January - Reading 9

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Brother Adam, Jan 9, 2002.

  1. Brother Adam

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  2. Clint Kritzer

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    Good evening all:

    I thought about Helen's assertion of the book of Genesis being written by numerous authors as I read today's scripture. This chapter was done in a totally different style than anything we have read thus far. The repetition we find in verses 34 - 48 seem to be a written form of an oral tradition story. By recapping the story, the orator would both reinforce his story to his audience and would catch any new listeners up with the story in progress. This is just my guess, but I do credit Helen for getting me thinking about it.
    The verse that really stood out for me was verse 45. The unnamed servant states that he "prayed in his heart". Many non-believers claim that scripture contradicts itself. As I have aged, I have come to realize that the scriptures stay consistent but we get different glimpses into the nature of God and even the belief system itself. This "praying in the heart" is consistent with Nehemiah's style and later with the instructions of Christ in Matthew 6:6. Prayer is not for show (Mark 12:40) but is rather a personal, private communication with God.
    All in all, Genesis 24 is the start of a beautiful love story. In another 2000 years from this acount, when Christ meets the woman at the well, she will be at the well named for Isaac and Rebekah's son, Jacob. How neat that we also met Rebekah at a well.

    In Matthew 4:20, it is a testimony to Simon (Peter), Andrew,James and John that they, independent business men, would immediately abandon their work to follow a man they just met. Mark's account is almost identical to Matthew's. In Luke chapter 5, the author adds a bit more to the account. Dr. Luke was such a stickler for detail! The book of John, however, attests to the fact that Christ was becoming well known in the Galilean area. All four gospels mentioning this calling of the first disciples shows the importance of the event.

    Finally, a question on the reading of Acts. In the appeal to his fellow pharisees, do you suppose Gamaliel was influenced by God, was influenced by the accounts of the dramatic events surrounding the crucifixion, or was he just a good, wise man who deserved his position of leadership? Comments?

    May god bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Helen

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    I love your comments, Clint! I hope others are reading these things, too. I am getting a tremendous amount out of it myself, but I don't want to be selfish about it!

    I never thought about that at Jacob's well. That's special...

    Like you, I have noted the immediacy with which the followers left their business to follow Christ. This, though, is why they made good disciples, is it not? They chose Jesus first -- not after income taxes... [​IMG]

    Jesus healed everyone. Believers or not, Jews or not, it seemed that no one who came to Him was refused. That is a lovely picture and promise for today as well. And yet, the truth is, those people were gone when push came to shove three years later. And how like that we are, too, "Jesus, I'll take the healing and the miracles, then leave me alone to lead my own life, thank you!"

    Following Jesus is easy until He starts heading uphill....

    Regarding the Acts passages today, there is quite a bit to notice.

    First, the apostles were arrested because the Sadducees were jealous! What a way to go! A bunch of little kids stamping their feet!

    And then the miraculous deliverance which left all the authorities more than puzzled.

    And then another arrest, but this time look what their complain to the apostles is:

    "You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood1"

    It seems jealousy and guilt were walking hand in hand in their little Sadduceean hearts...

    The apostles' response? Repeat the charge! Let's not get shy about this! "We must obey God rather than men! Ths God of our faithers raised Jesus from the dead -- whom you had killled by hanging him on a tree..." and then they tell them who Christ was/is!

    The ruling elders are now totally furious, and here is where Gamaliel steps in. He was a respected teacher of the law. Perhaps he was respected simply because he did not behave in a hypocritical manner? At any event, he had common sense! If the new movement was fraudulent, it would die of its own accord as others before it had done. But if it was from God, then get out of the way! I would love to have known his tone of voice when he mentioned the last option. Was he a secret believer talking sincerely, or was he just trying to avoid a bloodbath and talking a bit scornfully?

    And the disciples' reaction? To rejoince because they had been ALLOWED to suffer. How many of us have that attitude, rather than whining, "But why meeeeeee, God????"


    I have a suggestion to those who are following along with this Bible study. Read Psalm 9 a little slowly, aloud. You will find yourself responding with both praise and pleading to David's words!


    In Genesis 24, please notice that Abraham wants a wife for his son from among his own family. Abraham himself was married to his half-sister, Sarah. Close family marriages were preferred then. It was not until the time of Moses that incest was both defined and forbidden. Genetically, the human genetic package (called the 'genome'), was not yet hosting enough mutations to make close marriages dangerous.

    These close marriages are also a picture of what God wants of us. We are brothers and sisters in the Lord. Marry in the family!

    Note Abraham's servant: he does not argue with his master, but obeys immediately. Reminds me of those disciples Jesus called! And when he had obeyed as far as he could, he asked God for help. This is a terrific example for all of us. We do not need to know the final destination or response, we only need to know to obey as far as we are told at any one time, and then turn to God for more directions or help. The servant was also not shy about asking God for a sign, which God also provided faithfully.

    And God had prepared Rebekkah's heart. Everything was ready.

    But imagine if the servant hadn't obeyed! How much could have been mixed up! God can work through anything we do, and that would not have been a problem for Him, but it sure would have caused the human race further problems. I don't know what, but looking at the Hagar story, I know further problems would have come!

