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January 6 - Evening

"Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city."

- Genesis 11:1-8

The Tower of Babel and the Establishment of Nations

The Tower of Babel was God’s antidote to the corruption he saw on earth. God confused the language of what was previously one unified, but evil, culture. This diffused the unity of mankind and drove people apart to form new groups where they could better understand each other. Each language group then developed its own culture and government. This was the way God established the institution of nations. It was also during this time, just one hundred years after the fountains of the deep burst open through the continental plates causing the flood, that the single land mass formed in Genesis 1 was divided. It broke apart to form several land masses separated by water. In this way, cultures were able to separate themselves entirely from other cultures. Shem, one of Noah’s sons, had a son named Arphaxad who had a son named Eber who had a son named Peleg. The Hebrew word “peleg” means “divided” or “split” and refers to divisions caused by water-channels. Peleg was named after this great event—when the land masses were divided by water.
“One was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided.” - Genesis 10:25; I Chronicles 1:19

Only four generations after the flood, people were already divided into different cultures with various languages living in separate lands. Each of these nations developed its own form of government. Genesis 10 lists the original seventy nations that came about as a result of God creating this new institution. Nationalism remains a safe guard for the world today. It stops us from having a corrupt one-world government. Now, when one nation goes astray, God can deal with that nation directly through a cycle of discipline over a period of generations. If that nation is unwilling to repent, God can eliminate it from human history without wiping out everyone else, as he was forced to do in the worldwide flood.
Katartismos (Gr) - Perfecting (Eng) - katartismos is a Greek word used once in the Greek New Testament in Ephesians 4:11. Katartismos was a technical term from the medical field for the setting of a bone. When katartismos, or "perfecting," is used in reference to individuals in a group of people as in Ephesians 4:11 it is describing powerful feat that changes, prepares and conditions the person for their proper function in that group similar to a bone functioning properly in the skeletal system.
Do I accept criticism? Do I spend time in the company of the wise?
Am I humble or meek enough to hear corrective wisdom and pursue improvements?
I will surround myself with wise people and I will seek improvements to my attitude and life style.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


Best Friend


Influence on community
Freedom of Religion
Iran's persistence for nuclear power

A view from the fresh water Springs of Egedi looking out over the salt waters of the Dead Sea at the mountains of ancient Moab on the other side.
The topography of Jerusalem as seen looking north from the south.

Someone to Quote

"The source of my authority in this pulpit is wisdom; nor is it a private revelation granted to me...My words have authority only insofar as they are the repetition, unfolding and proper application of the words of Scripture.  I have authority only when I stand under authority.  And our corporate symbol of that truth is the sound of your Bibles opening to the text." - John Piper

Something to Ponder

John Chrysostom was born in Antioch, Syria to a beautiful 20 year old from a well do to family. His father, a Roman military officer, died shortly after his birth. John was well educated, studied law and grew up courageous, committed, confident (even a little arrogant. Since, John was a great speaker he quickly became a leading preacher in Antioch, a city that followed a literal approach to scripture. We still have the text of the long exegetical series’ John Chrysostom preached on the books of Genesis, Matthew, John and Romans. In 398 John preached a series of 20 sharp, powerful sermons to help subdue the people who were revolting against the emperor’s tax increase. John ran into conflict with a jealous bishop, Theophilus, and the Eastern Empress Eudoxia who was offended by John’s preaching against immodest dress of woman. Eventually, John was exiled, but continued to communicate, so they took him to a more remote location in 407, but he died on the way.

Here’s a Fact

Joshua 8:30-35 tells how Joshua built an altar on Mount Ebal. This would have been around the year 1400 BC. An altar has been found in this location, but the pot shards date it to the time of the Judges in 1220-1000 BC, not to Joshua. But, it is a common practice to build walls where walls where once built, temples where temples had stood and, likewise, altars on top of altars. So, it is likely that this high place from the time of the Judges was the site used by Joshua in 8:30-35. Photos. Details here, here and here.)


"He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise." - Proverbs 15:31

Coach’s Corner

True love does not motivate with guilt or manipulate for self-interest.

