September - Reading 20

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Sep 20, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    The bulk of our reading in Isaiah tonight is the fourth "servant song" found in 52:13-53:12. This writing is perhaps the most significant contribution Isaiah made to the Bible as a whole and is described as "the Gospel in the Old Testament." The Christ was the "tender shoot" of the stump of Jesse from verse 4:2. To us as Christians the prophecy is blazingly clear.From the disfigurement of the human form as Christ hung on the cross (verse 14) to the intercession for sin (verse 53:13) te narrative reads clearly of the ministry and purpose of Christ's life, death and resurrection.

    Coincidentally, verse 53:9 of Isaiah would have been fulfilled fully if not for the acts of Joseph of Arimathea which we read in Luke today. When comparing the Gospel accounts of Joseph, we can surmize that he was not present at the council that convened and demanded Christ's death before Pilate. Mark tells us that this council was unanimous in their decision. As a result, Christ was laid to supposed eternal rest in the tomb of a rich man. The conclusion of the chapter is important in that we know the women following Joseph knew the correct location of the tomb.

    I hope as time goes by, more people will contribute to these threads and we can explore Hebrews 11 more in depth and speak of the faith of the ancients.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Aaron

    Aaron
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    Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows,

    Yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.

    Isaiah 53:4

    The world, and many who call themselves Christians, focuses on the outward appearance of things. Something true Christians are mindful never to do, John 7:24. The verse quoted above is spoken of Christ. Here was someone who was poor, had no house to live in, and was assaulted by those in authority everywhere he went. In the end he was forsaken of all his disciples and suffered and died alone.

    Judging from the outward appearance of things he must have been stricken by God, smitten by him. To our minds it is not reasonable that God would let a righteous man suffer. Yet many of the heroes of faith were not men in palaces, but were tortured and refused to be released. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated--the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains and in caves and holes in the ground. Heb. 11:35-38.

    Why the suffering? Why not comfort here and now? So that they might gain a better resurrection, Heb. 11:35.

    Though we did esteem him to be punished by God, God in truth gave him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoil with the strong. Isa. 53:12.
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lecture - 2/15/04

    Proverbs 28 - 29

    This week's reading of Proverbs is commonly referred to as "Collection B" of the "Wisdom Collection of the Men of Hezekiah." There are numerous reasons for classifying this section as a separate collection from section A, chapters 25-27.

    1. The style of the Wisdom Sentence style returns to the antithetical (direct opposition) parallelism that is used very little in chapters 25-27. Chapters 25-27 instead primarily use similes.
    2. Where chapters 25-27 are grouped into topical sections, 28-29 return to a more disjointed style of quips and single concepts.
    3. Most notably perhaps is that the subject matter turns from a primarily secular nature in section A to a more theological or religious context in section B.

    Proverbs 28:3

    The use of the "poor" oppressor in this verse troubles some commentators and the suggestion is often made to amend the word poor to "wicked" or even the opposite, "rich." However, there is little difficulty in reconciling the meaning of the verse when we compare it to Christ's Parable of the Unmerciful Servant in Matthew 18:23-35. A hard Palestinian rain can be devastating especially at harvest time.

    While the Parable of the unmerciful servant is an allegory to teach us a moral lesson about forgiveness, the story in a literal sense shows the poor oppressing the poor.

    Proverbs 28:4

    These words at face value tell us that the wicked will stick together while the righteous will oppose that unified force. Certainly they call to mind how not only Christ rebuked the Pharisees on numerous occasions but also John the Baptist as he stood in the river Jordan. Matthew 3:7-10

    Proverbs 28:8

    There are several sentences in this chapter that deal with wealth and poverty (3, 6, 8, 15, 19, 20, 21,22, 25, 27). For those of you using the KJV, "usury" is an archaic term meaning interest. Therefore, those who use interest and unjust gain to increase their wealth will not keep their money long. Instead, God will take it from them and give it to the poor. While this may seem to be a hopelessly optimistic viewpoint, bear in mind that the wisdom teachers were strongly opposed to gaining wealth through improper means. The Torah forbade the charging of interest between the Jews, though it was allowed towards foreigners. Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:35-37; Deuteronomy 23:19-20

    Luke 6:34-36 teaches us much the same message though the wealth that we stand to miss out on is far more precious than mere interest in that Passage.


