Daily Archives: February 26, 2021

February 26 Evening Quotes of The Day

God Delights to Dwell with the Humble
Proverbs 29:23; Isaiah 57:15

Here is a wonder! God is on high; and yet the higher a man lifts himself up, the farther he is from God; and the lower a man humbles himself, the nearer he is to God. Of all souls, God delights most to dwell with the humble, for they do most prize and best improve his precious presence.

THOMAS BROOKS

Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

“All Truth Is from God”
Exodus 3:22; 1 Corinthians 15:33; Titus 1:12

All truth is from God; and consequently, if wicked men have said anything that is true and just, we ought not to reject it, for it has come from God. Besides, all things are of God; and, therefore, why should it not be lawful to dedicate to his glory everything that can properly be employed for such a purpose?

JOHN CALVIN

Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

February 26 Evening Verse of The Day

11:1 The climax of Paul’s declaration of God’s elective purpose in Israel is reached in ch. 11. God has not cast away Israel, though it may appear so for a while.[1]


11:1 God has not rejected his people Paul has spent the previous two chapters addressing the problem of the Jews’ rejection of Jesus as Messiah and the implications of that rejection for salvation. Paul now emphatically insists that, while Israel may have rejected God’s gift of salvation in Christ, God has not rejected Israel in return. Despite present appearances, Israel still plays a role in God’s plan of salvation, and His promises to Israel have not been invalidated.

of the tribe of Benjamin Paul emphasizes his own Jewish lineage as proof that at least some within ethnic Israel will be saved (compare 9:27).[2]


11:1 The majority of Israel failed to believe. Does this mean that God has rejected his people? Paul presents himself as an example of the remnant that has been preserved, a remnant that indicates that God is not finished with Israel and that he will fulfill the promises made to his people.[3]


11:1 rejected. To thrust away from oneself. The form of the question in the Gr. text expects a negative answer. Despite Israel’s disobedience (9:1–13; 10:14–21), God has not rejected His people (cf. 1Sa 12:22; 1Ki 6:13; Pss 89:31–37; 94:14; Is 49:15; 54:1–10; Jer 33:19–26). May it never be! The strongest form of negation in Gr. (see note on 6:2).[4]


11:1 One of the proofs that God has not cast away the Jewish people is Paul himself. He was an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. He was a Jew, and he was chosen by God to be a believer and an apostle.[5]


11:1 What about the future of Israel? Is it true, as some teach, that God is through with Israel, that the church is now the Israel of God, and that all the promises to Israel now apply to the church? Romans 11 is one of the strongest refutations of that view in all the Bible.

Paul’s opening question means, “Has God cast away His people completely? That is, has every single Israelite been cast off?” Certainly not! The point is that although God has cast off His people, as is distinctly stated in 11:15, this does not mean that He has rejected all of them. Paul himself is a proof that the casting away has not been complete. After all, he was an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, and of the tribe of Benjamin. His credentials as a Jew were impeccable.[6]


11:1. Of the fourteen times Paul uses the exclamation by no means! (me genoito), ten of them are in the epistle to the Romans (in addition to this verse see 3:4, 6, 31; 6:2, 15; 7:7, 13; 9:14; 11:11. See also this commentary on Rom. 6:2 for more details on me genoito). The frequency of this phrase in Romans is evidence of the controversial nature of Paul’s content. Usually it is in response to the objections or questions of a fictional objector whom Paul’s diatribe format calls forth. But here, Paul is asking and answering his own question so as to continue the treatment on Israel which began in Romans 9:1.

Specifically, his statement that God is continually holding out his hands to “a disobedient and obstinate people” (Israel; Rom. 10:21) begs the question, Did God reject his people? Paul uses himself as “Exhibit A” to prove that God did not reject his people. The fact that Paul, an Israelite … a descendant of Abraham … from the tribe of Benjamin (cf. Phil. 3:5), is also an apostle of Jesus Christ, sent to deliver the mystery of the gospel to the Gentiles, proves that God has not abandoned Israel! If Paul were the only Jew on earth who believed in Jesus Christ, it would be proof positive that God had not rejected his people.

Paul’s statement is more than a piece of evidence in an argument. It is a confirmation of what he has been teaching about election. In other words, no one comes to faith in Christ by happenstance. If a person does not believe in Christ, it is evidence of the hand of God in divine, sovereign election, and if someone does believe in Christ, it is likewise evidence of the hand of God. The fact that many Jews had not believed in Christ is evidence that they were not the elect of God. But the fact that Paul has believed means he was foreknown, predestined, called, justified, and glorified (Rom. 8:29–30). And if God called Paul, a Jew, it is obviously evidence that God has not abandoned the Jews.

The fact that God has never totally rejected the Jews is evident from Paul’s spiritual life, but it can also be proved from the darkest days of Israel’s history.[7]


11:1 “God has not rejected His people, has He” This question expects a “no” answer. Paul answers this question in vv. 1b–10. This section must relate to Paul’s previous argument. Chapters 9–11 form a literary unit, a sustained argument.

It is interesting to note that the early Greek papyrus manuscript P46 and the uncials F and G have “inheritance” instead of “people,” which may be from the LXX of Ps. 93:14.

© “May it never be!” This is Paul’s characteristic way of rejecting the questions of the hypothetical objector (diatribe, cf. 3:4, 6, 31; 6:2, 15; 7:7, 13; 9:14; 11:1, 11).

© “I too am an Israelite” Paul uses himself to prove the existence of a believing Jewish remnant. For further amplification of Paul’s Jewish background see Phil. 3:5.[8]


1. Has God rejected his people? The question (so framed in Greek as to require the answer ‘No’) and the statement in verse 2, ‘God has not rejected his people’, echo the lxx wording of Psalm 94:11, ‘the Lord will not forsake his people’ (cf. 1 Sam. 12:22).

A descendant of Abraham. Here the phrase is used primarily in its natural sense (cf. 2 Cor. 11:22), but not to the exclusion of its spiritual sense (cf. 4:16, above).

A member of the tribe of Benjamin. Cf. Philippians 3:5. It is an ‘undesigned coincidence’ between Paul’s letters and Acts that, while it is only from the former that we learn that Paul belonged to the tribe of Benjamin, it is only the latter that tells us that his Jewish name was Saul. It is not surprising that parents who traced their descent from the tribe of Benjamin and cherished high ambitions for their new-born son should give him the name borne by the most illustrious member of that tribe in the history of Israel—‘Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin’ (to quote Paul’s reference to Israel’s first king in Acts 13:21).[9]


1 The verb “I say” (Gk. legō) in the rhetorical introduction to this section forges a link with 10:14–21, where Paul twice uses the same verb to signal transitions in his argument (vv. 18 and 19). At the same time, the “therefore” (Gk. oun) shows that Paul now draws an implication from what he has said there. Or, to be more accurate, Paul denies an implication that his readers might have drawn from the previous section. He does so by using a rhetorical pattern very typical of Romans: a question expecting a negative answer—“God has not rejected his people, has he?”—followed by the strong negative response “By no means!”569 The question is certainly a natural one. Israel’s refusal to acknowledge Jesus Christ, the culmination of salvation history (10:4) and sole mediator of God’s righteousness (10:5–13), would seem to mean that she could no longer claim to be “God’s people.” But, as in 3:1, where Paul raises a similar question, Paul refuses to admit the “logical” conclusion. Despite her disobedience, Israel remains the people of God—in what sense, Paul will explain in the rest of the chapter.

As he did also at the beginning of his discussion of Israel (“my kindred according to the flesh,” 9:3), Paul now again reminds his readers of his identification with Israel: “even I am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.” Paul may refer to his Jewish identity to explain his motivation in rejecting the notion that God might have rejected Israel so vehemently: as a Jew who still identified with his people, he could hardly countenance God’s abandonment of Israel. However, the “for” (Gk. gar) introducing the sentence is more likely to introduce a reason for Paul’s denial. Cranfield thinks that Paul refers to himself in his role of apostle to the Gentiles as a way of suggesting God’s continuing commitment to the people as a whole. But the importance of the remnant concept in this context (vv. 2b–6) makes it more likely that Paul wants to associate himself with this entity. Paul himself, as a Jewish Christian, is living evidence that God has not abandoned his people Israel. Jews, like Paul, are continuing to be saved and to experience the blessings God promised to his people.[10]


1 The question posed by the unbelief of Israel as a people pervades this section of the epistle. It comes to the forefront at various points and in different forms (cf. 9:1–3, 27, 29, 31, 32; 10:2, 3, 21). At 11:1 another aspect of the same question is introduced. At 9:6ff. the apostle dealt with what might appear to be the effect of Israel’s unbelief, namely, that God’s word of promise had come to nought, at 9:14ff. with the question as it pertains to God’s justice. Now the question is whether the apostasy of Israel means God’s rejection of them. It is not, however, in these terms that the question is asked. It is asked in a way that points up the gravity of the issue and anticipates what the answer must be: “did God cast off his people?” The answer, as repeatedly in this epistle (cf 3:4, 6, 31; 6:2, 15; 7:7, 13; 9:14), is the most emphatic negative available. The ground for this negative answer is implicit in the terms used in the question. For Paul’s question is in terms that are reminiscent of the Old Testament passages which affirm that God will not cast off his people (1 Sam. 12:22; Psalm 94:14 (LXX 93:14); cf. Jer. 31:37).

The second part of verse 1 is an additional reason for the negative reply. There are two views of the force of the apostle’s appeal to his own identity as an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham and of the tribe of Benjamin. One is that, since he is of Israel, his acceptance by God affords proof that God had not completely abandoned Israel. The appeal to his own salvation would be of marked relevance because of his previous adamant opposition to the gospel (cf. Gal. 1:13, 14; 1 Tim. 1:13–15). The unbelief of Israel (cf. 10:21) had been exemplified in no one more than in Saul of Tarsus. The mercy he received is proof that God’s mercy had not forsaken Israel. On this view, “of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin” would serve to accentuate his identity as truly one of that race with which he is now concerned. The other view is that the appeal to his own identity is the reason given for the vehemence of his negative reply “God forbid” and, therefore, the reason why he recoils from the suggestion that God had cast off his people. His own kinship with Israel, his Israelitish identity, constrains the reaction, “may it not be”. More meaning can be attached to “of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin” on this interpretation. These additions would drive home the depth of his attachment to Israel and emphasize the reason for his revulsion from the proposition that God had cast off his people. Both views are tenable and there does not appear to be enough evidence to decide for one against the other.[11]


1 Preparation for this section has been made—especially in 9:27–29, where the teaching of the OT concerning the remnant is summarized by quotations from Isaiah. That teaching involved both judgment and mercy—judgment on the nation as a whole for its infidelity and wickedness, and mercy on the remnant, who are permitted to escape the judgment and who form the nucleus for a fresh start under the blessing of God.

The opening question, “Did God reject his people?” (based on Ps 94:14) requires that we keep in mind what was made clear early in the discussion—that “not all who are descended from Israel are Israel” (9:6). The form of Paul’s question expects a negative answer. This negative answer is articulated in the strong formulaic “By no means!” The loss of the bulk of the nation that proved disobedient (both in OT days and at the opening of the gospel period) should not be interpreted as God’s rejection of “his people.” The remnant is in view, as the ensuing paragraph demonstrates.

Why is it that Paul, in repudiating the suggestion that God has rejected his people, injects himself into the discussion as an Israelite descended from Abraham and belonging to the tribe of Benjamin (cf. Php 3:5; 2 Co 11:22)? It is unlikely that Paul details his background merely to indicate that he can be expected to handle the subject with fairness to Israel. In fact, he presents himself as the initial, obvious evidence that God has been faithful to his people and thus as the first answer to the question he has just posed.[12]


Has God Rejected Israel?

Romans 11:1

I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.

Ancient Bibles did not have chapter divisions, as our Bibles have. These were added later, the earliest appearing in Codex Vaticanus in the fourth century. Moreover, the earliest divisions were different from what we have now, and our present chapters came even later, in the Middle Ages. The divisions we have are certainly not from Paul. Still, when we come to the beginning of a new chapter, as we do now in our study of Paul’s great letter to the Romans, it is natural to take the division seriously, look back over the distance we have traveled, and try to get a bearing on the matters still to come.

Has God’s Word Failed?

The present discussion began in Romans 9, following Paul’s magnificent statement about the believer’s eternal security in Christ in Romans 8. It began in response to an obvious question: How can we believe in the eternal security of the Christian if, as we can clearly see, Jews as a whole are not responding to the preaching of the gospel and thus are not being saved? If Christianity is true, doesn’t this mean that God has rejected Israel? If God has rejected Israel, how can we suppose that he will avoid rejecting us as well? And if he can or will reject us, isn’t it true that we must reject the doctrine of eternal security?

Paul’s immediate answer, in Romans 9:6, was that God’s plans for Israel have not failed. To prove it he unfolds the seven main arguments found in chapters 9 through 11.

  1. God’s historical purpose toward the Jewish nation has not failed, because all whom God has elected to salvation are or will be saved (Rom. 9:6–24). In this section Paul distinguishes between national Israel and spiritual Israel, which consists of those whom God has chosen to know Christ. His point is that membership in the visible Jewish nation did not guarantee salvation, any more than mere formal membership in a Christian denomination guarantees the salvation of church members today. What determines salvation is the electing grace of God in Christ, and that has always been a matter separate from any ethnic, national, or organizational distinctives.
  2. God’s historical purpose toward the Jewish nation has not failed, because God had previously revealed that not all Israel would be saved and that some Gentiles would be (Rom. 9:25–29). If God had promised that all Jews would be saved and had then failed to save some of them, God’s word would indeed have failed. But this is not the case, since God had foretold in advance that many Jews would not believe and would be scattered and that, in their place, many of the scattered Gentiles would be gathered to Christ.
  3. God’s historical purpose toward the Jewish nation has not failed, because the failure of the Jews to believe was their own fault, not God’s (Rom. 9:30–10:21). The Jews refused to believe because they wanted to earn salvation for themselves, even though Abraham, David, and all others who were saved were saved through believing God’s promises concerning Jesus Christ. The majority wanted to be approved by God on the basis of their own good works and righteousness, and so would not submit to the righteousness that comes by faith in Christ.
  4. God’s historical purpose toward the Jewish nation has not failed, because some Jews (Paul himself was an example) have believed and have been saved (Rom. 11:1). As long as even one Jewish person has been saved, no one can claim that God has rejected his people utterly. Paul was one, even if there were no others. But, in fact, the situation is not as grim as that. As the next section shows, God has always preserved a considerable remnant of believing Jewish people.
  5. God’s historical purpose toward the Jewish nation has not failed, because it has always been the case that even in the worst of times a remnant has been saved (Rom. 11:2–10). Paul proves this from the days of Elijah, a dark period but one in which, by God’s own count, seven thousand Jews were still faithful to God, having refused to worship Baal. Seven thousand was a small portion of the nation, but it was still a sufficiently large number to derail the claim of anyone who might think that the plan of God had failed.
  6. God’s historical purpose toward the Jewish nation has not failed, because the salvation of the Gentiles, which is now occurring, is meant to arouse Israel to envy and thus be the means of saving some of them (Rom. 11:11–24). God has a right to do anything he wants with sinners. He can save whom he wants. He can condemn whom he wants. Still, condemnation seems rather harsh toward his ancient “chosen” people. “Is God merely writing them off?” we might ask. Paul’s answer is that this is not the case. Rather, God is using the day of Gentile salvation for the good of Israel, since it is through God’s work among Gentiles that Israel is being stirred from self-complacency and lethargy, and some are being saved.
  7. Finally, God’s historical purpose toward the Jewish nation has not failed, because in the end all Israel will be saved, and thus God will fulfill his promises to Israel nationally (Rom. 11:25–32). This is so gracious and wonderful that Paul concludes with a benediction praising God’s great wisdom.

Here is how Leon Morris traces Paul’s thought:

Paul has made it clear that God is working out a great purpose and [has] insisted on divine predestination and election; the will of God is done. He has also insisted that human responsibility is real and important, and he has made it plain that this must be borne in mind when considering the fact that Israel has not entered the blessing as Gentile believers have. What then does it matter to belong to the chosen people? At first sight, it may seem, not very much, for Gentiles may be saved as well as Jews. But it is far from Paul’s thought that being a Jew matters little. He goes on to show that, while in the providence of God Israel’s sin and unbelief have been used to open up the way for the Gentiles, now the conversion of Gentiles will lead to the conversion of Jews. The Jews still have a place in God’s plan.

Charles Hodge looks at the argument of Romans 11 similarly, noting that it has two parts. “In the former [part] the apostle teaches that the rejection of the Jews was not total. There was a remnant, and perhaps a much larger remnant than many might suppose.… In the latter [part], he shows that this rejection is not final.”

Godet adds, “This partial rejection … is not eternal, but temporary (vv. 11–32). For after it has served the various ends which God had in view in decreeing it, it shall come to an end, and the entire nation shall be restored, and with the Gentiles shall realize the final unity of the kingdom of God.” This is an ending worthy of the benediction with which Paul concludes the fourth section of his letter.

Has God Rejected His Ancient People?

At the start of chapter 11, the point to which we have come in our verse-by-verse exposition of Romans, we are at Paul’s fourth argument of the seven listed above. It is the shortest of the seven. Question: “I ask then: Did God reject his people?” Answer: “By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin” (v. 1).

What Paul says in this terse personal reference has been understood in two ways. One approach is based on the vehemence of his answer and supposes Paul to be denying that any Jew could suppose that God would abandon Israel. “More meaning can be attached to ‘of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin’ on this interpretation,” according to John Murray. The problem with this view is that it turns Paul’s reply into a mere emotional response, rather than an argument, and we are in the midst of a very clear set of reasoned arguments in this chapter.

The second view is the one I have assumed from the beginning of these studies, namely, that Paul is using his own case as proof that Israel has not been abandoned. As long as there is only one believing Jew—though, in fact, there are many—no one can affirm that God has rejected Israel utterly. Paul is a remnant by himself, whether or not there are any others. But, in fact, there are and always have been others, as the next section shows.

Why, then, does Paul speak so forcefully of his Jewish ancestry? In my opinion, it was in response to the many unkind things that must have been said to him about it. I have friends who are Jewish believers who report that when they accepted Jesus as the Messiah they were at once rejected as Jews by many of their former friends and family members.

In one case, in a Bar Mitzvah service, the male members of the family were invited to take part in the Torah readings, and a friend of mine who had become a Jewish Christian went forward with them. He was stopped by the rabbi, who claimed that he was no longer a Jew because he believed in Jesus. My friend’s instinctive response, which is why I tell this story, was: “Are you telling me that I am not a Jew? How can you say that I am not a Jew? God made me a Jew. My mother and father were Jews. I am descended from Jews. I am a son of Abraham.”

It is hard to suppose that Paul did not hear similar accusations many hundreds of times or that his response would not have been precisely what we find it to be in Romans. “Not a Jew?” he might have objected. “How can you say I am not a Jew? I am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.”

Each of those terms is worth exploring.

  1. An Israelite. There are three names used to denote this ancient people: Hebrews (cf. Phil. 3:5), Jews, and Israelites. The origin of “Hebrew” is not known, though it may be derived from the name Eber, found in Genesis 10:21, 25, in which case it denotes a broader grouping of people than ethnic Israel alone. It would be similar to the word Semite. “Jew” comes from Judah, the fourth son of Jacob by Leah and (later) the most prominent of the twelve tribes. This name stresses the people’s ethnic origins. The distinguishing feature of “Israel” is that it is the people’s covenant name. It was the name given to Jacob when he wrestled with the angel at the Jabbok and God blessed him (Gen. 32:28).

As soon as we recognize that “Israel” points to the covenant, we see that Paul’s choice is exceedingly appropriate. For the question being raised in Romans is whether or not God can break covenant, and the answer is: Surely not! God never breaks a promise.

