Daily Scripture readings for November, set #15:
2 Kings is super fun to read so far. I think I’ve always had the presumption that these OT narratives were boring and cumbersome. Elisha is the MAN! But, even as much as the Lord spoke to him as a prophet, he still didn’t know everything. “Leave her alone, for she is in bitter distress, and the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me” (4:27).
The Psalmist pleads in 119:116 that the Lord would “uphold” him, and in verse 117 the Psalmist states that the result of being held up is a continual regard for the Lord’s statutes. It is God who inclines our hearts toward following him.
The famous “fishers of men” line in Luke 5 is translated in the ESV as, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men” (vs 10). It seems like that particular wording better conveys the life-changing aspect of what Jesus is saying to his followers: “You have spent your life pursuing vocation in order to obtain food/money, but from now on you will pursue PEOPLE in order to expand the Kingdom.”
Paul’s Kingdom-oriented reaction to getting messed with by his rivals: “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice” (vs 18). Cross that with Paul’s statement in Rom 8:28 and you have a recipe for NEVER needing to worry.
Daily Scripture readings for November, set #16:
The first half of 2 Kings 6 is so awesome. This perhaps my favorite account in all of the OT. Particularly interesting is Elisha’s use of “open his/their eyes, that he/they may see” (vs 17, 20). Clearly, in the case of Elisha’s servant, his physical eyes were open, because he saw the armies of Syria. As Elisha prays, his SPIRITUAL eyes are opened, so that he can see the armies of Heaven. But then, a few verses later, the implication is that the PHYSICAL eyes of the Syrians are blinded and then opened once they arrive in Samaria.
“Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold” (Ps 119:127). This is the Psalmist’s version of Matthew 6:24.
Jesus’ response to his growing fame: “But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray” (Lk 5:16).
Philippians 1:29 is a verse that all Christians should repeat to themselves daily: “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.” Note that it is both believing and suffering that have been granted.