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Showing posts from May, 2019

May 31 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 151 Congratulations!  You're finishing another book of the Bible today.
God and Job finish their conversation and God restores Job. DAILY READINGS Job 40-42 & Psalm 146
DAILY NOTES Job 40

God has revealed himself to Job.  Now, Job does not want the same attention of God that he so desperately wanted before.  Some translations indicate Job as "vile" (vs. 4).  The better idea is insignificant.  Job seems to realize how small he is compared to who God is. Job 41 The last thing God speaks to Job about Leviathan.  What/Who is Leviathan?  A mythical creature?  Sea monster?  Ancient dragon?  Big crocodile?  Leviathan is mentioned in Isaiah 27:1; Psalm 74:14; Psalm 104:26 and a couple of other times in Job.Of course, the implication of Job 41 is that Leviathan's power is under the control and authority of God. Job 42 God got on to Job.  Now, God turns his "wrath" toward Job's friends.  God says that they have not spoken "what is right" about Go…

May 30 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 150 You can do a lot of things in 150 days.  Did you realize that you have already read 144 psalms and 22 books from the Old Testament (you're almost done with another one!)?  Great job!

In today's reading, God speaks to Job.  This should be interesting.


DAILY READINGS Job 38-39 & Psalm 145

DAILY NOTES Job 38-39

A storm appears and God speaks to Job.  Does this mean God didn't have much to say to his friends?We haven't heard from God in over 30+ chapters. Job hasn't heard from God at all.  The first thing God talks about is the world's design.  Surely, God says, Job knows how all the earth was formed and how it works.  Surely.And surely Job can do all the things God does on a daily basis.Of course, God's questions aren't difficult to answer! Psalm 145 God is worthy to be praised.  The psalmist lists many reasons why God should be celebrated.  The psalm ends with the psalmist's commitment to "speak the praise of the Lord." OTHER OBSE…

May 28 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 148 We've heard from Job's friends, and we've heard a lot from Job.  Someone new is introduced to the story.

DAILY READINGSJob 32-34 & Psalm 143
DAILY NOTES Job 32

Is Elihu a friend of Job?  He is introduced and we are told he is mad at Job's friends and at Job.He waits to speak up because he was waiting for the right time to voice his opinion.  Elihu is younger and wanted to show respect.  He held his tongue for as long as he could.He reminds us that wisdom doesn't, necessarily come with age.  It is the breath of the Almighty that makes someone wise.  He is upset with the friends because they could not offer Job any words of wisdom. Job 33 Elihu doesn't appreciate Job's contention with God.  Job seems to be forgetting how God answers people and what God does for the well being of his people. Job 34 So far, Elihu seems to be voicing much of what Job's friends have already said.  He says that Job, "adds rebellion to his sin."   Psalm 143 I…

May 27 + Daily readings & daily notes

DAY 147 DAILY READINGSJob 29-31 & Psalm 142

DAILY NOTES Job 29

Job remembers a time when he felt close to God.  He is longing for those days.  Job remembers the good he did. Job 30 Job faces his new reality, that he is ridiculed and afflicted.He turns his attention back to God and remembers that God did not answer him.  Even though Job wept "for those whose day was hard," he feels that God has left him. Job 31 Job is saying that if he has done any wrong, he would, more than gladly, accept the punishment.  The end of the chapter indicates that "the words of Job ended."  He will speak again, but this is the last time he speaks to his friends. Psalm 142 The psalmist is asking God to deliver him from his "persecutors" (vs. 6).

May 26 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 146 DAILY READINGSJob 24-28 & Psalm 141
DAILY NOTES Job 24
The "wicked" are those who take advantage of the poor and helpless.Removing landmarks (vs. 2) has to do with expanding territory, taking someone else's land.Job seems to alternately describe the work of the wicked and the plight of the poorVerse 12 is interesting.  These in need cry for help, Job says. But "God pays no attention to their prayer."  That seems pretty straight forward.  Other translations, however read Verse 12 like this: Yet God does not charge them with wrong.  So, Job puts the focus back on the wicked.  Which do you read? Job 26 Did you sense Job's sarcasm?  His friends have not been much help at all.  It almost feels like they're more concerned with being right. Job 27 Job maintains that he has held fast his righteousness (vs. 6). Job 28 Verses 12 & 23 seem to be the focal points of this chapter. Psalm 141 A prayer for protection against evil.  Part of the prayer is tha…

