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September 29, 2011

Fourth Commandment – 10.29.2011

Filed under: Old & New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 5:16 pm

COMMANDMENT # 4
Exodus 20:8-11
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Exodus 20:8-11
• Remember – zaw-kar’ – properly to mark (so as to be recognized), that is, to remember
• Sabbath – shab-bawth’ – intermission, rest
• Rested – noo’-akh – to rest, that is, settle down; used in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively, intransitively, transitively and causatively (to dwell, stay, let fall, place, let alone, withdraw)
• Blessed – baw-rak’ – Held in veneration; revered.
• Made it holy – kaw-dash’ – to be clean (ceremonially or morally): – appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, sanctify.
Message
Sunday’s sermon will include the following main points:
1. The evolutionary process of the Sabbath – How the Sabbath has been observed and interpreted throughout history. Is it still Saturday or is it now Sunday? Or neither?
2. The eternal principles of the Sabbath – How to apply the Sabbath in our lives. What are we to do with the Sabbath?

Spiritual Preparation – Bible Reading for Families
Pray daily that you will rest in God’s grace and His work on the cross and that you would seek him through and in all things every day.

Consider fasting from one meal this week.

Read and meditate each day: Exodus 20:8-11 (above), Psalm 92, Mark 2:23-28

READ EACH DAY PSALM 92
Psalm 92[a]
A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath day.
1 It is good to praise the LORD
and make music to your name, O Most High,
2 proclaiming your love in the morning
and your faithfulness at night,
3 to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
and the melody of the harp.
4 For you make me glad by your deeds, LORD;
I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
5 How great are your works, LORD,
how profound your thoughts!
6 Senseless people do not know,
fools do not understand,
7 that though the wicked spring up like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they will be destroyed forever.
8 But you, LORD, are forever exalted.
9 For surely your enemies, LORD,
surely your enemies will perish;
all evildoers will be scattered.
10 You have exalted my horn[b] like that of a wild ox;
fine oils have been poured on me.
11 My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries;
my ears have heard the rout of my wicked foes.
12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the LORD,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,
15 proclaiming, “The LORD is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
Footnotes:
a. Psalm 92:1 In Hebrew texts 92:1-15 is numbered 92:2-16.
b. Psalm 92:10 Horn here symbolizes strength.

READ EACH DAY MARK 2:23-28
Mark 2:23-28
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
25 He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? 26 In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”
27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Mark 2:23-28
• Unlawful – ex’-es-tee oo – absolute negative of “it is right”
• Lord – koo’-ree-os – supreme in authority, that is, (as noun) controller

For Teachers
Context and Commentary
There are several different views or interpretations on how this commandment applies, if at all, to the New Testament believer. Churches that come from the Reformed or Calvinist (Presbyterian, Anglican, Puritans etc.) traditions of covenant theology generally believe that Sunday has become the “Christian Sabbath” and is to be strictly observed. Other evangelicals such as some Charismatics and non-denominationalists believe it has no equivalent at all for the church. And still others are in between somewhere or believe we are still to strictly observe the Saturday Sabbath as the Jews did before. Southern Baptists traditionally fall throughout the spectrum.

From Instruction in Faith (1537) by John Calvin:
There were three reasons for giving this [fourth] commandment: First, with the seventh day of rest the Lord wished to give to the people of Israel an image of spiritual rest, whereby believers must cease from their own works in order to let the Lord work in them. Secondly, he wished that there be an established day in which believers might assemble in order to hear his Law and worship him. Thirdly, he willed that one day of rest be granted to servants and to those who live under the power of others so that they might have a relaxation from their labor. The latter, however, is rather an inferred than a principal reason.
As to the first reason, there is no doubt that it ceased in Christ; because he is the truth by the presence of which all images vanish. He is the reality at whose advent all shadows are abandoned. Hence St. Paul (Col. 2:17) that the sabbath has been a shadow of a reality yet to be. And he declares elsewhere its truth when in the letter to the Romans, ch. 6:8, he teaches us that we are buried with Christ in order that by his death we may die to the corruption of our flesh. And this is not done in one day, but during all the course of our life, until altogether dead in our own selves, we may be filled with the life of God. Hence, superstitious observance of days must remain far from Christians.
The two last reasons, however, must not be numbered among the shadows of old. Rather, they are equally valid for all ages. Hence, though the sabbath is abrogated, it so happens among us that we still convene on certain days in order to hear the word of God, to break the bread of the Supper, and to offer public prayers; and, moreover, in order that some relaxation from their toil be given to servants and workingmen. As our human weakness does not allow such assemblies to meet every day, the day observed by the Jews has been taken away (as a good device for eliminating superstition) and another day has been destined to this use. This was necessary for securing and maintaining order and peace in the Church.
As the truth therefore was given to the Jews under a figure, so to us on the contrary truth is shown without shadows in order, first of all, that we meditate all our life on a perpetual sabbath from our works so that the Lord may operate in us by his spirit; secondly, in order that we observe the legitimate order of the Church for listening to the word of God, for administering the sacraments, and for public prayers; thirdly, in order that we do not oppress inhumanly with work those who are subject to us.

Bible Fellowship Time
Icebreakers

1. When was the last time you had a day off from work? What did you do on that day?
Discussion questions:

2. What was God’s 4th commandment?
3. Why did God command the Israelites to only work six days and then rest for a day?
4. Who was included in the commandment?
5. Why did God rest after His work of creation? Was He tired?
6. What did God do to the seventh day?
7. Is the commandment to keep the Sabbath repeated in the New Testament?
8. Is keeping or upholding God’s Law a burden or pleasure to you?
Going Deeper – Mark 2:23-28

9. Why did the disciples pick grain on the Sabbath?
10. Is picking of grain for consumption prohibited in the Old Testament?
11. Why did the Jews say it was unlawful?
12. What is Jesus’ response?
13. What does Jesus’ response reveal about one of the main purposes of the Sabbath from its institution?
14. What does Jesus’ response reveal about himself?
15. About the Sabbath now?
16. Does knowing the purpose of the Sabbath change your perspective on the law?

Application:

In the New Testament, 9 of the 10 commandments are repeated and affirmed as standards for holy living that God has set before His people. The Sabbath commandment is the only commandment not repeated. In fact the Apostle Paul writes that no brother or sister in Christ should judge another on what day of the week they regard as their Sabbath. Paul said that those who are in Christ are not subject to the Law (which includes the 10 commandments) as regards to keeping it for salvation. Rather we uphold it as holy through faith because it is a reflection of who God is and what He desires (Romans 3). The Apostle Peter and John both affirm in their epistles the desire of the Christian is to seek after holiness and God’s desires. If we are in Christ, we desire what God desires: holiness.

Is upholding or keeping the 10 commandments a burden to you or a pleasure?

Micah 6:6-8 ESV
“With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Do you earnestly and humbly desire holiness in your life and that of others around you?

Do you believe God is holy and desires you to live a holy life in gladness and kindness?

Closing Devotion
In a sermon entitled The Good Way of Coming before the Lord , Robert Murray M’Cheyne wrote:

“The question of an awakened soul.—” With what shall I come before the LORD?” An unawakened man never puts that question. A natural man has no desire to come before God, or to bow himself before the High God. He does not like to think of God. He would rather think of any other subject. He easily forgets what he is told about God. A natural man has no memory for divine things, because he has no heart for them. He has no desire to come before God in prayer.
An awakened soul feels that his chief happiness is in coming before God. This was unfallen Adam’s happiness. He felt like a child under a loving Father’s eye. It was his chief joy to come before God—to be loved by Him—to be like a mote in the sunbeam—to be continually basked in the sunshine of His love—no cloud or veil coming between. This is the joy of holy angels, to come before the Lord, and bow before the High God. In His presence is fulness of joy. “The angels do always behold the face of My Father.” On whatever errand of love they fly, they still feel that His eye of love is on them—this is their daily, hourly joy. This is the true happiness of a believer.”

