Monday, July 29, 2013


"And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore." 1Kings 4:29 ESV

"Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12 ESV
(Explanation for  Psalm 90:12 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 814:
"90:12 number our days.  Evaluate the use of time in light of the brevity of life.  heart of wisdom. Wisdom repudiates autonomy and focuses on the Lord's sovereignty and revelation.")

"O LORD, how manifold  are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures." Psalm 104:24 ESV

"For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 ESV
(Explanation for Proverbs 2:6 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 868.
"2:6 his mouth.  The words of his mouth are contained in Scripture.  It is there that God speaks (cf. Heb. 1:1-2; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).  Wisdom comes only by revelation.")

(The Woman Who Fears the LORD)
"She opens her mouth with wisdom, and teaching of kindness is on her tongue." Proverbs 31:26 ESV
(Explanation for Proverbs 31:26 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 907.
"31:26 opens her mouth. . .teaching of kindness.  Her teaching of wisdom and the law is tempered with mercy.")

"Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good." Ecclesiastes 9:18

"It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens." Jeremiah 10:12 ESV

"Where is the one who is wise?  Where is the scribe?  Where is the debater of this age?  Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" 1 Corinthians 1:20 ESV
(Explanation for 1 Corinthians 1:20 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 1685.
"1:20 Where is the one who is wise?  Paul paraphrased Isa. 19:12, where the prophet was referring to the wise men of Egypt who promised, but never produced, wisdom.  Human wisdom always proves to be unreliable and impermanent (cf. 1 Cor. 1:17; Prov. 14:12; Isa. 29:14; Jer. 8:9; Rom 1:18-23). scribe. Probably Paul has in mind the Assyrians, who sent scribes along with their soldiers to record the booty taken in battle.  God saw to it they had nothing to record (Isa. 33:18). debater. This was a Greek word with no OT counterpart, identifying those who were adept at arguing philosophy.")

"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints." Ephesians 1:17-18 ESV
(Explanation for Ephesians 1:17-18 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 1758.
"1:17-18 a spirit of wisdom. . .hope.  Paul was praying that believers will have the disposition of godly knowledge and insight of which the sanctified mind is capable (v.8), so as to grasp the greatness of the hope (Rom. 8:29; 1 John 3:2) and the inheritance that is theirs in Christ (Eph. 1:3-14)")

"so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places." Ephesians 3:10 ESV
(Explanation for Ephesians 3:10 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 1761.
3:10 rulers. . .authorities.  Angels, both holy and unholy (1:21; 6:12; see note on Col. 1:16).  God, through the church, manifests his glory to all the angels.  The holy angels rejoice (see Luke 15:10; cf. 1 Pet. 1:12) because they are involved with the church (see 1 Cor. 11:10; Heb. 1:14).  Although they have no desire or capacity to praise God, even fallen angels see the glory of God in the salvation and preservation of the church.  in the heavenly places. As in Eph.1:3 and 6:12, this refers to the entire realm of spiritual beings.")

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." James 1:5 ESV
(Explanation for James 1:5 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 1876.
1:5 wisdom.  James' Jewish audience recognized this as the understanding and practical skill that were necessary to live life to God's glory.  It was not a wisdom of philosophical speculation, but the wisdom contained in the pure and peaceable absolutes of God's will revealed in his word (cf. 3:13, 17) and lived out.  Only such divine wisdom enables believers to be joyous and submissive in the trials of life.  ask God.  This command is a necessary part of the believer's prayer life (cf. Job 28:12-23; Prov. 3:5-7; 1 Thess. 5:17).  God intends that trials will drive believers to greater dependency on him, by showing them their own inadequacy.  As with all his riches (Eph. 1:7; 2:7; 3:8; Phil. 4:19).  God has wisdom in abundance (Rom. 11:33) available for those who seek it.  See notes on Prov. 2:1-8.")

