Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, September 20, 2012

Prayer Psalm: 74

Prayer Point:  Asaph stood in shock as he gazed upon the smoldering ruins of the temple and city of Jerusalem.  How could God abandon his people, when he was the one who parted the Red Sea and made them free?  How long would God allow his enemies to mock him and his people?  There are Christians all over the world who are tormented by their enemies.  Pray Psalm 74 today on their behalf.

John 12:27-36

In verse 27 we begin to see the inner turmoil Jesus experienced as the time of his crucifixion drew near. What does Jesus wish for? Why does he reject that path? Whose glory is Jesus working for?

How does God the Father express his approval of Jesus, his obedient Son? For whose benefit is this message given?

In verses 30-32, Jesus makes an allusion to Numbers 21:4-9. In this story Israel accuses God of bringing them out of slavery only to kill them with starvation in the desert. As punishment, God sends poisonous serpents into the camp of Israel and the people began to die. In desperation they cried out to God and God had Moses put a bronze snake on a pole. Anyone who looked at the snake was healed. How does Jesus connect this story to his own crucifixion?

Who is the light that Jesus says will be with them only a little longer?

Acts 16:25-40

Paul and Silas were stripped, beaten and thrown into prison for healing a girl who, through her demon possession, made a sizable profit for her masters. How did Paul and Silas respond to their suffering? Who notices their unusual reaction? How did God demonstrate his power over the Roman authorities?

The Philippian jailer cries out in fear as the prison has collapsed around him. The Holy Spirit has orchestrated it all bringing this man to the ultimate question, “What must I do to be saved?” How do Paul and Silas answer him? To whom is salvation offered? Where does the jailer take them? What happens to his household?

Notice that the apostles continue to follow the pattern Jesus gave them in Matthew 10:11-13. The Philippian jailer is the man of peace who opens to the door to his household, his network of family and friends. The apostles enter the house, preach the gospel and the entire household comes to faith in Jesus Christ together.

The magistrates, who were quite fearful at this point because of the earthquake, are eager to get rid of Paul and Silas but there is a problem. Paul, as a Roman citizen, could not be legally imprisoned or beaten without a trial. If Rome found out about their handling of Paul’s case, these officials would have been in serious trouble. Why do you think Paul asserted his rights as a Roman citizen here? What opening did Paul’s citizenship give for spreading the gospel in Philippi?

Job 28:1-28  – Job’s Monologue (Ahem) I Mean Response to Bildad

In the first place, I am at a loss to explain why the “powers that be” [The Book of Common Prayer] decided that this chapter should be looked at after the last chapter of Job.

What are the first eleven verses of Chapter 28 describing? (A mine.)

What is the subject of this chapter? (“But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell.” (Job 28:12 NIV))

What does Job say about wisdom? (“Man does not comprehend its worth.” (v. 13); “… it cannot be found in the land of the living…”; it is not in the deep nor in the sea (v. 14); it cannot be bought (v. 15); nor can it be compared with gold not crystal [probably diamond – j. t.]; “the price of wisdom is beyond rubies” (v. 18b).)

So, where can wisdom be found? (“God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells, for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.” (Job 28:23-24 NIV))

So what is wisdom according to Job? (“And he [God] said to man, ‘The fear of the LORD – that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” (Job 28;28 NIV))

As we leave our study of Job still the question remains: Why?

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