Bible Reading for 1/9/2022

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 15:1-11

Reading #2 – Psalms 29

Reading #3 – Lamentations 4:12-22

Reading #4 – John 13:31-35

Reading #5 – 1 Samuel 4:1-11


Mike’s Notes

Deuteronomy 15:1-11 – The Sabbatical Year. The Sabbath year or “Shmita” occurs every 7th year (1,). Anybody who lived in the land that owed money was forgiven and the debt canceled (2-3). By being obedient, there would be no poor in the land because the people would provide for those in need (4-5). The Lord promised, and He never breaks His promises, that He would bless the land and the work of the laborers. The proof of a blessed land is that the nation would borrow to many nations but lend from none, would rule many nations but never be ruled over (6). We’ll find out in time that as the nation drifted towards disobedience, they would be ruled over and become poor. If a brother or sister should by happenstance become poor, the people were to provide what the individual needed and do unbegrudgingly (7-11, 2 Corinthians 9:6-9).

Psalms 29 – Ascribe to Lord Glory. The word “ascribe” means to “attribute”. When something good happens in our life, as humans we tend to pat our back. However, when something bad happens we point our fingers. The thing is, the Lord works vicariously through our life which brings good and bad results. Yet, when we are obedient, He makes both ends of the spectrum work for our good (1-2, Romans 8:28). When enemies strike at us, our confidence needs to be in the same Lord who heals us (3-6). In nature, we see days of sunshine and storms, but both works to heal the land and provide for the land and animals’ needs (7-11).

Lamentations 4:12-22 – Temple’s Destruction. Solomon’s temple was the pride of the nation. No one other than the Jews could enter the temple as the others stayed outside in the court of the gentiles (12). The reason the gentiles could enter the temple was that it had become a den of iniquity thanks to the priests and king (13). During the onslaught, the people became unclean due to starvation and thirst leading to illness (14-15). The nation was then scattered to the four winds (16). During the good years, many nations courted Israel for favor and as a trading partner now, those people were nowhere to be found (17). In the final stages of the attack, there was no hiding, running away, and/or denying what was going on just as the prophets had said would occur (18-19). What happened in Israel at that time was a warning both to those on the sidelines and those who were attacking (20-22).

John 13:31-35 – A New Commandment. What was about to happen in the village of Jerusalem would be unprecedented, vile, and frightening. This man Jesus would be offered up as a sacrificial lamb to Rome. One of the 12 disciples would become a traitor for the prize of thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 25:16). The Sanhedrin had been mocked and scorned by Jesus during his ministerial years through parables. The disciples would be caught in the crossfire. In the face of all this, the 12 were told to “love one another” and that included Judas Iscariot and the Jewish community. If the twelve could love one another, the wounds would heal, and the nation could be restored. Love, just like hatred, is a choice that is often made in the face of destruction. If we love one another, as Jesus loves us, the destruction will lose the power it thinks it has will unleash (31-35).

1 Samuel 4:1-11 – The Philistines Capture the Ark. Israel marched out to battle against the Philistines. Israel camped at Ebenezer (Stone of Help) and the Philistines camped at Aphek (Strength or Rapid Torrent). In the first attack, four thousand in Israel had been killed. When the leaders surveyed the damage, they asked “what caused this to happen?”. The decision was made to bring the power of the Ark (1-2). When the ark entered the camp, the people raised a battle cry that shook the Philistines (3-7). At first, the Philistines quaked with fear until a wise leader told them to get a hold of themselves (8-9). The Philistines once again took the battle to Israel, defeated them soundly, and took the Ark of the Covenant. It was at Ebenezer that the two sons of Eli were put to death (10-11).

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