Practical Insights

"Allow me now to share a timeless truth from Scripture that has sustained me in times of unpredictability. God said to Abraham, 'Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield, your very great reward' (Genesis 15:1). We can read this and know God who sustained us last year will once again faithfully guide and strengthen us in 2019. Acknowledging our relience on the Lord is most fitting in any season of the year. Clearly, the Bible also teaches us that times of uncertainty call us to declare our trust in God, who holds our times in His hands (Psalm 31:15)." The late Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

Read All of Our "Practical Insights" to Date with SourcesWe now have 89 Practical Insights

Scripture of the Day (Through 2 Samuel)

Then the king answered and said to the woman, "Please do not hide anything from me that I am about to ask you." And the woman said, "Let my lord the king please speak." So the king said, "Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?" And the woman replied, "As your soul lives, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything that my lord the king has spoken. Indeed, it was your servant Joab who commanded me, and it was he who put all these words in the mouth of your maidservant; in order to change the appearance of things your servant Joab has done this thing. But my lord is wise, like the wisdom of the angel of God, to know all that is in the earth." 2 Samuel 14:18-20

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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

Israel: You Are Not Alone

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Biblical and Post-Biblical
Jewish Holidays

Feast of Purim

Sunset March 20

Happy Purim

Purim is one of the most joyous holidays in the Jewish calendar. It celebrates how the Jewish people in the Persian Empire were saved from extinction during the reign of Xerxes (486-465 B.C). The telling of this whole event is the subject of the Book of Esther. The hero and heroine in the story are Mordecai and his younger cousin, Esther, a beautiful young girl whom he had raised as his own daughter. Through a fascinating series of events, Esther becomes Xerxes' queen, her identity as a Jewess unknown. The villain in the story is Haman, who hated Mordecai and therefore plots to destroy all the Jews throughout the empire. Mordecai tells Esther of the plot, and she tells the king. The result is that the Jewish people were saved, and this "vile Haman" was hung on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. "Purim" is the plural of pur, the Hebrew word meaning lot. Haman had cast a lot to pick the day for the destruction of the Jews (Esther 3:7), and Esther 9:18-28 directs that the day the Jews gained victory over Haman's plot should be called Purim and celebrated yearly as a joyous feast. This year Purim begins sunset, March 20; it lasts one day. (Read our notes on the other biblical and post-biblical Jewish holidays.)

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  • The Pretrib Rapture: An argument advanced by some who advocate for a pretrib rapture is the text of John 14:1-3, wherein Jesus states that he is going to heaven to prepare "a place" for his disciples. Gundry states: "From this the argument develops that Jesus must come to take believers to heaven before the tribulation, because at His posttribulational return He will reign upon the earth rather than return to heaven." Is this argument valid? You can read Gundry's short refutation, "The Promise in John 14:1-3," by clicking here. (3-15-2019)
  • Afflictions: A helpful discourse on the necessity and advantages of them, by Henry Scougal. (2-12-2019)
  • An evil spirit, Saul, and the woman at Endor: What was this "evil spirit" that God sent to trouble Saul? Did he really see Samuel when the woman "brought him up?" Read this excerpt from The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament by clicking here. For a full book review, click here (first in the list). (1-20-2019)
  • The Trinity: Bickersteth provides ample proof for this cardinal doctrine in his book The Trinity. (1-7-2019)
  • "Spirits in Prison": 1 Peter 3:18-20. Who are they? Who preached to them and when? Where did this preaching occur? Read our latest article. (12-29-2018)

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.

Joseph and Benjamin

On our sister Web site, Messiah Studies, we've posted two volumes by Joseph Frey that are great reading for every Christian, for he will get a good handle of the plan of redemption revealed throughout the Bible. It's like reading a systematic theology but in everyday language, given in short excerpts like a devotional. We encourage you to try it.

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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