill debate

Louisiana Governor breaks with Dems, indicates he’ll sign ‘heartbeat’ legislation

Transgender Tragedy: This Baby Died Because the Mother’s Medical Records Listed Her as Male

House passes LGBT Equality Act; conservatives say it ‘undermines women’s equality’

Calif. parents take kids out of school, protest controversial ‘gender-inclusive’ sex education

College Board president pushing ‘adversity score’ is same man behind controversial Common Core program

News – 5/19/2019

In the Path of This Storm? ‘Take Cover Now!’
the National Weather Service spotted a “rain wrapped tornado on the ground” in San Angelo. “Take cover now if you are in the path of this storm!” the service cried. Meanwhile, over 35,000 Texas customers have no power between the two cities. And that’s not all: With tornado season peaking, at least 34 have been spotted across a swath of the country including Texas, Nebraska, and Kansas. One wrecked two homes Saturday morning in Comanche County, Oklahoma….In all over 70 million people are facing the prospect of severe weather from southern Minnesota to Texas.

U.S. sanctions are limiting Iran’s ability to fund Hezbollah – report
The latest wave of US sanctions has significantly curbed Iran’s ability to fund Hezbollah, The Washington Post reported on Saturday. The Lebanese terrorist group has traditionally been the best funded Islamic Republic’s proxy, with its fighters and affiliates benefiting from salaries and social services paid for by Tehran.

Turkey keeps talking about building an S-500 system with Russia
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey had finalized it’s S-400 deal with Russia and would not turn back from acquiring the advanced system. In comments made Saturday the Turkish leader also hinted at producing an “S-500” system jointly with Russia. This would be a major new element of the emerging Turkish-Russian alliance and another sign of Ankara’s drift away from the US and NATO.

Iran-US tensions: ‘There will be no war’, says Zarif
Iran’s foreign minister has said he does not believe a war will break out in the region amid concerns over rising tensions with the US. Mohammad Javad Zarif told state news agency IRNA that Tehran did not want a war, and that no country had the “idea or illusion that it can confront Iran”. The US has deployed warships and planes to the Gulf in recent days over what it has described as Iranian “threats”.

Trump breaks silence amid Alabama abortion ban row
US President Donald Trump has outlined his “strongly pro-life” views on abortion amid controversy over strict new laws passed in several states. Mr Trump said he was against abortion except in cases of rape, incest or a “serious health risk” to the mother. His stance on what is a divisive election issue in the US emerged days after Alabama passed a law banning abortion in almost all cases.

‘Weapons in our hands’ Venezuelan Military warns it is ready to slaughter US troops
Troops in the South American country took part in what was dubbed a “march of loyalty” to show their support for President Nicolas Maduro. The embattled Socialist leader visited Aragua State to watch…soldiers pledged their allegiance. “Only the ones who fight have a right to be. You will never invade my country. Listen to us small gringo. We are ready. With weapons in our hands … we are waiting for you,” the personnel shouted during the parade.

US issues warning to airlines flying over Gulf
The Federal Aviation Administration has warned US airlines flying over the Gulf to exercise caution “due to heightened military activities and increased political tensions in the region.” The advisory, which also covers airspace over the Gulf of Oman, comes amid rising tensions between the US and Iran.

China’s top diplomat calls for U.S. restraint on trade, Iran
China’s senior diplomat Wang Yi told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo…that recent U.S. words and actions had harmed the interests of China and its enterprises, and that Washington should show restraint… Speaking…by telephone, Wang said the United States should not go “too far” in the current trade dispute between the two sides, adding that China was still willing to resolve differences through negotiations, but they should be on an equal footing.

Congo’s Ebola outbreak: Health workers fear for their safety
Some doctors fighting the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history are afraid to wear scrubs.

Dozens of tornadoes have struck the Plains since Friday, with a serious outbreak feared on Monday 
Severe storms have plagued parts of the Plains since Friday, including about 50 reported tornadoes, and more severe weather is on the way. A dangerous severe weather outbreak is possible Monday, which would target parts of Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. Massive hail, destructive winds, and potentially strong tornadoes could be in the offing.

Rapid DNA testing reveals a THIRD of migrants faked family relationship with kids
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement pilot of new rapid DNA testing at the border has found that nearly a third of those tested were not biologically related to the children in their custody.

Syria accuses Israel of airstrikes near Damascus
Several explosions were heard in the Syrian capital on Friday night as the country’s air defenses opened fire on “objects” coming from the direction of the Golan Heights, state media reported.

Pete Buttigieg Equates Radical Shia And Wahhabi Islam With Christianity
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg equated radical Shia Islam and the Islamic ideology behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks with Christianity’s capacity for extremism Friday.

Senator Feinstein (D) Is An Unregistered Agent for Communist China
Dianne Feinstein loves communists. Senator Feinstein cavorts with communists. She has close alliances with many of America’s most dangerous enemies. In short, Senator Dianne Feinstein is an enemy of the State.

Ohio pastor gets life in prison on child sex trafficking charges
A minister in Ohio who pleaded guilty to child sex trafficking has been sentenced to life in prison.

Socialism Leaves South Africa in the Dark
Nearly 150 years after electricity came to South Africa, the country is in the dark. The blackouts can strike at any time and then lights, hot water and even major industries vanish into the darkness.

WHO 2050 Prediction: 10 Million Could Die From Mutated Superbugs And We’ll Have Nothing To Fight Them
The discovery and widespread use of antibiotics many decades ago have saved millions of lives. Infections that were once a death sentence were easily treated with the medications. Unfortunately, many antibiotics are now becoming ineffective because bacteria have become resistant to the drugs.

THE RAVENSBRUCK RABBITS: Brilliant Secretly-Coded Letters Written By Four Concentration Camp Inmates To Tell the World About Horrific Nazi Medical Experiments During WWII
There are many amazing stories of survival when we read about Hitler’s Holocaust in WWII, stories of astounding courage, bravery and defiance in the face of stupefyingly overwhelming odds. The four women who risked their lives to warn the world of Nazi atrocities is such a story.

