Wednesday, February 13, 2013

SHIBBOLETH

Suggested Reading: Judges 12-13

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

Cana, where Jesus performed His first public miracle, the changing of water into wine, was also the home town of one of the Twelve Apostles, Nathanael (John 21:2). Along the street leading to the Franciscan Wedding Church, a chapel marks Nathanael's home. The Chapel of St. Nathanael is the place to read his words to Philip as they talked about Jesus. Some believe Nathaniel's famous but curious remark - "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" (John 1:46) indicates some consternation that the home town of the Messiah was the "ordinary" neighbouring village of Nazareth, no more noteworthy than his own.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Judges 12:6

…then they would say to him, “Then say, ‘Shibboleth’!” And he would say, “Sibboleth,” for he could not pronounce it right. Then they would take him and kill him at the fords of the Jordan. There fell at that time forty-two thousand Ephraimites.

Tribal warfare – still going on in the Middle East. The most horrific example in our time is Rwanda where in the course of 100 days, at least 500,000 people were slaughtered. Not much has changed. More than ever, the world needs the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Four more Judges and 31 more years of peace and prosperity…then came one of the most unusual characters in all the Bible, Sampson. I’ve checked with experts on the historical and archaeological accuracy of this book, and it gets high marks from them all. Therefore, the stories about Sampson, no matter how hard to believe, are no doubt true also. Sampson’s birth tells us that God plans ahead for His future leaders. It also informs us that God uses very imperfect people for His purposes. We are all candidates for His call.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I thank You that You call imperfect people like me. I ask for Your continued grace and strength to take on humanly impossible tasks. I’m not asking for physical strength like Sampson, although a little would help. I’m asking for moral strength to be more like Jesus, in whose Name I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

My son-in-law’s Parents are buried in the graveyard just behind the church of Nathanael in their home village of Cana of Galilee. Nizar and Ellen named their youngest of six children after the Apostle from Cana in whom Jesus found no guile (read John1:43 – John 2:12). I understand that Cana, located just 5 miles north of Nazareth, was the larger of the two communities. I find Nathanael’s comments, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth,” to show the human side of the Apostles… competition between the communities. My son-in-law was the heavy-weight boxing champion of the Galilee, and that’s my tenuous connection with Sampson for this blog. Nizar, like Sampson, has had to learn some very hard lessons in life. God is using him big time! (check yesterday’s blog at the end of my 100 Personal Words).

Yours for our availability to God for His purposes,

David

 

Just a short walk away from Nizar Shaheen's family homestead in Cana is the graveyard beside the Chapel of St. Nathanael (Franciscans) where Nizar's parents are buried.

15 thoughts on “Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  1. Like you David I pray for a renewal each day of moral strength but I too need a little more physical strength as I recover from B.C. Surgery but God is so good and supplies what I need and each day your words and the words of His Word encourages me. I love that He uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Blessings to all today. Love in Jesus

  2. It seems like human history is rife with tensions and troubles. In fact, I believe there’s been more time devoted to war than to peace. Is it any wonder that Jesus, The Prince of Peace, came into our world at an appointed time, to show us the way to peace. Yet politics, religious factions and greed have often overlooked the path to peace and the way of the Lord, but have instead chosen the ways of this world, the ways that lead to death and destruction. In Paul’s letters, he would often conclude with a ‘Benediction’, a tradition that carries on in many a church today. ‘Peace’ is of then a key word found in a Benediction, it was sort of a last blessing or thought before the conclusion of a letter, and therefore reflects it’s importance. The following is some wise parting words from Paul’s letter in 2 Thessalonians 3:16 “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace in every way. The Lord be with you all.” We can therefore lay down our anger, malice, pride, conceit and warring ways, and know a new way of peace, in Jesus Christ. To know Jesus, is to know and to have peace in our lives and to know a better way to live, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

  3. I used to not comprehend how the Jewish people could continuously fail at what our. Lord had set before them ,but now at the ripe old age of 60 I finally get !!!!!!!!! We all want to believe we know better!!!!!!But we don’t !!!!

