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
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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Numbers 28; Psalm 72; Isaiah 19-20; 2 Peter 1

ONE OF THE FEATURES OF THE PSALMS that describe the enthronement of a Davidic king, or the reign of a Davidic king, is how often the language goes “over the top.” This feature combines with the built-in Davidic typology to give these psalms a...

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Numbers 27; Psalms 70-71; Isaiah 17-18; 1 Peter 5

MOST CHRISTIANS HAVE listened to testimonies that relate how some man or woman lived a life of fruitlessness and open degradation, or at least of quiet desperation, before becoming a Christian. Genuine faith in the Lord Christ brought about a...

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018 18:00

Numbers 26; Psalm 69; Isaiah 16; 1 Peter 4

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Numbers 26; Psalm 69; Isaiah 16; 1 Peter 4

AT ONE LEVEL, Psalm 69 finds David pouring his heart out to God, begging for help as he faces extraordinary pressures and opponents. We may not be able to reconstruct all the circumstances that are presented here in poetic form, but David has been betrayed...

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Tuesday, 15 May 2018 18:00

Numbers 25; Psalm 68; Isaiah 15; 1 Peter 3

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Numbers 25; Psalm 68; Isaiah 15; 1 Peter 3

THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY to defeat the people of God.

Balak wanted Balaam to curse the Israelites (Num. 22-24). Under threat of divine sanction, Balaam stood fast and proclaimed only what God gave him to say. But here in Numbers 25 we discover a quite...

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Numbers 24; Psalms 66-67; Isaiah 14; 1 Peter 2

IN AN AGE OF MANY “PRAISE CHORUSES,” people are tempted to think that our generation is especially rich in praise. Surely we know more about praise that our stuffy parents and grandparents in their somber suits and staid services, busily...

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Numbers 23; Psalms 64-65; Isaiah 13; 1 Peter 1

BALAAM RECOGNIZES THAT he cannot control the oracles he receives (Num. 23). He cannot even be sure that an oracle will be given him: “Perhaps the LORD will come to meet with me,” he explains (23:3).

“The LORD put a message in...

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Saturday, 12 May 2018 18:00

Numbers 22; Psalms 62-63; Isaiah 11-12; James 5

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Numbers 22; Psalms 62-63; Isaiah 11-12; James 5

RECENTLY I WAS PHONED BY A MAN who told me he wanted to put me on a retainer as his private theologian. Then, when he phoned or wrote again, I would try to answer his questions.

I did not bother asking what figure he had in mind. Nor do I want to...

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Numbers 21; Psalms 60-61; Isaiah 10:5-34; James 4

THE BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE BRONZE SNAKE (Num. 21:4-9) is probably better known than other Old Testament accounts of similar brevity, owing to the fact that it is referred to by Jesus himself in John 3:14-15: “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in...

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Thursday, 10 May 2018 18:00

Numb. 20; Psalms 58-59; Isa. 9:8-10:4; James 3

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Numbers 20; Psalms 58-59; Isaiah 9:8-10:4; James 3

THERE ARE FEW PASSAGES in the Pentateuch which on first reading are more discouraging than the outcome of Numbers 20:1-13.

Yet the account carries some subtle complexities. It begins with more of the usual griping. The need of the people is real:...

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