Archive for July 27th, 2006

Prosperity and Adversity

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

Ecclesiastes 7:14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

Commenting on this verse, Matthew Henry says:

2. We must accommodate ourselves to the various dispensations of Providence that respect us, and do the work and duty of the day in its day, v. 14. Observe,
(1.) How the appointments and events of Providence are counterchanged. In this world, at the same time, some are in prosperity, others are in adversity; the same persons at one time are in great prosperity, at another time in great adversity; nay, one event prosperous, and another grievous, may occur to the same person at the same time. Both come from the hand of God; out of his mouth both evil and good proceed (Isa. 14:7), and he has set the one over against the other, so that there is a very short and easy passage between them, and they are a foil to each other. Day and night, summer and winter, are set the one over against the other, that in prosperity we may rejoice as though we rejoiced not, and in adversity may weep as though we wept not, for we may plainly see the one from the other and quickly exchange the one for the other; and it is to the end that man may find nothing after him, that he may not be at any certainty concerning future events or the continuance of the present scene, but may live in a dependence upon Providence and be ready for whatever happens. Or that man may find nothing in the work of God which he can pretend to amend.
(2.) How we must comply with the will of God in events of both kinds. Our religion, in general, must be the same in all conditions, but the particular instances and exercises of it must vary, as our outward condition does, that we may walk after the Lord.
[1.] In a day of prosperity (and it is but a day), we must be joyful, be in good, be doing good, and getting good, maintain a holy cheerfulness, and serve the Lord with gladness of heart in the abundance of all things. “When the world smiles, rejoice in God, and praise him, and let the joy of the Lord be thy strength.’’
[2.] In a day of adversity (and that is but a day too) consider. Times of affliction are proper times for consideration, then God calls to consider (Hag. 1:5), then, if ever, we are disposed to it, and no good will be gotten by the affliction without it. We cannot answer God’s end in afflicting us unless we consider why and wherefore he contends with us. And consideration is necessary also to our comfort and support under our afflictions.

Bible Customs – How People Dressed

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

The following is from a lesson presented at Middletown Bible Church, which I came upon while seeking information about dress customs during Bible times. I found it informative, so here it is:
Dressing

How did people dress in the land of Palestine during Bible times? Did the men wear ties and jackets? Did the women wear dresses and skirts? Did they wear the same kind of shoes that we wear?

Inner Garment

The men and women would wear an inner garment or shirt next to their skin called a tunic. Usually this was without sleeves and reached down to the knees or sometimes all the way to the ankles. Wealthy people would wear tunics which had sleeves and which reached to the ankles.

When Jesus died on the cross, the soldiers cast lots for His tunic (John 19:24). This was the Lord’s inner garment (not a “ROBE” as many think).

Usually the Jews of Christ’s day had at least one change of clothing. A man would be considered poor to have only one garment (see what John the Baptist said in Luke 3:11). In Matthew 10:10 Jesus told His disciples not to take an extra undergarment with them.

Among the poorer people, the tunic was often the only clothing worn in warm weather. Wealthier people might wear the tunic alone inside the house, but they would not wear it without the outer garment outside the house. In the Bible the term “naked” is sometimes used of men who only have their tunic on (see John 21:7). To be dressed in such a scanty manner was thought of as “nakedness.”

The Girdle

The girdle was like a wide belt (about four to six inches wide) which went around the waist. Without this girdle, the tunic would be loose and it would interfere with a person’s ability to walk freely (this is why bathrobes have a strap that must be tied). Sometimes money was kept in a girdle (in a pouch) and sometimes the girdle was used to fasten a man’s sword to his body.

In Bible language, “to be girded” means “to be ready for action.” It means “let nothing keep you back or interfere with your progress as you run the race which is before you” (see Luke 12:35). What do you think the first part of 1 Peter 1:13 means?

The Outer Garment

The outer garment was called a mantle. It was like a large robe. The closest thing we have to it would be an overcoat. This mantle would shelter the person from the wind and the rain and it would also serve as a blanket at night. This is the outer garment or mantle which Elijah had and which became the property of Elisha (see 2 Kings 2:8-13).

Sandals

Most people in Bible times wore something that resembled sandals. They consisted of a sole made either of wood or leather which was fastened to the foot by leather thongs or straps. Peter was told to put his sandals on in Acts 12:8. See also what John the Baptist said in Mark 1:7 (latchet = thongs; shoes = sandals). Because the people wore sandals, their feet got dirty and this is why we read in the Bible about people getting their feet washed (see John 13).

The Difference Between Men and Women

Men and women wore the same kind of clothing, but it differed in detail. They both would wear an inner garment and a girdle and an outer garment, but the dress of the woman was more elaborate and ornamented. However, the women wore longer tunics and larger mantles than the men. Also the women would often wear a veil covering their face.

Even though men and women wore the same kind of clothes, there were differences which made it easy to tell the sexes apart. Even today men and women both wear shirts, but usually the blouse that a woman would wear is quite different than the shirt that a man would wear. In Bible times the garments of a woman were different than the garments of a man. In God’s law we read, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment.” (Deut.22:5). It was a shameful thing for a man to dress like a woman or for a woman to dress like a man.

The same ought to be true today. Men should dress like men; women should dress like women; boys should dress like boys; girls should dress like girls. If God has made you a boy (male), then act like one, look like one and BE ONE! If God has made you a girl (female), then act like one, look like one and BE ONE!