Prayer Psalm: 65
Prayer Point: Gratitude is our motive for following Jesus and worshiping God with our lives. Psalm 65 gives us a number of reasons to be thankful for God. Pick two or three that resonate with you and offer God your own prayer of thanks..
John begins today’s reading with the comment: “When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover,” to signal us that the time has now come for Jesus to die. The feast of the Passover commemorated Israel’s liberation from slavery in Egypt. On the night before their salvation, the Jews took a lamb, killed it, ate it, and put the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of the house. That night the angel of death came through Egypt and struck down the first born of all the sons of Egypt, but “passed over” the homes with the blood of the lamb. See Exodus 11-12.
The Exodus is about to happen again, only this time God is going to save his people from slavery to sin and death with a new Passover lamb, Jesus.
Who is the only person that recognizes what is about to happen to Jesus? What does she do to prepare Jesus for his death? Who objects to her act of love and why?
Why is Paul eager to take Barnabas on another missionary journey? What prevents them from working together? What do we learn about the personalities of Paul and Barnabas?
You might remember that it was Barnabas who trusted Paul when the Jerusalem church doubted his conversion, and then brought him to Antioch when the rest of the church had written him off (see Acts 9:26-27; 11:25-26). Paul gets top billing because he was the great missionary, but we would never had heard of him had not God used encouragers like Barnabas.
How does God use Paul and Barnabas’ argument to serve his purposes? How many missionary teams are there now? What new missionary is recruited? Why do you think Paul has Timothy circumcised after he had fought so forcefully in the previous chapters that the Gentiles did not need to be circumcised to be true followers of Jesus?
Job 40:1-24 – Job and the Lord have a dialogue
This chapter opens with an irrefutable question from God “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?” (Job 40:1 NIV). What is Job’s all too wise response to this? (The best that Job can do is to put his hand over his mouth.)
How does the LORD challenge (sarcastically) Job? (God plays something like a game of “Let’s Pretend”. Well let’s pretend that you (Job) are God. What would you do? The LORD makes it seems absurd even to question God and what he does. Take care of the evil in the world and then we can talk: “Then I myself [the LORD] will admit to you that your own right hand can save you.” (Job 40:14 NIV))
Which of God’s creation does the LORD speak of? What do you think the LORD’s point is? (The LORD looks at the “behemoth” which the NIV footnote suggests is a hippopotamus or elephant. This behemoth has virtually free reign throughout the whole world. “He ranks first among the works of God, yet his Maker can approach him with his sword.” (Job 40:19 NIV) I think that God is telling Job that if I can do what I like to the hippopotamus or elephant, surely I can do as much to you…)