Monday, October 24, 2016

Poem on Idolatry and Idols (Habakkuk 2:18-19) : The King James Bible

from the Bible: Habakkuk 2:18-19 (King James Version)

What profiteth the graven image
That the maker thereof hath graven it;
The molten image, and a teacher of lies,
That the maker of his work trusteth therein,
To make dumb idols?
Woe unto him that saith to the wood, "Awake";
To the dumb stone, "Arise,
It shall teach!"
Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver,
And there is no breath at all in the midst of it.

Detective story: "The History of Bel" from the Apocrypha

A detective story
from the Apocrypha (King James Version)

     The Babylonians had an idol, called Bel, and there were spent upon him every day twelve great measures of fine flour, and forty sheep, and six vessels of wine. And the king worshipped it, and went daily to adore it: but Daniel worshipped his own God.
     And the king said unto him, "Why dost not thou worship Bel?" Who answered and said, "Because I may not worship idols made with hands, but the living God, who hath created the heaven and the earth, and hath sovereignty over all flesh."
     Then said the king unto him, "Thinkest thou not that Bel is a living God? Seest thou not how much he eateth and drinketh every day?" Then Daniel smiled, and said, "O king, be not deceived, for this is but clay within, and brass without, and did never eat or drink any thing."
     So the king was wroth, and called for his priests, and said unto them, "If ye tell me not who this is that devoureth these expences, ye shall die. But if ye can certify me that Bel devoureth them, then Daniel shall die: for he hath spoken blasphemously against Bel." And Daniel said unto the king, "Let it be according to thy word." (Now the priests of Bel were threescore and ten, beside their wives and children.) And the king went with Daniel into the temple of Bel.
     So Bel's priests said, "Lo, we go out: but thou, O king, set on the meat, and make ready the wine, and shut the door fast, and seal it with thine own signet; and to-morrow when thou comest in, if thou findest not that Bel hath eaten up all, we will suffer death; or else Daniel, that speaketh falsely against us."
     And they little regarded it: for under the table they had made a privy entrance, whereby they entered in continually, and consumed those things.
     So when they were gone forth, the king set meats before Bel. Now Daniel had commanded his servants to bring ashes, and those they strewed throughout all the temple in the presence of the king alone: then went they out, and shut the door, and sealed it with the king's signet, and so departed.
     Now in the night came the priests with their wives and children, (as they were wont to do,) and did eat and drink up all.
     In the morning betime the king arose, and Daniel with him. And the king said, "Daniel, are the seals whole?" And he said, "Yea, O king, they be whole." And as soon as he had opened the door, the king looked upon the table, and cried with a loud voice, "Great art thou, O Bel, and with thee is no deceit at all."
     Then laughed Daniel, and held the king that he should not go in, and said, "Behold now the pavement, and mark well whose footsteps are these." And the king said, "I see the footsteps of men, women, and children."
     And then the king was angry, and took the priests with their wives and children, who showed him the privy doors, where they came in, and consumed such things as were upon the table.
     Therefore the king slew them, and delivered Bel into Daniel's power, who destroyed him and his temple.  

Sunday, October 23, 2016

From "The Excellencies of God's Law" (Psalm 119:137-144)

from the Bible: Psalm 119:137-144 (King James Version)

Righteous art thou, O Lord,
And upright are thy judgments.
Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded
Are righteous and very faithful.
My zeal hath consumed me,
Because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.
Thy word is very pure:
Therefore thy servant loveth it.
I am small and despised:
Yet do not I forget thy precepts.
Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,
And thy law is the truth.
Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me:
Yet thy commandments are my delights.
The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting:
Give me understanding, and I shall live.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

From "The Excellencies of God's Law" (Psalm 119:129-136)

from the Bible: Psalm 119:129-136 (King James Version)

Thy testimonies are wonderful:
Therefore doth my soul keep them.
The entrance of thy words giveth light;
It giveth understanding unto the simple.
I opened my mouth, and panted:
For I longed for thy commandments.
Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me,
As thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.
Order my steps in thy word:
And let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
Deliver me from the oppression of man:
So will I keep thy precepts.
Make thy face to shine upon thy servant;
And teach me thy statutes.
Rivers of waters run down mine eyes,
Because they keep not thy law.

Friday, October 21, 2016

"The Ivy Vine of Friendship" by Anonymous

According to The Old Farmer's Almanac at, "Ivy will flourish with an occasional drink of cold tea instead of water." So too, perhaps, will the ivy vine of friendship.


The ivy vine of friendship is
   A lovely thing to share.
When planted with affection, it
   Will flourish anywhere.

Each year it grows in quiet strength,
   And nothing can destroy
The twining warmth deep in the hearts
   Of those who know its joy.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Devotional: "The Gift of Love" : The Upper Room

Paul wrote, "Love is patient and kind" (The Bible: 1 Corinthians 13:4, Revised Standard Version). Read the devotional for today, "The Gift of Love" by Elizabeth K. Bush, in The Upper Room daily devotional guide (September-October 2016). The Upper Room is "Where the World Meets to Pray."

"Love" (1 Corinthians 13) by Paul : The Bible

from the Bible: 1 Corinthians 13 (Revised Standard Version)
by Paul

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels,
But have not love, I am a noisy gong
Or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers,
And understand all mysteries and all knowledge,
And if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains,
But have not love, I am nothing.
If I give away all I have,
And if I deliver my body to be burned,
But have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind;
Love is not jealous or boastful;
It is not arrogant or rude.
Love does not insist on its own way;
It is not irritable or resentful;
It does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.
Love bears all things, believes all things,
Hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends;
As for prophecies, they will pass away;
As for tongues, they will cease;
As for knowledge, it will pass away.
For our knowledge is imperfect
And our prophecy is imperfect;
But when the perfect comes,
The imperfect will pass away.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child,
I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child;
When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
For now we see in a mirror dimly,
But then face to face. Now I know in part;
Then I shall understand fully,
Even as I have been fully understood.
So faith, hope, love abide,
These three; but the greatest of these is love.