2521.) 2 John

December 31, 2018

John, “the elder,” is one of Jesus’ twelve disciples and the writer of the Gospel of John, three letters, and the book of Revelation.

2 John  (NLT)

As we enter the New Year, we are looking at the five books in the Bible that have only one chapter. 

Greetings

1This letter is from John, the elder.   I am writing to the chosen lady and to her children, whom I love in the truth—as does everyone else who knows the truth—2 because the truth lives in us and will be with us forever.

Perhaps this was an individual Christian woman John wanted to warn and encourage by this letter. Or, the term might be a symbolic way of addressing this particular congregation.

John probably did not name himself, the elect lady or her children by name because this was written during a time of persecution. Perhaps John didn’t want to implicate anyone by name in a written letter. If the letter was intercepted and the authorities knew who it was written to by name, it might mean death for those persons.

–David Guzik

3 Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love.

Now these are good gifts from God, for which we should daily give thanks! — grace, mercy, peace, truth, love!

Live in the Truth


4How happy I was to meet some of your children and find them living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded.

5 I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. 6 Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.

If we love God, we will obey His commandments. We do this not as if His commandments are heavy burdens, but because we see that they are best for us. They are guides and gifts to us from God.

Mark 12:28-33 (NLT)

One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord.  And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’  The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other.  And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”

7 I say this because many deceivers have gone out into the world. They deny that Jesus Christ came in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward. 9 Anyone who wanders away from this teaching has no relationship with God. But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son.

10 If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement. 11 Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work.

In the early church of John’s day, teachers traveled from place to place and Christians were expected to open their homes to them in kind hospitality. John instructs first century Christians to judge the veracity of the various teachers before welcoming them in. In our day, we can open our homes and our minds to all kinds of false teaching in many ways, including via televisions and computers. Beware, John says, that you are learning the truth about God from these teachers. Chose thoughtfully your books, movies, and TV entertainment. Know what is being taught in your own congregation, your children’s public schools, your church colleges and seminaries. Stand up for the truth of Christ! Do not be led astray and in so doing, lose your reward.

Conclusion

12I have much more to say to you, but I don’t want to do it with paper and ink. For I hope to visit you soon and talk with you face to face. Then our joy will be complete. 13 Greetings from the children of your sister, chosen by God.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is an instrumental version of the hymn “I Would Be True,” something the Apostle John certainly demonstrated for us all! May we be imitators of John, as he was of Christ!

The composer of the tune is Joseph Y. Peek; the arrangement is by David H. Hegarty.

The text for “I Would Be True,” was written by a young man in his early twenties in a poem that he titled “My Creed.” After graduating with honors from Princeton University in 1905, Howard Arnold Walter spent a year teaching the English language in Japan. While there he sent a copy of his “creed” to his mother back home in Connecticut. Mrs. Walter sent the poem to Harper’s Magazine, where it appeared in the May, 1907 issue.

Returning to the United States, Howard Walter entered Hartford Seminary and upon graduation served as an assistant minister at the Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford, Connecticut. One day he showed his poem to an itinerant Methodist lay preacher, Joseph Peek. Although Peek had no technical knowledge of music, he immediately whistled a tune suited to Walter’s words.

Several years later, Howard Walter left for India to teach and minister. He died there in 1918, during an influenza epidemic.

  1. I would be true, for there are those who trust me;
    I would be pure, for there are those who care;
    I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;
    I would be brave, for there is much to dare.
  2. I would be friend of all—the foe, the friendless;
    I would be giving, and forget the gift;
    I would be humble, for I know my weakness;
    I would look up, and laugh, and love, and lift.
  3. I would be faithful through each passing moment;
    I would be constantly in touch with God;
    I would be strong to follow where He leads me;
    I would have faith to keep the path Christ trod.
  4. Who is so low that I am not his brother?
    Who is so high that I’ve no path to him?
    Who is so poor I may not feel his hunger?
    Who is so rich I may not pity him?
  5. Who is so hurt I may not know his heartache?
    Who sings for joy my heart may never share?
    Who in God’s heav’n has passed beyond my vision?
    Who to hell’s depths where I may never fare.
  6. May none, then, call on me for understanding,
    May none, then, turn to me for help in pain,
    And drain alone his bitter cup of sorrow,
    Or find he knocks upon my heart in vain.

