Saturday, January 04, 2014

Sat Jan 4th Todays News

The year 2013 has been labelled by AGW advocates as the hottest ever. I say they are lying. I can point to record cold spells, which those paid advocates claim is merely weather, not climate. The assertion is true as far as it goes, but the definition of climate precludes change. So, by referring to climate change, AGW advocates are referring to the same thing science fiction writers refer to when they oscillate the manifold projectors in the forward section of their space ship, or when they reverse the polarity of the manifolds (fyi, the forward manifold of a ship is probably better known as a section of a hull, as would be a rear manifold or side manifolds). This highlights the biggest issue of AGW alarmism, that it is not a scientific theory which can be measured and falsified, but a mantra related to religious spiritual assertion. Consider, what would be a disproof of AGW alarmism? If nothing could disprove it, it is not falsifiable, and therefore not a scientific theory. 
So AGW alarmists are locked in an ice bound ship in the middle of summer. They announced their journey over a month in advance, purposed as to measure thinning ice in the Antarctic in summer. It was to be analogous to thinning ice in the North Pole, but it is different, as Antarctica is land, not water. But the world is not heating as AGW alarmists would have people believe. The world is still coming out of the last ice age, but the cold weather events are not explained by their models, while hot weather events are. Australian media claimed the journey was proof that AGW claims are real. But when they became ice locked, media described the journey as mere tourism and those trapped as tourists. Note well, there is a heat wave in Australia at the moment. It is summer. The dry central lands get very hot during the day and the heat dissipates by going out to sea, on the East coast. The heat waves could be ended with a Bradfield scheme to flood central Australia, and has nothing to do with Global Warming. 
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns PhiLip Smi-Le Nguyen. Born on the same day, across the years as
Matches
Despatches
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STUCK DYNASTY

Tim Blair – Saturday, January 04, 2014 (3:09pm)

Chris Turney, patriarch of Antarctica’s stuck dynasty – he was joined on his ice-surrounded global warming adventure by wife Annette and children Kara and Robert – is now free
“It’s 100 percent we’re off!” Chris Turney, a professor and a leader of the scientific expedition, said on Twitter with a link to a video of the Snow Eagle landing. 
The New York Times declines to give Turney his full, hilarious title: professor of climate change. It’s become aninconvenience, you might say. As for his “100 percent!” exultation, you’d think events of the past week might have taught Turney a thing or two about faith and certainty. While Australia’s carbon choir is now liberated, their rescuers are trapped, as Ross Clark reports: 
The havoc created by Professor Chris Turney’s Antarctic expedition has since increased.  The Xue Long, the Chinese ship which provided the helicopter to airlift Turney and his colleagues from the Akademik Shokalskiy to the Aurora Australis, has itself now become stuck in ice …
Our friend Tracy Rogers, Turney’s colleague at the University of New South Wales, has been commenting on her rescue.  ‘The Chinese captain is an incredible ambassador for his country,’ she said today. She is very lucky that China, which normally incurs the wrath of the climate change lobby due to its fondness for new coal-fired power stations, has chosen the path to wealth – which includes ships and helicopters able to rescue scientists in distress – rather than a path to carbon-free enlightenment. Whatever the carbon footprint of the average Chinese person, it is a long, long way short of that of Chris Turney and his colleagues this week. 
Laughing boy can also thank Australian taxpayers
Taxpayers will foot a $400,000 bill for the rescue of a group of climate scientists, tourists and journalists from a stranded Russian research vessel – an operation that has blown the contingency budget of Australia’s Antarctic program and disrupted its scientific work. 
Other scientists are not amused
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TERRA TOASTIUS

Tim Blair – Saturday, January 04, 2014 (3:07pm)

“You can’t win a game designed by your opponent,” advises Van Badham. “Never meet an enemy on their terrain.”
This is why I avoid the Badham residence whenever the cheese toasties are a-flyin’.
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KING TARDS

Tim Blair – Saturday, January 04, 2014 (3:04pm)

