Live a Victorious Christian Life and Seek the Heart of God
Victorious Christian Living Newsletter
THIS ISSUE INCLUDES:
An Article From Me
Everyday Life In Bible Times
—–Belt – to wear or to tuck
Geography and People
Links To My Sites
Don’t Crawl Around In “Dung” When Fresh Green Leaves Are Just Yards Away
Deer Cave, on the Southeast Asian island of Borneo, contains a floor of bat dung 100 meters long. This dung supports an entire ecosystem of cockroaches, centipedes, and crabs. The critters are born, live, breed, and die in the dung. They are completely unaware that nice green leaves grow on lush trees just outside the cave, a mere 100 meters away.
As I read this the Holy Spirit showed me that many times we humans do the same thing. We crawl around in the “dung” over and over again, sometimes so long that we give up hope that things will change for the better.
But the way to get out of the “dung” is to trust in God, whom you can’t physically see.
The critters in the cave can’t see anything other than what they are living in at the moment. All we can see is where we are now in the moment. But God can not only see the lush forest yards away, He can see across the globe to unknown places and events that could transform your life forever.
The Israelites were stuck in “dung” and legalism when Jesus came to set them free from their messed up lives. But they had to make the choice to be open to hear what He had to say. They had the choice to keep crawling around in “dung” or walk out of the cave into the freedom that Jesus died on the cross to give them.
He offered them the free gift of righteousness (being in a right standing with God) but they had to accept it and choose to implement and walk in it. It was a dramatic life change for them, just as surrendering your life to follow God today will result in you making some life changes.
God has a much better life planned for you than you can ever imagine. But you must make the choice to accept it and follow where He leads.
I can definitely promise that your life won’t be boring!
Everyday Life In Bible Times
Belt – to wear or to tuck
Modern Bible translations have used the word belt for two different articles of clothing that looked and functioned in very different ways from each other.
One was an undergarment that was worn beneath the tunic. It was typically made of linen and sometimes of leather. It resembled a kilt wrapped around the waist that extended to mid-thigh.
The other was a true belt, or sash. It was a long cloth approximately 6 – 10 inches in width that wrapped around the waist and was worn over the tunic. It was usually made of wool or linen.
Its primary role was linked to the tunic, which was a rectangular, sack-like garment that reached all the way to the ankles. It was sewn so as to be open at the bottom and had openings cut in the appropriate places for the head and arms.
The belt gathered the tunic around the waist during the day and was loosened or removed at night when the tunic became loose-fitting sleepwear.
The true belt functioned in a number of ways.
- It provided a place into which the owner could tuck his garment when its length interfered with walking or working. This tucking is mentioned most frequently in the Bible in connection with long or urgent trips during which an untucked garment would have kept the person from walking fast or running.
- Because it was a wide piece of cloth with folds in it, the belt became a convenient place to put things one needed to carry.
- Your place in society might be marked by the type of belt you wore. The Bible talks about special type of belts worn by warriors, clergy, and a special leather belt that helped mark Elijah as a divine messenger. The long belts of royal officials also added style and distinction to an otherwise ordinary piece of apparel.
So lifting the tunic and stuffing it into the belt indicated readiness for action and willingness to engage in the task at hand. In Exodus 12: 11, the Lord called the Israelites to leave Egypt with “your cloak tucked into your belt.”
Next, the belt represented intimacy. Jonathan gave David his belt when they made a covenant as he affirmed David as the one God had chosen as Saul’s successor as king. In Jeremiah 13, God told Jeremiah to purchase a linen belt, wear it for a time, and then leave it in the crevice of a rock. After many days he was sent by God to retrieve the belt. When he dug it up, it was completely ruined and useless.
God told Jeremiah that the belt stood for Israel and Judah, whom He had bound to Himself as a belt. But despite His love for them, they failed to listen to him and told Jeremiah that they were destined for the same ruin as Jeremiah’s belt.
