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The Bible: Day 29/ “Lord Keep Us as the Apple of Your Eye” (Psalm 17:6-12, Mt. 20:1-19, Job 11-14)

Updated: Feb 4

Introduction:


Almighty Creator, we humbly seek Your divine presence, entreating You to hold us as the apple of Your eye. As expressed in Psalm 17:6-12, may Your loving gaze shield us from adversity, guarding us against the challenges surrounding us. Inspired by the parable in Matthew 20:1-19, may Your grace grant us equal measures of Your boundless mercy, regardless of the timing of our journey. In the spirit of Job 11:1-14:22, may our faith endure trials, and through Your wisdom, may we emerge stronger, sustained by Your unwavering care. Amen.


Wisdom/ Reading Psalm 17:6-12


In Psalm 17:6-12, the psalmist seeks divine intervention, expressing confidence in their righteous path. They implore God to listen to their prayers, highlighting their commitment to God's ways and asking for protection against adversaries. The passage emphasizes the psalmist's trust in God's guidance and appeals for divine justice against those who oppose them.


The New Testament/ Reading Matthew 20:1-19


In Matthew 20:1-19, Jesus shares a parable about the kingdom of heaven, illustrating God's generosity and grace. The story involves workers hired at different times throughout the day, yet each receives the same reward, emphasizing God's impartiality and the principle of divine mercy. This passage encourages reflection on God's abundant grace, challenging conventional notions of fairness and highlighting the inclusivity of God's kingdom.



1. God's Generosity and Grace:

- The landowner's repeated hiring throughout the day reflects God's continuous invitation to all people, regardless of their past or present circumstances.

- The equal payment for all workers at the end of the day illustrates God's boundless grace, emphasizing that salvation is not based on merit but on God's generosity.


2. Equality in God's Kingdom:

- The equal payment challenges human notions of fairness, highlighting that God's standards transcend our understanding.

- This teaches that everyone, regardless of when they accept God's call, is equally valued and rewarded in the kingdom.


3. God's Sovereignty and Mercy:

- The landowner's response to the questioning workers reinforces God's sovereignty. He has the right to dispense mercy and blessings as He deems fit.

- This challenges our tendency to compare and judge, emphasizing God's mercy that goes beyond human calculations.


4. The Last Shall Be First:

- The reversal of expectations, where those hired last are paid first, underscores Jesus' teaching that the humble and those considered last in society may be exalted in God's kingdom.

- It encourages humility and challenges worldly notions of success and importance.


5. Call to a Generous Spirit:

- Believers are encouraged to adopt a generous and magnanimous spirit, reflecting God's character in their dealings with others.


- This challenges selfish attitudes and fosters a sense of gratitude for the blessings received.

In summary, Matthew 20:1-19 imparts spiritual lessons about God's generosity, the equality of salvation, sovereignty, the inversion of worldly values, and the call to embrace a generous spirit in our interactions with others.



The Old Testament Reading Job 11:1-14:22


Summary:

In Job 11:1-14:22, Job dialogues with his friends, addressing the profound questions surrounding human suffering and the nature of God's justice. Job's friend Zophar advises him to repent and seek God's mercy, suggesting that righteousness leads to restoration. Job, however, continues to grapple with his suffering, expressing the depths of his despair and questioning the fairness of his afflictions. The dialogue reflects the complex themes of faith, suffering, and the mystery of divine providence, highlighting the human struggle to comprehend the ways of God in the face of adversity.



Job 11:1-20 - Zophar's Response:

1. Limited Understanding of God's Ways:

- Zophar, like Job's other friends, believes in a simplistic understanding of divine justice, assuming that suffering directly correlates with personal sin.

- The spiritual teaching here is a reminder that human understanding of God's ways is limited, and suffering may not always be a direct consequence of personal sin.


Job 12:1-25 - Job's Response:

2. God's Sovereignty and Wisdom:

- Job acknowledges God's sovereignty and wisdom, highlighting that God has power over all creation.

- The spiritual lesson emphasizes recognizing God's authority and wisdom, even in the face of personal suffering.


Job 13:1-28 - Job's Desire for God's Presence:

3. Seeking God in Adversity:

- Job expresses a deep desire to present his case before God and emphasizes the importance of having a personal relationship with the divine.

- The spiritual teaching here is a call to seek God in times of adversity, fostering a trusting and intimate connection with the Almighty.


Job 14:1-22 - Reflection on Mortality:

4. Briefness of Life:

- Job reflects on the brevity of human life, drawing attention to the transient nature of existence.

- This section encourages contemplation on the fragility of life and the need for a deeper understanding of the eternal perspective.


5. Hope Amidst Despair:

- Job expresses a glimmer of hope, suggesting the possibility of God's favor even while suffering.

- The spiritual lesson is a reminder that hope can endure in the face of despair, trusting in God's redemptive and merciful nature.


In summary, Job 11:1-14:22 conveys spiritual teachings on the limitations of human understanding, the sovereignty and wisdom of God, the importance of seeking God in adversity, contemplation on mortality, and finding hope amidst despair. The Book of Job prompts reflection on faith, trust, and the mysterious ways of the Almighty.





In Christ, Love Jared W. Campbell







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