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
St. John.    https://readingacts.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/john-icon.jpeg
truth in love.  https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/truth_in_love1.jpg
love God, love people.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/love-god-love-people.png
welcome.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/welcome.jpg
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2520.) Psalm 75

December 28, 2018

Yes, God will judge each one of us, according to righteousness and his grace.

Psalm 75 (ESV)

God Will Judge with Equity

To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Psalm of Asaph. A Song.

1We give thanks to you, O God;
we give thanks, for your name is near.
We recount your wondrous deeds.

 “We should praise God again and again. Stinted gratitude is ingratitude. For infinite goodness there should be measureless thanks.”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

2“At the set time that I appoint
I will judge with equity.

The rightness, the timing, and the power of God’s judgments are all worth of our deep consideration.

3When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants,
it is I who keep steady its pillars.
Selah

1 Samuel 2:8 (ESV)

He raises up the poor from the dust;
   he lifts the needy from the ash heap
to make them sit with princes
   and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s,
   and on them he has set the world.

4I say to the boastful, ‘Do not boast,’
and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horn;
5do not lift up your horn on high,
or speak with haughty neck.'”

“Lifting one’s horn against heaven is the equivalent of shaking one’s fist in God’s face.”

–James Montgomery Boice

6For not from the east or from the west
and not from the wilderness comes lifting up,
7but it is God who executes judgment,
putting down one and lifting up another.

Years ago when I was an Army wife, I was introduced to this verse by a sergeant-major’s wife during a Bible Study. The promotion list was soon to come out, and many of the women in our study were eagerly / anxiously / hopefully waiting to see if their husband’s name would be on it. Promotion depended on so many factors, but a large one was the evaluation of the service member’s immediate commander. This means, of course, that if one’s husband didn’t get promoted, one could blame it on his boss. (As we progress up the military ladder, however, the coin shows another side — that if a person under your husband doesn’t get promoted, the wife could blame your husband.)

So that particular morning, as women were sharing horror stories of what their husbands had to put up with under terrible bosses — this woman opened her Bible to this verse. It is not from the Army that promotions come, she said to us.  It is God who chooses who will get promoted and when. Then she added, since we know that God is a loving father, we can trust him to do the right thing for us on the promotion list.

“Promotions in any direction, to positions of credit, influence, or consideration, are the gift and the work of God.”

–F. B. Meyer

My husband was eligible for promotion that year — but his name was not on the list. He was very discouraged amid the public “humiliation” that comes with being passed over. But the next year he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and right then his #1 choice of a battalion command came open. Had he been promoted a year earlier, he would not have been free at the right time. So we spent two wonderful years at his dream job — leading the 313th Military Intelligence Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  Wonderful years!

Yes, the Lord knew what he was doing. “We give thanks to you, O God;  we recount your wondrous deeds.”

8 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup
with foaming wine, well mixed,
and he pours out from it,
and all the wicked of the earth
shall drain it down to the dregs.

“The metaphor of Psalm 75:8, in which judgment is represented as a cup of foaming wine, which God puts to the lips of the nations, receives great expansion in the prophets, especially in Jeremiah, and recurs in the Apocalypse. There is a grim contrast between the images of festivity and hospitality called up by the picture of a host presenting the wine cup to his guests, and the stern compulsion which makes the ‘wicked’ gulp down the nauseous draught held by God to their reluctant lips.”

–Alexander Maclaren

9But I will declare it forever;
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10 All the horns of the wicked I will cut off,
but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up.

