Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, August 23, 2012

Prayer Psalm: 133

Prayer Point:   “How good and pleasant it is when brothers [and sisters] live together in unity.”  Jesus took it one step further when he prayed, “[may] all of them be one (the church) … so that the world may believe you sent me.”  Pray for the unity of our church and the churches in our community so that the world might see our love and become followers of Jesus Christ.

John 6:16-27

The disciples get into their boats to sail back to Capernaum which served as Jesus’ base of operations for his ministry in Galilee. Why do you think Jesus sent his disciples into the storm without him? What is he trying to teach them about themselves? What does Jesus’ walking on the water teach the disciples about himself?

Once in Capernaum, Jesus went to the synagogue and began to teach. What troubles Jesus about the motives of his followers? What should they be working for?

’Bread that spoils’ is an allusion to the manna God fed Israel in the wilderness (see Exodus 16) and the bread Jesus provided when he fed the 5000. What is the food that endures to eternal life? The title ‘Son of Man’ comes from Daniel 7:13-14 and is a title that points to Jesus’ divinity and power.

Acts 8:26-40

How does the Holy Spirit set up a perfect opportunity for Philip to share the message of Jesus? Think of all the God-ordained circumstances in verses 26-35.

How does the Ethiopian Eunuch respond to the good news of Jesus? What does he ask for? What happens immediately following the baptism? What does this passage tell us about the Holy Spirit’s role and our role in sharing the good news of Jesus?

The Ethiopian Church is regarded as one of the oldest surviving churches in the world. They regard the eunuch as their founder.

Job 1:1-22  – Job: A Righteous Man

The good news: what we don’t know. We don’t know when Job was written though a date as early as 2000 B.C. is suggested. Moreover we also don’t know who wrote Job. We are just a wealth of no information at all. This book will attempt to address the age-old question: why do bad things happen to good people. Though someone may have been more afflicted than Job, it would stretch my powers of belief to apprehend it.

Where does Job live? (Job lived in the land of Uz. More good news: we don’t know where Uz was located. It is not to be confused with the Land of Oz.)

How many children did he have? (Job had seven (!) sons and three daughters.)

How was Job characterized? (Job was very wealthy: thousands of sheep, camels; oxen and the list goes on. “He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.” (Job 1:3 NIV))

What righteous thing does Job do for his children after a period of feasting? (“Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, ‘Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ This was Job’s regular custom.” (Job 1:5 NIV))

If I could generate mournful and menacing organ music it would portend that evil is about to make its appearance. Who shows up next? (Satan comes before God along with the angels.)

What had Satan been doing? (He had been roaming through the earth – probably looking for trouble – j.t.)

The LORD’s boasting of Job to Satan prompts him (Satan) to do what? (Satan challenges the LORD with: “‘Does Job fear God for nothing?’ Satan replied. ‘Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has. You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” (Job 1:9-11 NIV))

How does the LORD demonstrate his “faith” in Job? (“The LORD said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” (Job 1:12 NIV))

I can almost see Satan rubbing his hands together in a very sinister fashion and sounding remarkably like Mr. Burns (on The Simpsons) saying “Excellent!”

What happens to Job “one fine day”? (Job loses his oxen, donkeys, sheep, and camels; numerous servants but worst of all every one of his children is killed in a freak wind storm.)

What does Job do when he hears all of this disastrous news (a thing I doubt I would ever do)? (“At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.’ In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”( Job 1:20-22 NIV))

He lost all ten of his children in one day. His material loss was, to be sure, devastating, but the loss of all of his children – that cannot be fathomed. I doubt I could even imagine the depth of his pain.

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