02 May Father Steve’s Bible Study Notes for Day 267 – 272
Notes for Day 267:
Lamentations 5: In Lamentations 5; the community begs for God to see their pain and sorrow.
2 Peter 2: 2 Peter 2 is about the false prophets and their punishment.
Notes for Day 268:
Ezekiel 1-2: Today, we begin with the Book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel is a complex book, and has perplexed readers for centuries. Some Biblical scholars say that there were Jewish traditions that said Ezekiel should only be read by those over 30 years old. Ezekiel, a prophet, is of a priestly lineage. Ezekiel prophesied from 593-571 B.C.; during the time Jerusalem fell to Nebuchadnezzar. The Book of Ezekiel is made up into 4 primary sections: 1.) Chapters 1-24; judgement concerning Judah. 2.) Chapters 25-32; oracles about foreign nations. 3.) Chapters 33-39; restoration discourses. 4.) Chapters 40-48; a vision of the new temple and polity. For those who have attended the Great Vigil of Easter; you will know that one of the lessons read at the Vigil is normally from Ezekiel. There are two options: “A new heart and a new spirit” Ezekiel 36:24-28 – page 290, Book of Common Prayer, and “The valley of dry bones” Ezekiel 37:1-14 – page 291, Book of Common Prayer. In Ezekiel 1; we read about the vision of a chariot. In Ezekiel 2; we read about the vision of the scroll.
2 Peter 3: In the final chapter of 2 Peter; we read about the promise of the Lord’s coming. What do you think about 2 Peter 3:9?; “the Lord is not slow about his promise….not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance”. Do you think the 2nd coming will not happen until all know and have accepted Jesus?
Notes for Day 269:
Ezekiel 3-4: Ezekiel 3, continues with the vision of the scroll. We read that the scroll was eaten, which is most likely a play on words; since scrolls were either made of papyrus, or leather. The scroll as we read in Ezekiel 2:9-10 bears bad news. Most likely, the words of the scroll were to be figuratively eaten. In Ezekiel 3:12-21, we have Ezekiel at the River Chebar. I draw your attention to a familiar phrase in Ezekiel, and we see it again in Ezekiel 3:16; “…the word of the LORD came to me.” This phrase occurs almost 50 times, and emphasizes the private character of the revelations between Ezekiel and God. In Ezekiel 3:16-21; the LORD holds Ezekiel accountable as a prophet. If Ezekiel does not say to the people, what he (God) wants Ezekiel to say to the people – warn them of their wickedness; then Ezekiel will be required to carry out the punishment on the people: “…their blood I will require at your hand.” In Ezekiel 3:22-27, we read about Ezekiel being isolated and silenced. In Ezekiel 4, we read about the siege of Jerusalem. Ezekiel is treated as a “scapegoat” in order to bear the punishment for the house of Israel. God puts cords on Ezekiel and he is made to lie down on his left side for 390 days, and right side for 40 days. The cords are to prevent Ezekiel from turning over. We read that Ezekiel is to drink about 1/6 of a hin of water each day. This would have been about 2/3 quart of water. We then read about what he is to eat. Ezekiel is to then use human dung for fuel to bake barley-cake. Ezekiel, being a priest, says that he has never defiled himself, by doing such acts (cooking with human dung). The LORD then says that Ezekiel can use cow’s dung to prepare his bread.
1 John 1: Today we begin with the Letters of John. Biblical scholars say that 1 John, is more of an essay, or homily, than a letter. It is believed that the author of the 4th Gospel (John) wrote the Letters of John. If this is the case, 1 John was written around 100 A.D. 1 John was written in Ephesus. The historical background of 1 John; points to people who “went out from us”, whom are referred to as antichrist, and liars who deny that Jesus is the Christ, or came in the flesh. The message of 1 John, is to urge the Christians to stay with what they heard from the beginning (1 John 1). In 1 John 1:1-4; we read about the “Word of Life”. In 1 John 1:5-10; we read that God is light. 1 John 1:8-9, should sound familiar. 1 John 1:8-9, is one of the optional sentences at the beginning of the Penitential Order in the Book of Common Prayer (Rite I – page 320; Rite II – page 352).
