A blessed Summer to you all, I spent a week of continuing education to get up all the rest of verses ready to go, meaning they will roll out like clockwork for the rest of the year and you can always read with us (no more delay!). I am trying to keep ahead of your reading with comments.
Here is what we are doing each day.
Monday: Salvation History
Tuesday: Historical Criticism
Wednesday: Reader Response
Thursday: Law and Gospel
Friday: Textual Criticism
Saturday: Sabbath—just read and pray
May21MonMay 21, 2018
[1Co 8:1-13 RSV] 1 Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that "all of us possess knowledge." "Knowledge" puffs up, but love builds up. 2 If any one imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. 3 But if one loves God, one is known by him. 4 Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that "an idol has no real existence," and that "there is no God but one." 5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth--as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"-- 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. 7 However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through being hitherto accustomed to idols, eat food as really offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. 9 Only take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if any one sees you, a man of knowledge, at table in an idol's temple, might he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak man is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food is a cause of my brother's falling, I will never eat meat, lest I cause my brother to fall.
[1Ki 22:1-53 RSV] 1 For three years Syria and Israel continued without war. 2 But in the third year Jehosh'aphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel. 3 And the king of Israel said to his servants, "Do you know that Ramoth-gilead belongs to us, and we keep quiet and do not take it out of the hand of the king of Syria?" 4 And he said to Jehosh'aphat, "Will you go with me to battle at Ramoth-gilead?" And Jehosh'aphat said to the king of Israel, "I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses." 5 And Jehosh'aphat said to the king of Israel, "Inquire first for the word of the LORD." 6 Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, "Shall I go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I forbear?" And they said, "Go up; for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king." 7 But Jehosh'aphat said, "Is there not here another prophet of the LORD of whom we may inquire?" 8 And the king of Israel said to Jehosh'aphat, "There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, Micai'ah the son of Imlah; but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but evil." And Jehosh'aphat said, "Let not the king say so." 9 Then the king of Israel summoned an officer and said, "Bring quickly Micai'ah the son of Imlah." 10 Now the king of Israel and Jehosh'aphat the king of Judah were sitting on their thrones, arrayed in their robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Sama'ria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 11 And Zedeki'ah the son of Chena'anah made for himself horns of iron, and said, "Thus says the LORD, 'With these you shall push the Syrians until they are destroyed.'" 12 And all the prophets prophesied so, and said, "Go up to Ramoth-gilead and triumph; the LORD will give it into the hand of the king." 13 And the messenger who went to summon Micai'ah said to him, "Behold, the words of the prophets with one accord are favorable to the king; let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably." 14 But Micai'ah said, "As the LORD lives, what the LORD says to me, that I will speak." 15 And when he had come to the king, the king said to him, "Micai'ah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we forbear?" And he answered him, "Go up and triumph; the LORD will give it into the hand of the king." 16 But the king said to him, "How many times shall I adjure you that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?" 17 And he said, "I saw all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd; and the LORD said, 'These have no master; let each return to his home in peace.'" 18 And the king of Israel said to Jehosh'aphat, "Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?" 19 And Micai'ah said, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left; 20 and the LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?' And one said one thing, and another said another. 21 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, saying, 'I will entice him.' 22 And the LORD said to him, 'By what means?' And he said, 'I will go forth, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' And he said, 'You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go forth and do so.' 23 Now therefore behold, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the LORD has spoken evil concerning you." 24 Then Zedeki'ah the son of Chena'anah came near and struck Micai'ah on the cheek, and said, "How did the Spirit of the LORD go from me to speak to you?" 25 And Micai'ah said, "Behold, you shall see on that day when you go into an inner chamber to hide yourself." 26 And the king of Israel said, "Seize Micai'ah, and take him back to Amon the governor of the city and to Jo'ash the king's son; 27 and say, 'Thus says the king, "Put this fellow in prison, and feed him with scant fare of bread and water, until I come in peace."'" 28 And Micai'ah said, "If you return in peace, the LORD has not spoken by me." And he said, "Hear, all you peoples!" 29 So the king of Israel and Jehosh'aphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. 30 And the king of Israel said to Jehosh'aphat, "I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your robes." And the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle. 31 Now the king of Syria had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, "Fight with neither small nor great, but only with the king of Israel." 32 And when the captains of the chariots saw Jehosh'aphat, they said, "It is surely the king of Israel." So they turned to fight against him; and Jehosh'aphat cried out. 33 And when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 34 But a certain man drew his bow at a venture, and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate; therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, "Turn about, and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded." 35 And the battle grew hot that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Syrians, until at evening he died; and the blood of the wound flowed into the bottom of the chariot. 