Daily Encouragement

May 11 – Why Was Jesus Teaching Cannibalism?

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
1 Samuel 10:1-11:15
John 6:43-71
Psalm 107:1-43
Proverbs 15:1-3

1 Samuel 10:2 — Rachel died around 1900 BC, we’re now at 1050 BC.

1 Samuel 10:9 — “He gave him such virtues as were fitting for a king.” (per Geneva Bible)

1 Samuel 10:26 — After reading through the gross sins of Judges and the failure of the sons of Eli and Samuel, it’s refreshing to hear of the men “whose hearts God had touched.”

1 Samuel 11:13 — Often when we think of King Saul, we think of his wild later years, but we forget that he started out merciful and grateful to the LORD.

Gilgal Today

1 Samuel 11:15 — What’s significant about Gilgal? The kingdom was renewed where Joshua entered the land 350 years earlier (Joshua 4:19). Gilgal was the place of the first Passover in the Promised Land (Joshua 5:10), and it was Joshua’s base of operations (Joshua 9:6, Joshua 10:6, Joshua 10:15, Joshua 10:43, Joshua 14:6). The Angel of the LORD descended first in Gilgal (Judges 2:1).

John 6:43 — Yesterday we read how the Jews murmured. Nine times in the Gospels does someone murmur. Throughout the Old Testament we read of the problem of murmuring.

John 6:53 — Jesus seems to be deliberately provoking His audience. At multiple times in the Old Testament – not to mention the New Testament (Acts 15:20, Acts 15:29, Acts 21:25) – God clearly prohibits eating blood. Jesus used a difficult analogy to Nicodemus when He talked about being born again (John 3). Now, He’s provoking the audience with an idea of cannibalism when He urges them to be eating the Living Bread (John 6). Jesus is fulfilling the almost 1,500-year-old Mosaic Code that pointed to Him. What was different from the blood of Jesus compared to the blood of every other creature on the earth? It was the blood of the New Testament (Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20). His blood was shed on the cross (John 19:34). It is by faith in His Blood that we have a propitiation (Romans 3:25). We are justified by His blood (Romans 5:9). We have redemption through His blood (Ephesians 1:7, 1 Peter 1:19, Revelation 5:9). We are made nigh by His blood (Ephesians 2:13). We have peace through His blood (Colossians 1:20). We are purged by His blood (Hebrews 9:14). We have boldness by His blood (Hebrews 10:19). We are sanctified by His blood (Hebrews 13:12). We are cleansed by His blood (1 John 1:7). We overcame by His blood (Revelation 12:11). And yes, we are washed in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 1:5)! Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Psalm 107:8 — Let us give thanks (Psalm 107:1) and say so (Psalm 107:2) and praise Him (Psalm 107:8)! By the way, if you memorize this verse it counts 4x (Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, and 31). If a teacher in school repeats something – it’s usually because it will be on the test. Let’s pass God’s test!

Proverbs 15:1 — So many times when we’re tempted to fight back (either verbally or on Facebook), remember this verse!

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Daily Encouragement

May 10 – Disappointments in Every Reading

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
1 Samuel 8:1-9:27
John 6:22-42
Psalm 106:32-48
Proverbs 14:34-35

1 Samuel 8:3 — Wasn’t this the issue with Eli’s kids? Sadly, this happened to Billy Sunday’s children as well. From Rick Grubbs:

Billy Sunday was the most famous and successful evangelist of the early 1900’s. He was a flamboyant professional baseball player who met Christ at Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago. Within a few years he had formed a very successful crusade team which captured media attention all over the country. He is remembered as a colorful preacher who not only led multitudes to Christ, but also led the fight against ending prohibition. Billy Sunday would be considered a success by almost any standard. Yet he lamented, “The great tragedy of my life is that though I have led thousands to Christ, my own sons are not saved.” Indeed his sons mocked their father’s ministry and were drunks with horrible family lives, one of whom ended his life by suicide. It was the practice of the Sundays to leave their children in the care of a nanny while they pursued their ministry. Maybe we should note that fact as we discern what truly is redeeming the time.