"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere." James 3:17 ESV
(Explanation for James 3:17 from MacArthur Study Bible, page 1881.
3:17 wisdom from above. (see note on v. 13--(here is the note from v.13 on wisdom. The kind that comes only from God (see notes on James 1:5; cf. Job 9:4; 28; Ps. 104:24; 111:10; Prov. 1:7; 2:1-7; 3:19-20; 9:10; Jer. 10:7, 12; Dan. 1:17; 2:20-23; Rom. 11:33. 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 3:10; Col. 2:3). 
pure. This refers to spiritual integrity and moral sincerity. Every genuine Christian has this kind of heart motivation (cf. Ps. 24:3-4; 51:7; Matt. 5:8; Rom. 7:22-23; Heb. 12:14). peaceable. Means "peace loving" or "peace promoting" (cf. Matt 5:9). gentle. This word is difficult to translate, but most nearly means a character trait of sweet reasonabless. Such a person will submit to all kinds of mistreatment and difficulty with and attitude of kind, courteous, patient humility, without any thought of hatred or revenge (cf. Matt 5:10-11). open to reason. The original term described someone who was teachable, compliant, easily persuaded, and who willingly submitted to military discipline or moral and legal standards.  For believers, it defines obedience to God's standards (cf. Matt. 5:3-5).  full of mercy.  The gift of showing concern for those who suffer pain and hardship, and the ability to forgive quickly (cf. Matt. 5:7; Rom. 12:8).  impartial. The Greek word occurs only here in the NT and denotes a consistent, unwavering person who is undivided in his commitment and conviction and does not make unfair distinctions (see notes on James 2:1-13).")

"saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" Revelation 5:12 ESV
(Explanation for Revelation 5:12 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 1949.
5:12 power. . . and blessing.  This doxology records seven qualities intrinsic to God and to the Lamb that demand our praise.")

"saying, "Amen!  Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen." Revelation 7:12 ESV

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus, I lift up those reading Your Words today.  Please give us Your wisdom and favor. Please forgive us when we are foolish (thinking we are wise) and don't listen to You.    Thank You for Your holy wisdom and thank You for the Bible because You speak and reveal Yourself to us through it.  Please open the eyes of the unbelievers so that they will see the truth before it is too late.  I pray for their salvation.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, July 26, 2013


"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Matthew 5:6 ESV
(Explanation for Matthew 5:6 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 1366.
"5:6 hunger and thirst for righteousness.  This is the opposite of the self righteousness of the Pharisees.  It speaks of those who seek God's righteousness rather than attempting to establish a righteousness of their own (Rom. 10:3; Phil. 3:9).  What they seek will fill them, i.e., it will satisfy their hunger and thirst for a right relationship with God.")

"Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.  But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.  All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.  For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.  For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."  John 6:35-40 ESV

(Explanation for John 6 verses 35, 37, and 40 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 1550:

"6:35 I am the bread of life.  The obtuseness in v. 34 prompted Jesus to speak very plainly that he was referring to himself.

6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me.  This verse emphasizes the sovereign will of God in the selection of those who come to him for salvation (cf. w. 44, 65; 17:6, 12, 24).  The Father has predestined those who would be saved (see notes on Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 1:3-6; 1 Pet. 1:2).  The absolute sovereignty of God is the basis of Jesus' confidence in the success of his mission (see note on John 6:40; cf. Phil. 1:6).  The security of salvation rests in the sovereignty of God, for God is the guarantee that "all" he has chosen will come to him for salvation.  The idea of "gives me" is that every person chosen by God and drawn by God (John 6:44) must be seen as a gift of the Father's love to the Son.  The Son receives each "love gift" (v. 37), holds on to each (v. 39), and will raise each to eternal glory (w. 39-40).  No one chosen will be lost  (see notes on Rom. 8:31).  This saving purpose is the Father's will, which the Son will not fail to do perfectly (John 6:38; cf. 4:34; 10:28-29; 17:6, 12, 24).

6:40 everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him.  This verse emphasizes human responsibility in salvation.  Although God is sovereign, he works through faith, so that a person must believe in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God who alone offers the only way of salvation (cf. 14:6).  However, even faith is a gift of God (Rom. 12:3; Eph. 2:8-9) intellectually harmonizing the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man is impossible humanly, but perfectly resolved in the infinite mind of God."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus, I lift up those reading Your Word today. I pray that those reading Jesus' words will choose to accept His gift of salvation.  It is only in Jesus that we will never hunger or thirst because He is the way the truth and the life. You, Jesus are the bread of life and we thank You for Your sacrifice for all of us sinners.  I pray for the peace that only comes from Jesus to be over us and to keep us safe and healthy.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, July 22, 2013


"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  Live in harmony with one another.  Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.  Never be wise in your own sight.  Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."  To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:14-21 ESV

(Explanation for Romans 12:14-20 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 1673:
"12:14  Bless those who persecute you.  Treat enemies as if they were your friends (Luke 6:27-33; cf Matt. 5:44; Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60; 1 Pet. 2:21-23).

