Spiritual Rants: “An Itching In The Ears” October 25 Daily Bible Readings in a year: Jeremiah 48:1-49:22 2 Timothy 4:1-22 Psalm 95:1-96:13 Proverbs 26:9-12

Old Testament: Jeremiah 48:1-49:22

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Jeremiah 48:1-49:22   Edomed Up

Chap. 48  Moab is doomed.  Moab is in westernmost Jordan in modern times.  Other oracles against Moab can be found in Isa. 15-16; Jer. 9:26; 25:21; 27:3; Ezek. 25:8-11; Zeph. 2:8-11.

Chap. 49  Ammon and Edom are doomed.  Ammon is just north of Moab and also in a western portion of Jordan.  Other oracles against Ammon are found in Ezek. 21:20; 25:1-7; Zeph. 2:8-11.  Other oracles against Edom are found in Ezek. 25:12-14; 35:1-15; Joel 3:19; Amos 9:12; and the entire book Obadiah.

Edom is the country settled by the descendants of Esau whom you remember was at odds with Jacob.  They are still at odds with Israel.  Edom in modern times is lower western Jordan, southern Israel and leaks into eastern Egypt.

Edom as a nation does not exist.  In Bible times the Edomites were called Idumeans.  Herod the Great who exterminated the innocent babies in Mat. 2 was an Idumean and thus not a Jew (cf. Matt. 2:16; Jer. 31:15).

New Testament:  2 Timothy 4:1-22

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2 Timothy 4:1-22   An Itching In The Ears

The motto of the school I attended was 2 Tim. 4:2.  Our training was in properly interpreting Scripture using the original languages, knowledge of the entire Bible, theology and church history to exhort hearers and help them understand God’s Word.  I think it is an art to put all those fields of knowledge together into a sermon.  Paul says preachers should be ready to reprove, rebuke and exhort their hearers.  Of course, nowadays you can get fired for that!

Paul says a time will come when people will not be able to handle sound doctrine (v. 3).  When I was sent out to seminary by our home church, the pastor asked if my doctrine was “sound as a dolla.”  I think by that he meant “dollar.”  Anyway, it was at least as sound as a dollar back then.  It seems most doctrine today is as sound as a dollar.  Of course, a dollar isn’t as sound as a dollar these days.

People will want to have their “ears tickled” (v. 3).  That means that they will want to be “inspired” and sent on their way with a pat on the back.  They will not want to be instructed or reproved or rebuked.  There used to be a time when people said “the preacher stepped on my toes.”  They meant that as a compliment.  Now they ride the preacher out on a rail for preaching that way.  Perhaps they also “tar and feather” them for the same thing.  It depends on the congregation though most preachers have adapted and “give the people what they want.”  There are many preachers who will preach what people want to hear (v. 3b).  “Myths” are perversions of sound doctrine.  Almost all false teaching centers on putting humans as the focus and gives people the idea that they can control God or their destiny by “good works.”  Salvation and sanctification are by grace through faith alone.  If a person doesn’t like what he or she hears, there is always another preacher or church they can turn to for their “edification.”

Timothy is to stay the course and endure whatever comes his way (v.5a).  Though he might not have the “gift” of evangelist, he is to evangelize and lead people to the Lord (v. 5b).

Paul knew he was close to death.  Just as a drink offering was poured out on the altar with the sacrifice of the lambs in the Old Testament (Num. 28:4-7), Paul was willing to be sacrificed for Christ (v. 6).  The ministry is a struggle with the devil trying to thwart every advance.  Paul knew he had “fought the good fight” in his lifetime (v. 7).  He knew he would receive a reward at the bema seat (cf. Rom. 14:10, 1 Cor. 3:10-15, 2 Cor. 5:10) and that it would be a “crown of righteousness.”  Everyone who was looking forward to Christ’s coming will receive the same reward (v. 7b).  Will it be a literal crown?  Perhaps.  If so, it will be thrown before the Lord in worship (cf. Rev. 4:10).  Whatever it is, it will be very good!

Paul finishes his letter by mentioning various personal companions.  Demas couldn’t resist the world (v. 9).  Faithful friends Crescens and Titus had headed to ministry fields in Galatia, now part of  Turkey, and Dalmatia.  Dalmatia is not the home of spotted firehouse dogs but is present day Yugoslavia.  Luke, the doctor and gospel writer, is with Paul in Rome.  Timothy was instructed to bring Mark, his friend and gospel writer, with him to see Paul.

Paul must have been cold in wintertime in jail so he asked for his cloak to be brought to him as well as some books and parchments to study (v. 13).

Alexander the coppersmith is going to “catch it” (vv. 14-15).  He is probably the same one who gave Paul trouble in Acts 19:33-36 or could be the Alexander mentioned in 1 Tim. 1:20.

Everyone vacated when Paul was put on trial, reminiscent of the acts of the disciples when Jesus was put on trial (v. 16, cf. Matt. 26:31).  At least the Lord stood by him.  The Lord is always faithful (cf. 1 Thess. 5:24; Matt. 28:20).  Paul was rescued out of the lion’s mouth (cf. 1 Pet. 5:8).  Paul knew he was invulnerable when God was protecting him (v. 18) and nothing would hinder his journey to Heaven.