36 And about sunset a cry went through the army, "Every man to his city, and every man to his country!" 37 So the king died, and was brought to Sama'ria; and they buried the king in Sama'ria. 38 And they washed the chariot by the pool of Sama'ria, and the dogs licked up his blood, and the harlots washed themselves in it, according to the word of the LORD which he had spoken. 39 Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, and the ivory house which he built, and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 40 So Ahab slept with his fathers; and Ahazi'ah his son reigned in his stead. 41 Jehosh'aphat the son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. 42 Jehosh'aphat was thirty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Azu'bah the daughter of Shilhi. 43 He walked in all the way of Asa his father; he did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the LORD; yet the high places were not taken away, and the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. 44 Jehosh'aphat also made peace with the king of Israel. 45 Now the rest of the acts of Jehosh'aphat, and his might that he showed, and how he warred, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 46 And the remnant of the male cult prostitutes who remained in the days of his father Asa, he exterminated from the land. 47 There was no king in Edom; a deputy was king. 48 Jehosh'aphat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold; but they did not go, for the ships were wrecked at E'zion-ge'ber. 49 Then Ahazi'ah the son of Ahab said to Jehosh'aphat, "Let my servants go with your servants in the ships," but Jehosh'aphat was not willing. 50 And Jehosh'aphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father; and Jeho'ram his son reigned in his stead. 51 Ahazi'ah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Sama'ria in the seventeenth year of Jehosh'aphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel. 52 He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in the way of his mother, and in the way of Jerobo'am the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. 53 He served Ba'al and worshiped him, and provoked the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger in every way that his father had done.
[Amo 6:1-14 RSV] 1 "Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Sama'ria, the notable men of the first of the nations, to whom the house of Israel come! 2 Pass over to Calneh, and see; and thence go to Hamath the great; then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are they better than these kingdoms? Or is their territory greater than your territory, 3 O you who put far away the evil day, and bring near the seat of violence? 4 "Woe to those who lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat lambs from the flock, and calves from the midst of the stall; 5 who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp, and like David invent for themselves instruments of music; 6 who drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph! 7 Therefore they shall now be the first of those to go into exile, and the revelry of those who stretch themselves shall pass away." 8 The Lord GOD has sworn by himself (says the LORD, the God of hosts): "I abhor the pride of Jacob, and hate his strongholds; and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it." 9 And if ten men remain in one house, they shall die. 10 And when a man's kinsman, he who burns him, shall take him up to bring the bones out of the house, and shall say to him who is in the innermost parts of the house, "Is there still any one with you?" he shall say, "No"; and he shall say, "Hush! We must not mention the name of the LORD." 11 For behold, the LORD commands, and the great house shall be smitten into fragments, and the little house into bits. 12 Do horses run upon rocks? Does one plow the sea with oxen? But you have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood-- 13 you who rejoice in Lo-debar, who say, "Have we not by our own strength taken Karnaim for ourselves?" 14 "For behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel," says the LORD, the God of hosts; "and they shall oppress you from the entrance of Hamath to the Brook of the Arabah."
From Pastor Tim Salvation History
At this point we talk about how it is to have salvation and what that means for our lives. 1 Corinthians is a great passage about how to act for those who have the freedom we have in salvation. Luther says it this way, “A Christian is perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant to all subject to all.” Now what it takes Luther a whole book to write clearly I cannot in just a paragraph, but a lot of it is summed up with our dual freedom to know that we have salvation so we can do whatever we need to do and at the same time out of Christian love being able to and obligated to help others in every way possible.
So Paul says because God is the God of all, there is no reason to either eat the meat offered to idols or not eat the meat offered to idols because God made it and there is no other God or being that could ever pollute that, yet because of the love of neighbor Paul is perfectly willing to give up ever eating meat so that his fellow Christians who are scandalized would not have their faith damaged. So Paul says at the same time he is both free and under obligation.
I find that is often the case in our Christian life. My favorite example was when I discovered the middle finger. As a boy I knew that God had created all of my fingers and if I stuck my middle figure up at another child without meaning anything by it, there was no actual harm done. That being said my mother still punished me, and she told me even though I didn’t mean anything by it there was a cultural meaning and I would not do it again. Perfectly free and yet still perfectly a subject.
We are reading through the Bible in order to celebrate the anniversary of the reformation, we would invite you to join us where ever we are, or you could just start reading daily. Remember Luther wanted to get Scripture into the hand of everyone so they would grow to know God better. Join us!