College Board president pushing ‘adversity score’ is same man behind controversial Common Core program
The College Board president behind the recent decision to assign applicants an “adversity score” is the same man who courted controversy pushing Common Core, the national K-12 curriculum standards project that several states adopted, then dropped under pressure from education activists.

Trump Admin Notifies 500,000+ Employers They Have Workers With Bogus Social Security Numbers
The Trump administration has notified more than 500,000 employers that some of their employees’ names do not match their reported Social Security numbers in a new move to crack down on illegal aliens.

WATCH: Barr Promises America Will Soon Know “EXACTLY What Happened!”
Attorney General William Barr appears to be highly suspicious wrongdoing occurred as the highest level in the events leading to the Trump campaign probe. Speaking to FoxNews, Barr promised to find out “exactly what happened.” Barr also called Pelosi’s claim he lied “laughable” and part of the “political circus.”

Communist China Edits Pastor’s Sermon, Deletes ‘God Made Heaven and Earth’
As further evidence of Communist China’s continuing persecution of Christians, a pastor’s sermon was edited by government officials who required him to remove the sentence “God made Heaven and Earth and created everything,” and also demanded that he include more Chinese and pro-Communist Party references, the religious liberty watchdog group Bitter Winter reported.

A Chicago couple lives like Orthodox Jews — and preaches the word of Jesus
Two members of the Illinois Jewish community, who dress in religious garb, are outed as Christian missionaries. They don’t deny it, and don’t see a problem

Headlines – 5/19/2019

Madonna makes call for Israel-Palestine unity at Eurovision

Madonna Surprises Eurovision With Palestinian Flag on Dancer’s Back – also raises eyebrows for including dancers wearing gas masks

Eurovision Organizers May Punish Icelandic Band for pro-Palestinian Banners

Jordan awaits Trump deal with fear, rumors

Liberman hints entry into coalition won’t be conditioned on harsher Gaza policy

Suspected incendiary device tied to balloon cluster lands in IDF base

Syria says air defenses intercept Israeli missiles, in 2nd incident in 24 hours

ExxonMobil Employees Begin Evacuating an Iraqi Oil Field Amid U.S.-Iran Tensions

Lebanese Health Minister Says He Overcame U.S. Concerns He Would Funnel Money to Hezbollah

Trump’s sanctions on Iran are hitting Hezbollah hard

Zarif plays down tensions as IRGC chief says Iran, US in midst of intel war

Zarif: There will be no war as no country has ‘illusion’ it could confront Iran

IRGC chief: US will collapse with one strike just like the World Trade Center

War talk grips Iraq as storied US carrier returns to Gulf

Bahrain asks its citizens to leave Iran, Iraq ‘immediately’

Political pitfalls: Iran tests ‘America First’ pledge

Saudi Arabia and Gulf states have agreed to deploy U.S. forces to deter Iran

Saudi Arabia not looking for war but will respond to any threat: Adel al-Jubeir

Sisi: We are coordinating with Saudi Arabia to confront regional threats

Saudi King calls Gulf, Arab summits in Mecca on May 30

Islamic State Says It Killed Two Guards, Kidnapped Four in Libya Attack

Sudan army rulers say talks with protesters to resume Sunday

The North Korean restaurant accused by a think tank of using software sales to bypass sanctions

US embassy issues Indonesia security alert ahead of election results

Austrian leader calls for snap election amid video scandal

Michigan GOP congressman says Trump’s conduct impeachable

At 1st major rally, Biden calls for unity, knocks ‘divider-in-chief’ Trump

In Philly rally, Joe Biden offers unity to replace Trump’s ‘hatred’

Going down: Brazil economic woes hit stocks, currency

Angry Venezuelans wait hours for fuel as shortages worsen

China’s new ‘social credit system’ turns Orwell’s ‘1984’ into reality

Pope Francis tells the press: ‘The church is on your side,’ denounces fake news

6.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Tadine, New Caledonia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Taron, Papua New Guinea

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 18,000ft

Agung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 18,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 17,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 13,000ft

Nevados De Chillan in Chile erupts to 12,000ft

Dozens of tornadoes have struck the Plains since Friday, with a serious outbreak feared on Monday

With more than 1,100 dead, Congo’s Ebola outbreak is only getting worse. Now doctors are forced to go undercover.

4 in 10 Students Would Have Their Vaccine Exemptions Rejected Under New California Law, State Estimates

Woman Injured by Flu Vaccine Obtains $2.49 Million Settlement from U.S. Government

For corporate America, abortion is just too hot to handle

The rising wave of abortion restrictions in America

While some states are restricting abortion, others move to bolster access

Bill protecting taxpayers from funding abortion industry passes Texas House

District attorneys near Atlanta vow not to prosecute women who get abortions

Progressive caucus co-chair calls for ‘strong primary challenges’ against anti-abortion Dems

Thousands of ultra-Orthodox men protest against Eurovision contest

Eurovision 2019: The queerest – and most controversial – yet?

Calvin Klein apologizes to LGBT community for ad of Bella Hadid kissing female robot

Pete Buttigieg not impressed with Trump’s approval of his same-sex marriage

Men are afraid to mentor women after #MeToo and it hurts us all: study

For Teens, Romances Where the Couple Never Meets Are Now Normal

Mike Pence urges Taylor U. grads to ‘stand up’ for Christianity after dozens walk out on him

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“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther


May 19, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

4. And Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes. This clause was added for the sake of showing greater indulgence. For though Jacob, in desiring that, when he died, his eyes should be closed by the hand of Joseph, showed that some infirmity of the flesh was involved in the wish; yet God is willing to comply with it, for the sake of moderating the grief of a fresh banishment. Moreover, we know that the custom of closing the eyes was of the greatest antiquity; and that this office was discharged by one most closely connected with the deceased either by blood or affection.[1]

3–4 These two verses contain one of the four “do not be fearful” oracles in Genesis (see 15:1; 21:17; and 26:24). This particular oracle is composed of four parts: (1) self-identification of the deity: I am the God, [a general name for deity] the God of your father [a specific name for deity]; (2) assurance: Do not be fearful; (3) object of fear: about going down to Egypt; (4) promise: for into a great nation I will form you.… Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes. Of these four parts, the last is easily the longest and most prominent.