_________________________

Music:

You could think horns of bulls, I guess. But I prefer righteous French horns! Steve Park, a horn teacher at Utah State University, plays his French horn beautifully for this, Noctorno Op. 7, by Franz Strauss,  HERE.  If you are a lover of French horn, as I am, you can find many more pieces recorded by him on youtube.

“We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks” — the first words of this psalm. As you listen, give thanks to God!

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
Only God can judge me.    http://www.mytinyphone.com/uploads/users/sexyflakita/280420.gif
Living and dead.   https://images.knowing-jesus.com/i/1-peter-4-5-they-will-give-an-account-to-him-who-judges-orange-8161
82nd Airborne Division patch.   http://www.clevelandseniors.com/images/events/airborne-2007/82nd-airborne-shoulder-sleeve.jpg
God, our righteous judge.   https://www.slideserve.com/bishop/god-our-righteous-judge

2519.) Psalm 93

December 27, 2018

Psalm 93 (The Message)

It is my daily joy to live on an island set in the ocean.

1-2 God is King, robed and ruling,
God is robed and surging with strength.
And yes, the world is firm, immovable,
Your throne ever firm—you’re Eternal!

“There is a decisiveness in the Hebrew for The Lord reigns which at least calls for an exclamation mark (as in TEV, ‘The Lord is king!’). It has the ring of a proclamation.”

–Derek Kidner

3-4 Sea storms are up, God,
Sea storms wild and roaring,
Sea storms with thunderous breakers.
Stronger than wild sea storms,
Mightier than sea-storm breakers,
Mighty God rules from High Heaven.

“He sits as King, higher than the spray is tossed, deeper than the fathomless depths, mightier than the strongest billow. Let Him but say, ‘Peace, be still!’ and the greatest storm that ever swept the waves with wild fury sinks into the tranquil sleep of childhood.”

–F. B. Meyer

5 What you say goes—it always has.
“Beauty” and “Holy” mark your palace rule,
God, to the very end of time.

“Is all this so? Does Jehovah reign? Then let us offer the sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving. He is worthy to receive; and in our giving, there is also the receiving of the benefits of His reign which enrich and glorify our lives.”

–G. Campbell Morgan

One of my favorite sea poems — for all of us water people!

Sea Fever
by John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is “Our God, He Reigns,” with Israel Houghton. Take this with you today and tomorrow and all your life long!

_________________________

The Message (MSG)    Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
Images courtesy of:
Psalm 93:4.  https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/psalm93a.jpg
sailing.  https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/catamaransailingwptw.png

2518.) Psalms 68

December 26, 2018

Psalm 68   (NRSV)

Praise and Thanksgiving

Christ may have come as a baby, but he is always and forever a powerful king, full of love and strength, mercy and deliverance for his people!

To the leader. Of David. A Psalm. A Song.
1 Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
let those who hate him flee before him.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is Paul Wilbur and “Let God Arise.” Complete with shofars!

_________________________

2 As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
as wax melts before the fire,
let the wicked perish before God.
3 But let the righteous be joyful;
let them exult before God;
let them be jubilant with joy.

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael

Psalm 68:3 — But let the righteous be glad, let them rejoice before God, yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.

In Pilgrim’s Progress the Interpreter showed Christian the fire burning against the wall, and one standing by it, always casting much water upon it to quench it. But when he went to the “backside” of the wall, “he saw a man with a vessel of oil in his hand, of the which he did also continually cast, but secretly, into the fire.”

There are times in most lives when it is hard to see how the fire is kept burning. We see him who casts the water. We do not see the Man with the vessel of oil in His hand. And yet He is there all the time. This “wall” which prevents us seeing what truly is, teaches us to walk by faith and not by sight.

But in His tender love our Lord does give us proof of His presence behind the wall. We cannot see Him, but we can hear Him speak. As a mother’s voice can reassure her child in the dark, so indeed can His voice reassure us even though we cannot see Him.

