August - Reading 2

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Aug 2, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening –

    Tonight our reading in Ezra shows the re-establishment of the sacrifices being made to God by the returning exiles. It is significant that the sacrifices begin before the rebuilding of the Temple. Even Solomon had known that though the Temple was built for God, no structure was for the containment of God (1Kings 8:27; Jeremiah 7: 4-14). This time in the history of the nation of Israel was a very important time for rebuilding morale and to re-establish the relationship with God that they had forsaken.
    The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah contain some very emotional passages, one of which we read tonight. Verses 3:10 – 13 show the mixed emotions of the people as they begin building the foundations for the Temple. I believe that the older folks wept because they remembered the stories of their parents and grandparents of the splendor of the original Temple an knew that this second Edifice would never match to that splendor.

    In Luke we read of the healing of the crippled woman on the Sabbath. The Pharisees were basing their judgement on the Fourth Commandment regarding the Sabbath (Exodus 20:9-10). Healing on the Sabbath would become one of the main charges levied against Christ by the Pharisees. Christ rebukes the Pharisees because they feigned zeal for the Law when in fact their main motivation was to bring charges against Him.
    The parable concerning the mustard seed as discussed earlier in the year in our reading of Matthew is significant because of the small size of the mustard seed. It is a very tiny grain yet it grows into a very large broadleaf shade tree.

    In 1Timothy we see more of the humility of Paul. It’s obvious that this man felt great remorse for his past and his persecution of the Christians and was very grateful to God for his salvation.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Aaron

    Aaron
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    In the reading from Luke Jesus demonstrates the true Sabbath observance. It was not a day to do nothing, it was a day to do God's work.
    Hebrews makes it clear that Jesus is our Sabbath rest. We honor every day alike, because everyday we are about the business of Heaven, just as the Levites under the Law. They "profaned" the Sabbath and remained blameless (Matt. 12:5), because everyday they were about God's work.

    We search the Law and the Prophets in vain for any prohibition against the actions of Christ in this passage.

    So let us everyday, honor God by doing His work, for he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His, Hebrews 4:10.
     
  4. Abiyah

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    I should have written earlier, but I got side-
    tracked. The Ezra reading was exciting to me,
    because I could almost feel the people's
    excitement as the Temple's foundation was laid,
    and they gathered there, to do the service of our
    God, with the shofars and cymbals and with anti-
    phonal singing. How beautiful it must have been!
    I can imagine the tear-streaked faces as they
    sang to our Lord because He is good and His
    love endures, though nations fall and even His
    own Temple crumbles.

    When they gave the shout because the Temple's
    foundation was laid, and the shouts of joy were
    mingled with the weeping, so that the sound was
    heard in the distance, I could not help but
    remember similar scenes in more modern days.

    I lived in Mississippi during some of the days
    of church-burnings in the 50s and 60s, and, of
    course, there were church and temple burnings
    in the 70s, 80s, and 90s in the U.S.A.

    I thought of the excitement that must have been
    there as the new foundations were laid and the
    people gathered to worship--the shouts and
    weeping that must have gone up then, too.

    These congregations were fighting a similar
    battle, although on a smaller scale, knowing
    that they took their lives in their hands to go to
    their churches and temples. They knew that the
    same ones who burned their buildings were
    still around and could do it again. But they built,
    and they sang, and they preached anyway.

    Gloria Gaither, I think it may have been (or
    someone before her), wrote that our God has
    always had a people, and they have survived
    all kinds of calamity but came out with a shout.
    That is because our God is the One who brings
    us through--not we ourselves.

    And I think that although we may not always
    agree with the theologies of these people in
    the modern-day church- and temple-burnings,
    didn't we all let out a shout in some way when
    they rebuilt? If only we could retain that respect,
    that appreciation, for out believing brothers
    and sisters today, rather than cutting one
    another down and continuing the fights.

    I have appreciated, more than ever before,
    the jobs done by mediators: the clear-headed
    responses rather than reactions, over the last
    couple of days. I had no idea before a few days
    ago what a job they have. Would I want that
    job? NO!

    [ August 04, 2002, 12:58 PM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  5. Abiyah

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    Aaron --

    Since you are a seminary student, may I give
    you a challenge? 8o) It is a small one. I suggest
    reading Hebrews 4:1 - 13, and for every time you
    see these words, write down their meanings from
    Greek:
    * rest (or rested)
    * Ssabbath

    The history & theology of:
    * rest
    * "To day" (or "Today") and David,
    * "another day"

    When you are through, write out verses 8 - 11,
    using what you have learned. You may find it
    interesting. 8o)

    [ August 04, 2002, 01:18 PM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  6. Aaron

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    I have done something similar long ago.
     
  7. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    On these verses?
     
  8. Aaron

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    Absolutely. ;)

    I did so for the sake of the many discussions I have had with my Adventist friends on this issue.

    Feel free to comment upon them.
     
