Ezekiel 28:25-26 - The Jews Return to Their Land
Verse 25: "Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel [the Jews] from the people [nations] among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified [be honored as holy] in them in the sight of the heathen [non-Jewish people], then shall they [the Jews] dwell [live] in their land that I have given [promised] to my servant Jacob [see note below*]."
Verse 26: "And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea [yes], they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise [hate] them round about them [i.e., all of their enemies]; and they [the Jews] shall know that I am the LORD their God."
*To answer a question from one of their readers, GotQuestions.org published an article entitled "What is the land that God promised to Israel?" In it, we find that the land that God said belongs to Israel consists of "… All of the land modern Israel currently possesses, plus all of the land of the Palestinians (the West Bank and Gaza), plus some of Egypt and Syria, plus all of Jordan, plus some of Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Israel currently possesses only a fraction of the land God has promised."
Here's a link to the article, if you want to read more: www.gotquestions.org/Israel-land.html.
Proverbs 30:7-9 - Agur's Prayer to God
Verse 7 [Introduction]: "Two things have I required [asked] of thee [you]; deny me them not [please grant my requests] before I die:"
Verse 8 [Agur's two requests]: " Remove far from me vanity [falsehoods in general] and lies [spoken falsehoods] [in other words, he wants God to keep him honest in thought, word, and deed]:  give me neither poverty nor riches [don't let me be poor or rich]; feed me with food convenient [suitable] for me [in other words, he wants God to provide for his daily needs]:"
Verse 9 [Reasons for the second request]: "Lest I be full [satisfied], and deny thee [i.e., so I won't forget you (God), or think that I don't need you], and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I [so I won't] be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain [be tempted to dishonor you (God) in any way, or treat you without respect]."
According to Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church, in these verses, Agur is asking God for help in overcoming "his two most spiritually damaging besetting sins": i.e., his tendency to lie and an apparent weakness regarding material goods (possessions). He was well aware of his sinful nature and did not want to be tempted do anything to offend God. That's why he asks for just enough money to provide for his family's needs--no more, no less.
If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentaries on these verses, here are the links:
Introduction and Request #1: Remove vanity and lies (verses 7-8a)
Request #2: No poverty or riches (verse 8b)
Reasons for the second request (verse 9)
John 15:13 [Jesus told his disciples at the Last Supper]: "Greater love hath no man [no one has greater love] than this, that a man [referring specifically to himself (Jesus), but also applies to all men, women, and children] [would] lay down his [or her] life [i.e., be willing to die] for his [or her] friends."
Jesus himself is the greatest example of this truth, as he willingly suffered an excruciating (extremely painful) death on the cross to save the souls of all mankind, including not only his friends (disciples) but also his enemies and people he never met.
Throughout history, many men and women have
lost their lives on the battlefield while defending our country.
Today (Memorial Day) is a special day in the United States
that has been set aside by our government
to remember and honor them.
1 John 3:22: "And whatsoever [whatever] we ask [in prayer], we receive of him [from God], because we keep [obey] his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight."
Proverbs 27:12: "A prudent man [a wise, sensible person] foreseeth the evil [senses danger or trouble], and hideth himself [avoids it]; but the simple [unwise, foolish] [people] pass on [keep going], and are punished."
Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse, including examples of how we can "foresee the evil" and avoid trouble by not clicking on scam emails, not responding to ads about alcohol, not joining gangs, not viewing pornography, and being careful when driving on ice.
Concerning alcohol, gangs, and pornography (Section B, paragraph 5, of the commentary), we are told that:
"b. A prudent man can see right through the façade of the advertisements for alcohol which imply that if you drink Budweiser, you too will be at the fabulous parties with gorgeous women and life will be non-stop fun! He can see through that to the evil that is the REAL end result of alcohol: divorce; fatherless children; destroyed livers; Skid Row; prison. He looks beyond the immediate façade to foresee the evil.
"c. A prudent young person should be able to discern when a group of kids is trouble or not. You can sense, that with a certain group of kids, you just know that trouble is right around the corner. You can tell by what they talk about; by what they say they have done in the past; by what they think is funny; their attitude towards life; towards spiritual things.
"d. A prudent man ought to be able to foresee trouble ahead for those who go online to watch pornography; or to chat and flirt with women online. You know where that leads. A prudent man will foresee the calamity that lies [a]head."
If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch27_html/Prov.27.12.htm.
