The Preacher's Commentary

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DAL | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Jun 28 2017 6:00 PM

Do I really need this set if I own the better ones: 

By better ones I mean: The preacher's outline and sermon Bible, Mattoon's commentaries, Focus on the Bible, Preacher's Homiletic Commentary and the intermediate ones like Tyndale, BST, Preaching the Word.

The competition has it on sale for $149.95 so I was wondering if it would add anything to what I already have. Some of the outlines look good, but not too sure.

Any thoughts or feedback on them: 



Posts 1033
Keith Pang | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 28 2017 7:16 PM

I am curious about this set as well...any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Shalom, in Christ, Keith. Check out my music

Posts 5321
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 28 2017 7:28 PM

It is a very fine commentary not super but at the price decent.. (I paid a lot less for it on CD-ROM years back, and even in pre zondervan days it use to show up on Olivetree under $50 occasionally). I think its worth owning but do you need it that is something you would have to decide.


Here are some fairly random examples (Opening up some of my last used volumes of this series):


Unclean Genital Discharges

15:1 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When any man has a discharge from his body, his discharge is unclean. 3 And this shall be his uncleanness in regard to his discharge—whether his body runs with his discharge, or his body is stopped up by his discharge, it is his uncleanness. 4 Every bed is unclean on which he who has the discharge lies, and everything on which he sits shall be unclean. 5 And whoever touches his bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 6 He who sits on anything on which he who has the discharge sat shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 7 And he who touches the body of him who has the discharge shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 8 If he who has the discharge spits on him who is clean, then he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 9 Any saddle on which he who has the discharge rides shall be unclean. 10 Whoever touches anything that was under him shall be unclean until evening. He who carries any of those things shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 11 And whomever the one who has the discharge touches, and has not rinsed his hands in water, he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 12 The vessel of earth that he who has the discharge touches shall be broken, and every vessel of wood shall be rinsed in water.

13 ‘And when he who has a discharge is cleansed of his discharge, then he shall count for himself seven days for his cleansing, wash his clothes, and bathe his body in running water; then he shall be clean. 14 On the eighth day he shall take for himself two turtledoves or two young pigeons, and come before the Lord, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and give them to the priest. 15 Then the priest shall offer them, the one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him before the Lord because of his discharge.

16 ‘If any man has an emission of semen, then he shall wash all his body in water, and be unclean until evening. 17 And any garment and any leather on which there is semen, it shall be washed with water, and be unclean until evening. 18 Also, when a woman lies with a man, and there is an emission of semen, they shall bathe in water, and be unclean until evening.

19 ‘If a woman has a discharge, and the discharge from her body is blood, she shall be set apart seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening. 20 Everything that she lies on during her impurity shall be unclean; also everything that she sits on shall be unclean. 21 Whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 22 And whoever touches anything that she sat on shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 23 If anything is on her bed or on anything on which she sits, when he touches it, he shall be unclean until evening. 24 And if any man lies with her at all, so that her impurity is on him, he shall be unclean seven days; and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean.

25 ‘If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, other than at the time of her customary impurity, or if it runs beyond her usual time of impurity, all the days of her unclean discharge shall be as the days of her customary impurity. She shall be unclean. 26 Every bed on which she lies all the days of her discharge shall be to her as the bed of her impurity; and whatever she sits on shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her impurity. 27 Whoever touches those things shall be unclean; he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening.

28 ‘But if she is cleansed of her discharge, then she shall count for herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean. 29 And on the eighth day she shall take for herself two turtledoves or two young pigeons, and bring them to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 30 Then the priest shall offer the one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, and the priest shall make atonement for her before the Lord for the discharge of her uncleanness.

31 ‘Thus you shall separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness, lest they die in their uncleanness when they defile My tabernacle that is among them. 32 This is the law for one who has a discharge, and for him who emits semen and is unclean thereby, 33 and for her who is indisposed because of her customary impurity, and for one who has a discharge, either man or woman, and for him who lies with her who is unclean.’ ”

—Leviticus 15:1–33

We come to the last chapter in this section on the clean and the unclean. The most controversial thing about it seems to be in giving it a title. Most commentaries use language such as “unclean discharges,” “cleanliness and holiness,” and “ceremonial uncleanness.” No one wants to declare that the chapter deals specifically with nor mal and abnormal secretions from the male and the female genitals. I have no intention of preaching on this chapter unabashedly, but we may want to consider making this chapter a part of a wider study (outside of the pulpit) on sexuality, and on the theology of maleness and femaleness. Bailey suggests that such a study over a period of a few weeks would be edifying to men and women alike, and I have found this to be the case. Such a study might begin with the opening chapters of Genesis which make it clear that the female is in no way inferior or subordinate to the male, but is, rather, the crowning of creation. Our own translation rightly corrects the erroneous “helpmeet”of Genesis 2:18 to “I will make him a helper comparable to him.” The story of the Fall does not blame the woman, even though Adam tried to. it is, rather, the tragic story of us all. Such a study should affirm male and female, especially using the Psalms and Proverbs, and take a thorough look at both the teaching of Jesus and the relationships of Jesus with men and women. Leviticus 12 and 15 should also be included in this study, with special emphasis upon what these laws were trying to accomplish in their own time. This is difficult to do without imposing our own standards upon the pas sages, or by accepting too readily the conclusions of previous interpreters.

