November - Reading 4

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    In Ezekiel today one note of interest is in 14:12-23. The prophet speaks of three men: Noah, Job and Daniel. It is inconclusive if the Daniel mentioned is the prophet Daniel. He and Ezekiel would have been contemporaries and this makes this explanation plausable. If this is so, then Daniel not only shared the characteristic of righteousness, but also deliverance.
    Also, we read of the condemnation of the false prophets of Israel. We have encountered these characters before in our readings in the Books of History. These were the prophets who spoke the things that the kings and people wanted to hear rather than any revelations from God. In chapter 13 we are told that they would not escape punishment. This fits well with our reading of 1Peter both yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

    In 1Peter we see the cunning of the false teachers and the characteristics for which we should watch. They will slander the celestial beings (angels), carouse in broad daylight, seduce people to adultery and perform their teachings for profit.

    In the Gospel of John we read of the further debate between the Pharisees and Christ. What Ifound interesting in this text today was that the Pharisees did not sieze Christ at this moment because "His time had not come." The synoptic Gospels often speak of Christ telling one that He healed to not tell anyone. Their is a line of thought that this was done because it was not time in His ministry for His arrest. John indicates that it was a divine directive that kept Christ free until His ministry could be completed.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lesson 6/19 Conclusion

    Ezekiel 14

    Ezekiel 14:1-11 Rebuke of the Idolatrous

    This scene is strikingly similar to chapter 8 but here it is the elders of Israel rather than the elders of Judah who approach the prophet. We have no way of knowing what their inquiry was of him for the words of Yahweh that come to Ezekiel are not what the elders wanted to hear. The Lord condemns them because they “have taken idols into their hearts.” As a result, they had no right to make any inquiries of neither Yahweh nor His prophet.

    They were in a grave religious condition. They had come to inquire not in reverence to God or devotion to His covenant but with inner commitments to their idols. These would receive no blessing from God. They had an inner commitment, a secret allegiance to idols rather an open idolatry.

    That they would come to inquire of God while holding this allegiance to idols constituted a mockery of God. For this iniquity, God would “lay hold of their hearts.” Since the heart was the throne room of their idols, God would lay hold of their idols. He also warns that He would “set His face” against them, a euphemism for displaying His anger.

    This setting of the face against the elders would have disastrous results. Should a prophet be so bold as to give oracle to an idolater, the inquirer would only receive misleading, damaging and destructive advice. This condition would exist because the prophet and the inquirer are guilty of a grievous offense. Only a true believer can receive an oracle of God and only from a true prophet.

    Ezekiel 14: 12-23 Righteousness Imputed Only to the Righteous

    In this communication from God, a hypothetical situation is set in the mind of Ezekiel. If in an act of judgement God sent as the instruments of retribution famine, wild beast, sword and pestilence and if in that land there dwelled three of the most righteous of historical characters -–Noah, Daniel, and Job – and they wished to have their children spared because of their fathers’ righteousness, would they be spared?

    The principle set forth here is that righteousness is an individual attribute, not a corporate one. Righteousness is not negotiable nor transferable. The unrighteous can not be rendered immune because of any familial relationships, friendships or physical proximity. The three righteous – Noah, Daniel and Job – would escape but not their children.

    Once again we see in these writings a vindication of God. The annihilation of Jerusalem was an act of justice on the part of God. The chapter ends with a word of consolation to Ezekiel. When he sees the actions of the survivors he will know that the judgment of God was just. The survivors may assume that they were spared because of their righteousness but Ezekiel would know this was not true. He would understand that even the best of Judah and Jerusalem were bad. Though some were not as evil as others, in the end they were all evil (Luke 13:2-5).
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Job 4

    Sunday School 6/11/06
    Job’s Friends
    It should be understood that in the Book of Job, we do not really find the ultimate answer to human suffering. Instead, suffering is the vehicle through which the author makes his points. Among these are the limits of man’s wisdom, the profit motive of worship, the righteousness of man and the righteousness of God. Today, we are focusing on the issue of ministry in a crisis situation and the proper spiritual ground for comfort.

    Central to an understanding of the position of Job’s friend is to grasp that they felt undeniably that obedience brought reward while disobedience brought punishment. Now they sat with the pitiful sight of Job before them, a man who had lost his wealth, many servants, and all ten of his children in one terrible moment, then was stricken with some horrible disease that caused oozing sores. Could there be any question that Job had committed some terrible sin? We, as readers of the drama and glimpsing into the original bet struck between God and the adversary know that he had not. Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar did not have this knowledge. They only had their own smugness to rely upon.