SUNDAY JOHN 13
John 13
Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet
1 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Jesus Predicts His Betrayal
18 “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned[a] against me.’[b]
19 “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am. 20 Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”
21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”
22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”
25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”
26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.
So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” 28 But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor. 30 As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
31 When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him,[c] God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.
33 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
36 Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?”
Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”
37 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
38 Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!
Footnotes:
a. John 13:18 Greek has lifted up his heel
b. John 13:18 Psalm 41:9
c. John 13:32 Many early manuscripts do not have If God is glorified in him.
MONDAY LEVITICUS 23

Leviticus 23
The Appointed Festivals
1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the LORD, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.
The Sabbath
3 “‘There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the LORD.
The Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread
4 “‘These are the LORD’s appointed festivals, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times: 5 The LORD’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. 6 On the fifteenth day of that month the LORD’s Festival of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. 7 On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. 8 For seven days present a food offering to the LORD. And on the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.’”
Offering the Firstfruits
9 The LORD said to Moses, 10 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. 11 He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. 12 On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to the LORD a lamb a year old without defect, 13 together with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah[a] of the finest flour mixed with olive oil—a food offering presented to the LORD, a pleasing aroma—and its drink offering of a quarter of a hin[b] of wine. 14 You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your God. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.
The Festival of Weeks
15 “‘From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. 16 Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the LORD. 17 From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the LORD. 18 Present with this bread seven male lambs, each a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to the LORD, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings—a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. 19 Then sacrifice one male goat for a sin offering[c] and two lambs, each a year old, for a fellowship offering. 20 The priest is to wave the two lambs before the LORD as a wave offering, together with the bread of the firstfruits. They are a sacred offering to the LORD for the priest. 21 On that same day you are to proclaim a sacred assembly and do no regular work. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.
22 “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God.’”
The Festival of Trumpets
23 The LORD said to Moses, 24 “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. 25 Do no regular work, but present a food offering to the LORD.’”
The Day of Atonement
26 The LORD said to Moses, 27 “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves,[d] and present a food offering to the LORD. 28 Do not do any work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the LORD your God. 29 Those who do not deny themselves on that day must be cut off from their people. 30 I will destroy from among their people anyone who does any work on that day. 31 You shall do no work at all. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. 32 It is a day of sabbath rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your sabbath.”
The Festival of Tabernacles
33 The LORD said to Moses, 34 “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD’s Festival of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. 35 The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. 36 For seven days present food offerings to the LORD, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present a food offering to the LORD. It is the closing special assembly; do no regular work.
37 (“‘These are the LORD’s appointed festivals, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for bringing food offerings to the LORD—the burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings required for each day. 38 These offerings are in addition to those for the LORD’s Sabbaths and[e] in addition to your gifts and whatever you have vowed and all the freewill offerings you give to the LORD.)
39 “‘So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the LORD for seven days; the first day is a day of sabbath rest, and the eighth day also is a day of sabbath rest. 40 On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. 41 Celebrate this as a festival to the LORD for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 Live in temporary shelters for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in such shelters 43 so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.’”
44 So Moses announced to the Israelites the appointed festivals of the LORD.
Footnotes:
a. Leviticus 23:13 That is, probably about 7 pounds or about 3.2 kilograms; also in verse 17
b. Leviticus 23:13 That is, about 1 quart or about 1 liter
c. Leviticus 23:19 Or purification offering
d. Leviticus 23:27 Or and fast; similarly in verses 29 and 32
e. Leviticus 23:38 Or These festivals are in addition to the LORD’s Sabbaths, and these offerings are

READ TUESDAY ISAIAH 56
Isaiah 56
Salvation for Others
1 This is what the LORD says:
“Maintain justice
and do what is right,
for my salvation is close at hand
and my righteousness will soon be revealed.
2 Blessed is the one who does this—
the person who holds it fast,
who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it,
and keeps their hands from doing any evil.”
3 Let no foreigner who is bound to the LORD say,
“The LORD will surely exclude me from his people.”
And let no eunuch complain,
“I am only a dry tree.”
4 For this is what the LORD says:
“To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
who choose what pleases me
and hold fast to my covenant—
5 to them I will give within my temple and its walls
a memorial and a name
better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
that will endure forever.
6 And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD
to minister to him,
to love the name of the LORD,
and to be his servants,
all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
and who hold fast to my covenant—
7 these I will bring to my holy mountain
and give them joy in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
will be accepted on my altar;
for my house will be called
a house of prayer for all nations.”
8 The Sovereign LORD declares—
he who gathers the exiles of Israel:
“I will gather still others to them
besides those already gathered.”
God’s Accusation Against the Wicked
9 Come, all you beasts of the field,
come and devour, all you beasts of the forest!
10 Israel’s watchmen are blind,
they all lack knowledge;
they are all mute dogs,
they cannot bark;
they lie around and dream,
they love to sleep.
11 They are dogs with mighty appetites;
they never have enough.
They are shepherds who lack understanding;
they all turn to their own way,
they seek their own gain.
12 “Come,” each one cries, “let me get wine!
Let us drink our fill of beer!
And tomorrow will be like today,
or even far better.”

READ WEDNESDAY ISAIAH 58

Isaiah 58
True Fasting
1 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
2 For day after day they seek me out;
they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.
3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?’
“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD?
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the LORD’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the LORD,
and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
Footnotes:
a. Isaiah 58:8 Or your righteous One

READ THURSDAY PSALM 101 & 143

Psalm 101
Of David. A psalm.
1 I will sing of your love and justice;
to you, LORD, I will sing praise.
2 I will be careful to lead a blameless life—
when will you come to me?
I will conduct the affairs of my house
with a blameless heart.
3 I will not look with approval
on anything that is vile.
I hate what faithless people do;
I will have no part in it.
4 The perverse of heart shall be far from me;
I will have nothing to do with what is evil.
5 Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret,
I will put to silence;
whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart,
I will not tolerate.
6 My eyes will be on the faithful in the land,
that they may dwell with me;
the one whose walk is blameless
will minister to me.
7 No one who practices deceit
will dwell in my house;
no one who speaks falsely
will stand in my presence.
8 Every morning I will put to silence
all the wicked in the land;
I will cut off every evildoer
from the city of the LORD.
Psalm 143
A psalm of David.
1 LORD, hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
come to my relief.
2 Do not bring your servant into judgment,
for no one living is righteous before you.
3 The enemy pursues me,
he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in the darkness
like those long dead.
4 So my spirit grows faint within me;
my heart within me is dismayed.
5 I remember the days of long ago;
I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done.
6 I spread out my hands to you;
I thirst for you like a parched land.[a]
7 Answer me quickly, LORD;
my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.
9 Rescue me from my enemies, LORD,
for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.
11 For your name’s sake, LORD, preserve my life;
in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies;
destroy all my foes,
for I am your servant.
Footnotes:
a. Psalm 143:6 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.

READ FRIDAY ACTS 13:1-44
Acts 13:1-44
New International Version (NIV)
Acts 13
1 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
On Cyprus
4 The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.
6 They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7 who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.”
Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.
In Pisidian Antioch
13 From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem. 14 From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down. 15 After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.”
16 Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: “Fellow Israelites and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me! 17 The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt; with mighty power he led them out of that country; 18 for about forty years he endured their conduct[a] in the wilderness; 19 and he overthrew seven nations in Canaan, giving their land to his people as their inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years.
“After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet. 21 Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years. 22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’
23 “From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised. 24 Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel. 25 As John was completing his work, he said: ‘Who do you suppose I am? I am not the one you are looking for. But there is one coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’
26 “Fellow children of Abraham and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. 28 Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people.
32 “We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm:
“‘You are my son;
today I have become your father.’[b]
34 God raised him from the dead so that he will never be subject to decay. As God has said,
“‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’[c]
35 So it is also stated elsewhere:
“‘You will not let your holy one see decay.’[d]
36 “Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed. 37 But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.
38 “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. 40 Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you:
41 “‘Look, you scoffers,
wonder and perish,
for I am going to do something in your days
that you would never believe,
even if someone told you.’[e]”
42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath. 43 When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.
44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
Footnotes:
a. Acts 13:18 Some manuscripts he cared for them
b. Acts 13:33 Psalm 2:7
c. Acts 13:34 Isaiah 55:3
d. Acts 13:35 Psalm 16:10 (see Septuagint)
e. Acts 13:41 Hab. 1:5

READ SATURDAY HEBREWS 3-4
Hebrews 3
Jesus Greater Than Moses
1 Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. 2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,”[a] bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.
Warning Against Unbelief
7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
during the time of testing in the wilderness,
9 where your ancestors tested and tried me,
though for forty years they saw what I did.
10 That is why I was angry with that generation;
I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,
and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”[b]
12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion.”[c]
16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.
Hebrews 4
A Sabbath-Rest for the People of God
1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.[d] 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
“So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’”[e]
And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.”[f] 5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”
6 Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, 7 God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”[g]
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,[h] just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Jesus the Great High Priest
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[i] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Footnotes:
a. Hebrews 3:5 Num. 12:7
b. Hebrews 3:11 Psalm 95:7-11
c. Hebrews 3:15 Psalm 95:7,8
d. Hebrews 4:2 Some manuscripts because those who heard did not combine it with faith
e. Hebrews 4:3 Psalm 95:11; also in verse 5
f. Hebrews 4:4 Gen. 2:2
g. Hebrews 4:7 Psalm 95:7,8
h. Hebrews 4:10 Or labor
i. Hebrews 4:14 Greek has gone through the heavens

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Third Commandment – 09.29.2011

Filed under: Old & New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 5:14 pm

COMMANDMENT #3
Exodus 20:7 New International Version (NIV)
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
Exodus 20:7
• “misuse” – shawv – emptiness, nothingness, vanity; emptiness of speech, lying; worthlessness (of conduct)
• “LORD” – yehôvâh – Jehovah = “the existing One”; the proper name of the one true God
Message
Sunday’s sermon will include the following points:
1. The Commandment – do not misuse God’s name.
2. The Consequence – God will hold accountable those who misuse it
Spiritual Preparation – Bible Reading for Families
Pray daily that you will hold God’s holy name up on high and not bring reproach on it.