  9. Abiyah

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    No, Aaron. I don't believe I will. 8o) I know what
    you believe, and it is likely that you know what I
    believe. 8o) I did not really come on this site to
    argue, which is what could happen, because
    neither of us would change the other. 8o) I
    respect the general Baptist position regardless
    that my Baptist-Messianic position is different.

    8o) On another forum, I am more blunt.

    [ August 05, 2002, 08:52 PM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  10. Aaron

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    Actually, we are probably more alike than different in this respect. [​IMG]
     
  11. Abiyah

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    Could be! 8o)
     
  12. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School lecture - 3/7/04 Part II

    Christ Came to Save Sinners - 1Timothy 1:12-17

    Also typical of Paul's Letters, we find here a prayer of thanksgiving. Atypically, however, the prayer comes after the first argument has been addressed. This shows the importance Paul placed on his charge to Timothy. The prayer, however, reinforces his argument. In a nutshell, the Law, nor debates about the Law, does not save sinners. To the contrary it is God's Grace through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, and God's Grace alone that saves sinners. Paul in these verses sets himself forth as an example of the mercy of God's Grace.

    As stated in our discussion of Galatians 1:14 and Philippians 3:4-6 and as it is recorded early in Acts, Paul was a major persecutor of the Christian Body. He was a "blasphemer" in that he denied the Divinity of Christ, a "persecutor" when he attempted to destroy Christianity. He was an "insolent opponent (KJV - injurous)" as he oversaw the executions of the early martyrs.

    However, despite these sins, Christ still saw fit to appoint him an Apostle. His commission was an expression of God's Grace. It overflowed with faith and love and showed an unbelieving world that Jesus Christ was patient with a sinful world. Paul believed that when people saw that even he could be saved, it would give them the hope of Christ.

    Also of note in this Passage is the phrase "This saying is trustworthy… (KJV - This is a faithful saying…)". Paul uses this phrase six times in the Pastorals and nowhere else in Scripture. It precedes a quote from a source since lost to us, probably an early hymn. He underscores the introduction with the qualifier "…and deserving of full acceptance." The quoted phrase, that Christ came into the world to save sinners, is the heart of the Gospel and all Christian teaching. Anything that contradicts this Message is not sound doctrine.

    Fulfill Your Orders as a Soldier - 1Timothy 1:18-20

    In verse 18, Paul returns to his original intention of the Letter as expressed in verses 1:3&5: to give Timothy his charge. In the simplest of terms it was to wage the good warfare. Paul affectionately refers to Timothy as "son" and reminds him of the "prophecies" that had pointed Paul to Timothy. Again, interpretation of this particular phrase varies somewhat. Some contend that Timothy was actually selected by revelation to an individual prophet or perhaps a council of elders as mentioned in 4:14. Others maintain that the term "prophecy" is being used a as figure of speech as we do even in the modern times with such phrases as "mark my words" or "no good will come of that one." Either interpretation holds merit and we can not discount either.

    The arsenal at Timothy the soldier's disposal was faith and good conscience. Both of these require fortitude from God. It is through this fortitude that Timothy would stay the course in Ephesus and remain a good soldier. Those who reject the fortitude offered by God for faith and good conscience make shipwreck their faith.

    Paul then proceeds to name two people who as examples of those who had made shipwreck of their faith. Hymenaeus is mentioned again in 2Timothy 2:17 as continuing to promote false teachings and Alexander may be the coppersmith mentioned in 2Timothy 4:14 who did Paul harm, but Alexander was such a common name of the time we can not say this with full confidence.

    Paul tells Timothy that he delivered these two men to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. This phrase was an early Jewish and a Pauline term for excommunication as used in 1Corinthians 5:5, 12-13. The purpose was not vindictive but was instead that they would learn. Such should always be the purpose of discipline. 2Corinthians 2:5-8
     
  13. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School lecture - 1/4/04 Part II

    Proverbs

    General Advice on the Nature and Value of Wisdom (2:1-22)


    In verses 1-4 the student is called upon to be receptive and zealous towards wisdom. He is instructed to receive, treasure up, make his ear attentive, incline his heart, etc. He is also told to cry out for understanding.

    Verses 5-8 assure the student that his quest will be rewarded. His quest will end with the knowledge of God. God is not only the source, essence, and starting point of wisdom, He is also the giver of it, just as we learned in James 1:5. The "sound wisdom" spoken of in verse 7 carries the idea of practical sense, power of action and help.

    Verse 9-11 further assures that the student will gain moral understanding. This results from wisdom coming into the mind and knowledge into the soul. The student will gain discretion and understanding. Discretion is an alert or an effective guard. This discretion will guard him against the men described in verse 12-15.

    In 16-19 the focus shifts from evil men to immoral women Most interpreters believe that this was originally in reference to women who belonged to fertility cults. These posed a constant threat to the Jewish community. That they "forsake the companion of their youth and forget the covenant of their God" may mean that that they have forsaken the covenant of their marriage to which God was witness. It could also mean that she is a foreigner in covenant with a foreign god. There is also a possibility that the author is referring to an Israelite who has turned apostate and converted to a foreign cult.
     
