Daily Bible Readings – Monday, January 28, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 64

Prayer Point. Before you pray this psalm, put yourselves in the shoes of someone you know who is a victim of injustice. Following the flow of this psalm pray that: God will hear them, cause the plans of the wicked to backfire, and that God’s intervention will cause our world to fear and worship him.

Mark 7:24-37

Background. It was difficult for the Jesus’ disciples, or any Jews for that matter, to believe that he had come to save those outside the nation of Israel. Jesus leaves the confines of Israel and heads to the Gentile city of Tyre in what we call Lebanon today. Jesus sounds harsh to the Syrian woman, but he is only mouthing the biases of his people in order to test her faith.

From Tyre Jesus travels to the Decapolis, another Gentile region on the east side of the Sea of Galilee. The point is clear, Jesus is more than Israel’s Messiah, he is the Savior of the entire world.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why Jesus is so impressed by the Syro-Phoenecian woman and what he does in response to her reply.
  • The way Jesus heals her daughter and what this tells you about his power over demons.
  • Why Jesus chooses to touch the deaf man.
  • What the people of Decapolis do when Jesus commands them not to tell anyone about the healing.

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

Galatians 4:1-11

Background. Paul compares the lifestages of a Roman heir to the development of our relationship with God. A Roman heir was placed under the protection of guardians and trustees, household slaves, until he came of age. When his father deemed him ready, he came into his inheritance.

The same is true of our relationship with God. We were under slavery to the Law of God until his appointed time and all of us, slave and free, men and women, Jews and Gentiles were given the opportunity to become full sons and daughters of God.

The Galatians that Paul is writing to is in danger of returning to the slavery that they had left behind. Through faith in Jesus Christ, they had become sons and daughters of God. But now, they had abandoned the message of Jesus, to follow a different gospel (see Galatians 1:6-7) that required them to follow Jewish Laws to be “true” sons of God. For Paul, slavery to the idols, which the Galatians had served in their old life and following the Law the God in an attempt to make them right with with God was the same bondage. Both were the “miserable principles of this world (see Galatians 4:9)?”

Pay close attention to …

  • The events that caused us to go from slavery to the basic principles of the world (verse 3) to receiving the full rights of sons (verse 5). 
  • The roles of God’s Son (Jesus) and the Spirit of his Son (the Holy Spirit).
  • The comparison Paul makes between the Galatians’ life of worshiping idols (verse 8) and their new life of obeying Jewish Law in an attempt to become right with God (verses 9-11).

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

Isaiah 48:1-11

Background. The material we will go over in this chapter (48) is old turf. The attitude of God’s people toward him shows itself in their rejection of his covenant. “Your children who follow you in later generations and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which the Lord has afflicted it. The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur — nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in fierce anger. All the nations will ask: ‘Why has the Lord done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?’

“And the answer will be: ‘It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their fathers, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. In furious anger and in great wrath the Lord uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.’ The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:22-29 NIV)

The most important point here is that this lesson (or message) must be delivered to each generation — we are to tell our children and grandchildren who, in turn, will bring the message to their children and grandchildren.

Pay close attention to …

  • How oaths are taken (v. 1)
  • Who foretold the former things long ago (v. 3)
  • How the stubbornness of Judah is described (v. 4)
  • Why the people were told of “these things” long ago (v. 5)
  • False gods (v. 5)
  • The “new things” “hidden things unknown to you” (vv. 7-8) [Notice the emboldened sentence above from Deuteronomy]
  • The un-hearing ear (v. 8)
  • The treachery and rebellion (v. 8)
  • Why wrath is delayed (v. 9)
  • Why wrath is delayed (v. 11)

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

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