Practical Insights

"Let us take care that we have clear views of our Lord Jesus Christ's nature and person. It is a point of the deepest importance. We should settle it firmly in our minds that our Savior is perfect man as well as perfect God, and perfect God as well as perfect man. If we once lose sight of this great foundation truth, we may run into fearful heresies. The name Emmanuel takes in the whole mystery. Jesus is 'God with us.'" J. C. Ryle

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Scripture of the Day (Through Joshua)

So when Phinehas the priest and the leaders of the congregation...heard the words which the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the sons of Manasseh spoke, it pleased them. And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the sons of Reuben and to the sons of Gad and to the sons of Manasseh, "Today we know that Yahweh is in our midst, because you have not committed this unfaithful act against Yahweh; now you have delivered the sons of Israel from the hand of Yahweh"...The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad called the altar Witness; "For," they said, "it is a witness between us that Yahweh is God." Joshua 22:30-31,34

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"He who keeps Israel will neither
slumber nor sleep."
Psalm 121:4

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

"I will give to you and to your seed after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God."

Genesis 17:8

"He has remembered His covenant forever...the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, 'To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion of your inheritance.' "Psalm 105:8-11

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Succinct Elucidations

What Was the Real Reason the Lord Took Joseph to Egypt?

It would be easy to assume that the Lord took Joseph to Egypt to save many lives during the coming famine, mostly the Egyptians but also the many who came to Egypt for food, including Joseph's family. But Joseph himself told his brothers that the real reason was much more limited: "God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance" (Gen. 45:7). It was to save Jacob and his family--the twelve patriarchs of the tribes of Israel. Why was this the real reason? Here is an explanation by Christopher Benson in his book, On Scripture Difficulties.

"It was because the blessing of Abraham was upon them. It was because the everlasting covenant of God was theirs, and in their loins was the salvation of the world shut up, and in their seed were all the families of the earth to be blessed. Blot out the name of Israel from under Heaven, and man must have gone mourning all the days of his life, without remedy of his wretchedness and without redemption from the grave; for to the name of Israel alone were the promises of God assured, and in the name of Israel alone had the sons of Adam hope, and Joseph himself was nothing except as he belonged to Israel." (See Benson's entry in our Daily Devotions from the Classics.)

In my book, Upon This Rock, I make the same point: "God's plan of salvation for the world, based on the Abrahamic covenant and the later covenants with Israel that expand it, revolves around Israel in every way. Salvation comes to the world through Israel and only through Israel" (from Chapter 5).

Click here for our previous Succinct Elucidations.

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  • Remembering Christ: Here is a very practical sermon by Charles Bradley on the benefits we receive by daily engaging our thoughts on Christ. (1-14-18)
  • Cain and Abel: Why was Abel's offering accepted and not Cain's? The answer is highly debated but see Benson's three part study here (scroll down). (1-10-2018)
  • The Prayer of Jabez: An excellent way to start 2018, by Melvill. (1-8-2018)
  • Noah's Curse on Canaan: An enlightening exegesis by C. Benson. (12-30-2017)
  • Faith: For what act of faith is Joseph honored? Read "The Faith of Joseph on his Deathbed" by Henry Melvill. (12-14-2017)
  • A Funeral Sermon: Will it be yours? (12-6-2017)
  • "The Centrality of Israel" and "The Law of Moses": Israel is the apple of God's eye (Zech. 2:8) and is engraved on the palms of his hands (Isa. 49:15-16). These two related articles counter replacement theology and amillennialism. (11-27-17).
  • Genesis 4:24: "If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy-sevenfold." Read Samuel Shuckford's enlightening interpretation of this verse. (11-23-2017)
  • Luther: Six excerpts from Martin Luther, the great reformer. (11-14-2017)

Important Topics

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We have long lamented the lack of depth in the preaching within Evangelical churches today. Many Christians possess only a shallow knowledge of both the Bible and theology. Check yourself with two questions that should be very simple to any Christian who attends a Bible-believing church.

