We are on day 6 of blogging through the Bible using the Murray M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan
There are more sinners, so more sin!
Who are the “sons of God”? This passage has always seemed a little strange! Matthew Henry says they are simply those that follow God! John 1 talke of believers being given the right to be children of God, so why not! So when believer marry non believers – God doesn’t like it! The Nephilim were sons of Anak, men of reknown.
The world is getting more wicked, so God is grieved at what he has done, cerating mankind – sin “filled his heart with pain”.
Noah however has found favour in the eyes of God. So God speaks to him and tells him to make an ark -huge in size. It was as big as can be made of wood – about the size of an average sized cargo ship today. Significantly. Noah obeyed God!
Cyrus had a generation before made great provisions for the Jews to return from exile in babylon to Jerusalem and ordered finances to be made available for the building. Once that memo is found, Darius makes it happen. The Jews rebuild the Temple
Interestingly Darius’s curse on anyone trying to destroy the Temple happens three times
(a) Antiochus . Epiphanes, who desecrated it in 167 B.C., and died insane three years later; (b) Herod the Great (37-4 B.C.), who added extensively to the temple to glorify himself. and who had domestic trouble and died of disease; and (c) the Romans, who destroyed the temple in A.D. 70, and later had their empire destroyed.
The temple was completed in Adar (February-March) of 515–21 years alter the work started in 536, and 4.5 years after Haggai began his prophesying. This was 70.5, years alter the temple had been destroyed on August 12, 586.
The temple is rededitcated and the Passover feast celebrated -note the great joy at answered prayer!
The sermon on the Mount continues…
Giving – keep it secret if you want God to reward you.
Prayer – The Lord’s prayer is given. Notice Jesus says “this is how you should pray” not what. Some think the Lord’s prayer is old covenant – nonsense! Andrew Wilson is very helpful on this. The gospels were written to churches and record that Jesus told his disciples to teach everything he has commanded! That clearly includes using the Lord’s Prayer as a guide to “how” to pray- you could argue it is commanded! A morbid introspection is unhelpful, which is the main thing some are struggling with when it comes to the Lord’s prayer.
Fasting – do it unseen and unknown to others
Treasure – where our treasure is, our hearts are too.
Don’t worry! It doesn’t add anything, least of all time to your life. Seek his kingdom and righteousness first and the rest will be given!
As the church grows, moaning grows! The Greek widows were being overlooked in the distribution of food. It would seem the giving and sharing of Acts 2 has normalised into a more organised way, that has become unfair.
The leaders job is to pray and study Scripture 6:4, so they appoint deacons “servants” – men of faith and full of the Spirit to organise the practical ministry of feeding the poor.
Faith and being Spirit filled are important in Christian service.
Once that bottleneck is opened up – the church grows rapidly again. What is bottlenecking our ministry?
Stephen is one of the men chosen – he starts out as a table servant but rapidly with God’s grace and power stars to do wonders and signs and speak with wisdom. Great leaders must also be servants!
Stephen causes a stir and is hailed before the Sanhedrin.