  1. A descendant of Abraham. Nothing designates a Jew so decisively as being “a son of Abraham.” Therefore, Paul uses this phrase, too. In his case, of course, being a descendant of Abraham had Christian importance, for he had shown earlier that Abraham is an example of faith and that all who have faith are therefore Abraham’s true spiritual children, both Jews and Gentiles (cf. Rom. 4:11–12, 16).
  2. Of the tribe of Benjamin. Benjamin was small among the tribes of Israel, but it was significant beyond its size for many reasons. First, Benjamin was the only son of Jacob to have been born in Israel. The others were born on the far side of the desert in Paddam Aram. Second, Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, was within its territory. Third, Benjamin was the only tribe that remained with the tribe of Judah in the south at the time of the civil war following the death of Solomon. The northern tribes quickly drifted away from the forms of worship that had been given to Israel, set up apostate altars, became increasingly wicked, and were the first to be carried away into captivity (in 721 b.c.). Benjamin, in the south along with Judah, remained closer to God, preserved a larger measure of righteousness, and thus survived longer, until the conquest by Babylon (in 586 b.c.).

Martin Luther argues at this point that Paul had contended against God “with all this strength” and that “if God had rejected his own people, he surely would have rejected the Apostle Paul.” But thoughtful as this may be, it is not the point Paul is making. Paul is not arguing that he has been saved in spite of his sinful past, which would be an argument for grace, but that he is a Jew and is saved, which is an argument for God’s faithfulness to his covenant. In other words, he is saying nothing new, but only what had been stated many times in the Old Testament.

When the people sinned by asking for a king and later confessed it, saying, “We have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king” (1 Sam. 12:19), Samuel answered, “Do not be afraid. You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.… For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own” (vv. 20, 22).

Psalm 94 speaks of God’s judgment of the wicked and his disciplining of those he loves. Yet it also explains the discipline, saying, “For the Lord will not reject his people; / he will never forsake his inheritance” (v. 14).

Jeremiah quotes God as saying,

Only if the heavens above can be measured

and the foundations of the earth below be searched out

will I reject all the descendants of Israel

because of all they have done.

Jeremiah 31:37

Paul was steeped in the Old Testament. So we can well understand his horrified and extreme reaction to the suggestion that God might somehow break his promises to Israel and cast his people off. Discipline? Yes. A remnant in times like the present? Of course. But cast Israel off? Abandon the covenant? Break the promises? How could God do that and still remain God? If that happened, truth, honor, righteousness, and justice would be torn from the deity, and God would no longer be God.

In view of this argument, we can see why Paul does not only argue that some of Israel are being saved, himself being one example, but also maintains that in the end the fullness of God’s blessing will be extended to the Jewish people nationally, and “so all Israel will be saved,” as he says in verse 26.

A Few Applications

I realize, as I come to the end of this study, that much of what I have written has been analytical and technical and that its relevance to ourselves and our times is not readily apparent. But it is nevertheless a practical matter, and there are several major points of application.

  1. We should not be discouraged in our evangelism, because all whom God is calling to faith in Jesus Christ will come to him. If anyone should have been discouraged in his evangelism, it should have been Paul in his attempts to reach the Jewish people. He was God’s chosen messenger to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15), but Paul always began his missionary efforts with the Jews and again and again he was rejected by them. In 2 Corinthians he describes how he had been beaten five times by the Jewish authorities and how he was in constant danger from them, as well as from Gentile rulers (2 Cor. 11:24, 26). Later, when he went to Jerusalem with the offerings from the Gentile churches, he was set upon by a fanatical mob and would have been torn to pieces if the Romans had not intervened to save him. Jewish opposition led to his imprisonment.

Yet Paul was not discouraged by this, because he knew that he had been sent to preach the gospel to all people and that those whom God was calling to faith in Jesus Christ would come to him. In Elijah’s day, God had reserved seven thousand faithful Jews. In Paul’s day, one by one God was calling out thousands more. So also today. Because God is calling to faith those whom he has chosen to call to faith, we, too, can work on without discouragement and know that our “labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58).

  1. We should be warned against presumption. It is true that all whom God is calling to faith will be saved, but this does not mean that all of any race, social class, or denomination will be. In the days of Elijah, God had seven thousand believers. But there were other thousands, no doubt hundreds of thousands, who did not obey God, worshiped Baal, and were not saved. They were Jews. Although they were outward, visible members of the covenant community, they were not what Paul earlier termed true “Israel” (Rom. 9:6). They were Abraham’s “natural children,” but they were not “children of the promise,” because they did not follow Abraham’s example by believing in the one who was to come.

Being a Jew did not in itself save these people, though there were great advantages to Judaism, as Paul acknowledges. Neither will membership in a Christian denomination save you, though there are also advantages to belonging to a good church. We must not presume on our affiliations. The Bible says to “make your calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10). It means, be sure you believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and that you are actually following him as your Lord.

The five foolish virgins of Jesus’ parable thought that they were well off because they had been invited to the wedding banquet, had accepted the invitation, called Jesus “Lord,” and were even waiting for his second coming—but they were not “ready” when he came (Matt. 25:1–13). Make sure that you are not among their company.

  1. We should put all our confidence in God, who alone is the source, effector, and sustainer of his people’s salvation. How foolish to put your confidence in anything else, or even in a combination of lesser things. If a person can be a Jew, with all the spiritual blessings attending to that great religious heritage, and yet be lost, certainly you are foolish to trust in your ancestry, nationality, education, good works, or (strange as it may seem) your good intentions. “Salvation comes from the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). It comes from God alone. Make sure that you are trusting him and what he has done for you in Jesus Christ. Make sure you are able to sing:

Nothing in my hand I bring,

Simply to thy cross I cling;

Naked, come to thee for dress,

Helpless, look to thee for grace;

Foul, I to the fountain fly;

Wash me, Savior, or I die.

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in thee.

  1. We must never take part in or yield to anti-Semitic attitudes or actions. If God himself has not rejected the Jews in spite of their long history of willful sin, dogged disobedience, and fierce rejection of him—if he loves them still and has a plan for their eventual salvation as a nation—it is clear that you and I, if we are Gentiles, must not reject them either. We must never yield to or take part in anti-Semitism.

There are many blemishes on the church of Jesus Christ accumulated during the long years of its history, but of all those blemishes one of the most terrible and tragic has been the participation of so-called Christians in the persecution of the Jews. I know that not all, perhaps hardly any, of those actually persecuting Jews were true Christians. But that is another matter. Instead of hatred there should have been love. Instead of prejudice there should have been understanding. Let us determine that regardless of what the past has been, we will think and act like Christians—like Jesus himself, who died with arms outstretched even to those who crucified him.

We must love all men and women and seek to reach all without favoritism until Jesus comes again.[13]


[1] Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Ro 11:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[2] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ro 11:1). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[3] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 2176). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ro 11:1). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[5] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1445). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[6] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1723). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[7] Boa, K., & Kruidenier, W. (2000). Romans (Vol. 6, pp. 332–333). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[8] Utley, R. J. (1998). The Gospel according to Paul: Romans (Vol. Volume 5, Ro 11:1). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

[9] Bruce, F. F. (1985). Romans: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 6, p. 209). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[10] Moo, D. J. (2018). The Letter to the Romans. (N. B. Stonehouse, F. F. Bruce, G. D. Fee, & J. B. Green, Eds.) (Second Edition, pp. 690–691). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[11] Murray, J. (1968). The Epistle to the Romans (Vol. 2, pp. 65–67). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[12] Harrison, E. F., & Hagner, D. A. (2008). Romans. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, pp. 167–168). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[13] Boice, J. M. (1991–). Romans: God and History (Vol. 3, pp. 1287–1294). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

February 26 Afternoon Quotes of The Day

The Accommodation of God
Hebrews 1:1–4

God cannot be comprehended by us, unless as far as he accommodates himself to our standard.

JOHN CALVIN

Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Exchanging for That Which Endures
Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 10:42; 21:33; 1 John 2:17

It is a desirable and honorable exchange to give that which passes away for that which endures.

BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX

Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Weekly Watchman for 02/26/2021

Jason Jimenez: Stand Strong, Embolden Believers, Engage Culture

We discuss Jason’s background and ministry, his apologist colleagues and mentors, the importance of equipping believers and challenging them to engage culture, hard to reach millennials, Ravi Zacharias, and how to have the hard conversations with an uninformed, confused and disengaged church.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more

Rick Scarborough: Carnality in the Church and the Demise of Freedom

WE DISCUSS our hope for America to be preserved, Christian Nationalism, patriot pastors, Rush Limbaugh, globalism, and the church’s ongoing battle with COVID-19 restrictions.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more

Elizabeth Johnston: This is Why Believers Must Fight

We discuss the importance of Christians committing to fight in these times of increased spiritual warfare, big tech aligning with the left, and Biden administration policies hostile to the Word of God. Also, why are progressives so afraid of the free marketplace of ideas that they now censor those with whom they disagree.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more

26 Feb 2021 News Briefing

Trump Plans to Make ‘Forward Looking’ Speech at CPAC: Senior Adviser
Trump, who is a featured speaker at the conservative conference, will express his concerns about the direction President Joe Biden has taken since coming into office. Biden has taken numerous executive actions to reverse Trump administration policies and is receiving blowback for a number of these actions, including court challenges.

The Denial of Evil
One of the most highly regarded books of the 20th century was Ernest Becker’s “The Denial of Death.” Winner of the 1974 Pulitzer Prize, the book is regarded as a classic for its analysis of how human beings deny their mortality. But there is something people deny more than mortality: evil. Someone should write a book on the denial of evil; that would be much more important because while we cannot prevent death, we can prevent evil. The most glaring example of the denial of evil is communism, …

Satellite images reveal: Israel expanding Nuclear Facility as Iran gets closer to A-Bomb
O mortal, turn your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him Ezekiel 38:2 A clandestine Israeli nuclear compound at the center of the country’s undeclared nuclear weapons program is undergoing what appears to be its largest construction project in decades The construction comes as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made several thinly veiled threats against Iran for their nuclear ambitions.

Chinese aircraft carry out exercises, pressure Taiwan in South China Sea region
Chinese aircraft have conducted multiple exercises in the South China Sea region over the past few weeks, including maneuvers in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), which experts see as a sustained pressure campaign against Taipei.

Audio: American Airlines pilot radios ‘long cylindrical’ UFO over NM; Airline confirms and now the FBI may be involved
An American Airlines pilot was recorded on Sunday during a flight over New Mexico when he reported via radio an unidentified “long cylindrical object” flying over the airplane. The airline confirmed the transmission and pointed to the FBI, who says it’s “aware” of the incident. “I hate to say this but it looked like a long cylindrical object that almost looked like a cruise-missile type of thing. Moving really fast and went right over the top of us,” the pilot added.

‘Pure rip off’: Minneapolis City Council members make $106K per year
Minneapolis City Council members are paid more than $100,000 annually, which one Republican representative thinks is a “pure rip off of taxpayers.” State Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, introduced a bill Monday that would prohibit city council salaries from exceeding Minnesota’s median household income of $71,306. According to Garofalo, the only city known to exceed that number is Minneapolis, which now pays its city councilors $106,101 per year.

US Carries Out Airstrikes Against Iranian-Backed Militia Facilities in Syria: Pentagon
Biden on Thursday directed U.S. military airstrikes in eastern Syria against facilities belonging to what the Pentagon said were Iran-backed militia, in a calibrated response to recent rocket attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq.

‘Raising your hand in class’ is a form of White supremacy, American teachers told
“Only white people can be racist in our society, because only white people as a group have that power,” says the Dismantling Racism 2016 Workbook, which is heavily referenced in the toolkit. “The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it is even much less so. Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuate objectivity as well as fear of open conflict,” it says.

Netanyahu’s Purim warning to Iran: Like Haman, your Plot to Annihilate us will Fail too
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded on Tuesday “On the eve of the holiday of Purim I am telling those who want to destroy us, Iran and its proxies throughout the Middle East: 2,500 years ago, a different oppressive Persian regime tried to annihilate the Jewish nation and just like they failed then, so too will you fail today. We will not allow your extremist, brutal regime obtain nuclear weapons.”

NIH study confirms SARS-CoV-2 reinfections are relatively rare
A new study examining data from more than three million people suggests reinfection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is still quite rare. The research affirms a positive antibody test following an initial infection can be associated with a significantly lower risk of a second infection in the future, however, it is still unclear how long this protection may last.

NASA releases 360–degree panorama of Perseverance rover landing site
NASA has released the first HD 360-degree panorama taken by the Perseverance rover’s mast-mounted cameras since it touched down on the Red Planet on Feb. 18, 2021 . The composite image, which was captured on the third Martian day of the mission (Sol 3), is the first of many that the rover will take as it unravels the secrets still harbored by the Red Planet.

Knesset passes bill allowing use of personal information of people refusing vaccines
The Knesset on Wednesday passed a bill allowing the Health Ministry to supply local authorities with the personal information of people who have thus far refused vaccines for COVID-19.

Mobileye to ban employees not vaccinated for coronavirus
Mobileye employees who are not vaccinated will not be allowed to enter the company’s offices, president and CEO Amnon Shashua said Wednesday.

Employers can’t require Covid-19 vaccination under an EUA
Ever since the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for two new vaccines, employers, schools, and other organizations are grappling with whether to require Covid-19 vaccination.

Sewage samples reveal Americans, the Dutch among world’s biggest users of ‘party pills’
..Study authors analyzed wastewater content across various nations including China, Norway, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, and the U.S. The results revealed the use of “party pills” and “bath salts” is far greater in some countries than others.

U.S. conducts air strikes against Iranian-backed militia facilities in Syria
President Joe Biden on Thursday directed U.S. military air strikes in eastern Syria against facilities belonging to what the Pentagon said were Iran-backed militia, in a calibrated response to rocket attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq.

China Wants Your Data — And May Already Have It
As COVID cases began to rise a year ago, a Chinese company contacted several U.S. states and offered to set up testing labs. As a byproduct, the Chinese firm, Beijing Genomics Institute, would likely gain access to the DNA of those tested.

It’s Bill Gates Versus Elon Musk With The World’s Billionaires Battling For Control Of Digital Currency Bitcoin As Value Skyrockets Over 400%
..If you want a really good foreshadowing of what the Mark of the Beast will operate like, just take a look at Israel and their COVID vaccination ‘Green Pass’, it’s really cool. To get a Green Pass which allows you to enter the Israeli marketplace to ‘buy and sell’, all you need to do is agree to receive an injection in your arm of a DNA-altering concoction. That’s it, super easy right? That’s called grooming, and it is mentally training you to allow the government to inject you with something that gives you access to the marketplace. And it’s working perfectly, in fact, people are begging for it.

Gay campground BANS transgender men and the left goes nuts
Camp Boomerang, the new gay men-oriented camp near Orleans, Michigan, has come under fire for discrimination…and it hasn’t even opened yet. Owners of the camp declared on social media that transgender men will not be allowed on the campground.

Is FAKE Prez. Biden about to be exposed and removed? 
Fake President Biden, an imposter whose puppetmasters rigged the election to carry out an illegal, criminal coup against America, may be on the verge of being exposed and removed. Many startling anomalies continue to surface, including the fact that US Marines are, at times, no longer stationed outside the Oval Office, even when Jen Psaki claims “President Biden” is working inside.

CIRCULAR REASONING: Biden Brings Back ‘Kids In Cages’ From The Obama Era While Promising This Is Not Kids In Cages From The Obama Era
Back in 2014, the White House administration of Barack Obama and Joe Biden had cages built to house illegal immigrants and their children, complete with tin foil blankets just to make it even more uncomfortable and repulsive. The fake news media stayed silent on this, even former First Lady Laura Bush agreed to keep her mouth shut. But in 2018, when President Trump used these same facilities created by the Obama Biden administration to house illegal immigrants, the entire weight of the faux outrage of the Liberal Left exploded.

California Collapsing
complete internal collapse of the entire liberal progressive civilization and the society that has most frantically tried to fulfill it…

Source: 26 Feb 2021 – Rapture Ready


Headlines – 2/26/2021

Netanyahu on Biden’s Iran strategy: It’s a mistake to rely solely on agreements

Iran’s nuclear program and regional behavior should be dealt with separately, Israel tells U.S.

Bahrain crown prince calls Netanyahu regarding US-Iran nuclear talks

Secretive Israeli nuclear facility undergoes major project

US strikes Iran-backed fighters in Syria, in 1st military action under Biden

US Strikes Facilities in Syria Used by Iran-Backed Militia in Retaliatory Action

Qatar Says to Fund $60 Million Pipeline From Israel to Gaza

New public report to blame Saudi crown prince for 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi

Joe Biden speaks to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman before release of Khashoggi murder report

Recent drone attack on Saudi royal palace launched from Iraq

Libyans ousted a dictator, but an ensuing civil war has drawn in Russia, Turkey and others with a thirst for control

India, Pakistan militaries agree to stop cross-border firing in rare joint statement

Experts fear fresh wave of political prisoners in Myanmar

As genocide accusations grow, China hits back

Russia’s investigative journalists take spotlight with stunning findings on Putin, Navalny poisoning

In Final Days, Trump Gave Up on Forcing Release of Russiagate Files, Nunes Prober Says

Capitol Police chief warns extremists ‘want to blow up the Capitol’ when Biden addresses Congress

Capitol Police chief: Security will remain high due to State of the Union threat

Capitol Police Chief: Records Prove Immediate Calls For Military Backup On Jan. 6

Rep. Kelly: Chief Justice Roberts ‘Consistently Disappointing’ on Election Lawsuits

Georgia counties are suing Trump for legal fees following his failed voter fraud lawsuits

Trump tax returns are now in the hands of the Manhattan district attorney

GameStop short-sellers have lost $1.9 billion in just 2 days amid the stock’s latest spike

Exchange Repeatedly Halts Gamestop Trading as Price Surges Past $100

Bank Of America Expects Fastest Oil Price Rise In 30 Years

Joe Biden Restarts Filling U.S. Jobs with Foreign Workers as 17M Americans Are Jobless

Sen. Ted Cruz: Biden Opening Border for ‘Murderers, Rapists’

Race Politics Divide Society and May Lead to Oppressive China Model: ‘Black and White’ Authors

Chinese American Civil Rights Group Denounces Critical Race Theory: ‘A Hateful Fraud’

FBI ‘aware of’ American Airlines possible UFO spotting, stops short of confirming investigation

Bright blue fireball lights up night sky over Mallorca, Spain

Comet Makes a Pit Stop Near Jupiter’s Asteroids

Highly radioactive cesium detected in northeastern Fukushima, Japan

Very intense earthquake swarm shaking Reykjanes peninsula, Iceland

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits southeast Indian Ridge

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 23,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 19,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 19,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Raung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 13,000ft

Pacaya volcano in Guatemala erupts to 11,000ft

Ebeko volcano in the Kuril Islands erupts to 10,000ft

Flank eruption at Klyuchevskoy volcano, lahar forms along the Krutenkaya River, Russia

Biden declares major disaster in Oklahoma after deadly winter storms

Texas customer sues over $9,000 power bill during blackout

Ex-US gymnastics coach John Geddert kills himself after sex assault charges

‘Biological males’ competing as females ‘are just taking it away from us’: HS athlete blasts Biden DOJ for turning back on transgender lawsuit

Biden Health Nominee Pressed on Support for Genital Surgery for Children

Rand Paul likens child sex-change procedures to ‘genital mutilation’ while grilling Biden’s transgender HHS nominee

Patty Murray rebukes Rand Paul for ‘harmful misrepresentations’ at historic confirmation hearing for Rachel Levine

Marjorie Taylor Greene slammed for hanging anti-trans sign outside office in escalation of debate over Equality Act

Historic LGBTQ rights bill passes – after exposing GOP divisions

Democrats’ ‘Equality Act’ Narrowly Passes Without Hearings; GOP Says Religious Freedom Harmed

Mr Potato Head to lose “Mr” title in gender-neutral rebrand

Ghanaian LGBTQ+ centre closes after threats and abuse

Police in Germany and Belgium make Europe’s biggest ever cocaine bust, worth billions of euros

Oxford University COVID-19 laboratory hacked by cyber gang

China Applied COVID-19 Anal Swab Tests on US Diplomats ‘In Error’: US State Department

COVID Vaccine May Create ‘Terminator’-Type Antibody Response In People Who Have Had Coronavirus

India’s health workers balk at taking homegrown COVID-19 vaccine

Ticket to ride: Vaccine passports divide world

Travel restrictions have no end in sight as European leaders worry about new variants

New coronavirus variant in NYC has vaccine-evading mutation

Democrats hesitant to raise taxes amid pandemic

Source: Tracking the Birth Pangs – News and Links (trackingbibleprophecy.org)


Vaccine passports begin in Israel, Must show GREEN

Posted: 26 Feb 2021 09:37 AM PST

Vaccine passports begin in Israel, Must show GREEN(AP) — Violet light bathed the club stage as 300 people, masked and socially distanced, erupted in gentle applause. For the first time since the pandemic began, Israeli musician Aviv Geffen stepped to his electric piano and began to play for an audience seated right in front of him.

