Bible Journaling

Journaling: Job 25-28

June 27, 2021 • R. Scott Jarrett • Job 25, Job 26, Job 27, Job 28

God’s exhaustive sovereignty (rule/control) and supreme power is experienced by all creatures in heaven and on earth (25:1-3). God’s transcendence has caused some to believe that God’s view of things is different (qualitatively) to ours (even Scripture presents a condescension of what is actually true or accurate) (25:4-6; “One of the fundamental postulates of [liberal] theory, is the claim that God cannot reveal truth to us. And even if God could speak, humans are considered incapable of understanding whatever God might be attempting to say. [According to Protestant Liberalism], God’s inability to speak is [due to] His transcendence. This radical otherness of God means, among other things, that the human mind is incapable of comprehending the divine mind. Once this point is granted, it follows that the word of God can never be the communication of truth; divine revelation can never contain a cognitive content that can be apprehended by the human mind [qualitatively]. [As such] no revelation is propositional [or establishing accurate, reliable truth. The Bible is instead nothing more than divine condescension; e.g. Friedrich Schleiermacher[1]].” – Ronald Nash, The Word Of God And The Mind Of Man). The value of our “counsel” (or verbal “help”) of the needy (those w/ “no power” or “no strength” or “no wisdom”) will always be determined by: 1) the source of that help/counsel (“with whose help have [we] uttered words, and whose breath has come out from [us]?”) (26:1-4; 2Co 10:5; Col 1:28, 3:16 “warning/admonishing” = To give strong counsel for the cessation of inappropriate behavior), 2) its ability to give comfort in light of God’s exhaustive sovereignty and power (26:1-4 w/5-10 [exhaustive sovereign rule/control], 6-14 [supreme power; “Rahab” = The proud one, Satan – see v13, “the fleeing serpent”; See also 9:13-14]). The Bible presents accurate astronomical facts thousands of years (3k?) before such facts could be known scientifically (26:7 “He stretches the north [the stars in the space above/to the “true north” of us] over the void [literally, “nothing” = The stars hang in space with nothing holding them up- Isa 40:22] and hangs the earth on nothing” = Like the stars, the earth also hangs on “nothing”; 26:10 “He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters” = The earth is a “circle” or sphere [versus flat which was the view of ancient people], when viewed from space – or “the boundary between light and darkness”; Science only confirmed this in 1957 through the soviet launch and orbit of Sputnik). The righteous are as bold as a lion and as revealing as the light when it comes to maintaining and defending their “integrity” or “righteousness” (27:1-6 [“my heart does not reproach me for any of my days”] = I know of nothing against me; Pro 28:1; Joh 3:20-21). It is not wrong for us to: 1) desire that God stand against those who continue to stand against us (i.e. those who are “oppressors” – v13) when our actions or lives are righteous (27:7-8), 2) warn those who are currently standing against us (though we are righteous) as to what God promises will be their “portion” or “heritage…from the Almighty” if they continue (27:9-23). The precious possession of true wisdom and understanding: 1) cannot be arduously mined out of the earth as other “precious thing(s)” (28:1-12), 2) cannot be purchased by the earth’s other “precious thing(s)” (28:15-19), 3) is otherworldly or not found in General Revelation (28:13-14, 20-22; Jam 3:17), 4) resides with God as demonstrated by His control and care over Creation (28:23-27; Pro 8), 5) is found in the “fear of the Lord” and “turn(ing) away from evil.” (28:28; Pro 1:7, 3:7; Ecc 12:13). [1] Considered the “Father of Modern Liberalism”, Friedrich Schleiermacher was also a “Father or Modern Evangelicalism” based on his views of the Old Testament. He regarded them as: 1) promoting legalism, 2) of no use to Christians (denying Jesus and the apostles’ use as setting any precedent), 3) being replaced by the New Testament (rather than the NT being viewed as an upgrade). In the words of Gregg Allison, “Friedrich Schleiermacher relegated the Old Testament to secondary status. He noted the common consensus among Christians that a great difference exists between the Old and New Testaments, and he denied that Christian maturity could be helped even by the Prophets and the Psalms. He asserted that when Christians give heed to the Old Testament, their Christianity is infected by legalism and they can find little support for Christian doctrines. Furthermore, Schleiermacher denied that the use of the Old Testament by Christ and the apostles was a precedent set by them for Christians to follow; indeed he spoke of the ‘gradual retirement’ of the Old Testament as the New Testament appeared and proposed that the ‘real meaning’ of the facts would be clearer if the Old Testament followed the New as an appendix.” (Historical Theology).

