Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Peaceful Heart in the Midst of Strife

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he [it is] that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Deut. 31:6

Wescott's Bible Commentary Notes, written in the 19th century, have been a source of comfort to many of the Lord's humble followers. Here is a dear insight regarding the verse above:

‘In your temptations ( when you are tempted to fear you are forgotten or forsaken) run to the promises; they be our Lord’s branches hanging over the water that our Lord’s weak half–drowned children may take a grip of them.’

‘I will in no wise fail thee, nor will I in any wise forsake thee.

The idea of fail is that of losing hold, so as to withdraw the support rendered by the sustaining grasp: that of forsake, of deserting or leaving alone in the field of contest, or in a position of suffering.’

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why You Should Never Touch the Hors d'oeuvres at a Canaanite Garden Party

They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD
. Isaiah 66:17

I think an additional translation of this verse is helpful:

"Those who 'consecrate' and 'purify' themselves in a *sacred garden with its idol in the center—feasting on pork and rats and other detestable meats—will come to a terrible end," says the LORD. NLT

* Or gardens behind one of your temples

In describing heathen rituals, Isaiah says it was customary to assemble in gardens to perform rites. There the heathen (and the Israelites who participated in heathen rituals) would gather "behind one tree"--possibly a pole dedicated to a goddess-to eat things forbidden to the Hebrews, such as swine's flesh, rodents, and other abominable things.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Children and War Customs

The young men have borne the mill, and the children have stumbled under the wood.
Lamentations 5:12

Generally, under Babylonian and Assyrian wartime leadership, children of their opponents were killed in very distressing ways. But sometimes they were spared for slavery.

Tuthmosis III (1504-1450 BC) recorded 84 children among the 2503 captives he obtained in Palestine. A thousand years later, when Jerusalem fell, children were still a good catch for conquering armies. The young men of Jerusalem deported to Babylon had to carry millstones, while the small boys were made to transport timber. That is the context for the the scripture listed above.