Welcome to the Mountjoy Ministries Blog

This blog was authored by Bryan W. Sheldon, author and Bible teacher. His books are listed below. The studies in the blog are offered in the desire that they may be helpful in directing readers to the truths contained in the Bible.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Surveying Scripture - the Books of Experience


The Bibles that we are familiar with (whatever translation they are) are divided into two, the Old Testament and the New. There are five groupings in the Old Testament and, I would suggest, five in the New. The five in the Old are:

The five books of Moses (the Law);

The twelve books of History (from Joshua to Esther);

The five books of Experience (Job to the Song of Solomon);

The five Major Prophets (Isaiah to Daniel) and lastly

The twelve Minor Prophets (Hosea to Malachi).

In this fashion we have the 39 books divided into three groups of five and two groups of twelve.

The five groups in the New Testament are as follows:

The four Gospels

The Book of Acts

The fourteen Pauline Epistles (Hebrews is included!)

The seven General Epistles

The Book of Revelation


For the next few posts we shall (D.V.) seek to find some lessons in the books of Job, Psalms, and Proverbs.

These books are at the heart of the Old Testament and often known as the Psalms or Writings. They are also known as the books of wisdom (containing as they do the writings of Solomon who had been endowed with an exceptional wisdom) or the books of experience (because of the several important testimonies recorded there). Not only so, but the life experiences of David, Solomon, Job, Moses and others that are included, are offered in Scripture as being true to life, and therefore, able also to illuminate the experience of those who read them.

Prelude:  Some say that the centre verses of the Bible are in Psalm 118: It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.” (Psalm 118:8–9). If so, these books which are at the heart of the T’nach emphasise the importance of faith. Faith is God’s minimum. He has everything for faith, He has nothing for unbelief. This would suggest that all spiritual experiences are understood in terms of faith. This mysterious book, setting out the experience of Job, really has a very simple message. God is saying to Job,

Trust Me!


The book of Job is 42 chapters long and can be divided into three unequal parts.
Chapters 1 and 2 serve as the introduction. Chapters 3 to 37 contain the main arguments. Chapters 38 to 42 carry the conclusion.
INTRODUCTION : Chapters 1 – 2
1.     The main characters of the narrative
(a) The Lord God, revealed here by His personal name, YHWH.  He is sovereign and in total control.
(b)   Satan. Introduced among the sons of God. He had been created perfect and previously known as Lucifer, son of the morning (Isaiah 14.12). He was the guardian cherub on the holy mountain amongst the fiery stones. What mystery is here! Even after his fall he still has access to the throne of God. It seems he is fulfilling a service—that of prosecuting council—the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10).
(c)   Job. A man blameless and upright, who feared God.  He had 7 sons and 3 daughters, 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 donkeys and many servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.
2.     The first movement.   Satan stands – Satan slanders.
Often referred to as the Slanderer, Satan is well named. Three times in Scripture Satan speaks.
In Genesis :         Satan slanders God to man    (Testing of Eve)
In Job :                Satan slanders man to God    (Testing of Job)
In Gospels :          Satan slanders the God/man  (Testing of Jesus)

Satan, is seeking to produce misunderstanding and separate God and man: a slanderer separates intimate friends” (Prov. 16:28). He succeeds in Genesis; he fails in Job. Satan says, But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face” (1:11).
(c)    God permits. Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” (1:12) Why does God allow it?  This is debated for the rest of the book.
(d)   Satan delights. See the speed by which he completes the first stage – removing the possessions of Job and killing his sons and daughters.
(e) Job worships.  He doesn't know about the scene in heaven but he worships. "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord." Through all this Job did not sin or blame God" (1:21,22)
3. The second movement.  Satan stands – Satan slanders
(a)   God initiates.  Chapter 2 begins with almost a mirror image of the encounter given in chapter 1. The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause.”” (2:3)
(b)  Satan responds.  “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.” (2:4)

(c) God permits: "Behold he is in your power, only spare his life" (2:6)
(d)  Satan delights. So went Satan forth from the  presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown’.
(e) Job sins not: "Shall we indeed accept good from God and not adversity? In all this Job did not sin with his lips."(2:10)
4      The Wisdom of God

These books are called the books of wisdom. Here is the wisdom of God. Can we understand it? The first lesson here is – to find the cause of things seen, we must look to the unseen. The solution to the riddle of life is spiritual not physical. Job and Daniel would teach us that if we wish to affect things here we must address ourselves there. If we would touch things on earth we must address ourselves to heaven. Events happen here because they are allowed there.

