Spiritual Rants: “Tutored” September 18 Daily Bible Readings in a year: Isaiah 28:14-30:11 Galatians 3:23-4:31 Psalm 62:1-12 Proverbs 23:19-21

Old Testament:  Isaiah 28:14-30:11

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Isaiah 28:14-30:11 Ar-iel Headed

Chap. 28:14-29:  The southern kingdom of Judah should have understood that when the northern kingdom of Israel was taken by Assyria that they needed to pay attention to God’s warnings.  But they didn’t.  They eventually went into captivity to Babylon.   Verse 16 is the promise of the Messiah, the cornerstone.  This verse is quoted in Eph. 2:20; 1 Peter 2:6, also note Zech. 10:4.

Chap. 29:  Jerusalem, in Judah, was specially called out.   Ariel means “lion of God” and normally would apply to Judah.  Ariel can also mean “altar hearth of God.”  God is saying that though they were known as a lion they would become a place of slaughter.  (Ariel as the lion was also the symbol of Assyria so God could be saying that Ariel would take Judah’s place as the “new lion.”)

Jesus quotes v. 13 in Mat. 15, “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:  ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.  ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’” (Mat. 15: 7-9).  The Jews were “religionists.”  In other words, they were faking it.  Outwardly they seemed like upstanding Jews but inwardly they were unrepentant.  Thank goodness we don’t have that sort of thing today!  (Sarcasm.)

Chap. 30: (1-11) Judah was warned not to have a treaty with Egypt.   This time they listened and didn’t form an alliance with Egypt.

New Testament:  Galatians 3:23-4:31

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Galatians 3:23-4:31   Hoosier Mama?

The Law was our “tutor” to bring us to Christ.  “Tutor” is probably the best translation.  The law guided us to Christ by showing us our sin.  We have “put on” Christ (cf. Rom. 13: 14) so that God sees us through Jesus.  Every person in Christ has the same access to God since they are all “in Christ” (v. 28-29).

We can call God Father (v. 6).  Do you trust Him that much?

So you thought you were a big deal because you “know” God.  Scripture says the big deal is that He recognizes you (v. 9).  We don’t have to observe any special days anymore, except birthdays (v. 10, mine is next week for anyone giving gifts).  Christmas and Easter are OK to celebrate but only as long as you don’t figure you’ll get any special merit for it.  That would be legalism.

Paul had an illness that steered him to them (v. 13).  God uses even illnesses and poverty to guide us.  Sometimes it’s easier for Him that way.  They showed Paul great hospitality and would have even “plucked out their eyes” and given them to him (v. 15).  This would also be a clue that Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7) was related to his eyesight.

“Have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?” (v. 16).  That is the theme of some ministries.  I’ve felt that way.  If people are “in the flesh,” they are almost never in the mood to hear the truth and take it out on the pastor.  Believe me.  It’s true.  Paul just wanted the best for them and was genuinely confused how they could have fallen away from where they were spiritually (v. 20).  (Been there done that.)

In verses 21-31, Paul uses the analogy of Isaac and Ishmael to illustrate the difference between being under law or under grace.  Ryrie says, “Hagar stands for the Mosaic Law, slavery, Mount Sinai, Jerusalem then under slavery to Rome, and flesh. Sarah and Isaac stand for the Abrahamic covenant, the heavenly Jerusalem, the Spirit, and freedom

Here’s how it breaks out:

Hagar/Ishmael                                                    Sarah/Isaac

Mosaic Law                                                         Abrahamic Covenant

slavery                                                                   freedom

Mount Sinai/law                                                grace

Jerusalem under Roman rule                          heavenly Jerusalem

the “flesh”                                                            the Spirit

 

(thanks to Charles Ryrie for above)

 


Psalm 62:1-12    Pour Me Another   A Song Of Confidence by David


Proverbs 23:19-21   A Beef With Meat?

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Paul advises that a Christian not get drunk.  And when I say he advises, he was commanding a Christian not to get drunk (cf. Eph. 5:18).  If you get drunk, you can be embarrassing.  If you are embarrassing, you won’t be a good witness to Christ.

I’ve found the best way to keep from drinking too much is to not drink at all.  But I can’t say that is a firm rule since the Bible doesn’t say that.  I would just say that it is wise not to drink.

Solomon, by way of his son, was telling all of us, that it is best for our spiritual life (v. 19) to avoid eating and drinking with gluttons and drunkards (v. 20).  The reason is they usually end up poor.  They get groggy.  If someone gets groggy, they can get fired from their job.  Then they could be impoverished (v. 21).

Also, note that in this passage that Solomon counsels against the eating of “meat” (v. 20).  The word in Hebrew for “meat,” the original language, means “meat.”  You might have thought that it meant food in a metaphorical way.  It may mean that or it may mean that we shouldn’t eat much meat.  I know, you think I’m nuts.  But why do you think that?  Just because you’ve been eating a lot of meat your whole life?

If you’ve been reading the commentary on the Old Testament, you might notice that the Jews didn’t eat a lot of meat.  They got sick on quail (cf. Num. 11:18-21; 31-34).  For the most part, they only ate meat for feasts.  Note that the father of the prodigal son prepared the “fattened calf” (cf. Luke 15:23, 27, 30).  It was a big deal.  They didn’t eat it that often.

I have lost a lot of weight and gotten much healthier just eating mostly vegetables.  In fact, it helps considerably with heart disease.  Interesting that Solomon tells his son to “direct [his] heart” in verse 19.  He has already told his son to “guard [his] heart” in Proverbs 4:23 (NIV).

Think about it.

Check out the video Fork Over Knife (it’s on Netflix streaming) and the book My Beef With Meat.

 

Choose Life: Scripture:  Galatians 3:24  NASB   “Tutored”

“Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.”  Galatians 3:24 NASB

 

There is a Far Side Cartoon of a dog with its head hanging out the window of a moving car.  The dog has a big smile on its face and the caption is, “I’m going to the vet to get tutored.”  Boy, is that dog in for a big surprise!

In the same way, there are a lot of Christians that are going to be in for a big surprise.  They have been substituting a lot of law and legalism for the grace that God has provided for us.  They are wasting their lives in essence.  At the judgment seat for Christians, the only things that will count will be things that we’ve done while being sensitive to the Holy Spirit.  Things done by the motivation of legalism won’t count for anything.  For instance, anything we do in our own power including going to church, witnessing, giving, even studying the Bible.  The things that will count will be things that the Holy Spirit directed us to do – things that we rely on Him for.  That would be things like witnessing, going to a Bible-believing church, giving, and studying the Bible.  What is the test of being Spirit-led?  Are you acting in faith or relying on yourself?  Are you working out of your own mind or do you cooperate with the Spirit?  Walking in the Spirit is a matter of trial and error just like we learned to walk naturally, two steps forward and three steps back.

God did not promise us an easy life but He did promise contentment (cf. 2 Cor. 12:10; Phil. 4:11; 1 Tim. 6:8; Heb. 13:5).

We are not to be tutored any longer by the Law but it is an exciting thing to be tutored by the Holy Spirit.

Try it today.

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

Fun Application: 

Are you doing anything today that you suspect is in your own power and according to your own desires?  If anything comes to mind, you might want to review it and see contemplate whether you’re doing whatever it is “in the flesh” (cf. Rom. 7:5, 18; 8:3-4; 8:8-9 for “flesh” NASB, “sinful nature,” NIV).

Make sure whatever you do is to the glory of God (cf. 1 Cor. 10:31) and that you are being guided and tutored by the Spirit!

 

The purpose of the 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:   Ar-iel Headed

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