12:15 Rejoice. . .weep.  To be glad in the blessings, honor, and welfare of others--no matter what one's own situation (cf. 1 Cor. 12:26; 2 Cor. 2:3); and to be sensitive or compassionate to the hardships and sorrows of others (Col. 3:12; James 5:11; cf Luke19:41-44; John 11:35)

12:16 Live in harmony with one another.  To be impartial (see notes on 2:11; James 2:1-4, 9; cf. Acts 10:34; 1 Tim. 5:21; 1 Pet. 1:17)  not be haughty.  To be haughty with self-seeking pride (cf. Phil 2:3).  wise in your own sight.  Christians are not to have conceit or feelings of superiority toward fellow believers (cf. Rom. 1:22)

12:17 Repay no one evil for evil.  The OT law of "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" was never intended to be applied by individuals in the OT or NT; but it was a standard for the collective society to use to enforce good conduct among people (1 Thess. 5:15; see note on Ex. 21:23-24; cf. Lev. 24:20; Deut. 19:21; 1 Pet. 3:8-9) give thought to do what is honorable. Christians are to respect what is intrinsically proper and honest and have the right behavior when they are around others, especially unbelievers.

12:18 if possible.  Although we should do everything possible to be at peace with others, it will not always come, because it also depends on others' attitudes and responses.

12:19 wrath. Of God (see note on 1:18). Vengeance.  Divine retribution as quoted from Deut. 32:35.

12:20 heap burning coals on his head.  Refers to an ancient Egyptian custom in which a person who wanted to show public contrition carried a pan of burning coals on his head.  The coals represented the burning pain of his shame and guilt.  When believers lovingly help their enemies, it should bring shame to such people for their hate and animosity (cf. Prov. 25:21-22)."

"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. They answered him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone.  How is it that you say, 'You will become free'?"  Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.  The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."  John 8:31-36 ESV

(Expanation for John 8:31-36 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 1557-1558:
"8:31-36  These verses are a pivotal passage in understanding genuine salvation and true discipleship.  John emphasized these realities by stressing truth and freedom.  The focus in the passage is upon those who were exercising the beginnings of faith in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God.  Jesus desired them to move on in their faith.  Saving faith is not fickle but firm and settled.  Such maturity espresses itself in full commitment to the truth in Jesus Christ resulting in genuine freedom.  The passage has three features: 1) the progress of freedom (w. 31-32); 2) the pretense of freedom (w. 33-34); and 3) the promise of freedom (w. 35-36)."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus I lift up those reading these verses today.  I pray that those who have been hurt will give their hurt to You Lord and not seek vengeance themselves. I pray for forgiveness.  I also pray for those who are unsaved and hurting that they will choose to be set free by Jesus Christ for He is the way the truth and the life.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Liars and Deception

"Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.  For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer." 1 Timothy 4:1-5 ESV