 Job was under the protection of God.

(a)   First, everything was protected. God had placed a fence around everything.

(b)   Then the fence was contracted and only Job was protected.

(c)    Finally, only Job’s life was within the fence.

The permissive will of God in the book of Job may be too high for us. How can we understand it? There is a further example of it in Scripture, when the fence was taken completely away; He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all” (Rom. 8:32). And remember, the sacrifice of the Saviour not only dealt with sin but also dealt with Satan: “..having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Col.2.15).
More next time.



Friday, August 22, 2014

New Titles for eReaders

Three interesting titles from Bryan Sheldon, now on Kindle and available from Amazon for eReaders (Kindle, iPad, etc)

12 Reasons why I believe Jesus was crucified on the Mount of Olives.

The site of the crucifixion of the Saviour of the World has been considered and debated for centuries. There have been those who have taken clues from the Gospel writers, added such information that has been provided by archaeology, and pointed to some spot either in or near the city of Jerusalem. But for those who are Bible students the results do not seem to echo that which they feel the Scriptures depict.

There are two sites that have obtained favour, one is now the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the other is known as Gordon’s Calvary. Most visitors to Jerusalem are taken to these locations where they may contemplate the mighty act of redemption that is said to have taken place there. But the Bible tells us that the death of Jesus of Nazareth, Messiah of Israel and Son of God, was as a sacrifice for sin, and if so, had to meet the very particular and detailed requirements laid down in the T’nach for an acceptable sacrifice. If His crucifixion took place at either of the traditional locations it would not have been admissible and we would still be without hope. Moreover, the whole purpose of the incarnation would have been overthrown and Satan would have accomplished His purpose of ensuring that the death of the Messiah was invalidated because it did not meet the strict demands laid down in the Torah.

However, this writer suggests that the death Jesus accomplished met all constraints. It was in the right way, at the right time and also in the right place. I believe that the Bible gives us enough detail to be confident that all the types and prophecies were fulfilled and every constraint satisfied. Accordingly we can be confident that future events will also be fulfilled exactly as prophesied in the Scriptures.

So this booklet is offered to provide some Scriptural pointers to the place where the greatest single act for the salvation of humankind was accomplished. I believe that the death of Jesus was prophesied in the T’nach (Old Testament) and accomplished in accordance with prophecy and type. Therefore it had to be on the day specified, at the time designated, fulfilling prophecy and specifically in the place chosen by God.

Why I Believe Jesus was in the tomb for a full three nights and three days or 'The Sign of the Prophet Jonah'

        One of the most frequently raised questions at our Bible Schools is ‘how do we square the sign of the prophet Jonah (that Jesus was to be in ‘the heart of the earth’ for three days and three nights), with the traditional view that Jesus died on a Friday and rose on the following Sunday, a period of less than two days?’

While the question does not impact on our salvation (that is secure if we believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose again), nevertheless a lack of clarity on the subject is enough to be an irritation and possibly, for those of a certain temperament, a pinprick in their confidence in the total reliability of the Bible.

The usual method of squaring the circle is stated thus: “‘Three days and three nights’ represents a Semitic idiom for any portion of three calendar days. So there is no need to see a contradiction with the usual Holy Week chronology, including a Friday crucifixion and a Sunday resurrection, or to propose an alternative chronology” (Craig L. Blomberg). This does not sit well with some of those that study the Scriptures.

In our teaching sessions I have offered an alternative which appears to have been well received, as a result of which I have been asked to publish.

I recognise that what I offer will not satisfy all—it does not dot all the i‘s and cross all the t‘s, but it is submitted with a humble desire to contribute to the discussion.

The Messiah and the Priesthood of Israel

The education of the nation of Israel was extensive, detailed and
comprehensive. It was founded by covenant which established a priestly system that was meticulously organized and designed to function continuously. At its heart was a purpose-built Sanctuary where the priesthood could operate as mediators between the nation and the Lord. In addition to daily offerings, the divinely inspired Law provided for a calendar of pre-ordained festivals where Israel could articulate their appreciation for the bounty and mercy of their God.

All of these, the Priesthood, the Sanctuary, the Sacrifices and the Festivals, were needed to prepare Israel for the coming of their Messiah, the One whose multi-faceted ministry would require Him:

to be a High Priest of the order of Melchizedek,

operate in the heavenly Sanctuary

where He would offer a superior sacrifice

in accordance with the pre-ordained timetable

to inaugurate a superior covenant.

