May 22 – Daily Notes – Amanda

patience

Apparently there are certain concepts that escape us if not repeated at least a thousand times. Proverbs seems to think so. Yet again, in today’s reading, we are reminded that wisdom is shown when we are patient and slow to act or speak. Foolishness is rash and fast moving and fails to think things through. I know I could stand to hear this message on repeat. How about you?

2 Samuel 1:1-2:11:

  • 11-16 – It seems very harsh to us that David kills the young Amalekite who, seemingly, was merciful to a dying Saul. David had deep regard for Saul as the anointed one of God and did not see it as the Amalekite’s job to kill him.
  • 1 – David was faithful in seeking God’s guidance before he would make moves.
  • 4 – David is now officially king over Judah. He needed for Saul and his sons to die and to be anointed. Now both have happened.
  • 4-7 – The men of Jabesh-gilead were the ones who took Saul’s body back from the Philistines after the Philistines tortured and dishonored it. David greatly appreciated this because it was honoring to God’s anointed, Saul.
  • 8-11 – One son of Saul was still alive, Ish-bosheth. A portion of the Israelites follow Ish-bosheth as their king, but the majority follow David.

John 12:20-50:

  • 23-24 – Jesus knew that in order to conquer sin and for his mission to multiply, he had to die.
  • 29 – This is the second recording of God speaking audibly directly to or about Jesus. The first is during his baptism.
  • 34-36 – The people could not understand how he could be the Christ and die since their law said the Christ would live forever. They couldn’t reconcile the two. Jesus simply encourages them to follow him while he’s still there.
  • 42-43 – A very convicting passage. Too often we care more about what others think than what pleases God.

Psalm 118:19-29:

  • 22 – This verse is later applied to Jesus. He was rejected, but ultimately our faith was built on him.
  • 24 – A popular, very quotable verse reminding us that each day is a gift from God and should be given back to him with praise.

Proverbs 15:27-28:

  • 28 – The continual theme in Proverbs of wisdom being slow and thoughtful is repeated here.

May 15 – Daily Notes – Amanda

david and goliath

You’ve heard this story 1,000 times, but don’t skim over it. David and Goliath is told as a children’s story most often because we can be brave and that’s good stuff. But listen to the dialogue. What is David’s reasoning for facing a giant against all odds? Who was this David kid anyway? Take the time to read this story like it was the first time.

1 Samuel 17:1-18:4:

  • 4 – Some say Goliath may have been up to 9 feet tall.
  • 26-27 – David was most concerned that the Philistines were opposing God’s army, the Israelites. He couldn’t believe or stand this type of offense.
  • 38-40 – It seems that Saul is trying to do all he can for David. Certainly he felt like it might look bad on him to send a young boy out to be killed by a veteran warrior who was also a giant.
  • 45-47 – David went to battle in the name of the Lord with every confidence that the Lord would sustain and proper him against Goliath.
  • 1-4 – Jonathan was Saul’s son but became David’s best friend. Theirs is one of the greatest stories of friendship in all of Scripture.

John 8:21-30:

  • 23-24 – Just like us, the people who lived when Jesus did also needed to believe that he was the Son of God and Savior of the world.

Psalm 111:1-10:

  • This Psalm lists off a number of reasons why God is great and worthy to be followed and praised. It gives hope to believers and reminds us of the lengths God will go to in order to care for his people.
  • 10 – Proverbs 1:7 also says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This makes sense considering God leads us into protection and good things. To fear and obey him would obviously help us make wise decisions.

Proverbs 15:11:

  • Sheol was the name of the place people thought the dead went. Abaddon was a angel said to be in charge of an army of locusts. He is also mentioned in Revelation.

May 6 – Daily Notes – Amanda

israelites in egypt

Just like us, the Israelites struggled to retain memories of the good things God had done for them. They needed to be continually reminded of specific instances of God’s faithfulness. In today’s psalm, the psalmist recounts a series of time where God proved himself faithful and that faithfulness in the past gave hope to the original readers and can give hope to us as well. We serve a faithful God.

Ruth 2:1-4:22:

  • 1-2 – The Israelites were commanded to not go through their fields and pick up the leftovers but to leave them for widows and travelers. This is exactly what Ruth is taking advantage of.
  • 8-10 – Boaz essentially guarantees Ruth’s safety and provision.
  • 6-18 – Though the language is somewhat suggestive that Ruth and Boaz had a sexual encounter, the language is just uncertain enough that you can’t say either way with any confidence. Maybe she did simply sleep at his feet all night after a kind, generous conversation. Either way, it was scandalous in their culture that she stayed the night with a man who was not her husband.
  • 1-6 – Women, like land, were considered property. Ruth came along with the land since she had no male relative to marry.
  • 7 – The phrase, “now this was custom in former times,” makes it clear that this story was told to people years later when customs had changed.
  • 11-12 – Rachel, Ruth and Boaz, Perez, Tamar, and Judah are all part of Jesus’ lineage listed in the first chapter of Matthew.
  • 17 – This lineage is listed to show Ruth’s connection to David and eventually to Jesus. It is significant that Ruth was not an Israelite so we know that gentiles were part of Jesus’ background.

