Monday, September 12, 2016

Psalm 71

It's becoming more common nowadays to not only read something for yourself, but read it for the next person behind you.  Let's read it for the next reader's read, like the custom where you "pay behind" for the next persons's coffee in some coffee shops.

A.  Next reader: maybe someone in a youth group, junior-high age or so.

Opening Questions Samples...

1.  If you really need your friend to do something for you, how do you approach them?  What do you use with various people: your best friend, for example.  What if you're desperate?  Do you let that on?

2.  If someone got you out of a big jam yesterday, and if you have a chance to talk about them, do you?  What if you conclude, that it must have been God?  Would that stop you from saying something?

"While You're Reading it" comments

1.  [after 71:2] Can you think of something you've seen, that starts with a scene where someone is in danger, and needs to be rescued? 

2.  [after 71:11] Have you ever seen someone in real trouble, dangerous trouble, in real life?  Did they have someone to help?

3.  [after 71:16] Suppose you have thanked someone for their help.  Have you ever wanted to tell someone else, or were you too embarrassed?

B.  Next reader: a sermon audience, with you "preaching"....

Opening Questions Samples

1.  If, in your personal life, you say something under your breath, and it starts with "O God..." what often comes after that? 

2.  What's harder for you to express?  Your troubles, or your escapes from trouble?  Do you do either one?

"After you've read it" comments

1.  The famous number about our minds is "7."  Plus or minus, 2.  It's really hard to keep more than that many things in our heads, at once.  Look how this Psalm is divided: 6 paragraphs, in the ESV!  That helps!

2.  This Psalm sure ends differently than it starts.  It's almost like a movie synopsis, and the first part is the trailer, and it's an action movie.  Hope you like real-life action movies!

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Isaiah 32

(Had to take up some blogging again, so bear with me in where I'm reading in the Scriptures, if you can.  In this case, reading the book of Isaiah, spreading it out through a year starting Jan. 1, you'd finish Isaiah 32 by June 26 or thereabouts.  Maybe the second half of this year will show more consistent blogging on my part.  Lord bless!)

Something, certainly must be expressed after reading Isaiah 32.  The NASB95 translators supply a title to the chapter, "The Glorious Future."  Please read it yourselves, and if you want, I can prep my comments with some exploratory questions....

1.  Who are / will be "the princes" of verse 1, who "each will be" these great things in verse 2?

2.  Is there a complexity in the thought of 32:3 that bothers you?  namely, if a group consists of "those who see" why is it that the verse predicts a time that they will not be blinded?  and if a group consists of "those who hear" how can it be that the future will be a time that they will listen?

Does this not imply that there will have been a time, prior to Is 32:3's time of fulfillment, that there are those who see, who actually were blinded, and correspondingly, prior to Is 32:3's time of fulfillment, a similar time in which those who hear did not listen?  Having a capability, versus the actually successful use of it coming later? 

3.  If 32:4-5 is also prediction, and no doubt it is from this context, then doesn't the author go on to describe further anomalies from the past that will no longer be the case, in saying "no longer" in 32:5?

4.  The completion of the thought started in 32:1 is 32:6-8, since 32:9 starts with a new exhortation for a specific group in the very-much-present of Isaiah's time.  How is it that 32:6-8 is still predictive?  Isn't it describing what Isaiah sees that future to be?

5.  Nowadays, it is often true that the fool is "called noble"  (32:5).  And the rogue spoken of as "generous" (32:5).   But 32:6-8 shows them as displaying what they really are.  This, in the context of a prediction, is capped by the success of the noble person.  What a great future prediction this is!  Does it fit in our eschatology?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Genesis 1:1-3:24

The profound simplicity of these chapters asks for an explanation, even more than their various details do. 

In this reading, one cannot help notice the immediate impression given of the activity of God as creator.   He creates, He sees what He has created that it is good.  He commands, at various stages, that things are created, and that further things come about from what He has created.  "Plants yielding seed (1:11)"; that "the earth bring forth living creatures (1:24)"; creating man "in His own image" and speaking _to_ them, male and female (1:26-28).

The first thing listed in Genesis 1 that God said "to them" was to both the man and woman in 1:28-30.  However, this is not the first thing God had said to the man.  Chapter 2 describes a time prior to that, before the creation of Eve, in which man "was formed of dust from the ground."  Then God "placed" (2:8) the man he had formed in a garden, commanded him concerning one of the trees in it (2:17), and only then "fashioned" a rib from Adam into a woman (2:22).