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June 12 - Evening

"I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants — but let them not turn to folly!

Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.

Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.

Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps."

- Psalms 85:8-13

The Lord Forgives and Restores the Land

In the first seven verses of Psalm 85 the psalmists recognizes that the Lord has graciously restored favor to the people of Israel and has forgiven their sins. Apparently the land has just emerged from a period of being under God’s divine wrath, and have been restored to his unfailing love.

Psalm 85:8 identifies the oracle that had come from the Lord to indicate the restoration of the time of favor. Coming through a priest or a prophet was the Word from God: “peace” or “shalom” (Psalm 85:8).  But, this also came with a warning to the Lord’s “faithful servants”: “Let them not turn to folly.”

The people are encouraged not to turn back to their old sinful ways, but walk in the ways of the Lord. Then, God’s very characteristics (his sovereign attributes) are personified as manifesting in nature itself.
            “Love and faithfulness meet…righteousness and peace kiss…” - Psalm 85:10

The Lord’s character blesses God’s people with forgiveness, mercy, and faithfulness, but, these same traits also appear in the tangible harvest of the land which has also been shown mercy and faithfulness. The manifestation of God’s attributes are seen in the bountiful harvest in the land:

Faithfulness springs forth from the earth and righteousness looks down from heaven. The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest. Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.”

- Psalms 85:11-13
Eperotema (Gr) - Pledge (Eng) – the Greek word eperotema is understood from a legal position as an agreement formula in a contract which is a “declaration of commitment” or a “pledge.” It is used in 1 Peter 3:21 where eperotema means “commitment,” “stipulation,” or “pledge” on the believers part to the covenant they have entered. In 1 Peter 3:21 eperotema is the oath of allegiance.
Am I faithful to God in all things? Do I strive to walk in His ways as He instructs us?

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


For desire to be productive


Deacons and Deaconesses
United States Marines

Large ashlar stones from Herod's Temple Mount still stand in place on the south wall of the Temple Mount retaining wall. These large ashlar stones were twice as tall as others because they served as a master course to stabilize the wall. (Details)
A model of Masada.
(See this model with labels.
More Masada details.)

Someone to Quote

“A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.”
- C. S. Lewis

Something to Ponder

Longest name: Maher-shalal-hash-baz (Isaiah 8:1)
Longest verse: Esther 8:9 (78 words)
Shortest verse: John 11:35 (2 words: “Jesus wept”) – but Job 3:2 is shorter in NIV
Middle books: Micah and Nahum
Middle verse: Psalm 118:8 or Psalm 97:8 or Psalm 103:1, 2 depending on translation
Middle chapter: Psalm 117
Shortest chapter: (based on number of words): Psalm 117
Longest book: Psalms (150 chapters)
Shortest book: (based on number of words): 3 John
Shortest book: (based on number of verses): 2 John (13 verses)
Longest chapter: Psalm 119 (176 verses)
Number of times the word “God” appears: 3,358
Number of times the word “Lord” appears: 7,736
Number of different authors: 40

The Old Testament has more than 60 references to Jesus.

The New Testament contains more than 260 Old Testament quotations.

Here’s a Fact

The Gospel of John is referred to and used as authoritative by church leaders within 35 years of John’s death in 98 AD. We have three examples of John’s Gospel or John's epistles being quoted or referred to from three of John’s disciples. These men studied and traveled with John:


"Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor."
- Proverbs 12:24

Coach’s Corner

Prayer cannot be overrated. Honest, sincere prayer from a man seeking God will not go unanswered.

2 Kings 20
New International Version (NIV)
Hezekiah’s Illness
20 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”
Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.’”
Then Isaiah said, “Prepare a poultice of figs.” They did so and applied it to the boil, and he recovered.
Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, “What will be the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go up to the temple of the Lord on the third day from now?”
Isaiah answered, “This is the Lord’s sign to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: Shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or shall it go back ten steps?”
10 “It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps,” said Hezekiah. “Rather, have it go back ten steps.”
11 Then the prophet Isaiah called on the Lord, and the Lord made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.
Envoys From Babylon
12 At that time Marduk-Baladan son of Baladan king of Babylon sent Hezekiah letters and a gift, because he had heard of Hezekiah’s illness. 13 Hezekiah received the envoys and showed them all that was in his storehouses—the silver, the gold, the spices and the fine olive oil—his armory and everything found among his treasures. There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.
14 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked, “What did those men say, and where did they come from?”
“From a distant land,” Hezekiah replied. “They came from Babylon.”
15 The prophet asked, “What did they see in your palace?”
“They saw everything in my palace,” Hezekiah said. “There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.”
16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: 17 The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord. 18 And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”
19 “The word of the Lord you have spoken is good,” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?”
20 As for the other events of Hezekiah’s reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool and the tunnel by which he brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 21 Hezekiah rested with his ancestors. And Manasseh his son succeeded him as king.
2 Chronicles 4
New International Version (NIV)
The Temple’s Furnishings
He made a bronze altar twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide and ten cubits high. He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it. Below the rim, figures of bulls encircled it—ten to a cubit. The bulls were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea.
The Sea stood on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east. The Sea rested on top of them, and their hindquarters were toward the center. It was a handbreadth in thickness, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held three thousand baths.
He then made ten basins for washing and placed five on the south side and five on the north. In them the things to be used for the burnt offerings were rinsed, but the Sea was to be used by the priests for washing.
He made ten gold lampstands according to the specifications for them and placed them in the temple, five on the south side and five on the north.
He made ten tables and placed them in the temple, five on the south side and five on the north. He also made a hundred gold sprinkling bowls.
He made the courtyard of the priests, and the large court and the doors for the court, and overlaid the doors with bronze. 10 He placed the Sea on the south side, at the southeast corner.
11 And Huram also made the pots and shovels and sprinkling bowls.
So Huram finished the work he had undertaken for King Solomon in the temple of God:
12 the two pillars;
the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars;
the two sets of network decorating the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars;
13 the four hundred pomegranates for the two sets of network (two rows of pomegranates for each network, decorating the bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars);
14 the stands with their basins;
15 the Sea and the twelve bulls under it;
16 the pots, shovels, meat forks and all related articles.
All the objects that Huram-Abi made for King Solomon for the temple of the Lord were of polished bronze. 17 The king had them cast in clay molds in the plain of the Jordan between Sukkoth and Zarethan. 18 All these things that Solomon made amounted to so much that the weight of the bronze could not be calculated.
19 Solomon also made all the furnishings that were in God’s temple:
the golden altar;
the tables on which was the bread of the Presence;
20 the lampstands of pure gold with their lamps, to burn in front of the inner sanctuary as prescribed;
21 the gold floral work and lamps and tongs (they were solid gold);
22 the pure gold wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, dishes and censers; and the gold doors of the temple: the inner doors to the Most Holy Place and the doors of the main hall.

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