(Explanation of 1 Timothy 4:1-5 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 1818:
"4:1 the Spirit expressly says.  Paul repeats to Timothy the warning he had given many years earlier to the Ephesian elders (Acts 20:29-30). The Holy Spirit  through the Scriptures has repeatedly warned of the danger of apostasy (cf. Matt. 24:4-12; Acts 20:29-30; 2 Thess. 2:3-12; Heb. 3:12; 5:11-6:8; 10:26-31; 2 Pet. 3:3; 1John 2:18; Jude18).  in later times. The period from the first coming of Christ until his return (Acts 2:16-17; Heb. 1:1-2; 9:26; 1 Pet.1:20; 1 John 2:18). Apostasy will exist throughout that period, reaching a climax shortly before Christ returns (cf. Matt. 24:12). depart from the faith.  Those who fall prey to the false teachers will abandon the Christian faith.  The Greek word for "depart" is the source of the English word "apostatize," and refers to someone moving away from an original position.  These are professing or nominal Christians who associate with those who truly believe the gospel, but defect after believing lies and deception, thus revealing their true nature as unconverted.  See notes on 1 John 2:19 and Jude 24.  deceitful spirits.  Those demonic spirits, either directly or through false teachers, who have wandered away from the truth and lead others to do the same.  The most defining word to describe the entire operation of Satan and his demons is "deception" (cf.John 8:44; 1 John 4:1-6).  teachings of demons.  Not teaching about demons, but false teaching that originates from them.  To sit under such teaching is to hear lies from the demonic realm (Eph. 6:12; James 3:15; 2 John 7-11).  The influence of demons will reach its peak during the tribulation (2 Thess. 2:9; Rev. 9:2-11; 16:14; 20:2-3, 8,10).  Satan and demons constantly work the deceptions that corrupt and pervert God's word.

4:2 insincerity of liars. Lit., "hypocritical lie-speakers."  These are the human false teachers who propagate demon doctrine (cf. 1 John 4:1).  seared.  A medical term referring to cauterization.  False teachers can teach their hypocritical lies because their consciences have been desensitized (cf. Eph. 4:19), as if all the nerves that make them feel had been destroyed and turned into scar tissue by the burning of demonic deception.  consciences. See note on 1 Tim. 1:5.

4:3 forbid marriage. . . abstinence from foods.  A sample of the false teaching at Ephesus.  Typically, it contained elements of truth, since Scripture commends both singleness (1 Cor. 7:25-35) and fasting (Matt. 6:16-17; 9:14-15).  The deception came in making such human works a prerequisite for salvation--a distinguishing mark of all false religion.  This ascetic teaching was probably influenced both by the Jewish sect. known as the Essenes, and contemporary Greek thought (which viewed matter as evil and spirit as good).  Paul addressed this asceticism in Col. 2:21-23 (see notes there). Neither celibacy nor any form of diet saves or sanctifies.

4:4 everything created by God is good.  The false teachers' asceticism contradicted Scripture, which teaches that since God created both marriage and food (Gen. 1:28-31; 2:18-24; 9:3), they are intrinsically good (Gen. 1:31) and to be enjoyed with gratitude by believers.  Obviously food and marriage are essential for life and procreation.

4:5 made holy.  Set apart or dedicated to God for holy use.  The means for so doing are thankful prayer and an understanding that the word of God has set aside the temporary Mosaic dietary restrictions (Mark 7:19; Acts 10:9-15; Rom.14:1-12; Col. 2:16-17).  Contrast the unbeliever whose inner corruption and evil motives corrupt every good thing (Titus 1:15)."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus I lift up those who are living in deception.  I pray that they will see the truth found only through Jesus in the Bible.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Message of Salvation For All

"For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them.  But the righteousness based on faith says, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'"  (that is, to bring Christ down) or "Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).  But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.  For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame."  For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.  For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."  Romans 10:5-13 ESV

(Explanation for Romans 10:9 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 1668:
10:9 confess. . .Jesus is Lord.  Not a simple acknowledgement that he is God and the Lord of the universe, since even demons acknowledge that to be true (James 2:19).  This is the deep personal conviction, without reservation, that Jesus is that person's own master or sovereign.  This phrase includes repenting from sin, trusting in Jesus for salvation, and submitting to him as Lord.  This is the volitional element of faith (see note on Rom. 1:16).  believe in your heart. See note on 1:16.  God raised him from the dead.  Christ's resurrection was the supreme validation of his ministry (cf. John 2:18-21).  Belief in it is necessary for salvation because it proved that Christ is who he claimed to be and that the Father had accepted his sacrifice in place of sinners (Rom. 4:24; cf. Acts 13:32-33; 1 Pet. 1:3-4).  Without the resurrection, there is no salvation (1 Cor. 15:14-17).  See note on Rom 1:4.   will be saved. See not on 1:16.)

