Archive for November, 2017

“The Woman Taken in Adultery” – Truth2Freedom’s Blog

November 28, 2017

Truth 2 Freedom’s blog has a great essay up today on The Woman Taken in Adultery.

I suggest going to the link above and reading the entire essay. Here is just a portion of what is written there:

Sin’s Horror

First, the story reveals sin’s horror. And, of course, I do not mean the sin of the woman. I mean the sin of the rulers. Adultery is sin, certainly. The woman was guilty of adultery. But compared to the sin of the men who were using her in an attempt to trap Jesus, her sin was minimal—a mote in her eye compared to the beams that were in their eyes (Matt. 7:1–5).

To understand precisely what these men were doing we must understand that not only was their approach to Jesus a trap; they actually had already been active in trapping the woman. In fact, it could hardly be otherwise, on the basis of their testimony and in light of the very exacting requirements of Jewish law in this and other capital cases. Under Jewish law, as it was practiced by the rabbis in the time of Christ and later, it was necessary to have multiple witnesses to the act of intercourse before the charge of adultery could be substantiated, and even this was to be under the most exacting of circumstances. Thus, as one scholar points out, “There is absolutely no question of [the witnesses] having seen the couple in a ‘compromising situation,’ for example, coming from a room in which they were alone, or even lying together on the same bed. The actual physical movements of the couple must have been capable of no other explanation, and the witnesses must have seen exactly the same acts at exactly the same time, in the presence of each other, so that their dispositions would be identical in every respect.”

Under these conditions the obtaining of evidence in adultery would be almost impossible were the situation itself not a setup. We are justified in supposing that the liaison had been arranged, perhaps by the very man who committed adultery with the woman. Was he a member of the Sanhedrin? Whatever the case, the arrangement must have involved the posting of witnesses in the room or at the keyhole.

We see the horror of the sin of these men in another way too. For the fact that only the woman was brought to Jesus reveals their dishonesty. If adultery could be proved only by the testimony of witnesses who had seen the couple in the very act of adultery and if this is what the rulers were claiming, as they were, where then was the man in the story? Why was he not brought with the woman? At the least, the rulers allowed the man to escape. At the worst, the man had been in on the plotting and had been granted immunity beforehand. How horrible! Yes, but it is only the old case of the double standard that exists still today. Men should take their stand with the women in such cases, confessing their share of the guilt, which is usually greater anyway. But they do not. The poor woman had to bear the shame alone.

God of Circumstances

The horror of sin is not the only subject these verses introduce, however. They also reveal the mastery by God of all circumstances.

I love that last sentence.  “They also reveal the mastery by God of all circumstances.”

My comment at the link:

Great essay on the encounter with the adulterous woman and how Jesus dealt with it. I learned several new things about this portion of Scripture, especially when you wrote:

Some suggest that this was a symbolic action, intended to remind the accusers of Jeremiah 17:13—“O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust.”

It makes me wonder whether or not any of the accusers in this encounter genuinely saw the need to repent of their sins.   Or, did they just drop the stones because they knew that they were guilty of sin in their lives. The feeling of guilt does not necessarily bring someone to the point where they see their individual need for repentance.

If they were not truly sorrowful for their sins, then what happened was that it probably made them even more bitter towards Jesus for having their sinful guilt pointed out by Him. The prophetic verse of Jeremiah 17:13 applies very well here.

Hat tip:  Truth2Freedom’s Blog

Thanksgiving and Comforting Life Verses

November 22, 2017

For me, “life verses” are those that I hold onto, read often, think about, and apply towards the circumstances that I find myself in; especially when I’m grieving or find myself in a dilemma that requires God moving in my life and/or in the lives of loved ones.

Reading the truth in God’s Word always comforts me and lessens the grief that I may be feeling because of any unforeseen event.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day.  It is a time to celebrate and give thanks to God for all of our blessings.  When certain loved ones are not there, it is normal to feel the loss of their presence; whether they have died, live too far away, or are, unfortunately, estranged from their families.

1Th 5:14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle [fn] encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.

ESV Footnotes
disorderly, or undisciplined

It is interesting to note that the admonishment is not only for the “idle,” but also for the “disorderly, or undisciplined.”  That covers a LOT of people these days!

1Th 5:15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.

It can be very difficult to “seek to do good to” someone (or, people) who intentionally hurt you through their evil acts against you.  But, what’s the point of being a saved Christian if our intention is to “repay evil for evil?”  We can admonish those who do evil against us, but avoid repaying with evil.  Maybe that’s where the idea to “kill them with kindness” came from?

1Th 5:16 Rejoice always
1Th 5:17 pray without ceasing,
1Th 5:18  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I like to take these three verses and apply them together.  How can we “rejoice always” when horrible and terrible things happen within families, in our nation, and across the world?

Praying without ceasing means to keep up whatever you are focused on praying for.  I recall praying for the salvation of my own dad since I was a 7-year old little girl.  Decades later, after more than 10 years of studying the Bible, God used me to witness to my dad just 5 months before he passed away from lung cancer.

Notice that 1 Thessalonians 5:18 doesn’t say,  ‘give thanks for all circumstances;’ it says to “give thanks in all circumstances.”  This is a reminder that even if we don’t see the outcome of any circumstance (whether it be positive or negative), God has it in His hands and His Will be done!  “For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

I can’t even explain, right now, how comforting these verses are for me.  One day, I will share a recent experience which was devastating for me and our family.  In the meantime, I can hold onto another one of my favorite chapters (Romans 8) and the particular life verses shared below from that chapter.

 Rom 8:34
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.[fn]

Rom 8:35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

Rom 8:36
As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

Rom 8:37
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Rom 8:38
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,

Rom 8:39
nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In addition, the following portion of commentary from David Brown at the Blue Letter Bible site are comforting:

(10) “The whole universe, with all that it contains, so far as it is good, is the friend and ally of the Christian; and, so far as it is evil, is more than a conquered foe” ( Rom 8:35-39 ) [HODGE]. (11) Are we who “have tasted that the Lord is gracious,” both “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” ( 1Pe 1:5 ), and embraced in the arms of Invincible Love? Then surely, while “building ourselves up on our most holy faith,” and “praying in the Holy Ghost,” only the more should we feel constrained to “keep ourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” ( Jud 1:20, 21 ).


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