Read every day: Exodus 20:7, Psalm 29, John 8:52-59,

READ EVERYDAY: PSALMS 29

Psalm 29
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 29
A psalm of David.
1 Ascribe to the LORD, you heavenly beings,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of his[a] holiness.
3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.
5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
Sirion[b] like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the LORD strikes
with flashes of lightning.
8 The voice of the LORD shakes the desert;
the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the LORD twists the oaks[c]
and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
10 The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as King forever.
11 The LORD gives strength to his people;
the LORD blesses his people with peace.
Footnotes:
a. Psalm 29:2 Or LORD with the splendor of
b. Psalm 29:6 That is, Mount Hermon
c. Psalm 29:9 Or LORD makes the deer give birth

READ EVERYDAY: JOHN 8:52-59

John 8:52-59 New International Version (NIV)
52 At this they exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death. 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55 Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”
58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

Notes on the text
John 8
• v. 55 – “Though you do not know him.” – Just as Christians know God intimately and royally, so unbelievers know their own father, the devil. There is no middle ground (John 3:18) as we often fool ourselves into thinking.
• v. 56 – “Abraham…saw it, and was glad” – God foretold his advent clearly to him, Gen_12:3; Gen_18:18. Compare Gal_3:16; Abraham was permitted to have a view of the death of the Messiah as a sacrifice for sin, represented by the command to offer Isaac, Gen_22:1-13. Compare Heb_11:19.
• v. 58 – “before Abraham was born, I am.” – he is the God that appeared to Adam, and he is the God to whom Abraham and other OT saints looked for salvation and deliverance. He existed before all creation and has always existed (before time, in eternity).

For Teachers
Context and Commentary
As the people of God, we are expected to worship and consider Him in all our ways and goings. When we openly declare our membership in God’s covenant people we essentially use His name whether we say it verbally or not. It permeates our actions. We are ambassadors, He is the King. Just as our name can be tarnished and it effects our reputation, so it is with our God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

From John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible:
The third commandment is concerning the manner of our worship; Where we have a strict prohibition. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain – Supposing that, having taken Jehovah for their God, they would make mention of his name, this command gives a caution not to mention it in vain, and it is still as needful as ever. We take God’s name in vain, First, By hypocrisy, making profession of God’s name, but not living up to that profession. Secondly, By covenant breaking. If we make promises to God, and perform not to the Lord our vows, we take his name in vain. Thirdly, By rash swearing, mentioning the name of God, or any of his attributes, in the form of an oath, without any just occasion for it, but to no purpose, or to no good purpose. Fourthly, By false – swearing, which some think is chiefly intended in the letter of the commandment. Fifthly, By using the name of God lightly and carelessly. The profanation of the form of devotion is forbidden, as well as the profanation of the forms of swearing; as also, the profanation of any of those things whereby God makes himself known. For the Lord will not hold him guiltless – Magistrates that punish other offences, may not think themselves concerned to take notice of this; but God, who is jealous for his honour, will not connive at it. The sinner may perhaps hold himself guiltless, and think there is no harm in it; to obviate which suggestion, the threatening is thus expressed, God will not hold him guiltless – But more is implied, that God will himself be the avenger of those that take his name in vain; and they will find it a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Leviticus 20
• v. 3 – “profane” – châlal – defile, pollute, desecrate: ritually or sexually
Bible Fellowship Time
Icebreakers

Is your “good name” important to you? Why?
Have you ever misused, or heard someone else misuse the Lord’s name? In what ways?
Discussion questions:
1. How did the Israelites misuse God’s name? (have them cite Scripture examples)
2. How does God respond to those who curse his name in the Old Testament (Lev. 20:1-8)?
3. What does it mean to “profane” God’s name?
4. What is the temporal result of misusing God’s name?
Going Deeper – John 8:52-59

5. In John 8:41, the Jews declare they have only one father, who is God. How does their speech in v. 53 contradict their declaration and reinforce Jesus’ judgment of their character?
6. How are they profaning God’s name in their actions?
7. Is it possible to follow, or be “a son of” (per Jesus), anybody besides God or Satan ?
8. What indications do you see of Satan’s work in our current culture?
9. In v. 58 Jesus answers the Jews with “before Abraham was born, I am.” What is he declaring?
10. What is the Jew’s reaction?
11. What warning does this give us about the dangers of legalism?
12. How are we to properly use God’s name?
Application:

Do we misuse or take God’s name in vain? When we say we will do something (such as pray for somebody), but do not, we are guilty of breaking the commandment. Have you ever done that? Thankfully we have the Lord Jesus who intercedes for us with God the Father and the Holy Spirit who leads us to obey God’s commandments. One of the integral marks of knowing God, and receiving salvation, is a spirit of confession and repentance. Have you misused God’s holy and blessed Name? Have you confessed it to God and repented? The Scriptures say that all will be held accountable for the words they say (Matt. 12:36) and that all things we do, speech or otherwise, are to be to the glory of God alone (1 Cor. 10:31). When we are careless in speech, especially as those who claim the name of Jesus Christ as savior, it does not bring glory to Him. We must consider our words carefully before speaking, but more importantly consider our own hearts.

What flows from your heart?

Careless words bringing dishonor to God’s Name? (Matt. 15:18-19)

Or “rivers of living water”? (John 7:38)

Closing Devotion

Thomas Watson, the English Puritan wrote:
“See the true note and character of a godly person: he is a sanctifier of God’s name. A true saint ambitiously endeavors to advance God’s name. The question he asks himself in everything he is going about is, Will this action tend to the honor of God’s name? Will it exalt God? It was Paul’s chief design that Christ might be magnified, that the crown upon his head might flourish. Phil 1: 20. A godly man thinks it scarce worth his while to live if he may not bring some revenues of honor to God’s name.”

SUNDAY LUKE 23

Luke 23
New International Version (NIV)
Luke 23
1 Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. 2 And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king.”
3 So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“You have said so,” Jesus replied.
4 Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”
5 But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.”
6 On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. 7 When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.
8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort. 9 He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. 12 That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies.
13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. 15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.” [17] [a]
18 But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)
20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”
23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then
“‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
and to the hills, “Cover us!”’[b]
31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[c] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
38 There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[d]”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
The Death of Jesus
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”[e] When he had said this, he breathed his last.
47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
The Burial of Jesus
50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.
Footnotes:
a. Luke 23:17 Some manuscripts include here words similar to Matt. 27:15 and Mark 15:6.
b. Luke 23:30 Hosea 10:8
c. Luke 23:34 Some early manuscripts do not have this sentence.
d. Luke 23:42 Some manuscripts come with your kingly power
e. Luke 23:46 Psalm 31:5

MONDAY EXODUS 15:1-18

Exodus 15:1-18
New International Version (NIV)
Exodus 15
The Song of Moses and Miriam
1 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD:
“I will sing to the LORD,
for he is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver
he has hurled into the sea.
2 “The LORD is my strength and my defense[a];
he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
3 The LORD is a warrior;
the LORD is his name.
4 Pharaoh’s chariots and his army
he has hurled into the sea.
The best of Pharaoh’s officers
are drowned in the Red Sea.[b]
5 The deep waters have covered them;
they sank to the depths like a stone.
6 Your right hand, LORD,
was majestic in power.
Your right hand, LORD,
shattered the enemy.
7 “In the greatness of your majesty
you threw down those who opposed you.
You unleashed your burning anger;
it consumed them like stubble.
8 By the blast of your nostrils
the waters piled up.
The surging waters stood up like a wall;
the deep waters congealed in the heart of the sea.
9 The enemy boasted,
‘I will pursue, I will overtake them.
I will divide the spoils;
I will gorge myself on them.
I will draw my sword
and my hand will destroy them.’
10 But you blew with your breath,
and the sea covered them.
They sank like lead
in the mighty waters.
11 Who among the gods
is like you, LORD?
Who is like you—
majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory,
working wonders?
12 “You stretch out your right hand,
and the earth swallows your enemies.
13 In your unfailing love you will lead
the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them
to your holy dwelling.
14 The nations will hear and tremble;
anguish will grip the people of Philistia.
15 The chiefs of Edom will be terrified,
the leaders of Moab will be seized with trembling,
the people[c] of Canaan will melt away;
16 terror and dread will fall on them.
By the power of your arm
they will be as still as a stone—
until your people pass by, LORD,
until the people you bought[d] pass by.
17 You will bring them in and plant them
on the mountain of your inheritance—
the place, LORD, you made for your dwelling,
the sanctuary, Lord, your hands established.
18 “The LORD reigns
for ever and ever.”
Footnotes:
a. Exodus 15:2 Or song
b. Exodus 15:4 Or the Sea of Reeds; also in verse 22
c. Exodus 15:15 Or rulers
d. Exodus 15:16 Or created

TUESDAY 1 SAMUEL 17:19-45

1 Samuel 17:19-45
New International Version (NIV)
19 They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.”
20 Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. 22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. 23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. 24 Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.
25 Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.”
26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
27 They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.”
28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”
29 “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” 30 He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. 31 What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.
32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”
33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.”
38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.
“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

WEDNESDAY PSALM 8

Psalm 8
Psalm 8[a]
For the director of music. According to gittith.[b] A psalm of David.
1 LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?[c]
5 You have made them[d] a little lower than the angels[e]
and crowned them[f] with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their[g] feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Footnotes:
a. Psalm 8:1 In Hebrew texts 8:1-9 is numbered 8:2-10.
b. Psalm 8:1 Title: Probably a musical term
c. Psalm 8:4 Or what is a human being that you are mindful of him, / a son of man that you care for him?
d. Psalm 8:5 Or him
e. Psalm 8:5 Or than God
f. Psalm 8:5 Or him
g. Psalm 8:6 Or made him ruler . . . ; / . . . his