“A miracle is happening here tonight,” Geffen told the crowd. Still, the reanimating experience Monday night above a shopping mall north of Tel Aviv night was not accessible to everyone.

Continue reading Vaccine passports begin in Israel, Must show GREEN at End Time Headlines.

Erupting volcano in Hawaii produces rainbow

Posted: 26 Feb 2021 08:56 AM PST

Erupting volcano in Hawaii produces rainbow(SB) – Lava-spewing volcanoes aren’t known for generating rainbows, but that’s exactly what seemed to happen this week in Hawaii. The U.S. Geological Survey shared a photo Thursday showing a well-defined rainbow formed Monday over Kilauea volcano, which has been erupting for two months.

“A pot of lava at the end of the rainbow?” the group wrote on Facebook. It formed after a mix of mist and rain drifted over the hot caldera, something that happens often, officials said.

Continue reading Erupting volcano in Hawaii produces rainbow at End Time Headlines.

25 Common Myths About Christianity

Posted: 26 Feb 2021 07:59 AM PST

25 Common Myths About Christianity(OPINION) CL – 1. Christianity is clearly anti-intellectual.

If Christianity is true, it will stand up to any amount of intellectual scrutiny. Many intellectuals have applied such scrutiny and chosen to believe. Jesus Himself said our devotion to God should not only include our heart, soul, and strength, but also our minds.

2. To be a Christian is to be judgmental and intolerant.
You can be a Christian and be both of those things, but it doesn’t come with the territory.

Continue reading 25 Common Myths About Christianity at End Time Headlines.

Netanyahu delivers warning to Iran on Purim

Posted: 26 Feb 2021 07:46 AM PST

Netanyahu delivers warning to Iran on Purim(I365News)- As US president Joe Biden is expected to renew the Iran nuclear deal and remove the sanctions placed upon it, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded on Tuesday to what he says is the Islamic Republic’s efforts to obtain nuclear weapons report 0404.

“On the eve of the holiday of Purim I am telling those who want to destroy us, Iran and its proxies throughout the Middle East: 2,500 years ago, a different oppressive Persian regime tried to annihilate the Jewish nation and just like they failed then, so too will you fail today.

Continue reading Netanyahu delivers warning to Iran on Purim at End Time Headlines.

Israeli cargo ship hit by explosion in Gulf of Oman…

Posted: 26 Feb 2021 07:27 AM PST

Israeli cargo ship hit by explosion in Gulf of Oman…(Independent) – An Israeli cargo ship has been struck by an unexplained explosion while sailing in the Gulf of Oman. The crew was uninjured but the stricken vessel believed to be MV Helios Ray – a Bahaman-flagged roll-on, roll-off vehicle carrier – was forced to head to the nearest port.

Satellite-tracking data from website MarineTraffic.com showed the Helios Ray was close to entering the Arabian Sea at around 10 am local time (6 am GMT) on Friday when it suddenly turned around and began heading back toward the Strait of Hormuz.

Continue reading Israeli cargo ship hit by explosion in Gulf of Oman… at End Time Headlines.

Are we witnessing the beginning of the end for women’s sports?

Posted: 26 Feb 2021 06:52 AM PST

Are we witnessing the beginning of the end for women’s sports?(OPINION) CBN – On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act that will now head to the Senate where it would need 60 votes in order to pass.

Democrats say this bill amends the 1964 Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Opponents, however, argue this legislation is anything but equal and turns disagreement into discrimination. “The deceptive bill called the Equality Act – anything but equality,” argued Rep.

Continue reading Are we witnessing the beginning of the end for women’s sports? at End Time Headlines.

Hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls have been taken in mass abduction

Posted: 26 Feb 2021 06:41 AM PST

Hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls have been taken in mass abduction(CBN) – Hundreds of girls are missing after a large group of gunmen raided a school in northern Nigeria early Friday morning, residents say. The Government Secondary Jangebe School in Zamfara state was the scene of the latest mass abduction of school children in northern Nigeria.

Nasiru Abdullahi told The Associated Press that school records show 300 girls are missing. His daughters, aged 10 and 13, are among them.

Continue reading Hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls have been taken in mass abduction at End Time Headlines.

Wave of covid bankruptcies has begun…

Posted: 26 Feb 2021 06:32 AM PST

Wave of covid bankruptcies has begun…(MSN) – A New Albany, Ohio, music school offering piano, guitar, and violin lessons racked up under nearly $1 million in loans and $35,000 in credit card debt.

A fine dining restaurant in Providence, R.I., received more than $450,000 in federal small-business funds to help pay workers but still had to close its doors. A nonprofit overseeing the Kit Carson Home and Museum in Taos, N.M., welcomes visitors to learn about the famous frontiersman but listed just $17,000 in assets even after every bone-handled knife, buffalo hide apron, and flintlock musket had been tallied.

Continue reading Wave of covid bankruptcies has begun… at End Time Headlines.

3 Significant Events That Must Happen Before Our Lord Returns

Posted: 26 Feb 2021 06:21 AM PST

3 Significant Events That Must Happen Before Our Lord Returns(OPINION) Charisma – Again, we must ask “How soon is ‘soon’?” Is there a prophetic sequence or significant signs which can help us clarify God’s timetable for these end-times events and His promised second coming?

The Season of God’s Wrath

The Bible refers repeatedly to a future, end-times season of God’s wrath on the ungodly as the Day of the Lord (Joel 2:11; Amos 5:18).

A literal interpretation of Revelation 16 reveals that this long-prophesied, judgment season of God is different from the tribulation vengeance and persecution of the Antichrist (Rev.

Continue reading 3 Significant Events That Must Happen Before Our Lord Returns at End Time Headlines.

All Of A Sudden, There Is A Tremendous Amount Of Political Chatter About Creating A Palestinian State In The Middle East

Posted: 25 Feb 2021 08:15 PM PST

All Of A Sudden, There Is A Tremendous Amount Of Political Chatter About Creating A Palestinian State In The Middle East(OPINION) Michael Snyder – For decades, U.S. presidents have dreamed of being able to bring “peace” to the Middle East by brokering a comprehensive peace deal that includes a “two-state solution”, but up to this point, nobody has been able to pull off that seemingly impossible goal.

Over the years, just getting the Israelis and Palestinians to sit down together at the same negotiating table has proven to be extremely challenging, and there were no direct talks of any substance at all during Trump’s four years in the White House.

Continue reading All Of A Sudden, There Is A Tremendous Amount Of Political Chatter About Creating A Palestinian State In The Middle East at End Time Headlines.

Pastors Warn Equality Act is a Freedom-Crushing Piece of Legislation

Posted: 25 Feb 2021 07:45 PM PST

Pastors Warn Equality Act is a Freedom-Crushing Piece of Legislation(OPINION) Todd Starnes – Churches across the nation could face dramatic persecution if the so-called Equality Act is signed into law by President Joe Biden. Dr. Paul Chappell, the senior pastor of Lancaster Baptist Church and president of West Coast Baptist College in California, warns that the bill that just passed the House would hurt religious freedom for all Americans.

“This Equality Act would essentially forbid churches and religious nonprofits from requiring their employees to live out their religiously held beliefs, especially regarding marriage, sexual morality, and the distinction between the sexes,” Chappell told the Todd Starnes Radio Show Wednesday.

Continue reading Pastors Warn Equality Act is a Freedom-Crushing Piece of Legislation at End Time Headlines.

California board member compares reopening schools to ‘White supremacist ideology’ and ‘slavery’

Posted: 25 Feb 2021 07:05 PM PST

California board member compares reopening schools to ‘White supremacist ideology’ and ‘slavery’(OPINION) Fox News – A California school board member is facing criticism after comparing reopening schools amid uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus vaccination rollout to “White supremacist ideology” and “slavery” in a meeting earlier this week.

The comments from La Mesa-Spring Valley Schools Board Vice President Chardá Bell-Fontenot – which were confirmed to Fox News by Superintendent David Feliciano – come as the San Diego-area district’s board voted in favor Tuesday of bringing students back to classrooms for hybrid learning starting April 19.

Continue reading California board member compares reopening schools to ‘White supremacist ideology’ and ‘slavery’ at End Time Headlines.

Demi Lovato Condemns Gender Reveal Parties: ‘There Are Boys With Vaginas and Girls With Penises’

Posted: 25 Feb 2021 06:34 PM PST

Demi Lovato Condemns Gender Reveal Parties: ‘There Are Boys With Vaginas and Girls With Penises’(OPINION) FW – In a nine-slide Instagram post, singer Demi Lovato came out swinging against gender reveal parties, which were described as “transphobic” in the post she shared because “there are boys with vaginas and girls with penises.”

The series of slides was written by Alok Vaid-Menon, a pro-LGBT activist. Vaid-Menon argued gender reveal parties distract from “reality,” claiming the suggestion that one’s biological sex is inextricably linked to his or her genitalia is “inconsistent.

Continue reading Demi Lovato Condemns Gender Reveal Parties: ‘There Are Boys With Vaginas and Girls With Penises’ at End Time Headlines.

TOYOTA building ‘smart city’ with self-driving cars, robots and AI homes…

Posted: 25 Feb 2021 06:24 PM PST

TOYOTA building ‘smart city’ with self-driving cars, robots and AI homes…(Daily Star) – Toyota has started building a “smart city” which will include self-driving cars, robotics, and AI homes. Construction began this week at the base of Japan’s Mount Fuji, and has been dubbed the “Woven City.”

The 175-acre city, around 62 miles from Tokyo, is set to function as a technological testing ground, with 360 residents to test and develop the tech. This includes inventors, senior citizens, families, and children, who will test technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence, and smart homes.

Continue reading TOYOTA building ‘smart city’ with self-driving cars, robots and AI homes… at End Time Headlines.

US carries out air strikes in Syria targeting Iranian backed militia structures

Posted: 25 Feb 2021 04:51 PM PST

US carries out air strikes in Syria targeting Iranian backed militia structures(CNN) – The US military struck a site in Syria on Thursday used by two Iranian-backed militia groups following rocket attacks on American forces in the region in the past two weeks, according to a US official.

The strikes mark the military’s first known action under President Joe Biden. The site was not specifically tied to the rocket attacks but was believed to be used by Iranian-backed Shia militias operating in the region.

Continue reading US carries out air strikes in Syria targeting Iranian backed militia structures at End Time Headlines.

Al-Qaeda rises again, new leader more dangerous than Bin Laden vows to attack

Posted: 25 Feb 2021 04:10 PM PST

Al-Qaeda rises again, new leader more dangerous than Bin Laden vows to attack(The Sun) – Al-Qaeda is set to become as dangerous as they were during the 9/11 attacks twenty years ago, an expert has claimed. The terror cult has gained a ruthless new leader dubbed “the Sword of Revenge” – sparking fears of fresh attacks in the West.

Saif al-Adel, from Egypt, is thought to be the new chief of the terror group and has set about recruiting hordes of ISIS fighters.

Continue reading Al-Qaeda rises again, new leader more dangerous than Bin Laden vows to attack at End Time Headlines.

Naked man carrying Bible shot while knocking on doors in Florida

Posted: 25 Feb 2021 03:57 PM PST

Naked man carrying Bible shot while knocking on doors in Florida(ETH) – A naked man knocking on doors at a South Florida apartment complex at midweek was shot by someone who then called 911 to turn himself in, police said.

The man was carrying a Bible and knocking on doors Wednesday at the Sunshine Garden Apartments when he was shot, Pembroke Pines police Major Al Xiques told the South Florida SunSentiniel.

The man was taken to a hospital in critical condition, police said.

Continue reading Naked man carrying Bible shot while knocking on doors in Florida at End Time Headlines.

House passes Equality Act Bill aimed at ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

Posted: 25 Feb 2021 01:52 PM PST

House passes Equality Act Bill aimed at ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity(CNN) – The House has passed the Equality Act, which would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to protect people from being discriminated based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and other services as well as access to public accommodations such as restaurants.

The final vote was 224-206. Three Republicans joined Democrats in voting for the bill. Reps. John Katko, Tom Reed, and Brian Fitzpatrick voted with Democrats on this vote and did so when the legislation passed in the House in 2019 as well.

Continue reading House passes Equality Act Bill aimed at ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity at End Time Headlines.

Congresswoman’ Greene hangs ‘There are two genders’ sign in Capitol hall, amid fight with Dems over LBGTQ bill

Posted: 25 Feb 2021 01:47 PM PST

Congresswoman’ Greene hangs ‘There are two genders’ sign in Capitol hall, amid fight with Dems over LBGTQ bill(RT) – Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has struck back against Democrat Rep. Marie Newman, planting a sign reading “there are two genders” outside Newman’s office after a trans rights flag went up outside her own.

In a speech to the House on Wednesday, Greene (R-Georgia) vocally opposed the Equality Act, a bill that would modify the Civil Rights Act to make “sex, sexual orientation, [and] gender identity” protected classes.

Continue reading Congresswoman’ Greene hangs ‘There are two genders’ sign in Capitol hall, amid fight with Dems over LBGTQ bill at End Time Headlines.

Jeremiah Johnson suspends online ministry after inaccurately prophesying Trump 2nd term

Posted: 25 Feb 2021 01:33 PM PST

Jeremiah Johnson suspends online ministry after inaccurately prophesying Trump 2nd term(CP) – Popular self-styled prophet Jeremiah Johnson of Jeremiah Johnson Ministries, who was among several high profile Christian leaders who inaccurately predicted a second term for former President Donald Trump, has temporarily suspended all online ministry activity after a visitation from God.

“I was recently visited by the Lord in a very significant way while seeking Him about the future of the prophetic ministry he has given me,” he began in a letter to his followers published on Facebook Monday morning.

Continue reading Jeremiah Johnson suspends online ministry after inaccurately prophesying Trump 2nd term at End Time Headlines.

Capitol Police chief warns extremists ‘want to blow up the Capitol’ when Biden addresses Congress

Posted: 25 Feb 2021 01:25 PM PST

Capitol Police chief warns extremists ‘want to blow up the Capitol’ when Biden addresses Congress(NBC) – The U.S. Capitol Police plans to maintain its enhanced level of security around the Capitol through at least President Joe Biden’s first official address to Congress because intelligence suggests extremists could be planning an attack, acting Chief Yogananda Pittman said Thursday.

“We know that members of the militia groups that were present on January 6th have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the State of the Union, which we know that date has not been identified,” she told members of Congress, referring to Biden’s upcoming first address to a joint session of Congress.

Continue reading Capitol Police chief warns extremists ‘want to blow up the Capitol’ when Biden addresses Congress at End Time Headlines.

 

Mid-Day Snapshot · Feb. 26, 2021

Mid-Day Digest

THE FOUNDATION

“It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs, whether any free government can be permanent, where the public worship of God, and the support of religion, constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in any assignable shape.” —Joseph Story (1833)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

‘Equality Act’ Creates New Persecuted Class

Michael Swartz

It was expected to pass, and yesterday the House of Representatives approved what’s become known as the “Equality Act.” Also passed in 2019, yesterday’s vote was a nearly partisan 224-206, with three Republicans joining Democrats on a bill that adds “sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity” to the kinds of discrimination prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as well as the Fair Housing Act, the Equality Credit Opportunity Act, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972). Such a thing as “transgender” was unheard of in 1964. Nevertheless, Democrats say, the word “sex” now means “identity.” The bill is accurately described by author Ryan T. Anderson as “legislative malpractice that turns equality on its head.”

Anderson, whose book on gender dysphoria was banned by Amazon recently, summed up this new legislation: “It isn’t drafted as a shield to protect vulnerable minorities from unjust discrimination, but as a sword to persecute those who do not embrace new sexual and gender ideologies.” He adds, “If you fear what Big Tech can do if you dissent from gender ideology, just wait to see what Big Government will do if the so-called Equality Act becomes law.”

Strategically, as our Mark Alexander has previously noted, this effort is all about women voters, whom Democrats consider to be emotionally incontinent dupes.

Ironically, however, opponents of the bill rightly charge that it would not only harm women’s sports by allowing men who identify as women to compete but would also remove the sanctity from other women-only spaces such as restrooms, private clubs, and prisons. In all those instances, the desires of a “transgender” man would take precedence over decades of commonsense separation of the two sexes.

“By erasing sex as a distinct legal category, the measure threatens to open up female-only spaces and opportunities designed to increase representation for girls to biological men, which can endanger the safety of women and girls,” declared Inez Stepman, a policy analyst for the Independent Women’s Forum. Keeping it in the family, her husband Jerrett describes a panel discussion held by The Daily Signal where several experts weighed in with their principled opposition.

Of deep concern to biblically faithful Christians, the bill will nullify the protections afforded to believers under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a previous sticking point that even some Democrats have complained about in the past.

After all, one of the authors of the RFRA back in the early ‘90s was none other than then-Representative Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Beyond the RFRA, however, is the little inconvenience called the First Amendment.

None of that mattered to the House, controlled by the ostensibly Catholic Nancy Pelosi. The chamber passed the bill, and the ostensibly Catholic President Joe Biden supports it. Since Biden’s itching to sign it, the biggest hurdle now will be getting it through the Senate since the bill will fall under a 60-vote cloture rule. The question is how many Senate Republicans will fold under the full-court press sure to be waged inside the Beltway on this one.

True to that principle, proponents are already arguing that the measure is simply an extension of the Supreme Court’s recent Bostock decision, wherein a divided Court expanded the definition of discrimination on the account of sex to cover homosexual and “transgender” persons. If HR 5 only did that, most would likely at least concede the sentiment. Even the dissenters in Bostock did that, noting that their objection was primarily based on the fact that Congress simply had not addressed the issue by passing a bill to add this language since the 1964 passage of the Civil Rights Act. Unfortunately, in this rendition, the Democrats decided to add more on the Rainbow Mafia’s wish list and eliminate the right for religious people to object.

In the old days, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate might have worked together to massage the bill into something all sides could stomach. Perhaps that would include granting additional protections outlawing discrimination against LGBT individuals in the workplace and housing — the basis for the Bostock case, among others — while protecting religious liberty and addressing scientific and fair-competition concerns about biological men competing in women’s sports.

Unfortunately, today’s radically left Democrats demand obeisance to an all-or-nothing “solution” despite the numerous laws already in place that address the subject — never mind the states that have addressed this in their own myriad ways. Fully enacted or not, the Orwellian “Equality Act” will be a divisive issue Democrats campaign on in 2022 and beyond until they’ve won yet another victory in the culture war.

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Biden’s Most Extreme Immigration Agenda

Thomas Gallatin

President Joe Biden’s immigration plan “is the most radical immigration plan any administration has ever proposed in history,” observed Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Thursday. “They have proposed allowing every single person who was deported from this country for the last four years to come back. … They don’t make exceptions for criminals, for murderers, for rapists.” Unfortunately, Cruz is not wrong. Biden is no centrist when it comes to illegal immigration. In fact, judging by his official policy position, he’s as far to the left as they come.

Not only has Biden acted to end border-wall construction and President Donald Trump’s Remain in Mexico asylum policy, he’s reversed course on other commonsense policies. For example, Biden recently acted to lift Trump’s green-card pause, despite the coronavirus pandemic, once again allowing folks into the country — all while he continues to tout masks, social distancing, and lockdowns.

Even worse, Biden has ended Trump’s Operation Talon, a program that aimed to remove illegal alien sex offenders from the U.S. The decision prompted attorneys general from 18 states, led by South Carolina AG Alan Wilson, to send a letter to Biden urging him to reconsider. “We’re working hard to fight human trafficking and sex crimes in South Carolina and allowing convicted sex offenders who are here illegally to remain in our country makes absolutely no sense,” Wilson noted. “These trafficking and sex crimes are repugnant to human decency generally and to children specifically.”

