Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday July 17, 2012

Prayer Psalm: 28

Prayer Point: The psalms are not blind to the reality of the evil in our dangerous world. Psalm 28 calls us to trust God with our safety and more importantly, justice. This is what empowered Jesus to love his enemies and pray for them. Grab one or two of the beautiful promises on this psalm and meditate on them. May these promises give you the faith to be Christlike in the face of evil today.

Matthew 25:14-30

Jesus’ earthly ministry is coming to a close. Soon he will leave earth and journey to his Father in heaven and so he shares this story to prepare his disciples for his departure. They are the ones who will carry on Jesus’ mission on earth until he returns.

Who is the master in the story? Who are the servants? What are the talents that are given to the servants? Which servants are praised and why? Which servant is condemned and why? How did the servant who hid his talents view the master?

What will we have to believe about God in order to freely invest what he has given us in the work of building Jesus’ kingdom?

Romans 11:13-24

What does Paul hope will happen to his own people, Israel, because of his ministry to the Gentiles?

What warning does Paul have for the Gentiles? Paul uses an olive tree as a metaphor for God’s people.  What is the olive root?  Who are the branches that were broken off?  Why were the branches broken off? Who are the branches that are grafted in?  Why is it important to remember both the kindness AND the sternness of God?  Is there a possibility for the broken off branches to be grafted back in?

Joshua 2:15-24         The Escape of the Spies

How do the spies ultimately escape?  (Since her house was on an outside wall of the city, Rahab lowers the spies from a window.  Rahab advises the spies to flee to the hills until those sent to pursue them had returned to Jericho – about three days later.)

What is the signal agreed upon between the spies and Rahab when the Israelites return to take the city?  (Rahab is to tie a scarlet rope in the window of her house and to bring all of her family into her house for protection.)

What covenant do the spies make with Rahab concerning their return to the city? (“If anyone goes outside your house into the street, his blood will be on his own head; we will not be responsible.  As for anyone who is in the house with you, his blood will be on our head if a hand is laid on him.  But if you tell what we are doing, we will be released from the oath you made us swear.” (Joshua 2:19-20 NIV))

What is the report of the spies to Joshua? (“The LORD has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us.” (Joshua 2:24 NIV))

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