April 12, 2008
April 5, 2008
Text:Isaiah 35:8 (KJV)
“And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err, (blunder) therein.”
Intro:Qualified drivers are aware of the Highway Code. This is a set of rules for highway users. It may include the mandatory rules, the informative or the precautionary rules. The rule of the road is “keep left unless overtaking”
What is Holiness?
Hebrew -Qodesh, ko’-desh; from (qadash); a sacred place or thing; rarely abstract sanctity: - consecrated (thing), dedicated (thing), hallowed (thing), holiness, most holy (day, portion, thing), saint, sanctuary.
1)Hosiotes, hos-ee-ot’-ace; (hosios); piety :- holiness.
Luke 1:74, 75 (KJV) “That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.”
2) Eusebeia, yoo-seb’-i-ah;(eusebes); piety; :- godliness, holiness.
Acts 3:12 (KJV) ”And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?”
3) Hagiasmos, hag-ee-as-mos’; purification, i.e. (the state) purity; concrete :- holiness, sanctification.
1 Thes. 4:7 (KJV) ”For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.”
Does this passage speak to us?
This “highway of Holiness,” is the way that righteous pilgrims will take from the desert of suffering to Zion (Jerusalem). It is found only by following God. Only the redeemed will travel God’s highway; they will be protected from wicked travellers and harmful animals. God is preparing a way for his people to travel to his home, and he will walk with us. God never stops at simply pointing the way; he is always beside us as we go along (Matt 28:19, 20 “the footprints dream”).
Isaiah 64:1-6 God’s appearance is so powerful that it is like a consuming fire that burns everything in its path. If we are so impure, how can we have a fellowship with him? It is basically the mercy of God that we are preserved. The Israelites had experienced God’s appearance at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:16-19). They sent Moses on their behalf. God came down in form of thunderstorm, smoke, and an earthquake. The Question remains, “If God was to meet us today, how many of us will stand his glory? Our righteousness are “filthy rags”
Isaiah 64:6 Sin makes us contaminated so that we cannot draw near to God (Isaiah 6:5; Romans 3:23) We appear worse than a beggar in rotten rags pleading to dine at a king’s table. Our best efforts are still polluted with sin. We have only one way. Our hope is therefore, built on our faith in Jesus Christ, who can cleanse us and bring us into God’s presence (1John1:9-10).
This passage can easily be misinterpreted. It doesn’t mean that God will reject us if we go to him in faith, nor that he despises our efforts to please him. It means that if we come to him demanding acceptance on the basis of our “good” conduct, He will point out that our righteousness is nothing compared to his infinite righteousness. We cannot be saved by deeds of service without faith in Christ. However many times our faith lacks sincerity if it doesn’t reach out to others. In Isaiah 58 we learn that fasting can benefit spiritually and physically. Moreover at its best, fasting helps only the person doing it. God says he wants our service to go beyond our own individual growth to acts of kindness, charity, justice, and generosity. True fasting is more than skipping our meals. It is pleasing God by applying his Word to our society.
Rule of the Holiness highway is found in “ 1Peter 1:16 (KJV) “…be ye holy; for I am holy.”
April 5, 2008
I began reading the “character in crisis” text book by Brown, with a lot of anticipation.
I had a thirst and a longing to know more of what is entailed in Old Testament Wisdom literature. Each chapter in the book leaves you yearning for the next.
Now that I have finished, I have a new level of understanding the O.T Wisdom literature. I stand in a position to carry out fairly in-depth discussions on the various questions that can be raised in the three major books, i.e. Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes. Character in Crisis delves into the above writings and explicates how they concoct the traditional view of wisdom treasured in Old Testament epoch. Each wisdom author is on a pursuit to discern how to live with honesty and piousness in spite of affliction, disappointment, and daily intricacy. Brown takes us out on various journeys. He gives minutiae on each individual’s journey, keeping his elucidation heavy enough to be appealing but colourful and appropriate so that they are not lost in theological gibber. His opinions keep the mind agitated in an attempt to work out the queries portrayed by the Old Testament books. He persuades readers to go on board on their personal pursue for character. It is not easy to find such a book that probe into the theology of the wisdom prose. Most of the books in this field are far and much below the standard of Brown’s work. He does not dump the reader in the Old Testament but brings him to the broader and wider in the New Testament. He wraps up with a brief but perceptive remark on the Epistle of James. Here, he portrays to the church that even at the present times, keen observations require to be laid down to biblical wisdom. This literature goes further than mere human contemplation. It could be said that the wisdom found in this literature is like a core of mine where you go there to exploit and grow richer wiser and live longer and better. Therefore I appeal to whoever has anticipation for a solid foundation in Old Testament wisdom literature to seek no further. “Character in crisis”, is all you need.
February 25, 2008
February 8, 2008
1. The New Interpreter’s Bible: A Commentary in Twelve Volumes: Introduction to Wisdom Literature, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles (Song of Songs), Book of Wisdom, Sirach v. 5 (New Interpreter’s Bible) by Abingdon Press (Hardcover – 13 Oct 1997)2. Wisdom Literature and the Structure of Proverbs by T.Anthony Perry (Hardcover – Sep 1993)3. Wisdom for the Millennium (A Helen Exley Giftbook) by Helen Exley (Hardcover – 31 Aug 1999) 4. Wisdom Literature: A Theological History by Leo G. Perdue (Paperback – 1 Aug 2007)5. Gospel and Wisdom: Israel’s Wisdom Literature in the Christian Life (Biblical Classics Library) by Graeme Goldsworthy (Paperback – 17 Mar 1995)6. Old Testament Wisdom: An Introduction by James L. Crenshaw (Paperback – 1 Jan 1999)7. Wisdom Literature: Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Canticles, Ecclesiates and Esther: Vol. 13 (The Forms of the Old Testament Literature) by Roland E. Murphy (Paperback – Dec 1981)8. Get Wisdom, Get Insight: An Introduction to Israel’s Wisdom Literature by Katharine Dell (Paperback – Jan 2000)9. The Wisdom of the Anglo-Saxons (The Wisdom Of… Series) by Gordon Mursell (Hardcover – 23 Jan 1998)10. Wisdom Literature in Mesopotamia and Israel (Society of Biblical Literature Syumposium) by Richard J. Clifford (Paperback – 15 Jul 2007) 11. Handbook on the Wisdom Books and Psalms by Daniel J. Estes (Hardcover – 1 Dec 2005)12. Seven Pillars of Wisdom (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature) by T.E. Lawrence (Paperback – 1 Jun 1997)13. Irish Wit: Religion, the Law, Literature, Love, Drink, Wisdom and Proverbs (Wit of Ireland) by Sean McCann and Tom Mathews (Paperback – 30 Jun 1991)
14. Wisdom Literature (SCM Core Text) by Alastair Hunter (Paperback – 29 Sep 2006)