Proverbs 26:1: "As snow [is an uncommon occurrence] in summer, and as rain [is not normal] in harvest [when crops are gathered from the fields], so honour is not seemly [fitting, appropriate] for a fool."
Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse. In it, Pastor Delany tells what can happen when fools are hired to teach children, run countries, preach in churches, manage businesses, and provide entertainment.
If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch26_html/Prov.26.1.htm.
1 John 3:14-15 - Salvation, Hatred, Murder
Verse 14: "We know that we have passed from [spiritual] death unto [spiritual] life [i.e., that we have been born again], because we love the brethren [other Christians]. He [or she] that loveth not [does not love] his [or her] [Christian] brother [or sister] abideth in death [remains dead in sin, or is not saved]."
Verse 15: "Whosoever hateth his brother [whoever hates other people, especially Christians] is a murderer [in his or her heart]: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding [dwelling, residing] in him [or her]."
In God's eyes, hatred is as bad as murder, and according to the Bible, all murderers go to hell, not heaven:
-- Revelation 21:8: "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
2 Kings 4:1-7 - The Miracle of the Oil
Verse 1: "Now there cried [out for help] a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets [she was the wife of one of God's prophets] unto [the prophet] Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor [the person to whom the family owed money] is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen [slaves] [as payment for the debt, which was permitted in Bible times]."
Verse 2: "And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee [you]? tell me, what hast thou [what do you have] in the house [that can be sold]? And she said, Thine handmaid [referring to herself as a female servant] hath not any thing [of value] in the house, save [except] a pot of oil."
Verses 3-4: "Then he said, Go, [and] borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels [borrow empty containers or utensils, such as cups, bowls, pitchers, vases, pots, etc., from your neighbors]; borrow not a few [borrow as many as you can]. And when thou art come in [into your house], thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons [you shall shut the door after yourself and your sons], and shalt pour out [your oil] into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that [vessel] which is full [i.e., as each vessel was filled up, they were to set it aside]."
Verses 5-6: "So she went from him, [borrowed the empty vessels, returned to her house,] and [to ensure privacy] shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out [the oil] [into the vessels]. And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a [another] vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more [there are no more vessels to fill]. And the oil stayed [stopped]."
Verse 7: "Then she came and told the man of God. And he [Elisha] said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest [on whatever money is left over after the debt is paid]."
Hebrews 3:13: "But exhort [advise, warn, caution] one another [your fellow Christians] daily [on a daily basis], while it is called To day; lest any of you be [so none of you will become] hardened [in heart and mind] [to sin] through the deceitfulness of sin [by its false promises of pleasure, profit, etc.]."
John 14:13-14 - Prayer
During the Lord's supper, Jesus told his disciples how to make sure that their prayers would be answered.
Verse 13: "And whatsoever [whatever] ye [you] shall ask in my name [in faith and prayer, according to the will of God--see note below*], that will I do, [so] that [God] the Father may be glorified [honored, praised] in [through] [God] the Son [i.e., Jesus]."
Verse 14: "If ye shall ask [for] any thing [in prayer] in my [Jesus'] name, I will do it."
Commenting on this verse, Charles Spurgeon said: "… There are some of God's children who have little power with him in prayer, - some who walk so disorderly that, since they do not listen to God's words, he will not listen to theirs. Yet he will give them necessaries, as you give even to your naughty and disobedient children; but he will not give them the luxury of prevailing prayer, and that full fellowship with him which comes through abiding in him. Such luxuries he saves for his obedient children, …" (Source: www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/john-14.html, "John 14:13-14")
*In addition to asking for things "in Jesus' name," we must pray to God in faith, in accordance with his will:
-- James 1:6-7: "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord."
-- I John 5:14-15: "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."
1 Peter 5:8-9: "Be sober [calm and collected (not drunk), having a sound mind], be vigilant [watchful]; because your adversary [enemy] the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about [on the earth], seeking whom he may devour [eat, consume, destroy]: Whom [referring to the devil] resist [oppose] [by being] stedfast [unwavering] in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions [things that cause pain, suffering, or distress] are accomplished in [happen to] your brethren [fellow Christians] that are in the world."
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 - The Rapture
This is what the apostle Paul, along with Silas and Timothy, wrote to the Christians at Thessalonica.
Verse 13: "But I [Paul] would not have you to be ignorant [lacking in knowledge] [about the rapture], brethren [brothers (and sisters), referring to believers (fellow Christians) in the church], concerning them which are asleep [those Christians who have died], that ye sorrow not [so that you aren't overwhelmed by sadness or grief], even as [are] others which have no hope [of resurrection, and eternal life in heaven]."
