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The Bible Day 36: "Listen To God" (Proverbs 4;1-9, Matthew 24:1-31, Job 35-37)

Introduction: 

Listening to God is a central theme in the scriptures, woven through Proverbs 4:1-9, Matthew 24:1-31, and Job 35-37. In Proverbs, the call to "get wisdom" and "cherish understanding" emphasizes the profound importance of aligning one's life with divine guidance, promising praise and honor as rewards. In Matthew 24, Jesus' discourse on the signs of the end times stresses the significance of attentiveness to God's teachings, providing insights into the unfolding of God's plan and urging believers to be spiritually prepared. Job 35-37, featuring Elihu's speeches, explores the delicate balance between human suffering, divine justice, and the crucial need to listen to God humbly amid life's challenges. These passages collectively highlight the transformative power, eternal significance, and spiritual rewards of attentively listening to God's wisdom and guidance.


Breakdown of Proverbs 4:1-9 (NIV):

1. Verse 1:

 - This verse emphasizes listening to parental guidance and gaining understanding from it.


 - Scripture example: Ephesians 6:1-4, where kids are taught and instructed to obey their parents in the Lord, for this is right.


2. Verse 2-4: 

 - Here, the father emphasizes the value of his teachings and the importance of holding onto them.


 - Scripture example: Deuteronomy 6:6-7, where parents are instructed to impress God's commandments on their children.


3. Verse 5-7: 

 - This passage underscores the importance of wisdom and understanding, which provide protection and guidance in life.

 - Scripture example: Proverbs 3:13-15, which extols the value of wisdom as more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.


4. Verse 8-9: 

 - Here, the benefits of embracing wisdom include honor and adornment.

 - Scripture example: Proverbs 3:16, where wisdom is likened to a tree of life, bringing long life, riches, and honor.


These verses from Proverbs 4 highlight the importance of seeking wisdom, listening to parental instruction, and cherishing teachings for a fruitful and honorable life.



Break down Matthew 24:1-31 (NIV) and include spiritual teachings, understanding, scripture examples, and parallels:


1. Verses 1-2:

- Jesus predicts the temple's destruction, symbolizing the end of an era and the beginning of a new covenant. (AD 70)


- Scripture example: Luke 21:5-6, where Jesus similarly foretells the temple's destruction.


2. Verses 3-14: In these verses, Jesus outlines signs of the end times, including wars, famines, earthquakes, persecution, and the gospel's spread.


- Spiritual teaching: Believers are reminded to endure persecution, remain faithful, and continue spreading the gospel despite hardships.


- Scripture example: Mark 13:5-13, where Jesus gives similar warnings about the signs of the end times.


3. Verses 15-22: Jesus speaks of the "abomination that causes desolation" and warns about the tribulation to come, advising believers to flee when they see these signs.


- Spiritual teaching: Believers are encouraged to be discerning and prepared for tribulation, trusting in God's provision and protection.


- Scripture example: Daniel 9:27 and Daniel 12:11, which prophesy about the abomination that causes desolation.


4. Verses 23-28: Jesus warns against false messiahs and false prophets who will deceive many during the end times, emphasizing the importance of discernment.


- Spiritual teaching: Believers are urged to test the spirits and not be led astray by false teachings or signs.


- Scripture example: 1 John 4:1, where believers are instructed to test the spirits to see whether they are from God.


5. Verses 29-31: Jesus describes the celestial signs that will accompany his return, signaling the culmination of the end times and the gathering of his elect.


- Spiritual teaching: Believers are encouraged to remain vigilant and await Christ's return with anticipation and readiness.


- Scripture example: Revelation 1:7, which speaks of Christ's return with the clouds, and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, describing the gathering of believers to meet the Lord in the air.


In Matthew 24:1-31, Jesus provides insight into the signs of the end times, encourages believers to endure persecution, remain faithful, discern false teachings, and await his return with anticipation. These teachings are echoed throughout the New Testament, emphasizing the importance of spiritual readiness and perseverance in the face of tribulation.


Old Testament Reading Job 35-37


Job 35-37 in the NIV Bible contains Elihu's speeches, where he addresses Job's complaints. Elihu emphasizes God's righteousness and asserts that suffering may serve a disciplinary purpose. The theodicy presented involves the idea that God's justice is beyond human comprehension and that suffering can refine individuals.


Elihu's discourse reflects a mixture of spiritual insight and potential arrogance. While he stresses God's greatness, there's a risk of self-righteousness. It's essential to approach these chapters with discernment, acknowledging Elihu's limited understanding and potential misjudgment.


The psychology of Job 35-37 reveals Job's struggle with despair and the frustration of his friends' inadequate explanations. Elihu's words may evoke a mix of conviction and skepticism in Job, intensifying his inner turmoil.


Listening to God is a key theme. Elihu urges Job to heed God's voice amid suffering, emphasizing the importance of humility and trust. The chapters underscore the necessity of seeking divine guidance rather than relying solely on human reasoning.


In summary, Job 35-37 explores the tension between human suffering, God's justice, and the importance of humbly listening to God amid challenges. It prompts reflection on the limits of human understanding and the need for faith in God's sovereign plan.


In Christ, love Jared W. Campbell







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