WENESDAY MATTHEW 21:1-16

Matthew 21:1-16
New International Version (NIV)
Matthew 21
Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
5 “Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[a]
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c]
“Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Jesus at the Temple
12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’[e] but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’[f]”
14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.
16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.
“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,
“‘From the lips of children and infants
you, Lord, have called forth your praise’[g]?”
Footnotes:
a. Matthew 21:5 Zech. 9:9
b. Matthew 21:9 A Hebrew expression meaning “Save!” which became an exclamation of praise; also in verse 15
c. Matthew 21:9 Psalm 118:25,26
d. Matthew 21:9 A Hebrew expression meaning “Save!” which became an exclamation of praise; also in verse 15
e. Matthew 21:13 Isaiah 56:7
f. Matthew 21:13 Jer. 7:11
g. Matthew 21:16 Psalm 8:2 (see Septuagint)

THURSDAY ACTS 5:12-42

Acts 5:12-42
New International Version (NIV)
The Apostles Heal Many
12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.
The Apostles Persecuted
17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. 20 “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.”
21 At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people.
When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin—the full assembly of the elders of Israel—and sent to the jail for the apostles. 22 But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, 23 “We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” 24 On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were at a loss, wondering what this might lead to.
25 Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.” 26 At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them.
27 The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”
29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
33 When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. 34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. 35 Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36 Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37 After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
40 His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

FRIDAY 2 TIMOTHY 2

2 Timothy 2
New International Version (NIV)
2 Timothy 2
The Appeal Renewed
1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
11 Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
12 if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
13 if we are faithless,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.
Dealing With False Teachers
14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

SATURDAY 1 PETER 4

1 Peter 4
New International Version (NIV)
1 Peter 4
Living for God
1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.
7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Suffering for Being a Christian
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And,
“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”[a]
19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
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Second Commandment – 09.29.2011

Filed under: Old & New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 5:05 pm

COMMANDMENT #2
Exodus 20:4-6 “You shall not make for yourself an image (idol) in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Notes on Exodus 20:4-6
• v. 4 “idol” – peh’-sel – idol: – carved (graven) image.
• v. 5 “bow down” – shaw-khaw’ – prostrate (especially reflexively in homage to royalty or God): – bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.
• v. 6 “keep” – shaw-mar’ – A primitive root; properly to hedge about (as with thorns), that is, guard; generally to protect, attend to, etc.
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ASK: Before we even begin today’s bible study, what does the 2ND Commandment scriptures above make you think of? Discuss.

ASK: What’s the difference between last week’s commandment and this week’s commandment? (last week: Thou shalt have no other gods before me) (This week: make no idols)
• (Matthew Henry’s commentary) As the first commandment requires the inward worship of love, desire, joy, hope, and admiration, so the second requires the outward worship of prayer and praise, and solemn attendance on God’s word.

ASK question: “What are some modern forms of idolatry?”

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• “IDOL” is the Hebrew word pesel may here signify any kind of image, either of wood, stone, or metal, on which the axe, the chisel, or the graving tool has been employed. This commandment includes in its prohibitions every species of idolatry known to have been practiced among the Egyptians.
• Or any likeness, etc. – To know the full spirit and extent of this commandment, this place must be collated with Deu_4:15, etc.: Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves – lest ye corrupt yourselves – and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of Male or Female. All who have even the slightest acquaintance with the ancient history of Egypt, know that Osiris and his wife Isis were supreme divinities among that people.
• The likeness of any Beast – behemah, such as the ox and the heifer. Among the Egyptians the ox was not only sacred but adored, because they supposed that in one of these animals Osiris took up his residence: hence they always had a living ox, which they supposed to be the habitation of this deity; and they imagined that on the death of one he entered into the body of another, and so on successively. This famous ox-god they called Apis and Mnevis.
• The likeness of any winged Fowl – The ibis, or stork, or crane, and hawk, may be here intended, for all these were objects of Egyptian idolatry.
• The likeness of any thing that Creepeth – The crocodile, serpents, the scarabeus or beetle, were all objects of their adoration; and Mr. Bryant has rendered it very probable that even the frog itself was a sacred animal, as from its inflation it was emblematic of the prophetic influence, for they supposed that the god inflated or distended the body of the person by whom he gave oracular answers.
• The likeness of any Fish – All fish were esteemed sacred animals among the Egyptians. One called Oxurunchus had, according to Strabo, lib. xvii., a temple, and divine honors paid to it. Another fish, called Phagrus, was worshipped at Syene, according to Clemens Alexandrinus in his Cohortatio. And the Lepidotus and eel were objects of their adoration, as we find from Herodotus, lib. ii., cap. 72. In short, oxen, heifers, sheep, goats, lions, dogs, monkeys, and cats; the ibis, the crane, and the hawk; the crocodile, serpents, frogs, flies, and the scarabeus or beetle; the Nile and its fish; the sun, moon, planets, and stars; fire, light, air, darkness, and night, were all objects of Egyptian idolatry, and all included in this very circumstantial prohibition as detailed in Deuteronomy, and very forcibly in the general terms of the text: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in the Heavens above, or that is in the Earth beneath, or that is in the Water under the earth. And the reason of this becomes self-evident, when the various objects of Egyptian idolatry are considered.
• To countenance its image worship, the Roman Catholic Church has left the whole of this second commandment out of the decalogue, and thus lost one whole commandment out of the ten; but to keep up the number they have divided the tenth into two. This is totally contrary to the faith of God’s elect and to the acknowledgment of that truth which is according to godliness. The verse is found in every MS. of the Hebrew Pentateuch that has ever yet been discovered. It is in all the ancient versions, Samaritan, Chaldee, Syriac, Septuagint, Vulgate, Coptic, and Arabic; also in the Persian, and in all modern versions. There is not one word of the whole verse wanting in the many hundreds of MSS. collected by Kennicott and De Rossi. This corruption of the word of God by the Roman Catholic Church stamps it, as a false and heretical Church, with the deepest brand of ever-during infamy! This commandment also prohibits every species of external idolatry, as the first does all idolatry that may be called internal or mental. All false worship may be considered of this kind, together with all image worship, and all other superstitious rites and ceremonies.

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Basic Christianity by John Stott
“If the first commandment concerns the object of our worship, the second concerns its manner. In the first God demands our exclusive worship, and in the second our sincere and spiritual worship. For God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24).
We may never have manufactured some gruesome metal image with our hands, but what hideous mental image do we hold in our minds? Further, although this commandment does not forbid the use of all external forms in worship, it implies that they are useless unless there is inward reality as well. We may have attended church; have we ever really worshipped God? We may have said prayers, but have we ever truly prayed? We may have read the Bible, have we ever let God speak to us through it and done what he said?” Basic Christianity by John Stott .
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MATTHEW HENRY COMMENTARY & MY NOTES ADDED ON EXODUS 20:4-6

The second commandment concerns the ordinances of worship, or the way in which God will be worshipped. Only God himself can tell us how to worship him.
• ASK: Did you notice something in verse 4 & 5? We are even forbidden here to worship even the true God by images,
• ASK: Why would God mind if we built alters in HIS image and worshipped that?
o We would start to eventually worship the image, not our God.
o How could we ever build anything as magnificent and marvelous as God?
Isa 40:18 With whom, then, will you compare God? To what image will you liken him?
o The Jews (at least after the captivity) thought themselves forbidden by this commandment to make any image or picture whatsoever. Hence the very images which the Roman armies had in their ensigns are called an abomination to them (Mat_24:15), especially when they were set up in the holy place.
Mat 24:15 15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand
o It is called the changing of the truth of God into a lie (Rom_1:25), for an image is a teacher of lies; it insinuates to us that God has a body, whereas he is an infinite spirit, Hab_2:18.
Rom 1:25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Hab 2:18 “Of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman? Or an image that teaches lies?
For the one who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak.

• It also forbids us to make images of God in our fancies, as if he were a man as we are.
• Our religious worship must be governed by the power of faith, not by the power of imagination. They (Israel) must not make such images or pictures as the heathen worshipped, lest they also should be tempted to worship them.
• Those who would be kept from sin must keep themselves from the occasions of sin.
• They must not bow down to them occasionally, that is, show any sign of respect or honour to them, much less serve them constantly, by sacrifice or incense, or any other act of religious worship.
• When they paid their devotion to the true God, they must not have any image before them, for the directing, exciting, or assisting of their devotion.
• Though the worship was designed to terminate in God, it would not please him if it came to him through an image.
• CONSIDER THIS, I FOUND THIS VERY INTERESTING: The best and most ancient lawgivers among the heathen forbade the setting up of images in their temples. This practice was forbidden in Rome by Numa, a pagan prince; yet commanded in Rome by the pope, a Christian bishop. This is anti-christian.
o The use of images in the church of Rome, at this day, is so plainly contrary to the letter of this command, and so impossible to be reconciled to it, that in all their catechisms and books of devotion, which they put into the hands of the people, they leave out this commandment, joining the reason of it to the first; and so the third commandment they call the second, the fourth the third, etc.; only, to make up the number ten, they divide the tenth into two. Thus have they committed two great evils, in which they persist, and from which they hate to be reformed; they take away from God’s word, and add to his worship.