The letter raised the obvious question: “If the United States will not remove even convicted sex offenders, whom will it remove?” By his actions and policy positions, Biden’s answer appears to be, “No one.”

Meanwhile, illegal border crossings have surged since Biden entered office, with U.S. Border Patrol now apprehending over 70,000 illegal aliens a month. Numbers this high were last seen a decade ago. Given that Biden has absolutely no interest in confronting this — in fact, he’s doing everything in and beyond his power to invite it — expect these numbers to only increase.

There is, however, a little bit of good news to report. A federal court in Texas overturned Biden’s 100-day pause on deportations, noting that the administration failed to provide justification for Biden’s executive order. Judge Drew Tipton wrote, “What this preliminary injunction does is bar DHS from unlawfully enacting a blanket 100-day pause which is contrary to law.” Tipton, a Trump appointee, further noted that Biden’s EO violated the Administrative Procedures Act. The same justification was used by the Supreme Court to overturn Trump’s DACA moves, so what goes around comes around.

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At CPAC, DeSantis and Trump Loom Large

Douglas Andrews

The Conservative Political Action Conference, the world’s largest and most influential gathering of conservatives, kicks off today in Orlando. “American Uncanceled” is the working title of this year’s event, and its prevailing themes will, appropriately, include the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

“If you want to be the president of the United States,” said Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, which hosts the event, “if you want to secure the Republican nomination, you come to CPAC. Essentially, the 2024 race starts at CPAC.”

Today’s speakers’ agenda is a who’s who of high-profile conservatives and rising stars within the Republican Party. This includes the governor of the event’s host state of Florida — a governor whose stock has been soaring of late, in large part because of his handling of the pandemic and his efforts on election integrity and Big Tech censorship.

Thus, prior to DeSantis taking the stage to open CPAC this morning, Daniel Payne at Just the News wrote that “it will be as a fast-rising force in the conservative movement and an increasingly plausible and popular contender for his party’s presidential nomination in 2024.”

DeSantis won a razor-thin victory in his 2018 gubernatorial race, but only the deadest of Dead-End Democrats are today wishing their guy, Andrew Gillum, had won. As Payne continues, “The deadly COVID-19 pandemic revealed DeSantis as a capable and independent-minded executive whose state is doing better than most by key pandemic metrics, even as the governor flouted much of the received wisdom on COVID mitigation while defying critics who claimed his state would become a death trap. At the same time, DeSantis has also signaled his willingness to take on Big Tech … with targeted legislation.”

If you think leftists and their mainstream media bootlickers are afraid of DeSantis, you’re right. They’re doing everything they can to smear him. And they’re failing. He’s the young and popular governor of the ultimate swing state, and he’s shown a Trump-like willingness to punch back at the media — albeit in more measured tones. Perhaps most important of all, though, is that DeSantis has done his part to keep the Republican Party together rather than contribute to its fracture along pro-Trump and anti-Trump lines. Unlike certain others in his party, he simply refused to take the Left’s bait and denounce his party’s standard-bearer in the wake of the January 6 riots.

Here, folks like Senators Mitch McConnell and Mitt Romney, and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, might want to take some notes. Perhaps they already have. McConnell and Romney have been notably deferential when asked about Donald Trump lately, and Haley, who herself has been seen as a possible 2024 presidential candidate, has virtually disappeared.

So DeSantis will welcome the crowd today, and he’ll be followed by an array of others intent on appealing to their party’s conservative base, including Senators Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, and Josh Hawley. But CPAC attendees — every last one of them — know that they’ll have to wait until Sunday for the conference’s marquee attraction: Donald John Trump.

Our nation’s 45th president has kept his powder pretty dry since Joe Biden took office last month, but all that will change this weekend.

As the Washington Examiner’s David Drucker reports, “Trump is still a winner in the hearts of so many Republican voters; they would love to see him mount a third White House bid. The 45th president, declining to rule it out, is to address CPAC Sunday in central Florida, just a short trip from his new home base in Palm Beach, in the most anticipated speech of the annual gathering of Republican insiders and grassroots conservatives.”

Trump is expected to hammer Biden on pretty much everything he’s done so far in office — immigration, China, the works.

And, as Fox News reports, “Trump is expected to fall just short of announcing a 2024 presidential bid. The sources said he will go between ‘warming up to the idea of a 2024 run, and walking right up to the line of announcing another campaign.’”

On Monday morning, we’ll have a chance to analyze how closely he hewed to this script.

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Hollywood’s Gun-Violence Hypocrisy

Brian Mark Weber

In the wake of the horrific school shootings at Sandy Hook and Parkland, Hollywood responded with public service announcements denouncing “gun violence” and supporting gun control efforts such as the March for Our Lives rally. But in both instances, instead of doing some serious soul-searching and accepting responsibility for creating a culture of violence, prominent actors lashed out at the Second Amendment, the NRA, and Republicans.

Simply observing that the Left engages in hypocrisy on this issue doesn’t go nearly far enough. The Hollywood elite and their mouthpieces have been peddling violence for decades while decrying America’s “obsession” with guns and violence.

Americans have let them get away with it for too long, and we need to start calling them out for promoting the violence they sanctimoniously claim to deplore.

Now that President Joe Biden is in the White House, the Left is aggressively pushing for more gun control. A report by the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action details a list of priorities that Democrats hope to realize in Biden’s first term.

In order to gin up support for these efforts, the entertainment industry is hell-bent on making sure Americans know who to blame for gun violence.

As the esteemed John Lott writes, “CBS is in a full-court press for gun control on its evening entertainment television shows. The bad guys are always white supremacists who use machine guns — supposedly AR-15s — to commit mass public shootings. Criminals in Mexico supposedly get machine guns from the United States. A father’s desire to protect his family only leads to tragedy when his daughter gets into the gun safe and uses the weapon in a mass public shooting. And guns in the home pose a danger for children. Gun registration is necessary for solving crime.”

The Leftmedia often claims that movies and television have no influence on the way media consumers think and act. If this were true, though, CBS and other networks wouldn’t be trying to turn their viewers into gun control advocates. Instead, they’d be producing movies and television programs with less violence.

Instead, they claim, Americans just can’t get enough of what they’re selling.

A position paper by the American Academy of Family Physicians concludes, “While multiple factors can lead to violent actions, a growing body of literature shows a strong association between the perpetration of violence and exposure to violence in media, digital media, and entertainment.” The paper highlights some troubling statistics when it comes to the prevalence of violence in movies, TV shows, and video games.

But the push to get Biden to implement a broad anti-gun agenda isn’t going to be easy, and that’s causing some on the Left to criticize his lack of action. “Any attempt to repeal liability protections for gun manufacturers will initiate a war with Second Amendment proponents who will look to block any such proposal in court,” says Rick Moran. Fortunately, he adds, “With the Senate currently at 50-50, Biden isn’t likely to get anything done on guns.” At least not legislatively.

One reason for the hesitation among some legislators is the lack of broad public support for gun restrictions. A Gallup poll this past November showed the lowest support for such onerous regulations in four years. Undeterred by this reality, Democrats are pushing Biden to use executive action to bypass the legislative process.

Although censorship and cancel culture are becoming a fashionable way to silence and punish conservative viewpoints, no one is calling for the censorship of the entertainment industry. But the industry’s self-proclaimed concern over “gun violence” would carry more weight if it weren’t continuously promoting violence.

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Mashed Potato Head

Nate Jackson

Mr. Potato Head has officially joined the pantheon of canceled American icons. Along with Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, and sports franchises like the Redskins and the Indians, the “Mr.” in Potato Head has been deemed culturally insensitive and dropped by Hasbro “to promote gender equality and inclusion.”

HasBRO. Oops!

To be fair, Hasbrx (there, we fixed it) didn’t entirely cancel its own product. “Hold that Tot — your main spud, MR. POTATO HEAD isn’t going anywhere!” the company announced in a statement Thursday. “While it was announced today that the POTATO HEAD brand name & logo are dropping the ‘MR.’ I yam proud to confirm that MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD aren’t going anywhere and will remain MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD.”

So it’s a branding tweak and not a full-on cancellation. For now.

It’s not as if the toymaker hasn’t been on the forefront of some “woke” decisions, though. In 2019, Hasbro released “Ms. Monopoly” (trigger warning!) that offered a unique spin on the original game: Female players got an extra $40 for passing “Go” to draw attention to the phony gender wage gap. If women make $0.77 on a man’s dollar (they don’t), the toymaker reasoned, why not give them a hand?

And really, what better toy for the gender confused than a Potato Head? Want blue eyelashes with a mustache and a purse? He’s your man It’s your tuber. This fall, Hasbro will even release a new gender-neutral “Potato Family Pack.” Why? “Culture has evolved,” says Kimberly Boyd, the senior vice president of global brands and general manager at Hasbro. “Kids want to be able to represent their own experiences. The way the brand currently exists — with the ‘Mr.’ and ‘Mrs.’ — is limiting when it comes to both gender identity and family structure.”

Rich Ferraro, the chief communications officer for the Rainbow Mafia leader Glaad, cheered on this change as part of “a larger movement towards greater diversity and inclusion in toys and media aimed at kids.”

Yes, and “aiming at kids” is exactly what we warned about yesterday with the increasing number of Americans identifying as LGBT.

Mr. Clean, Mr. Coffee, and Mrs. Butterworth — you’re next.

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Dems Tacitly Raise Biden Dementia Fears?

Thomas Gallatin

Nearly three dozen House Democrats led by Jimmy Panetta (CA) recently sent a letter to Joe Biden requesting that he give up his unilateral authority to launch the U.S. nuclear arsenal. In the letter, Panetta contends, “Vesting one person with this authority entails risks. Past presidents have threatened to attack other countries with nuclear weapons or exhibited behavior that caused other officials to express concern about the president’s judgment.” Anybody wonder if Biden is cognitively up to the task?

Panetta asserted that his motivation for calling on Biden to give up control of the nation’s nuclear launch codes has everything to do with “checks [and] balances in our nuclear command-and-control structure.” While he makes no mention of Biden’s advanced age and mental acuity, Panetta’s suggestion of requiring both the vice president and speaker of the House to okay any nuclear strike tacitly underscores fears that Biden can’t be trusted with nukes.

Would Panetta be making this same request of Biden if the man were 10 or more years younger?

Just yesterday, Time Magazine published an article titled, “We Need an Operation Warp Speed for Alzheimer’s and Dementia.” Story authors Maria Shriver and George Vradenburg almost humorously observe, “No president has entered the White House with as clear a focus on Alzheimer’s disease as Joe Biden. The commitment and attention on Alzheimer’s at the highest levels of our elected leadership is long overdue.”

While the article goes on to note how Biden has pledged to make seeking a cure for Alzheimer’s a top priority, the obvious elephant in the room is Biden’s own clearly diminishing mental state. Might he have a more personal reason for making it a priority?

Back to Panetta’s letter: Might Speaker Nancy Pelosi, herself no spring chicken at 80 years of age, be using a back-bencher to lay the groundwork for an early Biden exit? We have long contended that, given Biden’s obvious mental diminishment, it’s highly unlikely he’ll serve out his term. He was simply the means for Democrats to get a Kamala Harris presidency. Going forward, it will be interesting to see how this continues to play out.

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Rush Limbaugh’s Lasting Lessons

Douglas Andrews

He’s been gone little more than a week, and already we miss him. But where we now have fond memories of the man, leftists are likely to be triggered by Rush Limbaugh for some time to come. Why? Because he had them sussed all along. He had their decoder ring; had their Rosetta Stone; knew exactly which buttons to press.

As Dennis Prager wrote, “Liberals and leftists dismissed him throughout his career, and again in their obituaries [last] week, as ‘divisive,’ as if the left hasn’t been the most divisive force in America since the Civil War. This lack of self-awareness on the part of the left is mind-numbing.”

And despite their best efforts to cancel him, Rush never caved. He apologized only a handful of times that we can recall (and rightly so), and he never lost his sense of humor.

Brian Glicklich, Rush’s spokesman and strategist, describes his departed boss as “patient zero” of the Left’s cancel culture. But if that’s the case, Rush was the world’s worst patient. He took every sling, every arrow, and he took ‘em all with a smile. And he never broke — nor did he ever appear close to breaking. He was De Niro’s Jake LaMotta in “Raging Bull.” He took every punch Ray Robinson had to offer, but in the end he just stood there, smiling defiantly: “Ya never got me down, Ray … never got me down.”

Indeed, the Left never did get Rush down. And he landed three decades’ worth of haymakers along the way.

“Rush’s first rule was simple,” writes Glicklich: “‘No faux apologies for fake transgressions.’ The best illustration was the ‘phony soldiers’ controversy in 2007. Rush was speaking with a caller on his program about ‘phony soldiers’ like Jesse Macbeth, who had falsely claimed to have seen war crimes, and who was ultimately convicted for receiving veterans benefits to which he was not entitled. But Harry Reid and 40 other Senate Democrats deliberately misinterpreted his comments and sent his syndicator a letter demanding an apology.”

If Rush had simply told Harry and Friends to pound sand, it would’ve been sufficient. But it wouldn’t have been Rush — because it wouldn’t have been fun.

“Rush auctioned their letter off in a show of gleeful brio,” Glicklich continued, “marching the document on stage handcuffed to his security guard during a Philadelphia speech. He matched the $2.1 million winning bid with his own funds, and donated the money to scholarships for the children of fallen service members and police officers. It was classic Rush.”

Another great Limbaugh lesson went to his advertisers, and it concerned the Left’s incessant threats of boycott. The lesson? Don’t cave to them. Ever. The Internet “boycott” mobs, he learned, tended to be small groups sending outsized volumes of email messages. They were full of sound and fury, but they signified nothing. And Rush had the data to back it up.

Incidentally, our Patrick Hampton took three life lessons from Rush — lessons about courage, faith, and perseverance that are well worth pondering.

As for those Ahabian sad sacks who spent a third of a century trying to suppress his speech, Rush stayed on offense and simply gave them more speech. “Rather than be cowed into diluting his on-air presentation,” says Glicklich, “he fished for liberals’ outrage … and he laughed as he set the hook. … He canceled cancel culture three hours a day for 33 years, and he did it with [wait for it] ‘half his brain tied behind his back, just to keep it fair.’”

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EXECUTIVE NEWS SUMMARY

Jordan Candler

Top of the Fold

  • Senate parliamentarian rules minimum wage hike shouldn’t be included in COVID bill (Fox)

“Vice President Harris, as president of the Senate, can override the parliamentarian’s ruling, but the move is considered unlikely. Ron Klain, President Biden’s chief of staff, said in an interview this week that a Harris override was ‘not something we would do.’”

Government & Politics

  • Multiple states pass coronavirus aid without Congress (Axios)

The article points out, “The individual action … bolsters arguments against another major cash infusion from the federal government.” Indeed it does. As columnist Cal Thomas writes: “[A Washington] Post editorial … notes that money targeted to state and local governments (virtually all run by Democrats) don’t need it. It references Moody’s Analytics examination of state finances, which ‘shows that 31 states have enough money “to fully absorb the economic stress of COVID-19” without substantial budget cuts or tax increases.’“

  • Biden’s Department of Social Justice withdraws support from Connecticut lawsuit brought by high school girls over “transgender” athletes (Disrn)

“Under former President Donald Trump, Attorney General Bill Barr had put the department’s support behind the suit. Barr said the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which called for the participation of biological males beginning in 2017, ‘deprives those women of the single-sex athletic competitions that are one of the marquee accomplishments of Title IX.’ … The Alliance Defending Freedom … says the lawsuit will continue despite the DOJ’s lack of support.”

  • Even Top Democrats now call for balance on Pelosi’s 9/11-style committee (Examiner)

    National Security

  • Biden orders first airstrike, hits Iran-backed militia in response to rocket attacks (American Military News)
  • Past tweet from Jen Psaki criticizing Trump resurface after new Syria airstrikes (Fox)

Annals of the “Social Justice” Caliphate

  • Student suspended from education program for factually saying, “A man is a man. A woman is a woman.” (Daily Wire)

Stats of the Week

  • Thanks to dezinformatsiya, a sizable number of Americans erroneously think over 10,000 unarmed black men are killed by police each year (Not the Bee)
  • George Floyd riots estimated to cost 66 times more than Capitol damage (though only in DC dollars would the building damage be $30 million) (Federalist)
  • Forty percent of California’s inmates have been vaccinated for COVID. Meanwhile, the vaccination rate for law-abiding Californians is just 6.5%. (Not the Bee)

As our Nate Jackson observes, former California Attorney General and president-in-waiting Kamala Harris was a “tough on crime” lady who threw tons of people in jail, yet inmates are now being vaccinated at an insanely fast rate.

Odds & Ends

  • Trump tax records turned over to witch-hunt prosecutors (Disrn)
  • Senate confirms Jennifer Granholm as energy secretary (Fox)
  • Jen Psaki distances Biden from Andrew Cuomo, says sex harassment claim should be “reviewed” (Fox)
  • FDA greenlights Pfizer vaccine to be stored at normal freezer temperatures, instead of ultra-cold (Examiner)
  • Ex-Olympic gymnastics coach kills himself hours after being charged with sex crimes (WaPo)

On a Lighter Note…

  • An Indonesian fisherman caught a baby shark with a human-like face and now I really can’t ever listen to that song again (Not the Bee)

Closing Arguments

  • Policy: Inflation: The next problem for the U.S. economy? (1945)
  • Policy: Standing up to the intolerant Equality Act (Daily Signal)
  • Humor: Biden clarifies that stimulus checks are “just an idea” (Babylon Bee)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit Headline Report.

The Patriot Post is a certified ad-free news service, unlike third-party commercial news sites linked on this page, which may also require a paid subscription.

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VIDEOS

Debunked: Conservatives Are More Extreme — The Debunkers return after a year-long hiatus to explain to Carlos Maza how incorrect he is once again.

Biden’s Town Hall — Three Key Stats Weren’t True — During President Joe Biden’s CNN town hall, he made several false statistical claims. Here’s what you need to know.

What Are Your Kids Learning in School? — Leftist indoctrination, which is so prevalent in college, has reached down into our elementary and high schools, too.

Satire: Biden’s Town Hall Disaster — Or their lies? Was the race schism? Was there a weakness?