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  I lift up those reading Your message of salvation.  I pray the truth of Your words will touch their hearts.  I pray for the unsaved that they will call on the name of the Lord and be saved.  In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


"Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?  But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed.  Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame."   1Peter 3:13-16 ESV

Explanation for for verses from 1Peter 3:13-16 from the MacArthur Study Bible, ESV, page 1894:

"1Peter 3:13, who is there to harm you.  It is unusual for people to mistreat those who are zealous for good.  Even a hostile world is slow to hurt people who are benefactors of society, who are kind and caring (cf. 4:12), but it does happen (3:14).
3:14 blessed.  Here the idea is "privileged" or "honored" (cf. Matt. 5:10). Have no fear.  The idea here is borrowed from Isa.8:12-13
3:15 in your hearts honor Christ the Lord.  The meaning is "set apart in your hearts Christ as Lord." The heart is the sanctuary in which he prefers to be worshiped.  Live in submissive communion with the Lord Jesus, loving and obeying him--and you have nothing to fear.  always being prepared to make a defense. The English word "apologetics" comes from the Greek word here translated "defense".  Peter is using the word in an informal sense (cf Phil. 1:16-17) and is insisting that the believer must understand what he believes and why one is a Christian, and then be able to articulate one's beliefs humbly, thoughtfully, reasonably, and biblically.  the hope that is in you.  Salvation with its anticipation of eternal glory.
3:16 a good conscience.  The conscience accuses (cf. Rom. 2:14-15) by notifying the person of sin by producing guilt, shame, doubt, fear, anxiety, or despair.  A life free of ongoing and unconfessed sin, lived under the command of the Lord, will produce a "clear conscience" (Acts 24:16; see notes on 2 Cor. 1:12; 4:2). This will cause your false accusers to feel the "shame" of their own consciences (cf. 1 Pet. 2:12, 15)"

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  I lift up to You those who are reading these verses today.  I pray for those who are  being slandered--I ask You Lord to protect them.  I pray for those people who do the slandering--that the truth would be known and that they would be put to shame. I pray for their salvation. I pray they would seek the truth that is only found in Christ Jesus.  I pray the chains of bondage will be unlocked and that the truth will set them free. I say these things is Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Jesus Speaks About Marriage and Divorce

Today's passage is from Mark chapter 10. 

"And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again.  And again, as was his custom, he taught them.

And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"  He answered them, "What did Moses command you?"  They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away."  And Jesus said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.  But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.  Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.  So they are no longer two but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate."

And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter.  And he said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."  Mark 10:1-12 (ESV)

Explanation for some of these verses from the MacArthur Study Bible, ESV, page 1445:

10:6 from the beginning.  Divorce formed no part of God's original plan for marriage, which was that one man be married to one woman for life (Gen. 2:24).   male and female. Lit., "a male and a female,"  Adam and Eve.  Mark quoted from Gen 1:27 and 5:2

10:7-8 Jesus took the issue beyond mere rabbinical quibbling over the technicalities of divorce to God's design for marriage.  The passage. Christ quotes (Gen. 2:24) presents three reasons for the inviolability of marriage: 1) God created only two humans (see note on Mark 10:6), not a group of males and females who could configure as they pleased to switch partners as it suited them;  2) the word translated "become one" lit. means "to be joined" or "to glue", thus reflecting the strength of the marriage bond;  3) in God's eyes a married couple is "one flesh," forming an indivisible union, manifesting that oneness in a child.

10:9  What therefore God has joined together.  Jesus added a fourth reason for the inviolability of marriage (see note on w. 7-8):  God ordains marriages and thus they are not to be broken by man.

10:11-12 Remarriage after a divorce--except for legitimate biblical grounds--proliferates adultery.  The innocent party--one whose spouse has committed prolonged, hard-hearted, unrepentant adultery--may remarry without being guilty of adultery, as may a believer whose unbelieving spouse has chosen to leave the marriage. (see note on 1 Cor. 7:15)

