Prayer Psalm: 25
Prayer Point: What would it take to lift up your soul and offer it up to God? Absolute trust. As you begin the day, follow Psalm 25’s lead and offer yourself to God and trust him for forgiveness, guidance, protection and wholeness.
This parable can’t be understood apart from the story of Jesus. He is about to go the cross, die, rise from the dead and return to his Father in heaven. The disciples will be left on earth to continue his ministry of establishing the kingdom of heaven and prepare themselves for his return when the
kingdom will come in all its fullness.
Jesus’ story also draws images from Jewish weddings of the period. The groom often came with his wedding party for his bride. The bridesmaids waited with the bride for the coming of the groom who would marry her and take her to his home.
With this in mind, who is bridegroom?Who are the ten virgins (bridesmaids)? What differentiates the wise virgins from the foolish ones? Who is allowed to enter the wedding banquet?
What word of warning are the disciples to take from this story?
Revelation 19:7-9 compares Jesus’ return at the end of the age to a wedding feast where Jesus, the lamb, is the groom, and the church is his bride.
Israel’s widespread rejection of Jesus and the gospel begs the question: Has God rejected his people Israel? How does Paul demonstrate that this is not the case? How did God choose his remnant in Israel?
What does God do to those in Israel who did not follow Jesus (see verses 7-9)? Is Israel’s rejection of the gospel final? What opportunity did Israel’s rejection of the gospel provide? How will God use the response of the Gentiles for the good of his people Israel?
Joshua 2:1-14 The Prostitute Rahab
Joshua sends a couple of spies to go to spy out Jericho. Where is the first place they go? Don’t you find that interesting? (“So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab.” (Joshua 2:1 NIV) Actually, I think that their going to a house of ill repute was clever because it would be far less suspicious to the casual observer.)
Uh oh! The king of Jericho has discovered that there are Israelite spies in his city. What does he do? (“So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab, ‘Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land.’” (Joshua 2:3 NIV))
So the king was smart enough to discern that the spies went to the prostitute’s house. What does Rahab tell the king when he asked about the foreigners? (Rahab tells the king that although the strangers came to her she did not know from where they came and that at dusk they left the city before the gates were closed.)
Let’s just say Rahab was less than forthcoming with the king. What is the truth of the matter? What did Rahab do? (“But she had taken them [the spies] up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.” (Joshua 2:6 NIV))
What kind of “intel” does Rahab give the spies? (Rahab tells the spies that all of Jericho is terrified of the Israelites.)
Why are the people of Jericho so fearful of the Jews? (According to Rahab, the people had heard of the exploits of the Israelites in Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea in the desert, their encounter with Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og the king of Bashan. The Jews must have seemed most formidable.)
What deal does Rahab strike with the two spies? (In return for her shielding them, the spies promise her that when the Israelites take the city they will protect Rahab and all of her house [family]. “If you don’t tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly and faithfully when the LORD gives us the land.” (Joshua 2:14 NIV))