May 25 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 145 DAILY READINGSJob 20-23 & Psalm 140
DAILY NOTES Job 20
Zophar lovingly reminds Job of what the wicked can expect.  Although they work and puff themselves up, they will meet God's wrath.  They are wicked and they do wicked.  Job, you must be wicked, brother. Job 21 What Job is saying is that wicked people enjoy life.  They live in prosperity and die with it, too.  I'm just surprised Job doesn't include names. Job 22 Eliphaz says that Job needs to "return" to God.  There is unrighteousness in his tents and, truly, he has not lived as a righteous person.  According to Eliphaz, Job's wickedness is great and there is no end to his iniquity (vs.5).  What did God say about Job? Job 23 Job seeks a chance to present his case to God.  Surely God would listen and understand.  And Job would be ready to listen to God's response.Job insists that he has "held fast" to the ways of God (vs. 11).But God does what God does.   Psalm 140 There are parts of t…

May 23 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 143 DAILY READINGSJob 12-15 & Psalm 138
DAILY NOTES Job 12
Surely, Job says, his friends don't think they're the only ones with wisdom?  Plus, they are telling him anything that isn't known by all.  Maybe they aren't as smart as they think they are?God holds true wisdom.  "With God are wisdom and strength" (vs. 13). Job 13
Job's friends have taken it upon themselves to speak on behalf of God.  Job considers their representation to be false because they have not considered Job's condition. Job 14 Job's prayer to God continues.We see a bit of the book's larger vision in these verses.  Job recognizes, and wants God to remember, that all humanity shares the same days of life.   Job 15 Eliphaz considers that Job's questioning hinders God and would keep others from knowing God. Psalm 138 The praise of the psalmist is a communal act.  God has been faithful and the psalmist wants to thank God and will continue to trust God.Even the kings of th…

May 22 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 142 DAILY READINGSJob 8-11 & Psalm 137
DAILY NOTES Job 8
"God will not reject a blameless person."  So, what does that imply about Job? Job 9 Job feels as though God passes him by.  God does not give attention to what Job is enduring.There is no way for Job to confront God.  Job reasserts his innocence, but also recognizes his humanity before God.   Job 10 Job questions why he was even born.  And it's not just that God did one thing to him.  Job feels as though God is continually after (see vss. 16-17). Job 11 Of course, Zophar isn't wrong.  Can any of us "find out the deep things of God?"  or the "limit of the Almighty?"  We can't.   Psalm 137 Jerusalem had been overtaken and the people of God taken captive.  The psalmist grieves these events, and prays for Israel's enemies to be overrun.  Think of how Verse 9 reads in such a context. OTHER OBSERVATIONS Job desperately wants someone to be a judge between him and God--a mediator.  An u…

May 21 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 141 Job is one of the books of wisdom in the Old Testament.  Watch today's Bible Project video to see how that wisdom unfolds.  


DAILY READINGSJob 4-7 & Psalm 136
DAILY NOTES Job 4
Don't you love it when your friend starts off by saying, "You won't get offended if I say something, right?"It's obvious to Eliphaz that Job is not as innocent as he thinks he is.  He asks, "Who that was innocent ever perished" (vs. 7)?  No one can be righteous before God (vs. 17).   Job 5 Eliphaz continues.  He's already calling Job a fool (vs. 2)?Humanity is born for trouble, apparently, "just as 'sparks' fly upward" (vs. 7).  Have a little Bible study fun and look up "sons of resheph."  That's what gets translated to sparks. Job 6 Job wishes God would hear his request.  He would ask God to "crush" him (vs. 9).  Job asserts that he is an honest person.  Others are not, but he does not follow their way. Job 7 Job seems t…

May 19 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 139 Have you ever felt the church needed a renewal?  Then you're thinking like a prophet!  Watch today's Bible Project video about the prophet Zephaniah to see what his book is all about.


