Daily Bible Readings – Friday, January 24, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 35

Prayer Point. There are two ways we can respond to injustice.  We can seek vengeance, or, as Psalm 35 encourages us, leave matters of justice in God’s hands. Where do you see injustice in our world? Lift the victims of this injustice up to God in prayer and ask him to rescue them.

John 4:16-26

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 to guide you.

Background.What does Jesus’ insight into the Samaritan woman’s life tell you about Jesus? Who does Jesus reveal himself to be? Why do you think he chooses to reveal himself as Messiah to a Samaritan woman of all people? What does this say about the kingdom of God that Jesus is ushering in?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey 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?

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

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

Hebrews 7:1-17

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 to guide you.

Background. Genesis 14 tells the story of Abraham’s encounter with Melchizedek, priest of God and king of the city of Salem, which was later renamed Jerusalem.  When Abraham’s nephew Lot was captured, Abraham led a raid to recover his relative and his possessions.  God granted Abraham success and in gratitude Abraham gave ten percent of the spoils to Melchizedek believing him to be God’s representative.  Some believe that Melchizedek may have been an early appearance of Christ himself. Jesus is declared to be a priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Pay close attention to …

  • How the writer of Hebrews proves that Jesus, as a priest in the order of Melchizedek,  is greater than all of Israel’s priests.  Pay close attention to who pays the tithe to whom.
  • What the Levitical priesthood is incapable of delivering, that Jesus, as a priest of the order of Melchizedek, can deliver.

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey 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?

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

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

Genesis 11:27-12:8

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 to guide you.

Background.  “This is the account of Terah.” (Gen. 11:27) Thus begins the ancestry of Abram (later to be known as Abraham). From here it gets either complicated or confusing – take your pick.

Terah = father
Abram, Nahor, Haran are his (Terah’s) sons. Haran had a son – his name was Lot. So Abram was Lot’s uncle.

Unfortunately Haran died before his father (Terah). That left Lot to the care of Terah. We believe that Haran married before Lot was born (though today that would be a presumption).

Abram married Sarai. Sarai is also to daughter of Terah, but, I suspect, because she is a she, she doesn’t merit a genealogy and we discover that she is Abram’s half sister later in Chapter 20. She and Abram, of course, do not share the same mother. How are we doing?

The confusion continues…

Nahor, Abram’s brother, married Milcah who happened to be Nahor’s (and Abram’s) niece because she was the daughter of their dead brother Haran. (Evidently Haran was rather busy before he died.)

… and continues…

You won’t believe where Terah ends up taking Abram, Lot (the grandson of Terah) and Sarai, Abram’s wife, when he decides to move from the city of Ur of the Chaldeans (or Babylonia). You ready for this? Haran, north of Syria. Terah had initially intended to move to Canaan but died while en route in Haran. So Terah had a son named Haran and, coincidently enough, moved his family (minus Nahor and his wife) to a place called Haran which is north of Syria. (You may remember that Noah had three sons: Ham, Shem, and Japheth. It happens that Terah is descended from Shem.)

Are you still with me?

Given that people apparently lived much longer lives in ancient times than they do today, it might be considered young to be called of God when seventy-five years old. Well, probably not! Chapter 11 verse 23 tells us that Terah was 70 years old when he sired Abram.

What was the LORD’s command to Abram?
“Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” v. 12:1

There is no record of the Lord’s involvement with Abram before he gave the command to Abram. The history may have been passed from generation to generation but we really don’t know. The point of this is: would you have obeyed such a command if you had never heard of the LORD? This must have required a great deal of faith because the best that Abram could have had would have been the traditions handed down. There was no written record of the events as yet.

What is the enduring promise made to Abram?
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you?” vv. 2-3 NIV

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey 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?

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

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

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