Skip to main content

bible reading aug 4



Bible reading for Aug 4. 

Judges 18.


"And the priest's heart was glad. He took the ephod and the household gods and the carved image and went along with the people." (Judges 18:20) 

STRANGE RELIGION, PART 2. We have seen the general decline of the people of Israel during this time into compromise, inter-marriage, idolatry, and perversions. Such is "progress" in life without a king (v 1). Being "without a king" did not merely mean not having a monarch, but it meant being without a righteous ruler who is humbly submitted to God's law, as specified in Deut 17:14-20. This kind of king would be in a position to properly enforce law and order. In yesterday's reading we saw how corrupt popular religion had become, and here we see the Levite switching roles from a household priest (he really wasn't a priest) to a clan priest, because of the power and money involved. For the tribe of Dan, their show of force wins the day. Intimidation is an effective weapon in culture wars. Now, they have their own hired holy man, complete with an impressive collection of idols (see Jer 14:18). God ordained and called the priests (and Levites) to guard true understanding and knowledge (Neh 10:28; Mal 2:7). Despite the good that the various judges have done in this period of history, it is apparent the nation is sinking to a new low. 

REFLECT. Why were these Israelites so unaware of their spiritual and societal degeneration? What is the relationship between individual religious beliefs and the behavior and values of a society? How important is it to you that God is worshiped in truth and purity? 

==============  

Acts 22.

"And he said to me, 'Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'" (Acts 22:21)

PAUL SPEAKS TO THE CROWD. The Apostle Paul, rescued from being beaten by the crowd, now shares his testimony and calling from the Lord. They listen until he gets to the part about the Lord sending him to the Gentiles, and then the crowd goes wild again. It becomes apparent that many of Jews are not as concerned with including Gentiles in the community of God (Gen 12:3; Ps 22:27; Isa 19:23) as they are in losing their position of power and privilege as Israelites. Paul is then taken into the Roman barracks (the Antonia Fortress) but spared from further beating by the soldiers when he calls attention to his Roman citizenship. His Roman citizenship, no small thing, will open doors for his proclamation of the gospel before Gentile rulers and prepare the way for his trip to Rome to stand before the emperor. 

REFLECT. How did Paul prepare for this moment, do you think? And how should we view people's hostility toward us? ...as an occasion to be avoided, or rather as a divine appointment to tell our story and share the gospel? Let's learn from Paul! 
   

Image credits. Apostle Paul arrested in Jerusalem and taken before the Roman authorities. Woodcut of a 19th-century Bible illustration. 
We are following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson.
Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The NET Bible is a free, online resource, and a ministry of bible.org.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

bible reading nov 1-2

  Bible reading for weekend Nov 1 -- 2 Nov 1 -- Hosea 7 and Psalms 120-122 Nov 2 -- Hosea 8 and Psalms 123-125 ================   "Were I to write for him my laws by the ten thousands, they would be regarded as a strange thing." (Hosea 8:12) THE RESULTS OF SIN (ch 7-8). Notice the words and metaphors to describe Israel's sinful condition: they are surrounded with, and proud of, their evil (7:1-3); like adulterers in the heat of passion (7:4-5); their anger is like a hot oven (7:6-7); they are like a half-cooked (one side only) cake (7:8); their strength is gone (7:9); they are like silly doves easily trapped (7:11-12); they are undependable like a warped bow (7:16). In spite of all of this they are so proud of themselves! (We might say they have a strong self-esteem.) They have spurned what is good (8:3); they sow to the wind and have no real fruit (8:7); they are a useless vessel (8:8) and a wild donkey wandering alone (8:9); they regard God's law as a strange thing

bible reading dec 3-5

  Bible reading for weekend December 3 -- 5  Dec 3 -- Nahum 1 and Luke 17 Dec 4 -- Nahum 2 and Luke 18 Dec 5 -- Nahum 3 and Luke 19 ================ "The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. But with an overflowing flood he will make a complete end of the adversaries, and will pursue his enemies into darkness." (Nahum 1:7-8)  TIME'S UP FOR NINEVEH (Nah 1-3). The prophecy of Nahum is God's word to the people of Nineveh, part two. Jonah was part one, chronicling a city-wide repentance of Assyrians in the capital about a hundred years earlier. The closing bookend is Nahum, and the Assyrian empire is big, powerful, and aggressive. Notice the references to chariots (2:3-4, 13; 3:2). The Assyrians were a militarily advanced culture, and cruel in their warfare. Whatever spiritual receptivity they had at the time of Jonah was gone by the time of Nahum. Nahum may not have actually visited Nineveh, for it seems the book was w

bible reading dec 13-14

Bible reading for December 13 -- 14  Dec 13 -- Haggai 2 and John 3 Dec 14 -- Zechariah 1 and John 4 ================ "Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the LORD. Work, for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts..." (Haggai 2:4) THE LATTER GLORY (Haggai 2). The Jews, having returned from Babylonian exile, must get to work and finish rebuilding the temple. For this reason, the post-exilic period is called the "second temple" period. King Herod would later enlarge and add many embellishments to the site. But the beginnings in Haggai are so modest compared to the temple originally built by Solomon, and the people were discouraged. The Lord asks, "Is it not as nothing in your eyes?" (v 3) He tells them that they are to be strong and to keep working, for he is with them, no matter how humble the project may seem. This principle applies to us, as well (Matt 28:20; Eph 6:10). We should not become disheartened at the smallness of the return on our