Wednesday, September 24, 2014


(1 Sam 3:1)…And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation.
In between the Old Testament and the New Testaments (the Intertestamental Period) there is a period of time called the 400 silent years.  That is, no Bible books were written and no true prophets existed that spoke for God.  But as we shall see this time period was anything but quiet.  So what was going on during this pocket of time? 
Alexander the Great conquered the world and brought the Greek culture and language (Hellenization) to the empire.  
The Ptolemies and Seleucids battle it out with Israel sandwiched in between (predicted in detail by Daniel the prophet four centuries before these kings existed (Dan 11:5-20).
Antiochus IV Epiphanes erected an altar to Zeus on the altar of burnt offering outside the temple, and had a pig offered on the altar.  A family of Jews (the Maccabees) fought back and eventually won independence and restored the temple worship.  (Hanukkah holiday born)    
The Jewish people produced a sizable body of literature including the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament), the Apocrypha, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Jewish parties of the Sadducees and Pharisees came into existence.  Other groups include the Herodians, the Essene community out by the Dead Sea, and the Jewish zealots (sicarii). 
The synagogue form of worship was developed and established amongst the diaspora (Jews living outside of Israel).   
In 63 B.C., Pompey of Rome conquered Palestine, putting all of Judea under control of the Caesars. 
In short, Roman civilization had brought peace (Pax Romana) and a road system which aided travel; the Grecian civilization provided a language which was accepted as the lingua franca of the empire; the Jews had endorsed monotheism and held out the messianic hope in the synagogues of the Mediterranean world.  God was working behind the scenes so that one day the silence would be broken and John the Baptist would look at Jesus and say …Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)
Take courage, when God is silent He’s getting ready to do something special!  (Hab 1:5)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014




God wants us to stick together no matter what.  (Mat 19:6)…Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”  But what do you do when you’re not happy anymore in your marriage?  Is staying together a ticket to misery the rest of your days?  Let’s talk about it because there are many people who are not happy in their marriage.

HONOR YOUR VOWS:  Okay, so you know divorce is not an option.  You took your vows and you know what it says: For better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health.  Be faithful to your spouse like Jesus is to you, His bride.  (Heb 13:5)

DON’T SEPARATE:  Those who separate enter the high-risk area of never coming back together.  You’ve already made a step in that direction and it’s just easy to go the next step of divorce.  Separation is allowable because of abuse but don’t fool yourself for other reasons. (Mat 19:6)

KEEP MAKING LOVE:  Don’t use sex as a tool to get back at your spouse.  Sex is sacred and can bond you together.  There are a lot of things we do in life that we don’t feel like doing.  (1 Cor 7:2-5)

DON’T SHOP AROUND:  It’s easy to fall out of love with your spouse and fall in love with someone else.  You might be feeling lonely and desire to be loved and understood.  But adultery is forbidden by God and you want to avoid the steps that lead up to it.  Fall in love with Jesus and get yourself some godly friends who will support you until your marriage gets stronger.  (Eph 3:17-20; Gal 6:2)

HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS:  One person can’t fulfill all your needs in life.  That is reserved for Jesus alone.  Give your spouse some slack to be who they are.  As you do then watch how that grace comes right back to you.  Remember, marriage is two sinners under one roof!  (Rom 3:23; Col 2:10)

DIE TO YOUR SELF: In marriage there are many invitations to die to your own desires and prefer your spouse.  Be mature.  As you give in and serve your spouse God will bless you and grant you your longings because you were unselfish.  (Mat 16:24; Phil 2:1-5)

HAVE FAITH:  Every marriage has its ups and downs.  Nothing’s too hard for God.  Be optimistic and trust Him to work things out! (Heb 11:6)

AGAPE:  When your love quotient is running low read the love chapter (1 Cor 13).  Then ask the Lord to fill you anew with His enduring love (Rom 5:5).  And memorize these words or Jesus:  (John 13:34-35)…love one another; as I have loved you…