June - Reading 11

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Jun 11, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    In our reading of 1Kings tonight we meet one of the most powerful and memorable characters of the Old Testament, Elijah. Elijah's name means "My God is the Lord" and every action that this man of God takes has been interpreted as a specific action that represents a specific cause. Elijah comes to King Ahab of the Northern tribes, Israel, at a time when the nation has become so corrupt and vile that they could very easily slip into total paganism and forget the God of Abraham forever. The story of the widow of Zarepath is an illustration of how Israel should have conducted themselves. The older woman gives all that she has to the man of God, just as Israel should have given to God. The drought is a result of their refusal to give this allegiance. Further, Baal was considered a god of fertility and harvest, yet he could do nothing about the drought. The description of the raising of the dead son is the first story of resurrection from the dead in the Scriptures.
    Of course the most powerful account in tonight's reading is that of the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. The most important element of this story is that the people witnessing this challenge are given a choice to decide between God and Baal, it was not a matter of being able to worship both as many multi-theistic nations did. Also, notice that Elijah erected all twelve stones at the altar. This showed that it was not just the Northern tribes at stake here, it was the entire seed of Abraham that was involved.

    We also read tonight Luke's account of the temptation of Christ. As I stated in the Matthew reading, the main point that sticks in my mind is that satan knows Scripture as well as any of us. Satan is quoting from Psalm 91:11-12 but he has pulled the verses out of context. In verse 9 of that chapter we are told, "IF you make the Most High your dwelling - even the lord who is my refuge - then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent."

    Finally, in Ephesians tonight, we read the passage regarding submission of wives to husbands. Speaking of pulling verses out of context, please notice that our reading last night concerned the mutual submission of believers to one another. I would also point out that if the analogy is husband is to wife as Christ is to church, then the husband has the greater responsibility. We men are to love our wives as ourselves, our own bodies, and we must be willing to give ourselves up for our wives. Much food for thought there.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lecture 9/26/04

    Luke 4

    In chapters 1-3 we have witnessed Jesus fulfilling all necessary obligations and criteria to fulfill the role of the Christ. The virgin birth and the miraculous events surrounding it, the strong emphasis of the Holy Spirit being with Him, the significance of John's baptism, the proclamation of the Voice from Heaven, and the genealogy have all been to demonstrate Jesus' qualifications towards Messiahship. We have seen the Scriptures testify the deity of Christ.

    Now as chapter four begins we witness the final hurdles put before Him as His ministry begins.

    Luke 4:1-13 The Temptation

    Soon after the baptism, Jesus retreated to the wilderness where He began a forty day fast. The fast as Luke describes it is a "radical" fast in which no food was eaten during that time, though some claim that the text does not necessarily reflect that. Forty day fasts were also performed by Moses in Deuteronomy 9:9 and Elijah in 1Kings 19:8. The point of the matter is that Jesus was hungry.

    Matthew describes the entrance of the devil to tempt Christ after the forty days were accomplished whereas Luke gives us the sense that the temptations occurred throughout the fast. In either case the point is made that this was done at a point when Jesus would be at his weakest physically.

    The first temptation draws upon the words proclaimed from Heaven after the baptism and seeks to appeal to Jesus weakened physical state. "IF you are the Son of God…" Earthly logic would tell us that God's own Son has no need to be hungry, as He was perfectly capable of obtaining food from nothingness. Such a demonstration would certainly prove His authenticity as the Christ. It is the same temptation that we face often today. Why should we, the children of God, suffer when the wicked live in comfort? Why should we remain impoverished while others prosper?

    However, Jesus recognized that one's spiritual condition is not reliant upon how much bread one has. Israel had commited that very sin in Exodus 16:2-3. Jesus' Sonship would not be demonstrated by some seemingly magical display but by a calm reliance upon God. God's love for us is not proven by how much bread we have. It is shown in the spiritual effect He has on our lives.

    Jesus' reply to satan is based on Moses' accounting of the incident from Exodus 16 in Deuteronomy 8:3. God supplied the Israelites with manna but they still starved spiritually.

    The second temptation according to Luke (third according to Matthew) played upon Jesus' obvious recognition that He would be the Messiah. Jesus grew up and lived in a time in which His people, the Jews, were living under Roman domination. Indeed, since the exile centuries before they had not been a sovereign nation. Many of the Jews expected a military messiah who would once again fill the earthly seat of David and bring Israel back to a position of dominance. Satan claims himself as having the authority to give power of all the kingdoms of the earth if only Jesus would worship him.

    We can conjecture for quite sometime as to whether satan could actually fulfill this promise. He is described in John 12:31 as the "prince of this world" and in 2Corinthians 4:4 as "the god of this world." However, we must remember that only God is Sovereign and satan, nor any other being, has any authority whatsoever unless God ordains it. Jesus would eventually have power over all kingdoms of the world but it would require the Cross to do so. Satan's temptation in essence was offering Jesus an easier path to the power He would so painfully gain.

    In response to this temptation, Jesus rebukes the devil and this time quotes Deuteronomy 6:13.

    The third temptation attacks the religious implications of the expected messiah. That the event is associated with the Temple would have major significance for the Jews and none would doubt such a spectacular display as being messianic. Satan even quotes Scripture, out of context, to make his point, citing Psalm 91:11-12.

    The rejection to this temptation is based upon Deuteronomy 6:16. We are never to test God in such a manner. In doing so we force God to act on our terms, not His. Jesus' refusal of this temptation demonstrates that faith in God is demonstrated in patience and waiting for His will to unfold, not by forcing demonstrations of power.

    Literally volumes of literature have been written about these 13 verses and the parallels in Matthew 4:1-11 and Mark 1:12-13. As the true test of Scripture is Scripture, a proper interpretation of this Passage requires a study of Hebrews 4:15. That Christ could be tempted "in all points as we are" clearly demonstrates that this account was not merely for show. Though Jesus was fully God, He was also fully man and at this juncture a hungry man defining His ministry.
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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