THE WHOLE BIBLE STORY IN 195 CAREFULLY SELECTED READINGS

5 READINGS PER WEEK TO THE END OF 2022

     

    READINGS FOR WEEK 7, BEGINNING 16 MAY

    5 READINGS PER WEEK TO THE END OF 2022

    • One or two questions on each passage to help you find a way in
    • a Christ-centred, gospel-proclaiming focus in keeping with how Jesus himself read the Old testament

     

    Judges 7 – Gideon’s victory is an example of something that runs through the entire Bible – a weak human instrument wins a mighty victory for the people of God because God is with them.  This happens over and over in the Old Testament eg David and Goliath.  But consider above all how it is found in its supreme form in the weakness of Jesus on the cross and the scope of his victory there.

     

    Judges 16 –  – consider first  the flaws in Samson’s character – the perils of complacency when you have  power and strength. let him that standeth take heed lest he fall. Is there any area of your life where complacency has set in? Then consider how Samson too in his death is a picture of Christ.

     

    Ruth 1 and 2 –  – in her loss and bitterness of soul Naomi finds  the unexpected and unequalled blessing of Ruth coming into her life. How has God blessed you in your losses? Consider the great pledge of loyalty from Ruth as a test of the vows you have made to your spouse and to the Lord’s people.  How is Boaz a picture of Christ in his lovingkindness to Ruth?

     

    1 Samuel  3 – ask the Lord if some message you are receiving right now in your life may in fact be his voice, his call to you? Consider Samuel’s humble, willing and beautiful response – is that your attitude to the Word of the Lord? His task was to give Eli bad news – do you avoid difficult conversations for the sake of peace?

     

    1 Samuel 16 – the theme continues of God’s choice not being man’s choice. What do you think it was about David that made him so suited to be Israel’s next king?  Think about his Psalms, his shepherding, his encounters with lions and bears. What qualities was God nurturing in him that are ones we also ought to seek?

    • One or two questions on each passage to help you find a way in
    • a Christ-centred, gospel-proclaiming focus in keeping with how Jesus himself read the Old testament

    Let’s paint the big picture – after the creation and fall of humanity in Genesis, God sets in motion a plan of redemption for the world – the curse brought about by sin will be reversed and blessing will come to all nations through the seed of Abraham – meaning both the physical descendants of Abraham but primarily the Messiah, who will appear in history as Jesus of Nazareth.

    To model the meaning of salvation, the Israelites are delivered from the bondage of Egypt by God’s mighty hand,  saved by the blood of a lamb,  brought into relationship with God by his free love and grace, and then given the 10 commandments as a guide for holiness and how to live as a free , God-serving people..

    Despite the dramatic and marvellous demonstrations of God’s power on their behalf in the plagues, and the red Sea, through their unbelief they fail to enter the land of promise, the inheritance promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and wander for 40 years in the wilderness until that unbelieving generation are dead. Now Moses has died and under the leadership of Joshua they will enter  the land of promise, Canaan. This is a picture of  kingdom of God – the land of plenty into which God brings his people.

    So after Adam, Noah, Abraham, Joseph and Moses, Joshua now becomes another ‘type’ or  model of Jesus – the leader of God’s people who leads them into possession of their God-given inheritance.

    Joshua 1 – look first at the reassurance God gives Joshua. How would this have helped him as the new leader after Moses? What promises does God make and in turn what will be required of Joshua if his leadership and conquest are to be successful?   What reassurance can you take from this passage right now?

    Joshua 2 – in the Old Testament various individuals appear in the story who have come to trust the true and living God – Naaman, Ruth, and here it is a prostitute called Rahab. She is recorded in the NT for her faith – Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:24-25. So read carefully and  build up a picture of the different elements in Rahab’s faith in the true God and its expression in action.

    Joshua 6 – various natural explanations have been put forward to explain the fall of the walls of Jericho. But whatever the explanation – scientific or miraculous – the victory was won when the people did things God’s way and not their own. Is there any situation in life you have been trying to solve with your own wisdom, where you need to stop now and ask God to show you how He wants you to address it?

