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Rock of My Heart

by Amy Carmichael

Rock of my heart and my Fortress Tower,
dear are Thy thoughts to me;
Like the unfolding of leaf and flower
opening silently.
And on the edge of these Thy ways,
standing in awe as heretofore,
Thee do I worship, Thee do I praise
and adore.

Rock of my heart and my Fortress Tower,
dear is Thy love to me;
Search I the world for a word of power,
find it at Calvary.
O deeps of love that rise and flow
round about me and all things mine,
Love of all loves, in Thee I know
Love Divine

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Coming upon the story of David and Goliath in our study of 1 and 2nd Samuel, I was reminded of my recent visit to Tel Azeka in Israel.

Tel Azeka gives us a vantage point over the valley of Ela (Elah), the area where the story of 1 Samuel 17 took place. Looking west from the Tel, we can see where the three coastal cities of the Philistines would have been, Ashkelon (to the Southwest), Gath (the inland Capital), and Ashdod (to the Northwest).

The Philistines wanted the mountains in the area surrounding Tel Azeka because they wanted oil–olive oil. The pictures give you a glimpse of the fertile land on the low hills in this area.

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View of Valley of Ela from Tel Azeka

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View of Valley of Ela from Tel Azeka

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View from Tel Azeka

From the photos above, you can view the valley of Ela (Elah) where the armies of Israel met the armies of the Philistines. The open area between the hills is where the armies were faced off.

Being on that Tel, it wasn’t hard to imagine the scene that day. It was probably sunny and bright as it was the day we visited. David would have traveled down from Bethlehem to bring supplies and to get news for his father.

The story opens . . .

Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle and were assembled at Socoh, which belongs to Judah; and they camped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together and they camped in the Valley of Elah, and assembled in battle formation to meet the Philistines. The Philistines were standing on the mountain on one side and Israel was standing on the mountain on the other side, with the valley between them.  I Samuel 17:1-3.

The rest is, as they say, history.

If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Be Teachable

Another lesson that we can take from Proverbs 4:20, My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings, is to be teachable. In asking one to “give attention to my words” and “incline your ear to my sayings,” the writer of Proverbs is asking that the student maintain a teachable heart.

The heart is mentioned throughout scripture. Most often it is a weak organ which must be guarded and supervised to avoid problems. For example, we are told in Proverbs 4:23, keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”

In Matthew 15:18, Jesus taught, “those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.”

In Luke 6:45, Jesus says, “a good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

So how does one develop or maintain a teachable heart?

  • Avoid self-righteousness, the need to be important or right in your own eyes.
  • Avoid self-reliance. Learn that faith requires reliance on God rather than self, and that self-reliance and keep us from yielding fully to God.
  • Avoid arrogance. If you feel you are the smartest person in the room, you are not teachable.
  • Avoid laziness. Being unwilling to engage in what God is asking of us because of a lack of diligence make us unteachable as well.
  • Avoid compromise. Allowing compromise into our lives will give us a divided heart and make us unteachable.

The teachable heart desires more of God and less of self. Be teachable.

If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Read Obadiah Chapter 1
1. Who were the Edomites? (Hint: Genesis 25:30; 36:8)

2. Where was the land of Edom located?

3. What is the prophecy that Obadiah gives against Edom in Obadiah 1:1-7?

4. Who will be exempt from this prophecy according to Obadiah 1:8-9?

5. What is Teman? Where is it located?

6. For what is God going to judge Esau according to Obadiah 1:10-14?

7. Copy Obadiah 1:15 here. Mediate on this. Record your thoughts and impressions.

8. Where is Mount Zion?

9. What does God say will occur on Mount Zion in Obadiah 1:17?

10. What do you learn from the following verses:
Isaiah 59:20-21
Romans 11:25-26

11. What will become of the house of Jacob according to Obadiah 1:18? The house of Joseph?

12. What shall become of the house of Esau according to Obadiah 1:18?

13. What prophecy does Obadiah deliver in Obadiah 1:19-21?

14. What application can you make from this book?

 

If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page.

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Outside of Jerusalem as you travel east, you will find Wadi Qelt. A wadi is a common feature in Israel. It is a ravine or stream bed that dries up until the raining season when it may become a rushing river or a generous stream depending on the rainfall, the run-off and the ravine itself. Wadi Qelt is such a ravine that originates near Jerusalem and extends to the Jordan River near Jericho.

Some have suggested that David may have been thinking of such a ravine when he wrote Psalm 23:4 (CJB), Even if I pass through death-dark ravines, I will fear no disaster; for you are with me; your rod and staff reassure me.

This very familiar verse reminded me of God’s guidance and correction in my life and how they prove His love for me. Moreover, my love and acceptance of God’s correction speaks of His imprint on me. In that I can see that He has brought me to this point of sanctification. I also know that He will continue to sanctify me until I am made perfect when I see Him face to face.

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Wadi Qelt

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Wadi Qelt

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Wadi Qelt

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Wadi Qelt

If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Before we begin our study of the short book of the Minor Prophet Obadiah, we will do a brief study of the background of this book.

Background
1. Who is the author of the book of Obadiah?

2. When was this book written?

3. Who was the original intended audience for this book? How do you know?

4. To which Kingdom did Obadiah prophesy, Northern or Southern?

5. To which king(s) did Obadiah minister during his career?

6. What does the name “Obadiah” mean?

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Flowers in Jerusalem

 

If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page.

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Leave me, O Love, which reaches but to dust;
and thou, my mind, aspire to higher things;
grow rich in that which never taketh rust;
whatever fades, but fading pleasure brings.

Draw in thy beams, and humble all thy might
to that sweet yoke where lasting freedoms be,
which breaks the clouds, and opens forth the light,
that doth both shine and give us sight to see.

Oh, take fast hold; let that light be they guide
in this small course which birth draws out to death,
and think how evil become him to slide,
who seeketh heaven, and comes of heavenly breath.

Then farewell, world; thy uttermost I see:
Eternal Love, maintain thy life in me.

–Philip Sidney (1554-1586)

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