Daily Bible Readings, Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 94

Prayer Point.  We live in a world where the most vulnerable, widows, orphans and refugees are often oppressed with impunity. Many say, “the Lord does not see,” as innocents are slaughtered in wars or abortion clinics. Pray on behalf of the weak and oppressed today. Pray that God will be their fortress and will reestablish justice on the earth.

Luke 10:1-17

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following “Background” and “Pay close attention to …”  sections to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Jesus trained several circles of disciples during his time on earth.  There were the three: Peter, James and John, the twelve apostles and a larger group of seventy-two disciples. Although the three and the twelve enjoyed more of Jesus’ attention, Jesus did train the larger group of seventy-two disciples to carry on his ministry.  His method was quite simple: the disciples watched Jesus preach and heal the sick.  After a set period of time they graduated to the next stage of their training. Jesus sends them out to do what they had watched him do.

Jesus will reference several towns in today’s reading.  Korazin and Bethsaida are Jewish towns.  Tyre and Sidon are towns outside of Israel that were known for pagan worship. Sodom was an ancient city that God destroyed by fire because of its wickedness (see Genesis 19:1-29).

Pay close attention to …

  • The first step of the seventy-two disciples’ mission (verse 2).
  • What they are not to do and what they are not to bring (verse 4).
  • What the disciples are to look for when they enter a house (verse 6).
  • What the disciples are to do in the houses they enter.
  • What they are to do should they be rejected.
  • The mood of the seventy-two upon their return.

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Hebrews 6:13-20

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following “Background” and “Pay close attention to …”  sections to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Abraham was an important figure to the readers of Hebrews.  He was the founder of the Jewish  nation and the first to receive the promises of God (see Genesis 12:1-5; 15:1-6).  Just as Abraham hung on to the promises of God, so also the Christians addressed in Hebrews are to hang to the promises of the Gospel.

The image of Jesus our high priest looms large as today’s reading comes to a close.  In the Old Testament, man’s sin separated him from the presence of God. God’s presence was concentrated in the inner sanctuary of the temple behind a thick curtain.  No one could enter the presence of God, save the High Priest, and he only once a year and never without a sacrifice.  The priests that served in the temple were descendants of Aaron, who in turn was a descendant of Abraham’s great-grandson, Levi. Jesus is a priest of a higher order, the order of Melchizedek that was greater than Abraham himself (see Genesis 14:17-20).

Pay close attention to …

  • The assurances these Christians are given that given that God will keep his promises. How God guaranteed his promises to them.
  • The ‘hope and anchor for the soul’ and the guarantee that God will fulfill his promises to these Christians and to us.

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Ezekiel 7:10-15; 23-27

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following “Background” and “Pay close attention to …”  sections to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. A very brief summary of Chapter 5:  Ezekiel is commanded by the LORD to shave his head and his beard.  This is an act of humiliation — this is not to be confused with an act of humility.  King David at one point had sent emissaries to the king of the Ammonites to comfort him over the death of his father.  Because trust is such a commodity, the king and his advisors decided that David could not be sincere.  David’s ambassadors were sent back with half of their beards shaved and their garments cut out at the buttocks.  David’s response was predictable.  This account is found in 2 Samuel 10.  Even as recently as the close of World War II the French humiliated any collaborator by shaving his head (man, woman and child).

This humiliation is a visual object lesson of what awaits Jerusalem when the Babylonians come upon them.  Chapter 5 is the LORD ‘s oracle against Jerusalem.

Chapter 6 concerns Ezekiel’s prophecy against the mountains and hills of Judah/Jerusalem.  Throughout the Hebrews’ history their places of choice for idol worship was in “high places”.  The term of “High Places” is synonymous with false gods.  The very righteous king Josiah went throughout the land of both Judah and Israel bent on destroying all of the “high places” to purge this idolatry from the land.  This prophecy shows us that idolatry crept back into the land.
Ezekiel has addressed the city of Jerusalem, the hills and mountains, now he turns his attention to the people themselves.

Pay close attention to …

  • The LORD’s anger against the people (vv. 3-4 )
  • The sense of urgency of the message (vv. 10-12 )
  • The three sources of the LORD’s fury (v. 15 )
  • How desperate the people will become (v. 26 )

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s