Journaling: Job 21-24

June 13, 2021 • R. Scott Jarrett • Job 21, Job 22, Job 23, Job 24

Righteous arguments allow all parties involved to respond/be heard (21:1-3 = Allow for my response, then you can continue with your mocking of me; Consider this applies even to God – 38:1-2, 40:1-2, 6-8). It is “empty nothings” (“delusion” = A belief that contradicts reality; Jer 10:3 [NAS]) or “falsehood” to counsel or “comfort” (21:34) those who follow God (most especially those who are suffering – 21:5-6) with the idea that “the wicked” or “evil man”(21:7, 16-17, 28, 30; i.e. those who “say to God” [21:14-15]) : 1) never experiences health, happiness, safety and prosperity (21:7, 9-10, 12-13, 17-18, 20-21 = When they do suffer, they don’t seem to mind or be bothered by it; 21:16, 22 “the counsel of the wicked is far from me…Will any teach God knowledge seeing that He judges those who are on high?” = I do not understand God’s knowledge/wisdom it is beyond me -especially as it relates to the wicked), 2) never produces offspring or descendants who are healthy, happy, safe and prospering (21:8, 11, 19), 3) can be readily identified simply by the state or end of their earthly life (21:23-26 w/27-34, 24:18-25 = Their lives end the same as everybody else) (See also [Pro 10:2-3, 7, 9, 24-25, 27-31; Psa 37:1-38; Ecc 8:12-14, 9:2-3; Psa 73:1-15] w/Psa 73:16-26 and Ecc 12:13-14 = The perennial distinction between the righteous and the wicked is in regard to their eternal futures). God doesn’t need us to be righteous, we need us to be righteous (22:1-3 = God does not profit or “gain” anything from us, even when we are “wise” or “make [our] ways blameless”; “pleasure” = Even in this respect, there is no gain/profit to God. He was perfectly happy before He created us. To believe otherwise is to believe that God was/is imperfect, incomplete – or needs us [or our good] for His own good; Psa 8:4). God brings temporal judgments on people as a means of promoting fear (of Him) and wisdom/righteousness (in us) (22:1-4; Isa 26:9; Pro 1:7). Evil, reckless slander (22:6-9, 15-20; 22:18 “the counsel of the wicked is far from me” = Eliphaz is accusing Job of denying that he has been receiving/believing wicked counsel even though God had “filled his house with good things”) is the result of the Evangelical/Calvinist (Eliphaz is the insufferable Evangelical-Calvinist – 4:17-21, 15:14-016) assumption that: 1) we are totally depraved and therefore incapable of even faithfulness (we instead sin/commit idolatry a million times a day [e.g. John Calvin]) (22:5), 2) our refusal to acknowledge our total depravity or God’s knowledge of our uncontrollable idolatry/sinning is the reason so many “snares”, “terror” and “darkness” surround us (22:10-14), 3) humbling ourselves to and agreeing that we are totally depraved/possessing no righteousness in ourselves is the key to God blessing us, answering our prayers or delivering us (22:21-30; 22:23-24 “if you remove injustice far from your tents, if you lay gold in the dust, and gold of Ophir among the stones of the torrent-bed, then the Almighty will be your gold and your precious silver…For when they are humbled you say, ‘It is because of pride; but He saves the lowly. He delivers even the one who is not innocent’” = Thinking you are “innocent” or you possess any moral value [“gold”] is the problem. God delivers/saves those who condemn themselves [who are “humbled”] as no better than anybody else and view Him as their only moral value [“gold”]). When the righteous experience extreme suffering their righteous complaints can: 1) become impatient – even defiant (21:4 “Is my complaint against man? [IOW: Am I complaining as a guilty man? No], Why should I not [then] be impatient?” = I am desperately seeking for God to give me an answer as to why I am suffering so much though I am righteous; See notes/discussion on chapter 9; Also see Psa 55:17, 64:1, 23:1-3, 16-17), 2) seem overly confident or arrogant (23:4-10), 3) communicate that they are starting to lose hope that being righteous changes anything in relation to what God does (21:5-6 “I am dismayed”, 23:11-15, 24:1 = Why are the wicked not immediately judged [“Why are not times of judgment kept by the Almighty?”] and the righteous not immediately delivered [“Why do those who know Him never see His days?”] w/24:2-17 [“poor” = The righteous]).

Journaling: Job 17-20

May 23, 2021 • R. Scott Jarrett • Job 19, Job 20, Job 17, Job 18

Slander (Def. = false accusations that damage another’s reputation): 1) can cause its victim to lose hope for living (if he “dwells” on it) (17:1-2, 11-16), 2) can retard/inhibit justice (17:3-4), 3) will bring a curse on the children of those who do it (17:5), 4) can make other people despise us (17:6), 5) can severely affect the physical health of its victims (17:7), 6) will incite the “upright” (or “righteous”) to take action (17:8-9), 7) reveals the stupidity/foolishness of those who do it (17:10 w/18:3). The curse of stupidity is: 1) you don’t think you are stupid (18:1-4), 2) you lack precision or the ability to see other possible explanations (18:5-10, 20 [“west…east” = Everybody sees you are guilty/evil], 21 = No other explanation than you are unrighteous/do not know God), 3) you think you know what you don’t have the evidence/witnesses to know/prove (19:4 “my error remains with myself” = No witnesses; Bildad’s evidence is circumstantial yet he remains confident in his condemnation – 18:11-19 [All part of Job’s experiences] w/19:5 “you…make my disgrace an argument against me” = “B/C I have been disgraced, you think I must therefore be guilty of sin”),. Suffering disgrace, abandonment from friends and loved ones – even deficiency and disaster: 1) is not reason enough to condemn that person as wicked without ourselves being condemned (19:1-5, 28 [“the root of the matter is found in him” = We can judge what we cannot see or without proof in the actions], 29), 2) is one of the ways God can test the righteous (19:6-12 = Disgrace, 13-19 = Abandonment, 20 = Deficiency and disaster; 2Ti 3:12; 1Co 4:9-13; Mat 27:27-44 w/Phi 2:5-8), 3) should illicit mercy and compassion from our friends when there is no evidence of wrongdoing (19:21-22), 4) never causes the (truly) righteous to doubt God’s righteousness and salvation (19:23-27). Job believed in a future: 1) salvation/savior for the righteous (19:25), 2) resurrection (19:26-27). Only the fool thinks the wicked never enjoy long-lasting: 1) happiness or “joy” (20:1-9), 2) financial or physical prosperity (20:10-21), 3) security or safety (20:22-29 in contrast to the wise observance of Job – 21:1-13 w/34).