The Guardian reports
Tony Abbott’s political opponents have seized on confirmation that 2013 was Australia’s hottest year on record, arguing it should compel the prime minister to abandon his plans to scrap the nation’s carbon pricing laws. 
Why should we keep a tax that is plainly causing these elevated temperatures? Scrap the tax and save the nation, that’s what I say. In other climate developments, the SMH finds a global warming angle where none exists: 
Streets in Tempe and Haberfield were flooded and water splashed onto the wharves around Circular Quay as king tides hit much of Australia’s coastline on Thursday morning.
The king tide, an informal name for an especially high tide that happens naturally and predictably a couple of times a year, reached its peak between 9am and 10am.
They are not caused by climate change but they can provide an image of what coastlines could look like in the future, the CSIRO says. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects sea levels to rise by between 18 and 79 centimetres this century. 
Householders can create the same futuristic vision by simply turning on the hose in their yard.
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PEACEFUL PRESBYTERIAN PEUGEOT PYRE

Tim Blair – Saturday, January 04, 2014 (3:01pm)

Routine car-b-q action in France: 
By French standards, it was a peaceful New Year’s Eve.
Only 1,067 cars and vans were destroyed by arson, a “significant” reduction of more than 10 per cent compared to the number of vehicles set ablaze last year, according to Manuel Valls, the Interior Minister.
All things considered, it was a “positive result”, Mr Valls told a press conference on Wednesday. 
Who’s responsible? Some blame young revellers. Others point the finger at youths: 
Car-torching has been adopted as a modern New Year tradition by some young revellers in France. The practice reportedly began in earnest amongst youths – often in poor neighbourhoods – in the 1990s in the region around Strasbourg in the east of the country. 
Car-b-qs are also popular in Sweden.
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BALANCE ACHIEVED

Tim Blair – Saturday, January 04, 2014 (1:14pm)

The correct steak/salad ratio is 2:1, as demonstrated by lunch:

image
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GOOD NEWS FOR SCHU

Tim Blair – Saturday, January 04, 2014 (1:11pm)

It is possible to fully recover from catastrophic brain injuries.
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TOUGH DAY AT THE OFFICE

Tim Blair – Saturday, January 04, 2014 (12:21pm)

The mysterious case of Prague’s detonated diplomat is described in familiar terms: 
Neither the police nor the BIS counter-intelligence service have information indicating that the Wednesday blast was a terrorist act.
According to the Palestinian authorities, it was probably a work-related injury. 
(Via J.F. Beck)
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NOT INTENDED TO BE MOVED

Tim Blair – Saturday, January 04, 2014 (11:14am)

Reasonably enough, a Google search for “stationary” immediately turns up a map of Sydney’s roads:
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Keep looking! Can you find Wally, Wenda, Woof, Wizard Whitebeard and Odlaw?
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C. H. Spurgeon
Sin is not a splash of mud upon man’s exterior, it is a filth generated within himself.
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“I am favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible.”
― Milton Friedman
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David Bowles
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http://www.mamamia.com.au/social/vaccination-growing-up-unvaccinated/
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I got one of them from Pizza Hut - ed===


never fear
that the branch is broken,
'cause his confidence
and not 'in the branch,
but in his wings>

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Michael John Jewelry
4 her .. something beautiful and funny - ed
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Most of us probably don't even know it's against the law, but a Brisbane dad has copped a fine for something we've all done... http://bit.ly/1iwTVGa
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Australian Street Car
We have received a new fine from another one of our readers who had seen the fight we took up for the other reader on his speeding fine in north Queensland thought we would be interested in his fine..

This latest one tho is a bit strange.........

On Sunday (29/12/13) our reader was parked on a private driveway visiting family for Christmas had left the passenger window down around 30mm as then it wasn't as hot in the car for when it came time to leave (as he has a 3 year old child and the temperature that day was 34 degree).

After the day had wrapped up he headed out to the car and noticed a police fine on his window.

He was booked for "Driver Failed to lock vehicle after leaving the vehicle unattended"

Our reader then went down to the local police station to talk to the officer about the ticket and was told that the officer had not measure the gap of the window. He had just guessed it by eye that it was more than 50mm (You can leave your windows down in an unattended vehicle by less than 50mm).

Getting no further with the police officer our reader left and after seeing our post contacted us to to show his fine and see what we thought.

We then have contacted our liaison at Courier Mail and they have taken to fight to the police again for our reader.