The structure of the chapter is carefully thought out. Two cases relate to men and two to women. Two cases relate to abnormal, continuing emissions, and two cases relate to normal emission. The structure seems designed to emphasize the unity of the two sexes through the use of chiasmus, a literary device found often in both Old and New Testaments. The chiastic structure is best described as A1-B1-C-B2-A2. So here, we have A1=abnormal, long-term male discharges (vv. 1–15); B1=normal, short-term male emissions (vv. 16–17); C=intercourse (v. 18); B2=normal, short-term female discharges (vv. 19–24); B1=abnormal, long-term female discharges (vv. 25–30). The pattern affirms the unity and interdependence of humankind in the two sexes, which is most significantly and intimately expressed in sexual intercourse, placed at the middle of the structure.

Though the text is not specific, it seems that all four of the cases in this chapter deal with emissions or secretions from the genital organs. This is not a discussion of runny noses or teary eyes.

It has long been assumed that the abnormal, male long-term discharge described here (vv. 2–15) is gonorrhea. Remember that the issue here is not the medical problem, but the issue of clean and unclean relating to the worship life of the covenant community. The abnormal, long-term discharge renders the man unclean. In other words, he is disqualified from full participation in the life of the community. Everything on which he sits (including saddles) and lies is rendered unclean (as is everyone on whom he spits!). Anyone who makes almost any contact with him or anything that he has touched also becomes unclean. That person must wash his or her clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. There is no exclusion from the community as with serious skin diseases. Here again we understand the widespread prevalence of pools for ceremonial bathing being found by archaeologists.

For the infected man, after the discharge has been cured, a cleansing period of seven days is to be observed with prescribed washing of clothing and bathing in fresh water. On the eighth day, he is to bring to the priest in the tabernacle two turtledoves or two young pigeons (the least expensive sacrifices) for a sin offering and a burnt offering.

With regard to normal emissions of semen (vv. 16–17), ceremonial uncleanness exists only for the remainder of the day. The man is to bathe, and any garments or leather are to be washed as part of the cleansing rite.

When a man and woman have sexual intercourse with the emission of semen, they are both unclean until evening, and both are required to bathe (v. 18).

The normal menstrual cycle for the woman (vv. 19–24) renders her unclean for seven days, while those who touch her or anything she has sat or laid on are unclean only for the remainder of the day. If any man “lies with her at all” (presumably any kind of intimate contact), he becomes unclean for seven days. No rite of cleansing is required at the end of the seven days for the woman (or for the man who may have become unclean).

In the case of abnormal, long-term female discharges (vv. 25–30), the complications and the cleansing process are the same as for men.

Verse 31 is a terse statement of the purpose of these laws pertaining to normal and abnormal genital discharges and emissions: “Thus you shall separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness, lest they die in their uncleanness when they defile My tabernacle that is among them.” The focus is upon the necessity of coming to God in worship with absolute purity of soul and body. To them, sexual activity and abnormalities of genital discharges could have no place in the worship of the community. When read in the context of the religions around them, which often emphasized fertility rites and temple prostitution and some times equated orgiastic frenzy with worship, these laws were not designed to curtail sexual activity within the parameters created by God but to avoid any appearance of the distortions around them. Recall their basic understanding of holiness as separateness and differentness. It should be obvious that, far from denigrating sex, these laws were trying to elevate it to a higher level than was the case in the world around them.

We must observe their belief that semen, the mysterious element in the process creating life, should not be wasted. It was held in high regard because it represented potential for life, belonging to God.

Thus, even normal nocturnal emissions may well have elicited a sense of waste or misuse (especially when accompanied by dreams of sexual activity), and must, therefore, be separated from the tabernacle and its worship.

Menstruation, though always regarded as normal, was undoubtedly beyond their understanding and therefore something of a mystery, especially since it involved blood. And to the Hebrew, as we have already seen, blood was the essence of life, and blood belonged exclusively to God. As normal as the menstrual cycle is, it must have been held with a certain awe and wonder. Thus, the separation from the tabernacle and worship.

We cannot read this chapter without recalling the tender story of the woman who had “a flow of blood for twelve years” (Mark 5:25–34). For twelve years she had been ceremonially unclean, unable to worship in the temple, to some degree a social outcast, but not to the extent of those with serious skin diseases. She had heard of the power of Jesus and was among those who placed great hope in just touching Jesus and being healed (Mark 6:56). Imagine her joy as she reached out and touched His garment and experienced the healing for which she had prayed and hoped for twelve years! Jesus, sensing that “power had gone out of Him” asked the question, “Who touched My clothes?” With fear and trembling, the woman brought her admission to Him and then heard His gracious words, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.” I’ve often wondered what it was that Jesus felt when the woman touched Him. I suspect that it wasn’t the loss of power in whatever effected the healing but the loss in being touched by her uncleanness. I like to think of Him as absorbing her sickness and uncleanness, for it seems to me that’s what is meant when we say that He took the sins of the world upon Himself. To touch Him is to be relieved of one’s sins and to be restored to wholeness.