Journaling: Job 13-16

March 28, 2021 • R. Scott Jarrett • Job 13, Job 14, Job 15, Job 16

If we want to “speak” as God’s “physicians” or counselors to others then we need: 1) to understand more of God’s truth than them (13:1-3), 2) a right application of God’s truth and a right diagnosis of the person we are dealing w/ (13:4), 3) to realize the wisdom of silence (or saying nothing when we are not sure what to say) (13:5), 4) to avoid speaking false or deceitful words (13:6-7), 5) to never be partial in our judgment (13:8-11; how Job’s friends were being partial = They were accusing him of wrong w/o the necessary evidence. It was instead based on assumption), 6) to present legitimate support for what we say (13:12; Deu 19:15). If we are going to complain to God then: 1) we need to be ready to accept the possibility of his rebuke and additional consequences (13:13), 2) we had better be sure we are not the “godless” but those “in the right” (13:14-18), 3) that means we have already successfully defended our position (or had our position vetted) w/others (13:19), 4) we should seek not only a reprieve from the pain and suffering (13:20-21) but “to know” whether our current pain and suffering is due to sin or something else (13:22-28). A person who is unsure about the reality of life after death (14:11-14a) can see: 1) no point to judgment in this life given not only the shortness and troubles already inherent to life, but also the inevitability of sin (14:1-6), 2) more hope in being a tree (14:7-10), 3) that life after death gives not only purpose to their suffering in the present (i.e. paying for their sin), but also something to look forward to in the future (i.e. a new life – or “number[ing] [of their] steps” free of their former sins and troubles) (14:14b-17; *CONSIDER the motivation of the resurrection in Scripture and its evangelistic edge – e.g. Act 23:6; contra 1Co 15:32; Phi 3:11; 1Pe 1:3), 4) their current situation as a reason to feel sorry for themselves (14:18-22). Considering a person’s place in redemptive history is important to correctly interpreting their words or God’s message through them (e.g. 14:11-14a; Job most likely lived after the Noahic flood but before Abraham or the Old Covenant. Hence no mention of them or things related to them; In re: to the Noahic flood see 22:16 – “swept away by the flood”). The difference between the “wise man” and the fool is the former has words backed by evidence and able to make a difference whereas the latter possesses only “windy knowledge” (i.e. sounds good/smart but bears no support; speculation) and “unprofitable talk” (or “words that do no good”) (15:1-3). The reason people make a practice of slandering and lying (5b- “the tongue of the crafty”) is because they: 1) do not truly “fear…God” (i.e. seek to respect and obey Him) or spend time attempting to understand what He says (i.e. “meditation before God”) (15:4-6), 2) are unteachable, believing they already know what they need to know or know more than those who are attempting to teach them (15:7-11), 3) are not truly thankful for God’s existing mercies to them (15:11-13), 4) think too highly of their existing moral state (15:14-16; “a man who drinks injustice like water”). Wise observation from the past (15:17-19), teaches us that the very likely path of those who are antinomians (who have “stretched out [their] hand against God”, “running stubbornly against Him”) and anarchists (who live in “desolate cities, in houses none should inhabit, which were ready to become heaps of ruins” = People who hate society and conforming to society’s expectations; who would rather live in shacks on the prairie than in the city) (15:25-28) wb filled with: 1) pain (15:20), 2) inability to prosper (15:21, 29, 31-34), 3) lack of provision and protection from spiritual darkness or impending doom (15:22-24, 30), 4) evil and deceit (15:35). Giving “answers” which are according to (or “provoke[d]” by) evidence (and facts) versus assumptions (and feelings) is what determines whether we are “miserable comforters” with “windy (useless) words” or those who actually “strengthen” others and “assuage [their] pain.” (16:1-5; see again 13:8-12). There are two things that can only be provided by the friends of the righteous – never the righteous themselves: 1) comfort and encouragement when they are in pain (16:6), weak (16:7-8), under attack or being persecuted (16:9-14), depressed and losing hope (16:15-17), 2) advocacy for seeing justice, recompense or relief before they die (16:18-22).

Journaling: Job 5-8

March 7, 2021 • R. Scott Jarrett • Job 5, Job 6, Job 7, Job 8, Job 1—4

(Added to Job 1-4): 1. Righteous parents are daily doing those things that prove their children’s spiritual state is a priority (1:5). Job 5-8 Those who choose to be foolish (“stupid” as in refusing to be teachable or gain understanding; Jer 4:22) and simple (naïve or lacking sense as to how things really work; Hos 7:11) (5:2): 1) are to find no support or sympathy among those seeking to live holy lives (5:1; e.g. 2Th 3:10-15), 2) are dominated and destroyed by anger and jealousy (5:2), 3) are never able to get ahead enjoying only temporary success or stability (5:3), 4) produce ill-fated and idiot children (5:4), 5) are always being taken advantage of by other needy people (5:5), 6) possess lives full of “affliction” and “trouble” not by accident (it does not “come from the dust” or “sprout from the ground”) but as the guaranteed result of their own choices to be (foolish and simple) (5:6-7; “but a man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward” = Just as sparks always go up, so those “born” to be fools/simple are guaranteed to suffer affliction and trouble). Those who “seek” and commit [their] “cause” to God (who have dedicated their lives to learning and practicing His ways) (5:8): 1) experience God’s power, provision and protection (5:9-11), 2) witness His deliverance from the unjust and those attempting to oppress or take advantage of them (5:12-16). We should never “despise” (hate or see as a negative thing) God’s “discipline” of us (correction through trials/suffering) since it: 1) indicates we are “blessed” or loved by God and viewed as His children (5:17; Heb 12:5-7; Pro 3:11), 2) is not meant to kill or destroy us (5:18-20), 3) is meant to make us rock-solid – or more confident, when facing hardship or adversaries (5:21 [“hidden” = not affected]-23), 4) promises a life of peace, stability, prosperity and longevity to those who respond appropriately (5:24-26), 5) is God’s tried and true method for making us better (5:27). We are “treacherous” and “disappoint(ing)” friends who offer “nothing” of value to our covenant brother or sister when they face calamity so great that they lose their appetite, ability to persevere, hope for living or belief that God will hear their complaint (6:1-21a) and our first response is 1) fear they are guilty of serious sin versus giving them the benefit of the doubt (6:21b), 2) based on speculation versus actual evidence (6:22-26), 3) knee-jerked versus the product of patient listening and diligent investigation (6:27-30). You are completely naïve if you think being righteous will cause you to completely escape: 1) “hard service” or being “allotted months of emptiness and nights of misery” in this life (7:1-4), 2) the decay of your flesh and future death (7:5-10). Great and unceasing calamity or suffering (“anguish of…spirit” and “bitterness of…soul”) can cause us to: 1) “complain” (vocalize our unhappiness) to God about living and want to die (7:11-16), 2) be confused about God’s ways and purpose w/our life (7:17-21). There is a huge difference between confusion (resulting in asking questions) and condemnation (resulting in questioning) (Job’s was the former and never the latter, 6:11-21 w/42:7-9 = If Job had condemned God’s actions then he too wb charged w/sin like his friends [the greater sin of blasphemy: accusing God of wrongdoing/blasphemy -Lev 24:10-16]). The value of accusing God of perverting justice (or doing evil) is equivalent to the value of letting a giant fart come out of your mouth (8:1-3; “the words of your mouth [are] a great wind” = A great fart). God’s justice includes making sure that the punishment fits the crime (8:4; “delivered them into the hand of their transgression” = God gives people over to what their sin deserves). Seeking God and being “pure and upright” is what repentance that leads to forgiveness (“mercy”) and restoration looks like (8:5-7; “beginning was small” = Life after sin and punishment; “latter days will be very great” = God’s restoration). If we want the wisdom to correctly and safely navigate our way through this world then it will mean considering: 1) the testimony of those who have already lived (8:8-10), 2) the testimony of God in nature (8:11-13). The difference between the saved and damned person is not that one believes things will be okay and the other doesn’t, but that the damned person’s expectation: 1) will one day “perish” (8:13; Pro 10:28; e.g. Joh 6:66 versus 67-68), 2) is “severed” or not rooted in reality (8:14-17), 3) is nothing more than blissful ignorance that attracts many to live in the moment (versus seeking the wisdom that comes from those in the past and God in nature) (8:18-19). God promises to: 1) never reject the “blameless” but to (instead) “fill [their] mouth with laughter and [their] lips with shouting” and put to “shame” those who hate them (8:20-21, 22a), 2) never support or help (“take the hand”) of “evildoers” or the “wicked” but to eventually destroy their lives forever (“their tent”) (8:20,22).