Notes for Day 270:
Ezekiel 5-6: In Ezekiel 5; we read about a sword against Jerusalem. Ezekiel begins with the LORD telling Ezekiel that he is to take a sharp sword and use it as a barber’s razor and shave off his hair & beard, and divide the hair into thirds and do certain things with the hair. Biblical scholars say that the manipulation of Ezekiel’s hair in three parts is to suggest that no part of Israel will be immune from destruction. In Ezekiel 6; we read about the judgement on the idolatrous Israel.
1 John 2: In 1 John 2:1-3; we read about Christ our Advocate. I draw your attention to 1 John 2:1-3. These verses should sound familiar to you. If you remember from the Holy Eucharist Rite I of the Book of Common Prayer, on page #332, 1 John 2:1-3, is one of the sentences that the priest can give after the Absolution, following Confession. In 1 John 2:7-17; we read about a New Commandment. What is being referred to here? The New Commandment was on the “lips of Jesus”. What do you think of 1 John 2:12-14? Do you see the flow of the three groups of people being addressed; little children, fathers, and young people? In 1 John 2:18-28; we are warned about the Antichrists. We read that the Antichrists are the ones who deny Jesus is the Christ (1 John 2:22). In 1 John 22:18-28 we read that Jesus is the truth!
Notes for Day 271:
Ezekiel 7-8: In Ezekiel 7; we read about the impending disaster on Israel. Ezekiel 7:1-27 is about the ends of Israel. In Ezekiel 7:24-27; we read that the people of the land will suffer; however special attention is devoted to the prominent functionaries (priests, prophet, elders, king, and prince). These people as mentioned are “called out” by their arrogance. In Ezekiel 8; we read about the abominations that are occurring in the temple.
1 John 3: In 1 John 3; we read about who are to be called “Children of God”. In 1 John 3:8; we read that who ever commits sin is a child of the devil. In 1 John 3:11-24; we are called to love one another. We are to not only believe in Christ; but to set the example as Christians by our love. How do we do this? We do this by “truth and action” (1 John 3:18).
Notes for Day 272:
Ezekiel 9-10: In Ezekiel 9 today; we read about the executioners of the idolaters in Jerusalem. In Ezekiel 9:2; we read that six men; came from the direction of the upper gate. Each of these men had a weapon for slaughter in their hand. One of these men was dressed in linen, and he had a writing case at his side. Although we read these executioners as men; Israelite tradition normally attributes these men to minor deities or angels. We read that these men went through the city and marked the foreheads on those who have sighed and groaned over all the abominations that are committed. What this means, is that those who did not turn away from God and were not idolatrous, were marked for salvation. We then read in Ezekiel 9 about how all those who were not marked, were slaughtered; including old men, young men, old and young women, and little children. Even though Ezekiel begged the LORD for this to not happen, the LORD said he would have no pity. What do you make of Ezekiel 9? I see a very strong resemblance to our Lord (Jesus) as the one carrying the writing tablet. I also see a parallel of Ezekiel 9:4 (marking the foreheads) with the act of marking a Baptism candidate with the sign of the cross with Chrism Oil during Baptism. I will refer to page #308 of the Book of Common Prayer: “N., you are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ’s own for ever. Amen”. Ezekiel 10; as much of Ezekiel can be hard to grasp. However, the premise of Ezekiel 10 is to show that God’s glory is leaving Jerusalem.
1 John 4: 1 John 4 is really straight forward: 1.) Any person (spirit) who does not testify that Jesus is from God; that Jesus came from God; is a false prophet, the antichrist. 2.) Whoever knows God, listens to the Christians. 3.) Those who get themselves wrapped up too much into worldly affairs; are not people of God. 4.) God is Love and God abides in those who love others. God also abides in those who confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. 5.) As Christians; yes we are to love others, but we are to also understand that God only abides in those who believe that Jesus is the Incarnate Word of God – God became man in the form of Jesus. The Muslims deny that this is possible.