    The beauty of the literature of Job is that we empathize with the characters before us. Sometimes we are (or at least feel like) Job. We feel undeserving of the calamities that befall us. Regrettably, we sometimes feel like the man Job’s wife wanted him to be. We lose faith and turn bitter towards God. We feel the burdens are too heavy and we crack under the load. We feel our faith has not profited us.

    Other times, we feel like Job’s friends. Before examining the dialogue that ensued between these four men it should be remembered that these men were indeed friends and likely had the best of intentions at heart. Each of them is described as being non-Hebrew and traveling a great distance to see Job. They sat with him for a full week in silence. They share his mourning and seek to comfort him. The dialogue that ensues is not motivated by selfishness. They had the potential to be great ministers.

    Overall, the friends fell short because they do not recognize Job’s plea of innocence as legitimate. They feel that man is by definition evil and unclean. Even though they are unable to point out anything specific, they are certain that Job has committed a terrible sin and is therefore in need of repentance.

    When Job refuses and denies their accusation, they place Job in the position of being an adversary to God. They see Job’s words as accusing God of wrongdoing and since God won’t come down and defend Himself, they take it upon themselves to defend Him. This position changes the course of the conversation completely. Job sees God as his advocate. To be pitted against God means that either he or God must win. Job, in fact, becomes perplexed that God does not intervene to put a stop to the insults, jabs and hurt being inflicted upon him by his friends. By presuming to speak for God they no longer fill the role of ministers. Instead they make themselves the opposition.

    Job 4:1-11 Eliphaz

    The first of he friends to speak after the lengthy silence is Eliphaz. There is an Eliphaz mentioned in Genesis 36:4 and 1Chronicles 1:35-36 who was a son of Esau but we can not be sure that they are the same man. Scholars speculate that the name means “God is fine Gold.” He was from Teman, a city in Edom to the south and known for its wisdom according to Jeremiah 49:7. Eliphaz may symbolically represent the wisdom from the south in this Book. Since he speaks first, he is probably the eldest and most prominent of the three friends.

    Eliphaz starts gently enough. In chapter 3 Job had broken the silence with a lengthy lament cursing the day he was born and lamenting his situation. It must have been an awkward moment as the Temanite considered what to say. He reminds Job that he has been in their position before offering comfort to those who needed it. Now that he is in the position of needing comfort he is reminded of the doctrine of retribution. In this concept, each individual is rewarded exactly for his actions whether they are good or evil. While many verse in the Old Testament seem to point towards this absolute, reality, and the experience of the Old Testament prophets, shows us differently. As Eliphaz sits across from Job enjoying good health and a prosperous lifestyle, he tells Job that his faith in God should be a sufficient foundation for hope. As the conversation progresses, however, we see that there is a problem with Eliphaz’s doctrine.

    For Eliphaz, innocence and destruction are mutually exclusive. He claims to have never seen the innocent punished or the upright denied. Eliphaz had claimed that Job’s integrity was his hope but beginning in verse 7 he states that he doubts that such integrity exists. The speech that began as a device for comfort quickly turns to a personal attack. Perhaps he felt that Job’s lament was an attack on God and now he must defend the Almighty. Jobs lament had been a cry for mercy, but Eliphaz now wishes a debate about the cause of Job’s suffering. He has shut his eyes to the fact that the doctrine of retribution does not always play out as we would like.
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    2 Peter

    2Peter 2:10-16 The Character of the False Teachers

    The false teachers Peter has been refuting had shown themselves to be bold. They were presumptuous men unafraid to deny man or God. They did not respect the religious authority of the Apostolic teachings. “Willful” or “self-willed (KJV)” means that they were determined to have their own way no matter what the cost. They even blaspheme angels, God’s higher creations that implement His will. In contrast, the angels do not accuse the false teachers. They leave that judgment for God.

    Peter’s indignation towards the heretics pursuing his flock is evident. He equates their nature to that of animals reveling in the daytime. They are a blot and a blemish within the Christian community Peter likens them to Balaam of the Book of Numbers who supported the enemies of the Old Israel; the man who was not even as spiritually aware as his talking donkey, who warned him of the coming judgment.
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

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