Saturday, January 31, 2015

2015DBRP_032 Ex3-4 Job32 Jam1

In yesterday's beginning to Exodus, we heard of Moses' birth

and his young adulthood in Egypt. He murdered a man and had

to flee for his life, going to Midian. We also read of his helping

the seven daughters of Reuel, a scene that I can't read without

thinking of the Cecil B. DeMill movie.

Job having finished his defense, Elihu takes the stage. HC Mears


Eliphaz basically said, “God never makes a mistake. What

have you done to bring this on yourself?” Bildad essentially said, “God is just. Confess your sin.” Zophar suggested, “God is all-wise. He knows man.” Elihu, God's man, said the wisest thing: “God is good; look up, and trust Him.”

Note that at the end, Elihu is not mentioned as having misrepresented God. He does seem to speak wisely, but we can fault

him for his arrogance.

We turn to James 1. Yesterday in 1Peter 5, Peter gave a very important encouragement to elders within the church, and among other things, he gave an important word on spiritual battle with Satan.

The book of James is in some ways similar to 1 Peter in that James addresses his book to a dispersed Jewish audience. James is also similar to Peter in the way he sets out several themes and keeps returning to them. Moyer says of this book, “As soon as we read through the letter of James we say to ourselves, ‘This man was a preacher before he was a writer.’”

James is probably the oldest book of the New Testament, written perhaps only 15 years after Jesus' death and before the first council of Jerusalem in AD50. This was written, not by the disciple named James, but by James the half brother of Christ. While Jesus was alive, James was not a believer. But he came to believe when, soon after his resurrection, Jesus appeared to him. Some time after this and before his martyrdom in AD 62, James was the leader of the church in Jerusalem.

James does not call himself 'the brother of Jesus' but his slave!

Translation notes:

1 This letter is from James, a slave of God and of [our

Lord Christ Jesus//the Lord Jesus Christ].

6 But when you ask him, be sure that [you fully believe that God is willing to give you that wisdom you are asking for./ /your faith is in God alone.]Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.

17 Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us

from God our Father, who created all the lights in the

heavens. [But unlike those heavenly lights, God//He] never changes or casts a shifting shadow.

24 You see [that you have dirt on your face, and then just//yourself,] walk away, and forget what you

[looked/look] like.

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Greetings. Thanks for reading or listening to this special announcements podcast.

As I prepare these podcasts, I find get worried about details like recording quality, the length of pauses, or things I may say too often. If you find something annoying or if I have missed something in editing, please tell me about it using the Send us a Message link (<— here) or at

I leave for Indonesia on February 9! And I won’t be home until April 2. So this trip will be a full seven weeks long. Here are prayer requests that you can send up to our Father even now:

  • The focus of this trip is to find and train the people who will be on our team for translating the Old Testament into plain Indonesian. Anything I do without the Lord’s leading in this will just be a waste of time. God doesn’t evaluate people and gifting the way people do— especially comparing my way of evaluating! Please ask for God to lead me in every interaction with people, and especially those whom God is calling to be our team members.

  • There are 450 languages in Indonesia that need Bible translations. These are the languages of ethnic groups like the Orya— the group in Papua that was our first translation project from 1984 to 2005. Our new, little Bible translation organization in Indonesia (called Albata for short) wants to help reach some of those ethnic groups with God’s Word. But if we are to grow to take on such challengers, we need people within the organization who will be able to lead, administer, and mentor people who do the actual work of translating the Bible for ethnic groups. Please ask the Lord to introduce me to people who might become part of our organization’s operational structure.  

  • One of Albata’s principles is that Indonesians themselves need to catch the vision for Bible translation, supporting it with their own funds and sending their people out as missionaries. Please pray that we will do a better job spreading the vision for Bible translation, and that the Lord would bring more Indonesian supporters to Albata.

  • I will be living in a different place in Jakarta this time. I’m looking forward to it. I will be near a mall and will have many opportunities to meet people. In more than one way, I will be more exposed. Please pray for God’s protection and for wisdom in choosing the places where I will frequently visit. Also, please pray for wisdom in where I will eat. As is my normal practice while there, I won’t cook in my rented room, other than making coffee.

  • For years now, Gale does not come with me on my trips to Indonesia. These would be very hard for her because of her health. We talk daily by phone. She is very involved in the way she is ministering here in our town. Please pray for the Lord to be with Gale while I am gone.

  • More about other requests when I am there.

In February, you will hear our daughter Rachel reading one of the Psalms. (And I am sorry that the recording quality of her voice is not better!) In the corresponding 2014 podcast, she also gave the testimony. I have taken her testimony from that podcast and will play it for you now.