    Joshua 24 – Joshua is now near the end of his life and gathers the people at Shechem to renew their covenant with the Lord. He reviews the history of all God has done for them and in v24 says that he and his household will serve the Lord. How could you whether by prayer, instruction or example enable or at least encourage your family circle to serve the Lord with all their heart?

    Judges 6 – after the settlement in Canaan, society degenerated in the land. Israel was ruled over by others and Judges tells the story of various ‘judges’ or deliverers who were raised up to bring freedom – -Deborah, Gideon, Samson the most famous. Again these figures all point to the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s deliverer sent for us. How does God overcome Gideon’s natural weakness and fear to convince him he is chosen to deliver the Israelites? How might this apply to you? If you want to link to a NT reading, try 1st Corinthians 1:18-31.

    WEEK FIVE – May 2-6th

    A BIBLE READING SCHEME DESIGNED BY REV CUPPLES – 5 READINGS PER WEEK TO THE END OF 2022
    TO BRING YOU THROUGH THE WHOLE BIBLE STORY IN 195 CAREFULLY SELECTED READINGS
    • One or two questions on each passage to help you find a way in
    • a Christ-centred, gospel-proclaiming focus in line with how Jesus read the Old Testament

     

    Where are we in the story? The Israelites have been delivered from slavery in Egypt. After only a few months they come to the borders of Canaan and send spies to bring back a report on the land. So first we will read about how they received that report and refused to enter the land of promise.

    Numbers 13 – the 12 spies, one from each tribe, brought back a report and also clusters of grapes.  What do you see as the difference between Caleb and Joshua who wanted to go in and take possession of the land, and the 10 spies who did not? read Joshua 14:6-15 – here we read of Caleb obtaining his inheritance some 40 years later when the Israelites did enter the land. What can we learn from such a great man?

     

    Numbers 14 – what was the main cause of the failure to enter Canaan? How might this same reason be holding you back in your spiritual life? Look at the disastrous consequences that follow when we do not really obey the will of the Lord for us?

     

    After wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, the Israelites now stand once again on the borders of the promised land.

    Deuteronomy 6 – the book of Deuteronomy is Moses’s final speech to the people before he dies. From v4 of this chapter we have Israel’s Creed – the ‘shema’ which is Hebrew for the word to ‘Hear’.  What fundamental truths are taught about God in this passage and  what guidance is given to help us find ways to remember our beliefs, and also warning to avoid lapsing from them?

     

    Deuteronomy 8 – Moses warns them here against forgetting the Lord when they become prosperous. Why does material affluence lead so many way from the Lord? How does money rival God? Look at  verse 3 – Jesus quotes this when he is  tempted by the devil in Matthew 4:4.  What is needed if we are to experience true life?

     

    Deuteronomy 14:22 – 15:18 – these commands from the Lord cover tithes, cancellation of debts and freeing servants – thinking about it overall what kind of attitude is encouraged here in us towards both God and other people? In what way are these commands reflected in how God himself has treated us?

