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

Joshua 2; Psalms 123-125; Isaiah 62; Matthew 10

I ONCE HEARD A LEARNED SOCIOLOGIST, by confession an evangelical, explain with considerable erudition why even a major revival, should the Lord choose to send one to a country like America, could not possibly speedily transform the nation. The problem...

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Thursday, 28 June 2018 18:05

Joshua 1; Psalms 120-122; Isaiah 61; Matthew 9

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Joshua 1; Psalms 120-122; Isaiah 61; Matthew 9

THE FIFTEEN SHORT PSALMS (Pss. 120-134) immediately succeeding Psalm 119 are grouped together as songs of ascent: that is, each carries this heading. The most likely explanation is that these psalms were sung by pilgrims on their way up to Jerusalem and...

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Wednesday, 27 June 2018 18:05

Deut. 33-34; Psalm 119:145-176; Isaiah 60; Matt. 8

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Deuteronomy 33-34; Psalm 119:145-176; Isaiah 60; Matthew 8

HOW DOES THE PENTATEUCH end (Deut. 34)?

At a certain level, perhaps one might speak of hope, or at least of anticipation. Even if Moses himself is not permitted to enter the Promised Land, the Israelites are on the verge of going in. The...

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Deuteronomy 32; Psalm 119:121-144; Isaiah 59; Matthew 7

ONE OF THE GREAT THEMES OF SCRIPTURE, and one that surfaces with special frequency in Psalm 119, is that the unfolding of God’s words gives light; “it gives understanding to the simple” (119:130) in at least two senses.

First,...

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Deuteronomy 31; Psalm 119:97-120; Isaiah 58; Matthew 6

REFLECT FOR A MOMENT on the rich and diverse means that God granted to Israel to help them remember what he had done to deliver them, and the nature of the covenant they had pledged themselves to obey.

There was the tabernacle itself (later the...

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Deuteronomy 30; Psalm 119:73-96; Isaiah 57; Matthew 5

IN ITS UNFOLDING REFLECTIONS on God and his revelation, Psalm 119 is unsurpassed. Here I shall focus on three themes that surface in Psalm 119:89-96.

(1) God’s revelatory word, that word that has been inscripturated (i.e., written down to...

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Saturday, 23 June 2018 18:05

Deut. 29; Psalm 119: 49-72; Isaiah 56; Matthew 4

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Deuteronomy 29; Psalm 119: 49-72; Isaiah 56; Matthew 4

“THE SECRET THINGS belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29). The two principal points bear reflection.

First, the...

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Deuteronomy 28:20-68; Psalm 119:25-48; Isaiah 55; Matthew 3

THERE ARE NOT MANY PASSAGES in the Bible more fearsome than Deuteronomy 28:20-68. What the text depicts is the judgments that will befall the people of God if they disobey the terms of the covenant and rebel against God, if they “do...

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Deuteronomy 27:1 — 28:19; Psalm 119:1-24; Isaiah 54; Matthew 2

HERE THE PAIR OF ITALICIZED passages converge.

The setting envisaged by Deuteronomy 27 — 28 is spectacular. When the Israelites enter the Promised Land, they are to perform a solemn act of national commitment. They are to...

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Wednesday, 20 June 2018 18:05

Deut. 26; Psalms 117 — 118; Isaiah 53; Matthew 1

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Deuteronomy 26; Psalms 117 — 118; Isaiah 53; Matthew 1

WHEN I WAS A BOY, a plaque in our home was inscribed with the words “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Apart from the change from “hath” to “has,” similar...

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Tuesday, 19 June 2018 18:05

Deut. 25; Psalm 116; Isaiah 52; Revelation 22

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Deuteronomy 25; Psalm 116; Isaiah 52; Revelation 22

SOMETIMES TRANSLATION DIFFICULTIES prompt Bible translators to include footnotes that preserve alternative possibilities. Sometimes no alternative is included, and something important is lost. One instance of each kind is found in Psalm 116, and...

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Deuteronomy 24; Psalms 114-115; Isaiah 51; Revelation 21

IT IS STRIKING HOW THE Mosaic Law provides for the poor.

Consider Deuteronomy 24. Here God forbids taking a pair of millstones, or “even the upper one”(i.e., the more movable one), as security for a debt (Deut. 24:6). It would be...

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Deuteronomy 23; Psalms 112 — 113; Isaiah 50; Revelation 20

EVERY SO OFTEN IN THE Pentateuch there is a chapter of miscellaneous laws and statutes. One such is Deuteronomy 23. It goes beyond these brief meditations to reflect on each topic for which a statute is laid down, or even on the...

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Deuteronomy 22; Psalms 110–111; Isaiah 49; Revelation 19

THE OLD TESTAMENT CHAPTER quoted most often in the New Testament is Psalm 110. It is an oracular psalm: i.e., it does not so much disclose the experience of its writer as set forth words that the writer has received by direct and...

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Deuteronomy 21; Psalms 108-109; Isaiah 48; Revelation 18

PSALM 108 IS RATHER DISTINCTIVE in the book of Psalms. Apart from minor changes, it is made up of parts of two other psalms. Psalm 108:1-5 follows Ps. 57:7-11; Psalm 108:6-13 follows 60:5-12. Nevertheless the “feel” of the result...

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Thursday, 14 June 2018 18:05

Deut. 20; Psalm 107; Isaiah 47; Revelation 17

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Deuteronomy 20; Psalm 107; Isaiah 47; Revelation 17

HISTORICALLY, REVIVAL REFERRED TO a time of God-sent blessing beyond the ordinary. Ministers of the Word went about their work, praying, preaching, catechizing, counseling, whether in times of persecution, or in times of relative quiet and steady...

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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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