Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 78

Prayer Point. This prayer is about passing the knowledge of God on to the next generation. Pray that your church will remember what God has done; not only in the Bible, but in our own lives. Pray that we will be faithful in sharing what God has done with the next generation, so they in turn will tell their children.

John 7:53-8:11

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 guide you.

Background.  The Feast of Tabernacles has come to a close and the pilgrims who traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast have now returned home. The feast may be over, but the Pharisees continue to see Jesus as a threat to their authority and they seek to trap and destroy him. In the woman caught in the act of adultery, they believe they have found their opportunity.

The idea is put Jesus in the position where he must side either with Old Testament Law or the Roman authorities. The penalty for adultery in the Law of Moses was indeed death, although it is curious as to why only the woman was brought before Jesus, because the Law demanded the lives of both the woman and the man. Already the Pharisees are in violation of the Law.

Here’s the problem. If Jesus says, “yes, stone her” then He would have been in trouble with the Roman authorities, because only the Roman Empire had the right to impose capital punishment. The Pharisees would have been able to portray Jesus to the Romans as someone who was fomenting insurrection. If Jesus says “no” they would portrayed Jesus as someone who did not believe in Jewish Law and Tradition.

How does Jesus stop these men in their tracks and rescue this woman? Who else in this story deserves judgment under the Law of Moses? How is this woman called to respond to Jesus’ gracious act of forgiveness? How are we called to respond?

Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions …

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 13:17-25

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. Some final exhortations about leadership in the church as the letter draws to a close. Why should leaders be submitted to and prayed for?

The final prayer and blessing (verses 20-21). It is said that God the Father originates his plans, God the Son carries them out, and God the Holy Spirit supplies the power. How do you see this ‘Trinity’ pattern work itself out in this closing prayer? What is God being asked to do?

Lest we forget that this is a personal letter that has preserved for our benefit, Hebrews ends with some personal greetings.

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 26:1-33

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. In the first six verses of Chapter 26 we learn that Isaac went to see Abimelech of Philistia.  Many of the events of Isaac’s encounter with Abimelech are similar to those of his father Abraham’s dealings with another king of the same name (though unlikely the same man).  Verse two tells us that the LORD appeared to Isaac.  While the bible doesn’t tell us how that appearing happened, I think it was by means of a dream (for that was usually how the LORD met with people in those days).  What are the LORD’s instructions to Isaac?

[The LORD tells Isaac to remain in Gerar and not to go to Egypt.  Further, the LORD promises to increase Isaac’s blessings and then re-confirms the covenant or oath the LORD made to Abraham about his many offspring and that he would give them all the land of Canaan.]

While we can see several similarities between Abraham’s journey among the Philistines and Isaac’s, what is a striking difference?

[Abraham created a ruckus when first he entered the land of the Philistines by telling Sarah to admit that she was Abraham’s sister and not his wife.   Abimelech (I) bribed Abraham to leave his land so that the LORD would not destroy his people.  Isaac, on the other hand, was greatly blessed by the Lord and his flocks and herds multiplied thus making him very rich among the Philistines.  While they drove (and bribed) Abraham to leave, this Abimelech (II) commanded Isaac to leave because he was getting too powerful.  Isaac was not bribed.]

Isaac then digs a couple of wells over which the Philistines dispute.  He abandons them and finally digs a well where there is no dispute.  What does he call this well?  What does it mean?
[“He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it.  He named it Rehoboth, saying, ‘Now the LORD has given us room and we will flourish in the land.’” (v. 26:22 NIV)  As indicated in the notes in the NIV, Rehoboth means “room”.]

We continue with the parallels in Abraham’s and Isaac’s lives.  Abraham makes a treaty with Abimelech (I) at Beersheba (“can mean ‘well of the oath’ or ‘well of seven’” NIV footnotes).  Isaac makes a treaty with Abimelech (II) also at Beersheba.

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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