    • So true, Heike! I believe most of us are the same as the Israelites–falling back on our sin, again and again; then being reminded how to serve the Lord and called to follow Him, over and over.

  4. As a heavy-weight boxing champion, Nazer fought and won his prize. It is obviously with the same tenacity that he speaks for truth today. But one might ask, “whose winning the battle?” In a prize fight, it is the last one standing. What is our most effective weapon then? Our fist, or our passion to extend Christ’s love in a ‘meaningful’ way. David, you have succeeded beyond measure with the later, during your era of leadership. The tenants of faith remain unchanged, but what has evolved is a culture based on higher standards of mutual respect and equality among people and organizations. It takes a new leadership with a set of Godly eyes and ears, to first perceive and acknowledge, then move forward with Christ-like prudence. I pray for the next 100 years of Crossroads Ministry, not for the watering down of core values but strengthening in the love and light, found only by faith in our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ.

  5. I was reading the mission fest Alberta 2013 magazine and noted that one of the keynote speakers will be Nizar Shaheen. He will be in Edmonton to speak on Sunday Feb 24, 2013. Praise the Lord for so many leaders coming to Edmonton to teach and preach God’s word to us.

  6. I used the audio for the first time, while following the scripture reading for today and found that it helped me to focus better on the word. The narrator has a lovely accent and it was helpful to hear the correct pronunciation of the names of people and places.

  7. As I was reading Judges 14, verse 4 stood out to me, “But his father and mother did not know that it was of the Lord-that He was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines.” Further back we learned in Judges 2: 21, “I also will no longer drive out before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he dies, so that through them I may test Israel, whether they will keep the ways of the Lord, to walk in them as their fathers kept them, or not.” That helps us to understand the part of the Lord’s Prayer,” Lord lead me not into temptation.” (or testing.) Did others notice that? I have watched, “Light for all Nations,” and enjoyed it. Cana is probably an interesting city. You have a blessed family, David.

  8. Yes Ger,we are slowly learning how the Lord works,and therefore can get clearer understanding of the scriptures. It’s wonderful to think that we all qualify to be used of the Lord,we are all of ourselves inadequate for the task, but use us ,he does! l heard the story of a little donkey who came to his mother very excited saying, All these people came out to the roadside and threw down palm leaves and shouted great praise as l walked along! His mother said, Oh my dear little one,it wasn’t you they were cheering on, it was who you carried!

  9. That is such a great analogy, Catherine, re: the donkey. It reminds me of Footprints in the Sand, with the footprints of Jesus, carrying us through the heavy times. You put it so well–we are all being used for the purpose of the Lord, each in our own unique way; however inadequate we are, He certainly uses us in His own way, and it is all for His purpose and glory! Like a seed–just like David Mainse’ blog–it spreads and flows between us bloggers and expands into something more magnificent than anyone could have ever imagined!

  10. Thank you David for another day of learning through your leading and sharing & personal prayers. Lots of food to chew. I pray many will be reached and touched through this daily blog, and will be come to know Him: Just as I am Lord, I come. I don’t need to ‘do’ anything to make myself acceptable to You. I only need to invite and allow You to do your work in me. You know I am but dust and can do nothing in and of myself. Whatever I am is because of you. Whether it is strength physicaly, spiritually or emotionally, You will supply all I need for whatever task you call me to. I need to listen for your gentle whisper that is there admist all the noise of this world we live in. You will give me peace within no matter the circumstances.
    The Lord Bless and keep you David and cause His face to shine upon you.

  11. Dear David Once more Reynold’s pictures of Cana little church makes history come alive and also it’s wonderful to be able to share Nizar’s parents burial site . How very generous of you to make us all a part of you’re precious memories.
    My prayers are extended to Catherine for a speedy recovery.
    God bless you all

  12. Thank you for all the replies, to be honest, I am struggling with being fully surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ. I find your comments very insightful. Thank you again!!!! David thank you your commitment to sharing God’s Word and living it.

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