    Proverbs 28:10

    This verse does not speak of only the non-believer who tempts the righteous. We have a responsibility to those around us whether they be believers or not. Satan will use us as instruments to tempt each other into wrongdoing. In these cases we are taught that it is not only the tempted that will suffer judgment, but the tempter as well. Jesus my have had this verse in mind when he referred to the Pharisees as blind guides in Matthew 15:14 since the wording is so close, but He teaches the same message as this verse even more closely in Matthew 18:6.
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lesson 2/20/05 - conclusion

    Luke 23:50-56 The Burial of Jesus

    It is another interesting twist in the story that the care of Jesus’ body comes from an unlikely source – Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the very council that had brought about the crucifixion. Perhaps Joseph removed the body in respect to the Law of Deuteronomy 21:22-23, but Joseph’s piety was not false or empty. He is described as “good towards his fellow man” and “righteous towards God,” putting him in the same category as Zechariah in 1:6 and Simeon and 2:25. His interest in Jesus may have sprung from his awaiting the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God, the very message preached by Jesus.

    With permission from Pilate, the body was wrapped in a linen shroud and placed in a rock-hewn tomb that had never been used before. Only a tomb that was new would be appropriate for such sacred use. “Preperation” in Jewish dialect means “Friday” as the Sabbath would begin at 6:00PM. The women see Jesus laid to rest and leave for their homes. All four Gospels agree that Jesus died on Friday and the tomb was found empty on Sunday. After the Sabbath commences, the women begin their preparation of spices and ointments to further prepare the body. In deference to the Sabbath, however, they wait a day before returning. As we leave the chapter, the pessimism of the tomb is left hanging in the air.
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Isaiah

    Sunday Sckool 5/7/06


    Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12


    This section of the Scriptures is commonly referred to as the fourth of the Servant Songs. It has long been entitled as “”The Suffering Servant” or “The Man of Sorrows,” but this actually detracts from the author’s intent. All of the implications of suffering are set in the past tense: He was despised; he was wounded, etc. The emphasis in the Servant Songs is that of His triumph and glory. These are set in the future tense: He shall prosper; He shall His offspring; He shall divide the spoils.

    Aside from the modern titling, however, the fourth Servant Song stands as the most influential piece of poetry in literature. It is the very heart of the Old Testament and is a proclamation of the hope of the Gospel centuries before it was ultimately culminated in the Person of Jesus Christ. The fourth Servant Song was so influential in the understanding of the crucifixion of Jesus that, if it were somehow lost from our Bibles, we could reconstruct the entire poem except for 53:4 from the Writings of the New Testament. Parts of it appear in all four Gospels, Acts, Romans, Philippians, Hebrews and 1Peter.

    In the previous three Servant Songs it is unclear as to whether the Servant is a nation (Israel) or an individual. In today’s Passage, however, it becomes quite evident that the prophet is speaking of an individual. Being Christian and having the benefit of hindsight and New Testament teaching, we can clearly see the tie between the prophecy and Jesus. For the prophet’s original audience, however, this poem may have interpreted quite differently. Nonetheless, the poem sheds a revolutionary light on the subject of suffering. In Job we see the assumption made by his friends that all who suffer are sinners. In Jeremiah it is revealed that some sufferers are saints. But now in Isaiah we learn that some sufferers are saviors. The final step in the understanding of suffering came when we learned that the Son of God Himself could suffer.

    Isaiah 52:13-15 From Humiliation to Exaltation

    These verses stand as a summary of the Servant’s rise from humiliation to total renown. Verse 14 corresponds to 53:1-9 depicting the Servants dejection and verse 15 corresponds to verse 53:10-12 which depict His final triumph. These verses contrast between the many and the one, a theme repeated throughout the poem.

    Verse 14 suggests that the Servant has become so disfigured through His suffering that he is barely recognized as human (53:2-3). For this reason, men regard Him with a mixture of contempt, surprise and aversion.

    In verse 15, the KJV has taken the Masoretic interpretation of “sprinkle” implying the purification rite performed by priests implying that He will purify many nations (kings) of their sins. An alternate rendering supported by the Septuagint and the Dead Sea scrolls is that He will “startle” many nations. By this rendering we interpret the surprise of the nations when He rises from shame to fame.

    Isaiah 53:1-3 The Servant’s Unlikely Beginning

    The use of personal pronouns in this Passage suggest that the prophets are astonished at the transformation of one they had watched grow up in their midst. All possible misfortunes are heaped upon the servant in these verses. Rather than growing like a carefully cultivated plant, He grows like a root out of dry ground. He is so unimpressive and unattractive that His fellow countrymen are repelled at the sight of Him. He is exposed to scorn, rejection, sorrow and rejection. Despite this unlikely beginning, however, He will grow to a glorious mission.