Read the outcome in tomorrows Courier Mail

Regards
Dale Brown
Media Relations Manager

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Some tough medicine..and voila..
www.theage.com.au
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abbott-government-announces-drop-in-asylum-seeker-boat-numbers-20140103-309qd.html
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Isn't this a plot of a Hollywood movie? It should be.
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2013/12/pictures-thai-prison-fights-2013122511529276114.html
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Good idea in principle. Though implementing it might be a problem.
www.theage.com.au
http://www.theage.com.au/travel/travel-news/reckless-travellers-could-be-charged-for-consular-assistance-bishop-20140104-30af9.html
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www.algemeiner.com
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www.timesofisrael.com
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www.timesofisrael.com
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calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.se
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Friday, January 3rd, 2014
The New York Times just delivered a mortal blow to the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Call it fratricide. It was clearly unintentional. Indeed, is far from clear that the paper realizes what it has done.
THE NEW YORK TIMES DESTROYS OBAMA
By Caroline Glick 
http://carolineglick.com/the-new-york-times-destroys-obama/

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elderofziyon.blogspot.com
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New Year, 2014,afghanstan, iraq, iran, syria, libya, egypt, afghanistan, obama, america, uncle sam,: Dry Bones cartoon.
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http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.co.il/2014/01/these-lives-would-have-been-saved-had.html
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Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin
Until you access open heavens,everything will remain a struggle.
I want you to know that every man has got a land before him.Though two may stand side by side;heaven may open for one and not for the other.The land that God has given to you to till is different from mine.Another name for this land is called Destiny.Today,I urge you to work for God who can change your destiny.
PRAY.
Dear father.I thank you for the gift of life.I promise to fulfill your will in my life.Thank you for making me an effective soul winner,building lives with your word into a magnificent temple,where your glory,majesty and honor can be displayed for the world to see,in Jesus Name,Amen.
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Pastor Rick Warren
"Doing what's right and what's fair is more acceptable to the Lord than offering a sacrifice." Proverbs 21:3 (GW)
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Josh sent this to me: TARGET stores can't keep#TheDanielPlan in stock. For the past two weeks every time they restock the shelf, it immediately sells out.
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"Think of the bright future waiting for all the families of honest, innocent and peace-loving people" Psalm 37:37 (CEV)
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Let your broken heart create an open heart.
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I'm teaching THE FIVE HABITS OF HEALTHY PEOPLE (Proverbs 3:7-8, etc.) this weekend. Why not start the new year right by getting healthy? You can watch everyhour online at http://bit.ly/HnE6ib after 4pm Saturday PST.

@DrJeck Rick, I just started reading #TheDanielPlan. It's excellent! http://amzn.to/1eIy11V
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Daniel Bogo
The beautiful colors of Aruba's sunset...
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Michelle Malkin 3
Hi everyone! Here's the MichelleMalkin.com newsletter for January 3rd. Enjoy!

From the Blog

Gore-iffic: Global warming expedition trapped in ice rescued by helicopter, so somebody please plant a couple of trees

An expedition led by Australian “climate change” professor Chris Turney that set out by ship to document the effects of global warming on the Antarctic became trapped in thick ice on Christmas eve. Ice breakers were unable to get to the stranded ship, and those trapped aboard have been rescued by helicopter...

Stossel: The flaws in Common Core

At Reason.com, John Stossel has a good column about Common Core educational standards. In part of the article, Stossel discusses math problems that are worded in a way so as to be almost intentionally confusing in order to be able to awards points just for effort...

Latest scapegoats for Obamacare debacle: ‘Southern white radicals’

Remember when Ted Cruz looked right into the camera and promised “if you like your plan you can keep your plan”? Me neither...

More From the Right Side of the Web

Michelle's Top Tweets

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And ... Our Hate Tweet of the Day

Malkin Hate Tweet 010314 01
Says the person taking time out of his day to tweet about someone supposedly "irrelevant."
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January 4Perihelion of the Earth (11:59 UTC, 2014); Independence Day in Burma (1948)
Artist's concept of Rover on Mars
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Events[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

Holidays and observances[edit]

