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Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2017' started by Aaron, Sep 24, 2002.
May God bless the reading of His Word.
The reading in Isaiah today is a perfect example of how this prophecy came to be called The Fifth Gospel.
How perfect does the pleading match the cry of my own heart,"But when I continued to sin against your ways, you were angry. How then can I be saved?!!
"I am become like one who is unclean, and all my "righteous" acts are like filthy rags;
"I shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind my sins sweep me away.
"I no longer call on your name or strive to lay hold of you, for you have hidden your face from me and made me waste away because of my sin!"
If not for the Spirit of God that cries "Abba, Father!" My prayer would stop here. But no,
"Yet, O LORD, you are my Father.
"I am the clay, you are the potter; I am the work of your hand.
"Do not be angry beyond measure, O LORD, (though you would be just to be so) O LORD, do not remember my sins forever.
"Oh, look upon me, I pray, for I am your son."
Praise the Lord for His mercy!
Good evening -
In Luke today we read Luke's account of Christ appearing to His Disciples after the Ressurection. There are a few points of note that evidence the nature of Christ's ressurected form. First of all, the ressurected body still held the marks of the crucifixion. We also know that this appearance occured in a locked room (John 20:19). Further, Christ had the Disciples touch Him and ate food with the Disciples, indicating that he was a physical presence, not just a manifestation. The main theology to be gleaned from this short reading is that Christ fulfilled the whole of the New Testament teachings: the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings of Wisdom.
As the Book of Hebrews enters its final chapter, the author encourages his audience to continue in their new faith. The final statement for this reading, that Christ is the same yesterday, taoday, and forever, encourages them to stay with the teachings they have now learned. It is a common theme in the New Testament Epistles that new ly converted Jews were easily slipping back into Judaism.
May God bless you
The Words of Agur
Proverbs 30 is a departure in style from the proceeding 29 chapters of the Book of Proverbs. The literary prose may remind one of the Book of Job and we find several separate sections of a style we call the "Numerical Saying". This type of literary style is characterized by a subject line composed of a subject and the number of items related to it followed by a list of enumerated items.
The Skepticism of Agur (30:1-4)
There is a great deal of uncertainty about verses 1-9. The most obvious is that the names of Agur and Jakeh are unique to this Passage of Scripture. The assumption is commonly made that Agur was a wise man of some reputation from an unknown date. Jewish and Catholic tradition state that Agur is a pseudonym for Solomon but we have absolutely no evidence that this is the case nor is such an assumption necessary.
In verse 3 Agur concedes that his knowledge is too finite to understand the Holy One. He is speaking with irony in verse 2 that while he lacks this knowledge, others claim to know all about the Divine and so he says he is too stupid (KJV - brutish) to be a man. Some interpreters feel that verse 4 is God's answer to Agur. If we view verse 4 as Agur still speaking, the final line is a taunt to those who claim such knowledge to reveal the Name of God or of His Son.
Christ directly answers the first question posed in verse 4 ("Who has ascended to Heaven and come down?") in John 3:13.
Counsel and Prayer (30:5-9)
Agur's skepticism of verses 1-4 is here answered by orthodox wisdom in verses 5-6. The main point of verses 5-6 is that absolute trust must be put in the words of God. Where Agur, and indeed all men, lack the understanding of God, the Word of God is proven true (i.e. smelted or refined), is sufficient and is to be trusted as a shield.
In 7-9 a prayer is offered asking for two things:
1. Freedom from false and lying speech that wisdom has spoken of in verse 6.
2. A balance in life between riches and poverty. If Agur is too rich he may become self-satisfied and forget God. If he become too poor, he may be tempted to steal and break the Commandments.
This prayer bears a resemblance to two clauses of the Lord's Prayer: deliver from evil, give us the food we need.
Four Types of Evil Men (30:10-14)
While verse 10 seems to stand by itself, we will group it in with 11-14. We see here four types of evil men presented and they are easily defined by the text itself:
2. Those who do not respect their parents (Mark 7:10-13 ESV)
3. The falsely pious (Luke 16:15)
4. Those that are cruel to and detest the poor (Matthew 23:14)
Warning Against Evil Ways (30:15-17)
This Passage is fairly self-explanatory except for a few points. "Enough" in verse 16 can refer to either the uncontrolled burning of the fire or the endless task of providing fuel for it. The word "obey" in verse 17 is a bit uncertain and should perhaps read "aged" as in "and scorns an aged mother."
Four Incomprehensible Wonders (30:18-20)
The operative word for interpreting this Passage is "way." At face value, we can find a certain fascination in the way an eagle flies, a snake moves without the benefit of legs, a ship stays afloat or the process of courtship. However, when tying these four examples to the adulterous woman in verse 20, the context seems to refer to the fact that these four things leave no trace of their passage. The adulterous woman is characterized by her nonchalant actions. She is (at least outwardly) not concerned about her actions and treats her affairs as casually as eating a meal.
Four Unbearable Kinds of People (30:21-23)
These verses deal with imbalances in society. These four people are misplaced in the order of things and because of that the "earth cannot bear up under them." The servant who reigns can become an oppressor and a tyrant. The fool who has grown rich can become boisterous and arrogant. A mean woman married grows meaner still. The maidservant who is heir to her mistress may mean one who marries the husband after the mistress' death. She, too, may become insufferable and cruel.
