Be Valiant!

Judges 6 begins with an angel talking to Gideon saying, "thou mighty man of valour!" However, in this passage Gideon isn't feeling very valiant -- he's consumed with his circumstances -- how poor his family is and how he's the least of his fathers' house. He doesn't feel he's done anything worthy of being called valiant, yet the angel still addresses him "mighty man of valour!"

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The Lord has us covered!

When Corrie Ten Boom (author of "The Hiding Place") was a little girl in Holland, her first realization of death came after a visit to the home of a neighbor who had died. It suddenly impressed her that some day her parents could also die. When Corrie went to her father about her concern, he comforted her with these words of wisdom. "Corrie, when you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?" "Why, just before we get on the train," she replied. "Exactly," her father said, "and our wise Father in heaven knows when we're going to need things too. Don't run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need--just in time."

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He never slumbers or sleeps!

As U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to announce Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it comes at a historical time as it will be 100 years (2 Jubilee cycles) nearly to the day when Jerusalem was liberated from the Ottoman Empire by the British in 1917. And in 1917, when the British entered into Jerusalem, it was 400 years (8 Jubilee cycles) to the day of when the Turks initially entered Jerusalem in 1517. So this month will mark 500 years (10 Jubilee Cycles) since the Ottomans first captured the holy city. Historically, it will also mark 50 years (1 Jubilee Cycle) since Jerusalem was liberated in the Six Days War in 1967.

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Take shelter in Him!

During World War II, a US marine was separated from his unit on a Pacific Island. The fighting had been intense, and in the smoke and the crossfire he had lost touch with his comrades. Alone in the jungle, he could hear enemy soldiers coming in his direction. Scrambling for cover, he found his way up a high ridge to several small caves in the rock. Quickly he crawled inside one of the caves.

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You're in the hands of the Good Shepherd!

Joseph, the son of Jacob grew up caring for flocks, a shepherd boy,(Genesis 37:2). While we might have a romantic view of an easy pastoral life among sheep and goats, the main responsibility of a shepherd was to protect the flock against hungry predators (wolves, lions, etc.) looking for an easy meal, actually quite a dangerous job. The shepherd loved his sheep; and Joseph was a good shepherd.

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Know Your Shepherd!

In Israel, we often see goats and sheep roaming the countryside. Driving through rural Israel often involves suddenly stopping to allow a herd of sheep or goats to cross the road. But interestingly, I have never seen "sheep kill" on the side of the road in all the years that I've lived in Israel. It's because sheep don't roam without a shepherd!

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One day at a time!

A father asked his son to carry a letter from their camp to the village. He pointed out a trail over which the lad had never gone before. “All right Dad, but I don’t see how that path will ever reach the town,” said the boy. “Well son, I'll tell you how. Do you see that big tree down the path?” asked the father. “Oh, yes, I see that far.” “Well, when you get there by the tree, you’ll see the trail a little farther ahead -- and farther down you'll see another big tree -- and when you reach that one you'll be closer and so on until you get within sight of the houses of the village.”

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Look for God's Handwriting!

Missionaries Dick and Margaret Hillis found themselves caught in China during the Japanese invasion. The couple lived with their two children in the inland town of Shenkiu. The village was tense with fear, for every day brought terrifying reports of the Japanese advance. At the worst possible time, Dick developed appendicitis, and he knew his life depended on making the long journey to the hospital. On January 15, 1941, with deep foreboding, Margaret watched him leave.

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Behold the God of Bread and War!

The Hebrew language contains numerous words that have the same root yet vast differences in meaning. On deeper examination however, these words can be related in illuminating ways. For example, the three Hebrew letters --"Lamed", "Chet", and "Mem"-- which spell, "lechem", or "bread" in English, are also the root letters for "fight" (lehilachem) and "war" (milchama). For centuries Rabbis have discussed and debated the connection between these three words.

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Do You Have The Sign?

Yesterday, we began identifying the ancient Hebrew alphabet and exploring the potential symbolic meanings of its letters. The last letter, "Tav", as we saw, strongly resembles a cross. Today, we’re going to look at how "Tav" is spelled in ancient Hebrew. The phonetic spelling of "Tav" is Tav (T)-Vav (V). Now the ancient letter, "Vav" strongly resembled a commonly used tent peg, and then, later, a common nail. So the spelling of "Tav" contains a cross and a nail.

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