We are now past day 300 so I hope you are enjoying these last verses. The best thing about reading the Bible is getting to read the Bible and know more about your faith. One of the other great things is being able to have a discipline that keeps you grounded. If the reading has worked well for you please continue (maybe not as aggressively) but making time in your life for Scripture and then other works that help explain and expound on God's message.
Monday: Salvation History
Tuesday: Historical Criticism
Wednesday: Reader Response
Thursday: Law and Gospel
Friday: Textual Criticism
Saturday: Sabbath—just read and pray
Sep4TueSeptember 4, 2018
[1Ti 5:23-25 RSV] 23 No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments. 24 The sins of some men are conspicuous, pointing to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. 25 So also good deeds are conspicuous; and even when they are not, they cannot remain hidden.
[1Ti 6:1-21 RSV] 1 Let all who are under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be defamed. 2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brethren; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these duties. 3 If any one teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching which accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit, he knows nothing; he has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, 5 and wrangling among men who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. 6 There is great gain in godliness with contentment; 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world; 8 but if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs. 11 But as for you, man of God, shun all this; aim at righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the presence of God who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, 14 I charge you to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; 15 and this will be made manifest at the proper time by the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. 17 As for the rich in this world, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches but on God who richly furnishes us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good deeds, liberal and generous, 19 thus laying up for themselves a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life which is life indeed. 20 O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards the faith. Grace be with you.
[Jer 3:1-25 RSV] 1 "If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man's wife, will he return to her? Would not that land be greatly polluted? You have played the harlot with many lovers; and would you return to me? says the LORD. 2 Lift up your eyes to the bare heights, and see! Where have you not been lain with? By the waysides you have sat awaiting lovers like an Arab in the wilderness. You have polluted the land with your vile harlotry. 3 Therefore the showers have been withheld, and the spring rain has not come; yet you have a harlot's brow, you refuse to be ashamed. 4 Have you not just now called to me, 'My father, thou art the friend of my youth-- 5 will he be angry for ever, will he be indignant to the end?' Behold, you have spoken, but you have done all the evil that you could." 6 The LORD said to me in the days of King Josi'ah: "Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there played the harlot? 7 And I thought, 'After she has done all this she will return to me'; but she did not return, and her false sister Judah saw it. 8 She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce; yet her false sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the harlot. 9 Because harlotry was so light to her, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. 10 Yet for all this her false sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but in pretense, says the LORD." 11 And the LORD said to me, "Faithless Israel has shown herself less guilty than false Judah. 12 Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, 'Return, faithless Israel, says the LORD. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, says the LORD; I will not be angry for ever. 13 Only acknowledge your guilt, that you rebelled against the LORD your God and scattered your favors among strangers under every green tree, and that you have not obeyed my voice, says the LORD. 14 Return, O faithless children, says the LORD; for I am your master; I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. 15 "'And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16 And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the LORD, they shall no more say, "The ark of the covenant of the LORD." It shall not come to mind, or be remembered, or missed; it shall not be made again. 17 At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the LORD, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the LORD in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart. 18 In those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers for a heritage. 19 "'I thought how I would set you among my sons, and give you a pleasant land, a heritage most beauteous of all nations. And I thought you would call me, My Father, and would not turn from following me. 20 Surely, as a faithless wife leaves her husband, so have you been faithless to me, O house of Israel, says the LORD.'" 21 A voice on the bare heights is heard, the weeping and pleading of Israel's sons, because they have perverted their way, they have forgotten the LORD their God. 22 "Return, O faithless sons, I will heal your faithlessness." "Behold, we come to thee; for thou art the LORD our God. 23 Truly the hills are a delusion, the orgies on the mountains. Truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel. 24 "But from our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our fathers labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25 Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us; for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day; and we have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God."