DAILY READINGSZephaniah 1-3 & Psalm 134
DAILY NOTES Zephaniah 1
God is ready to "sweep away everything from the face of the earth."  Words like "wicked" "idolatrous" depict why God is angry with the people of God.Notice the references to the "great day of the Lord." Zephaniah 2 God promises to judge foreign nations, too.Maybe if you turn right now you can avoid judgement (vs. 3).Verse 7 is a subtle indication that the people of God will be restored one day.  The seacoast will "become the possession of the house of Judah." Zephaniah 3 The prophet returns to the judgement of Jerusalem.  Corruption and injustice abounds throughout the city.  Punishment is unavoidable, but there is also a sense that God will renew the people through it.  For…

May 17 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 137 Jonah wasn't the only one who didn't like Nineveh.  Check out The Bible Project's video about the prophet's book. 

DAILY READINGSNahum 1-3 & Psalm 132
DAILY NOTES Nahum 1
Notice the characteristics of God that Nahum highlights.   Nahum 2
Nahum speaks against Nineveh and the king of Assyria.Nineveh is a "city of bloodshed" (3:1).  The prophet's words assure Judah that the Assyrian empire will no longer be such a force they must endure.God will ensure that Assyria will not be able to "prey" upon other nations (vs. 13). Nahum 3 Shame will come upon Nineveh.  Nahum depicts Nineveh as locusts and grasshoppers.  The book ends with the destruction of Nineveh. Psalm 132 A psalm that rejoices that God has chosen David and Zion. OTHER OBSERVATIONS It's easy to see why some people don't like the book of Nahum.  Where's the hope?  Where's the reminder of justice?  It seems like Nahum is glorifying the overturn of Nineveh.  Well, he …

May 16 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 136 Another book is in the books today.   DAILY READINGSMicah 5-7 & Psalm 131
DAILY NOTES Micah 5

This chapter has some Christmas story (the Gospel, not the movie) elements.  Do you recall which part?The ruler from Bethlehem will "be the one of peace."Do you have an understanding of the Bible's idea of remnant?  It reoccurs often. Micah 6 Divine Law & Order.  God has a case to make against the people.  Although it's a legal term (case), it reads like a final plea.  God asks, "What have I done to you?"And there was no reason for the people to turn against God.  They knew what he required (6:8).Many people see Micah 6:8 as the heart of the entire book. Micah 7 According to Micah, no one is left who is righteous.  Consequently, not even close relationships can be trusted because the people are so corrupt.  Micah affirms that he "will look to the Lord."  The chapter ends with a reminder of God's promise of redemption, compassion and fait…

May 15 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 135 God cares about justice.  Think about that as you read Micah.  Here's the Bible Project's video breaking down the book.


DAILY READINGSMicah 1-4 & Psalm 130
DAILY NOTES Micah 1
The tone of the book is set early.  Micah sees God as "a witness against" the people in Verse 2.Remember those billboard messages from God that were popular a few years ago?  My favorite was always, "Don't make me come down there."  Micah depicts God responding to the injustice of the people by coming from "his place" (vs3).All of Israel (north and south) are to be judged by God. Micah 2 Injustice is in the hearts of the people so much that they "devise wickedness and evil deeds on their beds" (vs1)!  That means they're thinking about it even in their sleep.Not only do the people practice injustice, they do not want to preached to about their doings (vs6). Micah 3 Micah stands as a spirit filled prophet of God even though the leaders and other pro…

May 14 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 134 We're reading another prophet today.  Here's the Bible Project video that describes what the book is about.
DAILY READINGSJonah 1-4 & Psalm 129
DAILY NOTES Jonah 1
Notice the simple, direct message God gave Jonah.  There's no explanation for why Jonah doesn't follow through (yet).  As quickly as the word from God comes, he goes away.The mariners have their own god to cry out to for help.  They ask Jonah to cry out to his God.  Did you notice he never did?  He only told them that he worships the Lord.  The mariners feared the Lord after this.   Jonah 2 When he and the others were in trouble, Jonah didn't cry out to God.  Now that he's sitting inside a big fish, he offers a prayer to God.  And notice even the fish listens to God! Jonah 3 The word of God comes to Jonah again.  This time Jonah responds.  And the people of Nineveh respond with faith in God.Up to this point, everyone has had a change of mind. Jonah 4 Now we know why Jonah didn't want to …