And What About Us?

Before we leave this section, we must ask ourselves again, “What does all of this have to do with us?” The casual reader might wish to move on very quickly with the assumption that this is only of antiquarian interest. But now we know better. We must always return to the idea on which all of these laws were based, the idea of holiness. God is holy! This means that God is “the wholly Other.” God is completely different from all others and everything else. God is perfect in wisdom, power, goodness, purity, justice, and truth. And the Holy God calls the people of God to be holy, because God is holy.

As we have already seen, the root idea of holiness is separateness. This means that persons who are not holy are separated from God, for the holy are separated to God. In the imagery of Leviticus, the un holy—the unclean—cannot touch anything that is clean. That which is profane can in no way relate to the sacred.

Only as we begin to enter into this understanding of the holiness of God can we begin to comprehend the seriousness with which these ancient Hebrews approached the worship of God. The tabernacle, and later the temple, was the place where God was present for them. It was God’s dwelling place, and no one could approach God without proper preparation. Every single detail—clothing, cleanliness, attitude—had to be right. Approaching God was a serious and awesome matter in which nothing was treated lightly or left to chance.

I can identify in a rather remote and partial way with how the priests and people might have felt when they approached the tabernacle. I was once invited to the White House for a meeting with the President and some of his staff to clarify our denomination’s disagreements with some aspects of his foreign policy in Central America. We were deeply grateful for the privilege extended to us. I can assure you that in preparing for that meeting, no detail was overlooked, even down to the clothing I wore. Nothing was left to chance as I prepared for my visit with that very special person in that very special place.

As I read about the meticulous care for detail that was involved in their worship of God, and in reflecting on my anxiety as I prepared to go to the White House, I am reminded all the more of how essential it is for us to prepare properly for our worship of God, be it personally or with a congregation. But sadly, I’m aware that my own preparation for worship has, all too often, been casual and unthinking. I do believe that there is a great need for us to gain a deeper sense of the holiness of our Creator God, Almighty God, who loves us and truly cares for us.

I have urged our people to begin to prepare themselves for worship as early as Saturday afternoon. Scripture reading and prayer should be a vital exercise before retiring on Saturday night. Why can’t we give our people the order of worship the week before, so that they might review the words of the hymns, read the Scriptures, and pray the prayers in preparation for the worship? I’m convinced this could make a vital difference in how we approach our services of worship. And, certainly, this places a strong responsibility upon us who prepare the services to make them coherent, cohesive, and worthy of the time and energy of the worshipers. The most unthinkable thing in the church should be a dull and boring worship service!

Holiness for the Hebrews did not mean the attainment of sinless perfection, and it need not mean that for us. But it does mean that we are to be committed to reaching for that ideal of holiness for all who would enter into God’s presence.

Hopefully, we now see that in reading this section of Leviticus, we need not get bogged down in the details of the dietary and health laws listed here. Nor do we need to duplicate the ceremonial and ritual laws. For the Hebrews, the entire system had obvious validity. Though the details have changed, the underlying principles are still active and valid, even though we still are not sure of all the facts.

One of these principles is the very close linkage between the physical and the spiritual. What we eat, how we take care of our bodies, personal cleanliness and sanitation, all are engaged in our relation ships with God and with others. There is a strong emphasis among us on health and fitness, though our tendency toward careless nutrition and lack of exercise is all too apparent. If we are to be good stewards of all that God has given us, we will be as concerned with the physical as we must be with the spiritual. They go together.

Another principle basic to this section is that of “cleansing” as a continuing necessity. Cleansing was necessary in order to enter into the holy presence of God, as well as to maintain regular relationships in the community. And God made all of the provisions for the requisite cleansing; Too often, the Old Testament has been portrayed among Christians as teaching salvation by works. I disagree. The essence of everything we have studied in this section is the gracious provision of God for our needs. The Bible is the good news of God’s grace from Genesis through Revelation.

Both the principle of the unity of the physical and spiritual and that of the necessity of cleansing are clearly enunciated in the New Testament as well. To the Corinthian Christians, who lived in a city widely known for its moral decadence, Paul wrote, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19). There is no separation between the physical and the spiritual for the person in Christ. And we are joyously reminded that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). God has provided the means for our continual cleansing.

 Gary W. Demarest and Lloyd J. Ogilvie, Leviticus, vol. 3, The Preacher’s Commentary Series (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1990), 147–154.


How to Get Rid of the Ark of God

6:1  Now the ark of the Lord was in the country of the Philistines seven months. 2 And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, “What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? Tell us how we should send it to its place.”

3 So they said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty; but by all means return it to Him with a trespass offering. Then you will be healed, and it will be known to you why His hand is not removed from you.”

4 Then they said, “What is the trespass offering which we shall return to Him?”

They answered, “Five golden tumors and five golden rats, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines. For the same plague was on all of you and on your lords. 5 Therefore you shall make images of your tumors and images of your rats that ravage the land, and you shall give glory to the God of Israel; perhaps He will lighten His hand from you, from your gods, and from your land. 6 Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He did mighty things among them, did they not let the people go, that they might depart? 7 Now therefore, make a new cart, take two milk cows which have never been yoked, and hitch the cows to the cart; and take their calves home, away from them. 8 Then take the ark of the Lord and set it on the cart; and put the articles of gold which you are returning to Him as a trespass offering in a chest by its side. Then send it away, and let it go. 9 And watch: if it goes up the road to its own territory, to Beth Shemesh, then He has done us this great evil. But if not, then we shall know that it is not His hand that struck us—it happened to us by chance.”

10 Then the men did so; they took two milk cows and hitched them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home. 11 And they set the ark of the Lord on the cart, and the chest with the gold rats and the images of their tumors. 12 Then the cows headed straight for the road to Beth Shemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and did not turn aside to the right hand or the left. And the lords of the Philistines went after them to the border of Beth Shemesh.

—1 Samuel 6:1–12

After seven months of distress, the Philistines decided that they had to do something, so they called for their priests and diviners. The text has them asking two questions (v. 2), but the first one was really rhetorical. The answer assumed by everyone who asked “What shall we do with the ark of the Lord?” was to send it back. After what they had suffered, this was agreed upon. The question that they wanted answered was “How?” It is often easier to know what needs to be done rather than how to accomplish it. What had happened to their god Dagon, to themselves, and to their land had created a certain fear of making things worse by not observing the proper protocol.

The Philistine theologians made two suggestions. First they warned against sending the ark of the God of Israel back “empty” (v. 2). It should not go back as it had come. They needed to make some kind of trespass offering. This was to be a confession of sin and a plea for forgiveness and relief. This offering needed to be costly—made of gold. It had to be related to their punishment—in the shape of the tumors and rats. This was the ancient principle of “like cures like.” They were to be representative—five of each representing the major cities of the Philistines. The Philistine priests evoked the memory of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt to warn that if the Philistines were to harden their hearts, worse things could happen (v. 6). This offering was an attempt to remove the anger of Israel’s God.

The procedure suggested for returning the ark was very interesting. After the trespass offering had been placed inside it, the ark was to be placed on a new cart (v. 7). There was the feeling that objects which were new had greater sanctity and, therefore, greater effectiveness in discerning divine action. The cart was to be pulled by two milk cows that had never been yoked to a cart. This alone would have probably assured chaos, but the priests evoked a second restriction that seemed to assure that the ark would not go any where. They suggested that the cow’s calves, which were still nursing, be penned up away from the mothers. On the farm, there are few more inseparable things than a cow and its nursing calf.

Although the suggestion of a trespass offering seemed to assume that all their problems had occurred because Israel’s God was angry with them, there is in this second suggestion a continuing exploration of the possibility that there was no connection between what had happened and the ark’s presence. It’s interesting that the method which they used put the burden of proof upon God. There was no way for the ark to be taken back to Israel by these two cows separated from their calves unless the God of Israel helped them to transcend their very nature.

This kind of test is found at other places in the Old Testament. The example that has the most similar aspects is the story of Gideon and his fleece (Judg. 6). In both, the focus was on asking God to do the unlikely. This stands in contrast to the tendency to ask for God’s guidance in such a way that we identify our desire with what is “most likely” to happen. Some of our prayers suggest, “Lord, if you want me to do this, let the sun come up in the east.” The Philistine priests wanted to be absolutely sure that they were dealing with God’s action, and they designed the best test they were capable of with their limited knowledge of God’s nature.

When the ark was loaded and the cows yoked to the cart, the Scripture says that they “headed straight for the road to Beth Shemesh” (v. 12), which was the nearest Israelite village. That this was not the natural thing for them to do is revealed in the little phrase “lowing as they went” (v. 12). It was as if something larger and more powerful than their desire to stay with their calves had taken charge, nevertheless they called to their calves as they went. What happened was interpreted by the Philistines as Israel’s God accepting their trespass offering and, along with it, His promising relief. In order to be sure of what happened and to be able to report to the people, the lords of the Philistines followed the cart to the edge of Beth Shemesh and stayed to watch what would happen

 Kenneth L. Chafin and Lloyd J. Ogilvie, 1, 2 Samuel, vol. 8, The Preacher’s Commentary Series (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1989), 55–58.


Chapter One Hundred Thirty-One—How to Get Ready for God

Psalm 131:1–3


Scripture Outline

Who I Am (131:1)

What I Do (131:2)

Conclusion (131:3)

Richard J. Foster writes in his classic Celebration of Discipline, “Superficiality is the curse of our age. The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem. The desperate need to day is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people. The classical Disciplines of the spiritual life call us to move beyond surface living into the depths. They invite us to explore the inner caverns of the spiritual realm. They urge us to be the answer to a hollow world. John Woolman counsels, ‘It is good for thee to dwell deep, that thou mayest feel and understand the spirits of people’ (p. 1). What Foster calls the in ward disciplines (such as meditation, prayer, fasting, and study) will show us how to dwell deep. This is what this brief psalm is all about. In verse 1 the psalmist describes himself, and, based upon this sober sense, offers his response in verse 2.

Commentators describe the form of this psalm as a psalm of trust. It is ascribed to David. The thought moves from who I am (v. 1) to what I do (v. 2) and ends with a conclusion for all Israel (v. 3).