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“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,” - Titus 2:11-12
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon
January 3: Morning
"I will give thee for a covenant of the people." - Isaiah 49:8
Jesus Christ is himself the sum and substance of the covenant, and as one of its gifts. He is the property of every believer. Believer, canst thou estimate what thou hast gotten in Christ? "In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Consider that word "God" and its infinity, and then meditate upon "perfect man" and all his beauty; for all that Christ, as God and man, ever had, or can have, is thine--out of pure free favour, passed over to thee to be thine entailed property forever. Our blessed Jesus, as God, is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent. Will it not console you to know that all these great and glorious attributes are altogether yours? Has he power? That power is yours to support and strengthen you, to overcome your enemies, and to preserve you even to the end. Has he love? Well, there is not a drop of love in his heart which is not yours; you may dive into the immense ocean of his love, and you may say of it all, "It is mine." Hath he justice? It may seem a stern attribute, but even that is yours, for he will by his justice see to it that all which is promised to you in the covenant of grace shall be most certainly secured to you. And all that he has as perfect man is yours. As a perfect man the Father's delight was upon him. He stood accepted by the Most High. O believer, God's acceptance of Christ is thine acceptance; for knowest thou not that the love which the Father set on a perfect Christ, he sets on thee now? For all that Christ did is thine. That perfect righteousness which Jesus wrought out, when through his stainless life he kept the law and made it honourable, is thine, and is imputed to thee. Christ is in the covenant.

"My God, I am thine--what a comfort divine!
What a blessing to know that the Saviour is mine!
In the heavenly Lamb thrice happy I am,
And my heart it doth dance at the sound of his name."
Evening
"The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." - Luke 3:4
The voice crying in the wilderness demanded a way for the Lord, a way prepared, and a way prepared in the wilderness. I would be attentive to the Master's proclamation, and give him a road into my heart, cast up by gracious operations, through the desert of my nature. The four directions in the text must have my serious attention.

Every valley must be exalted. Low and grovelling thoughts of God must be given up; doubting and despairing must be removed; and self-seeking and carnal delights must be forsaken. Across these deep valleys a glorious causeway of grace must be raised.

Every mountain and hill shall be laid low. Proud creature-sufficiency, and boastful self-righteousness, must be levelled, to make a highway for the King of kings. Divine fellowship is never vouchsafed to haughty, highminded sinners. The Lord hath respect unto the lowly, and visits the contrite in heart, but the lofty are an abomination unto him. My soul, beseech the Holy Spirit to set thee right in this respect.

The crooked shall be made straight. The wavering heart must have a straight path of decision for God and holiness marked out for it. Double-minded men are strangers to the God of truth. My soul, take heed that thou be in all things honest and true, as in the sight of the heart-searching God.

