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.

March 19 – Daily Notes – Amanda

awkward family photo

Families are a funny thing. In today’s Luke reading we find a different lineage for Jesus. Don’t worry though! This is Mary’s lineage even though it ends with Joseph. It was common for people to call themselves the “father” of a son-in-law. Now, go on and go take a family picture you’ll regret in 5-10 years.

Numbers 28:16-29:40:

  • Most of us tend to read through the explanations of offerings simply to get through that section. Today, try reading it as if you were an Israelite who actually needed to know the details in order to follow God’s law.
  • Burnt offerings are often followed with a description that it has a “pleasing aroma to the Lord.” Since we no longer offer burnt offerings, what do you think we offer that presents God with a pleasing aroma?
  • Considering the quantities of the feast that starts in vs. 12, the Israelites must have had massive herds.

Luke 3:23-38:

  • Note that in Matthew we already read a lineage for Joseph and it was different than this list. Most theologians believe that this is actually Mary’s lineage since most of the birth narrative and beginning of the book focus on her.

Psalm 62:1-12:

  • Interesting that David, multiple times, says my soul waits for “God alone”. Too often, when under pressure, we’re not willing to wait for God but put our trust in anything and everything else.

Proverbs 11:18-19:

  • Note that it may not be much comfort to us that good wins out in this verse. Though the wicked’s wages are deceptive, they still earn wages.

January 17 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Genesis 35:1-36:43:

  • 10 – God gave Jacob a new name and thus his 12 sons become the 12 tribes of Israel.
  • 11-12 – God’s words to Jacob are very similar to those in his covenant with Abraham. This seems to be a reaffirmation of God’s covenant with Abraham’s family.
  • 22 – This would have been like stealing.
  • Sometimes we get lost in the genealogy because, these days, who knows anyone further back then their great-grandparents? In Israelite culture, however, your lineage was a big part of your honor or shame. It could give you status and importance or take it away.
  • 31 – The Israelites were designed not to have a human king but for God to be their only king. They didn’t get a human king until Saul many many generations later.

Matthew 12:1-21:

  • 1 – According to Mosaic law, Jews were not supposed to do any work. Anything as simple as cooking, lighting a candle, etc. would be considered work.
  • 3-8 – The Pharisees put their greatest stock in following the law and had no room for exceptions. In verse 7, Jesus, for the second time, quotes the prophet Hosea explaining that God’s true desire was for the faithful to show mercy to others, not to receive a rote ritual out of obligation.
  • 6 – Jesus is referring to himself as the something that is greater than the temple.
  • 9-14 – God’s law was written for our good, not to see if we could be good enough. When laws were followed over love of people, they ceased to be good.
  • 17-21 – Matthew was intent on showing prophecies fulfilled. Here is another prophecy Jesus fulfilled.

Psalm 15:1-5:

  • 2-5 – These give examples of what a blameless man, who would be worthy of dwelling with the Lord, would do.

Proverbs 3:21-26:

  • Worry and anxiety are so common in our world, but this proverb reminds us that our hope and confidence are in the Lord. If that is true, we can rest peacefully.

Jan. 1 – Matthew 1:1-2:12 – Andrew

Matthew 1:1-2:12

1:2-1:17 – The genealogies seem boring to modern readers, but they are important because they show that biblical faith is grounded in history.  The Jews believed that God had actually worked through their ancestors, and the genealogies are a way of indicating that.  Also, there are 4 women mentioned in the genealogy, and all the references are scandalous….  What does that say about Jesus?

Love this version of Matthew’s Begats by Andrew Peterson:

–AF

 

January 1 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Genesis 1:1-2:25:

  • 2 – First mention of the Holy Spirit being present.
  • 26 – Note the use of “our”. This is God speaking amongst all 3 persons of the Trinity. Humanity is made in the image of God the Trinity. This is why we’re designed to create things, to love, and to be in relationship.
  • 2:1-3 – This is why we are to observe the Sabbath – a day of rest from our regular work.
  • Note that chapter 1 and chapter 2 of Genesis tell the story of the creation of humanity slightly differently.
  • Some people ask why God put the tree of good and evil in the garden if it wasn’t good for people. The better question might be, though, with all the other choices in the garden, why were the people drawn to the one tree that was forbidden.

Matthew 1:1-2:12:

  • The genealogy found in Matthew is that of Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father.
  • 17 – Abraham, David, exile in Babylon, and the Messiah are four of the most significant milestones in Jewish history that any ancient Jew would have understood and recognized.
  • Matthew’s birth account focuses on Joseph while Luke’s birth account focuses on Mary.
  • 6 – This is just one of the many prophecies Matthew notes as being fulfilled through Christ. Make note of all the prophecies fulfilled in this gospel.

Psalm 1:1-6:

  • This Psalm contrasts a person who’s delight is in the law of the Lord versus someone who is wicked.

Proverbs 1:1-6:

  • Consider this short passage as a statement of purpose for why the author wrote the book of Proverbs.