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Bible Study Notes on Proverbs 3 – 20170326

Writing

Bible Study Notes

Proverbs 3:2  “…length of days and long life…”
A long, peaceful life is a recurring theme.  Contrasted with the results of the curse, working by the sweat of your brow.

5-6  “Trust in the LORD…lean not on your own…acknowledge Him…”
Not our ways, but His.  Not sure if this is an actual promise or just an affirmation that God will direct us if we seek Him and His ways.

7  “Do not be wise in your own eyes…”
Goes along with the last thought.  Don’t think you have all the answers.  Always take the issue to the Lord and see what He says.  Ancient Israelites ran into that when they went up against Ai.

9  “…the firstfruits of all your increase…”
The word tithe isn’t mentioned, but that’s the idea.  The first of what God gives to you, return to Him.  Shows that you understand it all belongs to Him, you are just a steward.

12  “…whom the LORD loves He corrects…”
Proof of relationship.  He doesn’t chasten those who aren’t His.

13-14  “…wisdom…her proceeds are better than the profits of silver…”
Wisdom gives us the ability to use whatever resources we have for the most profit.  Whether it’s finances or time, wisdom allows us to make the most of everything.

27  “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due…”
How to treat others.  I’ve run into this when working for others.  They sometimes act as though it doesn’t matter when they pay.  Respect for others and their possessions.

31-35  Contrast of the wicked and the upright.  The Lord will uphold the righteous, but will curse the wicked.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Proverbs 2 – 20170324

Writing

Bible Study Notes

Proverbs 2:1-9  Parallel of James 1:5.  Sound wisdom comes from God Himself.  If you ask and seek for it, He will provide it.  It is not the foolishness of earth or of man, but true wisdom and understanding.

10-19  “…Discretion will preserve you; Understanding will keep you…”
Wisdom is like having a shield to protect us from the evil we encounter.  Keeps us from being influenced by others who practice evil, both men and women.  Be careful who your friends are.

16  “To deliver you from the immoral woman…flatters with her words”
Wonder if Solomon finally understood the dangers of giving in to his desire for women.  He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines.  They eventually were his downfall as he allowed them to pull him into idol worship.  Certainly he should have stayed with God’s way of one man for one woman.  But if he had insisted that all of his wives and concubines worship God, it would have been better for him and for them.

17  “…forsakes the companion of her youth…”
Interesting that each time I read of an adulteress, it is always one who is married, not single.  There was an understanding that the vast majority of the women would be married.  Not that way now, but I think if we had that mentality today, that each person would eventually marry, there could be more of an idea of being faithful to the spouse we would have someday.  Some do this.  Wish the idea would grow.

21-22  “For the upright will dwell in the land, And the blameless will remain in it; But the wicked will be cut off from the earth,
And the unfaithful will be uprooted from it.”
Contrast of the upright and unfaithful.  Reminds me of the sense of immediacy my Bible teach spoke of.  Sounds like this will happen immediately, but it’s actually a process with a final result.  Bad things still happen to good people, and evil ones seem to live forever.  But the ultimate picture shows the legacy of both sides.  God will have the last word.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Proverbs 1 – 20170322

Writing

Bible Study Notes

Proverbs 1:1  “…proverbs of Solomon the son of David…”
No reason to think that Solomon didn’t write them, although there are a couple which are ascribed to others.  Psalms is the same way.  Most were written by David so he is the one mentioned as the author.  Since it is a collection and not a single book or letter, multiple authors while recognizing a single majority one isn’t a problem.

2-6  Reason for the writing.

7  “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…”
Acknowledging Almighty God is the first step in acquiring wisdom and knowledge.  To accept the fact that we are not the most important person.  He is the only one, true God, and He deserves all praise, glory, and honor.

10-19  “…everyone who is greedy for gain…”
Interesting that the actions of the sinners is that they will attack and kill others to gain what others have, as opposed to other sins, which eventually leads to their own destruction.  Greed holds no respect or compassion for others, only the desire to gain what is wanted.  Becomes an all encompassing obsession.