The rough places shall be made smooth. Stumbling-blocks of sin must be removed, and thorns and briers of rebellion must be uprooted. So great a visitor must not find miry ways and stony places when he comes to honour his favoured ones with his company. Oh that this evening the Lord may find in my heart a highway made ready by his grace, that he may make a triumphal progress through the utmost bounds of my soul, from the beginning of this year even to the end of it.
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Zechariah, Zecher 
[Zĕcha rī'ah] - jehovah remembers or jehovah is renowned.
The Man Who Preached Hope and Mercy
1. The prophet in Judah, whose Spirit-inspired book is the eleventh among the Minor Prophets (Ezra 5:1;Ezra 6:14Zech. 1:1; 7:1; 7:8).
Among the many bearing the name of Zechariah, the one who wrote the Book of Zechariah, was, like Haggai, a prophet of the Restoration. As a son of the priest named Iddo (Neh. 12:4), Zechariah was of priestly descent, and likely a priest himself. Doubtless he was born in Babylon and exercised his ministry in times of political turbulence and great unrest. His call was one for righteousness in home life, in the political arena and in worship.
Zechariah's mission was of a varied nature. He had to:
I. Arouse the people to activity in rebuilding the Temple.
II. Restore the theocratic spirit or recognition of God-government.
III. Rekindle the nation's faith and hope during the coming desolation.
IV. Reorganize the true worship of God.
V. Remove idolatry from the nation.
As "the prophet of hope and mercy" Zechariah has given us a series of eight night visions which portrayed the final restoration of Israel and the security and blessing which will be their portion when the Lord reigns in their midst. The prophet uses the personal pronoun freely and is always careful to date his oracles. Note:
The scouts of Jehovah; He watches over His own (Zech. 1:7-17).
The four horns; enemies are destroyed (Zech. 1:18-21).
God is surveyor; enlargement and security (Zech. 2:1-8).
Joshua consecrated; righteousness restored (Zech. 3).
The lampstand; the sufficiency of grace (Zech. 4).
The flying roll; sinners judged (Zech. 5:1-4).
The woman; sin removed (Zech. 5-11).
The four chariots; judgment begins (Zech. 6:1-8).
One or two unique features of the Book of Zechariah are worthy of mention. His references to Christ are numerous and detailed. Next to Isaiah, Zechariah carries the most frequent prophecies of the Messiah, especially to Him as the suffering King. The prophet depicts Him as:
The meek King (Zech. 9:9 with Matt. 21:5John 12:13).
The One sold for thirty pieces of silver (Zech. 11:13 with Matt. 26:15).
The pierced Saviour (Zech. 12:10 with John 19:37).
The smitten Shepherd (Zech. 13:7 with Matt. 26:31Mark 14:27).
Zechariah is the first of the prophets to mention Satan. He recognized sin as an independent working power and personifies sin in the woman of his vision.
Numerous lessons can be gleaned from this Old Testament prophet who saw Christ's day and rejoiced.
Calamity should not create despondency but inspire wisdom.
A lost vocation can be restored.
All past guilt can be atoned for.
The will of God abides and prevails.
The servant dies but the Master lives and His work continues.
The supplies of divine grace are continuous and abundant.
Fasting and feasting are nothing in themselves.
Faith and faithfulness are everything.
The key to the eastern situation is the Jew.
Many other Zechariahs are to be found in the Bible's vast portrait gallery of men.
2. A chief Reubenite when genealogies were prepared (1 Chron. 5:7).
3. A son of Meshelemiah, a Levite, a gatekeeper of the Tabernacle in David's time (1 Chron. 9:211 Chron. 26:2, 14).
4. A brother of Ner and uncle of Saul (1 Chron. 9:37), also called Zacher (1 Chron. 8:31).
5. A Levite musician in David's reign (1 Chron. 15:18, 20; 16:5).
6. A Tabernacle priest in David's time (1 Chron. 15:24).
7. A son of Isshiah, a Levite of the family of Kohath (1 Chron. 24:25).
8. A son of Hosah, a gatekeeper of the Tabernacle (1 Chron. 26:11).
9. The father of Iddo and chief of the half tribe of Manasseh (1 Chron. 27:21).
10. A prince of Judah used by Jehoshaphat to teach the law (2 Chron. 17:7).
11. The father of Jahaziel, who encouraged the king's army against Moab (2 Chron. 20:14).
12. The third son of Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. 21:2).
13. Son of Jehoiada the priest, who was stoned to death for rebuking the people for their idolatry. Announcement of divine judgment was more than the idolaters could stand, so at the bidding of the king in the court of the Lord's house he died a death similar to that of Stephen. His dying words, "The Lord look upon it, and require it," were long remembered (2 Chron. 24:20, 21).
14. A person who understood the visions of God (2 Chron. 26:5).
15. A son of Asaph, a Levite who helped to cleanse the Temple (2 Chron. 29:13).
16. A son of Kohath, a Levite, and overseer of temple repairs (2 Chron. 34:12).
17. A prince of Judah in the days of Josiah (2 Chron. 35:8).
18. A chief man who returned with Ezra from exile (Ezra 8:3).
19. A son of Bebai who also returned (Ezra 8:11, 16).
20. A returned captive who put away his wife (Ezra 10:26).
21. A prince who stood beside Ezra (Neh. 8:4).
22. The son of Amariah, a descendant of Pharez (Neh. 11:4).
23. A Shilonite (Neh. 11:5).
24. Son of Pashur, a priest (Neh. 11:12).
25. A priest of Joiakim's time (Neh. 12:16).
26. An Asaphite, who helped in the purification of the wall of Jerusalem (Neh. 12:35, 41).
27. A witness Isaiah used. Perhaps the same Zechariah of 2 Chronicles 26:5 and Isaiah 8:2.