ASK/DISCUSS: God tells us to NOT make or worship Idols. Think about all your religious background, your training, your studying and reading. We know that He says do NOT do it, but in your mind, knowing God, what are the “reasons” that God would not want you to?

The reasons to not make idols (Exo_20:5, Exo_20:6),
• God’s jealousy in the matters of his worship: “I am the Lord Jehovah, and thy God, am a jealous God, especially in things of this nature.” This intimates the care he has of his own institutions, his hatred of idolatry and all false worship, his displeasure against idolaters, and that he resents every thing in his worship that looks like, or leads to, idolatry.
• Idolatry being spiritual adultery, as it is very often represented in scripture, the displeasure of God against it is fitly called jealousy.
• If God is jealous, then we should be so afraid of offering any worship to God other than as he has appointed in his word.
• The punishment of idolaters. God looks upon them as haters of him, though they perhaps pretend love to him;
• V5. He will visit their iniquity, that is, he will very severely punish it, not only as a breach of his law, but as an affront to his majesty, a violation of the covenant, and a blow at the root of all religion.
• PARENTS, LISTEN TO THIS: He will visit it upon the children.
o OK, “WHY” would God tell us that He will “visit it upon the children”? Is that fair? What’s that all about?
 Children are dear to their parents; therefore, to deter men from idolatry, and to show how much God is displeased with it, the judgments of God may be executed upon the poor children when the parents are dead and gone.
 He will bring such judgments upon a people as shall be the total ruin of families. If idolaters live to be old, so as to see their children of the third or fourth generation, it shall be the vexation of their eyes, and the breaking of their hearts, to see them fall by the sword, carried captive, and enslaved.
 Nor is it an unrighteous thing with God (if the parents died in their iniquity, and the children tread in their steps, and keep up false worships, because they received them by tradition from their fathers), when the measure is full, and God comes by his judgments to reckon with them, to bring into the account the idolatries their fathers were guilty of.
 Though he bear long with an idolatrous people, he will not bear always, but by the fourth generation, at furthest, he will begin to visit. (OUCH…THINK ABOUT THAT COMMENT)

NOW, THE GOOD STUFF: The favor God would show to his faithful worshippers: Keeping mercy for thousands of persons, thousands of generations of those that love me, and keep my commandments.
• Note, First, Those that truly love God will make it their constant care and endeavour to keep his commandments, particularly those that relate to his worship.
• Those that love God, and keep those commandments, shall receive grace to keep his other commandments.
• Gospel worship will have a good influence upon all manner of gospel obedience.
• Secondly, God has mercy in store for such. Even they need mercy, and cannot plead merit; and mercy they shall find with God, merciful protection in their obedience and a merciful compensation for their faithfulness.
Thirdly, This mercy shall extend to thousands, much further than the wrath threatened to those that hate him, for that reaches but to the third or fourth generation. The streams of mercy run now as full, as free, and as fresh, as ever. MATTHEW HENRY COMMENTARY & MY NOTES ADDED ON EXODUS 20:4-6

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Matthew 17 The Transfiguration
1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
On Matthew 17:1-9
ASK: OK, What was up with PETER? What’s the deal with the “three shelters”?
• three shelters…Peter was rejoiced at the vision and desirous of continuing it. He proposed, therefore, that they should prolong this interview and dwell there.
• Mark adds, “For he wist not (that is, knew not) what to say, for they were sore afraid.” They were frightened, amazed, and rejoiced; and, in the ecstasy of the moment, Peter proposed to remain there.

This is my Son, whom I love…
ASK: Matthew 17: 5….Why did God say this out loud?
• This was spoken to confirm the disciples; to make known to them that it was their duty to hear Christ rather than any other, and to honor him more than Moses and Elijah; and to strengthen their faith in him when they should go forth to preach the gospel after he was shamefully put to death.
• After this, it was impossible for them to doubt that he was truly the Son of God.
Mark 13 The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times
1 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”
2 “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
From Matthew Henry’s Commentary – On Mark 13:1-2
See how little Christ values outward pomp, where there is not real purity of heart. He looks with pity upon the ruin of precious souls, and weeps over them, but we do not find him look with pity upon the ruin of a fine house. Let us then be reminded how needful it is for us to have a more lasting abode in heaven, and to be prepared for it by the influences of the Holy Spirit, sought in the earnest use of all the means of grace.
Message
Sunday’s sermon will include the following points:
1. The Paradox of Idolatry – how can a rational person worship man-made idols?
2. The Process of Idolatry – it is extremely deceptive
3. The Presence of Idolatry – do we have idols today in our churches and homes?
4. The Price of Idolatry – idolatry denies the all-sufficiency of the Trinity.
Spiritual Preparation – Bible Reading for Families
Pray daily that God would reveal to you any idols in your life and thank God for His all-sufficient grace.

Read and meditate each day: Psalm 24, 1 Peter 2:1-12, 21-25

For Teachers
Context and Commentary

When we think of idols, we immediately think of the golden calf from Exodus or the statue of Dagon (see below comments) in the Philistine temple. Paul wrote extensively on idols and idolatry and problems that Christians faced in dealing with idols and food sacrificed to them. That seems to be the most immediate application of this scripture. We are not to make images of God or other “deities” and bow down to them. However, not all idols are carved images or imaginary demi-gods and the lesson of this command is extendable beyond just graven images. Often times the sin of idolatry is more subtle, more deceptive than statues of Dagon. It slithers into our lives like its father the serpent until soon it is the object we spend a majority of our thoughts and energy on instead of God. It may be a sport, or an inanimate object like a car, or perhaps a person, even a spouse or child. Could it even be a nation or symbol of national pride?
TRIVIA OF THE DAY: Dagon was the god of the Philistines mentioned in the Old Testament in connection with the Ark of the Covenant. The Philistines placed the captured Ark in a temple of Dagon in Ashdod, before the statue of Dagon. The next morning they found the statue lying on its face on the temple floor. They set it upright again, but the morning after the statue was again lying face down on the floor, this time with its head and hands broken off. The Hebrews regarded this as a sign of the Ark’s power (see First Samuel 5:1-7). Dagon was a Semitic god adopted by the Philistines after their invasion of Canaan. Dagon (or Dagan) was worshipped in Mesopotamia at Ur in 2500 BC. His cult was popular among the Assyrians. He probably began his existence as a god of vegetation and evolved into a storm god.
The Hebrew name Dagon means “Great Fish.” The god was variously described as a fish god, an idol with the head and hands of a man and the tail of a fish, and as half-woman and half-fish. The woodcut from Kircher, shown above, adopts the latter representation. An identification or association was sometimes made between Dagon and the goddess Atargatis (or Atergata), who had the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a fish. Atargatis was worshipped in Carnaim, a town in Bashan (see the apocryphal text Second Maccabees 12:26). The fishtail on the goddess was said to represent her journey through the Underworld.

From Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible
On Exodus 2:4
Idol…Any sort of image is here intended. As the first commandment forbids the worship of any false god, seen or unseen, it is here forbidden to worship an image of any sort, whether the figure of a false deity Jos_23:7 or one in any way symbolic of Yahweh (see Exo_32:4).

Joshua 23:7 (NIV) 7 Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them.

Exodus 32:4 (NIV) 4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods,[a] Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

Bible Fellowship Time
Discussion questions:

1. What does the commandment specifically refer to?
a.
2. What is an idol or graven image in the context of the culture of ancient Israel or Canaan?
a.
3. One of the passages in this week’s reading was the 10th chapter of Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians. What was Paul’s opinion of idols?
a. 1 Corinthians 10: 14-22 14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf. 18 Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? 19 Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. 22 Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
4. What was Paul’s instruction regarding idols?
a.
Going Deeper – Matthew 17:1-9 & Mark 13:1-2
5. What is Peter’s reaction to the transfiguration?
a.
6. What elements of idolatry do we see in his reaction?
a.
7. Do we often try to hang on to things (people or memories in this case) instead of loving God with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength, and all of our mind?
a.
8. What does God say regarding Moses and Elijah?
a.
9. In Mark 13, the disciples draw Jesus’ attention to magnificence and splendor of the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. What mistake in their thinking did Jesus point out to them in His prophecy?
a.
10. Is this a mistake Christians can make today? Give some examples.

Application:

God calls all people to look to Him alone in faith for salvation and worship. When we are reconciled to God we see clearly that He alone is God and worthy. But that doesn’t always seem to last in a practical sense, does it? Christians too can slowly fall into the sin of idolatry and grieve the Holy Spirit. Maybe not with graven images, but it happens when we give more authority to the created instead of the Creator. Subtly, these things can consume us and lead us astray like King Solomon who put his faith in his own wisdom or the Jews who put faith in their ancestor Abraham and the temple. Both put their faith in the created instead of Jehovah.

