Prayer Psalm: 17
Prayer Point: Psalm 17 can only be understood as the prayer of Jesus, for who else can say to God, “probe my heart and examine me at night, thought you test me, you will find nothing.” I know perfectly well what God would find if he searched my heart. Lust, anger, and fear are the first that come to mind. And yet we are still invited to pray. How? Because Christ is the sinless one that we pray through. The promises of this psalm, the pleas we offer God are heard because we belong to Jesus. Pray Psalm 17 today knowing that Jesus is praying it on your behalf.
“The abomination that causes desolation” is reference to the prophecy of Daniel (see Daniel 9:27). In this case, Jesus is referring to the destruction of the temple. What are the disciples to do when the day of the temple’s destruction comes? We do know that when the Roman army came to destroy Jerusalem many fled to the city believing that God would not allow his temple to be destroyed. The Christians on the other hand remembered the words of Jesus and fled to the hills avoiding the ensuing massacre.
What should Jesus’ disciples watch out for? Who shouldn’t they listen to?
What will the true coming of Jesus (the Son of Man) look like?
How does Paul feel about his fellow Jews who now find themselves on the outside? Why did many Jews miss out despite being ‘zealous for God’? What did they miss?
In verse 4 Paul writes, “Christ is the end of the law.” The word ‘end’ has the meaning not of doing away with the law, but completing the law. Jesus kept the law to its full extent, to its completion for us.
Paul describes two ways of being righteous. What is the righteousness that is by the law? What does the righteousness that is by faith look like? What does it confess? What does it believe? What happens to someone who has this kind of faith? The word ‘justified’ is a legal term meaning to be declared innocent or righteous.
Paul makes a shocking statement. In terms of Jews and Gentiles being saved by God, there is no difference. Up until this point most Jews believed that Gentiles were saved by becoming Jews and keeping Jewish law (this is the righteousness that is by the Law that Paul mentions in verse 5). How are Jews and Gentiles both saved according to Paul?
Deuteronomy 31:7-13, 24-32:4 Joshua Succeeds Moses
In Numbers 27:23 Moses commissions Joshua to succeed him by imposing his hands on his head with Eleazar the priest present. The rendering in Deuteronomy 31 Moses commissions Joshua in the company of all Israel. Why do you suppose this was done? (This was done so that there would be no question about Joshua’s authority. It is as if the LORD had taken of Moses’ spirit and given it to Joshua.)
What rather important command does Moses deliver to the people regarding the reading of the law? (“At the end of every seven years, in the year for canceling debts, during the Feast of Tabernacles, when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose, you shall read this law before them in their hearing. Assemble the people – men, women and children, and the aliens living in your town – so they can listen and learn to fear the LORD your God and follow carefully all the words of this law. Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the LORD your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” (Deuteronomy 31:10-13 NIV))
Moses wrote all the law down for posterity. It is apparent that Moses thought that educating the next generation was of utmost importance. Where are the Levites instructed to place this book of Moses (the Book of the Law)? (“Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God.” (Deuteronomy 31:26 NIV))
Apart from instructing and educating the people, what other purpose did the Book of the Law serve being placed beside the ark of the covenant? (The Book of the Law served as a witness against the people. (v. 32:26))
Moses assessed the character of Israel publicly. What were his charges against Israel? (“For I know how rebellious and stiff-necked you are. If you have been rebellious against the LORD while I am still alive and with you, how much more will you rebel after I die! … For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster will fall upon you because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD and provoke him to anger by what your hands have made.” (Deuteronomy 31:29 NIV) “By what your hands have made…” Here, I believe, Moses is reminding them of the golden calf and how disastrous that turned out. Centuries later King Jereboam (I) will be guilty of this exact sin (see 1 Kings 12:25-33). So the golden calf of the wilderness takes up residence in Israel itself.
The opening verses of Chapter 32 introduce Moses’ own psalm or ode to God. Psalm 90 is Moses’ psalm. To what does Moses liken God? (A rock – which is fitting considering Moses’ own issues with the “rock”.)