May 12 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 132 We're finishing the book of Amos today.  Great job!
DAILY READINGSAmos 6-9 & Psalm 127
DAILY NOTES Amos 6
God has something to say to those that live in comfort and indulgence and have no concern for the problems of others.Read Verse 12 to get a feeling of how God thinks of what their lifestyle has done. Amos 7 Amos prays to God and the Lord relents.  The image of the plumb line is probably what most people remember Amos for.Amos' prophecies are considered to be an attempt to overturn the kingdom.  He is told to go prophesy somewhere else.Amos responds that he is not a prophet.  He is just doing what God told him to do, where God told him to do it (Verse 14-15). Amos 8 Notice the kind of business dealings that God has issue with.There is a famine coming "not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water, but of hearing the worlds of the Lord."  The people will eventually realize they need to hear from God, but it will not be available to them. Amos 9 I think the b…

May 11 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 131 We can't call him Famous Amos because we don't know that much about him.  But his book offers a look at the social injustice and religious arrogance of the people.  Check out today's Bible Project video about Amos.


DAILY READINGSAmos 1-5 & Psalm 126
DAILY NOTES Amos 1
All we know about Amos is taken from the first verse of this chapter.  He is not mentioned anywhere else.You'll notice that Amos' roaring message is, first, against other nations.  They have done things worthy of God's judgement.  In the next chapter, God's judgement turns toward Israel and Judah. Amos 2 For 3 transgressions and for four....That is a pattern repeated to illustrate the people's continuing sin.Even in the face of God's provision and selection, the people turned away from God. Amos 3 Everything that God has planned to do against the people is not without cause.   Amos 4 A judgement against the women of Samaria.  They are lofty, arrogant and oppressive.  From Vers…

May 10 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 130Today, we're starting and finishing the book of Joel.  Don't let the day pass without watching The Bible Project video about Joel.  




DAILY READINGSJoel 1-3 & Psalm 125
DAILY NOTES Joel 1
Verse 4 gives an indication of Joel's situation.  Locusts!Wake up and weepThe last half of the chapter calls for signs of repentance.   Joel 2 There's an army coming.  An army of locusts?  A jealous God?  Replace the "j" with a "z" and you have a better understanding of what that means.God promises that the destruction the people have faced (from the swarming locust) will be reversed. Joel 3 But it isn't just about locusts.  God will repay those nations that stood against Israel.  He will "enter into judgement with them."   Psalm 125 Mount Zion is the great picture of strength and power for the people of God.  Those who trust in God stand like that great mountain. OTHER OBSERVATIONS You may recognize Joel 2 as a common reading for Ash Wednesday…

May 9 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 129
DAILY READINGSHosea 11-14 & Psalm 124
DAILY NOTES Hosea 11

It's been 500+ years since the Exodus.For Verse 2, some texts replace "I" with "they."  So, they, the Baals, called out to the people of God.The people of God are illustrated as the children of God. God has taught them how to walk, holding their arms as they learned.  God has carries them and feeds them.  Verse 8 demonstrates that God's compassion is greater than God's anger.  Amen. Hosea 12 Herding the wind refers to idolatry, and, perhaps, the foreign alliances the people made.  Remember Jacob wrestling with the angel?  Did you know he wept while he wrestled?  How much does that demonstrate his need for God?  Hosea is making that connection so that the people would understand their need for God, too. Hosea 13 Keep on sinning. Keep on sinning. Keep on sii-iii--iinning.  What do we do? We sin. We sin.  (I typed that in my best Dory voice.)God remembers what he did for the people after E…

May 7 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 127 You're going to see the love of God in Hosea. It's a great book that portrays the mercy and goodness of God in the face of Israel's unfaithfulness.  For a better understanding of the book as a whole, check out today's Bible Project video.


DAILY READINGSHosea 1-5 & Psalm 122
DAILY NOTES Hosea 1
The prophet is introduced.  He has ministered under several kings.His first act of prophecy is to marry a woman of whoredom/prostitution.  The marriage will be an illustration of the people's infidelity to God.Remember that Isaiah's children had names that were meant to be a message to the people.  Likewise, Hosea & Gomer's children will serve that function.Jezreel means "God sows"Lo-ru-hamah means "Not pitied"Lo-ammi means "Not my people" Hosea 2 God demonstrates what he will do to the people of God for their unfaithfulness.  These are not actions Hosea takes against Gomer.  Just like Chapter 1, there's a bit of a hop…

May 5 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 125
DAILY READINGSIsaiah 61-64 & Psalm 120
DAILY NOTES Isaiah 61