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

 

 

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “The process of completely freeing oneself emotionally from being a Communist is a thing no outsider can understand. The group thinking and group planning and the group life of the Party had been a part of me for so long that it was desperately difficult for me to be a person again. … But I had begun the process of ‘unbecoming’ a Communist. It was a long and painful process, much like that of a polio victim who has to learn to walk all over again. I had to learn to think. I had to learn to love. I had to drain the hate and frenzy from my system. I had to dislodge the self and the pride that had made me arrogant, made me feel that I knew all the answers. I had to learn that I knew nothing. There were many stumbling blocks in this process.” —Dr. Bella Dodd (1904-1969)

Re: The Left: “The number of kids who identify as LGBT, especially trans and bisexual, has absolutely skyrocketed. If you think this is a natural or organic development, you’re deluded. The media, Hollywood, and the school system actively recruit children into the LGBT ranks.” —Matt Walsh

Observations: “When people are mentally and spiritually sound and are comfortable in life with a good job, fair pay and a great home, violence will inevitably go down without infringing on the rights of other American citizens.” —Armstrong Williams

Food for thought: “Joe Biden wouldn’t trust his health care to someone with zero experience, so why is he asking America to? … [Xavier Becerra], who’s never had a lick of training in medicine, science, pharma, or the health care world, is applying for a job to oversee … the biggest budget of any U.S. agency as a complete novice. And Biden said Donald Trump’s COVID plan was bad?” —Tony Perkins

For the record I: “If you’re doing a search on a LinkedIn for someone who’d be a perfect match to be in Health and Human Services, [Xavier Becerra] wouldn’t even show up — because he has no healthcare background or experience… Becerra is not a healthcare professional. Traditionally in this role, [there] would be someone who’s been in healthcare administration or a physician or a scientist. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. And you would think the group that’s going to oversee the pandemic response and all that’s got to happen would be somebody with a science or healthcare background. But instead, President Biden has selected an attorney. That seems to be his only criteria. And his only main qualification on this is he has been [a] very outspoken [supporter] of abortion — and not just the existence of abortion, but the [radical promotion] of it.” —Senator James Lankford

For the record II: “Congress passed [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] in the early ‘90s in response to a 1990 Supreme Court decision that gutted the First Amendment’s protections for the free exercise of religion. Essentially, it restored religious freedom by requiring courts to interpret the law in a way that guaranteed protection for religion. But since then, the courts have treated religious freedom as a statutory right (under RFRA), and not a constitutional one. Provisions in the Equality Act explicitly say that RFRA doesn’t apply, which would let special rights for LGBT interest groups trump religious freedom. RFRA passed almost unanimously; in fact, its sponsor in the House was then Rep. Chuck Schumer [emphases added]. But now, because of the rise of the militant LGBTQ minority in America, the Democrats can’t stand it.” —Tony Perkins

The bottom line: “The Equality Act would threaten the existence of women’s prisons, public-school girls’ locker rooms, and women’s and girls’ sports teams. It would limit freedom of speech, freedom of association, accurate data collection, and scientific inquiry… The Equality Act isn’t about protecting people from discrimination; it’s about compelling adherence to gender ideology.” —Inez Stepman

Upright I: “‘How is this good for Americans?’ This is the question that should be asked of Biden and his mouthpieces every time they appear in public. If we had a national media that truly cared about our country or its citizens, they’d be asking it. Instead, we get softball questions and pablum stories about Valentine’s Day hearts on the White House lawn, and Joe and Jill Biden’s love for the ages. I am happy for anyone that has found lifelong love, including the president of the United States. But it’s hardly relevant to why he’s in the position. There’s no better example of this absurdity than Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin’s editorial this week. She expresses her profound joy that the nation now has a real ‘mourner-in-chief’ again. Excuse me? We didn’t elect a professional mourner, and most of us don’t want one. But at this rate, we’ll all soon be mourning the death of the republic.” —Laura Hollis

Upright II: “That’s the thing about so many government programs. They never have to fix a problem, only demonstrate good intentions so politicians can save their careers. … If not properly cooked, pork can be infected with trichinosis, a disease caused by a small parasitic worm. That seems a good analogy when it comes to the ‘parasitic’ congressional worms infecting our economy with nonstop spending of money we don’t have and borrowing that can’t continue without causing serious economic harm. Nations of the past have not been able to survive massive debt. What makes us think we can?” —Cal Thomas

Ouch: “Never before has the leader of the free world been so cognitively compromised.” —Australian Sky News host Cory Bernardi

Who’s gonna tell ‘em? “No president has entered the White House with as clear a focus on Alzheimer’s disease as Joe Biden. The commitment and attention on Alzheimer’s at the highest levels of our elected leadership is long overdue.” —Maria Shriver and George Vradenburg in a Time op-ed

Braying jenny: “COVID is the best thing that ever happened to [Joe Biden].” —White House senior adviser Anita Dunn

Hot air: “[Failing to address climate change is] marching forward to what is almost tantamount to a mutual suicide pact. We bury our heads in the sand at our own peril.” —John Kerry

And last… “Sadly, it is now easier for an illegal alien to walk into America than it is for a New Yorker to walk into a restaurant or for your child to walk into a school.” —Gary Bauer

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February 26 Morning Quotes of The Day

Many Sheep Outside, Many Wolves Within
Matthew 7:15; 10:16; John 10:11, 15; 2 Peter 2:1; 3 John 9–10

How many sheep are outside, how many wolves within! And how many sheep are inside, how many wolves without! How many are now living in wantonness who will yet be chaste! How many are blaspheming Christ who will yet believe in Him! How many are giving themselves to drunkenness who will yet be sober! How many are preying on other people’s property who will yet freely give of their own! Nevertheless at present they are hearing the voice of another; they are following strangers. In like manner, how many are praising within who will yet blaspheme; are chaste who will yet be fornicators; are sober who will wallow hereafter in drink; are standing who will by and by fall! These are not the sheep.

AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO

Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Early Church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Keep to the Point in Prayer
Ecclesiastes 5:2–3; Matthew 6:7–8

Some men will spin out a long prayer in telling God who and what he is, or they exhort God to do so and so. Some pray out a whole system of divinity. Some preach, some exhort the people, till everybody wishes they would stop, and God wishes so too, undoubtedly. They should keep to the point, and pray for what they came to pray for, and not follow the imagination of their own foolish hearts all over the universe.

CHARLES FINNEY

Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Modern church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

CrossTalk | Quarantine Edition | End The Duopoly – YouTube

According to a new Gallop poll, over 60% of those asked are dissatisfied with the two major political parties. The country is divided politically, but the parties themselves are divided within. Add to this the fact most voters do not belong to either party. Is it finally time to move on from this duopoly?

CrossTalking with Gloria La Riva, Wes Benedict, and Craig Jardula.

— Read on m.youtube.com/watch

February 26 Morning Verse of The Day

16:7 Saul also had appearance and stature, but he had proved unworthy.[1]


16:7 stature, because I have rejected him. The reference to “stature” as a false measure of an individual’s qualification to be king, along with the notice that this son of Jesse is “rejected,” is reminiscent of Saul, who was notable for his height (9:2; 10:23) but was rejected (15:23, 26).

the Lord looks on the heart. It is an axiom that God’s standards are inward, not outward (13:14 note; Rom. 2:28, 29). See “God Sees and Knows: Divine Omniscience” at Prov. 15:3.[2]


16:7 the heart God emphasizes that superficial and non-spiritual considerations are not to be critical criteria for the choice of God’s leaders.[3]


16:7 man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. Outward appearance cannot predict whether someone will faithfully obey the Lord, for a person’s actions flow from his heart (cf. 2 Chron. 16:9; Ps. 51:10; Prov. 4:23; Mark 7:21–23; Luke 6:45; 1 Thess. 2:4). The “heart” in Scripture refers to a person’s inward moral and spiritual life, including the emotions, will, and reason.

16:7 The choice of David contrasts with people’s looking on outward appearance (10:23–24). The contrast prefigures people’s rejection of Christ’s humiliation and suffering (Isa. 53:3; 1 Cor. 1:18–31).[4]


16:7 his appearance … height of his stature. Samuel needed to be reminded that God’s anointed was not chosen because of physical attributes. This was initially a difficult concept for Samuel as he was accustomed to a king whose only positive attributes were physical. the Lord looks at the heart. The Hebrew concept of “heart” embodies emotions, will, intellect, and desires. The life of the man will reflect his heart (cf. Mt 12:34, 35).[5]


16:7 — But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Even a godly man like Samuel couldn’t help but judge a man’s character by his appearance. This is why we must continually go to the Lord for His wisdom; only He sees the heart.[6]


Ver. 7. Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature.God’s estimate of human availability:—

This enunciation of one fixed principle in the Divine government is of immense value as having a practical bearing upon all the mighty relations which each man sustains to his Maker.

  1. Let us try to analyse the statement on the negative side, to begin with. The Lord does not look upon the outward appearance in fixing His judgment of any human soul. It so happens that this very narrative actually specifies many of those particulars which men are wont to regard as highest in value.
  2. For example, the Lord does not look upon one’s social rank. The family of Jesse had no conspicuousness or remarkableness, as the world reckons. Moreover, David was the one that made it royal, and when he was chosen he was by no means the head of it. Good Lady Huntingdon used to say she thanked God for the letter M, for he did not tell Paul to say “not any,” but “not many.” Now it is certainly true that the best part of the world’s highest worth has risen from what would by some be called its lowest sources. It is usual to sneer at the plebian birth of Oliver Cromwell as well as that of Napoleon Bonaparte; but this had nothing to do with any vices they displayed or any virtues they possessed. These men were kings of other men by reason of a manhood which Charles the First never got from the contemptible Stuarts, nor Louis the Sixteenth from the more contemptible Bourbons. The pride of rank is prone to run into an extreme of superciliousness, of self-seeking, and of oppression. Cornelius Agrippa actually institutes an argument to prove that there was “never a nobility which had not a wicked beginning.
  3. Furthermore, the Lord does not look upon one’s family history. The lineage of Jesse, Obed, and Ruth was quite humble in its origin. David’s mother is not even mentioned by name in the Scriptures. It is pitifully mean and conceited for anyone to set himself up as meritorious because his family once had a hero among its members.
  4. Again, the Lord does not look upon one’s fortune. If anyone supposes that the wealth of the “rich kinsman” Boaz had come down by inheritance into this family estate, we are surely without hint that the property had anything to do with the lot of the shepherd-boy David.
  5. Nor does the Lord look upon one’s appearance. It is interesting to notice that in the margin of our English Bibles the words in the seventh verse of this chapter, “the outward appearance,” are rendered more literally “the eyes;” and also the words in the twelfth verse, “a beautiful countenance,” are rendered “fair of eyes.” That is to say, David is not chosen for his good looks, nor is Eliab rejected because of his; they may both have had fine eyes, but the Lord doth not regard such things in His selection of men for high service of Himself. John Milton was blind, and Thomas Carlyle was not considered attractive in showy company. Paul was diminutive and half blind, in bodily presence weak and in speech contemptible; “but,” says Chrysostom, “this man of three cubits’ height became tall enough to touch the third heaven.”
  6. Once more: the Lord does not look upon one’s age in making His choice of men. He sometimes selects children, and then trains them at His will. Polycarp was converted at nine years of age, Matthew Henry at eleven, President Edwards at seven, Robert Hall at twelve, and Isaac Watts at nine. God chooses His best workers often in the beginning of their intelligent existence; they that seek Him early are sure to find Him.
  7. Turn to the positive side of the statement concerning the Divine choice of men. The Lord does not look upon the outward appearance: what does he look upon? What is meant here by the word “heart?” “The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” It is not necessary that we try to be abstruse and philosophical in giving an interpretation to this familiar word “heart.” The entire nature of the individual is brought into view.

III. In a sober review of what has already been said, it seems as if there might be wisdom in picturing our own lives for a little while, in holding them out before careful and discriminating analysis. Then we can put some fair questions.

  1. For example, this: Do we hope for God’s favour on the ground of a long line of personal recommendations? Some there are who conceive of their advantages as far higher than those of others, although many men with whom they compare themselves are on much superior elevations both in experience and in communion with God.
  2. Then again: this subject leads us to inquire whether our personal salvation is to be settled by what the world around us thinks about our showy piety, or by what the Lord Himself thinks. There is an outward sanctimoniousness which looks very like sanctity: will it all end the same way?
  3. Finally, in view of this subject, there would follow this question: How much of what worldlings prize will vanish when the Lord makes known His register of actual worth? Calmly does that eye of God keep gazing down upon men: it registers us all justly; and that estimate will stand for ever undisturbed. (C. S. Robinson, D.D.)

Outward appearance:—

Men of the world worship outward beauty, but if they find it nothing more than an appearance without a reality in manner and deed, it soon tires them. An old writer compares beauty to an almanac; if it last more than a year it is a marvel. Men weary of that beauty which is nothing more than an ornamental show. A modern writer aptly says that “the highest beauty is the expression of an honest heart and a sweet disposition.” There is a flower known by the name of “Imperial Crown,” which is admired on account of its showy appearance, but you throw it away because of its unpleasant perfume. The Lord values men and women, not by their diamonds, their gold, their carriages, and their titles, but by the purity of their heart and the helpfulness of their disposition. In God’s mind, there is no distinction of plebeians and aristocracy. The only nobility God recognises is the truth of the heart, and the goodness of the life.

  1. God has created us in order that we may acquire true beauty. If we are honest, we shall admit that in heart we are not beautiful. The New Testament confirms this; but the gospel is good news, revealing that every man may be transformed into the children of light by the indwelling of the beautiful spirit of God. When governed by the new nature, which God gives to every one that asks, all mankind shall become beautiful. He is still a man, but he has received the nature of a God. Do you think God sent you into the world only to stitch at that machine, or to go up a ladder with bricks, or to sweep that gutter? He sent you into the world to be made a beautiful being, with a holy character, a sweet disposition, an angelic life. Let us live for our high destiny. Do not be troubled though it takes many years to grow beautiful.
  2. If we would be beautiful in the sight of God, and exhibit this character to our fellow-men, we must learn His will, and do it, and on no account grieve Him.
  3. Another foundation for a beautiful character is that you are not only to love God, but also love your fellow-men. If you would be beautiful in your life, you must copy the disposition of Jesus, Who lived for one great object, namely, to bless and save mankind. (W. Birch.)

Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.—God’s estimate of human character:—

  1. God’s purpose claims a specific direction: the “Lord looketh on the heart.” What does this mean? David’s own understanding of the examination through which he in company with his brothers passed in this instance comes to view afterward in the rehearsal of one of his historic Psalms for the temple use: “The Lord shall judge the people: judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.” The chief of all the words he here employs is “integrity:” this he accepts cordially for himself and repeats with equal candour for the aid of others. Now we know that the word “integrity” is derived from the Latin integer; and the meaning of integer is “whole;” and wholeness is our old strong Saxon for holiness. That is to say, what God means by stating that He looks upon, not the outside of a man, but his “heart,” is, that He considers the wholeness of one’s nature, and desires it to become holiness. He looks at each man through and through, and registers him by his soundness, his genuineness, his entire character.
  2. God’s purpose erects a fixed standard. A man’s “heart,” as thus understood in the religious sense and as worthy of the Divine regard, depends upon the thoroughness with which the man adjusts each exertion of his will to the Divine wall. That is to say, God’s heart is the test of man’s heart, God’s wish, God’s plan, God’s purpose—in a single word, God’s law—showing the perfect standard.

III. God’s purpose starts a permanent revolution in a human character. The most interesting verse in this narrative, as well as the most valuable, is that which announces how “the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.” It is wonderful to think of these changes now wrought upon this anointed stripling. Henceforth he is to be the shepherd of Israel; so he continues to manage his father’s flocks a while longer, in order that he may learn the shepherd’s duty. Henceforth he is to be the sweet singer of Israel; so he lingers out under Bethlehem sunsets and Syrian stars, in order that he may seek poetic images a while longer for some additional Psalms. Henceforth he is to be the monarch of Israel; so he is led a while longer among fierce outlaw experiences, consorting with the oppressed and the poor, in order that he may learn to understand his own subjects before he has hold of the sceptre by which be is to rule them wisely. And during this entire period this crownless king is hastening unconsciously forward in the lines of God’s unfaltering purpose. The Unseen One is the All-seeing One. He does not look on the outward appearance at all, save as one of His ways of knowing the man’s heart. This leads to another question: What is the use of wasting years of weary life in just trying to keep up appearances before men and women and before God? Oh, how full this old world is of those who spend their time and energy in fashioning parades of unreality and hypocrisy and emptiness, not one of which is looked on by God, not one of which is respected by men! And this, too, to the neglect of the heart, upon which are grounded the decisions of present favour and future destiny. What disappointments at the day of final reckoning there will be for men and women who have fought for a title, a star, or a ribbon, in the vain hope of being looked upon because of it! What disclosures of folly, what revelations of surprise! How ignoble their aims, how empty their achievements, how absurd their ambitions, how fierce their rivalries, how useless their victories, how unimportant even their worst defeats! The call of God does not confer on any one the privilege of pride or the indulgence of haughtiness; it calls a servant to service, and kingship comes further on. It only makes a true soul more knightly and more humble to know that he has been summoned in secret into the grand purposes of God. (C. S. Robinson, D.D.)

The standard of God’s judgment:—

  1. We learn the difference between God’s judgment and man’s. God looketh on the heart; man on the outward appearance. The greatest heart, in that family beat in the humblest bosom. God saw the only kingly heart in the shepherd boy, and He made him king. So the world stands before God. He divests men of the trappings of wealth, the robes of office, the assumptions of power. These things are temporal and adventitious circumstances, mere cobwebs we have woven round us. Man looks on the face, God on the heart; man on the body, God on the soul. Man’s judgment is false; God’s is true.
  2. Then we learn that appearances are often deceitful. Our race has had bitter lessons of this truth. Our first parents learned that the glittering folds of the serpent only covered the malignant spirit of the devil. How often have we learned “one may smile and smile and be a villain.” I remember that the grandest man I saw in the war, grand in the splendour of his military equipment, was an ignorant and presumptuous corporal; and the plainest and most unpretentious man was the greatest general. In the Saviour’s time the most pretentious men, who “thanked God they were not like other men,” were the Pharisees, who paraded their virtue and advertised their pride before the ignorant and astonished multitude.

III. We learn that honour belongs to no station. This man was a shepherd. His brothers were warriors. God put the shepherd over the soldiers. When He would select a man to write the immortal “Pilgrim’s Progress,” where did he find him? A noble from the English court? A professor from the Oxford faculty? No; but a tinker from Bedfordshire. Here is his own description of himself: “I was of low and inconsiderable generation; my father’s house being of that rank that was meanest and most despised of all families in the land. I never went to school to Aristotle or Plato, but was brought up in my father’s house in a very mean condition among a company of poor countrymen.” James A. Froude says of this man: “This is the account given of himself and his origin by a man whose writings have, for two centuries, affected the spiritual condition of the English race, in every part of the world, more powerfully than any other book or books except the Bible.” God saw the heart of a kingly man beneath the tinker’s coat of John Bunyan. Do you wonder at the astonishment of the people when a poor peasant stood up in the synagogue in his own village and said: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.” Do you wonder that they said, “Is not this a carpenter, the son of a carpenter?” That is the language of men.

  1. Finally, let us be content with an humble station. David’s life is an illustrious example of this. He was, doubtless, never so happy or contented as when following his father’s sheep over Judea’s hills. His greater honours only brought him greater cares and greater sorrows. Then let us learn humility and contentment in our lot. (E. O. Guerrant, D.D.)

The imperfection of human insight:—

From the outset of David’s life, then, we may draw three important conclusions. First, that God makes choice of those to inherit His best blessings whose hearts He knows to be right. Secondly, to be very cautious in our opinions concerning ourselves. Thirdly, to be equally circumspect in our judgments concerning others.

  1. First of all it is to be observed, that, when the Scriptures speak of persons as ordained and predestinated to future blessings, it is only either because their lives and conversation are pleasing to God, or, if not so, because He foreknows that they will afterwards prove so. When it is said of Abraham that “he shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him;” a reason immediately follows: “For I know him that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment.” When the honour of giving existence to John the Baptist is bestowed on Zacharias and Elizabeth, the sacred historian takes pains to inform us that “they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.” When Cornelius was chosen to be the first-fruits of the Gentile harvest, we are told: “He was a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.” The case of St. Paul, which is ordinarily brought forward as an especial proof of God’s arbitrary selection, is, indeed, a confirmation of what we are now saying. The heart of Paul was especially adapted for receiving, embracing, and diffusing the mercies of the Gospel. Man, who looked on the outward appearance, judged otherwise;—Ananias, who knew him only by the fame of his persecutions, would remonstrate with God: “Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to Thy saints at Jerusalem; and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on Thy name.” But the Lord replied as he did to Samuel; he confuted the proud self-complacency of human penetration, with “go thy way, for he is a chosen vessel unto Me.” Similarly in the text, the reason given for the selection of David from all the sons of Jesse is, “the Lord looketh on the heart.” The Lord knew the sincerity and the piety of his intentions, and therefore, although he was despised of men, he was accepted of God. This conduct of the Lord, with respect to David, is especially important, because it is only a sample of His dealings in regard to ourselves. The Lord is now looking on the heart of every one amongst us. It should be remembered that the greatest sinner may be anxious to preserve a good reputation with the world, because without this, it would be impossible to maintain a comfortable existence: but it should also be remembered that reputation is not virtue, but only its semblance: and those who strive to obtain a good name are generally successful, since man looketh only on the outward appearance. Doubtless, a good name is a valuable possession; but we are not to suppose that we are good precisely in proportion as we are so reputed. We may act from a desire to stand well with the world, instead of a wish to approve ourselves to God. Regard not the opinion of the world as any standard of your situation in respect of God. Like Eliab, you may win the admiration and affection of the world, and yet not be accepted by God.
  2. Moreover the Christian will acquire another important lesson from the text, as regards the consideration of his own condition. No one among us ought to esteem himself unhappily circumstanced, whatever may be his situation, or whatever his afflictions. Remember that of the sons of Jesse seven were honoured and esteemed by their father, and among men; one was neglected and despised; yet were all the former rejected by the Lord, while the poor unhonoured David was taken from the sheepfold to be a king and the ancestor of the blessed Messiah. But at the same time remember, that David was not chosen because he was despised among men, but because his heart was right towards God; poverty and lowliness of estate in themselves give us no title to the favour of God; but the poor who endeavour to do their duty in their station, and the afflicted who bear their afflictions patiently, have no reason to repine: the Lord has looked on their hearts, and pronounced concerning them.

