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Saturday, August 8, 2020

2020.08.08 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 31:17–35

Questions from the Scripture text: What does Jacob do in Genesis 31:17? What does he carry away (Genesis 31:18)? What point does this verse make multiple times? To whom does he leave to go? To where? What had Laban gone to do (Genesis 31:19)? So, what does Rachel do? What does Jacob do (Genesis 31:20)? How does verse 20 explain saying that Jacob “stole” (same word as with Rachel in Genesis 31:19) away? Toward where did he head (Genesis 31:21)? How many days did it take for Laban to find out (Genesis 31:22)? Whom does he take (Genesis 31:23)? How long does it take him to overtake Jacob? Who comes to Laban in Genesis 31:24? How? What does He say to him? Where does Laban overtake Jacob (Genesis 31:25)? What does he ask Jacob (Genesis 31:26)? To what does he compare Jacob’s escape? What word does he again (cf. Genesis 31:19Genesis 31:20) use about Jacob’s secret escape in Genesis 31:27? What does he say he would have done for Jacob if he had told him? What else does he say that he wishes he had a chance to do (Genesis 31:28)? What does he say is in his power (Genesis 31:29)? What reason does he give for not doing anything to him? What does he call God? What had God said? What reasoning does Laban give for Jacob’s leaving (Genesis 31:30)? But what question does he now ask? What answer does Jacob give for running secretly (Genesis 31:31)? What does Jacob propose about the stolen gods (Genesis 31:32)? But what did he not know? Whose tents did Laban check first (Genesis 31:33)? Whose did he check last? Into what had Rachel put the gods (Genesis 31:34)? What did she do with the saddle? What did Laban do? What did he not do? What does Rachel say to her father in Genesis 31:35? What does she claim is her reason for not rising? What did he do? What did he not do?
Who is like God?

No one at all. Nothing at all. He alone is worthy of worship, trust-worthy of faith, worthy of total obedience.

Trusting in yourself is ridiculous. You might be out of pocket shearing sheep for a few days (Genesis 31:19aGenesis 31:22). Or gullible to one of the oldest excuses in the book (Genesis 31:35). Or maybe you’re so dull of heart that after hearing your own husband’s confession of faith in Genesis 31:7-13, and responding “whatever God has said to you, do it,” you still steal the household gods (Genesis 31:19b). Speaking of which…

Trusting in idols is even more ridiculous. They can’t even keep themselves from being stolen. How useless! They can be stuffed into a camel saddle. How tiny!

And they certainly don’t appear in visions to protect their people (Genesis 31:29), or overrule all circumstances and opposition for their people’s good (Genesis 31:36-42).

Job’s are lost. Economies tank. Friends betray. Even the best of earthly kings die. Health vanishes or slowly fades away. The best plans are missing all sorts of information about the present and know nothing of the future. Useless! Tiny!

God alone is our strength and shield. Our help is in the Name of the Lord, Who made the heavens and the earth!
What are you tempted to rely upon instead of the Lord? In what ways has it fallen short in its ability to come through? In what ways has it/they fallen short in their faithfulness or care for you?
Suggested songs: ARP16A “Keep Me, O God” or TPH16A “Preserve Me, O My God”

Friday, August 7, 2020

Expectation Reorientation (Family Worship in Lk 7:18–35)

Pastor leads his family in today's Hopewell @Home passage, Luke 7:18–35. Whenever our expectations chafe against the Lord or His Word, it is we who need an expectation reorientation. Many are unable to get over when God is not as they expect, but Jesus says, "blessed is he who is not offended because of Me."

2020.08.07 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 7:18–35

Questions from the Scripture text: Whose disciples reported to him about Jesus (Luke 7:18)? To Whom did John send two disciples (Luke 7:19)? What did he send them to ask? What do the men do (Luke 7:20)? And what does Jesus do (Luke 7:21)? When? What answer does Jesus send back to John (Luke 7:22-23)? To whom does Jesus begin speaking about whom in Luke 7:24? What does He ask them? What else does He ask in Luke 7:25? To whom is Jesus comparing him? What does He ask the third time (Luke 7:26)? Which prophet does Jesus say that John is (Luke 7:27)? How great a prophet does Jesus say that John is (Luke 7:28)? Bot who is greater than he? Who justified God in Luke 7:29? Why? Who rejected the will of God in Luke 7:30? Why not? About whom does Jesus now ask in Luke 7:31? What does he call them (Luke 7:32)? What are they doing? What didn’t John the Baptist do (Luke 7:33)? And what did they say about him? Who did eat and drink (Luke 7:34)? And what did they say about Him? Who will be justified by whom (Luke 7:35)?
One of the chief hallmarks of our Lord Jesus Christ is that He doesn’t please this world.

When John the Baptizer wants to know if Jesus is the Coming One (Luke 7:19-21)—the One of Whom John himself had said that he was not worthy to untie His sandal—Jesus immediately showed the two John had sent many miracles (Luke 7:21). Yes, Jesus is not of this world. But the climax of Jesus’s actual message back was “the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Luke 7:22). Not only Jesus power, but also His values, are not what we would expect from this world. He has a special care for “the least of these.”

Is Jesus what the world would expect? No. But it is our duty to modify our expectations and fall down in worship (Luke 7:23)

Jesus underlines the same thing about John himself. The Baptizer wasn’t the kind of wimpy (Luke 7:24) man-pleaser like the wealthy of the world (Luke 7:25). But he who was not impressive to the world was greater than all the other prophets (Luke 7:26-28).

Again, when expectations collide, God’s must prevail. John had preached a baptism of repentance, and the sinners who had received it (Luke 7:29) praised God for the news that the one who enters the kingdom in the worthiness of Jesus (end of Luke 7:28) has a worthiness even than John’s! (Of course, those who wished not to repent at all, but to count themselves worthy without it, rejected Jesus’s message about an out-of-this-world worthiness through faith in Christ, Luke 7:30).

Finally, Jesus confronts those who have rejected both of them. On the one hand, John’s message of the necessity of extreme repentance was more than they could bear, so they said, “He has a demon” (Luke 7:33). But, neither could they bear Jesus’s message of free grace for sinners and a life of liberty to enjoy the good things of God in a godly way; so they attacked Him for encouraging joyous feasting and drinking wine, calling Him a friend of tax collectors and sinners (Luke 7:34, cf. Luke 5:27–32).

But what is the wisdom of God? It is the wisdom that demands a complete and perfect righteousness in God’s holiness, but, turning around in power and mercy, completely provides that perfect righteousness in Christ. And those who receive this gospel of grace praise the wisdom of God as perfect (Luke 7:35)!
Whom do you know that is unimpressed with/rejecting the Lord or His true/biblical people?
Suggested songs: ARP2 “Why Do Gentile Nations Rage?” or TPH404 “The Church’s One Foundation”

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Being Made Useful for Building One Another up in Christ (Family Worship in Eph 4)

Pastor leads his family in today's Hopewell @Home Scripture, Ephesians 4:12–13. Believers need constant doctrinal mending and maintenance, so that we will be useful in reinforcing one another in Christ's thoughts and desires, as He uses us to help each other grow up into Him and upon Him.

The Great Husband Who Listens to His Bride (1Pet 3:7 Prayer Devotional)

Because Jesus is the great Husband, who dwells with His bride according to knowledge, in an understanding way, and listens to her and attends to all her needs. If earthly husbands do not, the Lord Jesus warns that their prayers will be hindered.