1 Samuel 8:5 — As prophesied in Deuteronomy 17:14.

1 Samuel 8:15 — A king that only took 10% of our vineyards and sheep? Our kings take 29%.

1 Samuel 9:16 — Even though Saul would sin greatly, he was still sent by God and anointed.

John 6:38 — From Earl Martin (For I Came Down):

John 6:41 — Relying on human logic, the people searched for Jesus. Jesus told them that they just wanted another earthly dinner – He came to provide an eternal dinner! They wanted works of God – Jesus told them to just believe on Him. They wanted a sign – He discouraged them by saying they didn’t believe. At the end, they refused to believe He was from heaven because they still relied on human logic.

Offering to Molech (illustration from the 1897 Bible Pictures and What They Teach Us by Charles Foster)

Psalm 106:37 — Speaking of unbelieving people, this verse tells us where sin leads to: sacrificing one’s sons and daughters to idols. But note Psalm 106:43 – many times did He deliver them! Why? Because of the multitude of His mercies (Psalm 106:45). Let us rejoice with the Psalmist and say “Amen! Hallelujah!” (English: Praise ye the LORD).

Proverbs 14:35 — We’ve seen today what sin does to a people. And the Israelites are not the only people to slaughter their children (e.g. Roe v. Wade).

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Daily Encouragement

May 9 – When the Philistines Understand God Better Than the Israelites

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
1 Samuel 5:1-7:17
John 6:1-21
Psalm 106:13-31
Proverbs 14:32-33

The broken Dagon statue in the Temple of Ashdod in front of the Ark of the Covenant (1Sam 5: 1-5 – Merian’s Iconic Biblicae, Frankfurt 1625-30)

1 Samuel 6:3 — The Philistine priests were wiser than the Israelite priests – they knew they had sinned and needed reconciliation.

1 Samuel 6:6 — Apparently word got around about the Egyptians.

1 Samuel 6:15 — Scholars have noted the differences between the Israelites and the Philistines in Beth-Shemesh based on their diet.

1 Samuel 7:12 — Have you raised an Ebenezer?

John 6:14-15 — After which miracle did the crowd want to make Him King? Not His baptism (John 1:32), His identification as the Lamb of God (John 1:36), His cleansing of the temple (John 2:15), His dialogue on salvation with a leading Pharisee (John 3:36), His confronting the Samaritan woman (John 4:39), or His theological dialogue with the Jews in Jerusalem (John 5:19-47). They wanted to make Him king only after they had enjoyed a good meal (John 6:13). What did Jesus know about the crowd?

Psalm 106:13 — Just like the Israelites of old, “they soon forgot His works” (re-iterated in Psalm 106:21). Yes, the crowd that wanted to crown Him King would soon cry “Crucify!” (John 19:15)

Proverbs 14:32 — From the Pulpit Commentary:

Even in the greatest danger the good man loses not his trust in God. It is like Job’s word (if our reading is correct, Job 13:15), “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him;” and the psalmist, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). Thus the Christian martyrs went joyfully to the stake, and gentle women and little children smiled on the sword which sent them home

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Daily Encouragement

May 8 – Whose Voice Is That?

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
1 Samuel 2:22-4:22
John 5:24-47
Psalm 106:1-12
Proverbs 14:30-31

1 Samuel 2:35 — Deuteronomy 18:15 foretold the LORD raising a prophet, now the LORD is promising to raise up a priest!

Painting of Samuel Reading to Eli the Judgments of God Upon Eli’s House

1 Samuel 3:7 — Vic Eliason, founder of VCY America, would often share this passage with young men who were considering ministry. Many think God is calling them to ministry when it’s quite possible that it’s just their mother or grandmother who think it would be good to have a preacher in the family. There are many voices calling out today – it is crucial to learn how to discern God’s voice from the other voices. Ministry is hard – if God isn’t calling you, it’s easy to give up when the going gets tough. 71% of missionaries who leave the field do so for a preventable reason. But if God has called you, He will provide strength and resources when the going gets tough.