III. What the text instructs us with regard to our judgments of others. The text shows the extreme unreasonableness, no less than wickedness of such conduct. We can only judge by outward appearance after all: Samuel, a religious man, chosen by God to be His minister and interpreter, is mistaken in his estimate of Eliab: and, after this, we must acknowledge that the wisest among us have little chance of an insight into the character of others, so long as our opinions must be guided by outward appearance. But above all, this incapability of seeing the hearts of men should restrain us from all curious speculation on the characters of those with whom we have no concern. Could we see their hearts as clearly as we can observe their outward conduct, we should still be inexcusable, as frail and fallible creatures, in passing judgment on our brethren: but, as it is, our judgments may be false as they are cruel and criminal: like Jesse, nay, like Samuel, we may despise those whom God has not despised. (H. Thompson, M.A.)

David anointed king:—

Samuel’s grief over Saul’s failure and consequent rejection seems natural. To Samuel Jehovah had first revealed the fact that Saul was to be king Samuel had anointed him. Samuel stood sponsor for him. Between them had grown up a warm attachment, so that one ground of his grief would be the sense of personal disappointment. Then he also grieved for the nation. But even sacred and sincere grief may transgress its law and become sinful. There is a natural and healthy sorrow for what is gone, that is right. And there is a morbid and unreasonable clinging to what we cannot call back, that is wrong. There is a stubborn refusal to accept the situation, that is rebellious and wicked. Then Jehovah states the ground for this chiding: “How long wilt thou mourn? I have rejected him.… I have provided me a king among the sons of Jesse.” Kings come and go, but the kingdom stays. God’s workers appear and disappear, but His work goes on. The importance of a single individual to the success of God’s work is often exaggerated. The very life of this church is said to depend on the ministrations of a certain pastor. The loss of this generous and devout layman, we are told, would kill the church. But if the rank and file are steady and faithful, the loss of a leader does not bring inevitable defeat. God provides against emergencies. At every great crisis, God speaks and says: “I have provided me a man.” When the time has come for missionary work among the Gentiles, Paul is ready When the time is ripe for the Reformation, Luther is ready. When American slavery is to be fought with words and laws and grape shot, Wendell Phillips and Lincoln and Grant are ready. Every large doorway of opportunity is filled with a large man. But back behind all emergencies God sits and waits. His great right hand is full of men, and when the hour strikes he speaks to the crisis and says: “I have provided me a king.” Men who do not know God wonder at the opportune appearance of the right man at the right place and just in the nick of time It all comes naturally and inevitably in the order of Providence. When summer comes, the beasts of the field need shade trees to protect them from the heat of the sun. But the same sun that brings the necessity for shade calls out the leaves to furnish it. There is purpose and unity in it all. The children of God never marvel at the meeting of the man and the occasion. And in this passage, one hand of God was rejecting Saul, was clearing the ground for a new and better reign; and the other was already reaching for David, anointing him king, and leading him up to the empty throne. “I have rejected, I have provided,” are the two sides of the picture, the two hands of God’s activity. One makes the emergency, the other makes and moves the needed man to meet it. The chief grounds for choosing Saul, the former king, had been his physical and fighting excellence. Now in the face of this failure, which resulted from the lack of inward fitness, it was natural that Jehovah should say to Samuel: “Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; … for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” Saul was selected for his outward excellence, but now a man must be chosen who has the inner qualities of faith and obedience; one who, because of that inner attachment to God may become in spite of faults and sins a “man after God’s own heart.” The Lord seeth not as man seeth. Jehovah is not simply asserting his keener judgment, but that his seeing is bent on different objects. It goes for the inwardness of things. And it is important that God’s children should have firm hold of this same canon of judgment—not the outward, but the heart. It is a valuable principle in judging individual men and in judging wide movements of men. Some proposed social or industrial reform may wear an attractive outward appearance, but we are to look to the real inwardness, the heart of it. In the last analysis what will it do for the spirit of man, for the man who lives in and back of all the outward prosperity and adversity with which the reform deals? The purpose of society is not so much to get the bodies of men well fed, well housed, well clothed, as to make men. And you can only make men as you get down to where the man lives, where the man is. Within all prosperity or adversity dwells an ethical and spiritual being, and he must be faced and provided for. And all social efforts must look at the heart and recognise that nothing but the bringing of the heart into harmony with the Divine order will secure permanent and prosperous harmony in things outward, So that, before we can anoint any movement and call it king, we look at its inwardness. Thus instructed by the spirit of the Lord as to the principle of right judgment, Samuel reviews the remaining sons of Jesse with new eyes. He realises now that we cannot put a man on the scales and weigh him or stand him against the wall and measure him and tell how much man we have God in choosing kings and leaders breaks away from our little man-made rules of primogeniture. He ignores our petty conventionalities as to grades of honour and dishonour in kinds of honest work. His choices seem to go across lots and break down the little fences men have built along the lines of succession. The Spirit of God, which is the only anointing and ordaining power in the Church or in the world, goeth where it listeth. So in this lesson the spirit of God looked over the tops of the little objections Jesse laid in the way, on out to the fields where the last son of the family was humbly tending sheep, and recognising the royalty in him, said: “Send and fetch him: we will not sit down until he comes hither.” And when David came the Lord said: “Arise, anoint him: for this is he.” Here was another proof of the central thought, that the Lord seeth not as man seeth. David had done nothing kingly yet. The signs and tokens of coming royalty were not in any outward marks or deeds. He was all in the bud. But the Lord looked on the heart and saw inside of the shepherd, a king, and he knew that it only required time to make the kingliness live and grow and sit upon its throne. (C. R. Brown.)

The Divine method of judging character:—

  1. It is exclusively Divine. It is not given to man, not given perhaps to the highest created intelligence, to peer into the depths of another spirit, and there sound all the motives and impulses of action. In sooth, man is unable to detect or ascertain all the varied forces even within himself, which prompt his own actions. “Who can understand his errors? cleanse Thou me from secret faults.” Still less able is he to penetrate into the motives of his fellow-men.
  2. It is manifestly just.
  3. To judge from appearance would be very inaccurate judgment.

(1.) Some of our external actions have no intentions at their root. They start from blind impulse, break forth from a sudden rush of passion. Such actions are scarcely ours. From a sudden gust of feeling the soul has lost its balance, and an act is performed which is regretted the moment after its execution. Surely it would be wrong to judge a man from these sudden outbreaks of impulse, the rare exceptions of his life.

(2.) Actions apparently bad spring sometimes from good intentions. Saul persecuted the Church of God from good intentions.

(3.) Sometimes actions apparently good have their rise in bad intentions.

  1. To judge from appearance would be a very partial judgment. Suppose it were possible to catalogue all your external actions, say for one week of your existence, and then catalogue also the unembodied desires, wishes, volitions, cravings, aspirations of the soul during that week, what would be the one compared to the other? A page to a volume. Our inner activities are incessant, varied, and almost innumerable. Therefore to judge a man by his external conduct would be a very partial judgment. From this it seems clear that God’s method of judgment is after all the true method.

III. It is alarmingly suggestive.

  1. It suggests the imperfection of the best of us in the sight of Heaven.
  2. It suggests terrible revelations at the last day.
  3. It suggests the necessity of a heart’s renovation. (Homilist.)

The fallibility of human judgment:—

Here is a principle of the Divine government which is well worthy of attention; for it is put before us in direct contrast with our own natural tendencies and habits; and put before us in a way powerfully calculated to show us the fallacy and the carnality of our own mode of judging of each other. “The Lord seeth not as man seeth.” Now, it is not to be supposed that man is condemned because he has not the omniscience of the Deity: it is not man’s sin that he does not look at the heart; he cannot look at the heart. But the error into which Samuel fell, and into which the majority of men fall, is, a carnal readiness to form a conclusion, in a manner not delegated to them, upon inadequate grounds. It is wisdom in such a case to recognise our unfitness to form a judgment, owing to the scanty range of our knowledge: and yet we see how frequently the reverse is the case, and how, on inadequate grounds, men rush to an immediate conclusion. Samuel suffered all the testimony of his experience, founded on Saul’s wilful and impenitent conduct, to be silenced by the outward personal attractions of Eliab: and though he had manifest proof of the unfitness of Saul for the throne, he did not allow himself to entertain the idea which his experience might have suggested to him, that, in this case also, a comely exterior might cover a weak understanding and a depraved heart. This, then, is the difference between the judgment of man and the judgment of God. God looks through all the motives, and forms a just and impartial judgment from all the premises before Him: man sees but little indeed; but he forms a hasty, and partial, and inferior judgment from all the evidence that is really before his eyes. The various scenes of life present unnumbered instances of the evil to which we refer.

  1. With a view, therefore, to correct this evil, allow me to illustrate it by a reference to several facts of Scripture. The Scripture supplies us with some very striking cases which exemplify this impartial judgment of the Lord.
  2. The judicial decision in the garden of Eden is a remarkable instance of it. Both Adam and Eve throw the blame from themselves. But how wisely and justly does the holy Lord God discriminate between them, and so fairly apportion to each their due measure of punishment, as to leave it beyond all question that “the Lord searcheth the heart.”
  3. There are some striking instances in which God marks and discerns the wickedness that is unseen by man. The instance of Enoch is one of these. The ungodly men of his days had spoken hard speeches against him, and decided him and his prophecies: but, in the meantime, “Enoch walked with God;” and the eye of God was upon him, and he saw not as men seeth.
  4. The history of Moses presents to us a similar instance. In his early endeavours to benefit his people, he was misunderstood; and, having interfered for their welfare at the risk of his life, he was driven by the treacherous conduct of those whom he laboured to serve, to leave the palace and seek shelter in the wilderness. But there the Lord recognised him as a chosen servant; and from hence, at length He called him to be the leader and commander of His people and the law-giver to the whole world.
  5. There is a still more striking case in the mysterious dealing of God with Job. The misfortunes which burst simultaneously upon him, deceived his best friends; and, judging from outward appearances, they pronounced him a wicked man. But, in the midst of all these trials, the Lord knew him to be “a just man, one who feared God and eschewed evil;” and, in the end, He brought forth his judgment as the light and his righteousness as the noon-day.
  6. We pass on to the instance of the Redeemer Himself. Our blessed Lord was regarded by the priesthood and the people as a madman and a deceiver. Men accounted Him a blasphemer; but the Lord declared that “grace and truth were in His lips.” Man regarded His death as a satisfaction due to the broken law of His own nation; the Lord accounted Him the spotless victim in the cause of redeeming mercy. There never has been a more striking exemplification of the difference between the judgment of God, and that of man.
  7. A similar difference of estimation, also is found with reference to the Apostles, the first preachers of Christian truth. Men thought lightly of their character. He speaks of their being regarded as “reprobates.” But what in the midst of this contempt of men, is the judgment of God? “We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish.” They were approved by the Divine wisdom as the ministers of God, and in all their varied labours they had his testimony with them.
  8. We may just glance at other instances, where those who obtain the favourable estimation of men, stood condemned before Him who searcheth the heart. This was the case with Saul, who was still honoured before the people, long after God had rejected him: with Absalom, whose personal appearance stole away the hearts of the people, and seduced the subjects of David from their rightful sovereign: with Nebuchadnezzar, who, walking in his pride, commanded the adoration of the people to a golden image, which he blasphemously set up to represent himself: and the Lord doomed him seven years to a degraded condition in the wilderness. It was the case also with Herod, who, while the people cried, seduced by his oratory, “It is the voice of a god, and not the voice of a man,” was smitten by the angel of the Lord, and was eaten of worms, because be gave not the glory to God.
  9. We ought to endeavour to profit by these considerations: and although we cannot impart to ourselves the accuracy of full and unerring observation and judgment, yet, at least, the consideration of the circumstances in which we are placed, and of our tendency to error, ought to lead us to watch with jealousy the judgment we form.
  10. In the first place, then, we should suspect the judgment that we form of the outward appearance, and the importance we are sometimes led to attach to it. Why should we estimate so highly that which is so soon to decay? Let us learn from the pestilence that walketh in darkness, and from the destruction that wasteth at noon-day, the madness of priding ourselves on distinctions which a single hour may destroy.
  11. How erroneous is the estimate that men in general are disposed to form of character. We are perpetually the slaves of our own prejudices; led by a few general blandishments, we mistake that which is faulty for that which is good, and account all that glitters gold.
  12. How much deeper is our error in the defective and partial standard by which we judge ourselves; and yet we are willing to acknowledge we stand on a very different ground for judgment. Conscience brings us near to God; even we do not bear with the outward appearance. No man can so completely turn away from his inward conscience as not to know something that is passing within—something of his defects; in some measure, in fact, to look at the heart. One of the great sins of man, however, is the settled, resolute habit of looking only to external and superficial merits, and trying to destroy all consciousness of the future by the follies of the life that is present.
  13. Consider again, bow this view of the dealings of God exalts the grace of redemption. “The Lord looked down from heaven,” we are told; and when he saw there was none righteous—no, not one, then His own arm brought salvation. He knew the amount of the evil that was in the creature He determined to redeem, or the remedy would not have been adequate. But what a thought it is that the Lord should so provide for the cure of sin in all its disgusting forms, and, in His pity, should blot it out for ever by the blood of His own Son! It is almost inconceivable that such a price should be paid for such a race and nothing but such evidence as God has vouchsafed, could make us believe it.
  14. “The Lord looketh at the heart.” If His inspection is such at all times, how much more solemn is the thought of His coming, when He shall judge the secrets of men’s hearts at the last day! (E. Craig, A. M.)

Judgments, Human and Divine:—

Admiration for physical height and bulk natural to warlike peoples. Regarded by them as indispensable qualification for leadership. Thus Herodotus tells us that the Ethiopians “confer the sovereignty upon the man whom they consider to be of the largest stature, and to possess strength proportionable to his size.” And again, after stating that the armies of Xerxes numbered more than five millions of men, he continues: “But of so many myriads, not one of them, for beauty and stature, was more entitled than Xerxes himself to possess the power.” Saul then was just the kind of man to fulfil such conditions as these. “From his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.” Nor was he deficient in other qualities, courage for instance, such as would recommend him to a bold and warlike people. But in judgment he was lacking, and in action self-willed. The malady which came upon him during his later life was the fit precursor of his tragic end. His sun set in darkness and in blood upon the mountains of Gilboa. The gloom of Saul’s closing years had been deepened by the knowledge that he had been superseded by the Divine decree, and that as he had been the first so he was to be the last of his family to occupy the throne. Some years before the death of Saul, Samuel had been sent to Bethlehem to anoint one of the sons of Jesse king in his room. We must not however suppose, because David was chosen by Him Who “looketh not on the outward appearance, but upon the heart,” that he was not well-favoured and attractive. Physical beauty even, if more than skin deep, if it result from the shining through the windows of the beautiful tenant within the house, is and always has been a great moral force in the world. The thing to be noted, however, is that while these attractions were well fitted to be the handmaids and helpers of the internal qualities which the fair young shepherd boy possessed, it was not on account of his graces of form and feature that the Lord “chose David His servant, and took him from the sheep folds,” etc. (Ps. 78:70–71.)

The principle on which the selection was made is clearly indicated in the words, “The Lord looketh on the heart.” What was there in the heart of David to commend him? There was that in the heart of David which in some way or other rendered applicable to him the designation which was thus prophetically given him, and which has clung to him ever since. “Saul had been man’s man, David was to be God’s man.” And yet rash and sinful though Saul was we do not find that he descended to such depths of wickedness as those which David, in his later history, fathomed. We encounter something like the same difficulty here as we are familiar with in the matter of the Divine preference, shall I say? of Jacob to Esau (Malachi 1:2, 3; Romans 9:13). Naturally Esau’s was the more generous and open nature, just as there are magnanimous traits in the character of Saul which it would not be easy to find so prominent in the disposition of David. But the truth is that both in Jacob and in David, with all their faults and failings, there were aspirations after goodness, which were altogether foreign to the natures of the two men with whom, on the page of history, they stand contrasted. We cannot imagine Esau occupying the place, or undergoing the experience of Jacob at Peniel. Neither can we think of Saul as the author of such outpourings of “a broken and a contrite spirit” as the penitential psalms. And one of the best answers that can be given to the question, How comes it that such an one as David could be spoken of as “a man after God’s own heart?” is to be found in such words as those of Thomas Carlyle on the subject. The text then presents us with a contrast between human judgments and the Divine judgment of men and things. “The Lord seeth not as man seeth,” for “Man looketh on the outward appearance.”

  1. Here we have the secret of the imperfection, the necessary imperfection of human judgments.
  2. The “outward appearance” may lead us to over estimate the values of things. In small things and in great we are to a large extent at the mercy of the impressions made upon us through the senses. How slow we are to learn that an attractive exterior may conceal a false and faithless heart; that the value of a deed depends not upon the scale on which it was done, but upon the motive which inspired it; that the only true greatness, whether of men or of actions, is that which is moral and spiritual.
  3. But, on the other hand, we must also remember that we may easily be led by the “outward appearance” to the undervaluing of men’s motives and characters. There are a hundred and one facts which ought to be taken into the account before a perfect judgment of any man can be formed, facts of which his fellow men are, and must be, largely ignorant. Again, “The Lord seeth not as man seeth,” for “The Lord looketh on the heart.”
  4. While our judgments must be partial and imperfect because our knowledge is so limited, there is One Who knows. The features in any man’s life and character, our ignorance of which disables us from appraising at their proper worth his words and actions, are all known to God: the hereditary bias towards some form of evil which has made his life a continual battle field; the educationary influences which surrounded him in early youth, and which have necessarily done so much to make him, for good or evil, what he is to-day; all these and many other factors in the problem which every human life presents, are fully known to Him.

III. This great and solemn truth yields us two lessons:—

  1. One of warning. We may impose upon our fellow-men, and even delude ourselves, but we can never deceive God.
  2. One of consolation and encouragement for all who have been made the victims of the slander and misrepresentation of their fellows, etc. What does He see when He looks upon your heart and mine? (F. R. Bailey.)

Deceptiveness of appearance:—

Were men to be guided by the appearance of things only, in forming their judgment, how erroneous and deceptive would it be! The sun would be no more than a few miles distant and a few inches in diameter; the moon would be a span wide and half a mile away; the stars would be little sparks glistening in the atmosphere; the earth would be a plain, bounded by the horizon a few miles from us; the sun would travel and the earth stand still; nature would be dead in winter and only alive in summer; men would sometimes be women and women men; truth would often be error and error truth; honest men would be rogues and rogues honest men; piety would be wickedness and wickedness piety. In fine, there is scarcely any rule so deceptive as the rule of appearance; and there are multitudes who, in many things, have no other rule by which they form their judgment. Hence the errors of their speech and life; the ridicule and blunders into which they plunge themselves before the world. If appearance were the only rule of judging, what would you say of Jesus in His humble birth; in His lowly training; in His fasting and temptation; in His servant-form; in His persecutions from the people; in His poor disciples; in His bloody sweat; in His base trial; His mock kingship; His ascent up Calvary; His crucifixion with two thieves; His dying exclamation? What would you say of Christianity as the religion of this Man and His poor Apostles? But you are not to judge Jesus and His religion by the appearance, any more than nature and man.

The Lord’s choice:—

The world loves that which strikes the eye, something or somebody who is imposing in appearance, and who makes an impression. How far is this from the thought of God! He would not have a repetition of Saul. It was just because Jesus had “no beauty”—according to the eyes of men—“that they should desire Him,” that the people of Israel despised and rejected Him. They wanted one whose pomp would vie with the court of Rome. They wanted one who should resist evil; one who should value earthly glory; another Solomon. And they saw a Man coming from the carpenter’s shop, meek and lowly in heart, associating with the very poorest, touching the leper, allowing the vilest of women to weep over His feet, eating with publicans and sinners: One whose only might was over sin, sickness, sorrow, and death. And they despised His meekness and poverty of spirit; there was nothing in Him that the world could pride itself upon; so they cast Him out and crucified Him. (M. Baxter.)

