July 11 – Daily Notes – Amanda

getting caught

We’ve talked about this before. I hate negative consequences!! Don’t you? If I have the opportunity, I like to shift the blame anywhere other myself. It’s easier that way. Unfortunately, we often blame God for the negative consequences of our sins. “Why would God let me lose my job!?!” we cry. When really the question should be, “Why did I break company policy hoping to get ahead?”

1 Chronicles 11:1-12:18:

  • 4-9 – Jerusalem became the central city for the Israelites and remains so to this day, but it was not so until this conquest of David.
  • 15-19 – Though David’s actions seem a bit ungrateful, he pours the water out as a drink offering because he considers himself not worthy of their extreme devotion. The reason David wanted the water in the first place is because he was originally from Bethlehem.
  • Though you may not recognize or remember many of the names in the lists from today’s reading, recognize that the chronicler is reminding us that there were a great deal of capable, dedicated fighting men, particularly those dedicated to David’s service.

Acts 28:1-31:

  • 8 – Because of the snake incident, the people already thought Paul was a god. His ability to heal Publius’ father as well as the other ill people probably only solidified this thought.
  • 16 – Remember that Paul is still technically imprisoned and awaiting trial in front of Caesar by his own request.
  • 20 – He’s referring to Jesus as “the hope of Israel.”
  • 25-28 – It would make sense that the Jews should have recognized Jesus as the Messiah since he fulfilled so many of the prophecies they knew. Many, however, were unable to see it. The gentiles didn’t have as many preconceived notions of who the Messiah should be, so they were more open to Jesus being it.
  • 29 – Did anyone else notice that there’s no Acts 28:29? One does exist, and it’s pretty inconsequential, but many translations leave it out.

Psalm 9:1-12:

  • 9-10 – Confirmation that when we seek God, he will be faithful to meet us. He does not hide from or forsake us.

Proverbs 19:1-3:

  • 1 – This is in exact contrast to how our society lives and thinks.
  • 3 – So true!! How often do we blame God for the consequences we receive for our own poor choices?

July 8 – Daily Notes – Amanda

dividing things up

We’ve talked about the Levites quite a bit previously, but today’s 1 Chronicles reading focuses on them pretty heavily. This passage, in particular, is just another reminder to us that God is faithful in caring for each of us individually. Way back in Joshua when Moses passed out land to each tribe? Remember that the Levites got no land? But, they got special offerings and each tribe was to distribute land from their own inheritance to the Levites. God doesn’t forget us or leave us to fend for ourselves. Everybody gets a piece.

1 Chronicles 5:8-6:81:

  • 18-26 – These are two examples of immediate action in opposite directions based on the tribe’s faithfulness or lack there of. When the 3 tribes were seeking God, they were rewarded with victory. When they were unfaithful, they were punished with exile.
  • Chapter 6 is a series of lists of the Levitical priests. The tribe of Levi is set apart as sacramental priests and we often hear of them in conjunction with particular kings.
  • 31-32 – You can imagine that these men sang some of David’s psalms.
  • 54-81 – Remember that when Moses was handing out inheritances of land parcels to each tribe, the Levites did not get one because they received the tithes of the people. Instead, each tribe was to give the Levites portions of their land to live on. This is the explanation of what land the Levites got.

Acts 26:1-32:

  • 4-8 – The Jews longed for a Messiah. This is what Paul is referring to in verse 6 when he talks about a promise they hoped in. Most Jews simply did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah.
  • 19-23 – Paul, having been a very devout Jew his whole life, knew all the prophecies and what faithful Jews believed. He is able to appeal to them using the testimonies of Moses and the prophets, whom the Jews greatly revered, to confirm what he was preaching.
  • 28-29 – Paul basically drops the mic here. He wants King Agrippa to become a Christian as well as everyone else within earshot.
  • 32 – It is not absurd to think that Paul knew he could have gotten out of prison quicker if he hadn’t appealed to Caesar, but did it anyway because his ultimate goal was to evangelize in front of more people, particularly those at the top.