Verse 14: "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus [i.e., the souls/spirits of born-again Christians] will God [the Son--Jesus] bring with him [at the rapture]."
Verse 15: "For this we [Paul, Silas, and Timothy] say unto you by the word of the Lord [by a direct revelation from God], that we [Christians] which are alive and remain [survive] unto [until] the coming of the Lord [the rapture] shall not prevent [precede, or go before] them which are asleep [dead, meaning that the bodies of dead Christians will rise first]."
Verse 16: "For the Lord [Jesus Christ] himself shall descend [come down] from heaven with a shout [from Jesus], with the voice of the archangel [the chief angel, probably Michael], and with [the sound of] the trump [trumpet] of God: and the dead in Christ [the bodies of born-again Christians who have died] shall rise [up from the dead and be reunited with their souls/spirits] first:"
Verse 17: "Then we which are alive and remain [on earth] shall be caught up together with them [the resurrected Christians] in the clouds [with our newly changed, immortal bodies--see note below*], to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever [always] be with the Lord [in heaven]."
Verse 18: "Wherefore [therefore] comfort [encourage] one another with these words."
Nobody knows when the rapture will occur. It could be today, next month, or many years from now. Hopefully, you'll be among the Christians who "disappear" at that time.
For an in-depth explanation of the rapture, read "What Will Happen At the Rapture?" by Dr. Raymond Barber. Here's the link: www.soulwinning.info/prophecy/rapture-raymond_barber.htm.
If you want to take part in the rapture but don't know what to do, please read one or more of the gospel tracts on the "Printable Gospel Tracts" page of my website. You'll find them here: www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.
*1 Corinthians 15:51-53: "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."
Proverbs 16:20: "He [or she] that handleth a matter wisely [in thought, word, and deed] shall find good [results]: and whoso [whoever] trusteth in the LORD [for salvation, help, guidance, etc.], happy is he [or she]."
In his commentary on this verse, Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church explains how wisdom and trust go together, and he shows why "wisdom without faith is folly [foolishness]" and "faith without wisdom is dangerous" by using examples of people who misinterpret scripture or wrongly apply things that happened in the Bible to current events.
If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch16_html/Prov.16.20.htm.
Proverbs 15:3: "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding [watching, observing] the evil and the good [i.e., God sees everyone and knows everything, including our thoughts and what is said and done in secret]."
Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch15_html/Prov.15.3.htm.
Proverbs 14:1: "Every wise woman buildeth her house [in this case, her household, or family]: but the foolish [woman] plucketh [pulls] it down [i.e., destroys or ruins it] with her hands."
In his commentary on this verse, Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church explains the steps involved in building a good Christian home. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch14_html/Prov.14.1.htm.
To all the moms throughout the world,
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
Proverbs 13:4: "The soul [mind] of the sluggard [lazy person] desireth [craves, covets] [things that other people have], and hath [has] nothing: but the soul of the diligent [hard-working] [person] shall be made fat [prosperous (successful and/or rich), well-off]."
In other words, lazy people have unfulfilled desires, but hard workers are usually happy and content.
Salem Bible Church has a wonderful commentary on this verse. In it, Pastor Delany defines sluggard and gives many examples of excuses that lazy people give for not working. I especially like his comment (referring to sluggard) that 'This is the person whose motto is: never do today what you can put off until tomorrow.' He also lists some of the consequences of being lazy, tells why lazy people are unhappy, discusses the problem of homelessness, and explains what to do if you're feeling 'down in the dumps.'
If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch13_html/Prov.13.4.htm.
Proverbs 12:22: "Lying lips are abomination [hateful, detestable, disgusting] to the LORD: but they that deal truly [honestly, truthfully] are his [God's] delight."
As usual, Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse, including many examples of when and why people lie and how God feels about lying. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch12_html/Prov.12.22.htm.
Proverbs 11:13: "A talebearer [tattletale] revealeth secrets [to others]: but he that is of a faithful spirit [a faithful, trustworthy friend] concealeth the matter [keeps the matter hidden, refuses to spread gossip, doesn't air other people's 'dirty laundry']."
In most cases, if someone trusts you with a secret, keep it to yourself.
Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch11_html/Prov.11.13.htm.
Proverbs 10:19: "In the multitude [abundance, or large number] of words there wanteth not [is no lack of] sin [i.e., people who talk too much will eventually say things that they regret]: but he that refraineth his lips [the person who thinks before talking and is careful of what he or she says] is wise."
Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch10_html/Prov.10.19.htm.
Psalm 105:1: "O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name [see note below*] [in worship and prayer]: make known his deeds among the people [tell everyone what he has done]."
*LORD is commonly used in the Old Testament in place of God's name. The following article explains why: "What do LORD, GOD, Lord, God, etc., stand for in the Bible? Why are they used in place of God's name?" If you want to read it, here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/LORD-GOD-Lord-God.html.
Proverbs 8:35-36 [wisdom (personified, or speaking like a person) says]: "For whoso findeth me [whoever searches for wisdom, finds it, and does what it says] findeth life [a good, long, happy life … one that is worth living], and shall obtain favour of [blessings from] the LORD. But he that sinneth against me [the person who refuses to follow wisdom's lead] wrongeth his [or her] own soul: all they that hate me [wisdom] love death."
Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on these verses, including many examples of ways that people 'wrong their own souls' (hurt themselves). If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch8_html/Prov.8.35.htm.
Philippians 3:20 [the apostle Paul, in a letter to the saints (born-again Christians) at Philippi, after saying they should be on their guard against the 'enemies of the cross of Christ' (unbelievers, hypocrites, false teachers, etc.) and follow him as an example, wrote]: "For [because] our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence [where] also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ [to return to earth]:"
Proverbs 6:1-5 - In Most Cases, Avoid Co-Signing Loans
(King Solomon's wise advice to his son)
Verses 1-2: "My son, if thou be surety for thy friend [if you agree to take responsibility for payment of another person's debt, such as co-signing a loan], if thou hast stricken thy hand [if you shook hands, or signed an agreement] with a stranger [such as a bank or other creditor] [to pay your friend's debt if he or she does not], Thou art snared [trapped, caught] with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken [captive] with the words of thy mouth [the promises you have made]."
Verses 3-4: "Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself [from your risky or improper financial obligation], when thou art come into the hand of thy friend [when you have agreed to become surety for that person's debt]; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend [plead for mercy--ask him or her to 'let you off the hook,' tear up the agreement, etc.]. Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber [rest] to thine eyelids [i.e., do it immediately--before going to bed]."
Verse 5: "Deliver thyself [yourself] [from financial bondage] as a roe [deer] [does when it attempts to escape] from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird [does when it tries to escape] from the hand of the fowler [someone who traps birds in a net]."
*Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on these verses. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch6_html/Prov.6.1.htm.
Isaiah 55:7: "Let the wicked [person] forsake [renounce or give up] his [or her] [evil] way, and [let] the unrighteous man [or woman or child] [forsake] his [or her] [sinful] thoughts: and let him [that person] return unto the LORD, and he [God] will have mercy upon him [or her]; and [let that person return] to our God, for he [God] will abundantly pardon [forgive] [that person for his or her sins]."
In this verse, the prophet Isaiah is encouraging everyone to sincerely repent and turn back to God.
Proverbs 4:14-17 - Stay Away From Bad People
Verses 14-15: "Enter not into [don't enter] the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men [or women or children] [i.e., don't do what they do]. Avoid it [the path of the wicked], pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away [from it]."
Verses 16-17: "For [because] they [evil people] sleep not [cannot sleep], except [unless] they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall [into sin]. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence [i.e., according to Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church, 'a steady diet of violence, immorality, perversion, and vice creates an appetite for even more'--see below (*) for link to commentary]."
Don't associate (have anything to do) with bad people--don't be their friends, don't join gangs, etc. That's the best way to stay out of trouble.
*Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on these verses. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch4_html/Prov.4.14.htm.
Proverbs 3:5-6 [King Solomon's advice to his son]: "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart [completely and sincerely, wholeheartedly]; and lean not unto [don't depend upon] thine [your] own understanding. In all thy ways [in everything that you say and do] acknowledge him [by reading your Bible, praying for wisdom, etc.], and he [God] shall direct thy paths [guide you]."
Once again, Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on these verses, including many examples of trust--in people, things, and God. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch3_html/Prov.3.5.htm.
John 13:34 [Jesus told his disciples at the Lord's supper]: "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."
Like the disciples, Christians should follow Jesus' wonderful example of brotherly love.
1 Peter 3:12: "For the eyes of the Lord are [watching] over the righteous [i.e., born-again Christians--those who have received Jesus' righteousness through faith--see note below*], and his ears are open unto [to hearing] their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil [things]."
*Philippians 3:9: "And be found in him [Jesus Christ], not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:"