Joshua 8:30-35
New International Version (NIV)
The Covenant Renewed at Mount Ebal
30 Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, 31 as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses—an altar of uncut stones, on which no iron tool had been used. On it they offered to the Lord burnt offerings and sacrificed fellowship offerings. 32 There, in the presence of the Israelites, Joshua wrote on stones a copy of the law of Moses. 33 All the Israelites, with their elders, officials and judges, were standing on both sides of the ark of the covenant of the Lord, facing the Levitical priests who carried it. Both the foreigners living among them and the native-born were there. Half of the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the Lord had formerly commanded when he gave instructions to bless the people of Israel.
34 Afterward, Joshua read all the words of the law—the blessings and the curses—just as it is written in the Book of the Law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read to the whole assembly of Israel, including the women and children, and the foreigners who lived among them.
Genesis 12
New International Version (NIV)
The Call of Abram
12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

“I will make you into a great nation,     and I will bless you; I will make your name great,     and you will be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,     and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth     will be blessed through you.”
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.
Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.
Abram in Egypt
10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”
14 When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. 15 And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. 16 He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.
17 But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!” 20 Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.
Job 12-13
New International Version (NIV)
12 Then Job replied:

“Doubtless you are the only people who matter,     and wisdom will die with you!

But I have a mind as well as you;     I am not inferior to you.     Who does not know all these things?

“I have become a laughingstock to my friends,     though I called on God and he answered—     a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless!

Those who are at ease have contempt for misfortune     as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.

The tents of marauders are undisturbed,     and those who provoke God are secure—     those God has in his hand.

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you,     or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;

or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,     or let the fish in the sea inform you.

Which of all these does not know     that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every creature     and the breath of all mankind.
Does not the ear test words     as the tongue tastes food?
Is not wisdom found among the aged?     Does not long life bring understanding?
“To God belong wisdom and power;     counsel and understanding are his.
What he tears down cannot be rebuilt;     those he imprisons cannot be released.
If he holds back the waters, there is drought;     if he lets them loose, they devastate the land.
To him belong strength and insight;     both deceived and deceiver are his.
He leads rulers away stripped     and makes fools of judges.
He takes off the shackles put on by kings     and ties a loincloth around their waist.
He leads priests away stripped     and overthrows officials long established.
He silences the lips of trusted advisers     and takes away the discernment of elders.
He pours contempt on nobles     and disarms the mighty.
He reveals the deep things of darkness     and brings utter darkness into the light.
He makes nations great, and destroys them;     he enlarges nations, and disperses them.
He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason;     he makes them wander in a trackless waste.
They grope in darkness with no light;     he makes them stagger like drunkards.
“My eyes have seen all this,     my ears have heard and understood it.

What you know, I also know;     I am not inferior to you.

But I desire to speak to the Almighty     and to argue my case with God.

You, however, smear me with lies;     you are worthless physicians, all of you!

If only you would be altogether silent!     For you, that would be wisdom.

Hear now my argument;     listen to the pleas of my lips.

Will you speak wickedly on God’s behalf?     Will you speak deceitfully for him?

Will you show him partiality?     Will you argue the case for God?

Would it turn out well if he examined you?     Could you deceive him as you might deceive a mortal?
He would surely call you to account     if you secretly showed partiality.
Would not his splendor terrify you?     Would not the dread of him fall on you?
Your maxims are proverbs of ashes;     your defenses are defenses of clay.
“Keep silent and let me speak;     then let come to me what may.
Why do I put myself in jeopardy     and take my life in my hands?
Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;     I will surely defend my ways to his face.
Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance,     for no godless person would dare come before him!
Listen carefully to what I say;     let my words ring in your ears.
Now that I have prepared my case,     I know I will be vindicated.
Can anyone bring charges against me?     If so, I will be silent and die.
“Only grant me these two things, God,     and then I will not hide from you:
Withdraw your hand far from me,     and stop frightening me with your terrors.
Then summon me and I will answer,     or let me speak, and you reply to me.
How many wrongs and sins have I committed?     Show me my offense and my sin.
Why do you hide your face     and consider me your enemy?
Will you torment a windblown leaf?     Will you chase after dry chaff?
For you write down bitter things against me     and make me reap the sins of my youth.
You fasten my feet in shackles;     you keep close watch on all my paths     by putting marks on the soles of my feet.
“So man wastes away like something rotten,     like a garment eaten by moths.

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