Notes from my Bible Study for February 13, 2010

Today’s Reading: Psalm 44, Genesis 40, 2 Chronicles 17, Acts 10:1‐11:18

Psalm 44 – The desperate cry for help that the Sons of Korah present to the Lord in Psalm 44 is a beautiful reminder of the place that the children of Israel held in God’s heart. God had seemingly forgotten the plight of His children. God, of course, had not forgotten; but sometimes when we go through tough periods even those who walk faithfully with God feel his absence.

Mother Theresa wrote about her dark night of the soul. C. H. Spurgeon often wrote of the difficult times that came in his life. C. S. Lewis chronicled the pain that came in his life when his wife passed away. Following God isn’t always easy. Sometimes His hand doesn’t seem to work the way that we wish it would. But, His plans remain good; and we can trust in Him. In fact, the Sons of Korah show us in Psalm 44 that it is pure folly to trust in anyone else.

Genesis 40 – A key event in Joseph’s development happens in Genesis 40. Imprisoned with the chief cupbearer and chief baker of Pharaoh, Joseph interprets the dreams of these men. But, before doing so, Joseph says to the men, “Do not interpretations belong to God.”

Joseph lifts up the name of Jehovah in his Egyptian prison. He then, through the power of God, interprets the dreams. It is clear that Joseph has thought much about his circumstances as he sits in the prison, but his trust in the Lord remains firm.

One more thought – leaders are people who have to tell people things that don’t want to hear on occasion. Such was the case with Joseph’s news to the chief baker. He gave terrible news, but did so with character and leadership that would be needed in the years ahead.

2 Chronicles 17 – We just finished a sermon series on the life of Elijah at Woodbury Community Church. As such, we spent a lot of time talking about King Ahab, the most wicked King the nation of Israel had ever seen. While Ahab was on the throne in Israel, Jehoshaphat was on Judah’s throne.

Jehoshaphat’s reign is marked by faithful obedience to the Lord. Because of this, God blessed the nation of Judah under Jehoshaphat’s reign.

Acts 10:1-11:18 – “The Holy Spirit has come to the Gentiles!” It must have been a sentiment that was heard over and over again in the early church. Jewish people, who had been raised in a tradition where they were God’s chosen people; would have been shocked to see God’s grace reach out to the Gentiles. Even Peter, one who had heard with his own ears the proclamation of Jesus that the Gospel would go to Gentiles, was shocked when he finally saw it happen.

I am a Gentile. This chapter is where grace finally came to people like me. I rejoice that Christ’s grace is still reaching Jew and Gentile alike. I have been so blessed.