Who I Am

131:1 Lord, my heart is not haughty,

Nor my eyes lofty.

Neither do I concern myself with great matters,

Nor with things too profound for me.

—Psalm 131:1

Verse 1 opens with David confessing his spiritual condition to God: “Lord, my heart is not haughty, / Nor my eyes lofty.” He has not lifted himself up in his pride. Rather than looking above or over people, he looks at them or down in a sense of unworthiness. He is a finite man, and he knows it. He is a sinner and admits it. His heart is lowly. Before God he has a proper sense of proportion. He would admit with Isaiah that all flesh is grass (Is. 40:6). He knows with James that life is a vapor (James 4:14). And, above all, he knows that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).

Because of this sense of himself, David goes on to admit: “Neither do I concern myself with [literally, “Neither have I walked in”] great matters, / Nor with things too profound [“wonderful, marvelous”] for me.” These “great matters” and “wonderful things” are the schemes and speculative plans of man. They come from his arrogance rather than from his humility. They are a sign of his rebellion against God rather than his submission to him. They are also a commentary upon the modern world with its Enlightenment base, which thinks that everything is possible for us. We can fly to the stars and control the destiny of nations. In our pride we suppose that nothing is impossible for us. Then an earthquake hits in China or India and more than 50,000 people vanish from the planet. Then the AIDS virus strikes and stalks us. Yet, we refuse to be humbled. Not so with David. Before God he confesses, “Who I am.”


What I Do

2 Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,

Like a weaned child with his mother;

Like a weaned child is my soul within me.

—Psalm 131:2

With a humble, proper sense of ourselves, paradoxically, we are ready for God, we can go to the depths, and David tells us how to get there. Thus he says: “Surely I have calmed [‘set’] and quieted my soul [‘self’].” Here we see, in Kierkegaard’s phrase, the self transcending itself. We are not merely instinctual animals. We are conscious of ourselves. This allows us to calm and quiet ourselves before God, and this is exactly what David does. He now describes the sense that he has of himself: “Like a weaned child with his mother, / Like a weaned child is my soul within me.” Here is contentment. David is not like a baby crying and harassing his mother for her milk. He is like an older child who knows rest and security in the presence of his mother. Thus his soul (self) is at rest.

Richard Foster writes in Celebration of Discipline, “In contemporary society our Adversary majors in three things: noise, hurry, and crowds. If he can keep us engaged in ‘muchness’ and ‘manyness,’ he will rest satisfied. Psychiatrist Carl Jung once remarked, ‘Hurry is not of the Devil; it is the Devil’ ” (p. 15). How can we get ready for God when we are continually distracted? How can we wait for Him (see Ps. 130:5)? What we need to do is calm our souls. We need to find a quiet place and sit awhile. We need to get in touch with our deeper selves and listen to our hearts. We need to take time alone, even if that is scary. Now we are receptive. Now we are listening. Now God can begin to speak to us.



3 O Israel, hope in the Lord

From this time forth and forever.

—Psalm 131:3

Based upon his own experience of a proper sense of himself and his quieted soul David exhorts his people, Israel. He concludes that they should “hope in the Lord.” This is the ultimate purpose of any spiritual discipline. We go to the depths to meet the God who is deeper still. This hope is not merely for a moment; it is to be “from this time forth and forever [that is, “continually”].” This hope is to be sustained until it turns to sight and is realized, “face to face” (1 Cor. 13:12). With such hope we can quiet ourselves and get ready for God.

 Donald Williams and Lloyd J. Ogilvie, Psalms 73–150, vol. 14, The Preacher’s Commentary Series (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1989), 429–431.


Jesus’ Compassion and Power

13 When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. 14 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.
When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.”

16 But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17 And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”

18 He said, “Bring them here to Me.” 19 Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. 20 So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. 21 Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

—Matthew 14:13–21

The feeding of the five thousand was one of the more spectacular miracles in the ministry of Christ. It was an occasion in which the disciples overemphasized the problem and underemphasized the resources, for they underestimated the Master! Jesus had come to this desert place to be alone with the disciples. They had just returned from the mission to which Jesus had sent them, and they needed time to process their experience (Mark 6:30–32). But as they crossed near Bethsaida to a desert place on the other side of the bay, a large crowd made its way around the bay and came to Jesus. Seeing them, He was moved with compassion and extended His ministry to their need, healing and teaching. At eventide the disciples urged Jesus to send the multitude away so that they could get bread, probably at Bethsaida.

Jesus amazed the disciples by saying, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” Upon their remonstrance that they had only five loaves and two fish, Jesus said, “Bring them here to me.” We bring what we have to the Master, and He will bless it. A little with God is more than much without Him. And yet they were staggered to look into the faces of five thousand men, plus women and children, and then look at this little lunch basket! But one expectation was that the Messiah, like Moses, would feed His people. This event may be associated with the messianic banquet spoken of by Isaiah (25:6).

