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Archive for March, 2011

Bible Reading Commitment, Encouragement, and Challenge

March 31 – 1 Samuel 15-17

Observe with some (Interpretation in Parentheses)

  • Saul is chosen to be the first human king over Israel.
  • (He reminds me of Gideon in Judges)
  • Saul (and Gideon) start off strong, but end really poorly
  • Two days ago, we saw Saul in his beginning years as king, trusting in God, having victory over enemies, displaying humility and mercy (in not killing those who did not want him to reign.)
  • Saul seems like the perfect king for Israel (at this point)
  • But, as his victories grew, he became proud, depended on himself instead of God, made excuses for sin, and now seeks to distort sin into righteousness, which we begin to see in today’s chapters.
  • Saul disobeys God’s clear commands to destroy everything of the Amalekites.
  • Saul thought he could be king over God and re-interpret the people and things he saw.
  • Saul that he could be king over God and be the one who evaluates what is “despised and worthless” to devote to destruction and what is “good” to keep (15:9)
  • BUT, God had already been clear that because of their heinous sin and wickedness, EVERYTHING of the Amalekites was despised and worthless in GOD’s eyes and thus ought to be devoted to destruction.
  • And when confronted by Samuel of his sin, Saul had no conviction of sin as he descended further into pride and idolatry of self
  • He approached Samuel confidently, saying he obeyed everything God commanded, and that he “saved” the best of the things to sacrifice to God.”
  • (Saul even invoked “worship” of God as a reason for his disobedience)
  • (Sin is so deceptive and distorts everything we are)
  • (Sin makes us think that we are worshiping and pleasing God when we are actually in disobedience)
  • And Saul only outwardly sought forgiveness when he realized that his kingdom was going to  be taken away from him.
  • (Saul only saw sin as something that affected him, not a personal offense against God)
  • (We need the objective Word of God to determine what is in, and we must not seek to distort God’s Word for our own sinful pleasures, seeking to justify sin by trying to say it pleases God)
  • (I can think of several sins society and many even in the church seek to justify in this manner, contrary to God’s clearly revealed Word – can you think of some?)

How Points to Christ

  • God’s chosen king is ultimately not Saul, but Jesus Christ
  • Jesus Christ started off well and finished well, and was sinless and righteous all throughout his life and reign as king.
  • Jesus is Israel’s true King
  • In chapter 16-17, we begin to see God’s next chosen king, King David, who is a type of Christ.

Apply

  • Please pray that I would not seek to justify my sin and disobedience by trying to distort the Word of God, utterly deceived, thinking that I am actually worshiping God when I am in rebellion against Him.
  • And please pray that I and the church would love God’s glory enough to lovingly and gently rebuke other sinners when we see sin in their lives that they are deceived by.
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May God increase our desire for His glory to spread to all nations and peoples – Joshua Project!

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Population: 4,359,000

Language: Panjabi, Western

Religion: Islam

Evangelical: 0.00%

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Bible Reading Commitment, Encouragement, and Challenge

March 30 – 1 Samuel 13-14

Observe with some (Interpretation in Parentheses)

  • Saul is chosen to be the first human king over Israel.
  • (He reminds me of Gideon in Judges)
  • Saul (and Gideon) start off strong, but end really poorly
  • In yesterday’s chapters, we saw Saul in his beginning years as king, trusting in God, having victory over enemies, displaying humility and mercy (in not killing those who did not want him to reign.)
  • Saul seems like the perfect king for Israel (at this point)
  • But, as his victories grew, he became proud and depended on himself instead of God, which we begin to see in today’s chapters.
  • Saul disobeys God’s commands given through Samuel and makes an unlawful sacrifice.
  • And like sinners throughout history, when confronted with his sin, he begins to make excuses and try to “justify” his sin against God.

How Points to Christ

  • God’s chosen king is ultimately not Saul, but Jesus Christ
  • Jesus Christ started off well and finished well, and was sinless and righteous all throughout his life and reign as king.
  • Jesus is Israel’s true King

Apply

  • As sinners, we will sin.
  • When confronted with our sin, let us not be like Saul and try to excuse or justify our sins against God.
  • There is nothing in our external circumstances that MAKE us sin.
  • Our external circumstances do tempt us to sin and provide the context in which we sin, but we are fully responsible for our sin.
  • It is our sinful hearts that cause us to sin.
  • We need to be made NEW CREATIONS through faith in Christ to be born again to be able to fight against sin.
  • Please pray that I and the rest of God’s people would be quick to confess and repent and trust in the Gospel when confronted with sin in our lives.