Psalm 6:1-10:

  • 5 -–Sheol was where ancient Jews believed all people went after death. It was not a pleasant place. David is asking for his life to be spared because he would not be able to praise God from Sheol.
  • While it is many of our tendencies to blame God when we face difficult times, David sought God’s help in difficult times.

Proverbs 18:20-21:

  • This is very similar to Proverbs 12:14 where it explains that kind, honest words reap a good harvest like a farmer who plants good seed.

June 20 – Daily Notes – Amanda

marriage

There are certain things in life that you simply cannot do halfway. You can’t get kind of married. You can’t come to work sometimes (and expect to keep working there). And you can’t love God most of the time. This is what Jehoshaphat tried to do. For the most part, he’s a good guy…but he was only faithful to a point. God is not looking for partial followers or sometimes believers. He is looking for our whole hearts and whole commitment.

1 Kings 22:1-53:

  • 5 – Jehoshaphat was willing to go into an alliance with Ahab, but only if the Lord approved it.
  • 6-8 – The 400 prophets who gave Ahab the go-ahead were not prophets of the Lord. Micaiah was and he spoke truth from the Lord. Ahab preferred good news to truth.
  • 40 – Micaiah was right. Ahab trying to conquer Ramoth-gilead was a bad idea. He dies in battle and Ahaziah takes over.
  • 42-44 – It seems that Jehoshaphat intended to honor and worship God, but he failed in certain areas – leaving up certain allegiances to other gods and making an alliance with someone who did not honor God.

Acts 13:16-41:

  • Today’s reading is pretty much the best sermon ever preached.
  • 16-25 – Paul sums up the grace of God and the failures of the Israelites from Jacob to John the Baptist.
  • 26-41 – Paul explains how Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies the Jews read so frequently and longed to have fulfilled. He also warns them not to be the ones who fulfilled the prophecy that many people would not see and understand.

Psalm 138:1-8:

  • So many of David’s psalms show his steadfastness in praising God despite his surroundings or circumstances.

Proverbs 17:17-18:

  • 17 – True, godly relationships are able to withstand difficulty and trials.

May 31 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Jesus' crucifixion

Crucifixion was a brutal and torturous death. It was designed to be painful and humiliating. One of the normal practices of the Romans was to eventually speed up the process and break the legs of the crucified person. The Romans didn’t break Jesus’ legs because he was already dead. Check out why that was important here.

2 Samuel 17:1-29:

  • 1-14 – Ahithophel was an advisor to David but defected to Absalom’s side. Hushai was a false advisor to Absalom who actually was on David’s side. Hushai has built trust with Absalom, but is actually working towards his defeat.
  • There are a lot of names and places in today’s story (here’s a cheat sheet), which can make it hard to follow. It’s important to know that God continually provides protection and resources for David. He continues to keep him one step ahead of Absalom kind of like he did with Saul. Absalom has now lost his key advisor, Ahithophel, and is not using his proven military leader, Joab.

John 19:23-42:

  • 24 – This is a fulfillment of Psalm 22:18. If the Jews had been in charge of the crucifixion, they might have known that. The Romans would not have.
  • 31-33 – Crucifixion would work faster if someone’s legs were broken. During crucifixion, what actually killed you was suffocation. As painful as it was, you would have to push yourself up with your legs on the nail in your feet or ankles and take a breath. If your legs were broken, you couldn’t push up and you would suffocate.
  • 38 – “For fear of the Jews” refers to the religious leadership who was trying to squash the Jesus movement and ultimately orchestrated Jesus’ death.

Psalm 119:129-152:

  • 146 – This seems like a more sincere version of the prayer many of us have prayed at some point, “Lord, save me from this one thing and I’ll serve you forever.”
  • The psalmist continually contrasts his commitment to and love for God’s word with those who do not have regard for God’s word.

Proverbs 16:12-13:

  • The irony here is that at least half of the Kings of Israel are listed as “doing evil in the sight of the Lord.” The throne was established by God, but many of the kings fail to live up to their calling.

What to Expect – Week 16

as for me

First off, HAPPY EASTER!!! I hope you feel the love of Jesus throughout your day!