The Lord looketh on the heart.The life of the heart:—

Judge not realities by appearances. Let me point out to you a most thriving and prosperous man, whose case will explain exactly what I mean. There is no question that in trade he is very successful. He drives into town every morning as well? Yes. And generally has a flower in his button-hole? Yes. His name is seldom seen on a subscription list, and he makes but a poor figure amongst the charities which are popular in the circle in which he moves. He is called stingy and mean: people say sharp things about him when his back is turned. You saw him putting down five pounds just now, and you thought the figure looked shabby without a cypher at the end of it; but you don’t know that last year he paid a thousand pounds of his father’s debts, for his father, though an honourable man, had been ruined in business; nor do you know that only this morning, on which he gave the despised five pounds, he sent a cheque for fifty guineas to his two sisters, and that he sends them a cheque of the same value four times in the course of every year! nor do you know that he is paying for the education of two brothers, and that he is laying by what he can afford to give them a nice start when they are ready for business. Judge not, that ye be not judged! The Lord looketh on the heart! There is another side to this picture. Here is a fine dashing fellow, who is the charm of every circle into which he enters. A free-handed, genial, sparkling man. Many a ten-pound note he gives away; many a subscription list he nobly leads. Wherever he is known he is praised as a charitable man. Could you have heard as I have heard him, your feelings would undergo no trifling change. I have heard his words in secret, and seen his face when the true expression of the soul was upon it. “Why not lessen your expenses?” said a confidential friend. “Appearances,” he sternly replied, “must be kept up. We must get money somehow. What securities have we in hand? Mortgage them, sell them, do what you like with them—only get me what money I want.” He must keep the blacking on his boots and the nap on his hat, for if he fail in surface he will fail altogether. He is made up of surface. A pin point could scratch it off. So let him beware, for a touch may topple him over into his own place. Man has a heart-life as well as a hand life. It is upon the heart-life that God looks, and upon it that He pronounces His judgment. We cannot put all that is in our heart into our hand. God knows our advantages and disadvantages, and His judgment is the result of His omniscience. There was a sharp discussion the other day in a gentleman’s kitchen. One speaker said to another, “I am ashamed of you; we ought not to be in the same house together; you are common and vulgar-looking, besides being scratched and chipped all over. Look at me; there is not a flaw upon all my surface; my beauty is admired; my place in the house is a place of honour.” The other speaker was not boisterous; there was no resentment in the tone of the reply: “It is true that you are very beautiful, and that I am very common, but that is not the only difference between us. See how you are cared for; you are protected by a glass shade; you are dusted with a brush made of the softest feathers; everybody in approaching you is warned of your delicacy. It is very different with me; whenever water is wanted I am taken to the well; when servants are done with me they almost fling me down; I am used for all kinds of work; and there never was a scullery maid in the house who did not think herself good enough to speak of me with contempt.” It is so with men. Some of us live under glass shades; others of us are as vessels in common wear; but we could not change places; each must do his proper work, and each will have his appropriate reward. The Lord looketh on the heart! There are two grave-stones in yonder churchyard which occasion a good deal of remark. You will be pleased to hear something about them. The first is considered a marvel of art. The marble and the granite of which it is composed are the purest that can be found, and what can exceed the brilliance of their polish? The stone tells you that it is put up to commemorate the life of the best of mothers. It was erected by her son, who resides in the chief mansion in the vicinity. He is proud of the stone. For nothing else is he known but for that stone. He has never written his name on the holy roll of charity. No poor family would miss him were he to have a similar stone put above his own head. The other stone is modest, but really good. There is not one line of pretence about it. It, too, was put up by filial piety to commemorate motherly excellence. You should hear how it is talked about by the man who owns the fine stone. He says: “I am ashamed of such men! It is true enough that he was not very well off when his mother died, but look how he has got on since! Why, he must be worth some thousands a year. I wonder he is not ashamed of himself, to let that thing stand there—he should take it up and put another in its place. I don’t know how men can do such mean things.” And having so said he walks towards his own stone, and heaves a sigh that has meaning in it. And how about that other son? Thus! He never allows a poor woman to go from his door without help, because her presence reminds him of what his own mother used to be in the days of her poverty, and never does he give the help without saying in his heart: “Sacred to the memory of my dear mother.” He never sees a poor woman go along the road but he looks after her and says: “Once my mother was very much like that, and for her sake I must do something for this poor creature.” It is in this way that he sets up his gravestones; in this way that he honours his mother. He says nothing about it. He writes epitaphs on hearts, not on stones; and though he is misjudged by man there is One who makes an imperishable record of his love—for the Lord looketh on the heart!

  1. The Lord looketh on the heart,—This must be terrible news to a bad man.
  2. The Lord looketh on the heart,—This is the joy of all men who live in truth.
  3. The Lord looketh on the heart,—Then man’s supreme concern should bear upon his spiritual life. Fool is he who filters the stream when he might purify the fountain. How is it with our hearts? (J. Parker, D.D.)

Man’s heart under God’s eye:—

The man who simply looks at himself in the light of the opinions which his fellow men form of him, is in imminent danger of making fatal mistakes. The man who even looks at himself in the light of the favourable judgment which the Church of Christ may form of him, is in a most dangerous position. But no man is in this danger who has formed the habit of always judging of himself, as he appears to himself when he stands face to face, if I may use this phrase, with God. The reason of our mistakes upon most subjects is, that we have too much fellowship about them with God’s erring creatures, and too little communion with Himself.

  1. God’s knowledge of human nature. It is—
  2. Immediate and direct. His acquaintance with us men is not through outward appearance; it is not in any sense by the outward; He looketh on the heart. The body does not intercept His vision. The body is not even a medium. He sees the body, and knows the body as perfectly as He knows the spirit. He is not dependent on our words for His knowledge of sin. He is not dependent upon our actions for knowledge of us, neither upon our history. He has no informant. God’s knowledge of human nature is not second-hand or inferential, but immediate and direct.
  3. Being immediate and direct, God’s knowledge of man is perfect. His eye is upon your thoughts and your thinkings. His eye is upon your reason and upon your reasonings. His eye is upon the emotional part of your nature, and the rising and falling of your emotional susceptibilities. Sin, while being conceived, He sees.
  4. Because God’s knowledge is direct and perfect it surpasses men’s knowledge of each other, and of themselves. It surpasses what can be known by men of themselves, and of each other. Men, with reference to self-knowledge, consult their consciousness. I do not say the conscience. The word consciousness is a more general word, including a state of the entire nature; but I speak not of the state of one faculty, but rather, I repeat, of the whole being. Men consult consciousness, and they consult memory. But then, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked;” so that men, with relation to self-knowledge, are very often self-deceived. Now, on all these grounds, God’s knowledge surpasses that knowledge of ourselves, and of each other, that is even possible to us. But yet, more, does it surpass what is actually known; because none of us, or few of us, have the knowledge of human nature, the knowledge of ourselves, or of each other, which we might have, perhaps, if we sought for it. This seems to be the doctrine of the text.
  5. Now let us consider the life lessons it yields.
  6. The first practical thing here taught us is, the folly of permitted self-delusion. Now do not call the words permitted self-delusion, a contradiction, for they do not involve a contradiction, or, if they do, it is just one of those contradictions that we so often find in human nature. Permitted self-delusion is not uncommon in other spheres. The case of a man who, in trading, knows perfectly well that he is not solvent, but tries to believe that he is solvent, and goes on as though he were solvent, is a case of permitted self-delusion. The man does not actually face his business circumstances. I say that is a case of permitted self-delusion, and there is something very much like this in professed religious life. Men more than half know that they are not Christians, but they try to persuade themselves that they are Christians. Now the doctrine we have been looking at, or rather, the fact of God’s perfect knowledge of human nature, shows the utter stupidity of all this. Delusions and deceptions with reference to character cannot continue. Just as in the spring and autumn, you have often seen the early mists dispelled by the sun, so all mists on all subjects, and especially on the character of man, will ere long be dispersed by the strong light of God’s light, and every man will appear to be just what he is—exactly what he is.
  7. At the same time it shows us the utter uselessness of all hypocrisy. The two things are so closely connected together that it is only for the sake of giving force to them that I can at all separate them. Say that instead of a man being thus willingly self-deceived, he wears a mask, and does not mind saying, in certain quarters, and to certain persons, that he wears a mask—how utterly useless that mask is! because the eye with which we chiefly have to do, has never rested on that mask, as on a surface; it has always gone right through it—piercing it at every point. On the mask there is the eye of a saint, and on the eye of the real face there is the eye of a lascivious, sensual sinner. But God has never been cheated by that mild saint’s eye.
  8. Then we learn, further, the exposed position of all our sins. But there is another view we may take of this subject, that may help us in another direction.
  9. We see through God’s perfect knowledge of human nature, His thorough competency to save us. Men die of diseases with which their medical attendants are unacquainted, as the best physician and surgeon would frankly acknowledge. Every day mistakes are made—unavoidably made, I say, not carelessly made. Men go down to the grave, and all about them are ignorant of what has taken them down to the tomb. Now, suppose God were in this position with reference to our sins. You see at once that He could not entirely save us. We have accustomed ourselves, therefore, really to look on God’s searching the qualifications to redeem us.
  10. There is another lesson we may learn here, that is, the duty of being passive under Divine discipline. Troubles may come upon you, and you may perplex yourself as to their intent. You cannot see what faults they are sent to correct. But, generally, you will find, when God chastens, there is a close connection between the sort of chastening and the fault He chastens for, so that you can tell whether the affliction be a correction—whether it be a chastening or not. But very often sorrows are sent not as chastisements. And they are sent for what purpose? They are sent to prevent sin; not to correct you for sin already committed, but to prevent you committing some sin.
  11. And we see, the reasonableness of our acting on God’s judgment of men. Do let us look upon mankind, brethren, with the light of God’s Word about men. You will find here, in the truth of the text, an antidote for disquiet under misconception and misrepresentation; a motive to diligence in keeping the heart. And you will learn, further, the advantageous position of Him who is now our Lord and Master, and Who will come to be our Judge. Let us just recognise our ignorance even of our own nature. There is a sort of rebuke here, or if not a rebuke, God points with His finger at our limited knowledge. “The Lord seeth not as man seeth.” That implies that we do not see all; we see only in part; we see only imperfectly. Let us recognise the limit of our knowledge, let us recognise the fact that we do not, except as we see ourselves, in light of God’s light, see our own real hearts, and that we are not in a position, alone, even to understand ourselves. Let us apply this rule in judgment of our fellow men, cherishing, at the same time, if we be God’s children, a child-like trust in God’s knowledge. I see nothing terrible in this truth if a man be sincere. I see everything terrible in it if a man be willing to deceive himself, or if a man be a hypocrite. (Samuel Martin.)

God looketh on the heart:—

God does not judge of the heart by the actions, but of the actions by the heart. In His sight the stream of our conduct is pure or impure according to the state of the heart—the fountain of action: “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornifications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”

  1. That it is the exclusive prerogative of God to look upon the heart. The heart is covered with an impenetrable veil, through which no eye can pierce; it is a field of operation into which we cannot look. Within its secrecies the meanest feelings are fostered, and the most generous purposes rise unnoticed and unknown. The knowledge of the human heart is, in fact, a portion of the experimental philosophy, and is only to be acquired by a careful investigation of facts. It is a solemn consideration, but it is possible that our hearts may be filled with enmity or love to the Creator, our minds may be essentially carnal or spiritual, while our nearest earthly friend is wholly ignorant of the relation in which we stand to the eternal world. Were our most intimate friend, to endeavour to unbosom his mind to us, with how little would he make us acquainted; how much must there ever remain wrapt in obscurity, and in all the darkness of secrecy! All we know of the hearts of others is what they are pleased to tell us; but we are frequently deceived; our confidence is often betrayed, and we receive the thrust of an enemy through the professions of a friend. We are not even free from deception and mistake if we turn to our own hearts. We very frequently persuade ourselves that we are actuated by right motives, whilst a secret principle of selfishness is contaminating the fountain of action. The Lord looketh on the heart, not as implying a curious search, arising from previous ignorance. It is said of the angels concerning the mysteries of redemption, that they desire to look into them, but there are no secrets with the Divine Being. When it is said that “God looketh on the heart,” it is implied that He regards the state of the heart: it is not an inoperative knowledge, a passive contemplation, but an influential regard in opposition to the procedure of man, who is only influenced by the outward appearance. The state of the heart is not a matter of indifference to Him, but His watchful eyes are ever engaged in a vigilant inspection of human spirits. No barriers can interrupt His view. He marked the sin of Achan when his covetousness was excited by the wedge of gold, and the Babylonish garment; He detected the same sin when Gehazi robbed Naaman, and lied unto the prophet, and he exposed the guilt of David in the matter of Uriah.
  2. The administration of the Divine government proceeds on the principle of my text. The Lord looketh on the heart, not only in the administration of His laws, but the scheme of Providence in all its ramifications is but an adaptation of His perfections to this truth. However inscrutable His dispensations may appear to us, they are not an unmeaning exercise of power, a blind bestowment of favour, or a tyrannical infliction of pains and penalties, they are the exercise of His power according to the dictates of infinite wisdom and goodness. In selecting instruments to carry into effect these purposes of His will, the Lord looketh on the heart: He sent Samuel to Bethlehem to the family of Jesse, and ordered him to anoint one of Jesse’s children, whom He would point out to him, to be king over Israel. In illustration of the same truth, we may refer you to His choice as the messenger of His grace to the Gentile world. Who would have selected the persecutor breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the church of God, to display a warmer zeal and holier courage in building up the temple he once attempted to destroy? Infinite wisdom discerned the fitness of the instrument, and consecrating it to the most hallowed purposes. Whenever the church has revived, and Zion has arisen from the dust and put on her beautiful garments, individuals have been selected eminently calculated to effect the desired object. Witness the holy energy and unconquerable perseverance of Luther. In the field of missionary labour we have a Brainerd and a Swartz a Morrison and a Milne. The venerable Carey, whose power in acquiring languages has only been equalled by his unpretending piety, and his devotion to the sacred work of his Master, was selected by that God who looks on the heart, and was raised to a dignity and moral elevation which the grace of God could alone enable him to adorn. By the same principle God over-rules the machination of wicked, and the errors of good men, for His own glory. In the ordinary dispensations of His Providence He acknowledges the same principles of operation. He has perpetual reference to the state of the heart. He is subjecting us to a moral discipline, by which we are to be trained up for glory, and virtue, and immorality. We must not imagine that affliction is the only way by which God manifests a vigilant attention to the heart. He makes the opposite state of felicity and enjoyment a proving time. How frequently has the accumulation of wealth proved to be the touchstone of a man’s character. But not only in the arrangements of our worldly affairs, but in His gracious dealings with us, the Lord looketh on the heart. The discipline to which Christians are subject, arises from the intimate acquaintance which God has with the hearts of all men.

III. We must improve our subject, which is full of instruction.

  1. It teaches us the necessity of uprightness. Does God look upon the heart? How vain will it be, then, to garnish our exterior, whilst the soul remains unclean and polluted!
  2. Again, our subject teaches us the nature of all acceptable worship. God is a spirit, and must be worshipped in spirit and in truth. Mere formality must ever appear hateful to Him. Where the heart is not engaged, there can be no true worship.
  3. Our subject teaches us the awful condition of the impenitent sinner. He lives forgetful of God, but God is not forgetful of him.
  4. Our subject is a source of encouragement to the church collectively, and to the individual believer. Are the affairs of this world managed, and the interests of the church superintended on the principle that the Lord looketh on the heart?
  5. But it is not only a source of encouragement, but our text is a motive to holiness. All the dispensations of His Providence, and the operations of His grace should furnish a separate motive to purity. (S. Summers.)

Right-heartedness:—

  1. The Divine superiority to human prejudices. The prophet was misled by a mere prejudice. Very frequently the outside show, the mere accidental circumstances of personal appearance, wealth, or position, are taken as criteria of worth. Now we may observe respecting such modes of estimation:—
  2. That the standard is obviously false.
  3. It is one of which many take advantage. Many avail themselves of this common prejudice for purposes of the darkest villany. It is the convenient cloak of the base and the hypocritical.
  4. It is often the cause of great wrong. Much injustice is perpetrated through the force of this prejudice. The wicked are justified while the righteous are condemned.
  5. The certainty of the right-hearted being preferred. Those whose hearts are right with God may be contemned by the world, but they may be sure of approval in His sight “who looketh on the heart.” That such will ever be the case may be argued:—
  6. From universal conviction. False as are the principles on which men choose to act, their convictions are generally on the side of the right. The common conscience of humanity testifies to the worth of right-heartedness.
  7. From the voice of revelation. The Bible is decisive in its assertion of this principle. It pronounces as with a voice of thunder, its indignant repudiation of the prejudice by which human conduct is governed, and maintains the opposite as the eternal rule of Divine preference.
  8. From their own consciousness. The wrong-hearted are self-condemned, while those whose hearts are right with God enjoy a cheering consciousness of His approbation.

III. The importance of attending to heart culture. It is of vital importance to have the heart made and kept right with God. How is this to be secured?

  1. It can be attained only through Christ. The heart will never be right with God till it is made so through the redemptive work of Christ.
  2. It requires the operation of the Holy Spirit. To obtain such views of “the truth as it is in Jesus,” and such affinity for it, as shall issue in the rectification of the heart Godward, there must be the co-operation of the Spirit.
  3. It demands the most strenuous efforts. The most strenuous efforts, on the part of man, are required to become and continue right-hearted. Learn—

(1.) To value men as God values them.

(2.) To consider the question, is thy heart right with God?

(3.) To give greater attention to the culture of the heart. (S. A. Browning.)

Man measured from the depths:—

When in Scotland recently, I went to a very interesting place, the Observatory at Paisley. I there saw an instrument for measuring earthquakes, a seismological register. A block of stone, twenty-four solid feet in depth, was thrust into the ground; down and down it went, standing like an isolated column in the vacuum carefully preserved on every side of it. On the top a delicate instrument was poised, which actually wrote with a pencil a record of the vibrations and oscillations that were taking place in every part of the globe. Said the gentleman in charge, “If an earthquake were to take place in Japan, its motions would be written here as faithfully as though we were on the spot to measure it.” “Then what about the rumbles here in Paisley?” said I. “You make noises enough in your streets: would they be registered by your instrument?” “No,” was the reply. “We do not trouble about vibrations on the surface. We measure from the depths.” That is the way to measure—truth in the inward parts. We do not measure by a man’s profession, but by what comes from the depths of his nature. (R. J. Campbell, M.A.)[7]


16:7 People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. The heart is viewed as the seat of the emotions (1 Sam. 1:8; 4:13; 17:32; 25:36; 28:5), will (6:6; 7:3), motives (17:28), reason (21:12), and conscience (25:31; 2 Sam. 24:10). A person’s “heart,” or mind, is relatively inaccessible to human beings, but the Lord is able to probe people’s innermost regions and assess one’s true character (Jer. 11:20; 20:12).

When God chose Saul as king, he gave the people the kind of physically imposing individual that they, like other nations, would find desirable (1 Sam. 8:5; 9:2; 10:23–24). Samuel himself falls into this superficial way of thinking when he reasons that Jesse’s son Eliab, who apparently is physically impressive (v. 7), is God’s chosen king (see as well his words in 10:24). Humans tend to look on the outward appearance when evaluating someone’s suitability for a task, but God is more concerned about what is on the inside. He accommodated himself to the people’s wishes and standards when he selected Saul, but he will choose Saul’s replacement in accordance with his own standards.[8]


7 Like Eliab, Saul’s appearance (mar’ēhû)//height (lit., “the height of stature”) had been noteworthy. See on 9:2; 10:23.

I have rejected him: the Lord had already decided on David before sending Samuel to Bethlehem (v. 1). Or is this perfect verb performative (see 17:10), with the Lord rejecting him by uttering “I hereby reject him” to Samuel? The same verb *m’s is used in 15:23, 26; 16:1 for the rejection of Saul. According to Mettinger, “Eliab is something of a ‘new Saul,’ so that in his rejection Saul is denounced in effigy.”

