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The Bible: Day 30 “Does God Answer All Prayers?” (Psalm 17-13-15, Matthew 20:20-34, Job 15-18)

Introduction:

Exploring whether God answers all prayers by examining specific verses can provide insight. Psalm 17:13-15 reflects a confident trust in God's response, while Matthew 20:20-34 highlights instances of answered prayers, emphasizing faith. In contrast, Job 15-18 presents a complex narrative where Job's prayers aren't immediately answered, showcasing the refinement nature of divine responses.


Wisdom Reading Psalm 17:13-15


Psalm 17:13-15 is a portion of a prayer attributed to David, expressing his reliance on God's protection against adversaries. The verses convey David's plea for divine intervention and assurance of God's justice. Let's delve into the breakdown:


- Verses 13-14:

David describes his adversaries as people like a lion, ready to tear him apart. The vivid imagery, such as likening enemies to a lion eager to devour, conveys the intensity of David's perceived threat.


- Teaching: This emphasizes the severity of David's situation and the urgent need for God's intervention in the face of imminent danger.


- Verse 15:

David shifts his focus from the external threat to his righteousness. He expresses confidence in God's judgment, stating that when he awakens, he will be satisfied with God's likeness.


- Teaching: This verse highlights David's trust in God's fairness and the ultimate vindication of the righteous. It underscores the theme of seeking refuge in God's justice.


In summary, Psalm 17:13-15 reflects David's cry for protection against fierce adversaries, using vivid imagery to convey the intensity of the threat. It also emphasizes his trust in God's judgment, anticipating satisfaction in God's likeness.


New Testament Reading: Matthew 20:20-34


Matthew 20:20-34 encompasses two distinct episodes: the request of Zebedee's sons (James and John) for positions of honor in the kingdom and Jesus' healing of two blind men. Let's break down the scripture with teachings and understanding:


- Verses 20-28:

The mother of James and John approaches Jesus, seeking prominent roles for her sons. Jesus responds by teaching about servant leadership, emphasizing that positions of honor are not granted based on authority but through service to others. This underscores the importance of humility and selflessness in the Kingdom of God.


- Teaching: Jesus challenges the disciples' worldly understanding of authority, encouraging them to serve others rather than seeking positions for personal glory.


- Verses 29-34:

As Jesus departs from Jericho, two blind men cry out to Him for mercy. Despite the crowd's rebuke, Jesus stops and heals them, emphasizing the importance of faith. This healing demonstrates Jesus's compassion and accessibility to those in need.


- Teaching: The healing of the blind men illustrates the power of faith and persistence in approaching God for mercy and healing.


Regarding whether God answers all prayers, it's essential to note that God's answers may not always align with our expectations. God may respond with a yes, no, or wait, and His answers are based on His perfect wisdom and understanding. The teachings in Matthew 20:20-34 highlight the significance of humility, service, faith, and persistence in prayer, emphasizing that our motives and attitudes matter in our interactions with God.


In summary, Matthew 20:20-34 teaches about servant leadership, humility, the importance of faith, and God's compassionate response to those who seek His mercy. While God may not always answer prayers as expected, the focus remains on trusting in His wisdom and seeking a deeper understanding of His will.


Old Testament Reading - Job 15-18


The Book of Job, chapters 15-18, captures a series of dialogues between Job and his friends, primarily focusing on the speeches of Eliphaz. Let's break down these chapters and explore the spiritual teachings:


- Introduction Summary:

In these chapters, Eliphaz, one of Job's friends, responds to Job's previous lamentation. Eliphaz questions Job's righteousness, implying that his suffering may result from wrongdoing. Job, in turn, expresses frustration at his friends' lack of understanding and insists on his innocence.


- Scripture Breakdown with Spiritual Teachings:

- Job 15:

Eliphaz accuses Job of speaking empty words and challenges his claim of innocence. He argues that the wicked suffer, and Job should repent to alleviate his suffering.


- Teaching: Eliphaz's perspective reflects a common belief that suffering directly results from personal sin. However, this simplistic view doesn't consider the complexity of human suffering.


- Job 16:

Job responds to Eliphaz, expressing his grief and frustration. He asserts his innocence and seeks comfort from God.

- Teaching: Job's response reflects the human experience of grappling with pain and seeking solace in God during challenging times.


- Job 17:

Job continues to lament his plight, expressing his despair and the diminishing hope for any positive resolution.

- Teaching: Job's lamentation highlights prayer's raw and honest nature, acknowledging that bringing our deepest struggles and doubts before God is okay.


- Job 18:

Bildad, another friend of Job, offers a second response, reiterating that the wicked suffer, emphasizing the consequences of wrongdoing.

- Teaching: Bildad's perspective echoes the common belief in retribution theology but falls short of understanding the complexities of suffering.


- Tackling the Question of Prayer:

The Book of Job doesn't directly address whether God answers all prayers. However, it raises the broader theme of wrestling with God in suffering. Job's honest and bold prayers underscore the importance of bringing our struggles and questions to God, even when answers are not immediately apparent.


In summary, Job 15-18 portrays the ongoing dialogue between Job and his friends, exploring themes of suffering, innocence, and the complexities of prayer. The spiritual teachings emphasize the need for humility in understanding the reasons behind suffering and the importance of honest communication with God, even during deep struggles.


In Christ, love Jared W. Campbell














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