This book seeks to acknowledge the greatness and glory of the Lord Jesus as He fulfilled in every detail that which was prefigured by the priestly culture of Israel.

His was no ordinary death: the biographical part of the New Testament speaks of His dying as being different to the death of any other individual, even different to those who were executed at the same time and in the same location as Him. What was the difference? His decease is put forward as a death that He accomplished. Not in the terms of a suicide but rather the ordering of events to fulfill those necessary pre-conditions published by the Creator God for a substitutionary sacrifice that would provide the grounds for the reconciliation of sinful humanity. Others might suffer death but He accomplished His (Luke 9:31). His decease had to be at a very specific time, on a very specific date, in a very specific place, in a very specific way. Although it seemed He was always in imminent danger of losing His life, He declared that none of the attempts on His life would succeed until He presented Himself to die in Jerusalem, on a day that He chose, at a time that He selected, in a pre-ordained location as a ransom for humanity. In other words His death was the sacrificial offering that in itself satisfied every demand of a holy God and needed nothing further to perfect it, while at the same time it ministered meaning to all of Israel’s previous sacrifices.

Moreover, a sacrifice needs a priest to offer it. Instructions contained in the Bible declare that a qualified, gifted and called intermediary was necessary for the offering to be acceptable to God. The wonder of the cross is, that in the purposes of God, the office of priest is occupied by the same One who was the sacrifice. If we may give a particular emphasis to the words of Abraham when he was on a similar quest; he said, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering” (Gen. 22:8, KJV) (all references will be from the NKJV unless otherwise stated). Jesus, Israel’s Messiah, as High Priest brought the perfect sacrifice (Himself) and lay down His life for the sins of the world; then continuing in His office as High Priest entered the presence of God with the blood of the sacrifice, that is, His own precious blood. The objection that He was not of the tribe of Levi and the family of Aaron, as required by the Law of Moses, is overcome by the knowledge that there was another order of High Priest in the Bible; an order that is identified as being superior to the Aaronic order; an order that allows for a King/Priest. It is the order of Melchizedek (Ps. 110:4 based on Gen: 14:18-20 (see chapter 14)). The Scriptures put forward the case that Jesus of Nazareth was called to be High Priest of that order.

This book is therefore a study based on the premise that the Priesthood and Monarchy of Israel were offices authorized by God to prepare Israel for the coming of their Messiah, although for our current enquiry it will be the Priesthood that will receive our attention. To be able to extract spiritual benefit from this subject we will need to examine the history and training of Israel. There we will find finger-posts and pointers to the coming of the One who would be Sovereign and Saviour, Priest and Offering.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Book of Job

Living for God when Life is an enigma

The Answer of God

God provides an answer. Not the answer Job wanted but nevertheless an answer. The answer is linked with the character of God.

In chapters 1 and 2 God is identified by His personal name YHWH. This is His Name when He is linked with revelation, redemption and restoration, as evidence by the compound names YHWH-Tzidkenu (The Lord our righteousness); YHWH-Jireh (The Lord who provides), etc.

In chapters 3 through 37 He is identified by the Name Elohim, which is the Name used when He is linked with creation and providence.

The in chapters 38 through 42 He reappears in the narrative under His Name of YHWH to provide an answer for Job.

What we are indicating here is – the test was initiated by YHWH and in the end is answered by YHWH. This strongly suggests that to be able to rightly respond to difficult issues such as bereavement and loss, and be able to rightly react to questions such as ‘why do the innocent suffer?’ you have to understand the character of God.

Jesus (Salvation of YHWH)

The character of God in revelation, redemption and restoration is best seen in the person of Jesus. And the cross (the emblem of the unjust, inhuman abuse of the only innocent man that ever lived) is the highest expression of the wisdom of God. It does not commend itself to human reason, INDEED IT IS FOOLISHNESS TO MOST. “We preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness (1 Cor. 1:23). This confirms what God revealed through Isaiah: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8–9).


The answer is complete and final

There is no question that God cannot deal with - but the answer invariably comes at the end (not in the middle or at the beginning). For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known (1 Cor. 13:12) .

The first speaker was God, ‘In the beginning was the Word’ (John 1:1) and the last speaker will be God! When God has spoken – all will be silenced, except to say ‘Amen’. In the book under consideration, after all others have fallen silent,  God speaks and Job is compelled to say, "Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth. (Job 40:4)   He is silenced!!