20-33  The call of wisdom.  Wisdom is all around, but many will not listen.  When destruction comes to those who wouldn’t listen, it will be too late.  Thoughts of what should have been done usually berate the mind, all because actions were taken in haste without thought of consequence.  Contrasted with those who will listen.  They may encounter hardship, but their relationship with God, the author of wisdom, ensures their continued safety and security.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Acts 28 – 20170318

Writing

Bible Study Notes

Acts 28:1  “…the island was called Malta”
Small island south of Sicily.  They thought they were totally lost, but apparently God kept them on course even through all the mess.

4  “…No doubt this man is a murderer…”
Islanders must have believed in Karma.  Bad things must happen to bad people.

5  “…shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm”
Not sure why the miracle here.  God could just as easily have the snake ignore Paul all together.  May have been an introduction for Paul and the Gospel.  The people believed in Karma or fate.  Now they have seen obvious power, and Paul will be able to tell them about the God who has that power.

7-10  “…Paul…healed him…rest of those…who had diseases…were healed…honored us…provided such things as were necessary”
Miracle opened a door for ministry to the people of Malta.  One wonders why God didn’t do this at other places.  He meets people where they are.  Some respond to logic and reason, others to action and emotion.  Those of Malta were of the latter.  God got their attention.

11  “After three months…”
Wintered on the island.

11  “…an Alexandrian ship…”
Another ship probably bringing grain to Rome.  How fortunate that it was wintered on the island waiting to go on to Rome.  Almost like someone planned it.

13-14  “…we came to Puteoli, where we found brethren…”
The Gospel had already spread to Italy.  Exact source is unknown.  I’m sure Paul wasn’t surprised, but it still reminds us that God doesn’t send us places.  He is already there and bids us join Him.

15  “…When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.”
Finally saw the end of this stage of his journey.  Like crossing the finish line.

21-22  “…We neither received letters from Judea concerning you…we desire to hear from you…”
Interesting that the Jews in Jerusalem didn’t send word to Rome about Paul.  Others had gone from outer areas down to Jerusalem to oppose him, and the ones in Jerusalem were still trying to kill him.  These Jews seem to be open minded.  They’ve heard of the Christians and know that they are spoken against, but they don’t know exactly what it’s all about.

24  “…some were persuaded…some disbelieved”
At least they gave him a hearing.

29  “…the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves”
Sounds like those who heard and believed continued to debate with those who didn’t.  I’m sure Paul referring them to the scriptures really fueled the discussion.  At least he tried to reach the Jews first, those who by birth were supposed to be the recipients of the promise.  Too bad they chose to not believe.

30  “…Paul dwelt two whole years…”
Unknown as to why it took two years or what transpired legally during that time.  Certainly it was in God’s plan to provide Paul with ample opportunities to communicate the Gospel.  Commentaries suggest the time it would take for his accusers to reach Rome if they were needed plus the reputation Rome had for delaying such matters may have been part of the reasons.  Tradition says that Paul eventually had his hearing and was set free.  He supposedly traveled as far as Spain before being detained by Rome again at some point and placed in prison.  He is supposed to have been executed by the Romans.  The Spirit has gone from arriving on the scene to overcoming every obstacle man could create to opening the door for the entire world to hear the good news.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Acts 27 – 20170316

Writing

Bible Study Notes

Acts 27:1  “…we should sail to Italy…”
Luke is once again going on the journey with Paul.  I’m sure he hasn’t been in the barracks with him for the last couple of years, but was close by keeping a check on him.  Now that Paul is finally being sent to Rome, Luke joins him.

2  “…a ship of Adramyttium…”
The ship was from Adramyttium, undoubtedly on a cargo run.  Adramyttium was a port on the northeast coast of the Aegean sea.  Commentary suggests the centurion probably hoped to catch another vessel going to Rome at one of the ports on the way to Adramyttium.

2  “…Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, was with us.”
Had another companion besides Luke.  According to chapter 20, seems Aristarchus accompanied Paul to Jerusalem.  So much time has passed since that voyage, wonder if he has been in Israel or has traveled back and forth.

4  “…we sailed under the shelter of Cyprus, because the winds were contrary”
Sailed up and around the north side of Cyprus instead of heading directly out into the Mediterranean.

6  “…centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing to Italy…”
What he was looking for.  Alexandria, Egypt.  Commentary says Egypt supplied grain for Rome.  Sailors will later throw the wheat overboard to lighten the ship.

