Daily Bible Readings – Friday, June 7, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 51

Prayer Point.  Doubt that God can forgive even the worst sins, then you need to read this psalm. David, the author, has just committed adultery and then murdered the husband to cover his crime and yet there is hope for him. How do we come clean when we sin? Use this psalm as your guide.

Luke 18:9-14

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. Pharisees were highly regarded in Jesus’ day for their commitment to God and his Law. Tax-collectors were despised because they profited from the misery of their countrymen by serving the hated Roman occupiers and defrauding them in order to line their pockets.

Pay close attention to …
Why the Pharisee’s prayer is rejected and the tax collector’s prayer accepted?
What the tax collector’s prayer can teach us about repentance.

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?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

2 Corinthians 8:16-24

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. With the church in Jerusalem facing starvation, Paul is laboring to collect donations from the church in Corinth to aid their suffering brothers and sisters. Paul is sending a delegation of co-workers to encourage the church in Corinth and to handle the monies they will donate.

Pay close attention to …

  • The motivation behind the offering (collection of money) in verse 19.
  • How Paul works hard to do what is right in the eyes of God and of men with regards to the monies he is collecting for the church in Jerusalem.

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?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:14

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? Use the “Background” below to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. What is the fate of the young man who is told to be happy while he is young? (“ … but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment.” (Eccl. 11:9b NIV))

Why give up anxiety and the troubles of the body? (“…for youth and vigor are meaningless.” (Eccl. 11:10b NIV))

Verse 1 admonishes us to “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth…” Why? (I think it is that the older we get the more we try to find meaning in our lives. Solomon will spend much time reminding us how “meaningless” everything is, but there is something built in us which seeks hope.)

What is being described in verses 6 and 7? (How fragile life is. The silver cord is severed; the golden bowl is broken; the pitcher is shattered; the well-wheel be broken.)

Can you see the frustration in verse 8? (Meaningless! Meaningless! Meaningless… This is the culmination of the book.)

Find the bright note in the conclusion of this book! (“Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. (Eccl. 12:13-14 NIV))

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?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

Sirach 45:6-16 *Sirach is not considered to be Scripture, but is still worthwhile reading.

Aaron, to begin with, was Moses’ older brother. While he had his failings, Aaron managed to rise above them to become the anchor of the Levitical priesthood which was conferred on him by God through Moses. It was an unfortunate day while Moses was busy atop Mount Sinai that Aaron was also busy down below making for the people of God a golden idol: the famous golden calf. This particular image will return hundreds of years later to haunt and lead the Israelites (Northern Kingdom) astray. Jeroboam (I) will set up two golden calves in the Northern Kingdom (Samaria) in order to keep the people from going to Jerusalem to worship the LORD.

Aaron had four sons. Two were good and two were evil. The evil sons got drunk one day and offered “strange fire” before the LORD and paid for it with their lives. It is believed that because of this incident the prohibition against drinking and serving the Lord was instituted. (That seems obvious to me. — j.t.) So poor Aaron was unable to impress upon his first born sons (they were in fact the older of the four) of the importance of all that Moses had done and said.

Aaron is regarded respectfully, as we will see in this section, throughout all of Israel’s history.

Sirach
Chapter 45
Verses 6-16

6 He exalted Aaron, a holy man like Moses
who was his brother, of the tribe of Levi.
7 He made and everlasting covenant with him,
and gave him the priesthood of the people.
He blessed him with stateliness,
and put a glorious robe on him.
8 He clothed him in perfect splendor,
and strengthened him with the symbols of authority,
the linen undergarments, the long robe, and the ephod.
9 And he encircled him with pomegranates,
with many golden bells all around,
to send forth a sound as he walked
to make their ringing heard in the temple
as a reminder to his people;
10 with the sacred vestment, of gold and violet
and purple, the work of an embroiderer;
with the oracle of judgment, Urim and Thummim;
11 with twisted crimson, the work of an artisan;
with precious stones engraved like seals,
in a setting of gold, the work of a jeweler,
to commemorate in engraved letters
each of the tribes of Israel;
12 with a gold crown upon his turban,
inscribed like a seal with “Holiness,”
a distinction to be prized, the work of an expert,
a delight to the eyes, richly adorned,
13 Before him such beautiful things did not exist.
No outsider ever put them on,
but only his sons
and his descendants in perpetuity.
14 His sacrifices shall be wholly burned
twice every day continually,
15 Moses ordained him,
an anointed him with holy oil;
it was an everlasting covenant for him
and for his descendants as long as the heavens endure,
to minister to the LORD and serve as priest
and bless his people in his name.
16 He chose him out of all the living
to offer sacrifice to the LORD,
incense and a pleasing odor as a memorial portion,
to make atonement for the people.

Pay close attention to …

  • Read the passage and consider just how important the roll of the priest (high priest) was to the Israelite community.

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