August - Reading 7

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Aug 7, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good afternoon -

    Our Scriptural passages for today are:

    Luke 15:1-10

    1 Timothy 5:1-15

    Proverbs 7

    Ezra 9

    May God continue to bless you as you read from His Word.

    [ August 07, 2003, 10:07 AM: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
     
  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening –

    Tonight we ended the portion of Scriptures known as the “Ezra Memoirs.” This first person account of the acts of the people of Israel upon the return of the second wave of exiles confirms the humble yet authoritative spirit of this great Jewish leader. The focus of the passage this evening involves the topic of intermarriage a mere four months after the return to Jerusalem. In verse 3 the “pulling of hair from the beard and head” is unique to this portion of the Bible. A great comparison to this is found in Nehemiah 13:25. Nehemiah will pull out the hair of the offender! Ezra’s prayer is a plea to the Lord and a sermon to the people. The Jews always had a history of not trusting intermarriage even as far back as Jacob (Genesis 26:34-35) and this was late confirmed by the Lord through Moses (Exodus 34:16).

    The message of Luke is once again quite clear this evening. The Good Shepherd will take the time to look for the lost sheep. The image of the Messiah as the Good Shepherd was very prevelant to the Jews in Christ’s audience (Psalm 23, Isaiah 40:11, Ezekiel 34:11-16). One further note on this passage is that the coin spoken of is likely a drachma, a Greek coin made of silver worth about one days wages. This shows our worth to the Savior.

    An interesting note on the reading in 1Timothy this evening: Aaron and I were once in a debate over the verse citing the “list” of widows spoken of in verse 9. I contended that the list was one compiled by the church in Ephesus of widows that were supported by the church. Aaron contended that the list was of women deacons. I looked around and found both interpretations in different commentaris. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide.
    Matthew Henry Complete

    Jamieson Fausset Brown

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Aaron

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    Just dropped by to say, "Still reading." Clint mentioned the widows-thing (how's that for theological jargon?), so I'll leave it at that ;) .
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lecture – 1/11/04 PartIV

    Proverbs 7 - Instructions on the Seductive Power of the Strange Woman

    The Preventive Power of Commandments and Wisdom (7:1-5)


    Here the wisdom teacher asserts his authority not only from experience, and generational learning, but also from his words, commandments and teachings. This makes these teachings not only authoritative but also mandatory. The student is told to keep the teachings as "the apple of his eye", literally, the "little man of your eye," meaning the pupil. Just as the pupil allows in illumination, so to will these teachings keep a man from living in darkness. Binding them on his finger would keep them always in sight. Keeping them on the tablet of his heart would make them a part of his inner being and he responds automatically and accordingly in every situation by the behavior they prescribe.

    Wisdom is personified in verse 4 as the antithesis of the loose woman. The term "you are my sister" is almost certainly meant to mean bride or wife as it does in Song of Songs. Intimate friend, on the other hand, likely means kinsman or relative. As we see in Ruth, the kinsman is a protector. Thus, the wise man is figuratively married to wisdom and protected by insight. These two will preserve the student from the loose woman.

    A Young Man Snared by Seduction (7:6-23)

    In this Passage, the style of the author breaks from the formal writing of the Instructional proverb and becomes more narrative. This allows more vividness and color into the writing. There is little need for comment on the meaning of the text beyond a reliable translation. The wisdom teacher simply tells a story about a scene from his window in which he witnessed a young man led to his death by succumbing to the loose woman.

    The Chambers of Death (7:24-27)

    This short exhortation refers back to the woman described in verses 6-23. The wisdom teacher is confident that the student is capable of making the correct decisions when the instructions of wisdom are in the student's heart, i.e. his intellect.

    The loose woman's house is not the place of festal joy and sexual pleasure she describes in verses 14-20. Instead it is a place of death where many victims have been laid low. Her house is the convergence of the roads that lead to Sheol and the halls of death. There is no return from there.
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School Lecture – 3/28/04 Part I

    1 Timothy 5:1-6:2a

    Paul continues his instructions to Timothy regarding his conduct within the church. He moves from discussing Timothy's conduct with his opponents to conduct within the congregation relating to specific groups.

    1Timothy 5:1-2 Conduct in Regards to Older and Younger Persons

    Paul begins by naming four general groups: older men, older women, younger men, and younger women. The different groups are likened to family members.

