Reading 1 - Deuteronomy 21
- Your mind can't help thinking of Joseph's triumph over Reuben in this
context,where Jacob quite clearly favoured the son of his loved wife, and,
in this case, God supported it. There are a number of occasions when the
younger is picked over the older by God - Jacob over Esau, Ephraim over
Manasseh, Samuel over the sons of Peninnah, Solomon over his older brothers,
etc. This demonstrates that God is able to (and does) override these laws
on occasions when it furthers his purpose. We, however, cannot be a respecter
of persons in this way, as we do not have this knowledge.
- The detail required here - the perfection of the situation - unsullied,
as it were, by man - both the beast and the ground where the killing took
place. The picture is one of Jesus and his purity in performing God's purpose,
but I can't help asking, on these occasions where the specified animal is
female, whether the implication is also toward the sacrifice that needs
to be made by the bride as well as the groom. It surely represents the way
that those who would follow in Jesus footsteps are covered by the grace
of God and so presented righteous in his sight. Any thoughts anyone?
- taken them captive - Hebrew 'captured a captive' the same Hebrew phrase
is found in Psalm
68:18 and we
can reflect on the way that this is used in the New Testament. Ephesians
4:8 To speak
of the call of the gentiles. Thus we see that the taking of the captive
as a wife was a form of deliverance. All the principles of marriage come
into force and the woman was to become a proselyte. So this is a pattern
of the redemption of the gentiles.
'he that is hanged is accursed' (Galatians
3:13) Bu this would apply to anyone who was hanged.
The 'stubborn' son who doesn't listen to the father's instruction is led
astray by the 'stubborn' woman (Proverbs
Reading 2 - Song of Solomon 1
|References on Study Site|
- There are other examples of songs -
Was this a 'special' song - just one, or is it a collection of some, or
all, of the one thousand and five? It is after a Song of Songs.
- The beauty of Jesus is such that he is loved by the pure. The concept
of virgin is always associated with this unsullied purity. It is the state
which we attain through love and the grace of God. - Matt.25:1-13
is a list of quotations made from the book of Song of Solomon on the Study
'Cross References' from the Topics Menu or 'Song of Solomon' from the Books
Picking up three of the links in John 4
that the woman coming to the well, despite being a Samaritan and not living
with her husband, was a potential candidate for marriage to the Bridegroom.
The maiden, not knowing the way, was advised to follow in the footsteps
of the flock and remain by the shepherd - the pattern of how we should respond
to the call of Christ. We do not know the way and so should follow in the
footsteps of those faithful who are walking in the way.
In today's society there are too many people who have problems in their marriage and relationships. About one third of children at the moment come from a broken home. When Jesus said that in the last days people would be marrying and giving in marriage, I wonder if what he meant was that they would be getting married two or three times, and divorced in between. But there is a preventative lesson we can learn from these two chapters. None of us is perfect and if we let ourselves dwell on the imperfections of our spouse we will the ideas more and more, comparing them with others who begin to look more perfect than our spouse. Instead we should have the attitude of the lovers in this song. They saw in each other only the good things. They accentuated their positive attributes and eliminated the negatives. Build your spouse up in your mind as beautiful and lovely, someone to be desired - in the same way the lovers do in this song. I believe this attitude can go a long way to saving many marriages. Try it in yours.
Reading 3 - Acts 13
8 Elymas (Barjesus) was a word of Arabic origin meaning 'wise'. He epitomises
the wisdom of the world, which is foolishness with God., hence he is referred
to in v.10
as the enemy of all righteousness. But remember - the sorcerers in Egypt
were able to copy many of the wonders done by God with their enchantments.
Let us therefore beware not to follow the wrong ways.
- Here we see a period of 450 years applied to the judges. According to
most estimates, the time which we think of as the Judges - from Othniel
to Samuel is only 330 years (approx). If in fact you project back 450 years
from the end of the 'reign' of Samuel as a judge, you arrive at the time
when the Israelites came out of Egypt. So is Paul here telling us that Moses
and Joshua were the first 2 judges?
The use of a summary of Old Testament history repeats Stephens approach
in Acts 7 and echoes a number of Old Testament passages where the history
of Israel is used as a lesson for the people -
78 105 106 .
Psalm 78 demonstrates that the history of Israel was a parable
inasmuch as it contained lessons that had to be learnt by those who experienced
Gods hand in their lives. We should likewise see the hand of God at
work in our lives. An enjoyable exercise in this section of Acts is to list
the quotations from the Old Testament and follow up the quotations. This
will develop a more profound understanding of the Old Testament teaching
of the coming of Messiah. It will also help us to develop a Scriptural approach
to our own exposition.
Whilst today the word 'minister' is used to speak of someone who has a degree
of importance the Greek for 'minister' here is a nautical word used to describe
one of the men who was an oarsman on a battle galleon. It is not just one
of the oarsmen, though. It speaks of one of the men who were on the lower
deck, underneath other men who, like him, were chained to their seats. So
this lower or under oarsman worked in the filth which was a consequence
of his working environment.
The laying on of hands was not for the purpose of giving of the Holy Spirit.
Those sending Paul and Barnabus wished to identify themselves with the work.
was definitely a judge. In answer to the question above from v.20, in Ex.
2:14, God made Moses a prince and a judge. Ex.
18:13-22, is the clearest reference to the work of Moses as a judge.
It is not as clear regarding Joshua, but presumably, he followed in Moses' footsteps in this regard.