    Isaiah 53:4-6 The Servant’s Victorious Suffering

    Verse 4 describes the prophets’ initial reaction to the afflictions endured by the Servant. He acknowledges now that their reaction was completely inaccurate. Like the friends of Job, they felt that He was being smitten by God for some unknown crime. It is not stated what occurred to change their perception but it must have been a momentous occasion. It results in a recognition that the Servant was not suffering because of His own sin but because of theirs.

    Verse 6 gives us a threefold description of sin. It is universal and inescapable. It separates and scatters. It is self-willed. The concept of substitution now comes to the fore as well as the Lord lays all our sins (iniquities) upon the Servant.
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Isaiah


    Isaiah 53:7-9 The Servant’s Sacrificial Death

    Eventually the Servant’s suffering leads to His death. That death is described here in sacrificial terminology. However, there is a profound difference in the Servant’s sacrifice and those done through priestly legislation. His is a sacrifice made outside of the Temple. It is the sacrifice of an innocent man rather than an unblemished animal. It is a sacrifice spoken of in the prophets, not in the Law.It is a sacrifice that also benefits the Gentiles. Most importantly, it is a sacrifice that makes all other sacrifices unnecessary.

    It is evident that the early church embraced this Passage as even before the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, the practice of sacrifice was abolished in the Christian community. The ultimate consummation of the Suffering servant was easily recognized in Christ.

    This does not mean that the sacrifice in and of itself was sufficient for the forgiveness of sins. It accomplishes this only for those who use it as the vehicle for their approach to God. Only those who respond with faith and repentance benefit from the iniquities borne by the Servant.

    There is a deliberate contrast made between verses 6 and 7. All we like sheep have gone astray but the Servant like a sheep is has been sacrificed. We see here a continuation of the contrast between the One and the many. Unlike other victims of slaughter, the Servant opened not His mouth. To any who take the interpretive line that this Passage is about Israel and not Christ, this phrase is a major stop as Israel was quick to complain loudly and bitterly.

    The death and burial are described in verses 8-9. To be taken is to be forcibly removed, in this case from the land of the living to the realm of the dead. The text does not indicate by what method the servant was slain but He died the death of a sinner and was buried with the wicked. Prior to this point it was not indicated that the Servant Himself was not a sinner but it is now clear that He was bearing the burden of others.

    Isaiah 53: 10-12 The Servant’s Ultimate Triumph

    The most significant revelation in these verses is that the Servant’s triumph comes after His death. Though it is not named as the Resurrection, some miracle is implied after the burial that allows Him to see His offspring, to prolong His days and to witness the successful completion of His mission. The climax of that mission occurs from beyond the grave. Therefore, His death was not His defeat but the noblest of His achievements and the means by which we are reconciled to God.

    To say that bruising the Servant was the Will of God is to say that it was part of His divine plan for the salvation of man and the conquering of sin. God allowed the Servant to suffer not out of anger towards Him, but out of love towards us. Verse 10 further states that it must be a willing commitment of the believer to offer the Servant as the sacrifice. There is no universality in this approach to God.

    Throughout chapters 40-55 the Will of God being brought to fruition is a major theme. In 42:21 His Will is to make the Law glorious. In 44:28, Cyrus is sent to fulfill God’s purpose for Israel. In 55:11 His purpose is accomplished through His word. It is through the vindicated and triumphant Servant, however, that His ultimate purpose is fulfilled.

    The phrase “by His knowledge” in verse 11 should not be interpreted as “by knowledge of Him.” The text is clearly stating that it is by the Servant’s knowledge, or experience, He has gained the ability to make many be accounted righteous. It is His knowledge that affects the change. It is the knowledge He has gained through His suffering and His death.

    Verse 12 describes the distribution of spoils after a battle campaign. The spoils He will receive are dominion over all nations and dominion over all heavenly principalities. As victor He has gained the position of intercessor on the behalf of transgressors. Though He was no transgressor, the Lord laid on Him the consequences of the transgressors. Through His suffering He is able to intervene on our behalf when the full force of our sin comes upon us.

     
  8. Clint Kritzer

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    Hebrews

    Hebrews 11:4-34 The Faithful of the Old Testament

    This Passage has been called by many names. Some refer to it as the Westminster Abbey of the Old Testament. It is also called the roll call of the Faithful. I like the term Faith Hall of Fame. Each individual named in this Passage went forward deliberately and with confidence toward goals they could not clearly see. Each account speaks of faith as a response to the revelation of God.

    The preacher draws from Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, and Judges to demonstrate the importance of faith. The examples given are the type of faith that the preacher called upon his hearers to display as they faced their current trials.