In verse 19 we have the order of grace: He blessed; He gave to the disciples; they gave to others. The Lord works through His disciples, through his church.2 Reviewing the happening we recognize: (1) the promise—they don’t have to leave; (2) the commission—you give them something; (3) the power—bring them to me; and (4) the provision—they all ate. The conclusion is the abundance which satisfies, for there were twelve baskets full of fragments left over. The word for “basket” here is kophinos, meaning a smaller wicker basket. At the second feeding of four thousand the kind of basket was the spuris, a larger basket. The point of reference here is that there was more than enough.

This marks the climax of popular enthusiasm for Jesus, and of the desire to make Him King. But Jesus was not a bread-King, and according to John 6, Jesus followed up on this miracle by talking to the people about their need for spiritual sustenance. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). And in answer to their unbelief, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day… . Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me” (John 6:53–54, 57, niv). As food sustains the energy of the body, so living by the energy of identification with Christ is the only sustenance of spiritual life.


2 2. Ibid., p. 204.

 Myron S. Augsburger and Lloyd J. Ogilvie, Matthew, vol. 24, The Preacher’s Commentary Series (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1982), 18.


The Imperative for Discipline in Attitudes

The attitudes we have already noted are warm acceptance of those with whom we may differ, openness to ideas other than our own, and rejection of a censorious and critical spirit. All of these portray that most beautiful of all Christian virtues—love—but Paul has more to say on this subject:

15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.

19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. 22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

Romans 14:15–23

The one who has scruples is described by the apostle as being the weaker brother, and it is interesting to bear in mind that usually when we hold tenaciously to traditions and feel deeply about the things that scripture may treat with silence, we regard ourselves as strong on that point. By the apostle’s definition the strong person is the one who is free in areas of God-given freedom and sees no need to build regulations around his freedom, while the weak brother is the one who feels that he needs help in the area of freedom and adds principles which of themselves may be quite right but which are not biblical in origin.

In the examples he has given Paul shows himself to be clearly on the side of the stronger brother but insists that his commitment is to love and peace. This requires willingness to refuse to act in the area of freedom if by so doing one would be offensive or unhelpful to his brother. He is ready to deny himself that which he feels deeply he is free to enjoy because his concern is more for the building up of his Christian brother than for his own fulfillment, and his concern is more for the unity of the fellowship than for the liberty of himself.

Meanwhile the brother who has scruples must live within his own limits because if he contravenes them he must remember “he who doubts is condemned if he eats” (v. 23). The inevitability of differences and the possibility of controversies in the Christian church can be viewed either positively or negatively. Some believers are not prepared to allow for differences of position in matters of secondary importance and insist that everything must be spelled out so that unity might prevail. This approach avoids the unpleasantness of controversy but does nothing to enhance diversity or produce maturity. Other groups allow for freedom of conviction but become so embroiled in feuding that they never achieve a unified position of strength and stability. Paul teaches the Roman believers that they must allow for differences but they must avoid division. In summary, they must commit themselves to working in love to produce a unified body that demonstrates the diversity of God’s wonderful handiwork.

 D. Stuart Briscoe and Lloyd J. Ogilvie, Romans, vol. 29, The Preacher’s Commentary Series (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1982), 247–249.

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 28 2017 7:34 PM

I had individual volumes in print many years ago. It was really uneven, often weak. Mostly a collection of sermons preaching through a book, but not of the quality of BST or Hughes. I got it in Logos in a Nelson bargain package some time ago. I rarely refer to it. If you could get it for under $100, it might be worth having for the occasional good idea. I'd steer clear of it otherwise.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 28 2017 7:38 PM

I realized that I didn't share anything from my favourite from this series Proverbs so he is a sample from Proverbs 8:

Chapter Eight—Ancient Credentials and Contemporary Calling

Proverbs 8:1–36


Scripture Outline

Introductory Call to Attention—Extended (8:1–9)

Self-Description of Assets (8:10–21)

Self-Description of Presence at Creation (8:22–31)

Concluding Call to Attention (8:32–33)

Beatitude as Summary (8:34)

Antithetic Summary (8:35–36)

The aim of the speeches in Proverbs 1–9 has been to accent wisdom’s worth and thus attract the young students who will be Israel’s future leaders to pursue it with might and main. This chapter is the core course in the teacher’s curriculum. It weaves together a number of key themes: (1) it features the attractiveness of wisdom by bringing to full bloom the buds of personification that sprouted in 1:20–33 and 7:4, as wisdom, in human guise, calls for attention and describes her credentials in most impressive terms; (2) it fills in the details of the picture of wisdom’s presence at creation sketched in 3:19–20; (3) it connects wisdom with the fear of the Lord by naming wisdom as the chief God-fearer (v. 13; see 1:7); (4) it links wisdom to practical deeds of righteousness and justice (v. 20; see 2:9–15); (5) it contrasts wisdom’s positive and profitable call with the seductive beckonings of the temptress whose face has appeared on virtually every page of these speeches (2:16–19; 5:1–23; 6:23–35; 7:1–27); (6) it illuminates the path of righteousness, the only viable route in life (v. 32; see 4:18–27); (7) it underlines the importance of choice by showing that issues which lead to life, on the one hand, or death, on the other (vv. 35–36), call for the strongest personal response—love (vv. 17, 36), the absence of which is tantamount to hate.

