But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

For the Love of God - Apologetic Report
Wednesday, 13 June 2018 18:05

Deut. 19; Psalm 106; Isaiah 46; Revelation 16

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Deuteronomy 19; Psalm 106; Isaiah 46; Revelation 16

THE JUSTICE ENVISAGED IN Deuteronomy 19 seems to stand a considerable distance from the views that prevail in Western nations today.

With part of this text’s emphasis, most of us will find ourselves in substantial sympathy: the courts must not...

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Tuesday, 12 June 2018 18:05

Deut. 18; Psalm 105; Isaiah 45; Revelation 15

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Deuteronomy 18; Psalm 105; Isaiah 45; Revelation 15

THE PROPHECY OF THE COMING of a prophet like Moses (Deut. 18:15-18) must first of all be understood within its own context. Four observations bring this passage to sharp focus.

First, the preceding verses (Deut. 18:9-13) condemn the religious...

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Monday, 11 June 2018 18:05

Deut. 17; Psalm 104; Isaiah 44; Revelation 14

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Deuteronomy 17; Psalm 104; Isaiah 44; Revelation 14

MOSES ENVISAGES A TIME when the Israelite nation will choose a king (Deut. 17:14-20). He could not know that centuries later, when the Israelites would first ask for a king, they would do so for all the wrong motives — primarily so that they...

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Sunday, 10 June 2018 18:05

Deut. 16; Psalm 103; Isaiah 43; Revelation 13

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Deuteronomy 16; Psalm 103; Isaiah 43; Revelation 13

IT IS DIFFICULT TO IMAGINE a lovelier psalm than Psalm 103. When our children were growing up, the price they “paid” for their first leather-bound Bibles was memorizing Psalm 103. Across the centuries, countless believers have turned to...

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Saturday, 09 June 2018 18:05

Deut. 15; Psalm 102; Isaiah 42; Revelation 12

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Deuteronomy 15; Psalm 102; Isaiah 42; Revelation 12

ONE OF THE STRIKING features of many passages in Deuteronomy that describe what life should be like once the people enter the Promised Land is a tension between what is held out as the ideal and what will in fact prove the reality.

Thus, on the one...

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Thursday, 07 June 2018 18:05

Deut. 12; Psalms 97-98; Isaiah 40; Revelation 9

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Deuteronomy 12; Psalms 97-98; Isaiah 40; Revelation 9

ALTHOUGH THE BOOK OF Deuteronomy constantly looks backward to the Exodus and years of wilderness wanderings, it also looks forward: the people are about to enter the Promised Land, and certain things will change. In times of transition, one must...

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Wednesday, 06 June 2018 18:00

Deut. 11; Psalms 95-96; Isaiah 39; Revelation 9

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Deuteronomy 11; Psalms 95-96; Isaiah 39; Revelation 9

MY PARENTS WERE RATHER POOR — not with the poverty one finds in the worst of the world’s slums, but poor by North American standards. My Dad was a pastor. Before I was born, still at the end of the Great Depression, Dad took around a...

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Tuesday, 05 June 2018 18:00

Deut. 10; Psalm 94; Isaiah 38; Revelation 8

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Deuteronomy 10; Psalm 94; Isaiah 38; Revelation 8

INTERSPERSED WITH THE HISTORICAL RECITAL that makes up much of the early chapters of Deuteronomy are bursts of exhortation. One of the most moving is found in Deuteronomy 10:12-22. Its magnificent themes include:

(1) A sheer God-centerdness that...

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Monday, 04 June 2018 18:00

Deut. 9; Psalms 92-93; Isaiah 37; Revelation 7

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Deuteronomy 9; Psalms 92-93; Isaiah 37; Revelation 7

IF DEUTERONOMY 8 REMINDS THE Israelites that God is the One who gave them all their material blessings, not least the ability to work and produce wealth, Deuteronomy 9 insists he is also the One who will enable them to take over the Promised Land...

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Sunday, 03 June 2018 18:00

Deut. 8; Psalm 91; Isaiah 36; Revelation 6

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Deuteronomy 8; Psalm 91; Isaiah 36; Revelation 6

DEUTERONOMY 8 PROVIDES AN important theological perspective on the forty years of wandering in the wilderness. Because God is a personal God, one can tell the story of those years in terms of the interaction between God and his people: he meets their...

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Saturday, 02 June 2018 18:00

Deut. 7; Psalm 90; Isaiah 35; Revelation 5

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Deuteronomy 7; Psalm 90; Isaiah 35; Revelation 5

SEVERAL COMPLEX THEMES intertwine in Deuteronomy 7. Here I want to reflect on two of them.

The first is the emphasis on election. “For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face...

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Friday, 01 June 2018 18:00

Deut. 6; Psalm 89; Isaiah 34; Revelation 4

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Deuteronomy 6; Psalm 89; Isaiah 34; Revelation 4

WE HAVE COME ACROSS other passages dealing with the importance of passing on the heritage of biblical truth to the next generation. That theme lies at the heart of Deuteronomy 6. Fresh points that are especially underlined include:

(1) The ancient...