    Abel was the first man to be described as receiving God’s approval. The account as told in Genesis does not specify why Abel’s offering was accepted while Cain’s was rejected but here in Hebrews we learn the reason. Abel’s offering was made in faith. It was not the type of or quantity of offering. It was the intention behind it. Abel was, of course, the victim of a murder but his faith immortalized him in the pages of Scripture and he still speaks to us through the ages. Even in the grimmest of circumstances, when one exercises faith, God is still on the scene.

    Enoch, on the other hand, never experienced death. He reached the pinnacle of human achievement in that he pleased God. As a result, there was no detour in his pilgrimage from this plain of existence to the next. He kept on the same journey unaltered. Yet, the preacher states the simple fact to his audience, without faith, one can not please God. Enoch’s religion based on faith made him draw near to God. In order to draw near to God one must both believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.

    Let’s pause for a moment on that thought. For many, they believe that the highest spirituality exists when goodness is done for goodness’ sake. They attest that goodness is its own reward. While this philosophy may be ethical and noble, it is bad religion. Such an approach to morality is egocentric and sets forth the message that the person does not need the blessing of God. To take such an approach is an act of pride.

    Faith is our response to God. It is not our invitation but His that brings us into the Christian life. We may forget about reward in our service to god, but we must never forget that reward is God’s promise to us.

    Noah was probably considered mad for his building of the ark but by his faith he continued building the ark as God had commanded and in doing so demonstrated the lack of faith his countrymen had. The coming rain was a thing unseen but Noah persisted and was vindicated within his lifetime.

    Abraham stands as the ultimate example of faith. Faith for Abraham was a compelling and sometimes disturbing quality that propelled him often into the unknown. He based his actions on obedience, not on calculated risks and anticipated profits. God promised him a homeland that he found to be already occupied, but by faith he lived there as a foreigner patiently waiting the outcome. He looked forward to the reward of a city whose builder and maker was God.

    God promised to give Sarah a child even though she was far beyond the age of childbearing. Despite her advanced age she was given strength and safety. This strength, contends the preacher, was because of her faith. One may wonder why the preacher does not speak of Sarah’s skeptical laughter when receiving the news. Perhaps this alludes to the skepticism we all feel from time to time. The true test of one’s mettle is which wins out: faith or skepticism?

    Verses 13-16 speak generally of the Patriarchs who not only lived in faith but also died in faith. Even to the end they looked forward into the future for God’s reward. Because of their faith they received the highest accolade a man can have. God was not ashamed to be called their God.

    Abraham is once again singled out in one of the most dramatic moments of Genesis when he is called upon to sacrifice Isaac. As an earthly man Abraham had to overcome his fatherly instincts to preserve his child’s life. As a religious man he had to overcome his confusion about the fact that God had told him Isaac would be the vehicle through which the promise would be fulfilled. Once again, the preacher sheds light on the ambiguity of the Genesis stories. Abraham was able to overcome his doubt because he had faith that God could resurrect the dead, even though he had never seen a resurrection. Faith once again is shown as the belief in things unseen.

    Isaac, Jacob and Joseph are held up as examples of those who continued the race of people who would bring salvation to the world. Both Joseph and Jacob made promises to their fathers regarding the continuation of the path God had set them on. Joseph in chapter 50 of Genesis speaks of the glories of the land God had chosen being greater than all the glory he had seen in Egypt. The most advanced civilization the world had ever known.

    The preacher cites fiver separate accounts in the life of Moses when faith made all the difference:
    • It was faith that guided his parents to protect him in his infancy by setting him afloat;
    • It was faith that persuaded him to make known his affiliation with the slave bound Israelites rather than the royal family of Egypt;
    • The preacher attributes the flight to Midian as an act of faith as Moses viewed the journey as staying on a mission for God;
    • The instructions given to the Israelites regarding the Passover were based in faith;
    • Moses’ faith becomes shared by the entire [population of the Exodus as they crossed the Red Sea, going forward into the unknown following the promise of reward. In verse 30 the author ties that same faith to the force that brought down the walls of Jericho.

    We see a second woman held up as an example of faith in verse 31. Rahab is the antithesis of Sarah. She was a harlot and of bad reputation but she responded in faith to the message from the spies that a defeat was to be suffered by her city to the forces of the Living God. She was saved, the people perished.

    This Passage concludes with mention of a variety of stories that immediately stir the mind to recollect great acts of faith. Gideon’s triumph over the Ammonites was well known. The “defeat of kingdoms” in verse 33 calls to mind David. “Stopped the mouth of lions” is obviously Daniel and “quenched raging fires” is his companions. “Escaping the edge of the sword” could be several instances including Elijah escaping Jezebel or Elisha when Aram seiged Dothan. The other references that end the Passage are hard to specify but many Old Testament examples can be found.
     
  9. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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