Feb 12, 2018
Yesterday we read the commands for the Israelites to be good neighbors and to practice justice. And we heard the requirement for all Israelites to celebrate three festivals, and God gave promises of how He would bring them into the land. Then we read the story of how Moses led the people in accepting the covenant. Note how important the sacrificial blood was in this ceremony. The Israelites promised to obey the covenant. Moses told them to wait for him, then followed God's call to go up to the summit of the mountain, where he stayed for 40 days and nights.
Job— as I said before, is perhaps the earliest book of the Old Testament, but we didn't find a primitive book, did we?! We found a book of sophisticated poetry, one that uses literary devices and makes reference to a well-developed mythology. And we find a book that defies simple analysis. At the conclusion of Job, some of you may be feeling that some basic questions were not really answered. Some of you may be saying, “But I have suffered injustice, and God has not responded to me the way he responded to Job at the end of the book.” To those of you, I say that we can learn several things from Job, and one would be that there are many things God takes into account that we do not know about. And secondly, we can be sure that God is just and fair, and in the final analysis— when we reach heaven, all issues of justice will be resolved. And I also say this: I hope you continue to read the Bible with us this year, because we will find more answers about God’s sovereignty and justice as we go on.
The book of Psalms was the nation of Israel's hymnbook. The poems were compiled over time, with most of the first half by King David. The Psalms fall into these categories:
Instruction, Praise, Thanksgiving,
Penitence, Trust, Distress,
Aspiration, History, and Prophecy.
Under the prophecy category, the Psalms talk of Jesus' prophetic office, his priestly office, his kingly office, his sufferings, and his resurrection. (For details, see HC Mears.)
Yesterday we read of Jesus' birth, of the angels announcement to the shepherds, and of Jesus being presented in the temple— which is where we pick up the story today.
Luk. 2:34 Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, [the child’s//his] mother, “This child is chosen by God for the destruction and the salvation of many in Israel. He will be a sign from God which many people will speak against 35 and so reveal their secret thoughts. And sorrow, like a sharp sword, will break your own heart.”
NLT Translation notes:
Luk. 2:30 [For I have now//I have] seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared for all people.
32 He is a light to reveal [You/God] to the nations,
and he is the glory of your people Israel!”