7-8  “…arrived with difficulty off Cnidus…sailed under the shelter of Crete off Salmone…came to a place called Fair Havens…”
Cnidus is west northwest of Myra on the Asian coast.  They would have sailed north of Rhodes to pass it as Luke mentions.  One of the maps I’ve been checking missed this part, has them going south.  Have found another which includes this part.  They stayed close to the continent due to adverse winds.  From off Cnidus they went southwest to Crete and sailed around the southeastern coast to Fair Havens.

9  “…sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over…”
Obviously a reference to time of year.  Had to check on this.  Commentary says the Fast of the Day of Atonement putting them at the end of September.  Apparently an unsafe time to try to sail as it was nearing winter.

12  “…majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete…”
Paul advised staying in Fair Havens to winter there.  The Centurion decided to listen to others.  They were trying to get to another port on Crete which looks to be just a bit to the west.  Plans were to stay close to the coast and get there to winter.

14  “…tempestuous head wind arose, called Euroclydon”
Plans didn’t work out.  Commentary says the name of this wind was literally east-northeast.  This would have pushed them out away from the coast into the Mediterranean, which is what happened.

16-17  “…secured the skiff with difficulty.  When they had taken it on board…”
Took some digging.  Apparently was towing a small skiff or boat behind the ship.  Pulled it on board to secure it.  Commentary says by this time it probably had taken on some water and was heavier than normal.

17  “…the Syrtis Sands, they struck sail…”
Area off the African coast known for shoals, submerged ridge, shallower area.  If they were pushed that far south, they could get caught on them, so they dropped the sail and just let the ship be pushed where it went.

21  “…you should have listened to me…”
Sounds like Paul is rubbing it in, saying I told you so.  But he’s making the point that while they didn’t listen to him before, they should do so now.

23  “…an angel of the God…”
Messenger of God.

24  “…God has granted you all those who sail with you…”
They’ll lose the ship, but all persons will be saved.

27  “…fourteenth night had come…”
Been tossed about for two weeks.  No wonder they were hopeless.

37  “…we were two hundred and seventy-six persons…”
Large ship.  Sometimes forget the size of the ships mentioned in scripture.  Have in mind the smaller fishing boats of the gospels.

42  “…plan was to kill the prisoners…”
Would not risk losing the prisoners by letting them escape.  Punishment was probably death.

43  “…they all escaped safely to land”
Centurion may have thought more of Paul by this time due to what had happened, or it may have been Paul’s Roman citizenship.  Either way, he appears to have believed what Paul said about all being saved, and they were.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Acts 26 – 20170315

Bible Study Notes

Acts 26:2  “I think myself happy…” Commentaries wrote at length that Paul wasn’t being flattering or complementary, but just stating the facts regarding Agrippa’s background.  I don’t think he would have been untruthful in his statements, but I also think he was wise enough to grease the wheels when it was . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Acts 26 – 20170315

Bible Study Notes on Acts 25 – 20170310

Bible Study Notes

Acts 25:3  “…while they lay in ambush…” Totally amazed at the corruptness of the Jewish council.  Paul has been in custody in Caesarea for over two years, and they are still trying to kill him.  New governor comes to town, and they try to implicate him in murdering Paul.

7  “…the . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Acts 25 – 20170310

Bible Study Notes on Acts 24 – 20170309

Bible Study Notes

Acts 24:1  “…Ananias the high priest…orator named Tertullus…” Surprised that Ananias came himself.  I can see some of the elders and a spokesman, Tertullus, but I would have thought the High Priest would stay in Jerusalem and not be bothered with issues such as this.  Commentaries suggest Tertullus was trained in . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Acts 24 – 20170309

Bible Study Notes on Acts 23 – 20170308

Bible Study Notes

Note:  Paul is going to try to make his defense before the Jewish council, but they aren’t going to listen.

Acts 23:1  “…I have lived in all good conscience before God…” Paul lived according to the law before his conversion, and he has lived according to what Christ said since.  Even . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Acts 23 – 20170308

Bible Study Notes on Acts 22 – 20170306

Bible Study Notes

Note:  Paul’s defense to the mob at Jerusalem.

Acts 22:3  “…brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel…” Paul may have been born outside Israel, but he was able to grow up and have his education in Jerusalem.  He also studied under Gamaliel, one of the Jews’ most respected . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Acts 22 – 20170306