Prayer Psalm: 68
Prayer Point: Psalm 68 reminds us that our God is a conquering king and that while evil still exists in our world, it has been defeated. David could look back on the great military victories that God secured for Israel. We have the cross in view, for Jesus, through his life, death and resurrection has conquered death and hell forever. Thank God for his victory through Jesus, and pray for the faith to believe this while we continue to live in a broken world.
The Feast of Passover drew Jewish pilgrims from all over the world to worship God at the temple of Jerusalem. Who are the crowds eager to see? Why are chief priests planning to kill Jesus and Lazarus?
Jesus deliberately mounts a young donkey, the mount used by royalty in peace time, as opposed to a horse, which was ridden during times of war. Jesus also does this to fulfill an Old Testament prophecy. See Zechariah 9:9. What are Jesus’ actions telling us about himself according to Zechariah 9:9? When did the disciples finally understand this fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9? Jesus’ glorification (verse 16) refers to his death and resurrection. Who is spreading word of Jesus’ arrival? Why does this concern the Pharisees?
Why do Paul, Silas, and Timothy travel to Phrygia and Galatia instead of Asia? Who is leading to them? What is one way that the Holy Spirit communicated with Paul? Notice how he directs Paul to go to Philippi.
If you are a careful reader, which I am not, you may have noticed that the pronouns in this chapter have changed from “they” to “we.” Luke, the author of Acts, has now joined Paul’s missionary team for this portion of the story.
Paul and his companions went to the river intending to pray. What did the Holy Spirit have planned for them instead? What causes Lydia to believe Paul’s gospel message? What does this tell us about our role and God’s role in sharing the good news of Jesus? What happens to Lydia’s household (network of family and friends)? How is Paul’s team following the instructions of Jesus in Matthew 10:11-13?
Job 41:1-11 – The enigma known as leviathan
There is a general consensus that the “leviathan” spoken of here is a crocodile. The fact is that the scholars don’t really know for sure. [I can tell you that the seventeenth century political philosopher Thomas Hobbes used the term leviathan to describe government. – j.t.]
What advice does the LORD give Job regarding leviathan? (v. 41:8) (The LORD is doing exactly the same thing as any parent would do: “If you lay a hand on him, you will remember the struggle and never do it again! (NIV))
What rhetorical question does the LORD offer Job? (speaking of leviathan: “No one is fierce enough to rouse him. Who then is able to stand against me? (Job 41:10 NIV) Do we see where these questions are leading?)
What is the important thing to remember in verse 41:11? (Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.” (NIV))
Job must be sinking into depression [and who can blame him?]. Re-read Job 1:20-22. (“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 named I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised’” (NIV))