Bible Readers

With Pastor Dave Roussel

Tag: Psalms 18

Women Of Ill-Repute

January 18 – Today’s Readings – Matthew 1-2 and Psalms 18

Did you notice that there are five women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus and that all of them were women who suffered from shame, gossip, disrepute, feeling like an outsider and being publicly accused of sinning! No other woman is specifically mentioned – only Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Uriah’s wife Bathsheba, and Mary.

You remember Tamar? (Genesis 38:25-30) She deliberately slept with her father-in- law, and her patriarch father-in-law Judah was more guilty than she was.

How about Rahab? (Joshua 6:17) She was the town prostitute who lived under the constant hateful eye of every woman within miles.

Then there was Ruth. (Ruth 4:13) She was a citizen of one of Israel’s most despised enemies, the Moabites. When she came to town, they couldn’t stop talking about “that foreigner”.

In second Samuel 11:27 we find Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife. – She was the one who was unfaithful to her hero husband and indirectly caused his death.

Finally there is Mary who was engaged to a fine Jewish carpenter named Joseph. There was one problem, however, – she was pregnant – and not by him!

There were obviously a lot of other wonderful and godly “Jewish” women in the genealogy of Jesus, but God singled out those with questionable reputations – those who were real examples to us of having faced tremendous adversity or even death at the hands of their community because of their reputation. These wonderful women seem to have a very special place in God’s heart even though some were “sinners” who turned to God later in life and some were rejected and completely misunderstood.

This passage outlines a “truth” about God that is astounding. Why would God choose an ordinary disreputable woman to bear His son? Why would Jesus then choose run-of-the-mill men and “sinners” to be the twelve Apostles – ordinary guys who would turn the world upside down for God’s glory? Paul the Apostle says; “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-27)

God seems to specialize in “ordinary” people – not superstars. He says, “Blessed are the poor in heart” because, it seems; only these kinds of people can really see God.

Questions:

1. If God chose “disreputable” men and women to accomplish great things for Him in the past, who do you suppose He wants to use now?

2. Comment on how your home church would change if all believers said “yes” to God the way these outcast women in the Bible did.

The Messiah

July 18 – Today’s Readings – Isaiah 55-57 and Psalms 18

Of the Old Testament prophets, there is none that so clearly expresses New Testament thought as Isaiah does. Jesus quoted from Isaiah when He said; “Come all you who are thirsty” and “My house will be called a house of prayer”. The Apostles often taught about Isaiah’s “new and everlasting covenant”. The prophecies of Isaiah are remarkable because he “saw” things that the people of his day knew nothing about. He saw the Messiah and the new kind of Covenant that Jesus would establish with mankind. He saw God writing His law on our hearts instead of on the tablets of Moses. He saw a God of mercy and grace, not just a God of legalism. He saw that salvation was free – that you couldn’t buy it with any number of good works or burnt offerings. He saw that God has a “World Vision”, not just an “Israel Vision”.

What astounds me in all of this is that the religious leaders of Jesus’ time were very familiar with the teachings of the Prophet Isaiah – yet they couldn’t see Jesus for who He was. This revelation comes only by the disclosure of the Holy Spirit.

How blessed we are to live in a day when the Holy Spirit has been poured out to give us real revelation – so that we can “see Jesus” in the Old Testament as well as the New. Without the Holy Spirit this would not be possible, for the natural mind does not comprehend the things of the Spirit. These thoughts are spiritually discerned and revealed. This is why it is possible to read the Bible every day of our entire adult life and still receive fresh revelation each time. This is why the Word of God is so precious – it reveals God to us in such a clear way. “The Word”, “The Word Made Flesh” and “The Spirit-Breathed Word” – these elements comprise a true revelation of God.

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.” (Isaiah 55:1-2)

This Prophecy is fulfilled today for all of us who seek the face of God. He is near us – our relationship with Him costs us nothing – our freedom in the Spirit costs us nothing. The poorest of the inhabitants of the earth can “buy” spiritual water, milk, wine and bread at the same price that the richest man pays for it. The cost is $0.00 – yet it also costs him everything he has.

Luke 14:33 reads, “In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”

Questions:

1. How is it that your relationship with Christ costs you nothing yet costs you everything?
2. Give another example of the revelation of Christ in the Old Testament.

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