Isaiah 11: 5 describes the Messiah in this way – Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
In Ephesians 6: 14 Paul encouraged us to have our lives so intimately linked to truth that we walk with the “belt of truth buckled around our waist.”
paraphrased from Everyday Life in Bible Times by John A. Beck
The Book Of Bible Lists
- Castanets – the name comes from the word which means chestnut. In ancient times two chestnuts were attached to the fingers and beat together to make music. Ps. 150:5
- Cornet – a hollow, curved horn, originally made from an animal’s horn and later from metal. Ps. 98:6; Dan. 3:5,7,10,15
- Cymbals – two concave plates of brass which were clanged together or beat 2 Sam. 6: 5; Ps. 150:5; I Cor. 13: 1
- Drum – also referred to as a timbrel, tambour, and tambourine – a wooden hoop with skins pulled across the frame. Exod. 15: 20; Judg. 11: 34; Ps. 68:25; 81:2; I Chron. 13: 8
- Dulcimer – a resonance box with strings stretched across it, played with small hammers. Dan. 3: 5,10,15
- Flute – a straight pipe with holes. Judg. 5: 16; Dan. 3: 5
- Harp – the first musical instrument mentioned in the Bible. It was made of wood and had ten strings. Gen. 4: 21; 1 Samuel 16:16
- Lyre – an instrument with five or more strings stretched across a rectangular frame. The strings were made from the small intestines of sheep. It was similar to the harp. 1 Sam. 16:23
- Organ – not the large keyboard instrument, but a simple reed instrument made of wood, ivory, or bone, perhaps to be identified with the oboe. Gen. 4: 21; Job 21:12; Ps. 150:4
- Psaltery – similar to, but not the same as the harp. The psaltery was thought by some to have been a bottle-shaped string instrument. 1 Sam. 10:5; 2 Chron. 5:12; Ps. 71:22
- Sackbut – a portable, harp like instrument which was tied to the player’s waist and held upright as he walked and played. It was considered a luxury in oriental musical instruments. Dan. 3:5,7,10,15
- Trumpet – usually made from the horn of a ram or goat, but on one occasion was made from silver Num. 10: 1-10; Judg. 7: 16-23; Matt. 24:31; 1 Cor. 15:51; 1 Thess. 4:16; Rev. 8:2
- Zither – ten stringed instrument similar to the harp. Ps. 33:2; 144:9
- Heman, grandson of Samuel, author of Psalm 88, and one of four chief musicians in the time of David
- Asaph, one of four chief musicians in the time of David, and probably author of Psalms 50, 73-83
- Jeduthun, one of four chief musicians in the time of David
- Ethan, author of Psalm 89 and one of four chief musicians in the time of David.
- Benaiah and Jahaziel, trumpeters in the time of David
- Chenaniah, song leader in the time of David
Geography and People
mentioned 2 times in the New Testament
meaning: oil press
A garden across the Kidron Valley from Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives. Jesus brought His disciples to Gethsemane, where He prayed, asking the Father to take the cup of crucifixion from Him. Despite His deep sorrow, Jesus accepted His Father’s will, while His nearby disciples, Peter, James, and John, fell asleep. An armed crowd came to Gethsemane, and Jesus was arrested after Judas betrayed Him with a kiss. The disciples fled as their Master was led away to face the Sanhedrin.
mentioned 13 times in Old Testament
meaning – something cut off; a portion
A Canaanite city on the west side of the Jordan River whose king, Horam, fought against Joshua and his people at Lachish. Israel killed all of Horam’s troops and conquered the city. Gezer fell to the lot of Ephraim, but that tribe did not drive out the Canaanites, only made them do forced labor for Israel.
Ephraim gave Gezer to the Levites as a city of refuge as God had commanded. During King David’s reign, war erupted with the Philistines at Gezer, and these enemies of Israel were conquered.
The Pharaoh of Egypt, King Solomon’s father-in-law, conquered Gezer, taking it from the Canaanites and burning the city. Then he gave it as a present or dowry to his daughter. Solomon rebuilt and fortified the city.
mentioned 39 times in Old Testament
only 1 man by this name
meaning – warrior
The 5th judge of Israel, whom God raised up to lead his nation against the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon when he was hiding his threshing from the enemy, told him God was with him, and called him a “mighty man of valor.”
Gideon’s many doubts did not keep him from obeying God. He made an offering then tore down the altar to Baal and cut down its grove, for which the men of his town wanted to kill him.
The spirit of God came upon Gideon, and he sent to the tribes of Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, who came to him. Doubtful that God would save Israel, several times Gideon sought proof by placing a fleece on the ground and asking God to make either the fleece or ground wet; every time God answered the request.
When Israel gathered against Midian, God reduced Gideon’s forces, cutting out the fearful and identifying the rest by the way they drank water. Gideon attacked Midian with only 300 men. Holding trumpets and pitchers filled with lamps, the men drew near the Midianite camp. They blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers, and their enemy fled. Gideon and his troops followed, capturing two princes and two kings and killing them. Same as Gedeon, Jerubbaal, and Jerubbasheth.
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That’s it for this newsletter. May God bless you as you strive to live for Him and walk in obedience to what He desires!