Notes from my Bible Study for February 12, 2010

Psalm 42‐43, Genesis 39, 2 Chronicles 16, Acts 9:32‐43

Psalm 42-43 – The Sons of Korah were worship leaders in Israel. I love the way that they begin the second book of the Psalms. With beautiful imagery, the Sons of Korah talk about their passion for the Lord. They craved the Lord as a deer pants for water.

There is raw honesty in this passage, as the worship leaders describe the struggle that their own souls felt towards God. The worship leaders remembered brighter times in their own walk with God, and in the spiritual condition of their nation. They longed for brighter days. They longed for spiritual renewal. We too should long for spiritual renewal. We should long for the Lord with everything we are.

Genesis 39 – I was talking with someone this week about God’s GPS. When it came to Joseph’s life, the young man must have felt like God’s directions just didn’t make sense. One day Joseph is being adored by his father, and the next he is being betrayed by his brothers. One day Joseph is being sold into slavery, the next he is put in charge of Potiphar’s home. One day he is doing a great job, the next he is being seduced by Potiphar’s wife.

Joseph was a godly young man. He rebuffed Potiphar’s wife, and paid a huge price. It was imprisonment on false charges for Joseph! Doesn’t sound quite like the reward that somebody living a godly life deserves. But, that was his life.

Joseph would be used mightily by God, but God was going to use him in places that Joseph never imagined. Remember that no matter what situation we find ourselves in, faithfulness to God is the answer. Like Joseph, God’s plans for us are not quite what we would expect, but they will ultimately be for our best and His glory.

2 Chronicles 16 – Asa had done so many good things for the people of Judah, but as his life ends he turns from God and seeks help from pagan lands. It is a sad way to end his life.

One of my favorite verses in Scripture is found in 2 Chronicles 16:9 – 9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.”

I’m sure that Asa wished that verse would have ended with words like, “And you are a man whose heart is blameless.” Unfortunately, it didn’t end that way for Asa.

Asa’s life is a reminder to us about the importance of finishing well.

Acts 9:32-43 – There is something unfortunate that happens to many of us the more we become familiar with the Bible. Sometimes we lose the awe of the stories like the one in Acts 9:36-43. Tabitha, a woman who was dead, is raised to life through the power of Christ! That’s right, a dead woman was made alive again! Only God has the power to do that. The same God who restored the life of Tabitha back to her has the power to work in lives today. Let’s never forget that, and never let the awe go away.

Notes from my Bible Study for February 11, 2010

Today’s Reading: Psalm 41, Genesis 38, 2 Chronicles 15, Acts 9:1‐31

Psalm 41 – This is a song of lament, in which David cries out to the Lord for healing. He is severely ill, and asks the Lord for healing. He also admits his sin, fessing up to the fact that he has fallen short of being the man that God has called him to be. This psalm is one place where we see a biblical precedent for praying for God to heal us.

Genesis 38 – The story of Judah and Tamar is an important one, because it is through this line that Jesus, the Messiah, came into the world. Tamar is one of the women that is mentioned in Jesus’ family tree. It’s amazing that God chose this family, with all of the heartache, to be the family into which Messiah would be born.

2 Chronicles 15 – This is a good period for the kingdom of Judah. Asa’s leadership helped the kingdom of Judah return to worship of Jehovah. Idols were done away with, and those in leadership who propagated the worship of idols were stripped of their authority. God blessed the kingdom of Judah in these days.

Acts 9:1-31 – The conversion of Saul has to be one of my favorite stories of all time. Why? Because it shows the incredible grace of our Lord. There was nothing about Saul that should have attracted God’s grace. This was a man who was seeking to destroy the infant church. But, God reached out in grace to save Saul. He chose Saul to be his child. And, what a man He chose! God would use Saul, whose name would be changed to Paul, to write more than 2/3 of the New Testament. This is a man who shook his world for Jesus Christ. God saw potential in Saul. He saw not who Saul was, but who Saul would become.

If you have been saved by Jesus Christ, thank Him for the work of grace in your life. Thank Him for choosing you to be His child. Thank Him for not giving you what you deserve, but instead for showering you with grace. He is a loving God!