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
Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 7–8; Romans 6; Jeremiah 44; Psalms 20–21

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1 Samuel 7–8; Romans 6; Jeremiah 44; Psalms 20–21 image

WHY PEOPLE ASK FOR SOMETHING is at least as important as what they ask for.

This is true in many domains of life. I know an executive in a midsize corporation who successfully talked his bosses into setting up a new committee. The reason...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 28; 1 Corinthians 9; Ezekiel 7; Psalm 45

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1 Samuel 28; 1 Corinthians 9; Ezekiel 7; Psalm 45

THERE ARE SEVERAL QUESTIONS about the witch of Endor (1 Sam. 28) that we cannot answer. Was the prophet Samuel actually called up by her mediumistic activity, or was this some sort of demonic deception? If Samuel was called up, was this an exception...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 5-6; Romans 5; Jeremiah 43; Psalm 19

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1 Samuel 5-6; Romans 5; Jeremiah 43; Psalm 19

GOD IS NEVER AMUSED at being treated with contempt, nor by having his explicit instructions ignored or defied. For then he would not be God.

God is well able to defend himself. In 1 Samuel 5-6, the unfolding account can be as restrained as it is precisely...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 26; 1 Corinthians 7; Ezekiel 5; Psalms 42–43

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1 Samuel 26; 1 Corinthians 7; Ezekiel 5; Psalms 42–43

IN THE COURSE OF HIS treatment of “virgins” (1 Cor. 7:25–38—the word refers to the sexually inexperienced, whether male of female), Paul writes, “Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 4; Romans 4; Jeremiah 42; Psalm 18

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1 Samuel 4; Romans 4; Jeremiah 42; Psalm 18

WHEN PEOPLE KNOW LITTLE about the God who has actually disclosed himself, it is terribly easy for them to sink into some perverted view of this God, until the image held of him has very little to do with the reality.

One can understand the...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 24; 1 Corinthians 5; Ezekiel 3; Psalm 39

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1 Samuel 24; 1 Corinthians 5; Ezekiel 3; Psalm 39 image

IN CASE ANYONE WERE TO READ 1 Corinthians 4 and conclude that no standards whatsoever are to be maintained in the church—after all, maintenance of standards requires judging, doesn’t it?—the next chapter, 1 Corinthians 5, provides...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 3; Romans 3; Jeremiah 41; Psalm 17

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1 Samuel 3; Romans 3; Jeremiah 41; Psalm 17

THE LORD DOES NOT CALL all his prophets in the same way, or at the same time of life. Amos was called when he was a shepherd in Tekoa. Elisha was called by Elijah to serve an apprenticeship. But Samuel was called even from before conception.

Samuel’s...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 23; 1 Corinthians 4; Ezekiel 2; Psalm 38

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1 Samuel 23; 1 Corinthians 4; Ezekiel 2; Psalm 38 image

PAUL IN 1 CORINTHIANS 3 HAS BEEN telling the Corinthians how notto view servants of Christ. They are notto view any particular servant of Christ as a group guru, for that means other servants of Christ are implicitly inferior. When each different...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 2; Romans 2; Jeremiah 40; Psalms 15-16

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1 Samuel 2; Romans 2; Jeremiah 40; Psalms 15-16

IF ROMANS 1 CONDEMNS the entire human race, Romans 2 focuses especially on Jews. They have enormous advantages in that they were the recipients of the Law — the revelation from God mediated through Moses at Sinai. But here too, Paul argues, all...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 20; 1 Corinthians 2; Lamentations 5; Psalm 36

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1 Samuel 20; 1 Corinthians 2; Lamentations 5; Psalm 36 image

THERE ARE NOT MANY CHAPTERS in the Bible that devote much space to the theme of friendship, but 1 Samuel 20 is one of them.

Strictly speaking, of course, 1 Samuel 20 is not about friendship per se, in the way that friendship is a theme to be...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 1; Romans 1; Jeremiah 39; Psalms 13-14

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1 Samuel 1; Romans 1; Jeremiah 39; Psalms 13-14

HOW DOES THE WRATH OF GOD manifest itself, according to the Scriptures?

There is no short answer to that question, because the answers are many, depending on an enormous array of circumstances. God’s wrath wiped out almost the entire human race at...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 18; Romans 16; Lamentations 3; Psalm 34

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1 Samuel 18; Romans 16; Lamentations 3; Psalm 34 image

THE KIND OF JEALOUSY described in 1 Samuel 18 is a terrible thing.

