June 24 – Daily Notes – Amanda

yoda

In today’s Acts reading we meet Timothy, Paul’s protégé. Paul mentors and trains Timothy to also be able to minister to early churches and spread the gospel. Paul prepares Timothy for pitfalls, allows him to watch his ministry and travel with him, and encourages him in his gifts. What if we each had a faith protégé?

2 Kings 6:1-7:20:

  • Here’s that chart of the kings again, just in case:  kings of Judah and Israel
  • 1-7 – This was not just a party trick or Elisha showing off. The man’s accident with the axe head was done while attempting to be more faithful. Elisha used God’s power to bless his faith.
  • 15-19 – Elisha’s servant is given special sight to see what’s going on. The Syrian army is not struck completely blind, but just blind to Elisha’s true identity.
  • 20-23 – Though a rare occasion in the Old Testament, the Syrians and Israelites are able to resolve the situation peacefully.
  • 25 – People are buying donkey heads and dove poop. Clearly the famine was really bad. They were so desperate they were eating the least desirable part of an unclean animal and paying high dollar for dove poop – which they were probably burning or using for other household tasks – not eating it.
  • 26-31 – While this story is absolutely horrifying – here is some background: Joram was the king of Israel. His sins as well as the sins of the people had gotten so out of control that some of the curses associated with breaking their covenant with God had started to occur. Though Joram’s response in verse 31 suggests that the famine and reactions by the people are God or Elisha’s fault, it was actually caused by the ongoing sin of the people.
  • 3-20 – The four lepers were Israelites, this is why they tell the king when the Syrians’ camp is empty. The Israelites, like Elisha prophesied, had abundant, affordable food.

Acts 15:36-16:15:

  • 39-40 – Church disputes happen because we’re human. Like this one, God works good through our failures. Now there are two teams ministering instead of the one they had before.
  • 1-5 – Timothy became Paul’s protégé. Paul circumcised Timothy, even though it was no longer truly necessary, to give him credibility with those he would minister to.
  • 10 – Note that the narrator goes from being simply a narrator to a participant by starting to use “we”. This is to indicate that Luke, the writer of Acts, has joined the mission team.

Psalm 142:1-7:

  • This psalm said it was written when David is in the cave. This is most likely talking about when he was hiding in the cave with some of his men and Saul came in to use the restroom. David had an opportunity to kill Saul, but only cut off a piece of his robe instead.
  • At this time David has been anointed as king but is on the run because Saul is still in power and is pursuing him to kill him.

Proverbs 17:24-25:

  • 24 – We often look to everything else to satisfy us, but wisdom will guide us faithfully where we are supposed to go.

Jan. 1 – Genesis 1:1-2:25 – Andrew

1:12 – Note how everything in the Creation account is specifically ordered, even down to the seeds of the plants “each according to its kind.”

1:27 – Note how male and female together make up humanity, and somehow it is in their complementarity that men and women together bear the image of God.  I think this is important.  A man alone does not sufficiently reflect the image of God, nor a woman alone, but a man and a woman together.  How might gender relations be different if we believed that our counterparts bore the image of God in ways that we don’t?

1:30 – Note how, according to the author of Genesis, the original design was for the animals in nature to be vegetarians.  Having seen wild animals in Africa make a kill, I can understand why “nature red in tooth and claw” is a sign of the Fall.

2:4 – There are actually two Creation stories, back to back.  The 2nd story begins in 2:4 and is much more concerned with the Creation of Adam.

2:10-14 – I wonder if, for the original hearers of this passage, the first 2 rivers meant anything to them.  Today, we have no idea what or where is the Piston or the Gihon.  We do, however, know about the Tigris and the Euphrates.

2:14 – “Assyria.”  I think that suggests that this was written down or edited during a time when the ancient kingdom of Assyria would have meant something to folks.

2:19 – Love that detail–isn’t that exactly what happened?  We have named all of Creation, haven’t we?

2:24-25 – Again, there is something really important going on here.  We live in a world with a lot of gender confusion, but the opening passages of Genesis suggests that there is something about the coming together of a man and a woman that creates oneness, and somehow that relates to the image of God.  (See 1:27, above.)

–AF