    WEEK FOUR – April 25-29th

    A BIBLE READING SCHEME DESIGNED BY REV CUPPLES – 5 READINGS PER WEEK TO THE END OF 2022
    TO BRING YOU THROUGH THE WHOLE BIBLE STORY IN 195 CAREFULLY SELECTED READINGS
    • One or two questions on each passage to help you find a way in
    • a Christ-centred, gospel-proclaiming focus in line with how Jesus read the Old Testament
    Where we have got to now in the big story? Isaac declared Jacob the heir of the Abrahamic covenant promise. Despite Jacob’s bad character, this was God’s choice. Joseph’s life speaks of Christ powerfully – he suffers, is raised to the place of power and authority; forgives his brothers, delivers them, brings them close to him, and protects and provides for them in the land of Goshen – such a picture of our Saviour and what he does for us. Now some 400 years later ( around 1250 BC) Moses is called by God to be another deliverer to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and present us with the most important picture of salvation in the whole Bible – the exodus.
    Exodus 12:1-42 – the 9 plagues have fallen upon Egypt. The 10th is the death of all the firstborn, but the Israelites escape God’s judgment by sheltering beneath the blood of a lamb that has been slain. Why do you think this Passover feast was the central feast in Israel’s annual calendar of observances? Why is the Lord’s Supper, the Christian Passover, so important for us to observe?
    Exodus 14 – one of the most famous and mighty acts of deliverance of God’s people recorded in Scripture – the crossing of the Red Sea. Again think of the links with Jesus. God saves them completely apart from their efforts or deserving. The judgment that fell on the Egyptians. Think of and thank God for how all your enemies have been defeated by the Lord Jesus Christ – guilt, death, Satan, slavery. What do you praise God for most today? is there something you are held in fear of that you should claim victory over today?
    Exodus 20 – the ten commandments. Notice first that in v2 God has already redeemed these people so keeping the commandments is not the way for them to become God’s people. But it is the way they are to live. People often think of rules as oppressive. But these are the guidelines for how freed people should live. Consider how each commandment is able to set you free and what it sets you free from.
    Exodus 32 – this terrible falling away is shocking because it comes so soon after the miracle of the Red Sea. As you read the story, what do you pick up about why the Israelites wanted an object to worship? What constant weakness do you see here in human nature against which we must guard ourselves?
    Leviticus 19 – we will do just one chapter of Leviticus, a book often held up to ridicule in the modern world. But as you read through these practical laws which spelled out the holiness God required, ask yourself how society would be a better place if everybody lived in these ways? Is there one that challenges you and stands out as especially relevant for you?

    WEEK THREE – April 18-22nd

    A BIBLE READING SCHEME DESIGNED BY REV CUPPLES – 5 READINGS PER WEEK TO THE END OF 2022

    TO BRING YOU THROUGH THE WHOLE BIBLE STORY IN 195 CAREFULLY SELECTED READINGS

    • One or two questions on each passage to help you find a way in
    • a Christ-centred, gospel-proclaiming focus in keeping with how Jesus himself read the Old testament

    Let’s review things so far – the first 2 weeks

    Genesis 1 – Christ the second Adam is also the image of God and will rule over and bless the restored world

    Genesis 2 – in his kingdom humans,  animals and environment will be restored to perfect harmony and fulfil God’s perfect will

    Genesis 3 and 4 – sin enters and escalates but there is the promise of the seed of the woman crushing the serpent

    Genesis 6-8 – The story of Noah and the ark picture the salvation that Christ will bring to his family, delivering them from the final judgment of God on the world

    Genesis – 12,14,15, 22,  – God calls Abram and covenants with him that through his seed all nations of the earth will be blessed – Jesus in the fulness of time is that  seed who rolls back the curse and refills the  earth with its original blessing.

    Genesis 27 – Despite his sin and deception, Jacob, the one chosen by God as the heir of the promise,  is blessed by Isaac. The reason Isaac’s word of blessing is presented as having the power to bring about that which it proclaims is because it is passing on to the chosen seed the original Word of God to Abram which must come to pass. See chapter 28:3-4

    This week’s readings.

     Genesis 28 – Jacob the heir of the covenant promise is met by God in a dream, the ladder being a picture of God communicating with Jacob. Consider the wonderful promise of  vs13-15 and how it expresses to you as a child of Abraham that God is with you and for you. Jacob responded with a vow in vs20-2. What is your response?

    Genesis 37 – we come now to Jacob’s favourite son Joseph. Joseph had dreams given by God about his future that one day he would be in a place of high authority. He was rejected by his brothers. In what way does this foreshadow Christ’s rejection by his own people? is there any point at which you are resisting Christ’s proper lordship over your life?

    Genesis 41 – Joseph has now been falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and thrown in prison, and forgotten by the baker.  Now he is dramatically raised from prison to be the means of deliverance for his brothers and to bring blessing to the whole surrounding nations. How again do you see a foreshadowing here of Christ’s death, resurrection and exaltation to God’s right hand from where he bestows salvation? How do you think Joseph was sustained through all his times of trial?

