Praising God another year of His providence for the ministry and also for Kem BMI that took place in January. Join us to pray for Camp Cameron & East Asia Regional Conference, Bangkok (IFES EARC). Both take place in July.
“Day of the LORD….” Overview The book of Joel is best viewed by focusing on the Day of the Lord similar to the Book of Zephaniah. While everything that Joel prophesied was still future to him, it is possible if not likely that chapters 1-2 have already been fulfilled (we know Joel 2:28-32 has been fulfilled with the coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2.) If that is the case, the disasters of Joel 1-2 are only a glimpse of the coming judgment and salvation of the future Day of the Lord. This outline breaks the book of Joel into two sections – the Day of the Lord past and the Day of the Lord future. This does not mean to imply that there a multiple “days of the Lord” but that past fulfillment is only a partial fulfillment or only a prophetic glimpse of what fully lies ahead. Reading by Parts Chapter 1: Dreadful Plague Chapter 2: 1-17 – Day of the Lord & True Repentance Chapter 2: 18-32 – Spiritual & Material Restoration Chapter 3: 1-21 - Judgment on nations & Blessing on God’s people Summary Israel’s sin leads to disaster God’s mercy creates hope The past becomes an image of the future Reflection for today Sin is a serious issue to be dealt with. It requires rending our hearts to God through true & sincere repentance God will & can restore us materially & spiritualty after a major disaster/incident in our life In the Day of the Lord, God will confront the evil of all nation & bring blessing upon His people The LORD is... read more
I am surprised when I found such a book like this is in the Bible. This is one of the two books in the Bible where God is not mentioned even once. Another, is the book of Esther. There is no mention of anything obviously spiritual in it from beginning to end. Its graphic description of human sexuality means that it’s one of the books of the Bible that are generally avoided in Sunday School. Not only is it “unspiritual”, but it is also very sensual - involving our five senses; smell, sight, touch, taste and hearing. The Author The book was written by King Solomon, who had a gift for writing lyrics. He most probably wrote many songs, including love songs to his wives. Song of Songs tells us that by the time he wrote this he already had 60 wives! Suggestion on How to Read? Perhaps knowing the story line of this book will help. Bear in mind that this is a long song written by King Solomon to one of his wives. Solomon usually retreated from his duty as a king to one of his country estate. He will relax, hunt and lead his sheep to find green pasture and water. One day, in one of Solomon’ country side estate, a tenant farmer had died and the farm was passed on to the sons. The tenant probably had three or four sons and two daughters. One of the daughters, the grown up child is actually subject of this song. Since the death of her father, the brothers made her do all the work in the... read more
The man who is most associated with wisdom in the Bible is the man who wrote the Book of Proverbs. He asked for wisdom from the Lord to govern others and was told in 1 Kings 3:12-14: “…I will give you a wise and discerning heart… if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands...” He wrote the Book of Song of Songs, when he was at a young age, and now the book of Proverbs was written when the middle aged King Solomon is also a father. Ecclesiastes is also attributed to him, written in his old age and as an elderly philosopher. Suggestion on How to Read? Prologue (1:1-7) Why the Proverbs were collected. Advice to a youth (1:8-9:18) From a father Solomon’s Proverbs (10:1-22:16) Collected by himself Wise words (22:17-24:34) From ancient kingdoms Solomon’s Proverbs (25:1-30) Copied by Hezekiah Advice to youth (31:1-31) From a mother Why Read it? Proverbs may seem a strange book to be included in the Bible, but upon a closer look, its place is thoroughly justified. It deals with some of the major themes in Scripture. It is an important “weapon” to fight against foolish living. Reflection Proverbs contains humorous observations and pithy sayings that seem to be little more than common sense. It doesn’t seem very spiritual. It says little about private or public devotions. The book of proverbs describes life as it really is – not life in church, but life in the streets, the office, the shop, the home. It covers all aspect of life, not just what you do on a Sunday (or... read more