My way of seeing is not like man’s way of seeing: literally, “ (I am) not as man sees.” Most of the modern translations supply “the Lord” or “God” as the subject: for example, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at” (NIV); cf. “For I am not as man sees” (Syr.).35 However, the MT as it is could be translated “ (I am) not,” the subject being understood from the immediate context; this is supported by the Syriac version, though Joosten proposes a different Hebrew Vorlage. The same phenomenon can be recognized in Hab. 1:5b “ (I am) going to do” (NIV; also LXX; NASB; cf. NRSV: “a work is being done”; also JPS), the subject being supplied from the context.

The expression by the eyes (la‘ênayim) means “by what he sees”; compare “the outward appearance” (NRSV; NASB; NIV); “only what is visible” (JPS). The preposition by is a lamed of specification; see GKC, §119u. Driver mentions a similar expression in Lev. 13:15 and Num. 11:7, though “eye” is singular there. This structurally perfect parallelism can be analyzed on surface:

a (NP) — b (VP) — c (advPh) man judges by eyes

a′ (NP) — b′ (VP) — c′ (advPh) Lord judges by heart

But, semantically c//c′ are twisted in terms of their possessors: the “eyes” are the eyes of the man who is judging, while the “heart” is the heart of the one being judged, not of the Lord.

The expression judges by the heart (yir’eh lallēbāb) literally means “sees to the heart”; the Lord judges man according to the man’s heart, that is, his internal condition. Compare “looks at the heart” (NIV; NASB; cf. NRSV: “on”); “sees into the heart” (JPS).39[9]


[1] Beyer, B. E. (2017). 1 Samuel. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 434). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[2] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 402). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (1 Sa 16:7). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 517). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (1 Sa 16:7). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (1 Sa 16:7). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[7] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: I Samuel (pp. 380–394). New York; Chicago; Toronto; London; Edinburgh: Fleming H. Revell Company.

[8] Chisholm, R. B., Jr. (2013). 1 & 2 Samuel. (M. L. Strauss, J. H. Walton, & R. de Rosset, Eds.) (p. 111). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[9] Tsumura, D. (2007). The First Book of Samuel (pp. 419–420). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

40 Days to the Cross: Week One – Friday

Confession: Psalm 130:1–4

Out of the depths I call to you, O Yahweh.

“O Lord, hear my voice.

Let your ears be attentive

to the voice of my supplications.

If you, O Yah, should keep track of iniquities,

O Lord, who could stand?

But with you is forgiveness,

so that you may be feared.”

Reading: Mark 10:13–16

And they were bringing young children to him so that he could touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant, and said to them, “Let the young children come to me. Do not forbid them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly I say to you, whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God like a young child will never enter into it.” And after taking them into his arms, he blessed them, placing his hands on them.

Reflection

When our Lord blessed the little children, He was making His last journey to Jerusalem. It was thus a farewell blessing which He gave to the little ones. It reminds us that among His parting words to His disciples, before He was taken up, we find the tender charge, “Feed my lambs” (John 21:15). The ruling passion was strong upon the great Shepherd of Israel, who “will gather the lambs in his arm[s], and he will carry them in his bosom” (Isa 40:11); and it was fitting that while He was making His farewell journey, He should bestow His gracious benediction upon the children.

Beloved, our Lord Jesus Christ is not here among us in person; but we know where He is, and we know that He is clothed with all power in heaven and in earth to bless His people. Let us then draw near to Him this day. Let us seek His touch in the form of fellowship and ask the aid of His intercession.

—Charles H. Spurgeon

As a Little Child

Response

Jesus says we must welcome in the kingdom of God like a child. What areas of your life are marked by self-sufficiency? Is your posture like that of a child—totally relient on God and receptive to Him?[1]


[1] Van Noord, R., & Strong, J. (Eds.). (2014). 40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Friday: Endurance For The Fight | Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals

Theme: On Not Giving Up

In this week’s lessons, we see that the Christian life is one of warfare, in which we are called to flee from unrighteousness, and pursue that which is pleasing to God.

Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:11, 12

Sometimes we might get into situations where it really hurts us to do what’s right. But we must do it because that is exactly what Jesus Christ calls us to do. The newspapers are filled with stories about people getting caught doing something wrong. They had a choice do right or wrong, and they chose the wrong. We wonder how in the world they could possibly make such a bad decision that was almost certain to be discovered and land them in a lot of trouble. Yet, Christians are too often unwilling to stand for righteousness themselves if they think they might have to pay a price for their obedience to God. But Paul tells us to pursue righteousness. Turn your back on ungodliness. Be known as men and women of integrity. 

All these things that Paul is telling us to pursue are Godlike qualities. If you have any question in any situation, stop and ask, “What is God like?” And then you make your choice on the basis of what you know of God’s character. Besides righteousness and godliness, Paul also tells Timothy to pursue faith. By this he probably means faithfulness, to the Lord and to each other. We should be men and women who can be trusted. When we are given a task can we be counted on to do it? Paul also mentions love, which is the greatest of all the virtues. He also lists endurance because sometimes you have to hang in there month after month, year after year doing what has to be done. And then, finally, isn’t it interesting that he throws in gentleness. In a section on spiritual warfare we are to be gentle in how we deal with other people. 

I said earlier that our model should be that of God’s character. This is a sober charge Paul is giving to Timothy, as he writes in verse 13, “In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate, made the good confession…” If Timothy grows discouraged in his ministry, if he is trying to endure in a difficult situation as he fights the good fight, and is inclined to back down, Paul urges him not to give up. Rather, Timothy is to look to the example of Jesus Christ before Pilate, but beyond this to the conquest of Jesus Christ, who alone gives resurrection life.

I am sure that in the history of the battles of this world, there have been many battles won because the soldiers, although they were weary and although they doubted that they could go another step or fight for another moment, nevertheless believed that their commander was going to win. Knowing that they wanted to be there at the time of the victory, they identified themselves with him and pressed on. How much more is this true for Christians! We are in the greatest battle of all time—a battle of good and evil, the forces of God against the force of Satan, and the forces of God are triumphant. Jesus Christ has won, and will one day come again. With that kind of a commander, how can you back down? How can you fail to endure? And so Paul is exhorting Timothy to press on. We need to press on as well, no matter the cost.

In verse 17 Paul again has instructions for the rich, and then in verse 20 he resumes his personal remarks to Timothy. Why is he dealing with the rich and Timothy again? What’s new about these verses? I think what’s new is that, with regard to the rich, earlier he was warning against the dangers of wealth. Now he’s talking to those who already are wealthy. He’s warning them to be careful what they do with it. And when he addresses Timothy personally again, he reminds Timothy that he is already in the battle. It’s not a matter of what Timothy will decide to do in the future, when the time comes to choose between engagement or neutrality in this spiritual battle. Paul tells him he is already participating as an active solider. 

If you’re a Christian you’re already in the battle. You might be finding it difficult right now. You might feel like giving up and stopping to fight for righteousness, godliness, and those other things we need to practice and stand up for. But the Lord has put you in his army. He wants to use you. You’re either going to be a faithful soldier, or you’re going to be an unfaithful soldier. You’re either going to be a victor, or you’re going to be a failure. You can’t fight this good fight of the faith on your own, but the Lord Jesus Christ can give you the strength to be the victor. Ask him to strengthen you, and then fight on in the battle that he’s given you to fight. 

For Further Study:

  1. When faced with a decision to make in our Christian life, on what basis are we to make our choice?
  2. In our spiritual battles, what instruction does Paul give to Timothy?

Prayer: If you are growing weary in your calling as a Christian soldier, ask the Lord to give you strength, encouragement, and victory. Is there someone you can encourage as they seek to live a godly life?

Key Point: We are in the greatest battle of all time—a battle of good and evil, the forces of God against the force of Satan, and the forces of God are triumphant. Jesus Christ has won, and will one day come again. 

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.

— Read on www.thinkandactbiblically.org/tab/friday-endurance-for-the-fight

Inward Cleanliness — Christian Research Network

24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Matthew 23:24 (NASB) 

A huge trap that Christians can fall into is self-righteousness. It is a form of idolatry and that always causes spiritual blindness (Romans 1:24-25). Self-righteousness puts all effort towards godliness in the wrong place. It creates a form of piety that is all about outward appearances while putting little or no priority on matters of the heart. It is all about being concerned about appearances and what others think rather than being totally committed to abiding in Christ from within first. The self-righteous are consciously holy….

However, that is not what we are called to be. Christians must be consciously repentant and unconsciously holy. The difference is huge for these are totally opposite walks.

The self-righteous view their sanctification as what they do through works in order to be worthy. The humble Christian, on the other hand, views his or her sanctification as God’s work in them as they walk in repentance by His grace. Their works are simply acts of obedience while their worth is all wrapped up in who their Saviour is instead of what they have done.  View article →

Inward Cleanliness — Christian Research Network

Laziness (Part 2 of 2) – Programs – Truth For Life

When we’re lax about household chores, it quickly becomes obvious. But how can we tell if we’re slacking off in relationships—especially with the Lord? Find out more about an aspect of laziness that’s often overlooked, on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg. 
Listen…

February 26 – Who is Molech? — VCY America

February 26
Leviticus 19:1-20:21
Mark 8:11-38
Psalm 42:1-11
Proverbs 10:17

Leviticus 19:2 – The theme of the book of Leviticus is stated – if it sounds familiar, we’ve seen it often. Holy is used 95 times in Leviticus, and this is the second time we’ve seen the phrase “Ye shall be holy.”

Leviticus 19:10, 14, 15 – How does God want His people to treat the poor, the stranger, the deaf, the blind? Interestingly in many forms of Islam the Zakat is a state-collected tax on the rich for the benefit of the poor. Here in Leviticus 19:9-10 and in Deuteronomy 26:12 we see a personal obligation as opposed to a tax.

Leviticus 19:28 – In debates about whether it is appropriate for Christians to get tattoos, this verse comes up. While the KJV does not use the word ‘tattoo,’ that is because the word was not invented until 1769 when Captain Cook landed in Tahiti (the KJV was written in 1611, 150 years earlier). Interestingly almost all Bible versions in recent years translate ‘qaaqa’ (Strong’s Hebrew 7085) as tattoo. By the way, this is the only time this word is used in the Bible.

Leviticus 19:37 – 45 times in Leviticus you will find the phrase “I am the LORD.” In many cases, it seems to be the answer to “Why?” If you don’t like God’s answer to “Why?” – Joshua 24:15 deals with that.

By Joachim Menant – Glyptique Orientale, fig. 95 (p. 152);, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4664980

Leviticus 20:2-5 – Rarely in the Bible do we see commands that have the death penalty. Only 60 times in the Old Testament do we find the phrase “put to death.” This chapter contains more “death penalty” judgments than any other chapter in the Bible.  Not only is Molech one of the few death penalty commands, but this is one of the few commands to “stone him” (in contrast to burning, beheading, or strangulation according to the Mishneh).  “The people – many –  shall stone him.  Israel must unite to eliminate this plague.”  BTW we read about Molech yesterday in Leviticus 18:21, and we’ll read about Molech when Solomon builds an altar for Molech (possibly on the Mount of Olives in 1 Kings 11:7) that seems to have been moved to the Hinnom Valley when 300 years later (in  2 Kings 23:10) Josiah finally destroys the altar. So why would people sacrifice to Molech?

“A couple sacrificed their firstborn by burning the child on a metal idol of Molech, believing that Molech would ensure financial prosperity for the family and future children….Today’s Molech is the abortion industry, sacrificing babies for the idol of financial greed, veiled in the hopes of the development of new cures through biomedical research.” – Charles Patrick, SWBTS

By Charles Foster – Illustrators of the 1897 Bible Pictures and What They Teach Us http://associate.com/photos/Bible-Pictures–1897-W-A-Foster/page-0074-1.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11785813

Mark 8:25 – Why did it take two steps for Jesus to heal the blind man? The best explanation I’ve found comes from ChedSpellman.com, a professor at Cedarville.

[Jesus] says “Do you not yet see or understand? Having eyes do you not see? and having ears do you not hear? (8:17-18). Jesus is saying, Open your eyes and see what is right in front of you! His point is that, though they have physical eyes, they still are in some sense blind to who Jesus really is.

Seen in this context, Mark’s placement and record of this miracle is brilliant. They see a blind man, who Jesus then leads by the hand out of the city where Jesus heals him. The first time, the man can only see slightly, his vision is blurred. Then Jesus did it again, and the “man looked intently” and was healed and could then “see everything clearly”. This is essentially a parable that Jesus is acting out for his disciples….His point is that his disciples are blinded to who he really is though he is demonstrating his power to them day by day right in front of their eyes. Their understanding is coming, but it is coming in stages.

The passage following confirms Mark’s textual strategy. Right after this healing, Peter finally “sees” and confesses Jesus’ identity, that Jesus is “the Christ.” But then, Jesus begins to tell them that the Messiah must suffer, which they don’t fully understand. They see, but not clearly.

Mark 8:36 – This cartoon summarizes it well:

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And from Earl Martin, here’s a great way to memorize the verse:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw_NzA-oxEM

Psalm 42:1 – This verse inspired the song As the Deer.

Proverbs 10:17 – A great verse to teach your students – and anyone that needs to be corrected.

Share how reading thru the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

February 26 – Who is Molech? — VCY America

God’s Work in Salvation

Salvation is the work of God. It is He alone who quickens the soul “dead in…trespasses and sins,”1 and He it is who maintains the soul in its spiritual life. He is both “Alpha and Omega.”

“Salvation belongs to the LORD!” If I am prayerful, God makes me prayerful; if I have graces, they are God’s gifts to me; if I hold on in a consistent life, it is because He upholds me with His hand. I do nothing whatever toward my own preservation, except what God Himself first does in me. Whatever I have, all my goodness is of the Lord alone. Whenever I sin, that is my own doing; but when I act correctly, that is wholly and completely of God. If I have resisted a spiritual enemy, the Lord’s strength nerved my arm.

Do I live before men a consecrated life? It is not I, but Christ who lives in me. Am I sanctified? I did not cleanse myself: God’s Holy Spirit sanctifies me. Am I separated from the world? I am separated by God’s chastisements sanctified to my good. Do I grow in knowledge? The great Instructor teaches me. All my jewels were fashioned by heavenly art. I find in God all that I want; but I find in myself nothing but sin and misery. “He only is my rock and my salvation.”2

Do I feed on the Word? That Word would be no food for me unless the Lord made it food for my soul and helped me to feed upon it. Do I live on the bread that comes down from heaven? What is that bread but Jesus Christ Himself incarnate, whose body and whose blood I eat and drink? Am I continually receiving fresh supplies of strength? Where do I gather my might? My help comes from heaven’s hills: Without Jesus I can do nothing.

As a branch cannot bring forth fruit except it abide in the vine, no more can I, except I abide in Him. What Jonah learned in the ocean, let me learn this morning in my room: “Salvation belongs to the LORD.”

1) Ephesians 2:1 
2) Psalm 62:2

— Read on info.truthforlife.org/gods-work-in-salvation

Daily Devotion: What To Do While You’re Young (Ecc 11:7-10)

Youth with all its glory and energy is full of opportunity. While still young are we increasingly thoughtful and mindful of our relationship with the living Lord? How so?

Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment.

I am always amazed at the energy of young people. We have three grandsons living with us. When I come home, weary and tired, although they have been tearing around all day, they still want to wrestle with me. Sometimes I heave a sigh of relief when they finally give up and go to bed. George Bernard Shaw said, Youth is such a wonderful thing it is a shame to waste it on young people. God gives the gift of youth, so rejoice in it. Young people, for the most part, always believe that everything is going to turn out all right, so they energetically pursue things. This verse encourages that.

Youth is the time to plan, to try new things, to explore new opportunities, new adventures. In my twenties I had the opportunity, following the outbreak of World War II, to go to the Hawaiian Islands and work in industry there. Youth is the time to seize opportunities and to follow our desires.

But–there is always a but, isn’t there? Remember that ultimately there must be an accounting. This book will close with that reminder again: For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil(Ecclesiastes 12:14). That is not a threat. It is simply a reminder to youth that though there are great, open doors of opportunity set before you that you will not have later in life, nevertheless, enter them with the realization that you must make wise choices. You must deny yourself the pleasures of sin; you must make choices in the light of what will ultimately be the evaluation of your life.

He goes on to specify exactly what he means. First, Remove vexation from your mind (Ecclesiastes 11:10a RSV). Vexation is a word that combines the thoughts of anger and resentment. Young people tend to be angry and resentful when things do not go the way they like. That is what makes young people rebel. So remove vexation from your mind.

And second, cast off the troubles of your body (Ecclesiastes 11:10). Put away dangerous things–drugs, wrongful use of your sexual powers, damaging things, smoking, drinking–stop them. That is living thoughtfully through life.

Remember, too, that youth and vigor are meaningless (Ecclesiastes 11:10). Even that glorious experience of youth is not the reason life was given. Here again we see a challenge to the secular illusions that we are subjected to all the time. Youth is what is held up for us to emulate. But youth is in itself emptiness. It is not vitality that will satisfy, but a relationship with a living God. Life finds its fulfillment, its meaning, only as you develop a relationship with the living God daily through your life. That is why the Searcher goes on to say in the closing chapter, Remember your Creator in the days of your youth (Ecclesiastes 12:1a).

Lord, one day I will stand before You and give an account of what I have done. Let me live now, at whatever stage I am, with this end in mind.

— Read on www.raystedman.org/daily-devotions/ecclesiastes/what-to-do-while-youre-young

Walk in Light — VCY America

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

John 12:46 

This world is dark as midnight; Jesus has come that by faith we may have light and may no longer sit in the gloom which covers all the rest of mankind.

Whosoever is a very wide term: it means you and me. If we trust in Jesus we shall no more sit in the dark shadow of death but shall enter into the warm light of a day which shall never end. Why do we not come out into the light at once?

A cloud may sometimes hover over us, but we shall not abide in darkness if we believe in Jesus. He has come to give us broad daylight. Shall He come in vain.’ If we have faith we have the privilege of sunlight: let us enjoy it. From the night of natural depravity, of ignorance, of doubt, of despair, of sin, of dread, Jesus has come to set us free; and all believers shall know that He no more comes in vain than the sun rises and fails to scatter his heat and light.

Shake off thy depression, dear brother. Abide not in the dark, but abide in the light. In Jesus is thy hope, thy joy, thy heaven, Look to Him, to Him only, and thou shalt rejoice as the birds rejoice at sunrise and as the angels rejoice before the throne.

Walk in Light — VCY America

Say You’re Sorry — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”  1 John 1:9

How often do we hear parents telling their children to say that they are sorry to a brother or sister or playmate? The child mumbles the words, embarrassed, head down, perhaps with a scowling face. Are they really sorry?

Why is it so hard to admit to others that we were wrong?

Personally, it is easier for me to confess my sins to God than to my brother or sister. In the back of my mind, I am justifying my actions, wanting to accuse the other person for what he or she did wrong. If he or she would just confess first, then maybe it would be easier for me to do so as well, right?

Why should we admit it when we are wrong? According to the verse above, it is to be assured of God’s forgiveness and to be cleansed from our “dirtiness.” In my case, I have felt in the past like I was walking around with dirt on my heart when I have refused to ask for forgiveness, but I clung to my dirtiness rather than allow God to clean me up through confession.

Canadians often say, “Sorry.” And there is usually a conditioned response, “That’s okay.” This may work for some people, but there are times when it is not enough to simply say, “Sorry!” And it is often not “okay.” True confession involves a little more heart-searching. It includes thinking about how we have hurt another person to the point of putting ourselves in the other person’s place, imagining how it would feel to be them.

Father, help me to better understand how my words and actions impact others, and how my refusal to apologize to them leaves me with a dirty heart. Thank you that you want to cleanse me, if I will only let you! Teach me to apologize more readily so that relationships with you and others can be restored! Amen.

By Karen Woodard
Used by Permission


FURTHER READING

•  Did You Know that You are Someone Special?
•  A Poem of Hope

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/

Say You’re Sorry — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God