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Thursday, June 4 2015
Ecclesiastes 6: The Living Daylights
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid"
"The living daylights" is an English idiom ("A manner of speaking that is natural to native speakers of a language; An expression whose meanings cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up" The WordWeb Dictionary from Princeton University) that originated in the 1700s. It first peacefully meant someone's eyes, and then later came to refer to all of one's senses or consciousness.
In the present day, it has become part of the violent expressions "to beat the living daylights" or "to scare the living daylights" out of someone - meaning to knock them out or to scare them silly. Terms and expressions tend to be reflections of the moral state of an era. Perhaps some day, the original meaning of "living daylights" will be restored to its pure and clean intent - a restitution that applies to many words that have been degenerated and perverted from their true meanings.
The Messiah often spoke and taught about the principle of "the living daylights" - how those who walk in the true light will find eternal life (keeping in mind that the way to hell fire can be bright and well-lighted too - as Lot learned when he chose to live in the beautiful, in appearance, city of Sodom; see The Lesson Of Lot's Sons And Daughters In Sodom).
The Messiah's Birth was the fulfillment of a prophecy about the Light that will bring Life (see What Gospel Did Jesus Preach?):
"4:13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:
When the Messiah taught about Light and darkness, he was speaking of spiritual and moral light and darkness. The world is filled with bright, beautiful places that are evil in attitude and behavior. The true Light is threatened as much by false light (see Who Lights Your Walk? and What Is Satan's Real Name?) as it is by darkness (see Why Can't Light Be Hidden?).
"6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 6:23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:22-23 KJV)
King Solomon lived in a bright, beautiful place. Much of it, the Temple, his palace, the city and the beautiful gardens and parks, were actually built by Solomon himself. But when he squandered the Light of the Holy Spirit, it all became a dark and dreary place, in the bright sunlight, for him (see Solomon's Ballad To Losers and Solomon's Bubbles). True beauty is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder.
"6:1 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men: 6:2 A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.
Fact Finder: What part do the eyes play in expressing thoughts and emotions?
This Day In History, June 4
781 BC: The first documented solar eclipse was recorded, in China (see also What Can You See In The Firmament Of The Heavens?).
1039: German King Henry III (Henry is the English version of Heinrich) became Holy Roman Emperor (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1411: King Charles VI granted a monopoly for the exclusive production of Roquefort cheese to the people of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon (an area of southern France).
1584: Sir Walter Raleigh established the first English colony on Roanoke Island, old Virginia (now North Carolina; Raleigh, North Carolina is named after Sir Walter Raleigh).
1760: 22 ships carrying New England planters arrived in Nova Scotia to replace the Acadians. Many of the Acadians moved to the French colonies of Louisiana where they became known by the abbreviation "Cajuns."
1783: First flight: French brothers Etienne and Joseph Montgolfier made the first public flight of a hot-air balloon.
1792: Captain George Vancouver claimed Puget Sound for Britain.
1800: Construction of the original White House was completed. It was burned in August 1814 by British Marines during the War of 1812-14 in retaliation for the U.S. burning and looting of the Parliament Building in Toronto months before.
1831: The Belgian Congress proclaimed Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg as the first king of Belgium after the southern provinces split with the Netherlands.
1878: Under the terms of the Cyprus Convention, the Ottoman Empire ceded Cyprus to the United Kingdom (see also A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1920: The Treaty of Trianon. Signed after the First World War by Hungary and the allies (excluding U.S. and U.S.S.R.), it reduced Hungary by one third, and deprived it of access to the sea; it gave Transylvania, the East Banat, and other districts to Romania; Slovakia and Ruthenia to Czechoslovakia; Croatia, Slavonia and the West Banat to Yugoslavia; the Bergenland to Austria.
1928: Zhang Zuolin, the President of the Republic of China, was assassinated by Japanese agents.
1939: The MS St. Louis, a German ocean liner with 963 Jewish refugees aboard, was denied permission to land in Florida, after being turned away from Cuba. Forced to return to Europe, more than 200 of its passengers later died in Nazi concentration camps.
1940: The British completed the evacuation of 300,000 troops from Dunkirk. Prime Minister Winston Churchill made his famous speech to the House of Commons: "we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender..."
1941: Kaiser (the German form of Caesar) Wilhelm II, ninth king of Prussia and third German emperor from 1888-1918, died in exile in the Netherlands.
1942: The 3-day Battle of Midway, the turning point in the sea war in the Pacific during the Second World War, began. The Japanese lost 4 aircraft carriers, 1 cruiser and 248 aircraft, with a total of 3,057 killed; the U.S. lost 1 aircraft carrier, 1 cruiser and 150 aircraft, with a total of 307 killed.
1944: Rome fell to the Allied forces, becoming the first Axis (Berlin, Rome, Tokyo) capital to fall during the Second World War.
1961: At the Vienna summit, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev triggered the Berlin Crisis by threatening to sign a separate peace treaty with East Germany and ending U.S., British and French road access to East Berlin.
1986: Jonathan Pollard pleaded guilty to espionage for selling top secret U.S. military information to Israel.
1989: Hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square were killed by the Chinese army using tanks and machine guns.
1989: A natural gas explosion near Ufa, Russia, killed 575 people when two passenger trains passing each other threw sparks onto a leaking gas pipeline.
1998: Terry Nichols was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. His co-conspirator, Timothy McVeigh, was sentenced to death.