If Jacob is fearful about going down to Egypt, he did not disclose that in either 45:28 or 46:1. The prospect of seeing his son overrides concern over any mishap they may encounter on the way to Egypt or in Egypt. Jacob does not need to be coaxed to leave Canaan. He is prepared to pull up his roots and leave for the empire to the south. God’s word to Jacob about not being fearful about going down to Egypt is a considerable change from his earlier explicit charge to Jacob’s father’s Isaac not to go down to Egypt (26:2). What God denied Isaac he permits for Jacob. For Isaac Egypt was off-limits. For Jacob Egypt is the land in which God will bless Jacob and his progeny, and form them into a nation. Thus the sojourn of Jacob and his family to Egypt is not in fundamental opposition to God’s purposes. Rather, the sojourn is part of the development of God’s plan for this chosen family, first articulated to Abraham in 12:1ff.

Jacob first offered sacrifices to “the god of his father” (v. 1), and now he is addressed by deity whose self-identification is I am the God [hāʾēl], the God of your father. The general name of God (ʾēl) has appeared elsewhere in the Jacob story (see 31:13; 35:1, 3). Perhaps the addition of the article (hā-) destroys the titular use of the word, and alters its sense from “El” to “the God (of).…” The narrator (v. 1) used the full title, “the God of his father Isaac.” God identifies himself simply as “the God of your father,” leaving out the name of Isaac. “This is the only national promise in the patriarchal narratives which is not attributed to Yahweh or El Shaddai, but to the God, the God of your Father.”

The surprise of v. 3 is the last clause: for into a great nation I will form you there. This clause indicated to Jacob that his journey to Egypt will not be a quick excursion. He will move from the ranks of the visitor into those of the immigrant. Egypt will become his home away from home. While this is by no means the first time that God announces his intention to make a great nation from the patriarchs and their progeny, and even Ishmael (see 12:2; 17:20; 18:19; and esp. 21:13, 18, which also use the verb śîm [“make”] and the noun gôy [“nation”] in conjunction with Ishmael), it is the first time he announces that this formation will take place well outside the borders of the promised land in Egypt. Egypt will become the womb for this great nation. Of all God’s promises throughout Genesis to make a great nation of somebody’s descendants, the one to Jacob in 46:3 and the one to Ishmael in 17:20 and 21:13, 18 are most similar in that neither includes the promise of a national territory. For the bedouin-like Ishmael the absence is self-explanatory. In the case of Jacob, this theophany emphasizes only the establishment of a great nation but in an unusual geographical milieu. That Jacob is the root from which a great nation is to be formed in the relatively secluded Egyptian region of Goshen, rather than in Canaan, implies that this nation will be insulated from outside influences that may impinge on their group identity.15

It is not enough that Jacob is accompanied by his family and possessions to Egypt. God himself will be his personal escort (v. 4a). Jacob does not intuit that information; he knows it by revelation. This is the reason Jacob need not be intimidated. Egypt is not inaccessible to the God of Israel. Regarding the clause in v. 4b, I myself will bring you back, the reader, but not Jacob himself, knows that this clause does not mean that Jacob will physically leave Egypt alive and well. We know he would later leave Egypt in a coffin (ch. 50). you can only refer to Jacob’s remains and Jacob’s descendants. In fact, there are three referents of “you/your” in v. 4: “I will accompany you [Jacob and his family], I will bring you [the nation] back, then Joseph’s hand shall close your [Jacob’s] eyes.” Here is an intriguing illustration of the oscillation between the individual and the collective, a well-known feature of OT thought. There is no problem here at all of passing from the individual to the community and back to the individual without any awareness of the transitions.

From the emphasis on the national (“I will bring you back”) the verse turns to the tender (Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes). The brother who once knew what it was like to have his brothers place their hands on him in fraternal rage will place his hand upon his father in filial devotion. The announcement of his forthcoming death, placed in an amiable context, is much like that of his grandfather’s (see 15:13–16). Abraham’s “going to your fathers in peace; buried in a good old age” parallels this word in 46:4c about Jacob’s demise and Joseph. Jacob knows all about eyes. He had a father with fading eyesight (27:1), and a wife with tender eyes (29:17). V. 4c is also part of the divine promise to Jacob. V. 4a, b emphasizes God’s presence with Jacob from the present occasion until the end of his life. V. 4c emphasizes Joseph’s presence with his father in the waning days of his father’s life, whenever that comes.[2]

4. I will also surely bring thee up [again]—As Jacob could not expect to live till the former promise was realized, he must have seen that the latter was to be accomplished only to his posterity. To himself it was literally verified in the removal of his remains to Canaan; but, in the large and liberal sense of the words, it was made good only on the establishment of Israel in the land of promise.

Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes—shall perform the last office of filial piety; and this implied that he should henceforth enjoy, without interruption, the society of that favorite son.

Ge 46:5–27. Immigration to Egypt.[3]

Ver. 4.—I will go down with thee into Egypt;—not a proof that the Hebrews believed in a local deity following them when they changed their abodes, and confined to the district in which they happened for the time being to reside (Tuch, Bohlen), but simply a metaphorical expression for the efficiency and completeness of the Divine protection (Kalisch)—and I will also surely bring thee up again (literally, and I will bring thee up also, bringing thee up; a double emphasis lying in the use of the infinitive absolute, with גַּם preceding, as in ch. 31:15, meaning that God would assuredly recover his body for interment in Canaan should he die in Egypt, and his descendants for settlement in the land of their inheritance): and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyesi. e. will perform for thee the last offices of affection by closing thine eyes in death, a service upon which the human heart in all ages and countries has set the highest value (vide Homer, ‘II.,’ xi. 453; ‘Odys.,’ xxiv. 294; Virg., ‘Æn.,’ ix. 487; Ovid, ‘Epist.,’ i. 162). “A father at the point of death is always very desirous that his wife, children, and grandchildren should be with him. Should there be one at a distance, he will be immediately sent for, and until he arrive the father will mourn and complain, ‘My son, will you not come? I cannot die without you.’ When he arrives, he will take the hands of his son, and kiss them, and place them on his eyes, his face, and mouth, and say, ‘Now I die.’ ” (Roberts’ ‘Oriental Illustrations,’ p. 52).[4]

4 “I shall go down with you” reiterates another familiar theme of the patriarchal narratives, God’s protecting presence that guarantees blessing (cf. 26:24; 28:15, 20; 31:3, 5, 42; 39:2–3, 21, 23). It is a promise that will later be made to Moses (Exod 3:12) and Joshua (Josh 1:5).