The answer is convincing

YHWH answers with a stream of rhetorical questions regarding the mysteries of creation.

“Do you know about the layers of the thick clouds? (Job 37:16)

“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, Or have you seen the storehouses of the hail? (Job 38:22)

“Can you hunt the prey for the lion, Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions? (Job 38:39)

“Do you give the horse his might? Do you clothe his neck with a mane? (Job 39:19)

He is calling on Job to ‘learn wisdom’.  If YHWH has bestowed skill and wisdom on the smallest snowflake will He act carelessly with the crown of His creation? If the minutest detail of any animal declares divine wisdom, will He act carelessly with man? Even if Job only knows God in terms of Elohim, i.e. in terms of creation, God says, that is still enough information to come to a right understanding of the character of the Lord of heaven and earth.

God was saying  to Job TRUST ME! And He has the same message for us, i.e.

Trust Me!

The answer is compensating

7000 sheep at the beginning: 14000 at the end.

3000 camels at the beginning - 6000 at the end.

500 yoke of oxen at the beginning  - 1000 at the end.

500 donkeys at the beginning  - 1000 at the end.

7 sons and 3 daughters at the beginning - now another 7 sons and 3 daughters. (N.B. People are not the same as animals!)

And this man, who had been covered with sores from head to toe, was the father of daughters of whom it was said:  

In all the land no women were found so fair as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers.(Job 42:15)

Conclusion to Job

By the end of the book Satan is defeated and God glorified.  Note - Satan is absent at the end of the book.

Reading the book of Job perhaps could teach us how to live for God when life is an enigma.

At least we should learn the one main lesson – God said, and continues to say:


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Living for God when life is an enigma

The Message of Job

JOB - the first book of Wisdom

These books are called the books of wisdom. Herein is the wisdom of God. To find the cause of the seen we must look to the unseen. The solution to the riddle of life is spiritual not physical. You cannot think your way out of a spiritual difficulty. Job and Daniel would teach us that if we wish to affect things here we must address ourselves there. Events happen here because they are allowed there. But remember, Job was under the protection of God

First everything was protected

Then only Job was protected

Then only his life was protected

The permissive will of God in Job may be too high for us – How can we understand it? For all that has happened to Job he is still under the protection of God - But what about Jesus? There the fence was completely taken away: ‘He that spared not His own son, but freely gave Him up’.

Main Arguments

3 men have come to visit – they are joined by a fourth. Initially they are dumb in the face of such a calamity. Then words,  words, words (for 35 chapters). 20 chapters for Job, 4 for Eliphaz, 3 for Bildad, 2 for Zophar and 6 for Elihu. There are fourteen  speakers, The Lord, Satan, Job, Job’s wife, Job’s friends, four messengers, a spirit and a horse. Remember, the debate takes place among those who know nothing of what has happened in heaven.

The arguments presented by these men are drawn on such resources as they have – their own experience, the experience of others, what they have heard from their fathers.


There is wisdom here – there is truth here. It may be truth generally but it does not help Job.  Human wisdom is insufficient to light up the path of the godly. “He knoweth the way that I take”.

As for God, His way is perfect

He maketh my way perfect.

Is this what you want? For God to make your way perfect  – even if it means living for God when life is an enigma?

They all fall silent one by one.

Next Time - The Answer of God

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Living for God when life is an enigma

The Message of Job

Trusting God when life is an enigma

Faith is the key to Christian experience: God has everything for faith – He has nothing for unbelief. The Psalmist said: “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.   It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes” (Ps.118.vv 8,9). God’s message to us all is : TRUST ME. But if trust in God is the key, then that is what will be attacked by Satan.

Chapters 1 & 2 provide the introduction to the book.

The scene in heaven shows YHWH the sovereign God in total control – but also in attendance is Satan, the Slanderer; while on earth we have Job the servant of God. He is blameless and upright, with 7 sons and 3 daughters. He owns 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 donkeys and many servants. He is the greatest man among those of the east. His piety is demonstrated in that he fulfils with integrity and diligence the office of priest for his family.

First Movement: God intervenes in Job’s life

It is at the initiative of God. He speaks to Satan: “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil” (Job 1:8).  (What delight God takes in those who trust Him).

Satan slanders – not the worst in the land but the best. He does not accuse an act but a motive. He says, it pays Job to be faithful. He does well out of it (in other words he is mercenary).