1 Samuel 4:21 — Ichabod, an appropriate name for the time of judgment when the people have confronted the priest (1 Samuel 2:23), when the man of God has confronted the priest (1 Samuel 2:27), and when the LORD Himself confronts the priest via a young boy (1 Samuel 3:12).

John 5:39 — The Scriptures are not primarily a moral textbook, although you can learn a lot about right and wrong in them. The Scriptures are about the Savior of the world, the LORD Jesus Christ! Jesus continually points back to the Torah (John 5:46) saying that Moses is writing about Him.

Psalm 106:6-7 — What was the great sin of the fathers of Israel? Ingratitude. The LORD had delivered them from their slaveowners, and they wanted to return. We see a theme: our LORD has delivered us from the slave master called sin, and we keep running back to our old master. All we need to do is obey!

Proverbs 14:31 — How do we show honor to our Maker? By showing mercy to the poor. While some call this the “social gospel,” they usually stop with just the social part and not the gospel. It’s exciting to see some incredible ministries like the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago providing 1,500 hot meals daily, as well as clothing, shelter, and a powerful gospel message. The Covenant Mercy Mission in New York City distributes two million dollars of food annually with a powerful gospel message as well.

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Daily Encouragement

May 7 – Elkanah: Not Quite Abraham … Not Quite Isaac

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
1 Samuel 1:1-2:21
John 5:1-23
Psalm 105:37-45
Proverbs 14:28-29

1 Samuel 1:2 — In case you think the Bible is endorsing polygamy, see what 1 Samuel 1:6-7 says about the immediate results of this situation, and then consider the social context of Judges (hint: it involves a lot of sins), as well as what we see in the next verse.

1 Samuel 1:3 — If we interpret as Barnes suggests, then the Israelites were only celebrating one feast as opposed to the three celebrations called for in Exodus 23:14 and Exodus 34:23.

1 Samuel 1:8 — Like many men today, Elkanah offered his wife advice that did not help!

1 Samuel 1:10 — Psalm 113:9 says the LORD “maketh the barren woman to keep house and to be a joyful mother of children.” (KJV) Unlike Sarah (Genesis 16:2), Hannah did not take things into her own hands. She knew there were promises she could claim (Exodus 23:26, Deuteronomy 7:14), and so like Isaac, she entreated the LORD (Genesis 25:21). If her husband had read the Torah, would he have responded like Isaac and entreated the Lord? Instead, he replied, “… am not I better to thee than ten sons?”, and he let his wife suffer alone.

English: Biblical illustrations by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing, Ft. Worth, TX, and Gospel Light, Ventura, CA. Copyright 1984. Released under new license, CC-BY-SA 3.0

1 Samuel 1:14 — Eli did not have the gift of discernment. He couldn’t tell the difference between prayer and drunkenness. He couldn’t tell that his kids were sons of Belial (1 Samuel 2:12), or that the people abhorred the offering (1 Samuel 2:17) until he was very old (1 Samuel 2:22). He couldn’t honor God above his sons (1 Samuel 2:29), and he could barely recognize the voice of the LORD; it took him three tries (1 Samuel 3:8).

John 5:8 — In 1 Samuel 2:8 (the verse that we read earlier today), Hannah said that the LORD lifts up the beggar. Jesus lifted up this certain man who no longer needed to beg.

John 5:14 — In Luke 17:15, we see only one of the ten lepers came back to thank Jesus, and that leper received salvation in addition to healing (Luke 17:19). The man in our passage today didn’t get what Jesus was saying (John 5:7), and so didn’t thank Jesus (John 5:9). We also find out that he didn’t know Jesus’ name (John 5:13) and quite possibly couldn’t even recognize Jesus (remember that Jesus approached him, he didn’t approach Jesus). Interestingly, Jesus told him the same thing He told the woman caught in adultery (John 8:11).