“It is I that shall surely bring you up.” The personal pronoun “I” and the infinitive absolute, “surely bring up,” make this statement very emphatic. This is not merely a promise that Jacob will be buried in Canaan but, like 15:13–16, the only comparable statement in Genesis, an announcement of the exodus. Once again this remark harks back to past promises and looks forward to the future exodus (cf. Exod 3:8, 17).

Finally, “Joseph will place his hand on your eyes.” “The concluding promise is most unusual and moving” (Westermann, 3:156). It is a promise of a peaceful death at which Joseph will be present to close his eyes (cf. 15:15). From the great national concerns that have dominated the rest of the announcement, God finally deals with Jacob’s most immediate and intimate concern. A frail and elderly man is assured that God will grant his dearest wish.[5]

[1] Calvin, J., & King, J. (2010). Commentary on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis (Vol. 2, pp. 389–390). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] Hamilton, V. P. (1995). The Book of Genesis, Chapters 18–50 (pp. 590–592). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[3] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 45). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[4] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Genesis (pp. 501–502). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[5] Wenham, G. J. (1998). Genesis 16–50 (Vol. 2, pp. 441–442). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

Sunday’s Hymn: Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart — Rebecca Writes

Rejoice, ye pure in heart,
Rejoice, give thanks, and sing:
Your festal banner wave on high,
The cross of Christ your King.

Rejoice, rejoice,
Rejoice, give thanks and sing.

Bright youth and snow-crowned age,
Strong men and maidens meek,
Raise high your free, exulting song,
God’s wondrous praises speak.

With all the angel choirs,
With all the saints on earth,
Pour out the strains of joy and bliss,
True rapture, noblest mirth!

Yes, on through life’s long path,
Still chanting as ye go;
From youth to age, by night and day,
In gladness and in woe.

At last the march shall end,
The wearied ones shall rest,
The pilgrims find their Father’s house,
Jerusalem the blest.

Then on, ye pure in heart,
Rejoice, give thanks, and sing;
Your glorious banner wave on high,
The cross of Christ your King.

—Edward H. Plumptre


Other hymns, worship songs, or quotes for this Sunday:

via Sunday’s Hymn: Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart — Rebecca Writes

May 19 An Appealing Camouflage

scripture reading: Genesis 3:1–7
key verse: 2 Corinthians 11:3

I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Even a hungry walleye will not strike an unbaited hook. Satan, the angel of light, is the master tempter, able to conceal his evil designs through appealing camouflage.

How does he manage to deceive you, to get you to take the bait of temptation? His initial thrust works at undermining your confidence in God’s goodness and provision.

God had bestowed every blessing necessary on Adam and Eve. They wanted for nothing until Satan aroused suspicion of God’s faithfulness: “Indeed, has God said … ?” (Gen. 3:1 nasb) was and is his opening dialogue.

Has God really said you are to be faithful to your marriage partner? Has God really said you are to speak for the edification of people and not their destruction? The more you entertain doubt, the closer you move to yielding to Satan’s temptation.

The next step is believing the tempter’s lie: “And the serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely shall not die!’” (Gen. 3:4 nasb).

“Adultery is commonplace today.”

“Words never hurt anybody.”

“What harm can a few pleasurable thoughts do?”

“Everybody else is in debt.”

Doubts and lies. Never buy into them. The price is always exacting and never right.

You meant what You said, Lord. I accept Your word without argument or reservation. Let me never doubt what You have said![1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

19 may (preached 20 may 1855) 365 Days with Spurgeon


“I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” Isaiah 43:25

suggested further reading: Acts 8:26–40

There are some passages of scripture which have been more abundantly blessed to the conversion of souls than others. They may be called salvation texts. We may not be able to discover how it is, or why it is, but certainly it is the fact, that some chosen verses have been more used of God to bring men to the cross of Christ than any others in his Word. Certainly they are not more inspired, but I suppose they are more noticeable from their position, from their peculiar phraseology more adapted to catch the eye of the reader, and more suitable to a prevailing spiritual condition. All the stars in the heavens shine very brightly, but only a few attract the eye of the mariner, and direct his course; the reason is this, that those few stars from their peculiar grouping are more readily distinguished, and the eye easily fixes upon them. So I suppose it is with those passages of God’s Word which especially attract attention, and direct the sinner to the cross of Christ. It so happens that this text is one of the chief of them. I have found it, in my experience, to be a most useful one; for out of the hundreds of persons who have come to me to narrate their conversion and experience, I have found a very large proportion who have traced the divine change which has been wrought in their hearts to the hearing of this precious declaration of sovereign mercy read, and the application of it with power to their souls: “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”

for meditation: The texts often quoted by Spurgeon towards the end of his sermons—Mark 16:16; 1 Timothy 1:15. Has God used a particular text to bring you to himself?

sermon no. 24[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 146). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

SSB Sunday Gathering – May 19, 2019 — Spiritual Sounding Board


Spiritual Sounding Board – This is your place to gather and share in an open format.

-by Kathi

Scripture is taken from the Book of Common Prayer, Readings for Easter Season, Year 1 and may be found here.

Psalm 84

How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young — a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.

Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob. Look on our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one.

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.