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Delilah
The Woman Who Betrayed Her Husband for Silver
Scripture Reference: Judges 16:4-21(Read Proverbs 5)
Name Meaning: Delilah is a sweet-sounding name which any vain woman would covet, for it means "delicate" or "dainty one." Because of the foul deed of which Delilah was guilty, no other female in Scripture appears with such a tarnished name. In fact, it is rare indeed to find a woman bearing this name.
Family Connections: The Bible gives us no knowledge of her parentage and background save that she came from the valley of Sorek which extended from near Jerusalem to the Mediterranean, and which entrance was beautiful with rare flowers perfuming the air with sweet odors.
The record of Delilah, the heartless wrecker of a mighty man, is given in eighteen verses; and the description of Samson's betrayal, fall, bondage and death is one of the most graphic in the Bible. We cannot, of course, write of Delilah without mentioning Samson. What a contrast they present, and how symbolic they are of characters in the world today! Samson was physically strong but morally weak. Although able to rend a lion, he could not fight his lusts. He could break his bonds, but not his habits. He could conquer Philistines but not his passions. Delilah was a woman who used her personal charm to lure a man to his spiritual and physical destruction, and she stands out as one of the lowest, meanest women of the Bible - the female Judas of the Old Testament.
This Philistine courtesan was a woman of unholy persistence and devilish deceit, who had personal charm, mental ability, self-command, and nerve, but who used all her qualities for one purpose: money. She and womanly honor and love had never met, for behind her beautiful face was a heart as dark as hell, and full of viperous treachery. "Her supreme wickedness lay not in betraying Samson to his enemies but in causing him to break faith with his ideals." Shakespeare might well have had Delilah in mind when he wrote -
O Nature! What hadst thou to do in Hell,
When thou didst bower the spirit of a fiend
In mortal Paradise of such sweet flesh.
Deluding Samson into believing she really loved him, Delilah sold him to blindness, bondage and death. The ease with which she betrayed her husband revealed that she belonged to the enemies of God's people, the people of whom Samson was the recognized leader at that time. The Philistines did not like Samson around because he was the champion of Israel and as such interfered with their practices. Therefore he must be got rid of, and in Delilah, the Philistine prostitute, the Philistines had one who was willing to be bribed to act as their agent. She had one purpose and that was to secure money, and had no qualms of conscience to trifle with love for the sake of wealth. Thus, as Kuyper expresses it, "All the while she kept a police force quartered in her rooms and awaited the moment in which she could surrender her lover into his enemies' hands."
Samson became a traitor to himself because he could not resist a woman's charm. First one woman and then another took advantage of this deep-seated weakness and basic sin of his, and Delilah was the most effective in destroying him. She remains as a warning to all men to beware of the charm and wiles of a wicked, scheming woman. As one unknown writer puts it -
The women of the Bible pass before the imagaination in the vision of antiquity, like pure and radiant stars, their frailties scarcely more than the wing of a transparent cloud upon these beautiful spheres. Delilah rises suddenly from darkness, as a glorious meteor, describes an arc of romantic and fatal light, and goes down in a horizon of awful gloom.
The lords of the Philistines offered an enormous sum as a bribe, namely, 1,100 pieces of silver. Jesus was sold by Judas for only 30 pieces of silver. Such a fortune was no small temptation to Delilah, and sharing her tempters' passion for revenge, she set about, in a subtle way, to earn the price of blood. She tried four times in her cunning, evil way to get Samson to reveal the secret of his supernatural power. The first three times Samson humorously lied in answering Delilah's question by enumerating the green withs or twigs, the new ropes, and the weaving of the hair. Thrice deceived, Delilah the enchantress employed her final weapon - tears. Sobbing, she said, "How canst thou say I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? Thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth."
Samson was conquered. A weeping woman melted his heart, and he confessed the truth of his Nazarite vow, and how, if shorn of his long hair, his strength would depart and he would become like any other normal man. Recognizing that the truth had been told, Delilah lulled Samson to sleep. As he slept, the waiting Philistines destroyed the sign of the vow, and when Samson awoke, although he tried to exert his power as before, he found it had deserted him. The rest of the tragic story belongs to Samson. His foes gouged out his eyes, bound him in fetters and in Gaza, where his God-given strength was manifested, he was made to grind corn. The spiritual Hercules had been reduced to the very depth of degradation. Samson knew that his bitter servitude was the result of his sin and could confess -
Myself my sepulchre, a moving grave.
Prison within prison,
Inseparably dark!
Nothing of all these evils hath befall'n me
But justly; I myself have brought them,
Sole author I, sole cause. If aught seems vile,
As vile hath been my folly.