John 4:43-54:

  • 47-54 – Jesus frequently rewards people who believe without having seen a miracle or been told specifically who he is.
  • 54 – Though John’s gospel doesn’t enumerate all of Jesus’ miracles, clearly the writer wanted the readers to recognize that this was Jesus’ second miracle in a particular place.

Psalm 105:16-36:

Proverbs 14:26-27:

  • “The fear of the Lord” is an interesting concept. Fear can be replaced with the word “awe”. When we stand in awe or reverence of something, we hold great respect for it. This fear or awe should lead us to obedience. Because of that, when we fear the Lord and it leads to obedience, we are fully protected by the Lord and can have confidence in that.

February 14 – Daily Notes – Amanda

one-job

Though we often complicate it and make things far more difficult than they should be, Jesus gives us one job as his parting words – go and make disciples. So that’s it – tell other people about Jesus and help them follow him.

Exodus 37:1-38:31:

  • God cares about the details.

Matthew 28:1-20:

  • It is significant that women were the first to witness Jesus’ resurrection and disappearance from the grave. Women’s testimonies did not count in court.
  • 11-12 – The chief priests immediately try to discount the account of Jesus’ resurrection. At the time Matthew was written, the rumor they started was still being spread.
  • 18-20 – This is known as The Great Commission. This passage is used as reason for evangelism.

Psalms 34:11-22:

  • 11 – “Fear of the Lord” refers to a type of awe and respect.

February 4 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Exodus 19:16-21:21:

  • 22 – Consecrate themselves – to cleanse themselves of sins through ceremonial washings because God cannot be near sin
  • 3 – begins the 10 Commandments
  • 12 – honor your father and mother is the only commandment that comes with a promise
  • 20 – Our fear of God and his power is often what keeps us from sinning. Many of us have lost this fear
  • 1-11 – Slavery passages are obviously problematic. This could be a case, like divorce, that was a practice the Israelites were already engaged in and the law simply gave parameters on how it could be done as faithfully as possible.

Matthew 23:13-39:

  • 13-36 – The scribes and Pharisees are criticized for following the laws and forcing others to but forgetting the things God really valued – justice, mercy, and faithfulness.
  • 25-26 – There are many references throughout the New Testament that remind us that a clean heart is better than clean hands.
  • 37-39 – Prophets had been sent to Jerusalem and ousted by the religious leaders. Jesus suffered the same fate.

Psalm 28:1-9:

  • Throughout most of his Psalms, David expresses his great trust in God despite his current circumstances.

January 11 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Genesis 24:52-26:16:

  • 52-61 – This seems so strange to us because we would never allow a stranger to take your daughter away to marry some other stranger. But to them, marriage was essential for women and having a house full of children and countless offspring, which is the blessing her mother and brother give her, was the greatest gift possible.
  • 23 – This was unusual. Normally the oldest son received the power and blessings.
  • 29-34 – Esau’s birthright, as the oldest son, was the choice land and livestock, and more. In his haste, he allowed a temporary condition to cause long-term destruction.
  • 2-5 – God extends and confirms the covenant he made with Abraham to Isaac.
  • 6-7 – Interesting that Isaac commits the same sin as his father.
  • 12-16 – This is not the only time the Israelites will grow to be numerous and powerful and the people who’s land they’ve settled in feel threatened. This is the same reason the Egyptians enslave the Israelites later on.

 

Matthew 8:18-34:

  • 18-22 – Though both men wanted to follow Jesus, the scribe who volunteers is met with resistance because Jesus knows he will not be open to his nomadic, unsettled lifestyle. The disciple, however, was called by Jesus. It was cultural practice to honor the dead by burying them, particularly a parent. Jesus shows that his way will be countercultural and the disciple will need to choose which path to follow.
  • 23-27 – The disciples, even though they had dropped everything to follow Jesus, still often worried and feared. Jesus continually reminds them, in a variety of ways, to trust him.
  • 28-33 – This story is reminiscent of when Abraham prayed to God and convinced him to have mercy on the righteous in Sodom and Gomorrah. Here, though, the one requesting something of Jesus and changing his mind, is a demon.
  • 34 – Jesus has significantly disrupted the townspeople’s norms and scared them with his power so they ask him to leave.

 

Psalm 10:1-15:

  • The psalmist seems to be describing someone who is wicked and sinning purposefully. And seemingly, it is someone who is sinning and wicked towards him. Though the judgment and request for punishment sounds harsh, we would probably feel the same way towards our true enemies.

 

Proverbs 3:7-8:

  • Rarely do we think about the benefit of acting wisely and fearing the Lord. This proverb describes these things as having a physical benefit.