Journaling: Job 1-4

February 28, 2021 • R. Scott Jarrett • Job 3, Job 4, Job 1, Job 2

Even the best among the righteous and blessed by God (1:1-5) can experience: 1) persecution (or testing) at the hands of Satan (1:6-19, 2:1-8; Luk 22:31-32; 1Pe 5:8-10; Rev 2:10), 2) condemnation at the hands of stupid men (2:11 w/4:1-5:27, 8:1-22, 11:1-20, 15:1-35, 22:1-30 w/42:7-9). Assumptions can cause you to: 1) condemn the wrong person/hurt the ones who are truly righteous (4:1-21, 5:1-27, 8:1-22, 11:1-20, 15:1-35, 22:1-30 w/42:7-9; e.g. you condemn the faithful pastor bc he tells you the truth about who you really are – Gal 4:16), 2) become very confused and disheartened about life and your walk w/God (3:1-26, 6:1-7:21, 9:1-10:22, 12:1-14:22, 16:1-17:16, 19:1-29, 21:1-34, 23:1-24:25, 26:1-31:40; e.g. you assumed only a few would go apostate – Mat 7:13-14; Luk 13:22-24). Celebrating birthdays has Scriptural precedent (1:4). There is a difference between cursing God in the heart (a reference to sin in general), and cursing God to His face (the capital crime of blasphemy) (1:5 w/11, 2:5 and 9; “sinned and cursed God in their hearts” = Appositional phrase. Cursing God in our hearts is what we are doing when we sin against God; “curse you to your face…Curse God and die” = Condemnation of God, to “charge God with wrong” – 1:22, blasphemy – Lev 24:10-16). Satan (like the rest of the angels or “sons of God”) is still under God’s control (employment?) (1:6 w/12, 2:1 w/7). God allows Satan to roam all over the earth for the purpose of exposing (through persecution/suffering) those who possess a “genie-in-the-bottle” relationship w/Him (whose love or loyalty to God and His Law is conditioned upon Him giving them what they want) (1:6-11, 2:1-5; 2:9-10a = Job’s wife possessed a “genie-in-the-bottle” relationship w/God; 1Pe 5:8). Satan can walk longer and much faster than us (1:7 and 2:2). We can face immense tragedy or suffering in a way that glorifies God if we have the right perspective (1:13-22, 2:7-10). Sharing our emotions – not our thoughts/opinions, is the best way to show “sympathy and comfort” to those facing tragedy or suffering (2:11-13). Regretting one’s life because of great tragedy and suffering is not the same as ending one’s life because of great tragedy and suffering (2:9-10 w/3:1-26). Truth misapplied is untruth (and possibly even sin) (4:1-5 w/6-21 w/42:7-9 = Our sin is not the only reason we can suffer in this life). The best chance we have of possessing a good life now (and heaven later) is through putting our trust (or “confidence”) in God through living a life of “integrity”: one that fears/obeys Him and does not practice (“sow” or “plow”) “iniquity” (or sin) or the “trouble” it brings (4:6, 8). God uses suffering in this life (even death) to punish us for our sins (4:17-21; 1Pe 4:17-18). Unlike the present, God used to communicate w/people through dreams (4:12-21; e.g. Gen 20:3-7, 28:10-16, 31:10-13, 37:5-9; Dan 2:1-45, 4:1-27, 7:1-28; not so anymore – 1Co 13:8-10)

