F.B. Hole

Mark 1

The writer of this Gospel was that "John, whose surname was Mark," (Acts 15: 37), who failed in his service when with Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, and who afterwards became a bone of contention between them. He first failed himself, and then became the occasion of further failure with others greater than himself. This was a sorry beginning to his story, but eventually he was so truly restored that he became serviceable to the Lord in the exalted work of writing t...

Haggai 2

About four weeks later there came another message from the Lord through the prophet Haggai, and this time it was a word of encouragement. It was specially addressed to the very old people, who might have some recollection of the magnificance of Solomon's temple, and consequently realize how inferior was any temple that they could hope to raise. The encouragement ministered was twofold. It had first a present aspect and then a future one. But first let us note how this record bears upo...

Haggai 1

The people adopted a fatalistic attitude, saying, 'the time is not come... that the Lord's house should be built'; and started to build up their own affairs. Some sixty years ago we heard Christians saying, in spite of the Lord's words in Acts 1: 8, that the time for the evangelization of the distant heathen was not come, and they settled down to build up their own spiritual affairs, as they considered them to be. It was not wrong for these Jews to build themselves some houses, but i...

Introduction to Haggai

When considering the 4th and 5th chapters of the book of Ezra, we saw how the adversaries of God and of the remnant, who had returned to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel and Jeshua, and started to rebuild the temple, succeeded in stopping the work; and that God raised up two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, under whose ministry the work was restarted. Turning now to the book of Haggai, we may find instruction in what God said through him. His prophecy is carefully dated, and noting t...

Isaiah 65:13-66:24

Though God has to pronounce judgment upon the evildoers, which must be executed in due time, He delights in the mercy and blessing that He bestows upon His true servants. This He makes manifest in the passage which begins with verse 13. We notice, of course, that earthly blessings and earthly judgments are in view; food, drink, rejoicing and song, on the one hand; hunger, thirst, shame and sorrow, on the other. A curse and death will come upon them; their very name being considered a cu...

Isaiah 15:1-23:18

It is clear that, when God acts in judgment, He begins at the innermost circle. It was so in the days of Jerusalem, as we see in Ezekiel 9: 6 and the same principle holds good in New Testament times, as stated in 1 Peter 4: 17. In Isaiah we have seen the predictions of judgment first uttered against Israel, though with promises of restoration and glory in their Messiah. After this follows the judgment of the nations surrounding Israel. We have seen Babylon head the list, to which j...

Isaiah 64:4-65:12

It is striking how verse 4 follows what we have dwelt upon in the first three verses. Isaiah desired a mighty display of the power of God such as had been manifested at the outset of Israel's history: yet he was conscious that God had in reserve things beyond all human knowledge, and prepared for those who waited for Him to act. To this verse the Apostle Paul referred in 1 Corinthians 2: 9, showing that though in ordinary matters men arrive at knowledge by the hearing of the ear-tradi...

Isaiah 63:1-64:3

But there is another side to this matter, which confronts us as we begin to read chapter 63. Israel's redemption will involve drastic judgment falling on all those who are foes of them and of God, just as judgment fell on the Egyptians, when Israel was typically redeemed in the bygone age. And He, who is to become Israel's Redeemer in power, is the One who will overthrow them. In verse 1 of our chapter, however, Edom is specially singled out as the one on whom the judgment is to fall....

Isaiah 62:4-12

If verse 3 of our chapter predicts how the Israel of God in the coming age will be a crown of glory and a diadem in the hand of God, verse 4 declares the place of blessing that shall be theirs, in contrast with all that has characterized them hitherto. Several times already in reading this prophet we have seen that both they and their land have been forsaken by God because of their sins. To this day no interposition of God on their behalf, comparable to what He did, when He delivered th...

Genesis 19:1-21:33

Abraham had remained, interceding before the Lord, not so much for the guilty cities of the plain as for the ten righteous that, as he hoped, were to be found in Sodom. Two "men" of the three had turned their faces toward Sodom and as we start Genesis 19 we find them arriving at the gate of Sodom, and now they are plainly disclosed as "two angels." As they approached, Lot sat in the gate of Sodom; which signifies, of course, that he had accepted magisterial office in that exceedingly wicked ...
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