2 Thessalonians 2: 13 – 17

But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

Matthew 7: 7 – 14

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”



May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you from the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.

via SSB Sunday Gathering – May 19, 2019 — Spiritual Sounding Board

19 MAY 365 Days with Calvin

Strengthened by the Spirit

But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin. Micah 3:8

suggested further reading: Zechariah 4

Micah with incredible courage stands alone against the false teachers of his time. This confidence is something all God’s servants should possess so they might not succumb to the empty and vain boastings of those who subvert the order of the church.

At times, God permits his pure truth to be corrupted by false teachers, who become popular among those high in honor as well as the multitude. Let us then remember the striking example of Micah lest we be discouraged and lest the firmness and invincible power of the Holy Spirit be weakened in our hearts. We may then proceed in the course of our calling to defend the name of God against all the deceptions of men, if indeed we are convinced that our service is approved by God.

Micah shows here that he was not supplied with ordinary or usual power. As God employs the labors of his servants, so he is present with them and furnishes them with suitable protection. When someone does not encounter great difficulties in discharging the office of teaching, only a common measure of the Spirit is necessary for the performance of his duties. But when someone is drawn into arduous and difficult struggles in serving the Lord, he is especially strengthened by the Lord.

We see daily examples of this, for many simple men who have never been trained up in learning have been so endued by the celestial Spirit that when they experienced great trials, they closed the mouths of great doctors who seemed to understand all oracles. By such evidences God proves that he is the same today as when he formerly endowed his servant Micah with a power that was so rare and so extraordinary.

for meditation: The Lord grants sufficient grace to his children. We should not fear those dreaded possibilities that loom in front of us. If, like Micah, we face extraordinary trials and duties, we will be granted an extraordinary measure of the Spirit’s power. The Lord will always give his children what they need to do his will.[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 158). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

EChurch@Wartburg – 5.13.2019 Abe Wright: The Bible in Culture — The Wartburg Watch

Abe Wright: The Bible in Culture

Welcome to a Gathering of EChurch@Wartburg


Fall by the Lake

A Call to Worship link

God of Hope,
we come into your presence this morning
with confidence that you will meet us here.
Where there is sadness, bring joy;
Where there is tiredness, bring refreshment;
Where there is despair, bring a renewed sense of hope.
Let this place be a sanctuary,
a safe haven for us,
a home for holy words and songs and prayers
as we devote ourselves to you.
We pray this in Jesus’ name

A Prayer for Humility (link)

O Lamb of God, who, both by your example and precept, instructed us to be meek and humble, give me grace throughout my whole life, in every thought, and word, and work, to imitate your meekness and humility. Mortify in me the whole body of pride; grant me to feel that I am nothing and have nothing, and that I deserve nothing but shame and contempt, but misery and punishment. Grant, O Lord, that I may look for nothing, claim nothing; and that I may go through all the scenes of life, not seeking my own glory, but looking wholly unto you, and acting wholly for you.

Let me never speak any word that may tend to my own praise, unless the good of my neighbour requires it; and even then let me beware, lest, to heal another, I wound my own soul. Let my ears and my heart be ever shut to the praise that comes from men.

Give me a dread of applause, in whatsoever form, and from whatsoever tongue, it comes. Deliver my soul from this snare of hell; neither let me spread it for the feet of others. Whosoever perishes thereby, let their blood be upon their own head, and let not my hand be upon them.

O giver of every good and perfect gift, if at any time you please to work by my hand, teach me to discern what is my own from what is another’s, and to render unto you the things that are yours. As all the good that is done on earth you do it yourself, let me ever return to you all the glory. Let me, as a pure crystal, transmit all the light you pour upon me; but never claim as my own what is your sole property.

John Wesley

Corinthians 13:1-3 NIV

If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poorand give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Abraham Wright: The Bible in Culture from Emmanuel Enid on Vimeo.

The Lord’s Prayer (link)

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, for ever.

Matthew 6:9-13 King James Version (KJV)


Jude 1:24-25 (NASB Bible Gateway)

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

via EChurch@Wartburg – 5.13.2019 Abe Wright: The Bible in Culture —

May 19, 2019 Morning Verse Of The Day

3. A voice crying in the wilderness. He follows out the subject which he had begun, and declares more explicitly that he will send to the people, though apparently ruined, ministers of consolation. At the same time he anticipates an objection which might have been brought forward. “You do indeed promise consolation, but where are the prophets? For we shall be ‘in a wilderness,’ and whence shall this consolation come to us?” He therefore testifies that “the wilderness” shall not hinder them from enjoying that consolation.

The wilderness is employed to denote metaphorically that desolation which then existed; though I do not deny that the Prophet alludes to the intermediate journey; for the roughness of the wilderness seemed to forbid their return. He promises, therefore, that although every road were shut up, and not a chink were open, the Lord will easily cleave a path through the most impassable tracts for himself and his people.

Prepare the way of Jehovah. Some connect the words “in the wilderness” with this clause, and explain it thus,—“Prepare the way of Jehovah in the wilderness.” But the Prophet appears rather to represent a voice which shall gather together those who had wandered and had, as it were, been banished from the habitable globe. “Though you behold nothing but a frightful desert, yet this voice of consolation shall be heard from the mouth of the prophets.” These words relate to the hard bondage which they should undergo in Babylon.

But to whom is that voice addressed? Is it to believers? No, but to Cyrus, to the Persians, and to the Medes, who held that people in captivity. Having been alienated from obedience to God, they are constrained to deliver the people; and therefore they are enjoined to “prepare and pave the way,” that the people of God may be brought back to Judea; as if he had said, “Make passable what was impassable.” The power and efficacy of this prediction is thus held up for our applause; for when God invests his servants with authority to command men who were cruel and addicted to plunder, and who at that time were the conquerors of Babylon, to “prepare the way” for the return of his people, he means that nothing shall hinder the fulfilment of his promise, because he will employ them all as hired servants. Hence we obtain an excellent consolation, when we see that God makes use of irreligious men for our salvation, and employs all the creatures, when the case demands it, for that end.