    Genesis 45 – Joseph is now reconciled to his brothers. Read this very carefully. What are the marks of true and total forgiveness that Joseph demonstrates here to those who so deeply wronged him?  In your hurt  and struggle to forgive how would a perspective like vs4-7 be of help to you?

    Exodus 3 – one the Bible’s great incidents. God’s people are groaning in slavery now for centuries but God has decided that now is the time to end their slavery and bring them to the land of promise. So he chooses a deliverer – Moses, another foreshadowing of Christ. What does God say and show to Moses to enable and empower him  to accept this massive calling and mission? How does this encourage you in your walk of

    WEEK TWO – April 11-15th

    A BIBLE READING SCHEME DESIGNED BY REV CUPPLES – 5 READINGS PER WEEK TO THE END OF 2022

    TO BRING YOU THROUGH THE WHOLE BIBLE STORY IN 195 CAREFULLY SELECTED READINGS

     

     

     One or two questions on each passage to help you find a way in

     a Christ-centred, gospel-proclaiming focus in keeping with how Jesus himself read the Old testament

     

    “He said to them ( the disciples after the resurrection) “This is what I told you when I was still with you; everything

    must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” Luke 23 :44-45

     

    So before you read each day , pause and pray – Lord, you have sent your Holy Spirit to be our teacher and to show Christ to us. May you open our minds to understand the Scriptures and to see Christ and all He has done for us as their central theme, as you did with your first disciples long ago.

     

    The Bible is a story in 4 parts, a drama with 4 acts – creation, fall, redemption, new creation.

    This is God telling us that this is the true story of our world and as a result this story helps us understand what is going on in the world, what God is doing, who we are, and how we are to live.

    The created world has fallen into sin; the judgement of the flood has taken place but Noah and his family are a new beginning. But sin continues and at Babel mankind is scattered and divided. Now we come to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the patriarchs, and God moves to put in motion his great plan of worldwide redemption.

     

    Genesis ch 12 – Abraham is the father of all believers. Here God calls him to be the beginning of the nation through whom the Saviour would come. Look at the promises of vs2-3 – first see how theya re fulfilled in this chapter. then ponder the greater scope of this promise – that through the seed of Abraham the universal curse will be rolled back and blessing will extend to all peoples on earth.. If you want to follow up this reading consider Galatians 3:6-14 and Revelation 7:9-12 where these words reach their final fulfilment.

     

    Genesis chapter 14 – the interesting figure here is the priest Melchizedek. Hebrews 7 sees Christ as his fulfilment. What ways does Melchizedek resemble Jesus in his high priestly role in this encounter with Abraham.

    Notice also how Abraham was able to defend his household against the attacks of enemy kings – . cf v12 with Matthew 12:25-29 – Jesus is the stronger man protecting his own possessions and plundering those of the enemy.

     

    Genesis chapter 15 – v6 is quoted in Romans 4 to show that Abraham was saved by faith and not by good works.

    What blessings are promised to Abraham and to his seed in this chapter?

     

    Genesis chapter 22 – the great and final test of Abraham’s faith. Will he sacrifice his only son in obedience to God. Isaac was born 25 years after Abraham and Sarah were promised a son!! Now Go d says – sacrifice him! Look up Hebrews 11:17-19 to get an insight into Abraham’s mind and faith at this moment.

    In what way is the provision of the ram a picture of God’s provision for our salvation?

    Genesis chapter 27 – a highly dysfunctional family. Domineering, pushy mother Rebecca favours Jacob and Jacob fully co-operates in the deception of Isaac. It seems so unfair against the seemingly upright Esau. But Jacob , unworthy though he was, had one great quality which obtained him the blessing – he wanted it really badly. he was prepared to do anything to get it. Look up Jeremiah 29:11-13. God had chosen Jacob and for all his faults Jacob sought and found the blessing of the Lord.

     

    More of Jacob next week. Are you seeking the Lord with all your heart?