Are you placing your faith in an idol today? Do you give people or inanimate objects such as buildings more authority and higher standing than the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Do you let the cares of this world destroy your prayer life or worship? There is an old hymn that speaks of Christ’s all sufficiency:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Closing Devotion
Samuel Rutherford, in his book The Loveliness of Christ wrote:

“How blessed are we to enjoy this invaluable treasure, the love of Christ; or rather allow ourselves to be mastered and subdued in his love, so that Christ is our all, and all other things are nothing. O that we might be ready for the time our Lord’s wind and tide call for us! There are infinite plies in his love that the saints will never be able to unfold. I urge upon you a nearer and growing communion with Christ. There are curtains to be drawn back in Christ that we have never seen. There are new foldings of love in him. Dig deep, sweat, labor, and take pains for him, and set by so much time in the day as you can; he will be won with labor. Live on Christ’s love. Christ’s love is so kingly, that it will not wait until tomorrow; it must have a throne all alone in your soul. It is our folly to divide our narrow and little love. It is best to give it all to Christ. Lay no more on earthly than it can carry. Lay your soul and your weights upon God; make him your only and best-beloved. Look up to him and love him. O, love and live! Let those who love this present world have it, but Christ is more worthy and noble portion; blessed are those who love him.”

GO OVER “IF WE HAVE TIME”……

Discussion from http://www.gotquestions.org/idolatry-modern.html with other comments added.

Question: “What are some modern forms of idolatry?”

Answer: All the various forms of modern idolatry have one thing at their core: self. We no longer bow down to idols and images. Instead we worship at the altar of the god of SELF. This brand of modern idolatry takes various forms.

DISCUSS: Whether or not you agree that “SELF” can be a form of Idolatry, the below is a good discussion that warrants consideration and comment:

First, we worship at the altar of materialism which feeds our need to build our egos through the acquisition of more “stuff.”
• Our homes are filled with all manner of possessions.
• We build bigger and bigger houses with more closets and storage space in order to house all the things we buy.
• ASK: What ends up happening with a lot of that STUFF that we buy over time?
o It ends up in the garage or other storage space.
o Then we rush out to buy the newest item, garment or gadget and the whole process starts over.
• This insatiable desire for more, better, and newer stuff is nothing more than covetousness.
• Looking at “stuff” from God’s opinion, why does God know we will never be happy indulging our materialistic desires?
o Because it is Satan’s trap to keep our focus on ourselves and not on Him.

Second, we worship at the altar of our own pride and ego.
• This often takes the form of obsession with careers and jobs.
• ASK: How much time do you, men and women, spend per week at work?
• Millions of men—and increasingly more women—spend 60-80 hours a week working.
• ASK: What about your week-ends, how about your vacations?
• Even on the weekends and during vacations, our laptops are humming and our minds are whirling with thoughts of how to make our businesses more successful, how to get that promotion, how to get the next raise, how to close the next deal.
• ASK: Where do our children fit in to the balance?
o In the meantime, our children are starving for attention and love. We fool ourselves into thinking we are doing it for them, to give them a better life. But the truth is we are doing it for ourselves, to increase our self-esteem by appearing more successful in the eyes of the world.
• This is folly. All our labors and accomplishments will be of no use to us after we die, nor will the admiration of the world, because these things have no eternal value. As King Solomon put it, “For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 2:21-23).

Third, we idolize mankind—and by extension ourselves—through naturalism and the power of science.
• This gives us the illusion that we are lords of our world and builds our self-esteem to godlike proportions.
• We reject God’s Word and His description of how He created the heavens and the earth, and we accept the nonsense of evolution and naturalism.

Finally, and perhaps most destructively, we worship at the altar of the fulfillment of the self to the exclusion of all others and their needs and desires.
ASK: Please give me some examples of what I am talking about “fulfillment of the self to the exclusion of all others and their needs and desires.”
• This manifests itself in self-indulgence through alcohol, drugs, and food.
• Those in affluent countries have unlimited access to alcohol, drugs (prescription drug use is at an all-time high, even among children), and food.
• Obesity rates in the U.S. have skyrocketed, and childhood diabetes brought on by overeating is epidemic.
• The self-control we so desperately need is spurned in our insatiable desire to eat, drink, and medicate more and more.
• We resist any effort to get us to curb our appetites, and we are determined to make ourselves the god of our lives.
• This has its origin in the Garden of Eden where Satan tempted Eve to eat of the tree with the words “you will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). This has been man’s desire ever since—to be god and, as we have seen, the worship of self is the basis of all modern idolatry.

All idolatry of self has at its core the three lusts found in 1 John 2:16: “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
• If we are to escape modern idolatry, we have to admit that it is rampant and reject it in all its forms.
• It is not of God, but of Satan, and in it we will never find fulfillment. This is the great lie and the same one Satan has been telling since he first lied to Adam and Eve. Sadly, we are still falling for it.
• Even more sadly, many churches are propagating it in the preaching of the health, wealth, and prosperity gospel built on the idol of self-esteem.
• But we will never find happiness focusing on ourselves. Our hearts and minds must be centered on God and on others. This is why when asked what is the greatest commandment, Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). When we love the Lord and others with everything that is in us, there will be no room in our hearts for idolatry.

EACH DAY Psalm 24
Of David. A psalm.
1 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
2 for he founded it on the seas
and established it on the waters.
3 Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD?
Who may stand in his holy place?
4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not trust in an idol
or swear by a false god.
5 They will receive blessing from the LORD
and vindication from God their Savior.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, God of Jacob.
7 Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
8 Who is this King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
the LORD mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory?
The LORD Almighty—
he is the King of glory.
EACH DAY 1 Peter 2
1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
The Living Stone and a Chosen People
4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”[b]
7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”[c]
8 and,
“A stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”[d]
They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Living Godly Lives in a Pagan Society
11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
Footnotes:
EACH DAY 1 Peter 2:21-25
21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
22 “He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.”[a]
23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,”[b] but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Sunday: Luke 22 Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

1 Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, 2 and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. 5 They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6 He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.
The Last Supper
7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”
9 “Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked.
10 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.”
13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.[a] 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.
24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”
34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”
“Nothing,” they answered.
36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’[b]; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”
38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”
“That’s enough!” he replied.
Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives
39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.[c]
45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
Jesus Arrested
47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? 53 Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.”
Peter Disowns Jesus
54 Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55 And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”
57 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.
58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”
“Man, I am not!” Peter replied.
59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”
60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.
The Guards Mock Jesus
63 The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. 64 They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” 65 And they said many other insulting things to him.
Jesus Before Pilate and Herod
66 At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. 67 “If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.”
Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, 68 and if I asked you, you would not answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”
70 They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”
He replied, “You say that I am.”
71 Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”
Footnotes:
a. Luke 22:20 Some manuscripts do not have given for you … poured out for you.
b. Luke 22:37 Isaiah 53:12
c. Luke 22:44 Many early manuscripts do not have verses 43 and 44.
Monday: Jeremiah 10:1-16, Matthew 17:1-9

Jeremiah 10 God and Idols
1 Hear what the LORD says to you, people of Israel. 2 This is what the LORD says:
“Do not learn the ways of the nations
or be terrified by signs in the heavens,
though the nations are terrified by them.
3 For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
they cut a tree out of the forest,
and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
4 They adorn it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so it will not totter.
5 Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
their idols cannot speak;
they must be carried
because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them;
they can do no harm
nor can they do any good.”
6 No one is like you, LORD;
you are great,
and your name is mighty in power.
7 Who should not fear you,
King of the nations?
This is your due.
Among all the wise leaders of the nations
and in all their kingdoms,
there is no one like you.
8 They are all senseless and foolish;
they are taught by worthless wooden idols.
9 Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish
and gold from Uphaz.
What the craftsman and goldsmith have made
is then dressed in blue and purple—
all made by skilled workers.
10 But the LORD is the true God;
he is the living God, the eternal King.
When he is angry, the earth trembles;
the nations cannot endure his wrath.
11 “Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.’”[a]
12 But God made the earth by his power;
he founded the world by his wisdom
and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
13 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;
he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain
and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
14 Everyone is senseless and without knowledge;
every goldsmith is shamed by his idols.
The images he makes are a fraud;
they have no breath in them.
15 They are worthless, the objects of mockery;
when their judgment comes, they will perish.
16 He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these,
for he is the Maker of all things,
including Israel, the people of his inheritance—
the LORD Almighty is his name.
Footnotes:
a. Jeremiah 10:11 The text of this verse is in Aramaic.
Matthew 17
The Transfiguration
1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
Tuesday: Matthew 19:16-30

Matthew 19:16-30
New International Version (NIV)
The Rich and the Kingdom of God
16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
18 “Which ones?” he inquired.
Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’[a] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”
20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”
26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”
28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[c] or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.
Footnotes:
a. Matthew 19:19 Exodus 20:12-16; Deut. 5:16-20
b. Matthew 19:19 Lev. 19:18
c. Matthew 19:29 Some manuscripts do not have or wife.

Wednesday: Exodus 32:1-5, 25-35

Exodus 32:1-5
New International Version (NIV)
Exodus 32
The Golden Calf
1 When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods[a] who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”
2 Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods,[b] Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”
5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the LORD.”
Footnotes:
a. Exodus 32:1 Or a god; also in verses 23 and 31
b. Exodus 32:4 Or This is your god; also in verse 8
Exodus 32:25-35
New International Version (NIV)
25 Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. 26 So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the LORD, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him.
27 Then he said to them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’” 28 The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. 29 Then Moses said, “You have been set apart to the LORD today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.”
30 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”
31 So Moses went back to the LORD and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. 32 But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”
33 The LORD replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book. 34 Now go, lead the people to the place I spoke of, and my angel will go before you. However, when the time comes for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin.”
35 And the LORD struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.