  14. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School lesson – 1/28/04 - continued

    Luke 13:10-17 The Cure of a Crippled Woman

    The Passage opens with the setting of Jesus teaching one of the synagogues. Though He often taught in the synagogues of Galilee, this is the only mention of this setting in the latter part of the ministry. That this was occurring on the Sabbath sets the stage for the upcoming conflict.

    The malady with which the woman suffered is described as a "spirit of infirmity," indicating that it was due to the power of demons. The woman had suffered from the debilitating condition for eighteen years when Jesus found her and He took the initiative of healing her.

    This act provoked anger from the ruler of the synagogue because it violated the rabbinical traditions surrounding the Sabbath. As the ruler, he was the religious leader and he had assumed the role of the scribes by mandating the interpretation of the Mosaic Law. Jesus rebukes him and all those who hold like interpretation by pointing out that they are willing to give aid to their animals but not this poor woman in need of healing.

    By healing the woman, Jesus had once again displayed the power of God. Satan had bound the woman, God had loosed her. The woman's affliction represented satan's desire to frustrate God's Purpose in creation. Unlike His own impending suffering, this woman had not voluntarily chosen to take on this infirmity. Therefore, to heal with the power of God in a place of worship for God in order to carry out God's purpose should not have drawn criticism from on who claimed to be a servant of God. The ruler's hypocrisy lay in the fact that he was more concerned about carrying out man's traditions than carrying out the justice and love of God. (Luke 11:42)

    Luke 13:18-21 The Mustard Seed and the Leaven

    The mustard plant invites proverbial statements as its seed is so tiny but the plant upon maturing can reach a height of ten feet. The parable here expresses Jesus' confidence in the Kingdom of God. At this point in history, those who received His message were few in number. His opponents were numerous and powerful. Yet despite the seemingly overwhelming opposition, the seed had taken root and would soon grow to a very large stature. God's sovereignty would insure the success of His ministry.

    Leaven was fermented dough that had been saved from a previous mixture. Three measures of flour would be a rather large amount, scholars reckon it to be about a bushel. Nonetheless, when that small amount of leaven is introduced to the new mixture, it eventually works its way through the dough until it rises and becomes suitable for baking. The parable here is easily seen as an allegory for the spread of the Gospel in the years following the Crucifixion as the church began to spread throughout the known world.

    Though characteristically a figure for evil in New Testament writing, the silent, mysterious working of leaven makes it also a good figure for the Kingdom of Heaven.
     
  15. Clint Kritzer

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    Ezra

    Ezra 3:1-13 The Restoration of the Cult

    Chapter 2 consists of rather long lists of names of returnees to the Promised Land. That chapter ends with a statement that they settled in and around Jerusalem to begin their restoration of the city.

    There was an uneasy feeling for these refugees, however, as they were now in territory that had been claimed by new groups of people. Most notably were the new breed known as Samaritans who were the Yahweh worshipping half breeds descendant from the Israelites who had remained and the Babylonian immigrants who had settled the land while under Babylonian control. Even with the blessings of Cyrus, this was a very dangerous time for a practically nomadic group of settlers.

    The first act of the returnees after establishing their homes was to rebuild the altar used for the sacrifices. It is very noteworthy that this construction began on the first day of the seventh month, Tisri, as this was the time for the new year celebration and the Holiness Code (Leviticus 23:23-25) and the priestly legislation (Number 29:1) forbid work on that day. When the text says that it was built according to the instructions of Moses it is most likely referring to the use of uncut field stones for the construction material. Their desire to begin the sacrifices must have been quite dire.

    Ezra 3:7-13 The First Attempt to Rebuild the Temple

    Feeling reassured by their attempt at obedience to the sacrificial system, the returnees turn their attention to the next major task at hand, the rebuilding of the Temple. Masons were hired to cut the large stones into flat-sided surfaces and carpenters likely carved designs and did the rudimentary scaffoldings and moving devices. We see that these laborers were reimbursed at least in part by the Persian coffers.

    The Chronicler credits Zerubbabel and Jeshua with laying the foundation of the Temple as well as having built the altar. In 5:16 he explicitly states that Sheshbazaar had laid the foundation. This is one of the incongruencies in the timeline spoken of in the introduction. The most likely explanation is that the chronology has been altered at this juncture. Sheshbazaar’s attempt at rebuilding the foundation was aborted while Zerubbabel and Jeshua were able to complete the task.

    Upon completion of the foundation, the people responded with praise and worship of God for their success to date. The reaction of the people is quite interesting. The younger members of the community were overjoyed with their accomplishment but the older members who could still remember Solomon’s temple from their youth wept, knowing that Israel’s golden age was past and would not be restored.
     
  16. jilphn1022

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    Clint, Thanks for making this possible for us who want to read the Bible
    through in a year! Great blessings to you and your lovely family!!
     
  17. Clint Kritzer

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