Ephesians 6 – The Whole Armor of God

Paul closes his letter to the Ephesians in this chapter beginning with the admonition for children to “honor your father and mother,” referring to the fifth of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:12) as being “the first commandment with a promise, ‘that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.'”  It was the only one of those ten commandments to contain a promise; and the emphasis throughout the Bible on children being expected to obey their parents is nothing to be taken lightly.  Consider the opposite of the aforementioned promise, for example.  Verse 4, as with all of these “submission passages” reminds fathers of their duty to them – to love their children enough to “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”  As Proverbs 22:6 teaches, such instruction will stay with them.

Paul was a prisoner in Rome, under house arrest, but he was free to preach the Gospel to many who came to listen (Acts 28:16-31).

Paul was a prisoner in Rome, under house arrest, but he was free to preach the Gospel to many who came to listen (Acts 28:16-31).

He continues the theme of Christians submitting one to another that he began in Chapter 5:21 with similar instructions for bondservants and their masters.  Verses 5-9 do not constitute an endorsement of slavery or servitude on the part of the Apostle.  Its applications then and today are relevant to the relationship of people to any lawfully established authority (and vice-versa, which is sometimes forgotten).

The “meat and potatoes” of this chapter come in verse 10 and following.  The “whole armor of God” described in these verses correlate to a fully armed soldier, and the descriptions would be familiar to people throughout the Roman Empire.  Verse 12 reminds us that the spiritual forces of evil – the devil himself – is a very real adversary, not some imagined foe, but the very real “roaring lion” (1 Peter 5:8).  Christians arm themselves for this battle with a list of items he relates to this armor and weapons – truth, righteousness, and the readiness given by the gospel of peace.  Faith, he says, is our shield against “flaming darts of the evil one.”

As he encourages them to be strong in prayer, he asks also for their prayers for him to be strong, as he declares himself their “ambassador in  chains.”

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

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1 Samuel 4 – Philistines Capture the Ark

So far in the book of Samuel, we have read of little mention of real worship – other than some sacrificial offerings.  Indeed chapter 3:1 says “the word of the Lord was rare in those days.” And Eli’s consultation with the Lord is especially and conspicuously absent in this chapter, as the Israelites go to do battle with the Philistines.  They are soundly defeated in verse 2, and the elders seem to decide on their own that the Ark should be brought to the battle to put the Lord with them, treating it – and God – like little more than a talisman.  Hophni and Phinehas, Eli’s sons are right there with it when the Israelites were defeated even worse this time.  And now, the Ark has been captured!  Containing the tablets of the Ten Commandments, this loss of the sign of the Lord’s covenant with Israel is devastating!

One of the men of the tribe of Benjamin from the field of battle runs and gives the news to Eli, who is more distressed at the loss of the Ark than the death of his sons – and he dies on the spot (verse 18)!  The verse states that he had judged Israel for 40 years.  Samuel the prophet would be the final judge.  Eli’s daughter-in-law, too, is more distressed at the loss of the Ark; and she goes into labor.  She dies giving birth and names her son Ichabod – which means “Where is the glory?” Because the glory has left Israel.  It would seem to the people that the Lord himself has left them!

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Robert
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Exodus 20 – The Ten Commandments

English: The Ten Commandments, illustration fr...

Image via Wikipedia

The ten commandments that are given in this chapter begin with the lord reminding His people who He is that has delivered them, and that they are to revere Him as the holy one that He is.  The covenant that He makes with them demands that they worship only Him – the one true and living God.  The command not to make any idols or images for worship extends both to those representing other “gods” as well as any to Him.  This is because any image meant to reflect Him would never be sufficient to adequately represent the Lord, and man’s imperfections would only reflect badly on His perfection.

In verse 5, the reference to visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children of other generations is a reminder to us that it is our sin that causes pain and suffering, and those consequences can often be more far-reaching than we ever imagined.  god prepared them for his command in verse 8 about the Sabbath with the introduction of the manna in chapter 16, and now shows its relation to His work in the creation.  Verse 12’s command to honor your mother and father goes far beyond simply respectful children.  It extends to how the way we live our lives reflects on them (Deuteronomy 21:18-21), as well as how we care for them as they age (Mark 7:1-13).   Verse 13 is clearly about murder and the unjust taking of life, thought man has tried to make it into many things. We all know what adultery, theft, and bearing false witness really are.  Coveting something (verse 17) encompasses the desire for what another has that becomes so strong as to bring that person to contemplate or even do unrighteous things to obtain it.

Finally, in verses 22-26, the commands about the altars with which to worship the Lord again admonish against molding images for that purpose. No hewn (or chiseled) stones are to be used in making them; and they are not to go up by steps to it and expose their nakedness – profaning worship, as the Canaanites do.  But more than that, it show that God cares very deeply about how He is worshiped by giving commands of doing it in strict detail.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Robert
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Blazing Through Exodus \ Week 9 Summary Posted

This week after the ten commandments, we will finish with chapter 24 of the Book of

The Israelites Leaving Egypt

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Exodus – with men eating in God’s presence – closeness not experienced since “the fall” in Genesis 3.  We will continue a fast pace, leaving Exodus by next Tuesday, as we continue to try to get the overall story of the Bible in this year – reading just one chapter a day.  I will address on next Sunday’s summary post the fact that we will be skipping Leviticus altogether, as we will be in Numbers 13 by next Wednesday!  I believe Leviticus has gotten a “bad rap” so to speak, because it can be tedious reading.  So although we will not be in it with this schedule, I may blog a bit on that book in the future because it has much more than sacrifice at an altar that is importation to teach us.

Summing Up

Each weekend, I am now posting a page-length PDF of one week of chapter summaries (on the website’s “Summaries” page), current to the beginning of the previous week.  I have posted the summary for Week 9 (February Week 4) of the schedule I am following.  This short PDF document contains condensed comments about Exodus chapters 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, with hyperlinks to the ESV version of each chapter for listening or reading, and joins the summaries for other weeks already posted there.

/Robert
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

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Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.
/Robert