“It may be my imagination.” The whisper is as a drop of that water that is perpetually cast on the fire of faith and love. Let a question answer it for us. “Can imagination stay the heart? It may uplift it for a moment, but can it steady it, hold it in peace? Can it strengthen it?” No, it cannot, so let us trust and not be afraid. It was our Lord and not another who spoke to us.

Let us “be delighted with joy” then, as the Septuagint translates “exceedingly rejoice.” Let us not waste one hour in fear, in dullness, in despondency, for He is never nearer than when we do not see Him but yet stay our hearts on Him.

4 Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds—
his name is the Lord—
be exultant before him.

5 Father of orphans and protector of widows
is God in his holy habitation.

God’s greatness isn’t only defined by military-like triumphs. It is also seen in His compassionate concern and care for the weak and needy. The name Yahweh is connected to God as the Becoming One (Exodus 3:13-14), the God who becomes what His people need. The fatherless need a father; Yahweh is there. The widows need a defender; God is there.

–David Guzik

6 God gives the desolate a home to live in;
he leads out the prisoners to prosperity,
but the rebellious live in a parched land.

7 O God, when you went out before your people,
when you marched through the wilderness,
Selah
8 the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain
at the presence of God, the God of Sinai,
at the presence of God, the God of Israel.

Mount Sinai (traditional site pictured above) was a significant place in Israelite history. Here Moses first heard God’s call upon his life, to go to the Pharaoh for the release of the people of Israel. Here a short time later the twelve tribes gathered and received the law of the Lord. With thick clouds and loud thunder on Mount Sinai, God seemed to be present with them.

9 Rain in abundance, O God, you showered abroad;
you restored your heritage when it languished;
10 your flock found a dwelling in it;
in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy.

11 The Lord gives the command;
great is the company of those who bore the tidings:

This is the message of the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ. God won a great victory through the Person and work of Jesus Christ and His people gain everything through that victory in a battle they did not directly fight. This is the message that we as a great company are to proclaim.

–David Guzik

12   ‘The kings of the armies, they flee, they flee!’
The women at home divide the spoil,
13   though they stay among the sheepfolds—
the wings of a dove covered with silver,
its pinions with green gold.
14 When the Almighty scattered kings there,
snow fell on Zalmon.

The dove represents Israel: 

Psalm 74:19-20 (NIV)

Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts;
   do not forget the lives of your afflicted people forever.
Have regard for your covenant,
   because haunts of violence fill the dark places of the land.

15 O mighty mountain, mountain of Bashan;
O many-peaked mountain, mountain of Bashan!
16 Why do you look with envy, O many-peaked mountain,
at the mount that God desired for his abode,
where the Lord will reside for ever?

17 With mighty chariotry, twice ten thousand,
thousands upon thousands,
the Lord came from Sinai into the holy place.
18 You ascended the high mount,
leading captives in your train
and receiving gifts from people,
even from those who rebel against the Lord God’s abiding there.

Ephesians 4:7-13 (NIV)

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.  This is why it says:

   “When he ascended on high,
   he took many captives
   and gave gifts to his people.”

(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions?  He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)  So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,  to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up  until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

19 Blessed be the Lord,
who daily bears us up;
God is our salvation.
Selah
20 Our God is a God of salvation,
and to God, the Lord, belongs escape from death.

21 But God will shatter the heads of his enemies,
the hairy crown of those who walk in their guilty ways.

God made this promise long ago, in Genesis 3:15, when he told the serpent, 

And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
    and you will strike his heel.”

22 The Lord said,
‘I will bring them back from Bashan,
I will bring them back from the depths of the sea,
23 so that you may bathe your feet in blood,
so that the tongues of your dogs may have their share from the foe.’

Many commentators believe this Psalm is connected with the coming of the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6) celebrating not only that event, but also the faithfulness of God to give Israel victory over her enemies, secure enough to bring the ark into Jerusalem. The next verses describe the parade!

