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Bible Reading Observations, Day 4

March 26, 2009

I’m now on day 4 of the Horner Bible reading plan, easily reading through 12 chapters each day. It’s great to get brief readings from so many different parts of the Bible and see how they relate to each other.

Here are a few of my observations, from day 3 and day 4 readings. For these days I read the third and fourth chapters of Genesis, Joshua, 1 Kings, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, Hosea, Matthew, Acts, Romans, and 1 Thessalonians.

Genesis 3, the fall, gives the curse on women –“your desire will be for your husband” — and as I’ve learned from a John MacArthur sermon, the “desire” here is the same as in Genesis 4, where Cain is told that sin is crouching at the door and desires to have him: the desire to rule over the husband. Isaiah 3 describes judgement against Israel and a scene where the women rule and control, where the men are weak.

The ideas of judgement and the last days (as in Isaiah and Hosea), and Christ’s return (Acts 3 and 1 Thessalonians 3) are major themes in many of the readings so far. Acts 3 mentions the “times of refreshing” and that Jesus must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as He promised long ago through His holy prophets (Acts 3:21). In 1 Thessalonians the Lord’s coming is often mentioned, as a hopeful and encouraging thing for His people.

Genesis 4 tells the terrible beginnings of sinful mankind, in the first generations after Adam and Eve — murder, deceit.

Hosea 4 shows sin full-blown, thousands of years later, in a people that God says are full of deceit and murder, a situation similar to that in Romans 1, where God gives them over to their sin and depravity; the people despise wisdom and knowledge.

Hosea 4:17 — “Ephraim is joined to idols; leave him alone!” I remember this verse from John MacArthur’s sermon, “A Nation Abandoned by God,” in which he also related it to Romans 1 and God’s wrath against nations.

On the topic of wisdom, Proverbs 4 continues telling the greatness of wisdom. 1 Kings 4 gives an example from history of the Israelites experiencing God’s blessings, with Solomon the king who seeks after wisdom and writes many proverbs and songs.

Romans 4 contains Paul’s discussion of Abraham’s faith, before circumcision, and how Abraham is the father to the uncircumcised, as well as to the circumcised who are also of the faith of Abraham. This ties in with Jim McClarty’s message #107 (Is the Church Israel? Part 2), which I listened to yesterday. Indeed, just reading Romans 4, it makes perfect sense that Abraham is describing two groups — Jews and Gentiles, both the children of Abraham; and Abraham is the father of many nations. But as the text plainly reads, Paul never equates the two groups as being the same, he never says that believing Gentiles are now Jews. As elsewhere Paul talks of both male and female, slave and free, and Jew and Gentile, all enjoying the same salvation in Christ, yet Paul never says that the males and females, or the slaves and free, lose their distinctiveness such that one of the two in each group somehow “becomes” the other.

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