 

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May God increase our desire for His glory to spread to all nations and peoples – Joshua Project!

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Population: 5,397,000

Language: Tatar

Religion: Islam

Evangelical: 0.04%

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Bible Reading Commitment, Encouragement, and Challenge

March 29 – 1 Samuel 9-12

Observe with some (Interpretation in Parentheses)

  • Saul is chosen to be the first human king over Israel.
  • (He reminds me of Gideon in Judges)
  • Saul (and Gideon) start off strong
  • Saul is humble, recognizing his “smallness” in Israel and in his family.
  • (God chooses whoever He wills to accomplish His purposes)
  • In his humility, Saul depends on God (starting off well)
  • In these chapters though, we see Saul in his beginning years as king, trusting in God, having victory over enemies, displaying humility and mercy (in not killing those who did not want him to reign.)
  • Saul seems like the perfect king for Israel (at this point)
  • But, as his victories grew, he became proud and depended on himself instead of God, which we will see in the coming chapters.

How Points to Christ

  • God’s chosen king is ultimately not Saul, but Jesus Christ
  • Jesus Christ started off well and finished well, and was sinless and righteous all throughout his life and reign as king.
  • Jesus is Israel’s true King

Apply

  • Success is dangerous often.
  • Pride is always lurking at the door, seeking to devour us and cause our downfall.
  • Scripture is clear that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
  • Please pray that I would not focus on the fruit of life or ministry, but focus on humbly seeking the Lord, loving Him and doing what He commands, focusing on faithfulness to God and His Word.
  • And please pray that God would make the church a humble, not arrogant people, that we would recognize our utter sinfulness before God (there is no reason for pride as sinners deserving wrath who have been saved and forgiven solely because of the sovereign grace of God).

 

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May God increase our desire for His glory to spread to all nations and peoples – Joshua Project!

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Population: 5,873,000

Language: Kannada

Religion: Hinduism

Evangelical: 0.00%

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Bible Reading Commitment, Encouragement, and Challenge

* A little behind.  We just had our 2nd child and getting adjusted to that, and baby just came back from the hospital for jaundice, but testing everyday until he is cleared.

March 28 – 1 Samuel 4-8

Observe with some (Interpretation in Parentheses)

  • In 1 Samuel 4-6, we see the sovereign power of God despite His people’s sinfulness and weakness.
  • In battling the Philistines, Israel assumed that they could manipulate God into giving them the victory.
  • They are defeated in battle
  • And they ask for the ark of God to be brought to the battlefield, assuming that simply bringing the ark there will suddenly make them victorious against the Philistines
  • In these chapters, we also see that the Philistines have more reverence for the ark of God than Israel does
  • The Philistines have heard what God did to the Egyptians, and they do not want to have a similar hardness of heart.
  • Yet, despite Israel’s sin, God acts to vindicate His name in the land of the Philistines
  • (God needs no man to vindicate His glory and power)

How Points to Christ

  • God vindicates His glory ultimately through providing His Son Jesus Christ to provide atonement for sin
  • God can only show grace to sinful people because of Jesus’ sacrifice for sinners on the cross.

Apply

  • Israel thought they could manipulate God into fighting on their behalf.
  • They thought they could simply change one of their behaviors, or do some superstitious ritual to get God to bend to their desires and will.
  • But God will NOT be mocked.
  • What the people needed was not some ritual or manipulation of God – they could regain God’s favor, but they needed to REPENT of their sins and turn away from their idols and worship and serve the One True God.
  • And in 1 Samuel 7, the people did repent, and God gave them great victory over the Philistines.
  • May we never seek to manipulate God to do our will
  • May we daily seek to repent of our sins and worship God alone!
  • As churches, may we not guilt people to simply change outward behavior to “get God” to bless them, but let us preach the glory and supremacy of God so that people would repent of their idolatry and worship God alone.

 

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