Journaling: Job 9-12

March 21, 2021 • R. Scott Jarrett • Job 10, Job 11, Job 12, Job 9

Though we may be confused as to the reason why we are suffering, we must always remember that God will never reject us if we are “blameless” (i.e. practicing righteousness) (9:1-2a “truly I know that it is so” w/8:20-21). Questioning God (contending w/Him) when suffering: 1) will expose us as absolute fools given His “wisdom” and “might” revealed in Creation (9:2b-12), 2) was the folly of the fallen angels that guarantees also receiving His wrath (9:13-14; “Rahab” = The proud one; Satan), 3) is not a right afforded us because we are righteous, only the (right) to “appeal for mercy” (9:15), 4) means we are already not trusting that He cares for us (or is “listening to [our] voice”) (9:16-18), 5) would mean we are no longer righteous (or acting “blameless”) but instead “perverse” since His ways are “justice” and therefore should never be questioned (9:19-20). The confusion caused by suffering can make us think: 1) there is no benefit in being “blameless” (or righteous) (9:21-31), 2) there is nothing we can say or do to make things better (9:32-33), 3) anything we say to God will just make things worse (9:34-35). When suffering, the righteous (or “blameless”) can place a righteous “complaint” before God by appealing: 1) for mercy and understanding (10:1-2), 2) to preserve (or “favor”) the “work of [His] hands” (i.e. the good gifts given to His people – Jam 1:17) versus the work (or “designs”) of the wicked (10:3), 3) to God’s knowledge of our righteousness and His righteousness in giving us what we deserve (10:4-7), 4) to our frailty (10:8-11), 5) to our dependency on His “purpose” to “love” and “care” for us (10:12-13), 6) to His right to punish us if we sin and even more so if we do not quickly repent (10:14-17), 7) to the legitimacy of receiving relief given the futility of life without it and the shortness of life itself (10:18-22). Zophar was an Evangelical and/or a Calvinist (11:1-11; Total depravity/Evangelicalism: “everything we do is tainted by sin” – Michael Horton [Core Christianity]. This is due to a gross misinterpretation of Isa 64:6). Humans will give birth to donkeys (or pigs will fly) the day that people who choose to be stupid (unteachable/nonconforming to God’s Word) possess spiritual wisdom (or “understanding”) (11:12). A person whose heart is given to (or prepared for) God: 1) does not attempt to hide their actions but brings them before God to be examined by Him (11:13; Joh 3:20-21), 2) repents and removes all sin found by God (11:14), 3) has great confidence (bc they are without “blemish”) (11:15a), 4) enjoys the blessings of a secure relationship w/God as well as security from the consequences associated w/ “the wicked” (11:15b, 17-20), 5) will “forget” the “misery” of their former sins (11:16). You are insulting another person’s intelligence (i.e. calling them stupid) when you state what is obvious as though they didn’t know it (12:1-3; e.g. “money isn’t everything”). You show yourself to be truly stupid when you assume: 1) that all misfortune is the result of sin – or all fortune is the result of righteousness, in that person’s life (12:4-10), 2) you can gain wisdom without putting in the time to discern and gain precision in thinking (12:11-12) and to understand God’s (supreme) wisdom (versus the inferior wisdom of the world) (12:13-25).

Journaling: 1 Peter 5; 2 Peter 1-3

February 21, 2021 • R. Scott Jarrett • 2 Peter 2, 2 Peter 3, 1 Peter 5, 2 Peter 1

1 Peter 5 Those functioning as anointed/teaching elders in the church possess authority that must be listened to by those under their care – including the ruling/subordinate elders (5:1; “fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ [an apostle]” = Peter’s apostleship meant that he was an anointed/teaching elder; See also 5:5a – “Likewise [in light of the point previously established regarding the authority of the anointed elders over the ruling/subordinate elders], you who are younger [the subordinate elders in your congregation] be subject to [submit to/listen to] the elders [the anointed elders]. Clothe yourselves, all of you [the entire congregation], with humility [with submission and teachableness]”). To be an elder a man must have no problem: 1) exercising disciplinary oversight in relation to the congregation (5:2 – “not under compulsion [only able when pressured] but willingly as God would have you; not for shameful gain [only able when bribed], but eagerly”), 2) being the example of what He demands from the flock (5:3 – “not domineering…but being an example” = No hypocrisy allowed), 3) waiting to receive his reward until he sees Jesus (5:4). God only helps/delivers those who: 1) submit/listen to Him – including established authorities in the church (5:5b-6), 2) believe He can help and does care about them (5:7), 3) do not give in to the temptations of Satan during their time of suffering – most especially the thought that what they are facing is abnormal/something God’s people have not faced before or know how to deal w/ (5:8-9), 4) are patient to wait for Him, viewing their situation as a test of their loyalty to Him (5:10-11). Maintaining what we have gained by faithfulness to Christ and His commands in the time of testing and trials, through our submission to authority, loyalty to the church and our bros/sis along with baptismal regeneration is the “true” gospel (or “grace of God”) that we must wholeheartedly believe and practice (“stand firm in”) since it is the gospel of the apostles (or the first NT church) (5:12-14). 