Four Small but Wise Creatures (30:24-28)
These four creatures are offered to us as examples of wise action. The ant teaches us foresight and planning for the future. The badgers (KJV - conies, some interpret this as mice) teach us to use our skills and resources to make ourselves secure. The locusts show us discipline, focus and organization. There are numerous interpretations of verse 28. The Jameison - Fausset - Brown Commentary states that it means that the lizard (KJV - spider) in the king's palace acts as an insect controller by its industry of web making and is thus tolerated to remain. However, Matthew Henry interprets the verse as such:
Four Beings with Stately Stride (30:29-31)
This Passage sets forth four examples of physical bearing, three natural and one of man. Again, interpretations vary on this Passage. Some see sarcasm in the wording, that these things should not be emulated especially when viewed in conjunction with verses 32-33, however, the vast majority of interpreters throughout church history have viewed this Passage as setting forth positive examples.
While translations of the names of the beasts vary, the examples they set forth do not. The lion's walk is deliberate and fearless. While there are margin notes in some of the ancient manuscripts that the word may be interpreted "horse, the he goat is fierce and majestic as he heads the flock. There is a bit of mystery surrounding the word translated as "greyhound" by the KJV or "rooster" in other translations. In context the greyhound gives us an example of fleet movement as it pursues its quarry. A rooster is alert and protective over his hens. The king before his people is insurmountable and commands respect and majesty.
The chapter ends with an admonition towards those who may get out of hand through pride or self-confidence. The illustrations are quite plain: do not provoke others too far for it may lead to serious trouble. Luke 12:58-59
[ September 25, 2004, 01:27 AM: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
Sunday School lesson 2/27/05 - continued
Luke 24:36-43 Proof of the Resurrection
The phrase “as they were saying this (KJV – as they thus spake)” places the events here told on the evening of the first day of the week. Suddenly, Jesus is standing among them. This Passage reveals the true corporeal existence of Jesus and identifies Him as the risen One.
The disciples at first think that He is a spirit who has appeared to them. However, this was a supposition that was contrary to fact. The Disciples are invited to see and feel that this a body of flesh and bone and not a spirit (John 1:1).
The invitation to see and feel is still not enough for them. Luke, who is characteristically gentle with his treatment of the disciples, says that they “disbelieved for joy.” Despite all they had seen for the past three years and all the prophecy they had heard, they still had trouble accepting the incredible and joyous fact of the Resurrection. Their doubts are finally dispelled when He takes a piece of broiled fish and eats it before them.
Chapter 13 of Hebrews makes a sudden turn. The previous 12 chapters have concentrated on Christian confession. Now the subject turns to Christian conduct. Also, where the previous chapters have been written in the form of a sermon (they can be read aloud in about an hour), the tone now changes to one of a letter. This abrupt transition has led many scholars to theorize that chapter 13 stands as a post script to the original document.
Nonetheless, it would be an error to view chapter 13 as an afterthought or an addendum. It is a vital part of the message of the Book of Hebrews. We can not divorce our theological treatises from our behavior. Understanding the nature of Christ’s mission is only academic if we do not alter our lives to conform to the message delivered in that mission.
Hebrews 13:1-8 The Application of Christian Virtues
The potential for falling away begins with a failure at the human level. When we begin building barriers between ourselves and our Christian brethren, we begin building barriers between ourselves and God. Remember, it is impossible to avoid our fellow man while on the path to God. The word “continue” or “remain” in verse 1 has strong emphasis once again underlining the repeated message of endurance throughout the Book.
The love we have within the Christian community must also extend beyond the church doors to the worlds at large as the author encourages us to show hospitality to strangers. To show hospitality to those with whom we are not familiar or comfortable is a duty of the Christian which can be traced back to very primitive religion, i.e., Abraham and Lot with the angels. This welcoming of strangers reflects the unmerited compassion Christ had for us when we re alienated from God.
Not only the strangers who came to us were to be shown Christian love, but also those in prison and those who were mistreated, specifically, those in bondage because of their shared beliefs in Christ.
The author then turns to the home and urges us to keep marriage an honorable institution. Our behavior within a marriage can show either honor or dishonor to our Master. We are to remain faithful and pure to our mates. The author warns that illicit affairs will be judged.
Not only are we to maintain sexual purity, but also we are to abstain from the love of money, a point often mentioned in the Scriptures. Both of these temptations lead to sensual indulgence and have their perils in various forms. Instead of greed, the Christian is to remind himself that he has a far greater treasure in that he has a God who will never forsake him. In short, concentrate on what you do have, not what you don’t.
The author then exhorts us to remember our spiritual leaders. In the time of the Hebrews in particular, such men were paramount importance as they gave to the early church the instructions of Christ when no firmly established text was available. Many died for that service. The instruction given us by the author concerning those early preachers is to remember, consider and imitate.
In contrast to the early preachers who lost their lives through natural or unnatural means, the eternity of Christ is mentioned. This familiar Christology was likely often used in early worship and reminds us that while those around us come and go, our eternal hope rests with an unchanging Savior who serves as our High Priest.
Our Scriptures for 9/25 are: