Prayer Psalm: 114
Prayer PointWe are called to both fear and love God as Israel did. Psalm 114 explains why. It is the power of God that causes the earth to tremble, but it is that same power that breaks the power of oppression and sets us free. Pray that God will fill you with a reverent fear of his power, but also gratitude that this same power rescued us from slavery to sin and death.
John the Baptist has just questioned whether Jesus was the Messiah. You probably would have asked the same questions if you were languishing in prison.
How does Jesus feel about John despite his doubts? How can this encourage us when we struggle to believe?
Why do some people accept the words of Jesus and others reject it according to verses 29 and 30?
What words of condemnation does Jesus have for the religious leaders who rejected him?
Luke 7:35 “But wisdom is proved right by all her children.”
A true child was someone who took on the characteristics of his parent. The children of God will live according to God’s wisdom. Even tax-collectors who were ill-regarded will be transformed into true sons of God, putting the religious leaders of the time to shame.
2 Peter 3:11-18
What kind of life should we live while we wait for the “day of God” (God’s final judgment of the world)? While this world will be destroyed, what hope do God’s people look forward to?
A ______________________ AND a _________________________ (verse 13)?
The Lord’s patience meant that the suffering of Peter’s readers continued for the short-term as the “day of God” was delayed. What good comes from God’s slowness? As the letter comes to close, what does Peter perceive as the greatest threat to the church while it waits for the return of Christ? What should we grow in while we wait for Jesus?
Isaiah 5:1-7 The Song of the Vineyard
To whom is the song about the vineyard being sung? (The “singer” is God and the song is being sung to his “loved one”.)
What does the tender of the vineyard do in order to harvest an abundant crop? (The vineyard was on a fertile hillside; it was dug up and cleared of stones; only the choicest vines were planted therein; a watchtower was built in its midst and a winepress.)
What was the actual harvest of the vines like? (“Then he [the owner of the vineyard who also happens to be God] looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit.” (Isaiah 5:2b NIV))
What does the vineyard represent? (The vineyard represents both Jerusalem and Judea, i.e, all the inhabitants of the land.)
What happens to be the fate of the vineyard? (Its hedge will be taken away; it will be destroyed; its wall will be broken down; the vineyard will be trampled and thus become a wasteland. It will no longer be pruned and cultivated but a place where briars and thorns will thrive. Oh, and yes, “I will command the clouds not to rain on it.” (Isaiah 5:6 NIV))
Describe what the “good” grapes resemble? (The good grapes would be justice and righteousness.)
What does the vinedresser actually find (aka “bad fruit)? (The vinedresser finds not justice, but bloodshed; not righteousness but rather “cries of distress”. (v. 5:7))
This imagery is very similar to a parable by Jesus as found in Matthew 21:33-46.