Daily Encouragement

August 17 – Paul Takes on Virtually Every Religion Today

Nehemiah 12:27-13:31
1 Corinthians 11:1-16
Psalm 35:1-16
Proverbs 21:17-18

Nehemiah 12:31 — Cup Bearer, Building Inspector, Commander, General Contractor, Negotiator, and Singspiration Architect – Nehemiah wore many hats!

Wopod’s Blog includes a helpful map to show you what the choirs were doing. The Eastern Choir (Nehemiah 12:31-37) and the Western Choir (Nehemiah 12:38-39) circled around the city, leaving the Dung Gate and entering the Sheep Gate.

Nehemiah 12:42 — The singers sang loud (even without electronic amplification)!

Nehemiah 13:1 — From the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary (JFB):

This was not immediately consequent on the dedication of the city wall and gates, but after Nehemiah’s return from the Persian court to Jerusalem, his absence having extended over a considerable period.

“… therein was found written …” What’s sad is there was so little familiarity with the Law of the LORD that it shocked them. How familiar are we with God’s Law?

Nehemiah 13:15 — Ezra and Nehemiah had done so much to restore the Kingdom. They were vigilant about trusting God, prayer, sanctification, and so much more! But when Nehemiah left this young congregation, he returns to see people marrying unbelievers, people violating the sabbath, and his old enemy Tobiah was now living in the temple complex.

Nehemiah didn’t trust the people who had been watching the gate, he had to put his personal staff at the gates to make sure the Sabbath would be kept.

Nehemiah 13:21 — Not the cry of the weary mother of a toddler, but the cry of a commander of Jerusalem to those who would cause his people to sin!

1 Corinthians 11:1 — Is Paul giving merely cultural advice to those in 1st Century Corinth? John MacArthur in his commentary on 1 Corinthians 11 says:

[Some] believe that Paul, Peter, and other scriptural writers added some of their own opinions to God’s revealed truth or that the apostles sometimes taught culturally determined customs rather than divinely revealed standards. When that approach is taken, man must decide for himself what part of Scripture is revealed and what is not – making him the judge over God’s Word.

MacArthur, John F., Jr. 1 Corinthians. MacArthur New Testament Commentary. Chicago: Moody Press, 1984.

Strangely, by the time he gets to 1 Corinthians 11:4, he says:

It seems, therefore, that Paul is not stating a divine universal requirement but simply acknowledging a local custom.

MacArthur, John F., Jr. 1 Corinthians. MacArthur New Testament Commentary. Chicago: Moody Press, 1984.

As we go through this passage, we will not be quoting from Dr. G.I. Barber’s message on the “Doctrine of Hairology.”

1 Corinthians 11:4 — Not only did Jesus reverse the Mosaic Law on bacon, Jesus also reversed the Mosaic Law on head coverings for the religious leaders (Exodus 28:4, Exodus 28:37, and Exodus 28:40). Under Moses, the priests all wore head coverings, but now that Jesus is our head, that is forbidden! This verse is in contrast to most religions, including the Muslim Taqiyah, the Jewish Kippah, the Sikh Turban, and the liturgical Zucchettos and Birettas. Interestingly, Paul is talking about almost all religious activity, per MacArthur:

In the most general senses praying is talking to God about people, including ourselves, and prophesying is talking to people about God. One is vertical (man to God) and the other is horizontal (man to man), and they represent the two primary dimensions of believers’ ministry.

1 Corinthians 11:10 — What do angels have to do with head coverings? Are angels watching what you wear in church? Apparently (Ephesians 3:10, 1 Timothy 5:21)!

1 Corinthians 11:15Commentators seem to distinguish between the hair and the covering.

NOTE: Today’s reading from 1 Corinthians may seem difficult to understand – but anytime we read something in the Bible that seems difficult to understand, 1) Don’t give up! 2) Dig in! Keep reading as you interpret Scripture with Scripture.

Psalm 35:1 – Do you remember how difficult life has been? Thank God for His salvation (Psalm 35:9)!

Proverbs 21:17 – Don’t rich people spend their days in leisure? Don’t they buy expensive stuff? They may, but loving pleasure is unsustainable. God created man to work in the Garden (Genesis 2:15).

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

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