A highway for our God. When it is said that the way shall be prepared not for the Jews, but for God himself, we have here a remarkable proof of his love towards us; for he applies to himself what related to the salvation of his chosen people. The Lord had nothing to do with walking, and had no need of a road; but he shews that we are so closely united to him that what is done on our account he reckons to be done to himself. This mode of expression is frequently employed elsewhere, as when it is said that God “went forth into battle with his anointed,” (Hab. 3:13,) and that “he rode through the midst of Egypt,” (Exod. 11:4,) and that he lifted up his standard and led his people through the wilderness. (Isaiah 63:3.)

This passage is quoted by the Evangelists, (Matt. 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4,) and applied to John the Baptist, as if these things had been foretold concerning him, and not unjustly; for he held the highest rank among the messengers and heralds of our redemption, of which the deliverance from Babylon was only a type. And, indeed, at the time when the Church arose out of her wretched and miserable condition, her mean appearance bore a stronger resemblance than the Babylonish captivity to a “wilderness;” but God wished that they should see plainly, in the wilderness in which John taught, the image and likeness of that miserably ruinous condition by which the whole beauty of the Church was injured and almost destroyed. What is here described metaphorically by the Prophet was at that time actually fulfilled; for at an exceedingly disordered and ruinous crisis John lifted up the banner of joy. True, indeed, the same voice had been previously uttered by Daniel, Zechariah, and others; but the nearer the redemption approached, the more impressively could it be proclaimed by John, who also pointed out Christ with the finger. (John 1:29.) But because, in the midst of a nation which was ignorant and almost sunk in stupidity, there were few that sincerely grieved for their ruinous condition, John sought a wilderness, that the very sight of the place might arouse careless persons to hope and desire the promised deliverance. As to his denying that he was a Prophet, (John 1:21,) this depends on the end of his calling and the substance of his doctrine; for he was not sent to discharge apart any continued office, but, as a herald, to gain an audience for Christ his Master and Lord. What is here said about removing obstructions, he applies skilfully to individuals, on this ground, that the depravity of our nature, the windings of a crooked mind, and obstinacy of heart, shut up the way of the Lord, and hinder them from preparing, by true self-denial, to yield obedience.

4. Every valley shall be exalted. He confirms and asserts the preceding statement; for he shews that no difficulties can prevent the Lord from delivering and restoring his Church whenever he shall think fit. These words might with propriety be rendered in the imperative mood, “Let every valley be exalted,” so as to be placed in immediate connection with the command which God gives by his prophets to prepare and level the way for himself; but it makes hardly any difference in the meaning. Let us be satisfied with understanding the Prophet’s design, “that, although many and formidable difficulties are started to hinder the salvation of the Church, still the hand of God will be victorious and will prevail.”

And every mountain and hill shall be laid low. It ought to be observed that many obstructions always arise whenever God makes provision for our deliverance, or wishes to aid the afflicted; and although his glory is more fully displayed by these obstructions, yet we suffer no loss; for we behold more clearly his wonderful power when no strength, or efforts, or contrivances of men can prevent him from gaining his object. He conducts his people through “mountains” and steep places in such a manner as if the road were perfectly level; and by the words mountains and hills, the Prophet undoubtedly intends to denote metaphorically obstructions of every kind; for Satan attempts in every way to hinder our salvation. When we come, therefore, to spiritual redemption, these words undoubtedly include both internal and external obstacles,—lusts and wicked desires, ambition, foolish confidence, and impatience, which retard us wonderfully, but the Lord will break them all down; for when he stretches out his hand, nothing can restrain or drive him back.[1]

3–5 Like other prophets, Isaiah was given visions (1:1), but he also hears words. An unidentified voice calls (v. 3). John the Baptist, to whom the NT applies the words, is prepared to be such an unidentified voice (Jn 1:19–23). What matters is the ultimate origin and the content of the word of God, not its channel. Isaiah 35:8–10 spoke of a highway for the returning exiles, implying perhaps that it will traverse the desert (35:1). This is made clear now; and, because it represents God’s purpose for his people, it is called his highway.

The verb pānnû (“prepare”) introduces the idea of the removal of obstructions, which is spelled out further in v. 4. The whole concept is, of course, figurative, most commentators taking it as a declaration in dramatic fashion that the Lord will let nothing stand in the way of the exiles’ return. Motyer (1999, in loc.) and Oswalt (in loc.) both take it to be God himself coming across the desert to the help of his people (cf. Dt 33:2; Ps 68:4, 7). Young (in loc.) interprets it of the people’s repentance rather than their journey home to Zion. No doubt coming back often has dual significance in Isaiah, combining the physical and the spiritual (see comment on 7:3), though the verb “to return” does not occur in our present image. John the Baptist’s call to repentance does not settle the matter, for the NT fulfillment of an OT passage often moves the concept from the physical to the spiritual. It seems best to consider it physical here but with possible spiritual overtones.

Smart (in loc.) is surely correct when he lays all the emphasis on God rather than on the exiles. What is in prospect is an amazing new revelation of the glory of the Lord, not now for Israel only (e.g., in her temple), but for all humankind (v. 5; cf. 60:1–3). Isaiah’s tendency to add some emphatic statement such as “for the mouth of the Lord has spoken” (v. 6; cf. 9:7; 37:32) anticipates Christ’s “truly I say to you.”[2]

3 Once again we hear a disembodied voice crying, and once again it is apparent that the identity of the messenger has been completely subsumed under the message. We are reminded of the voices of the seraphim in ch. 6, and that reminder may be intentional, another effort to link this chapter with that one. One might also think of that later voice associated with this verse, the one who said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). The messenger is not important compared to the wonder that God would come among us.

