Day 23 of the Murray M’Cheyne Bible Reading plan!
Some have called this the “success” chapter of the Bible – the word appears five times. It’s the story of finding Isaac a wife – Rebekah. Finding a wife is a noble thing!
Know where you are at now – Isaac had no wife
Look for God’s promises for the situation v7
Pray a lot v12,14,23,43,45 – that shows your desire, your dependence on God and the direction.
Have a plan v10-21
Sounds like a sermon? One day!
Jesus tells us how not be a good leader
- Don’t practice what you preach – because people are watching as much, if not more than listening!
- Do everything for people to watch and applaud
- Be obsessed with your title – Rabbi, Father, Teacher are all ones to go for
- Exalt yourself above others
- Make your converts worse than you
- Swear oaths about things. Dont’ let your yes be a yes and a no be no. That’s too simple.
- Make sure you tithe everything including flowers and spices, but ignore the poor and justice.
- Make a great show of outward things and neglect the inner life
- Make tombs and decorate the graves of old dead guys rather than do the good things they did.
- Beat up prophets, wise men and teachers, perhaps even crucify the,
Reading the Bible does us good, it shows the way to go and what to do v1-9. Here Nehemiah sorts out the priests and gets rid of the baddies and turfs out Tobiah who has been a pain the whole time.
“All Israel brought the tithes” v12 – don’t hold back from giving to the Lord. Tithing (giving 10% of income) predates the law (Abraham gave a tithe to Melhizedek), is enshrined in the law and then in the new covenant we find grace to give even more! Paul asked the Corinthians to excel in this grace of giving.
Finally Nehemiah ensures people are resting on the Sabbath. Working 24/7 is not good for us and promotes greed. Rest, get refreshed, worship with your brothers and sisters in Christ, eat good food with friends and family and enjoy some time together!
Jesus accused the Phaisees of being whitewashed tombs in Matt 23 and here Paul does the same unwittingly. It was true, but he didn’t want to dishonour leaders.
As he is before his accusers he is gentle as a dove but wise as a serpent – knowing they are a mix of sects, Pharisees and Saducees he goes for the divide and conquer technique by telling them he is a Pharisee.
Jesus appears to Paul that night to encourage him.
Some Jews vow to not eat or drink until they had killed Paul – I wonder if they died themselves from fulfilling that vow? News of the plan sets in motion the journey of Paul to Rome – firstly via Caesarea.