Prayer Psalm: 18
Prayer Point: For years David, the anointed king, lived as a fugitive until God finally placed him on the throne. When David’s enemies were finally defeated, he wrote his psalm in thanksgiving to God. But this psalm takes on greater meaning when you read it in light of the story of the greatest king, Jesus. I believe this psalm speaks prophetically of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Meditate on what Jesus’ resurrection means for our future. Offer God praise for the hope that he has given us in Jesus Christ.
There will be in a time when Jesus is ready to ride into Jerusalem publicly on a donkey, but that will be when he is ready to die. Now is not the time, so Jesus enters the city secretly.
How do the crowds react to Jesus’ teaching? Religious teachers in Israel studied under rabbis. What is puzzling about Jesus is that he appears to have been self taught. Just as it would be inconceivable for a doctor to practice medicine without going to medical school in our country, the Jews could not comprehend a rabbi who had not been someone’s disciple.
Who was Jesus’ ‘rabbi’ or teacher? How can someone discover if Jesus’ teaching is from God the Father? What are the marks of someone who speaks the truth? How does Jesus bear these marks?
What does Jesus point to as evidence that no one in crowd follows the law of Moses?
Jesus’ one miracle is the feeding of the five thousand with five loaves and two fish. This is what made him so popular. But Jesus is more than a miracle-worker and his mission is greater than filling the stomachs of the people with food. Jesus is God and as God he alone has the right to interpret the Law. Jesus was hated by the religious authorities because he dared to heal people on the Sabbath, the day of rest when work was forbidden. He did this to highlight the hypocrisy of the religious authorities. Rather than acknowledge that Jesus was right and they were wrong, the religious leaders plotted Jesus’ death.
At this point the crowds recognize Jesus, as the one the religious leaders are trying to kill. They are puzzled to see Jesus preaching out in the open so they wonder whether Israel’s leaders have now come to accept him and his teaching. How do we know that this is not the case? What happens when they attempt to seize Jesus? Why are they unable to harm him?
We have to understand that Jesus was no victim. All that happened to him, including his death, was a voluntary choice by the Son to follow the plan of his Father. There is a time coming where Jesus will die, rise again and return to his Father in heaven, but that time has not yet come.
Peter, as a Jew, was culturally forbidden from eating with a Gentile or entering the home of a non-Jewish person. Who nudges Peter out the door when the servants of Cornelius arrive?
God sends a vision to Peter. He sends angels whose messages were highly revered by the Jews. Why go through all this trouble? God is asking Peter to break 1500 years of Jewish tradition that was enshrined in the Old Testament by entering the home of a Gentile. Why must this happen? Because Jesus came not only for Israel, but for the nations of the world. He is the business of breaking down barriers and reconciling people to himself.
How has the good news of Jesus changed the boundaries between Jews and Gentiles? How does Peter describe it? How has God prepared Cornelius household for the receiving of the gospel?
Job 8:1-10, 20-22 – And Now Bildad (another country heard from)
Right out of the gate, what is Bildad the Shuhite’s accusation to Job? (Job, you’re a gas bag! According to Bildad, Job is accusing God of being unjust.)
According to today’s standards, what does Bildad say which is completely insensitive toward Job (especially in light of Job 1:5 cited above)? (“When your children sinned against him [God], he gave them over to the penalty of their sin.” (Job 8:4 NIV) How nice is that?!)
What is Bildad’s solution to Job’s problem? Let us allow that Bildad heard that apostrophe (a speech to an unseen presence) beginning at 7:12. (Bildad wants Job to repent and turn to God and then “if you are pure and upright, even now he will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your rightful place.” (Job 8:6 NIV) Clearly Bildad not only thinks that Job’s children got what they deserved, but that Job must acknowledge a perceived wrong in order to be made right. In fairness to Bildad, he, like Job, does not know that most of the power-playing is going on behind the scenes.—j.t.)
Where does Bildad tell job to search for wisdom and instruction? (“Ask former generations and find out what their fathers learned.” (Job 8:8 NIV) This is also an admonition similar to that in Deuteronomy Chapter 6 “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9 NIV) Remember: We don’t know when Job was written though a date as early as 2000 B.C. is suggested so the Scriptures would not have been available to him.)
What presumption does Bildad make in verses 20-22? (Bildad presumes that Job is not “blameless” that, in fact, he may be an evildoer. It is pretty clear that Bildad does not believe what Job has to say about himself (see Chapter 7 for what Job has to say about himself). I think Bildad really wants to encourage Job with: “He [God] will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy…” (Job 8:21 NIV))