Despite the antiquity of the interpretation attested in the LXX and quoted in the NT (Matt. 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4; John 1:23): “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare … ,’ ” the Hebrew text, both in its parallel structure and in its punctuation, seems to demand the reading given here. The occasion for the LXX understanding is not known, but it may have been the perennial retreat to the wilderness of reform-minded groups who saw themselves as forerunners of the Coming One.22

The Hebrew text says that it is God who comes out of the wilderness for his people. Several understandings of this figure of speech are possible. The one that seems least likely is that this is a reference to the Lord bringing the exiles back across the wilderness from Babylon. As even those who prefer this understanding admit, the way back from Babylon did not come through the desert but went around it. Furthermore, there is no reference to the exiles here; it is God alone who comes (cf. 63:1–6). A somewhat more likely possibility is that there are overtones of the wilderness wanderings, when God brought his people safely through the hazards of the desert and into the promised land. But this reading also suffers from the lack of any mention of the people. In my view, the best understanding is that this passage rests on the Sinai tradition (cf. also Hab. 3:3). Thus God is seen figuratively as coming from his distant residence on Sinai to aid his people in their hour of distress. The people cannot help themselves, and there is no one else, so God himself must come (cf. also Isa. 59:15–20).

4 The one thing the people can do is to prepare the way for the coming King. Elliger may be right in seeing this as a reflection of the kind of road building engaged in prior to the triumphal tour of a conquering king. But in any case it speaks of an act of faith on the part of the people. They do not yet see the King, but they dare to believe that he is coming. It also speaks of some form of activity on the part of those who had formerly been paralyzed by discouragement and hopelessness, as in v. 27.[3]

40:3–5 / The voice that calls for the preparation of Yahweh’s highway (and the further voice in v. 6) is perhaps responding to the commission in verse 1, but verses 1–11 do not identify these voices. All we hear is what these voices say. It is the content of the words rather than the identity of the speakers that matters. This voice resumes the picture of the wilderness in chapter 35, with its highway, but gives it a different twist. This is not in the first instance a road for Israel to travel but a road for Yahweh to travel. In verses 9–11 it will become more explicit that Yahweh is to make a journey back to Jerusalem (but bringing the exiles, too) and part of the background to this picture may be the conviction that Yahweh had left the city in 587 b.c. (see Ezek. 10–11). But the background prior to that is the picture of Yahweh’s coming from afar through the desert to act in power on the people’s behalf (30:27–33). Once again Yahweh will come in this way. As is often the case when God does something that parallels an earlier act, this new work will not merely resemble the first but exceed it. Yahweh will have a supernaturally-contoured highway to speed this journey, and Yahweh’s glory will be perceived by all people together.[4]

3. crieth in the wilderness—So the Septuagint and Mt 3:3 connect the words. The Hebrew accents, however, connect them thus: “In the wilderness prepare ye,” &c., and the parallelism also requires this, “Prepare ye in the wilderness,” answering to “make straight in the desert.” Matthew was entitled, as under inspiration, to vary the connection, so as to bring out another sense, included in the Holy Spirit’s intention; in Mt 3:1, “John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness,” answers thus to “The voice of one crying in the wilderness.” Maurer takes the participle as put for the finite verb (so in Is 40:6), “A voice crieth.” The clause, “in the wilderness,” alludes to Israel’s passage through it from Egypt to Canaan (Ps 68:7), Jehovah being their leader; so it shall be at the coming restoration of Israel, of which the restoration from Babylon was but a type (not the full realization; for their way from it was not through the “wilderness”). Where John preached (namely, in the wilderness; the type of this earth, a moral wilderness), there were the hearers who are ordered to prepare the way of the Lord, and there was to be the coming of the Lord [Bengel]. John, though he was immediately followed by the suffering Messiah, is rather the herald of the coming reigning Messiah, as Mal 4:5, 6 (“before the great and dreadful day of the Lord”), proves. Mt 17:11 (compare Ac 3:21) implies that John is not exclusively meant; and that though in one sense Elias has come, in another he is yet to come. John was the figurative Elias, coming “in the spirit and power of Elias” (Lu 1:17); Jn 1:21, where John the Baptist denies that he was the actual Elias, accords with this view. Mal 4:5, 6 cannot have received its exhaustive fulfilment in John; the Jews always understood it of the literal Elijah. As there is another consummating advent of Messiah Himself, so perhaps there is to be of his forerunner Elias, who also was present at the transfiguration.

the LordHebrew, Jehovah; as this is applied to Jesus, He must be Jehovah (Mt 3:3).

  1. Eastern monarchs send heralds before them in a journey to clear away obstacles, make causeways over valleys, and level hills. So John’s duty was to bring back the people to obedience to the law and to remove all self-confidence, pride in national privileges, hypocrisy, and irreligion, so that they should be ready for His coming (Mal 4:6; Lu 1:17).


Ver. 3.—The voice of him that crieth; rather, the voice of one that crieth. A voice sounds in the prophet’s ear, crying to repentance. For God to come down on earth, for his glory to be revealed in any signal way, by the restoration of a nation, or the revelation of himself in Christ, or the final establishment of his kingdom, the “way” must be first “prepared” for him. The hearts of the disobedient must be turned to the wisdom of the just. In the wilderness; either, “the wilderness of this world” (Kay), or “the wilderness separating Babylonia from Palestine” (Delitzsch), in a part of which John the Baptist afterwards preached. Prepare ye the way of the Lord. The “way of the Lord” is “the way of holiness” (ch. 35:8). There is one only mode of “preparing” it—the mode adopted by John Baptist (Matt. 3:2–12), the mode pointed out by the angel who announced him (Luke 1:17), the mode insisted on in the Collect for the Third Sunday in Advent. The voice enjoins on the prophets of the captive nation to prepare the hearts of the people for the coming manifestation of God.