The breakdown of the chapter follows its literary structure, which in turn gives us clues as to the intention and purpose of each section.

The call to attention (vv. 1–9) is the longest in the book, a fact which in itself shows how passionately the teacher wanted the pupils to face the claims of wisdom. There follow two self-descriptions which argue for the validity of wisdom (vv. 10–21) and the authority of wisdom (vv. 22–31). The speech closes with a three-part conclusion—a brief call to attention (vv. 32–33) that echoes the opening, a beatitude that promises happiness to wisdom’s devotees (v. 34), and an antithetic summary (vv. 35–36) that reminds us of life’s basic choice and its infinite consequences.

In loftiness and grandeur this speech rises from the pages of Proverbs like the Jungfrau over Interlaken or Rainier above Puget Sound. It is the summit of Old Testament discipleship, inviting all who see it to mount the slopes of righteousness and justice, goodness and mercy, and from there to see life as God intended in those days when He called creation into being and shaped humankind in His own image. Wisdom laughed for joy when He did, and all who truly seek her by fearing God are promised a share in that pristine happiness.


Introductory Call to Attention—Extended

8:1  Does not wisdom cry out, And understanding lift up her voice?

2 She takes her stand on the top of the high hill,

Beside the way, where the paths meet.

3 She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city,

At the entrance of the doors:

4 “To you, O men, I call,

And my voice is to the sons of men.

5 O you simple ones, understand prudence,

And you fools, be of an understanding heart.

6 Listen, for I will speak of excellent things,

And from the opening of my lips will come right things;

7 For my mouth will speak truth;

Wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

8 All the words of my mouth are with righteousness;

Nothing crooked or perverse is in them.

9 They are all plain to him who understands,

And right to those who find knowledge.

—Proverbs 8:1–9

This is wisdom’s call to attention, not just the command of the teacher. As such its components ask for special attention. The ex tended form (cf. 1:8–9; 4:1–2, 10; 5:1, 7; 7:24) is a clue to the unique importance of this particular call. Its grammatical structure centers in the three imperatives of verses 5–6: “understand,” “be of an under standing heart,” and “listen,” but its meaning centers in the lessons it conveys about wisdom. Those lessons frame the outline of our study.

Wisdom’s call is certain (v. 1). The rhetorical question, clearly marked in Hebrew by the question indicator attached to the word “not,” tolerates no other answer but “yes.” Of course, wisdom does call. She shouts, in fact. She cares too much to keep silent. Her message is too important to be whispered. She has no intention of letting her righteous cause be drowned in the sea of wicked propositions that threaten to engulf the young—propositions from greedy savages (1:10–19), from men of lying speech (2:12–15), from women of smooth words (2:16–19), from the perverters of righteousness (4:14–17), from wretches who sow discord (6:12–15). The battle is joined, and a shaky trumpet will not summon the troops. Wisdom leaves no doubt about the importance and meaning of her call.

Wisdom’s call is public (vv. 2–3). Hers is not a private word of inner piety alone. It sounds from the hilltop like a watchman’s warning; it rings from the junctions of the main roads where merchants, travelers, pilgrims, farmers, and soldiers salute each other; it echoes in the gates of the city where deals are struck, political decisions made, and judicial verdicts rendered. It is wisdom in the public do main, shaping the entire life of the community. It calls for obedience in politics, commerce, community relations, as well as religious activities. We do well to hear this public call. It tells us that, though church and state may be separated by the First Amendment, our faith must inform and govern our behavior in all areas of life. There can be no true discipleship which is only private. The places from which wisdom lifts her persistent voice are the very places where our witness is needed.

Wisdom’s call is personal (vv. 4–5). It is addressed to the human family, called here “men,” “sons of men” (or “children of Adam”), “simple ones” (see 1:4), and “fools” (see 1:32). In the context, the last two terms may be understood in the light of the first two. Every human being has great capacity for simpleminded foolishness. The address is not specifically to a group of naive or wicked persons but to all of us who carry the constant potential of foolish conduct. We can almost see her gesturing, pointing, beckoning; we can almost hear her shouting, “You, yes, I mean you, wise up.” Learn how to be successful by doing the right thing (“prudence,” or “cunning”; see 1:4); “understand” what common sense (“heart”) means and how to apply it in your daily choices.

Wisdom’s call is reliable (vv. 6–9). In a society that bristled with perverse speech—crooked, foolish teachings, unreliable opinions and advice (2:12; 6:12–15)—words that you could bank on were worth their weight in platinum. The cluster of terms describing wisdom’s teaching is a who’s who of commendable expressions: “Excellent” (or “outstanding,” v. 6) suggests a loftiness and nobility of subject matter; “right things” (v. 6) and “right” (v. 9) ring with integrity and uprightness; “truth” (v. 7) connotes accuracy and dependability; “righteousness” (v. 8) points to straight talk that has a helpful, healing intent; “plain” (v. 9) also means straightforward, on target in terms of truthfulness and moral rectitude. Part of wisdom’s reliability is her rejection (“abomination,” v. 7) of everything that is the opposite of truth: “Wickedness” (v. 7) is the inner turbulence of those who choose against God’s ways and consequently disrupt the stability of their communities; “crooked” and “perverse” (v. 8) both depict twistedness, contortedness of speech that bends the truth either by deliberate misstatement or by conscious omission of relevant facts.