    And so Isaac gets the bride God had prepared for him, and was comforted after his mother's death.

    Clint, this tablet is that of Isaac himself, who includes Ishmael's geneology in 25:12-18 and then signs off himself in verse 26. The next tablet author, Jacob, whose tablet, with two inclusions from Esau, ends in 37:2.
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

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    Hi Helen -

    About the well...

    I've noticed that the three of us who post the most on this forum have three different approaches to scripture. You seem to approach the scriptures as a history text, Brother John seems more "law-minded" and approaches the scriptures as a major cross-referencing index. I think I approach the scriptures, Genesis to Revelation, as a beautifully constructed piece of literature. Indeed, the most beautiful piece of literature in the English language.

    With that in mind, the Bible requires conflict, resolution and closure to be the great work of art that it is. (Please, noone get me wrong here. The scriptures are God's work. I think there is an element of art to ALL of God's works.) I want to jump ahead a little in our reading - actually, I suppose it will be late December.

    We read tonight how the first disciples were fishing when they received the call of Christ. Jump ahead to the Gospel of John, chapter 21. The preceeding three chapters are the events from the arrest to the resurrection and reappearance of Christ. The writing is crammed with facts, violence, prophecies, weeping, fear...all out turmoil and confusion. Then we come to chapter 21...

    Seven men, six of them disciples have left the town and are on a retreat by the sea of Tibereas. They are emotionally drained, hurt, exhausted. Peter says (and you can almost hear him), "I'm going fishing."
    He's come back to the beginning. He's exhausted from fishing for men and he now just wants to fish for fish: simple, tranquil. The other men join him and as they fish, as it was in the beginning for them, Christ appears. They don't know that it is Him, but once again they heed His advice and cast their nets to the other side of the boat and make a haul. At this point they know...

    Before leaving His commission to the apostles, Christ sits down and the eat some of the fish they caught. It's so peaceful!

    This passage is absolutely gorgeous. It is the literary eye of the storm. It is the closure. We turn the next page or two and we are back in the turmoil of Acts, but for that one moment, those couple dozen verses, all is well.

    I appreciate you posting as well, Helen. I look forward to all of the other BB members comments as well. I'm disappoited when I sign on and noone has said anything. I will keep posting everyday that I can. It's only been nine days but already this has been a good experience for me. I hope it is for anyone else who silently tip-toes through here as well.

    See ya tomorrow and May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  5. John Wells

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    Clint,

    Your illumination of chapter 21 helped me see that story in a way I have never thought about before. Not only was the "big catch" Jesus' supernatural doing, but their being on the waters for hours and catching absolutely nothing was also Jesus' supernatural doing. This highlights His former statement: "for apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5b (ESV)

    You can't catch fish! You can't catch men! Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing! But with Him, like their mind boggling net ripping catch, "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 (ESV)

    In Christ,
    John
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

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  7. Aaron

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    But a member of the Council rose to his feet, a Pharisee called Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in high regard by all the people. He moved that the men be put outside for a while. Then he said, ... 'For if this idea of theirs or its execution is of human origin, it will collapse; but if it is from God, you will never be able to put them down, and you risk finding yourselves at war with God.' Acts 5:34-39 (NEB)

    I heard Walter Martin (The Bible Answer Man, and author of The Kingdom of the Cults) comment on these verses when he was asked how he would respond when they are quoted by folks like the Mormons. Certainly the Mormons have been with us a long time and their numbers are ever growing. He said, (I'm paraphrasing) "The advice of Gamaliel is the wisdom of man, not the wisdom of God." And yet how many Christians use the same reasoning when trying to discern whether something is of heaven or not?
     
  8. RodH

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    Aaron, that sounds like a good explanation. If you took Gamaliel's statement as truth, it would mean a whole lot of false religions were "of God" including Budhism, Mormonism, Islam, etc. He probably just didn't want any more bloodshed.

    Rod
     
  9. KayDee

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    I don’t believe the account in John 1 is the actual calling (to be a disciple) of John, Andrew, Peter, Philip & Nathanael. Notice the different location & John the Baptist was talking to them (1:35) when Jesus came by and the two heard Jesus speak and followed (physically) Him. Jesus turned and asked them what do you want, etc. etc. However, it seems they were chosen by 6:3. Just a thought but it sure doesn't detract from the importance of the event.

    In His Grace
    KayDee
     
  10. Emily25069

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    Clint

    I read the discussion almost every day, just so that you know that there are others here reading.

    I learn an awful lot from you and Helen, but I am shy to post anything myself, as I feel that I am reading this at somewhat of an elementary level and that I dont have much to add. This is the first time that I am sitting down reading the bible all the way through. I had attempted it once before, but decided to go from Genesis to Revelation, and I got stuck somewhere around numbers and never returned.

    So.. this is basically like school for me.

    I am getting a lot out of it.
     
  11. Clint Kritzer

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    I'm delighted to hear it, Emily! [​IMG]
     
  12. Clint Kritzer

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