[Jer 4:1-31 RSV] 1 "If you return, O Israel, says the LORD, to me you should return. If you remove your abominations from my presence, and do not waver, 2 and if you swear, 'As the LORD lives,' in truth, in justice, and in uprightness, then nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory." 3 For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem: "Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. 4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, remove the foreskin of your hearts, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; lest my wrath go forth like fire, and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your doings." 5 Declare in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say, "Blow the trumpet through the land; cry aloud and say, 'Assemble, and let us go into the fortified cities!' 6 Raise a standard toward Zion, flee for safety, stay not, for I bring evil from the north, and great destruction. 7 A lion has gone up from his thicket, a destroyer of nations has set out; he has gone forth from his place to make your land a waste; your cities will be ruins without inhabitant. 8 For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and wail; for the fierce anger of the LORD has not turned back from us." 9 "In that day, says the LORD, courage shall fail both king and princes; the priests shall be appalled and the prophets astounded." 10 Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD, surely thou hast utterly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, 'It shall be well with you'; whereas the sword has reached their very life." 11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, "A hot wind from the bare heights in the desert toward the daughter of my people, not to winnow or cleanse, 12 a wind too full for this comes for me. Now it is I who speak in judgment upon them." 13 Behold, he comes up like clouds, his chariots like the whirlwind; his horses are swifter than eagles--woe to us, for we are ruined! 14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved. How long shall your evil thoughts lodge within you? 15 For a voice declares from Dan and proclaims evil from Mount E'phraim. 16 Warn the nations that he is coming; announce to Jerusalem, "Besiegers come from a distant land; they shout against the cities of Judah. 17 Like keepers of a field are they against her round about, because she has rebelled against me, says the LORD. 18 Your ways and your doings have brought this upon you. This is your doom, and it is bitter; it has reached your very heart." 19 My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain! Oh, the walls of my heart! My heart is beating wildly; I cannot keep silent; for I hear the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. 20 Disaster follows hard on disaster, the whole land is laid waste. Suddenly my tents are destroyed, my curtains in a moment. 21 How long must I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet? 22 "For my people are foolish, they know me not; they are stupid children, they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil, but how to do good they know not." 23 I looked on the earth, and lo, it was waste and void; and to the heavens, and they had no light. 24 I looked on the mountains, and lo, they were quaking, and all the hills moved to and fro. 25 I looked, and lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the air had fled. 26 I looked, and lo, the fruitful land was a desert, and all its cities were laid in ruins before the LORD, before his fierce anger. 27 For thus says the LORD, "The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end. 28 For this the earth shall mourn, and the heavens above be black; for I have spoken, I have purposed; I have not relented nor will I turn back." 29 At the noise of horseman and archer every city takes to flight; they enter thickets; they climb among rocks; all the cities are forsaken, and no man dwells in them. 30 And you, O desolate one, what do you mean that you dress in scarlet, that you deck yourself with ornaments of gold, that you enlarge your eyes with paint? In vain you beautify yourself. Your lovers despise you; they seek your life. 31 For I heard a cry as of a woman in travail, anguish as of one bringing forth her first child, the cry of the daughter of Zion gasping for breath, stretching out her hands, "Woe is me! I am fainting before murderers."
[Psa 120:1-7 RSV] 1 A Song of Ascents. In my distress I cry to the LORD, that he may answer me: 2 "Deliver me, O LORD, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue." 3 What shall be given to you? And what more shall be done to you, you deceitful tongue? 4 A warrior's sharp arrows, with glowing coals of the broom tree! 5 Woe is me, that I sojourn in Meshech, that I dwell among the tents of Kedar! 6 Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace. 7 I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war!
From Pastor Tim:
Law and Gospel:
The image of the Faithless wife is one used often by the prophets and it sometimes draws criticism now. I have heard it called sexist and misogynic. In modern terms it may be that way, but with regards to how it was written it is very far from that. You see in that age there was nothing called genetic testing, if you were male and your wife gave birth to a child it was assumed to be yours. You could not go get a test to “make sure.” Mix that with a great desire to have your name carried on by your children and you get a very difficult and stressful situation for men that they became very concerned with their wife’s faithfulness. Not only did they want their wives to be faithful because it is important in its own right, but faithfulness is the only way to make sure the children are yours. It seems to be one of most feared sins against a man. Therefore when Jeremiah is written God uses this stark and scary image to show the people of Judah what they are doing. It doesn’t really work in reverse because if a child comes out of a woman we are pretty sure they are the mother whether their husband (or they) has been cheating or not. Thus the Law is very clearly the condemnation of what they have been doing, but the Gospel is that there is still forgiveness even for this grievous sin if they turn and repent.
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!