Either God's spirit is upon the prophet Isaiah or on the servant of God (why not both?).  Since he is anointed by God he has a message and a mission (vss. 1-3).In response, the people of God will have work to do as well.Remember when God said to "speak kindly to Jerusalem" because she had received double for her sins (40:2)?  Now God says, because their shame was double, they will receive a double "portion" (vs. 7).   Isaiah 62 God will give the people of God a new name.  This new name will replace what they had been known as to others in their exile and shame.  Actually, it looks like there may be several new names:My Delight Is in Her (vs. 4)The Holy People (vs. 12)The Redeemed of the LordSought OutA City Not Forsaken
Isaiah 63

God has just come from bringing judgment on Edom (vss. 1-6).  It seems pretty graphic.God's mercy is praised.   Isaiah 64 The people seek God's presence to co…

May 4 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 124 DAILY READINGSIsaiah 58-60 & Psalm 119:153-176
DAILY NOTES Isaiah 58

God makes a case against the worship of the people.  While their worship was "right," it wasn't righteous.  They were doing worship for their own benefit.  Y'all don't want me to start preaching, right?God mentions fasting.  Notice that God isn't pleased if you fast but ignore the needs of others.  An acceptable fast allows you to loose the bonds of inusticeundo the thongs of the yokelet the oppressed go freebreak every yokeshare your bread with the hungrybring the homeless poor into your housesee the naked and cover themnot hide yourself from your own kinCan not eating M&Ms during Lent do all that? Isaiah 59 Israel recognizes its sin (vs.12). God dressed himself (vs17) to battle against injustice.There is a promise that the spirit of God will be given and not taken away.  God puts the spirit in the mouth of the people and it carries into their children and their children'…

May 3 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 123 DAILY READINGSIsaiah 55-57 & Psalm 119:129-152
DAILY NOTES Isaiah 55

An open invitation for all of God's people to experience the new life God is offering.This particular invitation to freedom is one that God is offering now; the people should call upon God now.  That doesn't mean God hides away after all this.  The prophet is speaking to the urgency and immediacy of the people's deliverance.The people will joyfully return from exile.  Even Creation will celebrate their return (vs 12).No longer will there be suffering of this kind (thorn and brier).  Rather, the people can expect peace when they return. Isaiah 56 God's invitation is for all people.  The "foreigner" can find refuge in God's land, in God's promise.  The eunuch is an example of someone who is on the margins of society.  They, too, are welcome.  Notice the repeated priority of keeping sabbath.This is one my favorite ideas of what the church is supposed to be: for my house shall…

May 2 + Daily readings & notes

DAY 122 DAILY READINGS Isaiah 52-54 & Psalm 119:97-128

DAILY NOTES Isaiah 52

God tells the people to rejoice.  They were afflicted and led away, but now they can look to "the return of the Lord to Zion" (vs. 8).The last of the Suffering Servant songs.  It begins at Verse 13 and finishes at the conclusion of Chapter 53Notice everything the servant will do. Isaiah 53 Everything the servant did (or would do) would 1) be the will of God (vs. 10) and 2) be for the righteousness of the people (vs. 11).I'm not trying to be heretical or anything.  But the early church read this and immediately said, "Jesus!"  They did that for obvious reasons.  But what about that offspring note in Verse 10? Isaiah 54 The fortune and livelihood of the people will be reversed by God.  Barrenness and shame, for example.The prophet compares God to a grieving wife (vs. 6).Whereas oppression, tribulation and fear established the life of the people in Babylon (most of them?), God promises …

May 1 + Daily notes & readings

DAY 121 DAILY READINGSIsaiah 49-51 & Psalm 119:65-96

DAILY NOTES Isaiah 49

Of course, the Church has long seen Christ in these passages.  We recognize various aspects of the Gospel story within details of the servant's mission.The servant of God will not just deliver Israel and bring them back to their land, the servant will also be a "as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth" (Isaiah 49:6).  Remember when Jesus told his disciples to go make disciples of all nations?Remember how we used to sing "This little light of mine...."Israel will feel like God has forgotten them.  But God cannot forget his people.  They are inscribed on the palms of his hands.  They will be surprised by their deliverance.  There will be so many children that they won't know what to do with them! Isaiah 50 Israel's rebellion does not negate God's redeeming power.  Praise God!The servant of God is a teacher.  God instructs him every day.…