    In this context, the term "elder," or presbuteros, refers to aged men in general, not the title of the office within the church. The term "not rebuke" carries the connotation of not being harsh, dictatorial or denunciatory. Instead, when confronting an older man, one should treat them as they would their father. This positive discipline would carry much further than negative censure.

    1Timothy 5:3-16 Widows

    A large portion of this Passage is dedicated to the discussion of widows within the church. Care of this portion of society was of special concern in both the Old and the New Testaments (Deuteronomy 24:17; Acts 6:1). As a fairly new mission in a rather populated and well-traveled city, the church at Ephesus likely attracted a great many widows into their congregation.

    Most modern scholarship favors a view of this entire Passage that supports the notion that there was a roster of widows to which the church offered financial and spiritual support. If we assume this interpretation, Paul is giving Timothy instructions on how to narrow this list as this class must have been becoming somewhat burdensome to the church.

    That we are to "honor" widows implies more than just recognition of the women's status. It implies also that we are to show respect to this class. It is also highly likely that at the time financial aid was made available to widows as there was no type of government aid as we have today. Even so, Paul encourages Timothy to segregate those that are "true widows (KJV - widows indeed)" and allow those that were able to receive their support from their own families. In this way they would learn religion at home.

    Paul provides a litmus test for the "real" widow. She has set her hope on God and she continues in her prayers "night and day." This continuous prayer is evidence of one who is worthy of honor.

    On the other hand, there is the "self-indulgent (KJV - liveth in pleasure)" widow. Such a one is spiritually dead in that the only "true" life is the one that is lived for God.

    In verse 8 Paul states forthrightly that any children of a widowed woman who do not take care of their mother are worse than infidels (unbelievers). His point is that even among pagan societies, human beings take care of their own. The family is the earliest institution of God and such behavior is inherent in our make up.

    It is at verse 9 that modern scholarship deviates from that of merely a century ago. While modern scholars feel that these instructions continue the discussion of pruning the charitable roster of widows, early commentaries favor a view that Paul here begins discussing an "order" of widows. These would be the elderly widows who served to minister to the needs of the church, the orphans, and those of the same status as themselves. In short, these would be female deacons. Support for the older view is quite strong, in my opinion, as one compares the list of qualifications in verse 10 to the qualifications for overseers or deacons in chapter 3.

    In either case, whether we view these qualifications as being for "real" widows or for an order of widows, the list has three major components: That the widow be
    1. Over the age of 60;
    2. The wife of one man and;
    3. Of good reputation.

    The phrase "wife of one man" must be interpreted by the same criteria as the phrase "husband of one wife" discussed in chapter 2. As for the qualification of a good reputation, Paul sets forth certain standards. (1) She must have reared children. For those that support the view of an order of widows this implies not only or necessarily their own children but also orphans, another class protected and supported by Judaism and the early church. (2) She must have been hospitable, again, a major concern in the transitory city of Ephesus. (3) She must have washed the feet of the saints. The term saints is a term applied to all Christians by Paul. Feetwashing, while a common practice in the time due to the dusty roads, was also exemplified by Christ as a symbolic act of servitude (John 13:14-15). (4) She should have relieved the afflicted.

    Paul summarizes this list saying that they should have followed every good work. This would include not only almsgiving, but a genuine testimony to the Indwelling Spirit.

    Paul now turns his attention to the younger widows. The fact that Paul took special attention to this class indicates that there must have been a problem occurring with this sect. The KJV rendering of "shun" is likely very accurate for Paul's intent. This is the same wording he used for rejecting the sectarian's "silly myths." We must not reject the possibility that Timothy, as a young man, was potentially vulnerable to the sexual desires of these younger women. Also, their desire for marriage was causing them to act "against Christ" by violating their "first pledge (KJV - first faith)." This violation may be either (1) the initial commitment of faith connected with joining the church, or (2) a vow of fidelity or chastity taken when one was enrolled on the "list of widows" in the Ephesian church.

    Also of concern was that with no family to occupy their time, the younger widows had become idle and "busybodies." The original Greek term for busybodies may imply that these women had even gone so far as to practice some sort of magic, a common practice among the pagans in Ephesus. The same term is used by Luke in Acts 19:19 to describe Jewish sorcerers in the same city. Further support for this interpretation is found in the phrase "saying what they should not" as this could refer to incantations.

    In light of these problems with the young widows in Ephesus, Paul issues a decree. "I would have" or "I will therefore" is a euphemism for "I command." Paul commands that the younger widows return to the God pleasing order for women in society: that they marry, have children and manage their homes. In this way they would give the adversary no occasion to slander the church. The term "adversary" could refer to the opponents of the church or satan himself as verse 15 confirms. Because of the actions of this class of church members, the reputation of the entire church was at stake. Returning to married life would squelch this difficulty.