2 Peter 1-3 We gain (or “obtain”) our Christian “standing” (or Christian “Faith”) “by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (1:1). The way to have God’s favor (or “grace”) and “peace” “multiplied” (or continued) to us – as well as receive “His divine power” for living a “life” that agrees w/true religion (“godliness”), is by maintaining or growing “in the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord (or “Him who called us into His own glory and excellence”) (1:2-3 w/3:18). Our salvation is conditioned upon our behavior hence: 1) it is only by living a life that agrees w/true religion (or the right gospel) that we are guaranteed heaven and a divine nature in the future (God’s “precious and very great promises …become partakers of the divine nature”), as well as escape “from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire” (1:4; “by which” = By living a life that agrees w/true religion-See previous verse), 2) the “reason” we must “make every effort to supplement our faith” (or to maintain what we have gained) w/certain behavior or character “qualities” that “are increasing” or becoming more and more what characterizes our life (1:5-8), 3) this is how we grow – or keep from being “ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:8 w/1:2-3, 3:18), 4) those who fail to have increased frequency in relation to God’s prescribed “qualities” will lose their salvation (They wb considered “so nearsighted” that they are now “blind” in relation to salvation; those who have “forgotten” they were “cleansed from [their] former sins”) (1:9), 5) the charge to “be all the more diligent to confirm (our) calling and election” (1:10a), 6) the promise that if we “practice these qualities (we) will never fall” and the “entrance into the eternal kingdom” wb “richly provided” to us (1:10b-11). The fact that Peter intended to constantly remind people of what they already knew in regard to the gospel’s requirement (of maintaining what you gain) and see to it that these reminders continued after his death, reveals: 1) the importance of such maintaining to the salvation of God’s people as well as their propensity to be forgotten (1:12 w/1:10-11, 13-15; As it re: to being forgotten consider these verses w/1:9), 2) their connection to what else Peter saw and heard when with Jesus “on the holy mountain” (1:16-18 w/Mat 17:1-5), 3) their congruency w/the OT Scriptures or former prophecy (1:19-21; e.g. Isa 2:1-3, 18:7, 19:18-25, 66:18-21, 42:1-7, 21). Just as there were “false prophets” under the OT who denied the gain and maintain gospel so there wb “false teachers” under the NT who will: 1) also deny this gospel (Hence the reason for the constant reminders as to what constitutes the true gospel) (2:1), 2) promote a “feel good” false gospel that will be popular among the majority of those claiming to follow God (2:2a; “sensuality” = Appealing to the feelings/emotions), 3) cause people to condemn (or “blaspheme”) the true gospel (or “way of truth”) (2:2b), 4) speak false words (or “exploit”; Grk. “plastos” = Plastic or fake) against those who preach/embrace the true gospel (2:3a), 5) face the same eternal “condemnation” or “destruction” as their predecessors – (“Their condemnation from long ago is not idle” – i.e. the damnation faced by others in the past for committing the crime remains the same today) (2:3, 4-9), 6) by their denial, also promote antinomianism/anarchism (no law, no authority) (2:10-13a; “blaspheme the glorious ones” = God’s leaders; “do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them” = E.G. Moses – see Jud 1:9; e.g. The Evangelical church’s denial/condemnation of the church’s authority), 7) because of their “feel good” message, be able to easily convince those who live by their emotions (2:14 – “entice unsteady souls”, 2:18 – “entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error [those addicted to their feelings/emotions and as a result have a hard time separating from sinful pleasures and people]”), 8) be very confident (or “reveling” or “loud” or “boast[ful]”) and aggressive in their evangelistic efforts (they love “gain from wrongdoing and possess “hearts trained in greed”) (2:13b-18 ; “eyes full of adultery” = Adultery to the marriage covenant bc of their promotion of lawlessness – see Mat 12:39), 9) promise people freedom from sin (thru their view that faithfulness is simply the result of faith – not its obligation) that ironically (bc of their “nice but necessary” view of obedience to God’s law) will make them “slaves of corruption” and recipients of the worst damnation (2:19-22). Like the gospel message (of gain and maintain), it is important to remember that the world itself will also contain those opposed to or “scoffing” at the idea of Jesus coming to judge and eternally condemn those who “follow their own sinful desires” because they are ignorant of: 1) the predictions by the prophets and Jesus Himself (3:1-4), 2) the certainty of God’s Word regarding such judgment as demonstrated through ancient history (3:5-7), 3) God’s timetable and agenda (3:8-10 = Both God’s patience and judgment are on a very strict and predetermined timetable). Knowing the scope and severity of destruction which will define God’s coming judgment – as well as the scope of glory and perfection associated with God’s new creation, should: 1) make us “diligent” to live “lives of holiness and godliness (true religion)” and to be “found by Him without spot or blemish and at peace [w/one another]” (3:11-14), 2) cause us not to waste whatever time we have in this life but rather view it as His “patience” toward us – i.e. time to get it right so we can receive “salvation” (3:15-16a w/Eph 5:15-17). People who are living in their sin/flesh or by their emotions/feelings (the “unstable”) and those who don’t know the bible – or how to properly interpret it (the “untaught”), will believe the apostle Paul preached a gospel not requiring obedience to God to be saved (3:16; e.g. Evangelicals and “Pauline scholars”). Important to not being “carried away” (tricked or duped) by the “error of lawless people” and losing our salvation (or “los[ing] our own stability”) is: 1) knowing that such people will use Paul to support their lawless gospel (3:17), 2) growing in our Lord’s favor through obedience and the knowledge of His will (as previously prescribed – 1:5-11) (3:18).