‘Deuteronomy’ comes from two words in the Greek language, deutero, which means ‘second’, and nomos, which means ‘law’ or simply ‘second law’. Have you noticed that the Bible often repeats itself? I remember noticing as a new-born Christian that I kept running into the same phrases and even stories. I didn't understand why the Bible contained so many repetitions, but now I understand (a bit more) that: God wants to remind us of the past, to teach us how to live in the present and urges us to look ahead. Some Tips on How to Read the book of Deuteronomy Keep this in mind as you read Deuteronomy: God wants to remind us of the past, to teach us how to live in the present and urges us to look ahead to the future. You can read this book by dividing it into three (3) sections: Moses’ First Address : Reminders of the Past (Deuteronomy 1-4) Moses’ Second Address : Instructions for the Present (Deuteronomy 5-26) Moses’ Third Address : Possible Results in the Future (Deuteronomy 27-33) You can also read it in a week: Day Chapter Monday 1 – 4 Tuesday 5 – 10 Wednesday 11 – 16 Thursday 17 – 22 Friday 23 – 27 Saturday 28 – 30 Sunday 31 – 34 The best way to read a book is by having a big picture/idea of the whole book. So do read it in one sitting. If you never did it before, try it. On average, one can read the entire Deuteronomy in just 1 hour 40 minutes to 2 hours 30 mins. Find a good... read more
Some TIPS on How to Read the Book of Chronicles 1 Chronicles chapter 9 gives us the clues that this book was written after the people of Judah have returned home from the Babylonian exile. The purpose of retracing the history of the Israelites from post exilic back to Adam was to remind them that they were still God’s people after the fall of the kingship. These books were written in retrospect was to answer the question why the people of Judah were sent to exile. The author intentionally left out the Northern kings and the sins of David. The author portrayed King David as the ideal king and the image of the future messiah. The unfaithfulness of the kings of Judah and the people broke the covenant they made with their God that led them to exile. In spite of their unfaithfulness, this book of Chronicles brings a glimpse of hope, when God uses King Cyrus, the Persian king to fulfill His prophecy to bring them back home after almost 70 years in exile. Suggestion of sections of reading 1 Chronicles 1 – 8 - The genealogy of the founding ancestors (Adam) to King Saul and it focuses on the lineage of King David and the priesthood. 1 Chronicles 9 & 10 - The removal of King Saul 1 Chronicles 11 – 29 - The reign of King David 2 Chronicles 1 – 9 - The reign of King Solomon and the building of the temple 2 Chronicles 10 – 35 - The reign of 15 Kings of Judah & the failure of Kingship 2 Chronicles 36 -... read more
Some Tips on How To Read the Book of Ezekiel To read Ezekiel, we need to know the background of Ezekiel and what is happening that time. Background Who is Ezekiel? Ezekiel was born in 622BC, the year which the book of the law was discovered. Since Ezekiel’s father Buzi, was a priest, Ezekiel was reared in all the traditions of the Jewish priesthood and was prepared for service to God in the Temple. But, he could no longer served as a priest in the Temple. What was happening at that time? In 597BC, Ezekiel’s plan is shattered when the Babylonian armies carried Ezekiel, Daniel, and estimated 10 thousand people to exile (the 1st deportation). What is Ezekiel’s calling? God called Ezekiel to be a prophet among the exiles. Ezekiel was to give God’s message verbally and visually. He was to explain to the exiles that Jerusalem will fall because of their sins. Questions to ponder as you read (Chapter 1-3) Ezekiel called to be a watchman, sent by God’s spirit Who is this God/Spirit that Ezekiel saw? What do you notice about Ezekiel and His calling? (Chapter 4-24) Jerusalem will fall (message concerning the people of Jerusalem before the city was destroyed in 567BC) How will Jerusalem fall? Why will Jerusalem fall? (Chapter 25-32) Revenge on the neighbours of Judah What did God judge them for? After Jerusalem was destroyed in 587BC (Chapter 33-39) A future for the exiles What were the promises of God to the people in exile? (Chapter 40-48) The Temple that Ezekiel saw What is the main reason God... read more