    Paul concludes his discourse about widows with a statement that sums up the whole discussion. Everybody should contribute to the relief of widows so that the burden on the church would be lessened. The statement seems to indicate that a woman of means could keep other widows in her home if they did not have any family to do so.
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School lesson – 12/12/05

    Luke 15

    Chapter 15 of Luke contains three Parables all centering around the theme of rejoicing over the recovery of the lost. The Parable of the Lost Coin and the Parable of the Lost Son occur only in Luke. Matthew contains the Parable of the Lost Sheep in chapter 18:12-14 but in that context it is directed towards the Disciples and teaches the lesson of responsibility towards "little ones," that is to say the weaker members of the community. Here in Luke 15, the first two verses set the scene against which we must interpret the lessons being imparted.

    Luke 15:1-2 The Attitude of the Jewish Leaders

    The reception of the "sinners" by Jesus concretely demonstrates their inclusion in the Kingdom of God. Once again, the term "sinners" indicates these people's inability or lack of zeal towards participating in the increasingly complex system of religious ritual as dictated by the scribes and Pharisees. To actually sit and eat with them was an extension of God's forgiving Grace. To the observing Pharisees this practice flew in the face of convention. To their way of thinking, Jesus, who was obviously a good Man, a righteous man, was defiling Himself with these associations. He was in effect ignoring the social norms established by the religious leaders of His day.

    Luke 15:3-7 The Parable of the Lost Sheep

    Should any man lose something that he considers precious, he will make an effort to recover it. In this Parable, even though the owner still owns ninety-nine other sheep, the one that is lost consumes his attention. The ones that remain safe and in his care are no compensation for the animal that is lost and in danger.

    Jesus tells us that the owner of the sheep will leave the ninety-nine in order to find the lost one. He will not relent until he finds it. When he does find it, he throws it over his shoulder in order to carry it home. Once there he calls together his acquaintances to share in his jubilation.

    The Parable is briefly explained in verse 7. The fellowship that the sinners share with Jesus marks their repentance. The fellowship that Jesus shares with the sinners marks their forgiveness. The life of Jesus is God's quest to find the lost sheep of His fold. When one of these is found, there is rejoicing in Heaven.

    The Pharisees and scribes who were looking at Jesus with such indignation would have rejoiced over the recovery of animals but they act in dismay at the recovery of men. They are resentful over the very acts that make God glad! They had convinced themselves that they, the so-called righteous, were more valuable in God's sight than the poor sinners. Jesus, however, deals a blow to their pride by telling them that God rejoices more over the recovery of one of these lost than ninety-nine of them.

    The term "righteous persons (KJV - just persons) who need no repentance" should probably be read as being ironic, actually meaning "self-righteous persons who feel they need no repentance." The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector demonstrate the inadequacy of the Pharisees' attitude towards their justification before God. Luke 18:9-14

    The Pharisees' faults did not lie within their morality necessarily. Their problem was in their attitude towards their fellow man. Like so many "good" religious people, they had become judgmental and unforgiving. The measured others by the standards they had themselves established and become legalistic. As such, they did not recognize the need for grace, thus they did not receive grace, thus they could not impart it. It was not the sinner's sinning that caused rejoicing in Heaven but his repentance. It was not the Pharisee's righteousness that excluded him from the Messianic banquet but his attitude towards his fellow man. Isaiah 64:6

    Luke 15:8-10 The Parable of the Lost Coin

    A single piece of silver, a drachma, was comparable to our quarter, about twenty-five cents. However, to the ancient world this represented about a day's wages. What is important in this Parable is that the ten silver coins were all that the woman had. They represented her total wealth.

    In this Parable, the persistence of the woman is the focus. The home being described in which she lived was poorly lit making it necessary to light a lamp to see well. By sweeping the dirt floor of her hut she eventually brings the lost coin into the light. When the coin is found the woman rejoices and invites her neighbors to also celebrate.

    The lost were being found in the light of Christ and this Parable was an invitation for the Pharisees to rejoice with God over the recovery of the lost. If the recovery of one sinner was a cause for joy in Heaven, one can only imagine the exultation of God over the multitudes being brought back into fellowship. The invitation to rejoice with God before the angels was a call for repentance to the indignant scribes Pharisees of verse 2.
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

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