Wisdom’s call is purposeful. “Understanding” (note the verb in v. 9) and “knowledge” (v. 9) are its goal. As frequently in Proverbs, knowledge is more than possessing general information, as we would call it—“being knowledgeable,” “well-read,” “thoroughly informed.” It almost always is carefully aimed, precise knowledge that the sages commend: the knowledge of God in His gifts of grace and His demands of obedience (see 1:7). Such knowledge leads not to Phi Beta Kappa keys or large winnings on game shows or even Nobel prizes. It leads to discipleship—no less, no more.

The apostle Paul sounds like one of wisdom’s disciples in his own call to wisdom:

Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, … meditate on these things.

—Philippians 4:8

What wisdom offered in Proverbs 8:6–9 is precisely what Paul com mends to the Philippian believers and to the rest of us.

 David A. Hubbard and Lloyd J. Ogilvie, Proverbs, vol. 15, The Preacher’s Commentary Series (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1989), 117–121.

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 28 2017 7:47 PM

Mark Smith:

I had individual volumes in print many years ago. It was really uneven, often weak. Mostly a collection of sermons preaching through a book, but not of the quality of BST or Hughes. I got it in Logos in a Nelson bargain package some time ago. I rarely refer to it. If you could get it for under $100, it might be worth having for the occasional good idea. I'd steer clear of it otherwise.

Pretty fair assessment. I am not sure it will get under that price again since the new regular price is so high now... I paid $69 or $79 but that was way back in the days when most things you got from logos was CDROM based. The samples I gave were from some of the better and some of the weaker ones...


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Allen Browne | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 28 2017 8:17 PM

Do I really need this set if I own the better ones ...

Like the others who answered, I bought this set for peanuts on CD years ago, but rarely use it.

There are a few volumes worth an occasional glance, but most are worth about 2 out of 5.

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 28 2017 10:42 PM

Thanks everyone! I'll stay clear from them now. I'll shop around and see if I can get the set cheaper if not, it seems I've already got better quality material anyway.



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Keith Pang | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 29 2017 9:40 PM

Thank you all for your comments, saved me close to $200! 

Shalom, in Christ, Keith. Check out my music

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 30 2017 3:47 AM

Keith Pang:

Thank you all for your comments, saved me close to $200! 

e-sword has it for $79.99, but there's no way I'm installing a 4th Bible software just for that. So we'll just have to wait for July's specials or Black Friday or Christmas orMarch Madness 2018 to spend that money hehehe


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Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 30 2017 4:10 AM


It's worth looking out for a Libronix CD as a cheap way of adding to Logos.  There are some excellent commentaries in the series as recommended on but I'd only recommend if paying around $50 given the high number of weak volumes.  

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 30 2017 4:53 AM

Paul Caneparo:


It's worth looking out for a Libronix CD as a cheap way of adding to Logos.  There are some excellent commentaries in the series as recommended on but I'd only recommend if paying around $50 given the high number of weak volumes.  

None found yet, unfortunately! 😕

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 30 2017 5:38 AM

None found yet, unfortunately!

They are indeed becoming more difficult to find! 

macOS, iOS & iPadOS | Logs |  Install

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Virgil Buttram | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 30 2017 6:06 AM


None found yet, unfortunately!

They are indeed becoming more difficult to find! 

It is even harder to find CDs with an unused license code.

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 30 2017 6:25 AM

Keith Pang:

Thank you all for your comments, saved me close to $200! 

Glad we were some help, like I said it's helpful and decent over all but you have to get it at a good price under $100 seems fair to me but when zondervan jacked the price up from $125 to $450 I don't see them allowing it back to the sales prices we use to see, but I did not ever consider adding it to my Olivetree software even though several times it was offered for $39.95. I owned it in Logos and it was more than enough.  I still personally feel PCS is a little bit more desirable than the Be Series to me, but at it's new regular price I cannot recommend it as a good value. 


Posts 283
Greg Corbin | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 30 2017 6:52 AM

I agree with the above. The set has some decent volumes, and it is worth picking up on sale, but the present price is waaaaaayyyyy too expensive for what you get. Much better choices out there for the money.

Posts 1885
Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 10 2017 10:53 PM


It's worth checking out your other favourite software providers TODAY.


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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 11 2017 1:57 AM

Paul Caneparo:


It's worth checking out your other favourite software providers TODAY.


 Thank you Paul but that's not my other favorite software; that would mean I would have to install a fourth one, so I think I'll pass hehehe


Posts 1885
Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 11 2017 3:59 AM

OK.  It wasn't e-sword that I was thinking of.  It was one that I thought you used.  Sorry if I was barking up the wrong 'tree'.

Posts 506
Tim Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 11 2017 5:32 AM

I'll shop around and see if I can get the set cheaper if not,

DAL, I have an extra copy of Preacher's Commentary for Logos I've purchased that I'd be willing to sell you for much cheaper than the list price. Shoot me an e-mail if you're interested at 1whitetiger AT gmail DOT com

I hope this helps.

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