Thursday: Romans 1:1-25

Romans 1:1-25
New International Version (NIV)
Romans 1
1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life[a] was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power[b] by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from[c] faith for his name’s sake. 6 And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul’s Longing to Visit Rome
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9 God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,[d] that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.
14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,[e] just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”[f]
God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Footnotes:
a. Romans 1:3 Or who according to the flesh
b. Romans 1:4 Or was declared with power to be the Son of God
c. Romans 1:5 Or that is
d. Romans 1:13 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in 7:1, 4; 8:12, 29; 10:1; 11:25; 12:1; 15:14, 30; 16:14, 17.
e. Romans 1:17 Or is from faith to faith
f. Romans 1:17 Hab. 2:4

Friday: 1 Corinthians 10

1 Corinthians 10
Warnings From Israel’s History
1 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.”[a] 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test Christ,[b] as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.
11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation[c] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[d] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[e] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Idol Feasts and the Lord’s Supper
14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.
18 Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? 19 Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. 22 Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
The Believer’s Freedom
23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.
25 Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26 for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”[f]
27 If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. 29 I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?
31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.
Footnotes:
a. 1 Corinthians 10:7 Exodus 32:6
b. 1 Corinthians 10:9 Some manuscripts test the Lord
c. 1 Corinthians 10:13 The Greek for temptation and tempted can also mean testing and tested.
d. 1 Corinthians 10:13 The Greek for temptation and tempted can also mean testing and tested.
e. 1 Corinthians 10:13 The Greek for temptation and tempted can also mean testing and tested.
f. 1 Corinthians 10:26 Psalm 24:1

Saturday: 1 John 5

1 John 5
Faith in the Incarnate Son of God
1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
6 This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9 We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Concluding Affirmations
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.
18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. 19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.
Footnotes:
a. 1 John 5:8 Late manuscripts of the Vulgate testify in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. And there are three that testify on earth: the (not found in any Greek manuscript before the fourteenth century)

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September 17, 2011

First Commandment – 09.17.2011

Filed under: Old & New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 5:26 pm

COMMANDMENT #1
Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Exodus 20:3
• “gods” – pronounced el-o-heem’ – gods or deities in the ordinary sense; false spiritual objects of worship; also used in reference to rulers or angels and other spiritual beings.
• “before me” – al paw-neem’ – Lit. “before my face.”

Read and meditate each day this week: Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 50, John 17:20-26
EACH DAY: Exodus 20: 1-17 The Ten Commandments
1 And God spoke all these words:
2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before me. (See note below)
4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
=================================================================

NOTES:

Matthew Henry’s Commentary with my revisions and comments added:
• 1. LOOK AT VERSE 1, God spoke all these words, The law of the ten commandments is,
o 1. A law of God’s making. These words were spoken by the infinite eternal Majesty of heaven and earth.
o 2. It is a law of his own speaking. ASK, HOW MANY WAYS DOES GOD HAVE WHEN SPEAKING TO US?
 God has many ways of speaking to the children of men. By his Spirit, by conscience, by providences, by his voice. DO WE ACTUALLY BELIEVE THAT? DO WE LIVE LIKE GOD IS SPEAKING TO US? (WHY NOT?).
o ASK: AT THE TIME THAT GOD SPOKE THIS, DO YOU THINK THAT MANKIND ALREADY KNEW THESE LAWS?
 This law God had given to man before (it was written in his heart by nature); but sin had so defaced that writing that it was necessary, in this manner, to revive the knowledge of it.
• 2. The preface of the Law-maker: I am the Lord thy God, Exo_20:2. ASK “WHY DID GOD START OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS WITH THESE 6 WORDS?
o 1. God asserts his own authority to enact this law in general: “I am the Lord who command thee all that follows.”
o 2. He proposes himself as the sole object of that religious worship which is discussed in the first four of the commandments. They are here bound to obedience by THREE things:
 (1.) Because God is the Lord – Jehovah, self-existent, independent, eternal, and the fountain of all being and power; therefore he has an incontestable right to command us. He that gives being may give law; and therefore he is able to bear us out in our obedience, to reward it, and to punish our disobedience.
 (2.) He was their God, a God in covenant with them, their God by their own consent; and, if they would not keep his commandments, who would? He had laid himself under obligations to them by promise.
• ASK/DISCUSS: So, we all know from the introduction to the Ten Commandments last week that we are now the children of Isreal through Jesus. But how do you think we are obligated to the covenant as a New Testament, Jesus believing body of believers?
o All that are baptized are taken into relation to him as their God, and are therefore unjust, unfaithful, and very ungrateful, if they obey him not.
 (3.) He had brought them out of the land of Egypt; therefore they were bound in gratitude to obey him, because he had done them so great a kindness, had brought them out of a grievous slavery into a glorious liberty.
• They themselves had been eye-witnesses of the great things God had done to deliver them. They saw everything, every miracle, every circumstance, and that had increased their obligation.
• They were now enjoying the blessed fruits of their deliverance and in expectation of a speedy settlement in Canaan; and could they think any thing too much to do for him that had done so much for them? WHY DO WE NOT THINK THIS WAY TODAY?
• By redeeming them, he acquired a further right to rule them; they owed their service to him to whom they owed their freedom, and whose they were by purchase.
• And thus Christ, having rescued us out of the bondage of sin, is entitled to the best service we can do him. Having loosed our bonds, he has bound us to obey him, (Psa_116:16 Truly I am your servant, LORD; I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains.)
• 3. The law itself. The first four of the Ten Commandments, which concern our duty to God (commonly called the first table), we have in these verses. ASK “WHY DO THESE FIRST 4 VERSES COME FIRST?
o Because man had a Maker to love before he had a neighbour to love; and justice and charity are acceptable acts of obedience to God only when they flow from the principles of piety.
o It cannot be expected that man should be true to his brother when he is false to his God.
o Our duty to God is, in one word, to worship him, that is, to give to him the glory due to his name, the inward worship of our affections, the outward worship of solemn address and attendance. This is spoken of as the sum and substance of the everlasting gospel. Rev_14:7, Worship God. Revelation 14:7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
o DISCUSS SUMMARY OF THE FIRST COMMANDMENT:
 The first commandment concerns the object of our worship, Jehovah, and him only (Exo_20:3): Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
 The Egyptians, and other neighbouring nations, had many gods, the creatures of their own fancy, strange gods, new gods; this law was needed because of that sin.
 Jehovah being the God of Israel, they must entirely cleave to him, and not be for any other, either of their own invention or borrowed from their neighbours.
 This was the sin they were most in danger of now that the world was so overspread with polytheism, which yet could not be rooted out effectually but by the gospel of Christ.
 The sin against this commandment which we are most in danger of is giving the glory and honour to any creature which are due to God only.
 WHAT ARE THE WAYS IN WHICH WE SOMETIMES SIN IN REGARDS TO THE FIRST COMMANDMENT:
• pride makes a god of self,
• covetousness makes a god of money,
• sensuality makes a god of the belly;
• whatever is esteemed or loved, feared or served, delighted in or depended on, more than God, that (whatever it is) we do in effect make a god of.
 This prohibition includes a precept which is the foundation of the whole law, that we take the Lord for our God, acknowledge that he is God, accept him for ours, adore him with admiration and humble reverence, and set our affections entirely upon him.
 In the last words, before me, it is intimated,
• (1.) That we cannot have any other God but he will certainly know it. There is none besides him but what is before him. Idolaters covet secresy; but shall not God search this out?
• (2.) That it is very provoking to him; it is a sin that dares him to his face, which he cannot, which he will not, overlook, nor not take action against. See Psa_44:20-21 . 20 If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god,
21 would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart?

EACH DAY Psalm 50
Highlight the “God” portions in yellow.
Highlight the “descriptions of God” in Green

A psalm of Asaph.
1 The Mighty One, God, the LORD,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to where it sets.
2 From Zion, perfect in beauty,
God shines forth.
3 Our God comes
and will not be silent;
a fire devours before him,
and around him a tempest rages.
4 He summons the heavens above,
and the earth, that he may judge his people:
5 “Gather to me this consecrated people,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
6 And the heavens proclaim his righteousness,
for he is a God of justice.
7 “Listen, my people, and I will speak;
I will testify against you, Israel:
I am God, your God.
8 I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices
or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
9 I have no need of a bull from your stall
or of goats from your pens,
10 for every animal of the forest is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird in the mountains,
and the insects in the fields are mine.
12 If I were hungry I would not tell you,
for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
14 “Sacrifice thank offerings to God,
fulfill your vows to the Most High,
15 and call on me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
16 But to the wicked person, God says:
“What right have you to recite my laws
or take my covenant on your lips?
17 You hate my instruction
and cast my words behind you.
18 When you see a thief, you join with him;
you throw in your lot with adulterers.
19 You use your mouth for evil
and harness your tongue to deceit.
20 You sit and testify against your brother
and slander your own mother’s son.
21 When you did these things and I kept silent,
you thought I was exactly like you.
But I now arraign you
and set my accusations before you.
22 “Consider this, you who forget God,
or I will tear you to pieces, with no one to rescue you:
23 Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me,
and to the blameless I will show my salvation.”
Review the verses above, list the “descriptions of God”:
• v1 The Mighty One; God the Lord
• v2 perfect in beauty
• v3 not silent, and he’s destructive
• v4 summoned and judge
• v6 God of justice
• v10 owner
• v11 all knowing
• v12 owner of ALL
• v15 deliverer
• v16 law giver
• v21 long suffering, but then, the judge
• v22 punisher
• v23 savior
Discuss the verse “structure of this Psalm. Discuss the significance of these descriptions of God.
• Verses 1 to 6 = Description of God’s awesome beauty and strength.
• Verses 7 to 15 = God’s speaking. Better listen. God knows everything.
• Verses 16 to 22 = God’s description of the wicked and his punishment of the wicked
• Verse 23. The Savior God.
Discuss how this Psalm helps us understand “The First Commandment.”
Read Daily John 17:20-26
Highlight God/Jesus/them “unity” statements in yellow.