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Thursday, 31 May 2018 18:00

Deut. 5; Psalm 88; Isaiah 33; Revelation 3

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Deuteronomy 5; Psalm 88; Isaiah 33; Revelation 3

WHAT IS MOST STRIKING ABOUT Psalm 88 is that there is no relief. Heman begins the psalm by crying to the Lord, disclosing his discouragement in various ways, and he ends in gloom and despair. Most psalms that deal with discouragement and despair begin...

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Wednesday, 30 May 2018 18:00

Deut. 4; Psalms 86-87; Isaiah 32; Revelation 2

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Deuteronomy 4; Psalms 86-87; Isaiah 32; Revelation 2

THE STRUCTURE OF THE BOOK OF Deuteronomy has many detailed parallels with ancient covenants or treaties that regional powers made with their vassal states. One of the components of such treaties was a kind of historical prolegomenon — a...

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Deuteronomy 3; Psalm 85; Isaiah 31; Revelation 1

IT IS A WONDERFUL PAIRING: “Love and faithfulness meet together.” Then another pairing: “righteousness and peace kiss each other” (Ps. 85:10). Older readers may remember the first of these two lines in the King James Version:...

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Monday, 28 May 2018 18:00

Deuteronomy 2; Psalms 83-84; Isaiah 30; Jude

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Deuteronomy 2; Psalms 83-84; Isaiah 30; Jude

“FOR THE LORD GOD is a sun and a shield: the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you” (Ps. 84:11-12).

Much of this psalm exults in...

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Deuteronomy 1; Psalms 81-82; Isaiah 29; 3 John

“OPEN WIDE YOUR MOUTH and I will fill it” (Ps. 81:10): the symbolism is transparent. God is perfectly willing and able to satisfy all our deepest needs and longings. Implicitly, the problem is that we will not even open our mouths to enjoy...

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Saturday, 26 May 2018 18:00

Numbers 36; Psalm 80; Isaiah 28; 2 John

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Numbers 36; Psalm 80; Isaiah 28; 2 John

WE ARE FIRST INTRODUCED TO Zelophehad and his daughters in Numbers 27:1-11. Normally inheritance descended through the sons. But Zelophehad had no sons, only five daughters named Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. Zelophehad belonged to the generation...

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Friday, 25 May 2018 18:00

Numbers 35; Psalm 79; Isaiah 27; 1 John 5

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Numbers 35; Psalm 79; Isaiah 27; 1 John 5

WHEN PLANS WERE BEING LAID to parcel out the Promised Land to the twelve tribes, Levi was excluded. The Levites were told that God was their inheritance: they would not receive tribal territory, but would be supported by the tithes collected from the rest of...

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Thursday, 24 May 2018 18:00

Numbers 34; Psalm 78:40-72; Isaiah 26; 1 John 4

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Numbers 34; Psalm 78:40-72; Isaiah 26; 1 John 4

“HOW OFTEN THEY REBELLED against him in the desert and grieved him in the wasteland! Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel” (Ps. 78:40-41). Thus Asaph pauses in the course of his recital to summarize...

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Wednesday, 23 May 2018 18:00

Numbers 33; Psalm 78:1-39; Isaiah 25; 1 John 3

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Numbers 33; Psalm 78:1-39; Isaiah 25; 1 John 3

THE OPENING FEW VERSES OF Psalm 78 initially elicit a little puzzlement. Asaph invites his readers (and if this is sung, his hearers) to hear his teaching, to listen to the words of his mouth (78:1). Then he announces, “I will open my mouth in...

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Tuesday, 22 May 2018 18:00

Numbers 32; Psalm 77; Isaiah 24; 1 John 2

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Numbers 32; Psalm 77; Isaiah 24; 1 John 2

ASAPH MUST HAVE GIVEN A LOT of thought to the question of what believers should remember. Psalm 75, we saw yesterday, commends the power of godly “recital” — a retelling of what God has done so as to bring near God’s name.” The...

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Monday, 21 May 2018 18:00

Numbers 31; Psalms 75-76; Isaiah 23; 1 John 1

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Numbers 31; Psalms 75-76; Isaiah 23; 1 John 1

ONE OF THE IMPORTANT FUNCTIONS of corporate worship is recital, that is, a “re-telling” of the wonderful things that God has done. Hence Psalm 78:2-4: “I will utter hidden things, things from of old — what we have heard and known,...

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Sunday, 20 May 2018 18:00

Numbers 30; Psalm 74; Isaiah 22; 2 Peter 3

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Numbers 30; Psalm 74; Isaiah 22; 2 Peter 3

A FEW YEARS AGO I spent some time in a certain so-called “third world” country, well known for its abject poverty. What struck me most forcibly about the culture of that country, however, was not its poverty, nor the gap between the very wealthy...

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Saturday, 19 May 2018 18:00

Numbers 29; Psalm 73; Isaiah 21; 2 Peter 2

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Numbers 29; Psalm 73; Isaiah 21; 2 Peter 2

FEW PSALMS HAVE PROVIDED greater succor to the people who are troubled by the frequent, transparent prosperity of the wicked than Psalm 73.

Asaph begins with a provocative pair of lines: “Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in...

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