Friday, January 20, 2012
Welcome to Day 20 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Genesis 49, Jacob blesses each of his sons, prophesying as to each of their futures… Then he dies. (I love how this is worded, “breathed his last and was gathered to his people.”)
Jacob blesses his sons as he is about to die… Speaking to his son Judah in v 10, Jacob prophesies about Christ, “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come…” [referring to Jesus].
Genesis 50, finally Joseph’s brothers vocalize their anxiety about what might happen to them now that their father has passed. As Joseph displayed in earlier chapters, he treats them with kindness and reassures them.
Psalm 8, “what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them??” Isn’t that a great question? That the God of the heavens is interested in me… us?
Luke 20, the Pharisees continue their assault on Jesus, trying to trap him, having people ask him questions about paying taxes, hoping to get him arrested. The Sadducees, who didn’t believe in resurrection, tried to trap him in a question referring back to the Law…
But here is the standout passage for me today… “While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 47 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.” Note to self…
I find it VERY interesting that Joseph tells his brothers and his sons that God will take them to the land that was promised to them by Abraham, Isaac and their father, Jacob. Generations have passed (and a couple of hundred years!) since that promise. Their inheritance is yet to be realized, and won’t be until after generations of slavery (about to occur in the upcoming chapters after a change of Pharaohs…)
We have the benefit of looking back, even knowing the outcome of these situations that we are reading about. While scripture wasn’t recorded “live” as it was happening, we know all these questions Jesus is being asked are to trap him, have him arrested so he can be crucified. Jesus knew this too. It’s difficult to read all this as for the first time… knowing the outcome already. Jesus handles their questions masterfully, in fact, they dared not ask him any more questions! (v 40)
The Pharisees, Sadducees and Teachers of the Law only cared about themselves, their position, their own well being. Jesus cared about none of that. He cared for the poor, the lost, the sick, the outcast.
Every day the application could be the same… “Don’t be like the Pharisees. Be like Jesus.”
Lord, help me to see the nuances in scripture. To see past the obvious applications to what you want to say to me. Perhaps that IS the obvious, most of the time I believe that is the case… I just don’t want to miss out on anything that You want me to catch. I know I’m a little slow at times, or distracted, or in a hurry… Help me to be like Mary who was content sitting at your feet.