Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The One Year Bible- April 19, 2006

He is Risen!! He is Risen Indeed!!! I pray you all had a blessed Easter. My Easter was of course busy, but very fulfilling; I have also been continually fulfilled by reading through the Bible this year. I hope you feel the same way. I know I seem to say it every week but there was so much good stuff in this weeks readings. My prayer is that these studies shed some light on parts of scripture that may not be familiar to you. On to the study...

Where We Have Been

The Old Testament
The conquest of the Promised Land has begun. Joshua is now the leader of the people and he shows his military skills. After the first debacle at Ai the people learned their lesson and started to trust in God. God gave them the victory over most of the people. Even after all the kings got together, the people of Israel were still victorious. They followed God’s orders and were blessed. They defeated 31 kings with the help of the Lord!! This will not always be the case. We will see soon enough that the people will stray away from God. We see the beginnings of the problems when the people of Gibeon tricked the Israelites and signed a treaty with them. This would be the first of many groups of people that were not completely destroyed as Moses commanded. We will see that these people will cause problems for the people in the future. I really like the fact the Joshua learned his lesson about being strong and courageous. On the battlefield Joshua tells his troops, “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged. Be strong and courageous, for the Lord is going to do this to all of your enemies.” (Joshua 10:25 NLT) Joshua was a great leader and he instructed his troops with the same wise words that Moses and the Lord had given him. A large part of our reading this week centered around the division of the promised land. These are some tedious chapters especially if you are not familiar with all the landmarks. I hope you found a map in a Bible to help you. If not here is one that I found:

Even though the people are now settled in the land and there is peace, it will not last. Problems will arise because the people did not completely destroy all of the people, but more about that later.

The New Testament
Jesus seems to talk a lot about money in this weeks readings. To Jesus, money is something that can be used for good but it can also be used as something to be worshiped. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate (remember our discussion of hate from last week) one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Luke 16:13 NLT) This was a direct attack on the Pharisees who loved money. The point is that God wants us to be faithful with the monetary blessings that we have been given but they are not to rule us and in reality become an idol that we worship. When Jesus talks to the rich young ruler, money is again an issue. Jesus tells him to sell everything he has and give the money to the poor. This man was not ready to give up his money. We all struggle with money. How much should we give away. How much is too much etc. Many of us are afraid if we do not save money we will not be able to survive. We sometimes forget the wonderful words of Jesus, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.” (Luke 18:27 NLT) God will take care of us, we should not have to worry about money because we can focus on money and it will rule us if we are not careful. In our readings for today we begin the story of the Passion. Luke makes an interesting comment about all the praise that Jesus is receiving on Palm Sunday. Some of the Pharisees tried to get Jesus to stop the celebration and Jesus says, “If they keep quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!” (Luke 19:40) This is an amazing statement. We have read in the Psalms that all creation praises the Lord, but here is proof that it can happen. Can you imagine if no one would praise God and then the rocks start to cry out? What a sight that would be!

Where We Are Going

The Old Testament
We will finish up the book of Joshua this week and begin the book of Judges. Here are the vital stats on the book of Judges:

Purpose: To show the God’s judgment against sin is certain, and his forgiveness of sin and restoration to relationship is just as certain for those who repent

Author: Possibly Samuel

Setting: The land of Canaan, later called Israel. God had helped the Israelites conquer Canaan. which had been inhabited by a host of wicked nations. But they were in danger of losing this Promised Land because they compromised their convictions and disobeyed God.

Key Verse: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” (17:6)

Key People: Othniel, Ehud (my favorite Judge), Deborah, Gideon, Abimelech, Jephthah, Samson, Delilah

Special Feature: Records Israel’s first civil war

The New Testament
In our readings in Luke we will hear a few more teachings of Jesus including the Signs of the end of the age and then we will spend a few weeks on the story of the passion beginning with the betrayal by Judas and the Last Supper.

Key Verses
Luke 16:13
Luke 17:20-21
Psalm 84: 1, 10

Let us all live in the joy that comes from the Risen Christ!!!


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