Paul asked that his friend Priscilla (aka Prisca) and Aquila be given his greetings.  He also says “hi” to Onesiphorus (cf. 2 Tim. 1:16).

Contrary to common opinion, though Paul may have had the gift of healing, he could not heal whomever he wanted.  He left his good friend, Trophimus, sick in Miletus on the coast of western Turkey (v. 20).

Paul wants his cloak before winter (v. 21, cf. v. 13).  He sends along a “hey” from Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the others with him.  If you’re looking for children’s names, please don’t use these.  And you don’t want a child walking around with a dirty blankey like Linus.

Paul once again closes as he opens with a reminder that God has given them “something for nothing,” i.e., grace (v. 22).

 

Psalm 95:1-96:13  An Old Story And A New Song   Hymns Of Yahweh’s Kingship By Anonymous


Proverbs 26:9-12   A Thorny Problem

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A thorn and a drunk?  What is verse 9 about?  Back in the day of Solomon there would be more possibility of inebriated people falling into bramble bushes.  Then they’d be angry.  And then they might hurt other people with the barbs as well.

In the same way, a foolish, false teacher harms others with the bad doctrine they have incurred.  Beware what might smell like roses but is actually hemlock.

If you employ a bad educator, you are also in for trouble (v. 10).   This happens at public schools, churches, and even seminaries.  People are going to be damaged.  And then  the destruction could even spread to a country!

Verse 11 is pretty graphic (cf. 2 Pet. 2:22).  You might have to turn your head.  I guess hungry dogs don’t have the sense to lap up their own upchuck.  Imagine the bark after the barf!  Unbelievers, aka fools, keep committing their same mistakes.  Remember the root meaning of the Hebrew word for fool is insane (see McGee, intro to Proverbs 26, see It Won’t Even Light!).  And you know what one definition of insanity is, don’t you?  Insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”  Like that dog in verse 11.

A fool is also eminently arrogant (v. 12).  He thinks he is smart but he is actually hopeless.  The Anti-christ will like this man (cf.  2 Thessalonians 2:1-10;  Rev. 13:11: Dan. 9:26-27).  Check out the characteristics of the Antichrist in Ps. 52, see commentary Doeg The Bug.

Could it be that we’d be close to having a ruler who has no fear of God at all?

There’s more hope for a fool for that man . . .  and the country over which he reigns.

 

Choose Life:  2 Timothy 4:2  NASB   “Preach It!”

” . . . preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.”  2 Timothy 4:2  NASB

 

I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking you’re not a preacher so why would you preach the Word?

There used to be a saying that we are the only Bibles that anyone will ever know.

Have you ever thought of yourself as a walking Word of God?  Well, if people know that you are a Christian, then you are a walking Bible.  People will judge what God is like by the way you live your life.

So how can you preach “in season and out of season”?  How can you “reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction”?  You can do it by being gentle and kind no matter how people treat you.  You can do it by helping others who don’t deserve help and being a good model as a Christian.  You can do it by living up to all that the Bible asks of you.  You can do it by forgiving people who don’t deserve it.

When you live in a Biblical way, you will live a more full life (Josh. 1:8; John 10:10b).

Preach it, brothers and sisters!  Preach it with your lives!

 

If you do, you’ll find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!

Fun Application:

Ask God to show you anything you may be doing that is not Biblical.  A couple good verses to measure yourself by are Ps. 19:12-14, “Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.  Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.”  Or these from Ps. 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.”

Walk in such a way always that you will be a good witness to Jesus Christ.  Is there anything you are doing that could cause others to stumble or block their way to the Lord (cf. Matt. 18:7)?  Correct it today.  Don’t be a hindrance to anyone in coming to the Lord, be a billboard to show them the way!

 

The purpose of Choose Life is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day.  There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog:  An Itching In The Ears

 

Choose Life: Choose Life:  2 Timothy 4:2  NASB   “Preach It!”

” . . . preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.”  2 Timothy 4:2  NASB

 

I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking you’re not a preacher so why would you preach the Word?

There used to be a saying that we are the only Bibles that anyone will ever know.

Have you ever thought of yourself as a walking Word of God?  Well, if people know that you are a Christian, then you are a walking Bible.  People will judge what God is like by the way you live your life.

So how can you preach “in season and out of season”?  How can you “reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction”?  You can do it by being gentle and kind no matter how people treat you.  You can do it by helping others who don’t deserve help and being a good model as a Christian.  You can do it by living up to all that the Bible asks of you.  You can do it by forgiving people who don’t deserve it.

When you live in a Biblical way, you will live a more full life (Josh. 1:8; John 10:10b).

Preach it, brothers and sisters!  Preach it with your lives!

 

If you do, you’ll find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!

Fun Application:

Ask God to show you anything you may be doing that is not Biblical.  A couple good verses to measure yourself by are Ps. 19:12-14, “Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.  Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.”  Or these from Ps. 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.”

Walk in such a way always that you will be a good witness to Jesus Christ.  Is there anything you are doing that could cause others to stumble or block their way to the Lord (cf. Matt. 18:7)?  Correct it today.  Don’t be a hindrance to anyone in coming to the Lord, be a billboard to show them the way!

 

The purpose of Choose Life is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day.  There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog:  An Itching In The Ears

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