Genesis 2:24, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."
Explanation on this verse is from MacArther Study Bible, ESV, page 20: 
2:24  leave. . . hold fast to.  The marital relationship was established as the first human institution.  The responsibility to honor one's parents (Ex. 20:12) does not cease with leaving the union of husband and wife. (Matt. 19:5; Mark 10:7, 8; 1 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 5:31), but does represent the inaguuration of a new and primary responsibility.  "Hold fast" carries the sense of a permanent or indissoluble union, so that divorce was not considered (cf. Gen. 2:16).  "One flesh" speaks of a complete unity of parts making a whole, e.g., one cluster, many grapes (Num. 13:23) or one God in three persons (Deut. 6:4); thus this marital union was complete and whole with two people.  This also implies their sexual completeness.  One man and one woman constitute the pair to reproduce.  The "one flesh" is primarily seen in the child born of that union, the one perfect result of the union of two.  Cf.  uses of this verse in Matt. 19:5,6; Mark 10:8; 1 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 5:31.  Permanent monogamy was and continues to be God's design and law for marriage.

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  I pray for all the God designed marriages--that they would be strengthened in You.  I pray that You would open the eyes of those that are unbelievers and that they will see the truth that is found only in the Bible.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Genesis 19

"The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom.  When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, "My lords, please turn aside to your servant's house and spend the night and wash your feet.  then you may rise up early and go on your way."  They said, "No; we will spend the night in the town square."  But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house.  And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house.  And they called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight?  Bring them out to us, that we may know them.  Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, and said, "I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly.  Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man.  Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please.  Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof."
(explanation for the verses Genesis 19:6-8 from the MacArthur Study Bible, ESV, page 42, "19:6-8 Lot's response betrayed tension in his ethics; his offer to gratify their sexual lust contradicted his plea not to act "wickedly".  Such contradiction made clear also the vexation of spirit under which he lived in wicked Sodom. (cf. 2 Peter 2:6-7):  Verse 8, do to them as you please.  The constraints of Eastern hospitality and the very purpose for which Lot had invited the visitors (w. 2-3) compelled Lot to offer his daughters for a less deviant (see notes on Rom. 1:24-27) kind of wickedness, so as to protect his guests.  This foolish effort shows that while Lot was right with God (2 Pet. 2:7-8), he had contented himself with some sins and weak faith rather than leaving Sodom.  But God was gracious to him because he was righteous, by faith, before God.")
But they said, "Stand back!"  And they said, "This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them."  Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down.  But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door.  And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.
Then the men said to Lot, "Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place.  For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it."  So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, "Up! Get out of this place, for the LORD is about to destroy the city."  But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city."  But he lingered.  So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out  and set him outside the city.  And as they brought them out, one said, "Escape for you life.  Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley.  Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away."  And Lot said to them, "Oh, no, my lords.  Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life.  But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die.  Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one.  Let me escape there--is it not a little one?--and my life will be saved!"  He said to him, "Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken.  Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there.  Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar.  Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven.  And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.  But Lot's wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
(explanation of Lot's wife from the MacArthur Study Bible, ESV, page 43: "Genesis 19:26  Lot's wife . . .looked back.  Lot's wife paid the price of disregarding the angelic warning to flee without a backward glance (v. 17).  In so doing, she became not only encased in salt, but a poignant example of disobedience producing unwanted reaction at judgment day (cf. Luke 17:29-32), even as her home cities became bywords of God's judgment on sin (cf. Isa. 1:9; Rom. 9:29; 2 Pet. 2:5-6)."

And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the LORD.  And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace.

So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.

Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar.  So he lived in a cave with his two daughters.  And the firstborn said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth.  Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father."  So they made their father drink wine that night.  And the firstborn went in an lay with her father.  He did not know when she lay down or when she arose.

The next day, the firstborn said to the younger, "Behold, I lay last night with my father.  Let us make him drink wine tonight also.  Then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father."  So they made their father drink wine that night also.  And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.  Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father.  The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab.  He is the father of the Moabites to this day.  The younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi.  He is the father of the Ammonites to this day."  Genesis 19 (ESV)
(explanation for Genesis 19:31-38, from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 43.  Genesis 19:31-36, "The immoral philosophy of Sodom and Gomorrah had so corrupted the thinking of Lot's daughters that they unhesitatingly contrived to be impregnated by their own father!  They were virgins (v.8), the married daughters were dead (v.14), and there were no men left for husbands (v.25).  In fearing they would have no children, they conceived the gross iniquity."
Genesis 19:37-38, "The two sons born of incest became the progenitors of Moab and Ammon, Israel's longstanding enemies.")