Nehemiah 12:27-13:31 ~ 1 Corinthians 11:1-16 ~ Psalm 35:1-16 ~ Proverbs 21:17-18
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Old Testament - We finish up the book of Nehemiah today! Esther is up tomorrow! Today in Nehemiah chapter 12 we read about the dedication of Jerusalem's Wall, which is awesome to read about. Verses 27 & 28 tell us - "During the dedication of the new wall of Jerusalem, the Levites throughout the land were asked to come to Jerusalem to assist in the ceremonies. They were to take part in the joyous occasion with their songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, lyres, and harps. The singers were brought together from Jerusalem and its surrounding villages and from the villages of the Netophathites."
Below is a great image for Nehemiah chapter 12 verse 30 today:
New Testament - Okay, so I suppose today's readings might get some folks a bit upset with Paul... I think it is important to keep in mind that these writings in First Corinthians 11 were directed to the church in Corinth. And Paul is basically saying in this chapter that we need to be sensitive to the culture we are in. Meaning, in 1st century Corinth men with long hair typically were prostitutes in pagan temples, so Paul says in this chapter it's a disgrace for a man to have long hair. Which it was in the culture and time of Corinth when this was written. Same thing with women with short hair at this culture and time in Corinth - it was a sign of prostitution. So, Paul says keep it long. I know it can seem a bit tricky to figure out when the Bible should be taken literally word for word and when we need to consider context. I would say that generally speaking, we need to consider context - context of one verse to the verse before and after. Context to the chapter. Context to the book. Context to the Bible. And context to the time and place that a particular book was written. However, don't let context mislead you into thinking that the Bible is not God's Holy Word - that the Bible is not Truth. For it is both. The Bible is the Word of God. The Bible is Truth. And Paul's words in today's chapter essentially get at the Truth that believers should look and behave in ways that are honorable within their own culture - so that they (and we) will be believable witnesses for Jesus Christ.
I love verses 11 & 12 in today's readings - "But in relationships among the Lord's people, women are not independent of men, and men are not independent of women. For although the first woman came from man, all men have been born from women ever since, and everything comes from God." It's pretty hard to argue with this. We are all dependent upon each other. The Body of Christ is a community of believers. Men and women are not independent. We are dependent and interdependent on each other. And things do not come from men or women - everything comes from God.
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in First Corinthians titled "Headship and Head Coverings" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 35 today is an appeal to the heavenly King, as divine Warrior and Judge, to come to the defense of his servant David who is being maliciously slandered by those toward whom he had shown only the most tender friendship. I like verse 10 a lot: "I will praise him from the bottom of my heart: "LORD, who can compare with you? Who else rescues the weak and helpless from the strong? Who else protects the poor and needy from those who want to rob them?"" Have you recently praised God from the bottom of your heart? Do you think that anyone/anything compares with God? Do you believe that God has rescued you and protected you? Perhaps many times when you have not even realized it? I think about this on occasion. It is my hunch that God literally rescues us and protects us dozens if not hundreds if not thousands of times each and every day. And I think we typically miss it.... If we knew it, I am sure we would be praising Him from the bottom of our heart very frequently!
Proverbs - Proverbs 21 verse 17 is quite fitting for our modern day - "Those who love pleasure become poor; wine and luxury are not the way to riches." How often does our culture preach to us that pleasure should be sought out at all costs? "If it feels good, go for it!" seems all too often to be the beck & call of our modern day. Why do you suppose this Proverb says those who love pleasure become poor? Why would wine and luxury not be the way to riches? What type of poverty is this Proverb referring to - spiritual poverty? Material poverty? Both? Do you love pleasure? Do you love wisdom? Which of these 2 do we read about more in Proverbs as being something we should love?
Worship Video: First Corinthians 11:1 in today's readings reminds me of the beautiful song "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus:"
Are your eyes looking at Jesus? Click here to turn your eyes toward Him!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Whoever loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich." Proverbs 21:17 TNIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you love God above pleasure. Pray that you love God above all else. Pray for pleasure and riches in your relationship with the Lord, and not with the things of this world.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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Several things struck me in this reading the first was in verses 44 and 45 of the twelfth chapter.
And on that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced, for God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard from far away. On that day men were appointed over the storerooms for the contributions, first fruits, and tithes, to gather into them from the fields of the cities the portions prescribed by the law for the priests and the Levites, for Judah took delight in the priests and Levites who were ministering. (Nehemiah 12:43-44 NET.)
Do we ever take delight in rejoicing over the things God has blessed us with? Do we take delight in the ministers God has called to serve us, His gifts to the Body of Christ that are placed into service to build us up? Usually when something is being built for the glory of God, there can be a little bit of murmuring and complaining, “If I was in charge…” and other derogatory comments along that line. Do we honor the men of God who serve us, or do we complain and give details on how we would function differently if we were in charge?
The second thing that caught my interest was that “bad” penny Tobiah, he just keeps popping up. After having done all he could to discourage the building of the wall, moving from threats and intimidation to murder plots, he has the nerve and audacity to move into a room in the Temple after it was built. How does this translate into our world? Do we try to thwart the plans of God using every trick in the book? Then when the feat is accomplished, and it will be because God can not be stopped, do we then “move in” on the finished product and try to take over? And has anyone ever did that to you when you were being led by God to accomplish His work in your community? Nehemiah threw the scoundrel out. Have we thrown out our Tobiahs or do we let them move in and occupy the best room in the “house”?
I Corinthians 11:1-16
Mike’s admonishment for us to take into consideration the cultural of the day is very wise. Too often, we fail to learn about the world, cultural and customs, the writers of the Books of the Bible lived in. Paul wrote a letter to a particular church, Corinth, in a particular time for a specific purpose, and we must keep that in mine when we read. The patterns and principals may be applied to our lives but his comments regarding social and cultural practices of the day must be seriously considered and his purpose for rebuke understood.
If anyone of us were to find in our attics, draws, or storage trunks a letter written to an aunt or uncle long gone, we cannot act like the letter was directed to us, although Paul expected this letter would be read by other churches we must consider the initial audience.
Although Paul is the Apostle to the Gentiles, he being a Jew would cover his head when he entered the synagogue or The Temple with a prayer shawl and the women would cover their heads too.
David gives an example, himself, of how to handle persecution from those we know intimately and those who are strangers. Persecution will come, false accusations will be hurled but God is our “daysman,” He will protect us, defend us and be our advocate, so we should praise God even when we don’t feel like it. That is why David talks about a “sacrifice of praise” because we do it even when we do not “feel like it” and when we foresee no benefit to ourselves.
Hmmm, this Proverb, the 17th verse in particular, sent me running to my concordance, Mr. Strong. In the King James this verse reads,
He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.
The Hebrew word translated poor has also been translated as want (Judges 18:10; 19:19-20), and need (Deut 15:8) Thee Hebrew word appears 18 times in the Old Testament and only one time in that eighteen is it translated poverty (Prov. 11:24).
The word-translated poverty in these two verses is not the same word,
Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that traveleth; and thy want as an armed man. (Proverbs 24:33-34 KJV)
It is from another Hebrew word. The word “want” is the same Hebrew word translated “poor” in Proverbs 21:17.
I think there is a big difference between being poor and being in poverty but I’m not sure. I believe this calls me to do more studying.. [Deuteronomy 15:8; Judges 18:10; 19:19-20; Psalm 34:9; Proverbs 6:11; 11:24; 14:23; 21:5; 21:17; 22:16; 24:34; 28:27]
Grace and peace,
Posted by: Ramona | August 16, 2021 at 08:43 PM