July 25, Reading 1 – Judges 21

Reading

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SAA Notes

In God’s grace, a link is formed in all the tragedy between the people of Jabesh Gilead and the Tribe of Benjamin. This becomes important later in Saul’s time. Most of the population of Jabesh Gilead apparently escaped, as the history related in 1 Samuel 11 testifies. The refrain in these two stories is: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” Lawlessness destroys. The people need a Messiah!

SJA Notes

“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

Again the lesson is hammered home in this passage – Religion without the Holy Spirit is useless, broken and fractured.

Israel wanted to do something good for Benjamin. They didn’t want their brother tribe to die out.

But the means by which they went about solving the issue (and reasons for the decisions) did not bring about peace.

As always though we see the Lord working good through our broken behaviour.

We can be thankful again that in Jesus we have a king who always does what is right. And right in the eyes of His Father.

We can follow Him, doing what He tells us, because we have His Spirit living within – Making our dead hearts alive, pointing us to Him each day.

Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

* Father God Above,

These passages are full of trouble and terrible actions and bad decision-making.

But You work good through them!

Thank You Lord that You do the same in our lives, working good despite the folly that we choose.

Please refine us each day, make us more like Jesus.

Amen.

July 25, Reading 2 – Isaiah 41:21-42:17

Reading

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SAA Notes

Our understanding of God is to be drawn from the Bible and not from our experience and thinking. Here is a warning about idolatry and also the great chapter 42 where Isaiah introduces the coming Messiah. There are wonderful promises here that must have blessed the heart of Jesus!

SJA Notes

* Gracious Lord, please show us truth today, teach us from Your word.

“I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.”

God gives us clear descriptive words here about Himself. Deep and profound truths are layered through this passage.

It is important to know in real deep-through-the-bones truth, a full life-changing-heart-belief – That God is THE LORD, CREATOR, SUSTAINER, LIFE-GIVER.

We need to be calling God by His Names in our speech and our thoughts. We need to bear His Name well in how we go about our daily lives.

This is the God who is jealous for His glory.

That can feel like a strange idea for us humanity. And God’s word is clear, we are not to seek after our own glory.

But we are created. Broken. Sinners by state and intent.

Our God though. He is Creator. Sustainer. Life-Giver. He is perfect in holiness. Completely righteous and without sin. His word is truth, absolute and rock-solid. His faithfulness is without end. His love is pure.

How can God talk about not giving His glory to another?

Because He is God.

Full stop.

And all that is layered in that, all that He reveals to us in His word and all the deeper truths that we might never comprehend here on earth – All that is for us to unwrap and discover and we walk every day through His word, echoing in our daily walks.

* Righteous and Holy God,

You are THE LORD.

Our praise belongs to You, and You alone.

There is none like You, for You are God.

There are no gods before You.

Please open the eyes of those around us to this wonderful truth.

Amen.

July 25, Reading 3 – 1 Corinthians 16

Reading

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SAA Notes

I like to dwell on verses 13,14. They are so simple yet so challenging.

SJA Notes

Paul ends this first letter with specific callouts and exhortations, for individuals and for churches. These were encouragements for the readers then, and too for us today.

It is a good thing to be encouraged with the work of the gospel that is going on outside of our own local churches. Places around us, and those far away.

Let’s keep each other in prayer.

* Gracious Lord God,

Thank You for Your church, that You continue to build, all across the world.

Please help bind up the broken-hearted, heal the sick, give strength to the weary and courage to those in fear.

Amen.