24 Your solemn processions are seen, O God,
the processions of my God, my King, into the sanctuary—
25 the singers in front, the musicians last,
between them girls playing tambourines:
26 ‘Bless God in the great congregation,
the Lord, O you who are of Israel’s fountain!’
27 There is Benjamin, the least of them, in the lead,
the princes of Judah in a body,
the princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali.

28 Summon your might, O God;
show your strength, O God, as you have done for us before.
29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem
kings bear gifts to you.

Matthew 2:9-11 (CEV)

The wise men listened to what the king said and then left. And the star they had seen in the east went on ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. They were thrilled and excited to see the star.

When the men went into the house and saw the child with Mary, his mother, they knelt down and worshiped him. They took out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh and gave them to him.

30 Rebuke the wild animals that live among the reeds,
the herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples.
Trample under foot those who lust after tribute;
scatter the peoples who delight in war.
31 Let bronze be brought from Egypt;
let Ethiopia hasten to stretch out its hands to God.

32 Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth;
sing praises to the Lord,
Selah
33 O rider in the heavens, the ancient heavens;
listen, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice.
34 Ascribe power to God,
whose majesty is over Israel;
and whose power is in the skies.

35 Awesome is God in his sanctuary,
the God of Israel;
he gives power and strength to his people.

 The God who is actively involved in the life and victory of His people is worthy of praise.

–David Guzik

Blessed be God!

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Psalm 68:19.   https://dazocrfitness.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/psalm-6819/
from Pilgrim’s Progress.    http://womenwithfaith.org/bunyan/PilgrimImages/013.The.Work.of.Grace.jpg
Mount Sinai.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/sinai.jpg
dove.   http://www.faqs.org/photo-dict/photofiles/list/346/698dove.jpg
spiritual gifts.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/spiritual_gifts1.gif
foot on the head of the serpent.   https://redeeminggod.com/genesis_3_14-15/
three wise men presenting their gifts to the Christ Child.    http://straphaelschurchthykoodam.org/more_verse.php?page=27

2517.) Christmas Day

December 25, 2018

Christmas Day

John 1:14 (NIV)

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Almighty God, you have made yourself known in your Son,
Jesus, redeemer of the world.
We pray that his birth as a human child will set us free
from the old slavery of our sin;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.  Amen.

.

I wish you all, my dear readers, a happy Christmas with the presence of Jesus made wonderfully real to you. Thank you for being part of the DWELLING family as we learn more and more about the Word of God in Scripture and the Word made flesh in Christ. Every blessing be yours, through the grace of our Lord, Father, Son, and Spirit.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is a beautiful Christmas carol, “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly,” put to a new Christmas story. Jesus sets us all free.

_________________________

Images courtesy of:
Luke 4:18-19.   https://ajoyousrejoicing.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/luke-418-19-2/
olivewood nativity set.   http://www.artinstituteshop.org/content/images/14523.jpg

2516.) Christmas Eve

December 24, 2018

The Coming of Christ,

Old and New Testaments

Genesis 3:13-15 (NIV)

Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”

“Eve, After Eating the Forbidden Fruit” by Anna Lea Merritt, c. 1890

____________________

Genesis 22:15-18 (NIV)

The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son,  I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies,  and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

“The Binding of Isaac” by Alan Falk, 2002

____________________

Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV)

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.

____________________

Luke 2:6-7 (NIV)

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is “What Child Is This,” sung by Kitty Cleveland.

_________________________

Images courtesy of:
stable scene.  https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/0000the-birth-of-christ.jpg
Merritt.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/eve_merritt1.jpg
Falk.  https://beyondcontradiction.org/2016/03/26/good-friday/
Jesus, lion, and lamb.    http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1076/899946019_e9c0ed54d5.jpg

2515.) Proverbs 22

December 21, 2018

Proverbs 22   (NRSV)

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
and favor is better than silver or gold.

Ecclesiastes 7:1   (NLT)

A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume.

*****

“Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.”

