Daily Bible Readings – Monday, November 4, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 58

Prayer Point.  Psalm 58 is an angry prayer because David is confronted by a world where powerful men rule with injustice and cruelty. The anger seems unbecoming of a man of God, but notice that David leaves vengeance and justice in God’s hands and does not seek it on his own. Use the prayer to guide your prayers as you are confronted with injustice today. God can be trusted.

Matthew 13:36-43

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? Using the following background as a guide.

Background. In Matthew 13:24-30 Jesus tells a short story or parable about a farmer who planted wheat in his field. That night, however, his enemy came and sowed weeds so that the weeds grew up among the wheat. The owner’s servants realized what happened and asked to pull the weeds, but the farmer refuses for fear of uprooting the good seed. The time for sorting the good from the bad will come at the harvest.

Jesus often told such stories to the crowds, but he explained them to his disciples when they were alone. Who is the farmer in the story? Note that “Son of Man” is a title taken from Daniel 7 which Jesus used for himself to assert that he was God (see Daniel 7:13-14).Who is the enemy? What is the harvest? Who are the weeds? Who are the wheat? What does this story tell us about the nature of the church? Should we expend energy trying to have a “pure church” today?

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.

Revelation 10:1-11

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 help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. The opening of chapter 10 marks a change in John’s perspective of the vision. In chapter 4, John is invited into God’s heavenly throne room to see the world and world events from heaven’s perspective. In chapter 10, John’s perspective shifts back to earth.

A being called the “Angel of the LORD” appears at pivotal moments in the Old Testament stories. At times it is unclear whether the being is an angel or God himself. The same is true of the angelic being in Revelation 10.

Pay close attention to …

  • Based on what you have read, what in the description of this being would lead you to believe that this person may be Christ himself? Compare the description of the angel to the description of God in Revelation 4:2-5. Remember that the number seven is symbolic of God’s perfection. Where have we seen rainbows before in the Bible? See Revelation 4:3-6 and Genesis 9:12-17.
  • What does this angelic being announce? Compare this to Daniel 12:1-4.
  • Compare what happens to John to Ezekiel’s commissioning as a prophet in Ezekiel 3:1-15. Why is John asked to literally eat the words of God? How is this connected to his mission?

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.

Nehemiah 6:1-19

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 help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Evidently Sanballat and Tobiah and Geshem the Arab must have thought Nehemiah was a moron for they tried to lure him to Ono which is somewhere outside of Jerusalem. It would never have occurred to Nehemiah that there might be something amiss meeting with three of his enemies. These people could not defeat Nehemiah with a frontal assault so they tried a more subtle approach.

What new approaches does Sanballat take to sabotage the rebuilding of Jerusalem? What qualities Nehemiah possess, as a leader and a man of God? Is he merely a nice man, or is there something more to him?

As the pressure from Sanballat intensifies, how does Nehemiah respond? Where does Nehemiah’s courage originate?

What happens to Israel’s enemies, once the walls of Jerusalem were completed?

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.

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