April - Reading 14

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Apr 14, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Helen

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    Mark 6:1-6 contains parallel passages to passages already read in Matthew. Verses 1-6 emphasize by the retelling that Jesus was the eldest of a number of siblings (half-siblings for Him) and that Mary was NOT a 'perpetual virgin' violating the marriage covenant by refusal to have sex with her husband, Joseph. But because the townspeople knew Jesus, his family, and -- so they presumed -- His background, they rejected Him as Messiah.

    How easily we ignore that with which we think we are familiar! I am the oldest of four of us. My brother is the youngest, and somehow I am still surprised at the accomplishments of this remarkable man who has maintained a successful marriage with my lovely sister-in-law for at least 25 years now, has invented something in wide demand by transit systems, has raised two fine sons, and is an elder in his church. In my mind he is still, at least partly, my pesky little brother! Isn't it funny how we see each other?

    The second section of the Mark passage provides an interesting insight which is not often noted, I think. It is the sending out of the disciples on their 'initial' run. The instructions Jesus gives them in Mark seem quite short compared to the speech in Matthew 10. Passages like this are, first of all, an indication that Mark was writing from someone else's memory (many think he was Peter's son or nephew). But it -- in this particular case -- also points out the fact that the continuation of Jesus' speech in Matthew is something else, and not actually instructions for the journey. Indeed, in Matthew 10, we end up seeing a prophecy of the church itself in extremely condensed form, which contains information for all of us in what to expect.

    ===========

    The Corinthians passage is one where Paul is pointing out the sins of the Israelite people in the wilderness, showing what they mean in our lives, and warning us against the same follies commited by the Israelites then. It is also an affirmation that Christ Himself was with these people in the wilderness. In reviewing some of these events regarding the Israelites, Paul points out, "Now these tings occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did." Obedience to God is extremely important, not only for our own wellbeing, but as a testimony to the world of His power, love, and care for us.

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    With Psalm 84, we are leaving the Psalms of Asaph and moving on to this one by "the Sons of Korah." The tone of the Psalms changes radically at this point. No longer are we focusing on the rebelliousness of man and anger of God, but rather on the hearts of those who love and long for Him.

    As such, many of the lines of this Psalm are well-known both from 'memory verses' and from hymns. Here are some of them:

    How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty
    My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord.

    Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
    they are ever praising you.
    Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
    who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.

    They go from strength to strength,
    till each appears before God in Zion.

    Better is one day on your courts
    than a thousand elsewhere;
    I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

    O Lord Almighty,
    blessed is the man who trusts in you.


    Amen.
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening all -

    Helen, I hesitate to post behind you because I want people to see your name on the index page. I am grateful, though, that you leave the comments on Judges to me. I, personally, am very much enjoying this Old Testament text!

    Today in Judges, we read the account of Gideon. By now, the reader has probably picked up on how the Book is written in a very formal literary style. The calling of the Judge is usually proceeded by the Israelites doing evil and then crying out to God. The story of Gideon is the central story of Judges and demonstrates one of the main failures of the Jewish people at this time. Despite numerous warnings from Moses and Joshua, they have begun to worship Baal.

    Gideon is an ordinary Joe at the beginning of the story, even lower class and because of this, he feels inadequate to the task and three times asks for proof that it is indeed God that wants him to be this type of leader. All three times God patiently demonstrates His Power and finally Gideon is convinced.

    Gideon's first mission is to destroy the altar that the Jews have erected to Baal and is told to build a "proper" altar to God. Still a bit unsure of himself, Gideon performs this task under the cover of darkness. When confronted by his townspeople, Joash, Gideon's father, replies that if Baal is so powerful, let him defend himself. This must have been an eye opener for these folks.

    In verse 6:33, the scene shifts to the coallition forces of the Midianites, Amalekites, and the other eastern people moving across the Jordan to set up camp from which they would engage the Israeli forces. The Jews were still a formidable military force and a coallition of this type was the best bet that their enemies had for defeating them.

    Now Gideon assembles 32,000 men to move against this encroaching army. God instructs Gideon that a defeat of the enemy by this many men would not be viewed as a divine victory so some had to be weeded out. Gideon says to his army that anyone who "trembles with fear" can leave. More than two-thirds of his troops abandon the effort. God says that even 10,000 is too many men so as a second filter, Gideon takes his troops to the water (Jordan?) and commands them to drink. The men that kneel down to drink are excused but the men who remain standing and lap the water become the invading force. This was a mere 300 men going against a force of an untold number of troops!

    Gideon does some simple reconnaisance and realizes that the invading army recognizes that vicory is God's from hearing a conversation about a dream one of the enemy troops had. Gideon uses the element of surprise and by the use of sudden illumination and trumpet blasts around the encampment, sends the invading forces into confusion to where they even fall to each other's swords! The rest broke ranks and made a hasty retreat.

    Now THAT is a good Bible story!!!

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  4. Gwyneth

    Gwyneth
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    Dear Clint, Really enjoyed reading about Gideon tonight, Thanks to both you and Helen for your helpful and encouraging commentaries .How many of us are still aboard , and reading?
    Gwyneth
     
  5. RodH

    RodH
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    I'm still here too Gwyneth. The further we get, the more determined I get to make it to the finish. I also appreciate the work of Clint keeping the Forum going. I am still caught up and I do still read the comments here almost every day. [​IMG]
     
  6. Jeff_From_Dallas

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    Hi all,
    New to the site and new to this forum. I was very excited to see a forum that allows me to jump into a bible study online! I think it's wonderful. Many kudos to Clint.
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Nice to have you with us, Jeff! Please feel free to jump in with comments or questions at any time. [​IMG]
     
  8. Gwyneth

    Gwyneth
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    hello

    I`m still reading with this group, and still learning and finding new things to learn. Thanks for the help and support from Clint and Helen.
    PS I am using NIV this year, but still revert to KJV for the Psalms I feel the language there suits better....... MHO only.
    Gwyneth
     
  9. mark brandwein

    mark brandwein
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    Great study, I enjoy learning something new each day!!
     
  10. Clint Kritzer

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