This week we have a number of noteworthy verses, passages, and events to read. For starters, in Joshua, there is a really powerful verse that we should all claim for our families. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). Joshua has done everything possible to lead the Israelites towards faithfulness and yet they are easily tempted by the presumed glamour of other nations’ gods. So he draws a line in the sand and tells them all to choose who they’ll serve. But he doesn’t have to choose, because he already has.

And this week in Luke we begin reading his account of Holy Week, beginning with the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. As you read through Jesus’ last week of life (it will extend into next week’s reading) remember all that we just remembered and celebrated. I don’t want to spoil anything for next week, so I’ll just leave it at that.

We also get to see a cool way that Scripture all ties together. In Friday’s psalm, the psalmist reminds us of the covenant God made with David and how God promised that David’s line would be on the throne forever. As was affirmed in Matthew and Luke, Jesus’ line runs directly from David. When Jesus dies and resurrects, which we know he’s about to do, he becomes the everlasting king. David’s line truly does remain on the throne forever.

February 11 – Daily Notes – Amanda

really

Really Israelites? Did you really, so quickly, believe that Moses wouldn’t come down from the mountain? Really? And had you really already forgotten the whole parting the sea incident? Really? I mean, come on. A golden calf? Really?

Exodus 32:1-33:23:

  • 1-6 – When the Israelites feel abandoned, they are quick to demand some form of god. Aaron, the head priest, and brother and right-hand-man of Moses, obliges.
  • 11-14 – Proof that God does listen to prayer.
  • 18-20 – Moses must have been so disappointed. He had put in so much effort to lead these people from slavery and eventually to the Promised Land. It must have been like a parent finding out their teenager is on drugs.
  • 24 – A lie. Vs. 4 explains that Aaron fashioned the calf with tools.
  • 11 – Seeing God face to face is pretty incredible considering the glory of the Lord was so great that most of the Israelites weren’t even allowed to touch Mt. Sinai when God met with Moses on the top of it.
  • 16 – It is God’s presence with them that makes the Israelites distinct.
  • 19-23 – Even though it’s just his back, Moses is the only person to actually see God.

Matthew 26:69-27:14:

  • 69-75 – Even after being warned, Peter denies Jesus 3 times. On the flip side, though, Peter is the only disciple who goes to where Jesus is despite the danger.
  • 3-8 – Judas feels regret to the point of returning the money and killing himself.
  • 14 – Jesus did not respond to allegations. This was to fulfill a prophecy.

Psalm 33:1-11:

  • The first Psalm not attributed to David.

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.

January 16 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Genesis 32:13-34:31:

  • 24-32 – It is uncertain who exactly Jacob wrestled with. Some say it was actually God and others say it was an angel of God.
  • 28 – Jacob, though he currently has 11, eventually has 12 sons. These 12 sons each eventually become a tribe. This name change solidifies why we call them the 12 Tribes of Israel.
  • 1-4 – Jacob’s reticence to encounter Esau and Esau’s joy to see Jacob closely mirror the reactions of the Prodigal Son and his father in Luke.
  • 2 – Shechem raped Dinah. In ancient Israel any type of sex before marriage, whether your choice or not, was a great disgrace on women.
  • 21-22 – The Israelites were not supposed to inter-marry with Canaanites.
  • 25-29 – Jacob’s sons never had any intention of giving Dinah to Shechem as his wife. Instead, they planned to kill and plunder them as revenge.

 

Matthew 11:7-30:

  • 10 – Most Jews would have been familiar with prophecies. Jesus quotes a prophecy and begins to reveal both his and John the Baptist’s identities: the messenger and the Messiah.
  • 13-14 – John was often seen as the second coming of Elijah. Prophecy said that Elijah would come back again before the Messiah.
  • 20-24 – Tyre and Sidon and Sodom were all reviled cities by the Jews. They were cities full of gentiles and sinners. Jesus comments, though, that if they had had the same kinds of miraculous interactions with Jesus that the Jews had, they would have accepted it far faster.
  • 28-29 – Beautiful words inviting us into God’s care.