Psalm 105:45 — God funded His people, delivered His people, fed His people, watered His people, provided lands for His people, and all He asks is obedience!

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Daily Encouragement

May 6 – God Is Merciful Even to a Moabitess

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Ruth 2:1-4:22
John 4:43-54
Psalm 105:16-36
Proverbs 14:26-27

Ruth and Boaz

Ruth 2:3 — “… and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz …” (KJV) is an interesting concept. Ruth “happened” to go to Boaz’s fields. The lot “happened” to fall on Jonah (Jonah 1:7). The casting of the lot is of the LORD (Proverbs 16:33). Wealth doesn’t come to the lucky, it is of the LORD (Deuteronomy 8:18). Nothing happens by coincidence or chance. If God cares about the birds of the air, He cares about you (Matthew 6:26)!

Ruth 2:12 — Naomi refers to the LORD bringing grief 4 times. Ruth seemed more familiar with the generic name of God than the personal name of the God of Israel (YHVH … in most English Bibles it’s translated as “LORD”). But Boaz and his crew knew the name of the LORD, and Boaz recognizes her trust in this God she barely knows. He is the LORD God of Israel.

Ruth 4:7 — The kinsman-redeemer is a great motif of how Jesus redeemed us. John MacArthur shares this truth in a sermon – here’s a highlight that answers the question from yesterday.

Moabite people were, by God, shut out from the assembly of those who worshiped Him. Shut out, as it were, from redemption because of their iniquities. Turn to Isaiah 56 … verse 1 … prophet writes, “Thus says the Lord … this is from God … ‘Preserve justice and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come and My righteousness to be revealed. How blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who takes hold of it; who keeps from profaning the Sabbath, keeps his hand from doing any evil.’ Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, ‘The Lord will surely separate me from His people.’

Ruth 4:12 — Chuck Missler points out the background of this prophecy:

In Genesis 38, Tamar had married Judah’s firstborn son, Er, who died without having any children. Under Mosaic law, Judah was expected to provide Tamar a brother to raise up, and he failed to do so. Tamar then resorted to posing as a prostitute and Judah unknowingly got her pregnant. When confronted with the evidence, he confesses that his sin was greater than hers. Tamar gives birth to two sons, Zarah and Pharez. Both are, of course, illegitimate. The Torah provides that a bastard results in being cast out of the congregation for 10 generations. The strange remark in Ruth 4:12 was, in fact, a prophecy: the tenth generation from Pharez was none other than David. And to emphasize this, the book closes with David’s genealogy: [Ruth 4:18-22]

www.khouse.org/articles/2004/522

John 4:46 — This nobleman was possibly Chuzah, husband of Joanna, that we met earlier.

John 4:50 — This nobleman had more faith than Naaman (2 Kings 5:11-12).

Psalm 105:24 — Throughout the Bible we see constant pointing back to the Patriarchs and the message of the Torah. The foundational message of sin and consequence, obedience and blessing, is the foreshadowing of the Savior through messengers like Joseph and Moses (Deuteronomy 18:18).

Proverbs 14:27 — Take a minute and see what the Bible says about the fear of the LORD or listen to this from Patch the Pirate:

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Daily Encouragement

May 5 – Judges to Ruth: Sin, Sin, and Yet More Sin!

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Judges 21:1-Ruth 1:22
John 4:4-42
Psalm 105:1-15
Proverbs 14:25

Judges 21:3 — Why? Perhaps they are asking the wrong question

Judges 21:19 — Depending on how we read into the word “annual,” this could be problematic. Deuteronomy 16:16 requires that three times a year all the men must come to the feasts. Are they down to just one feast a year?