There are three occasions in Scripture where the words of Satan are recorded:

In Genesis - Satan slanders God to man (Testing of Eve): “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” (Gen. 3:1)

In Job - Satan slanders man to God (Testing of Job): “Does Job fear God for nothing? (Job 1:9)

In Gospels - Satan slanders the God/Man (Testing of Jesus “If You are the Son of God … (Matt. 4:3)

Satan the slanderer seeks to separate God and man (He succeeds in Genesis but fails with Job). This policy of slandering God’s people is one of his most successful ploys. He wants us to speak mischievously of each other.

A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends. (Prov. 16:28)

By this he can split churches, break up teams of Christian workers who share a ministry, separate families, etc. His design is to divide and conquer.

Of Job Satan said “But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face (Job 1:11).

This God permits: But why? – The conundrum that is the permissive will of God – this is debated for the rest of the book.

Satan is delighted - How quickly he acts, killing his sons and daughters and removing his possessions. Yet Job worships – He doesn’t know the scene in heaven but he worships: In all this Job did not sin.

This is living for God when life is an enigma.

Second Movement

Again it is at the initiative of God: The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause” (Job 2:3).

Satan responds: “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life (Job 2:4).  Again God permits So the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life” (Job 2:6). Satan is delighted: Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head (Job 2:7).

Yet Job does not sins:Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips (Job 2:10).

Notice the repeated pattern.

1.                 God initiates.

2.       Satan slanders.

3.       God permits.

4.                 Satan is delighted and persecutes Job.

5.       Yet Job does not sin

This is living for God when life is an enigma.
More next time.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Feast of Dedication in History and Prophecy

A National Hanukkah

The return of Christ to rescue the Jewish people from extinction depends on their contrition, repentance and faith. As a nation they will have to be re-consecrated and re-dedicated to God. Only then can the New Covenant be activated for them whereby God promised to indwell every member of the race. He had said:

“This is the covenant that I will make with the house of  Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. “No more shall every man teach his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. “For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jer. 31:33–34).


His Law will be in their hearts and every member of  the Jewish people will know Him “from the least of them to the greatest of them”. This is an outcome that is designed to demonstrate the wisdom and faithfulness of God. Events will develop in something of the following order.

In the middle of the Tribulation period the nation’s leaders will realise that the Anti-Christ has reneged on his agreement and they have to face up to a period of severe persecution – it is called ‘Jacob’s trouble’. The ‘abomination’ is the pivotal event which reveals the wicked ambitions of the trinity of evil (the Devil, the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet). With the concord between the Jewish nation and the Anti-Christ fractured, persecution will increase. Those who have signed up to the covenant will find they have made a covenant with ‘death’ and the judgement of God will overtake them (Isa. 28:15,18). But although the spirit of anti-Semitism is rampant, the remnant that are left “shall be saved out of it” (Jer. 30:7). How so? Left to their own resources they have no hope—but they will look to God for deliverance and YHWH will pour out on them “the Spirit of grace and supplication” (Zech. 12:10). They will finally recognise the truth about the One whom they pierced and confess their sins.

It may be that they will use Daniel’s words:we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled (Dan. 9:5). Such phrases would be extremely suitable. However, the High Priest is the head of state and it seems obvious that he will be required to lead them in a national prayer of repentance. It could easily be modelled on the set prayer which is used on the Day of Atonement; a comprehensive prayer which covers all Jewish people for all kinds of wickedness. It is a prayer that includes the three all-encompassing Biblical words for sin: sin, iniquity and transgression and embraces the High Priest, his family, his brother priests and the people of Israel. It could be of the order of the third of the intercessory prayers on Yom Kippur. If so, he will say something similar to the following:

“O Lord, I, my family, the house of Aaron and your people, the house of Israel, have committed iniquity, transgressed, and sinned before you. Forgive, O Lord, I pray, the iniquities, transgressions, and sins, which I, my family, the house of Aaron and your people, the house of Israel, have committed, transgressed and sinned before you. We recognise atonement has been made for us, as it is written, ‘you will be clean from all your sins before the Lord’” (Lev. 16:30, NASB).

Every adult member of the Jewish race will be required to say Amen to that prayer. But it also needs to be accompanied by a national acknowledgement of the grounds for their forgiveness. They will have to recognise:

            that Jesus of Nazareth was their Messiah,

            was the perfect offering for sin, and

            died a substitutionary death for them.

Perhaps they will use the words of Isaiah 53:

He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all(Isaiah 53:5–6).