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
John 17:20-26
• v. 20 – “those who will believe in me” – future believers in Christ; us.
• v. 21 – “believe that you have sent me.” – the reason for our unity.
• v. 22 – “O righteous Father…I know you” – Christ is one essence (one God) with the Father and the Holy Spirit, but they are three separate persons.

Discuss how these “unity” (Father, I, them) statements lead us to the lesson for today, the 1st Commandment.
(( For more texts regarding the Trinity see Matt. 28:18-20; 2 Cor. 13:14; Mark 1:10-11; Luke 1:35))
For Teachers
Context and Commentary
With the first of the Ten Commandments (lit. ten words) Yahweh (or Jehovah) gives a prohibition against worshiping any other gods except Him. God is not acknowledging other gods exist, but only that other people such as the Egyptians, whom they just left, are polytheistic, and that they worship many false gods. God’s people are not to be like them. Both the previous verse “I am the LORD your God” (Ex. 20:2) and Deuteronomy 6:4 affirm this: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” By this statement God is asserting that He alone is God, He alone is worthy of worship, and He alone has elected His people to deliverance and salvation, and ultimately to glorify Himself.
In John 17, during the high priestly prayer, Jesus affirms His divinity and unity with God the Father in the Holy Trinity. He also prays for His church. All Christians belong to the church of Jesus Christ. There may be different denominations and differences in belief on secondary matters, but the true church of Jesus Christ is unified in heart and spirit. Christ prayed for unity among the church, just as He and the Father are unified. This is reflected in the “new commandment” Jesus gives to “love one another.” His prayer was that we would reflect His union with the Father in our spiritual community. Does not the Father always answer the prayers of the Son? Yes! This is a great encouragement to the church! Glorify His Name!

Bible Fellowship Time
Icebreaker

Have you ever made something more important than God?
Discussion questions for ABF’s:

1. Summarize the first commandment in your own words.
2. Why would this commandment have been so important for the Israelites?
a. Egyptians had “multiple” Gods. See comments above.
3. In what ways might we be tempted today to break the first commandment?
a. Discussed in Matthew Henry’s comments above.
4. What does this commandment reveal about God’s nature?
a. He is faithful and true to us because of his covenant, he DEMANDS that we are faithful and true to him.
b. God is a demanding, jealous God. BUT, AS OUR CREATOR and provider, he has all rights to be that way. He is to be worshipped above all else.
5. What biblical doctrines depend on the holiness of a jealous God?
a. The Doctrines of Sin and the doctrine of Salvation.
6. What was the prophet Isaiah’s reaction to God’s holiness (Isaiah 6:1-5)?
a. 5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
Going Deeper John 17:20-26

7. What does this passage reveal about God? About Jesus?
a. V25. God is righteous.
b. God is in Jesus, Jesus is in God.
c. Jesus wants us to believe in Him, and he wants us to be “IN” them.
d. Other?
8. About us (the church) and our relationships?
a. We are “all one” in Christ.
9. What biblical doctrines are present in this passage?
a. Jesus is both fully God and fully man.
b. The doctrine of the trinity.
c. Salvation is a GIFT of God.
10. How does the doctrine of the Holy Trinity relate to the 1st commandment?
a. Question 9 above.
11. What specifically is Jesus’ prayer?
a. That man knows God and we are all ONE with God.
b. Other?
12. What light does the Gospel shine on these passages?
Application:

The apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 1:8 that believers “rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory”.
1 Peter 1: 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

Often times though, the things of the world weigh us down and sins quickly entangle us (Heb.12). We may lose our interest in prayer and study of the Word. Before long we may forget who we are in Christ and perhaps that God is even there. But let us not forget where we have come from. Without the love of God the Father, who sacrificed His Son Jesus for our sins, we would be lost without forgiveness and condemned.

Closing Devotion

17th century pastor David Clarkson wrote that the Holy Spirit “tells us of joy unspeakable (1 Pet. 1:8 above), peace passing understanding (Phil. 4:7),
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

love passing knowledge (Eph.3:19),
Eph 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

and riches unsearchable (Eph.3:8).
Eph 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

• The holy and uncreated Spirit is ours, his graces and comforts are ours.
• The Father also is ours; all that he is, all his glorious attributes, his all-sufficiency, wisdom, power, mercy, justice, truth, and faithfulness.
• His decrees are the spring of our happiness (Eph. 1:4-5). And now what is there in heaven and earth that the love of Christ has not made ours? There is nothing left but himself. And alas, what would all these things profit, if we lack him?
• He is the hope of earth and the glory of heaven. See here the height of his love; he has given us himself, and all with himself.
• He gave his life a ransom for us; not his blood—he washed us in his blood, not his glory—‘The glory that you have given me I have given to them’ (John 17:22).”

Are God’s decrees your happiness and joy? Do you take pleasure in humble obedience to God as He makes you into the image of His Son Jesus? Meditate on what the Lord has done for you and has given you. Put on your spiritual armor daily. Rejoice in inexpressible joy this week as you work, raise children, or whatever you are doing. Christ prayed that you would be in him and the Father and they would be in you. This is not for our benefit, but for the benefit of others, so that by seeing God in you, they would believe. Let the world see God in you and believe.


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September 12, 2011

TULIP: Calvanism definitions – 09.12.2011

Filed under: Old & New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 7:52 pm

I post this as “RESEARCH ONLY”. I am not submitting a viewpoint on Calvinism.
Adam
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The Five Points of Calvinism

  • Total depravity: Therefore, all people are conceived in sin and are born children of wrath, unfit for any saving good, inclined to evil, dead in their sins, and slaves to sin; without the grace of the regenerating Holy Spirit they are neither willing nor able to return to God, to reform their distorted nature, or even to dispose themselves to such reform. (Human Corruption, Conversion to God, and the Way It Occurs, Article 3).
  • Unconditional election: The fact that some receive from God the gift of faith within time, and that others do not, stems from his eternal decision. For “all his works are known to God from eternity” (Acts 15:18; Ephesians 1:11). In accordance with this decision he graciously softens the hearts, however hard, of his chosen ones and inclines them to believe, but by his just judgment he leaves in their wickedness and hardness of heart those who have not been chosen. And in this especially is disclosed to us his act–unfathomable, and as merciful as it is just–of distinguishing between people equally lost. This is the well-known decision of election and reprobation revealed in God’s Word. This decision the wicked, impure, and unstable distort to their own ruin, but it provides holy and godly souls with comfort beyond words. (Divine Election and Reprobation, Article 6)
  • Limited atonement: For it was the entirely free plan and very gracious will and intention of God the Father that the enlivening and saving effectiveness of his Son’s costly death should work itself out in all his chosen ones, in order that he might grant justifying faith to them only and thereby lead them without fail to salvation. In other words, it was God’s will that Christ through the blood of the cross (by which he confirmed the new covenant) should effectively redeem from every people, tribe, nation, and language all those and only those who were chosen from eternity to salvation and given to him by the Father; that he should grant them faith (which, like the Holy Spirit’s other saving gifts, he acquired for them by his death); that he should cleanse them by his blood from all their sins, both original and actual, whether committed before or after their coming to faith; that he should faithfully preserve them to the very end; and that he should finally present them to himself, a glorious people, without spot or wrinkle. (Christ’s Death and Human Redemption Through It.)
  • Irresistible grace : The fact that others who are called through the ministry of the gospel do come and are brought to conversion must not be credited to man, as though one distinguishes himself by free choice from others who are furnished with equal or sufficient grace for faith and conversion (as the proud heresy of Pelagius maintains). No, it must be credited to God: just as from eternity he chose his own in Christ, so within time he effectively calls them, grants them faith and repentance, and, having rescued them from the dominion of darkness, brings them into the kingdom of his Son, in order that they may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called them out of darkness into this marvelous light, and may boast not in themselves, but in the Lord, as apostolic words frequently testify in Scripture. (Human Corruption, Conversion to God, and the Way It Occurs, Article 10)
  • Perseverance of the saints : Because of these remnants of sin dwelling in them and also because of the temptations of the world and Satan, those who have been converted could not remain standing in this grace if left to their own resources. But God is faithful, mercifully strengthening them in the grace once conferred on them and powerfully preserving them in it to the end. (The Perseverance of the Saints, Article 3)


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