Ruth 1:1 — More sin. Deuteronomy 28:15 warns that disobedience results in curses, including the ground (Deuteronomy 28:18). The answer to judgment is not fleeing (does Jonah come to mind?). Elimelech died and God declared that death was a punishment for sin (Deuteronomy 28:26). Mahlon and Chilion took wives of the people (general prohibition against intermarriage in Deuteronomy 7:3; specific prohibition against it in Deuteronomy 23:3).

Ruth 1:9 — Ever notice how people living in open sin can still tell you, “God bless you?” While Naomi wanted to wish them Godspeed as they returned to idolatry, that is not permitted (2 John 9-11). While Naomi had an emotional affinity with her daughters-in-law, she should care about not just their next 50 years, but their next 5 million years!

Ruth 1:16 — Naomi realizes the LORD is chastening her (Ruth 1:21). Naomi knew better than to go to Moab, but she still went and lost all that were close to her. Ruth, on the other hand, is responding to what little light she was given, willing to repay the kindness of her mother-in-law with lifelong loyalty, and she was willing to learn about this deity that her mother-in-law had been disobeying. Will the LORD God of Israel Who has declared Himself to be against the family of Ruth (Deuteronomy 23:3) exercise His judgment or will He show mercy? Stay tuned!

John 4:7 — Speaking of women with non-traditional backgrounds, the LORD Jesus had a divine appointment (John 4:4) with a woman who didn’t just have a sinful pedigree, she also had a sinful personal history (John 4:18).

John 4:26 — Similar to His conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus did not tell large groups that He was the Messiah, but only revealed Himself to select individuals. Jewish legal code required there be multiple witnesses to each event. Thus, Nicodemus and this woman could not form the two witnesses because they were testifying to separate events.

John 4:35 — It’s harvest time! Who can you share Jesus with today?

Psalm 105:9-11 — Some people say God is done with Israel. But God made an everlasting covenant to give them the land of Canaan. Today, we are but a few decades into the fulfillment of that promise, a promise that sat unfulfilled for almost two thousand years.

Proverbs 14:25 — From John Gill:

… he “delivers souls”; men, not one man only, but many; a whole family, or more, in danger of being ruined …

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Daily Encouragement

May 4 – Just When You Thought Judges Couldn’t Get Any Worse …

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Judges 19:1-20:48
John 3:22-4:3
Psalm 104:24-35
Proverbs 14:22-24

Judges 19:12 — It will not be until 2 Samuel 5:6-10 that David’s armies would capture Jerusalem, and it would become an Israelite city.

Judges 19:15 — No man would show him hospitality. We see hospitality encouraged in Isaiah 58:6-7, Matthew 25:35, Romans 12:13, Hebrews 13:2, 1 Timothy 3:2, 1 Timothy 5:9-10, Titus 1:8, and 1 Peter 4:9. While no command of the Torah mandates hospitality (only the New Testament does), the patriarch Job clearly practiced it (Job 31:32).

Judges 19:22 — These were Benjamites (Judges 19:16) speaking almost exactly what the Sodomites spoke to Lot (Genesis 19:5).

  • Belial sons of Gibeah: “Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.”
  • Sodomites: “Bring them out unto us, that we may know them.”

Judges 19:24 — Lot offered his two daughters to the Sodomite mob (Genesis 19:8); the Ephraimite offers his daughter and the Levite’s concubine.

Judges 20:2 — Mizpeh is Jephthah’s hometown.

Judges 20:48 — 65,000 people died in this first Civil War of Israel. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

John 3:30 — Seven words that make a great life verse.

Psalm 104:34 — How often do you meditate on the LORD?

Proverbs 14:23 — As Patch the Pirate said, “Your walk talks, and your talk talks, but your walk talks louder than your talk talks!

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Daily Encouragement

May 3 – Ten Shekels and a Shirt

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Judges 17:1-18:31
John 3:1-21
Psalm 104:1-23
Proverbs 14:20-21

Judges 17:3 — What commandment was violated? The second – “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.” Interestingly, this commandment was repeated 8 additional times in the Torah. No wonder God told His people to read the Word (Joshua 1:8, Deuteronomy 17:19, Deuteronomy 29:9)!