(1) It is grounded in an ugly self-focus, a self-focus without restraint. In his world, Saul must be number one. This means that peers must not best him or he becomes jealous. Not for...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

Ruth 3-4; Acts 28; Jeremiah 38; Psalms 11-12

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Ruth 3-4; Acts 28; Jeremiah 38; Psalms 11-12

SCHOLARS DISAGREE SOMEWHAT over the social significance of each action taken in Ruth 3-4, but the general line is clear enough. Almost certainly the levirate laws, which allowed or mandated men to marry widowed in-laws under certain circumstances to keep...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

Ruth 2; Acts 27; Jeremiah 37; Psalm 10

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Ruth 2; Acts 27; Jeremiah 37; Psalm 10

THE NARRATOR HAS ALREADY TOLD US that when Naomi and Ruth arrive back in Bethlehem it was the time of barley harvest (Ruth 1:22). Now (Ruth 2) the significance of that bit of information is played out.

It was long-standing tradition, stemming from Mosaic Law,...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 15; Romans 13; Jeremiah 52; Psalm 31

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1 Samuel 15; Romans 13; Jeremiah 52; Psalm 31 image

SAUL ALREADY HAS A CHECKERED RECORD. On the one hand, he courageously rescued the city of Jabesh from the Ammonites and displayed an admirable restraint in the early use of his royal power (1 Sam. 11). Nevertheless it was not long before he starts...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 17; Romans 15; Lamentations 2; Psalm 33

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1 Samuel 17; Romans 15; Lamentations 2; Psalm 33 image

THE NAMES OF DAVID and Goliath (1 Sam. 17) conjure up a story many have known from their youth. Sometimes David is made into a very little boy, though in reality he is at least a young man who has bested both a lion and a bear. But today the pair of...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

2 Samuel 13; 2 Corinthians 6; Ezekiel 20; Psalms 66–67

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2 Samuel 13; 2 Corinthians 6; Ezekiel 20; Psalms 66–67

THE THREAT TO DAVID’S REIGN predicted by the prophet Nathan begins with a sordid side-tale that nevertheless betrays exactly what is wrong with David’s rule (2 Sam. 13).

The multiplicity of royal wives meant that there were...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

Ruth 1; Acts 26; Jeremiah 36; Psalm 9

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Ruth 1; Acts 26; Jeremiah 36; Psalm 9

THERE IS SCARCELY A MORE ATTRACTIVE figure in all of Scripture than Ruth.

She is a Moabitess (Ruth 1:4). She lives in troubled times, and faces her own terrible grief. She and another Moabitess, Orpah, marry two recent immigrants called Mahlon and Kilion. These...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

2 Samuel 8–9; 2 Corinthians 2; Ezekiel 16; Psalms 58–59

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2 Samuel 8–9; 2 Corinthians 2; Ezekiel 16; Psalms 58–59

IT IS BEYOND THESE BRIEF REFLECTIONS to provide a history of the difficult visits and painful letters that generated deep emotion in the apostle’s relations with the Corinthians. Relations between Corinth and Paul are...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

Judges 21; Acts 25; Jeremiah 35; Psalms 7-8

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Judges 21; Acts 25; Jeremiah 35; Psalms 7-8

THE LAST WRETCHED STEP in the violence precipitated by the rape and murder of the Levite’s concubine now plays out (Judg. 21). In a fury of vengeance, the Israelites have swept through the tribal territory of Benjamin, annihilating men, women,...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

2 Samuel 3; 1 Corinthians 14; Ezekiel 12; Psalm 51

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2 Samuel 3; 1 Corinthians 14; Ezekiel 12; Psalm 51

EVEN AFTER THE DEATH OF King Saul, David did not immediately become king of Israel. At first David is anointed king over Judah (2 Sam. 2:1–7), and onlyJudah: even Benjamin, which remained with Judah following the division between...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

Judges 20; Acts 24; Jeremiah 34; Psalms 5-6

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Judges 20; Acts 24; Jeremiah 34; Psalms 5-6

ONE MIGHT HAVE EXPECTED that only the guilty would be hunted down and executed (Judg. 20). But the Levite is stirring up the nation (without, of course, disclosing his own disgraceful behavior). So far as our records go, Gibeah does not offer to hand over...

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1 Samuel 29–30; 1 Corinthians 10; Ezekiel 8; Psalms 46–47

FIRST CORINTHIANS 10 INCLUDES several passages worthy of prolonged meditation. But today we reflect on a passage which, superficially speaking, is one of the easiest of them.

Paul tells the Corinthians that the things that happened...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

Judges 19; Acts 23; Jeremiah 33; Psalms 3-4

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Judges 19; Acts 23; Jeremiah 33; Psalms 3-4

BY THE TIME WE REACH Judges 19, the law of the jungle has triumphed in the fledging nation of Israel.

The Levite introduced to us at this point takes on a concubine. (Levites were supposed to marry only virgins; see Lev. 21:7, 13-15.) She sleeps around and...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 25; 1 Corinthians 6; Ezekiel 4; Psalms 40–41

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1 Samuel 25; 1 Corinthians 6; Ezekiel 4; Psalms 40–41 image

DESPITE ITS GREAT INTEREST and deft characterizations, one must ask why the story found in 1 Samuel 25is included. How does it advance the storyline of 1 and 2 Samuel?

Once some of the social conventions of the day are understood, the...

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