But out of the depths Samson cried unto the Lord, and, as we read, his hair began to grow. Forsaken by all, there was One near at hand, and the God of grace restored unto His sinning and now repentant servant, the power he had lost. Samson's extremity became God's opportunity. While Samson was in prison, in the palace, three thousand Philistines gathered to honor their god Dagon for victory over their feared enemy. As hearts beat high and warm, with banquet wine and dance, the cry goes up to have blind Samson brought in to be made the butt of their jests and ridicule. A lad brings the giant in and places him between the pillars of the heathen temple where all eyes could see him. The mockery of the drunken crowd begins. They ask for a riddle and Samson acted one they did not expect. With his arms around the pillars, and deeply penitent for his sins, he prayed, "O Lord, remember me and give me strength only this once."
Then shaking himself as of old, he threw his arms around the pillars, the massive temple tottered and the 3,000 Philistines, including the treacherous Delilah perished. It was a victory that cost Samson his own life, and we find that he slew more at his death than he had in the heyday of his power.
There is no evidence for John Milton's idea that Delilah was deeply repentant for her crime against Samson, and visited him in prison imploring his forgiveness, or of his stern reply -
Out! out! hyena, these are thy wonted arts,
And arts of every woman false like thee;
To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray.
Then as repentant, to submit, beseech
And reconcilement move with feigned remorse.
In his drama, Samson Agonistes, Milton goes on to describe Delilah's further efforts to secure forgiveness and at last throws herself upon her reserved resource and pleads her love of country and the grateful esteem in which she will be held by her posterity. But a woman like Delilah did not know how to repent; and as Judas went out and hanged himself, so it would seem as if Delilah, gloating over the price received for Samson's betrayal, died a terrible death when buried beneath the frightful ruins of the temple her husband's restored, divine strength had caused.
What are the lessons to be gathered from Samson and Delilah ... The question may be asked, How can we learn any lesson from such an unpleasant story? Why is this sordid record to the last degree in the Bible? The reading of the man under a vow to God and of great physical strength and mental agility choosing a woman of no morals may be deemed unfit for inclusion in Holy Writ. Yet all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and the writer of the Book of Judges was guided by the Spirit to set forth the details of the amorous life of Samson. Our answer is that the Bible would not be true to life and to its mission in the world if it did not hold up the mirror and reveal to us, in restrained language, workings of evil, and the boundless love and grace of God toward those whose lives are so bankrupt of virtues pleasing to Him. As the biography of humanity, the Bible is most up-to-date for us, as H. V. Morton reminds us -
The police courts are always telling the old story of Samson and Delilah. It comes up in a number of ingenious disguises, a theme capable of infinite variation, but the main motif throughout is that of a man who plunges deeper and deeper into his own lack of self-control until the moment arrives when, trapped and shorn of his strength he is blinded and branded.
This same writer goes on to say that Delilah vanished, as such women do, when her task was completed and she received a reward. Morton then relates a conversation he had with a criminal lawyer about the prosecution in a recent case when certain charges were brought against a man who ruined him. "It is simple," said the lawyer. "A girl pretended to be in love with him and gave him away."
"You mean his enemies bribed her?"
"Of course," he said.
This incident, like the story of Delilah, needs no moralizing. The record is sufficient in itself. Delilah was not concerned about the weakness of Samson, but his strength. Once a man betrays his strength, he has no reserve, and courts disaster. A further lesson to be learned from the story before us is that true feminine charm and the appeal of love are gifts received from the Creator, and that when these fairest and most effective of gifts are misused or deliberately trifled with, divine retribution overtakes those who prostitute such gifts.
Another lesson to be gleaned from the ancient record before us is that of the folly of being unequally yoked. Samson married outside his own country, people and religion. Had Samson, hero of Israel, married an Israelitish maiden, the tragedy overtaking him would never have happened. But he took to wife a devotee of a heathen god which, for a judge of Israel, was against the divine decree, and he paid the fatal price of his action.
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Today's reading: Genesis 7-9, Matthew 3 (NIV)

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Today's Old Testament reading: Genesis 7-9

1 The LORD then said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. 2Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, 3 and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. 4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made."

Today's New Testament reading: Matthew 3

John the Baptist Prepares the Way
1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea 2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." 3This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
"A voice of one calling in the desert,
'Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.'"



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