Rachel is still single, and has struggled for years with the same health challenges that Gale has. For that reason, she took 9 years to graduate from college. We rejoiced with her to see her move out into the work world and find that she could hold down a full-time job. Then, I must admit my doubts when she wanted to be a missionary. How would she be able to raise support? The Lord did it! Our shy daughter went out trusting the Lord, and the Lord brought in her support. She left for East Africa in April instead of March. If you would like to get Rachel’s e-mail updates and pray for her, just send me a note via the Send a Message link at Or if you pray for her now, she is struggling with some mysterious additional illness with fevers and headaches, which might be malaria.

I’m thrilled that we have 29 members at our forum, The forum is a place with an open door and warm welcome to any of you who would like to share with us. It could be that some passage of Scripture will really bother you or really bless you, and you would like to check out what others think about it. We’re happy to hear from you. Also, my friend Ben is posting his Digging Deeper challenge questions there every week. These are things to be on the look-out for in next week’s readings. I also am using our web site’s Announcements page less and more often posting announcements at the forum.


May the bless you richly! Thanks for your prayers for Gale and me.

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Friday, January 30, 2015

2015DBRP_031 Ex1-2 Job31 1Ptr5

Yesterday we wrapped up Genesis with Jacob's very prophetic

blessings for each of his sons. Then we heard of the conclusion after

Jacob was buried and finally Joseph died.

Exodus is clearly a continuation of the story of Genesis, since the first word is And. Tradition holds that Moses is the author. The name Exodus derives from the name that was given by the Septuagint translators (which is the translation of the OT into classical Greek made 300 years before Christ).

Here are two perceptive summary statements about Exodus, quotes by Durham (from Constable’s Notes):

“No other biblical book surfaces elsewhere in the OT as frequently as the Book of Exodus does; in the NT only the Books of Psalms and Isaiah are cited more, and that for the fairly obvious reasons of liturgy and messianism.”

“The story of the first half of Exodus, in broad summary, is Rescue. The story of the second half, in equally broad summary, is Response, both immediate response and continuing response. And binding together and undergirding both Rescue and Response is Presence, the Presence of Yahweh from whom both Rescue and Response ultimately derive.”

Here is a quote by J. Daniel Hays:

“The deliverance of Israel out of Egypt by Yahweh in the Old Testament is parallel in importance to the resurrection of Christ in the New Testament. The historicity of these events is a critical foundation for a proper understanding of the rest of the Bible.”

And finally, Henrietta Mears in her handbooks says this:

Exodus is connected to Genesis in much the same way that the New Testament is connected to the Old Testament. Genesis tells of humanity’s failure under every test and in every condition. Exodus is the thrilling epic of God rushing to the rescue. It tells of the redeeming work of a sovereign God.

We turn now to Job 31. Job's sixth and final chapter, where he makes his final protest that he is innocent. After this, Elihu struts his stuff.

Peter finished chapter 4 talking about bearing the name of

Christ (included in the word Christian) proudly and being

patient under suffering, if that is included in God's will for you.

Translation notes:

9 Stand firm against him, and [continue to/0] be strong in [fully believing in Christ//your faith]. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are

[victoriously/0] going through the same kind of suffering you


Peace be with all of you who are [joined to//in] Christ.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

2015DBRP_030 Gen49-50 Job30 1Ptr4

In yesterday's reading, Jacob blessed Pharaoh, Joseph lead powerfully during the worst of the famine, Jacob blessed Ephraim and Manasseh, putting the younger Ephraim above his older brother. (And if you remember Jacob's story you'll konw where he got that idea.)

We turn to Job 30, which is the fifth Job’s 6 chapters of complaints. Yesterday Job spoke of his previous blessed life and high position. In this chapter he tells of his anguish.

We turn to 1Peter4. Yesterday in chapter 3 he gave instructions to wives, husbands, and all Christians, particularly when we suffer. NOTE: The difficult final verses having to do with Noah's day and spirits in prison is interpreted for us in v.6.

3:17 17Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!

       18 Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.

19 So he went and preached to the spirits in prison— 20those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood. 21 And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

      22Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers accept his authority.

Translation notes chapter 4:

1 So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must

arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready

to suffer, too.[[PET] 1 For anyone who suffers

because of following Jesus has also decided to stop

sinning.//For if you have suffered physically for Christ,

you have finished with sin.]

Plain English Translation, which is our English counterpart of

the Plain Indonesian Translation.

2 You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing

your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of

God. 3 You have [already spent//had] enough [time/0] in the past [doing/of] the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.

5 But remember that they will have to face God, who will judge everyone, both [those still living at the time and those already dead.//the living and the dead.]

6 [ [PET] That's why the Good News was given by Christ to those spirits in the world of the dead. Let that be a warning to all of us: God will judge all of us according to what we have done. But the Good News has been given so that people can live with God forever.//That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead— so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit.]