Journaling: 1 Peter 1-4

February 14, 2021 • R. Scott Jarrett • 1 Peter 1, 1 Peter 2, 1 Peter 3, 1 Peter 4

Because of man’s free-will, God knew before He created there was a chance mankind could rebel and so (“according to His foreknowledge”) put in place a plan to graciously give those who were repentant and seeking Him: 1) a new identity – i.e. to choose (“elect”) them to become “exiles” on earth and have heaven as their new home (exile [def.] a person who has is no longer welcomed in their place of origin) (1:1), 2) a new purpose – i.e. to set them apart from the world as those living in obedience to and receiving forgiveness from His Son (“Jesus Christ”) (1:2, See also 1:19-20 – Notice, forgiveness thru the sending and sacrifice of Jesus was a part of God’s pre-Creation contingency plan [“He was foreknown before the foundation of the world”]). The components of the gospel that are the same in the New Testament as they were in the Old Testament are: 1) the paradigm of maintaining what you gain through faithfulness in testing and loyalty through time (1:2a w/Exo 24:7-8; 1:5-[7]-9 “pistis” = faithfulness), 2) the promise of God’s favor (“grace”), peace and future inheritance to those who do (1:2b w/Num 6:22-24; 1:4 w/), 3) the prerequisite of being born into God’s family to receive the “inheritance” (1:3-4 w/Gen 17:7). The “prophesied” or “predicted” difference between the Old Covenant and New Covenant gospel was christological not soteriological (1:10-12; As further support consider: “Angels” here clearly refers to holy angels whose interest, therefore, can only be christological [how the world and their battle against the powers of darkness wb changed through “the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories” – i.e. His past victory, present rule and future return]). Just like the holy angels, we (too) should be motivated and more focused because of Christ’s past victory, present rule, and future return (1:13). Holy conduct is the obligation established by the knowledge of: 1) our calling to be like God (1:14-16), 2) the fearful final judgment that will be impartial and according to our deeds (17), 3) how precious, merciful and glorious is the person and ransom of Christ on our behalf (1:18-21). “Earnestly” (putting much effort into) loving (showing affection for/being loyal to/spending time w/) our Christian bros/sis with a “sincere” (not fake) love from a “pure heart” (not possessing wrong motives) (1:22; 1Jo 3:11-20): 1) is the kind of faithful obedience to “the truth” (or “holy conduct” – 1:15) that maintains the purification gained through the blood of Christ (1:22 w/18-19), 2) is congruent w/the message (the “living and abiding word of God” that “remains forever”) that was preached to us as a requirement of the gospel (or “good news”) and our new birth (1:23-25), 3) means getting rid/repenting of (“put[ting] away”) all “malice” (intent to harm/penalize w/o righteous reason), “deceit” (intent to manipulate), “hypocrisy” (appearing to be something you are not), “envy” (being jealous of someone or of what they have) and “slander” (speaking/thinking untruths about another) (2:1). Committing to sincerely love our Christian bros/sis is how we are born (1:22-2:1) and seeking after (“long[ing] for”) spiritual things (the “good” things of “the Lord”) is how we grow up (2:2-3). Coming to Christ means also becoming a part of His church (“spiritual house”, “holy priesthood”), the place: 1) where acceptable service (or “sacrifices” to) God can be offered (2:4-5), 2) of “honor” for true Christians but a stumbling block for those who are false (or those who “disobey the word”) (2:6-8; It is not Christ as the stone in an of Himself that causes them to stumble but the fact that they are required to be a part of the spiritual house this “cornerstone” supports and was established to build; they have “rejected” being “builders”), 3) that changes our identity from people w/o God (those who were “not a people”, who lived in “darkness” and were w/o “mercy”) to God’s people (a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession”, those “called into His marvelous light” and receiving His “mercy”) (2:9-10). As a means of promoting evangelism and justice – as well as reducing the number of idiots in the world, our holy or “honorable” conduct is to be evident to unbelievers (2:12-15) through our: 1) submission to “every human institution” including those who are unjust in their exercise of authority (2:13-15, 18; Notice that God does not limit our submission only to divine institutions such as the church), 2) sacrifice of freedom for the sake of God (or as “servants of God”) (2:16), 3) unwavering loyalty to: God (“fear”), those in authority (“honor”) and our bros/sis in the covenant community (“love”) (2:17). In our continued and respectful submission to human authorities who are unjust we are to remember (or be “mindful”) that this is an important: 1) way we return the favor of God’s favor (or “grace”) to us (2:19-20), 2) aspect of our calling (or obligation to God) and imitation of Christ (2:21), 3) part of how we demonstrate our trust in God to care for us (2:23), 4) piece in our fight to be free from the practice of sin (2:24-25 w/4:1-2). The evangelism that happens when Christians submit to human authorities – especially those who are unjust, (“likewise”) includes the respectful submission of wives to unjust husbands (3:1-2). A wife’s ability to attract both the heart of her husband and God is not found in the “external” adornments of this world, but the “imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” that accompanies full submission to her husband and trust in God (3:3-6). Husbands are to (“likewise”) respond to the unjust behavior of their wives by seeking to understand and disciple/deliver her from her “weaker” emotional state/way of thinking (This is how they show “honor to the woman” as “heirs…of the grace of life”) (3:7a; Women are [in general] emotional thinkers and need help in learning how to leave that behind so as to think/make decisions more like God – i.e. w/o their emotions). It is a waste of time for husbands to pray who avoid seeking to understand, discipling and delivering their wives’ from their emotional weakness/way of thinking (3:7b). A person who is “righteous” (3:12) or “zealous for good” (3:13) is: 1) characterized by mental agreement (“unity of mind”), sympathy and loyalty (“brotherly love”), forgiveness (“a tender heart”), teachableness (“a humble mind”), justice/righteousness, truth and “peace” (3:8-11), 2) on the path that leads to a blessed and long life (3:10 w/Psa 34:12-16), 3) receiving what they request from the Lord (3:12), 4) receiving a blessing from God even when they suffer (3:13-14a). The way to “honor Christ the Lord as holy” w/those authorities who persecute us (causes us to suffer bc of our Faith) is through: 1) never being fearful or troubled (3:14), 2) always being prepared to proclaim Christ’s victory and bring them to God (3:14b-15a), 3) remaining submissive, respectful and in possession of a good conscience (3:15b-17), 4) constantly remembering Christ as our example: He suffered the ultimate persecution, submitted to the point of death, brought us to God and proclaimed His victory (to His enemies – the demons bound in Tartarus since the days of Noah) (3:19-20 w/2Pe 2:4 – “Tartarus”; Considered together, these texts seem to indicate that a massive demonic campaign was in play among humanity at the time of Noah. The Fall had gained global momentum necessitating a massive Flood in order to save humanity from spiritual suicide. Christ’s victory at the cross and subsequent resurrection indicated that the God’s war against the powers of evil was over. The days of Stan’s kingdom were numbered. The salvation of God’s people and the future were secure). That we receive Christ’s salvation through the waters of baptism (i.e. baptismal regeneration) is proven by the fact that it corresponds to what God did in saving Noah and his family through water (3:20-21a). The waters of baptism do not remove the “dirt of the body” (i.e. the death of the flesh) but rather the dirt/death of our soul since this is the place that God accepts our faith and grants our plea for the forgiveness of sins through the victorious work of Christ (our “appeal to God for a good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ”) (3:21-22; BC of sin we like Christ are “put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” – see again v18). The right perspective on persecution (suffering in the flesh for righteousness): this is what God wants since it will cause us to no longer live for sin or this world (4:1-2). Six lifestyle choices, practices or pursuits that allow us to easily identify who is living for the world versus living for God (4:3): 1) hedonism (“sensuality” = focused on pleasing the flesh; pleasure-seeker; focused on fun; e.g. most kids), 2) secularism (“passion” = caught up in the excitement of the world or committed to what the world finds worthy; e.g. girls crazy over music, guys crazy over a sports or cars; people caring about what’s going on in Hollywood or crazy about movies and social media; people caught up in having lots of money or status symbols), 3) gluttony (“drunkenness” = overindulgence or excessiveness; not functioning in moderation; not living or operating within your means or according to what is respectable or healthy; e.g. going overboard or overdoing it w/your adornment, diet, money or time), 4) bacchanalism (“orgies [NAS = carousing], drinking parties” = wild, celebratory events promoting illicit sexual behavior and hard drinking; e.g. rock concerts, keg parties, nightclubs), 5) antinomianism/anarchism (“lawless idolatry” = viewing and operating in relation to authority and laws/rules w/disdain, distrust and opposition; e.g. America today). Those who pressure us with worldly or sinful things should be pressured w/: 1) the scary truth that God will judge them for such behavior (4:4-5), 2) their need to receive the gospel and live for God so that the judgment in regard to their sin will only take place in this life (their spirits being delivered/saved from such punishment in the next) (4:6). As Christians we (too) need to keep the end-game in mind as that which most determines our: 1) daily disposition (4:7), 2) relationships w/those in the church (4:8-11). As previously discussed, we should not, therefore “our fitness for heaven (4:12 w/19), 2) they signal a future blessing when in the form of persecution (4:13-16), 3) they represent God’s justice for our sins in this life so that we can go to heaven later (4:17-18; This is the area where we should be pursuing the least amount of suffering – see again http://v15).be surprised” or think “something strange” is happening to us when the trials come since: 1) they are necessary as a means of testing