–William Shakespeare, Othello

The rich and the poor have this in common:
the Lord is the maker of them all.
The clever see danger and hide;
but the simple go on, and suffer for it.
The reward for humility and fear of the Lord
is riches and honor and life.

1 Peter 5:10   (NIV)

 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
the cautious will keep far from them.
Train children in the right way,
and when old, they will not stray.

I learned this verse decades ago in the King James Version:

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

“What is the way in which a child should go? A more literal rendering of the Hebrew at once answers this question. Such translation would be: ‘Train up child according to his way.’In every child there are special and peculiar powers. The true business of training a child therefore, is that of discovering what those powers are, and developing them…Herein is revealed the need for individual work. No two children are alike.”

–G. Campbell Morgan

The rich rule over the poor,
and the borrower is the slave of the lender.

Consumer debt in the USA

The survey, conducted in 2016, found that the average card debt was $5,700 for households that carry a balance – 38 percent of all households.

—www.creditcards.com

Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
and the rod of anger will fail.
Those who are generous are blessed,
for they share their bread with the poor.
10 Drive out a scoffer, and strife goes out;
quarreling and abuse will cease.
11 Those who love a pure heart and are gracious in speech
will have the king as a friend.

12 The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
but he overthrows the words of the faithless.
13 The lazy person says, “There is a lion outside!
I shall be killed in the streets!”

In his imagination, the outside world and the work required to function in it are so frightening that it is best avoided. 

14 The mouth of a loose woman is a deep pit;
he with whom the Lord is angry falls into it.

 “Unlike the sluggard’s fantasy of a man-eating lion roaming the city streets, these harlots are very real deadly predators in the streets.”

–Bruce K. Waltke

15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a boy,
but the rod of discipline drives it far away.


16 Oppressing the poor in order to enrich oneself,
and giving to the rich, will lead only to loss.

The Words of the Wise

Proverbs 22:17 begins a new section of the collection. We move from the long section (Proverbs 10:1 through 22:16) containing almost entirely two-phrase wisdom sayings with very little arrangement according to theme or context. Starting here, the structure of the wisdom sayings is often longer and they are more arranged according to some theme.

–David Guzik

17 Incline your ear and hear my words,
and apply your mind to my teaching;

Mark 4:23   (NLT)

“Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

18 for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
if all of them are ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I have made them known to you today—yes, to you.
20 Have I not written for you thirty sayings
of admonition and knowledge,
21 to show you what is right and true,
so that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?

22 Do not rob the poor because they are poor,
or crush the afflicted at the gate;
23 for the Lord pleads their cause
and despoils of life those who despoil them.

Matthew 19:21   (NIV)

Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

24 Make no friends with those given to anger,
and do not associate with hotheads,
25 or you may learn their ways
and entangle yourself in a snare.

Quotes about angry people:

People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.

–Stephen Hawking

Anybody can become angry–that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way–that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.

–Aristotle

Getting angry doesn’t solve anything.

–Grace Kelly

26 Do not be one of those who give pledges,
who become surety for debts.
27 If you have nothing with which to pay,
why should your bed be taken from under you?
28 Do not remove the ancient landmark
that your ancestors set up.
29 Do you see those who are skillful in their work?
They will serve kings;
they will not serve common people.

_________________________

Music:

Sometimes there is just no song like an old song. And we know there is no singer like Mahalia Jackson.  HERE  is “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.”

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Chambers.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/chambers.jpg
Hello.   https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/science-small-talk/201207/whats-in-name?amp=
debt.   http://blog.ericlbachcpa.com/public/item/possible-solutions-for-an-unexpected-tax-bill
verse 11.   https://i.pinimg.com/originals/00/a9/55/00a95550c951c79a8750a858f32de91d.jpg
spanking.   http://www.duhaime.org/Portals/duhaime/images/spanking2.jpg
homeless family.    http://newsjunkiepost.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/4916397425_5397ef821c_b-448×303.jpg
angry face.   https://emojiisland.com/products/very-angry-emoji-icon