Jesus, of course, has directed them to the Hallel, the most familiar group of Psalms that they know (Psalms 113-118). He said He would not return until they got to the end of it, Psalm 118 verse 26, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”. For centuries they have sung it at feast times. Now, at this time they must sing it again as they rededicate themselves to the worship and service of the Lord. So with confidence rising they will lift their voices, first in praise:

 Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord,
Praise the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name of the Lord
From this time forth and forevermore!

“From the rising of the sun to its going down the Lord’s name is to be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations, His glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God, Who dwells on high”.

Then through Psalm 114 where they remember their redemption from Egypt and their birth as a nation, to Psalm 115:  
Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth.

“Why should the Gentiles say,
“So where is their God?”
But our God is in heaven;
He does whatever He pleases.”

In singing this Psalm they will be reminded that idolatry is not only sinful, it is foolish:
“Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of men’s hands.
They have mouths, but they do not speak;
Eyes they have, but they do not see;
 They have ears, but they do not hear;
Noses they have, but they do not smell;
They have hands, but they do not handle;
Feet they have, but they do not walk;
Nor do they mutter through their throat.
Those who make them are like them;
So is everyone who trusts in them.”

 There is a call for the exercise of faith:

“O Israel, trust in the Lord;
He is their help and their shield.
O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord;
He is their help and their shield.
You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord;
He is their help and their shield.”

They are reminded that God has something better for them:

The Lord has been mindful of us; 
He will bless us;
He will bless the house of Israel;
He will bless the house of Aaron.
He will bless those who fear the Lord,
Both small and great.

“May the Lord give you increase more and more,
You and your children.
May you be blessed by the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s;
But the earth He has  given to the children of men.

 “The dead do not praise the Lord,
Nor any who go down into silence.
But we will bless the Lord
From this time forth and forevermore.
Praise the Lord!

Then through Psalms 116 which includes an expression of confidence in prayer:
I love the Lord, because He has heard My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.
“The pains of death surrounded me, And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul!”

Then thanksgiving for answered prayer:
“Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful. The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For You have delivered my soul from death, My eyes from tears, And my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord In the land of the living.”

Then a commitment to the service of God (I will pay my vows).
“What shall I render to the Lord For all His benefits toward me? I will take up the cup of salvation, And call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord Now in the presence of all His people.

 “O Lord, truly I am Your servant; I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have loosed my bonds. I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord Now in the presence of all His people, In the courts of the Lord’s house, In the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!

The Psalm 117
Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! For His merciful kindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!

Finally reaching Psalm 118:
 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Let Israel now say,
‘His mercy endures forever’.
Let the house of Aaron now say,
‘His mercy endures forever’.
Let those who fear the Lord now say,
‘His mercy endures forever’.

“The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The Lord is for me among those who help me;
Therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me.

“It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put  confidence in man.
It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in princes.

The Jewish people will be encircled by their enemies but their trust will be in their God and their Messiah:
“All nations surround me,
But in the name of the Lord I will destroy them. They surround me, Yes, they surround me;
But in the name of the Lord I will destroy them.
They surround me like bees … in the name of the Lord I will destroy them …
“The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.
The voice of rejoicing and salvation Is in the tents of the righteous;

The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.
The right hand of the Lord is exalted;
The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.
I shall not die, but live,
And declare the works of the Lord. “

 “The Lord has chastened me severely,
But He has not given me over to death.
“Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I will go through them,
And I will praise the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord,
Through which the righteous shall enter.
“I will praise You,
For You have answered me,
And have become my salvation.”

Every verse is pregnant with meaning:

 “The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
“This was the Lord’s doing;
It is marvellous in our eyes.
“This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Save now, I pray, O Lord;
O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity.”

And then the trigger verse that Jesus said He would wait for (Matthew 23:39):

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

And Jesus their Messiah will return to rescue them. It will not be against an earthly dictator, but against the all the combined forces of evil led by the most powerful angelic being. Although Israel’s Messiah will be accompanied by His saints and an angelic host, He will fight the battle alone and be victorious.

The newly delivered nation will complete the Hallel:

“You are my God, and I will praise You;
You are my God, I will exalt You.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever”.

And their dedication will be complete!

And if, in the Millennial kingdom, they celebrate Hanukkah once more, they will not be looking back to the exploits of Judas Maccabaeus but rather to the exploits of their Redeemer, Yeshua HaMashiac, Jesus the Messiah.