Judges 17:10 — Paris Reidhead preached a famous message entitled “Ten Shekels and a Shirt.”

Judges 17:13 — Welcome to modern pluralism! We have a house of gods (Judges 17:5) and are glad to add some Christianity so we don’t offend the LORD of the Bible!

Judges 18:20 — A Levite who should know the Law is delighted by tribal affinity but not horrified by violating God’s Law. Interestingly, the next time the word “teraphim” is used in the Bible is Hosea 3:4 where God compares Gomer’s adultery to the actions of this Levite.

John 3:1 — The Gospels have little good to say about the Pharisees. However, in Luke 11:37 and Luke 14:1 we see the Pharisees inviting Jesus for a meal. Here, though, we see a Pharisee coming to Jesus to learn. While we wonder at the fear of Nicodemus that led him to come to Jesus by night (sounds like Gideon), we need to recognize that Jesus was letting Nicodemus know a secret, not of His doctrine (John 18:20), but of his identity (Matthew 9:30, Matthew 16:20, Mark 1:34, Mark 1:43-44, Mark 4:10-12, Mark 5:43, Mark 7:36, Luke 5:14). If He was to be publicly identified as the Messiah before He had fulfilled the prophecies of Messiah, He would be rightly condemned as a blasphemer. Thus, He couldn’t tell His identity to more than one potential adversary (Deuteronomy 19:15), until the hour was come (John 12:23).

John 3:16 — From Hal Leonard, the choral version of John 3:16:

John 3:18 — From Earl Martin:

Psalm 104:2 — ”Almighty, Unchangeable God” is a “meditation” on the theme of Psalm 104. From the Herbsters:

Proverbs 14:21 — An interesting application of the observation of Proverbs 14:20.

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Daily Encouragement

May 2 – Samson’s Sad Story

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Judges 15:1-16:31
John 2:1-25
Psalm 103:1-22
Proverbs 14:17-19

Judges 15:6 — What type of society says that property damage is worthy of the death penalty? Mosaic Law provides for the death penalty in only one type of sin – kidnapping (Theopolis Institute has a great analysis – however, I’m not endorsing their Federal Vision Theology).

Judges 15:11 — Not only do the Philistines have their values flipped (property over people), but three thousand men of Judah don’t know who their ruler is. The Torah records in Exodus 15:18 that the LORD shall reign for ever and ever! The Philistines are not to reign over the Israelites per Deuteronomy 15:6.

Judges 15:15 — God provides in spite of Samson breaking his Nazarite vows.

V0034292 Samson carries the gates of Gaza up to the mount of Hebron. Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org Samson carries the gates of Gaza up to the mount of Hebron. Etching by J. Taylor after F. Verdier, 1698. By: Francois Verdierafter: James TaylorPublished: – Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Judges 16:1 — Dave Benoit preached a great message on parenting from Samson:

  • Seeking the wrong type of wife (Judges 14:2)
  • Parents counsel was disregarded (Judges 14:3)
  • While a judge, goes to a harlot (Judges 16:1)
  • Doesn’t learn from Judges 14:17 (Judges 16:16)
  • Ends up buried by his parents (Judges 16:31)

John 2:1 — Jesus began His ministry quickly – after the temptation in the wilderness, He comes back to John the Baptist and takes Simon, Andrew, Philip, and Nathanael to Galilee, avoiding the hub of Jerusalem and settling into the Galilee.

John 2:8 — Jesus takes over the job of the ruler (King), in a few verses He cleanses the temple as priest (John 2:17), and then prophesies of His death (John 2:19).

Psalm 103:1 — This verse is set to music in a familiar tune followed by a verse from 1 Samuel 12:24 and other passages. SoundForth’s song “From Everlasting to Everlasting” is based on Psalm 103.

Proverbs 14:17 — Interesting word study on anger – God has a right (or perhaps a responsibility) to be angry.

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