Ver. 4.—Every valley shall be exalted, etc.; rather, let every valley be exalted. The prophets are to see that the poor and lowly are raised up; the proud and self-righteous depressed; the crooked and dishonest induced to change their ways for those of simplicity and integrity; the rude, rough, and harsh rendered courteous and mild. “In general, the meaning is that Israel is to [be made] take care that the God who is coming to deliver it shall find it in such an inward and outward state as befits his … purpose” (Delitzsch, ‘Comment. on Isaiah,’ vol. ii. p. 142).[6]

The voice of providence (vv. 3–5). The Jews had a rough road ahead of them as they returned to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple, but the Lord would go before them to open the way. The picture here is of an ambassador repairing the roads and removing obstacles, preparing the way for the coming of a king. The image of the highway is frequent in Isaiah’s prophecy (see 11:16). Of course, the ultimate fulfillment here is in the ministry of John the Baptist as he prepared the way for the ministry of Jesus (Matt. 3:1–6). Spiritually speaking, Israel was in the wilderness when Jesus came; but when He came, God’s glory came (John 1:14). The way back may not be easy; but if we are trusting God, it will be easier.[7]

40:3–5. After a message of comfort, the prophet next brings words of hope, beginning with the proclamation of the coming of the Lord. Though it is tempting to identify the one whose voice is calling out (v. 3) as Isaiah, the prophet is not specifically identified. Isaiah 40:3 is utilized in the NT in a reference to John the Baptist (cf. Mt 3:3; Mk 1:3; Lk 3:4; Jn 1:23), but in a slightly different form. The Hebrew text suggests that the phrase in the wilderness modifies the verb clear. In this case, the way in question is to be prepared in the desert. The NT translation takes in the wilderness as modifying the verb calling, thus suggesting that the source of the voice is in the desert. In the NT, John the Baptist is identified as the fulfillment of Is 40:3. This identification need not control the understanding of the passage in its original context of Is 43 where it functions less as a piece of predictive prophecy and more as a description and guarantee of the coming glory of God. The predictive element is, however, implied insofar as the voice is never identified. The NT adoption of the passage then is designed to summon the picture first developed in the context of Isaiah. A smooth way should be prepared for the coming of the Lord and the revelation of His glory. All will see this glory because the Lord Himself has said it will be so (40:5).

Some hold that Isaiah 40:3–5 only refers to God coming to Israel and not to the return of the exiles. Such a view, however, appears to be at odds with Is 35:8–10 in which the ransomed of the Lord will return on the highway of the Lord. Therefore, the way in the wilderness will serve both as the way the Lord will come to Jerusalem and as the way the people will return from exile. This way will be characterized by the reunion of God and His people.[8]

40:3–5 The herald’s call. The great processional way (to be lined by all humanity, 5) suitably dwarfs the ceremonial routes of heathen festivals. The wilderness is doubly significant, both as an example of the barriers that must all yield to the royal progress (4; see ch. 35) and as a reminder of the first exodus. Ho. 2:14 makes it, in its austerity, a place of repentance and renewal; John the Baptist, with prophetic symbolism, used the literal wilderness for this very work (cf. Mt. 3:1–3). But God’s coming (cf. Mt. 3:13–17) and the ‘exodus’ that he was to accomplish (cf. Lk. 9:31) were to take a wholly unexpected form.[9]

40:3–5. A voice (probably Isaiah’s, different from the voice in v. 6) called out to the people to prepare the way for the Lord (v. 3) and His glory (v. 5). True prophets were “voices,” for their messages were from God. They were calling the nation to get back into a proper relationship with Him. Each Gospel writer applied Isaiah 40:3 to John the Baptist (Matt. 3:1–4; Mark 1:1–4; Luke 1:76–78; John 1:23). John was a desert prophet who prepared the way for Jesus Christ, and who in the wilderness made a highway for Him (cf. Matt. 3:3). However, here in Isaiah the entire nation was in a spiritual wilderness, and each Israelite needed to get ready spiritually for the appearing of the Lord and His glory.

Raising the valleys and lowering the mountains refer in hyperbole to workmen leveling or smoothing out the roads on which a dignitary would travel when he came to visit an area. Today an equivalent is, “roll out the red carpet.” In Isaiah’s day he was calling Israel to be “smoothed out” so that the Lord could come to the nation and rule. This was emphasized by all the prophets-ethically the nation must be righteous. Eventually the nation will be “smoothed out” spiritually when the glory of the Lord is revealed (Isa. 40:5). Isaiah was thinking of the millennial kingdom when the Lord will be revealed in His glory, that is, when His unique splendor will be evident everywhere. As Isaiah wrote elsewhere, the Messiah would suffer and would also appear in glory. However, apparently he was not aware of the time interval that would elapse between these two aspects. Though the disciples saw Jesus’ glory (John 1:14), all mankind has not yet seen it, but they will see it in the Millennium. This coming glory is certain for the … Lord has spoken it (cf. Isa. 1:20; 58:14). The word of the Lord is sure and cannot be broken.[10]

40:3–5 The call goes out to “Prepare the way of the Lord.” John the Baptist filled the role of forerunner at Christ’s First Advent (Matt. 3:3), and Elijah will fill it at the Second Advent (Mal. 4:5, 6). The preparation for His coming is moral and spiritual, not topographical. Morgan writes:

The faithful among men prepare His way and make straight His highway when they yield to Him their complete loyalty, and confide in Him alone.

Mountains and hills represent the proud and arrogant among men, valleys the people of low degree. All unevenness and roughness of character must be made smooth. The glory of the Lord (that is, the Lord Himself) shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together (see Rev. 1:7).[11]

[1] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (Vol. 3, pp. 203–206). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] Grogan, G. W. (2008). Isaiah. In T. Longman III, Garland David E. (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Proverbs–Isaiah (Revised Edition) (Vol. 6, p. 721). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Oswalt, J. N. (1998). The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 40–66 (pp. 51–52). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Goldingay, J. (2012). Isaiah. (W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston, Eds.) (p. 224). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, pp. 473–474). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[6] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1910). Isaiah (Vol. 2, p. 66). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[7] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). Be Comforted (pp. 109–110). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[8] Rydelnik, M. A., & Spencer, J. (2014). Isaiah. In The moody bible commentary (pp. 1060–1061). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[9] Kidner, F. D. (1994). Isaiah. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 655). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

[10] Martin, J. A. (1985). Isaiah. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, pp. 1091–1092). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[11] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 967). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.