I don't agree with those who do all sorts of interpretational gymnastics in order to say that the spirits in this verse are not the same as those just a few verses before. One of the main principles of interpretation is to let Scripture interpret Scripture, and even more so when it is the same author and in

the same context. (Remember that Peter is not the one who came up with the unfortunate chapter break in this case.) I call on those who feel it necessary to find a difference between the spirits referred to to examine the doctrinal principles that force them to go to such lengths. Is it your doctrine that people are never given a second chance for salvation after death? In that case, just consider that God was starting the world all over in the flood, and God has the right to make a special case for those

pre-flood people. In our own case, I agree, God does not give a second chance after death. Actually, the way we have translated verse 6 above kind of eliminates the second chance problem.

14 So be happy when you are insulted for being a [follower

of Christ//Christian], for then the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you.

17 For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if [such/0] judgment begins with us [through this suffering//0], what [a/0] terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News[./?]

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2015DBRP_029 Gen47-48 Job29 1Ptr3

In yesterday's reading, Jacob arrived in Egypt with his family. Excluding more extended family, the whole group numbered 70 people at that time.

We turn to Job 29, which is his 4th chapter of monologue. Today Job speaks of his former blessings.

Translation notes:

12 For I assisted the poor in their need

and the orphans who [needed/required] help.

18 “I thought, ‘Surely [my death will come after a good, long life//I will die surrounded by my family

after a long, good life] and I will be surrounded by my family.

24 When they were discouraged, I [had only to smile//smiled] at them.

My look of approval was precious to them.

Yesterday's reading in 1 Peter included the wonderful “Living

Stones” passage which includes much about our spiritual identity

because of our being joined to Christ, the Corner Stone.

Translation notes:

15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your

life. And if someone asks about [where you have placed your hope//your Christian hope], always be ready to explain [about Christ/it].

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

2015DBRP_028 Gen46 Job28 1Ptr2

In yesterdays two chapters, Joseph's brothers went back

to Egypt with Benjamin, Joseph's younger brother. Joseph

contrived a creative way to reveal his identity. When Pharaoh

heard about Joseph's brothers, he helped provide for Jacob's

family to come to Egypt.

We turn to Job 28. This is the third chapter of Job's six-chapter passionate complaint.

Translation notes:

6 [Down there/Here] the rocks contain precious lapis lazuli,

and the dust contains gold.

16 [Wisdom is//It’s] worth more than all the gold of Ophir,

greater than precious onyx or lapis lazuli.

19 Precious peridot from Ethiopiaa cannot be exchanged for


We turn to 1Peter 2. Peter writes to God's chosen people who have been dispersed due to persecution and living “as foreigners” in various places. But it is clear that Peter also has a spiritual meaning in mind, as the song says, “This world is not my home.” Again in this chapter Peter comforts us and gives wonderful descriptions of our identity because of being joined to Christ. The first verse of chapter 2 starts with ‘So’, so I will start with a few verses from the end of chapter 1.

22 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. d Love each other deeply with all your heart. 23 For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. 24 As the Scriptures say,

“People are like grass;

their beauty is like a flower in the field.

The grass withers and the flower fades.

25 But the word of the Lord remains forever.”


5And you are living stones that God is building into his

spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy

priests. Through the mediation of [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ], you

offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. 6As [God says in the Scriptures// the Scriptures say],

“I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem, b

chosen for great honor,

and anyone who [believes/trusts] in him

will never be [disappointed/disgraced].”

Both meanings for this word are good. I simply prefer 'disappointed'. I think the idea is that No one who trusts in Him will find out that they have believed a lie. See

7Yes, you who [fully believe/trust] in him recognize [how precious that Cornerstone is!//the honor

God has given him.]

In 7a, NLT is not wrong. (Almost always when I make changes, it is not correcting mistakes, but simply choosing an alternative.) The Greek is very terse: “For you who believe therefore is the honor,” And the choice of meaning may be conditioned on what

choice the translator has made at for  disgraced /disappointed' above. I totally do not like ESV here: “So the honor is for you who believe,” Such a translation takes the focus off Christ and puts it on us. It seems to me that NIV is much better: “Now to

you who believe, this stone is precious.”

9But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people.

You are royal priests,f a holy nation, God’s very own

possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of

God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful

light. [As the Scriptures say,/0]

11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and

foreigners” [in this world] to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.

13 For the Lord’s sake, respect all human authority—

whether [that be/0] the king as head of state,

16 [You//For you] are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. 17 Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. i Fear God, and respect the king.

21 For God [has/0] called you to do good, even if it means

suffering, just as Christ sufferedk for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.

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