  • Bible knowledge: The Psalmist wrote, "Sing the glory of his name" (Ps. 66:2). What is his name? What is the name of the God of the Bible, the God you worship?

  • Theological knowledge: What is the meaning of the word propitiation, which is used, for example, in 1 John 2:2?

We hope that the Bible study material posted at this Web site will both increase your knowledge of the Bible and theology and also encourage you to buy and read books by great Christian theologians and preachers. The full contents of this site can be seen at a glance on our Site Map; there are over 1200 items.

Our Sister Web Site:
Messiah Studies

We have another Web site, Messiah Studies, that is devoted to a detailed study of Messianic prophecy. However, it is a new Web site, and so far there are only a few papers posted. It is our goal, however, to develop a series of papers dealing with the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament in historical order. The site is designed for Jewish inquirers, but Christians can gain much from these studies as well. There is also some Jewish music you can listen to, including HaTikvah (Israeli National Anthem), Hava Nagila, Jerusalem of Gold, and the Yigdal (on which the Christian hymn, "The God of Abraham Praise," is based). Please take a look and send us your suggestions.

Judaism and Christianity

What common belief forms the fundamental foundation of both Judaism and Christianity? For the answer, read this encouraging article by Orthodox Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, "Growing in Our Understanding of God."

Jon Voight on Israel

Do You Love Israel?

Israel is God's chosen people and covenant nation. How often does your church pray for the safety of Israel and the peace of Jerusalem? If it doesn't, ask your pastor why not. God promised in the covenant he made with Abraham that he will bless those who bless Israel (Gen. 12:3). Please listen to legendary actor Jon Voight as he gives us an urgent message about Israel.

Nicky's Children Youtube Video

For a 4-minute version taking you back to Sir Nicholas in 1938, see this Youtube video.

The "British Schindler"

Beginning in 1938, Nicholas Winton organized the rescue of over 600 Jewish children from German-occupied Czechoslovakia. Here is a very touching video from a BBC television program reuniting Sir Nicholas with many of these children, now adults. How cold our own hearts must be if we cannot thank Jesus for saving us from eternal death with the same emotion that Vera Gissing shows in this video when she meets Sir Nicholas Winton, who saved her as a young girl from the Nazi death camps.

NIV Translation Unreliable

In many ways, we are living in a dangerous age. Some dangers are where you would least expect them, as for example the degree to which feminism has infected even evangelicalism. What translation of the Bible are you using? The NIV has become an unreliable translation. Read "An Evaluation of Gender Language in the 2011 Edition of the NIV Bible" produced by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

Replacement Theology and Amillennialism

Anyone at all familiar with this Web site knows that we are at the opposite end of the theological spectrum from replacement theology and amillennialism. At our sister Web site, Messiah Studies, we have posted a number of lectures from perhaps the best book on Messianic prophecy that I have read: The Messiahship of Jesus by Alexander McCaul (1852). He does argue that the Messianic prophecies point to fulfillment by Yeshua (Jesus), but in his discussions he gives considerable attention to the Jewish objections to Christian interpretations of these prophecies. However, the point I would like to emphasize here is that he also argues for a literal fulfillment of the prophecies dealing with the future of national Israel and forcefully critiques replacement theology and amillennialism, which sees no future for Israel in an ethnic and national sense. I suggest that those who hold to replacement theology and amillennialism should examine this book carefully. See the the McCaul page . The Messiah Studies site also has a short paper written by me "The Messiah: An Overview," which summarizes what the prophets indeed predict for national Israel--God's chosen, covenant people, the apple of his eye (Zech. 2:8) and the nation written on the palms of his hands (Isa. 49:15-16). You might also be interested in a short paper here on Rediscovering the Bible, "Does Eschatology Matter in Jewish Evangelism?"

Psalm 107

Ship In Storm

"He that cannot pray, let him go to sea, and there he will learn."

John Trapp on Ps. 107:23-29, cited by Charles Spurgeon, The Treasury of David.

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