Journaling: Judges 18-21

January 17, 2021 • R. Scott Jarrett • Judges 20, Judges 21, Judges 18, Judges 19

Right interpretation requires recognizing ellipsis (“shorthand” understood by prior context) (18:1a and 19:1a w/17:6 and 21:25). Other ways people prove they do not have God as their king (besides 17:6-13 = starting your own church) is they: 1) refuse to do the hard work necessary to be successful (18:1b w/1:34-35), 2) look to leach off of or benefit from what belongs to others (18:2 w/7 w/1Ch 5:23 = The location of Laish was just below Mt. Hermon in the territory of Manasseh); (18:3-6 w/13-20, 30-31 = The Danite tribe took Micah’s religion and priest for themselves), 3) will fight to possess what is not theirs (18:21-26), 4) are only interested in or pursue those things that can be easily acquired (18:8-12, 27-29), 5) are selfish in their pursuit of justice (19:1-2 [“was unfaithful” = Committed adultery ] w/3 [“to speak kindly to her and bring her back” = The Levite is not outraged/not pursuing justice -i.e. the death penalty for what she had done, bc she was still valuable to him] w/19:22-20:10, 5-6 [“they violated my concubine and she is dead…they have committed abomination and outrage in Israel” = The Levite is now outraged/pursuing justice – i.e. death penalty for the Benjaminites, bc his value w/the concubine had now been lost. Demonstrates his view of justice to be selfish – i.e. you only pursue justice when it serves your interest]). Attempts at obstructing justice have been known to produce worse consequences (19:3-9 w/10-28 = The concubine’s father’s pressing the priest to stay longer was no doubt to win his favor and ensure his daughter did not receive justice for her sexual immorality. His plan however pushed their departure to a late hour which contributed to their stop in Gibeah and the horrific death of his daughter). Homosexuality is worse than (heterosexual) rape (19:22-24, “outrageous thing” = Excessively wicked act worse than the abomination of rape – 20:6; Hence the reason homosexuality is associated w/national destruction – Lev 18:27-30; 2Pe 2:6; Jud 1:7; e.g. S&G – Gen 19:1-29; Israel – Rom 1:18-27 w/2:1-3 w/11:7-25). Right interpretation rejects coincidence (19:14-24 w/Gen 19:1-9; What’s going on? 1] tribal land-grabbing leads to suspicion of outsiders as spies [18:1-10, 27-29], 2] since ancient times, gang rape has been practiced as a means of demoralizing and punishing those suspected as spies). If God’s justice is to be secured against those guilty in the covenant community then it will mean: 1) making her aware of the gravity of their sins (19:29-30), 2) sharing the dirty details (20:1-6), 3) seeking the support of her members (20:1-11), 4) seeking the help of those closest to the guilty party (20:12-13a), 5) never allowing our commitment to be de-railed by the sacrifice or suffering it may cost (20:14-23a, 24-26a, 29-36a), 6) seeking God’s guidance/direction through His prescribed leaders and prayer (20:23, 26-28; Jam 5:14-18 = The prayer of God’s leaders possess great power), 7) being able to outsmart them in their attempts to continue getting away with evil or defend/justify their (indefensible/unjustifiable) positions (20:36a-48). God expects His people to sacrifice for the sake of restoration (21:1-12; Gal 6:1-2). Not all forms of plausible deniability (the ability of leaders to deny any wrong associated w/ actions approved by them) are wrong (21:13-24). Not all forms of dancing are innocent (Jug 21:21 w/Exo 32:6 and Gen 26:8 = Erotic/sexual dancing to attract a husband).

Journaling: Judges 10-13

December 27, 2020 • R. Scott Jarrett • Judges 12, Judges 13, Judges 10, Judges 11

Future blessings are not determined by long periods of peace and prosperity in the past – or a stockpile of potential leaders in the present, but whether we will continue to be obedient to God (10:1-7, 12:7-13:1). Not being severe in our treatment of those who blaspheme God will mean severe treatment from God (i.e. God takes separation from blasphemers seriously) (10:6-7 w/ Eze 20:27-28; blasphemer = Someone who curses God; e.g. apostate people, false Christians, false gods; Hence 2Jo 1:9-11; Lev 24:16). God uses time as a means of punishment (10:6-8 w/3:8, 14, 4:3, 6:1, 9:22; Jer 25:11; Eze 29:13; 1Co 5:5 [1Ti 1:19-20] w/2Co 2:6-8). God uses the oppression of others as a means of punishment (10:7-8). God refuses to keep delivering people from their problems when they refuse to learn from their past (10:9-13). God is affected by the suffering of His people (10:16 – “He became impatient” = Literally, His soul was shortened/vexed to death/suffering in their suffering; Jug 16:16). God responds (mercifully) to ownership (10:15-16 w/2:18; 2Chr 7:13-16). God has been known to make the outcast the leader/deliverer/savior of His people (10:17-11:11; e.g. Moses and Jesus – Heb 11:24-26, 13:11-13). God has been known to transfer the blessings of those people who unrighteously attack His people to His people (11:12-28, 27). Right interpretation requires righteous thinking (11:29-40 = Jephthah set apart his daughter to serving God which meant remaining celibate for the rest of her life [v39; e.g. Samuel – 1Sa 1:11 w/21-22 = Samuel was Hannah’s burnt offering to the Lord] VERSUS Jephthah committed the abomination of sacrificing his daughter to God [God wb no different than Molech if He allowed it – Lev 18:21, 20:1-4; Jer 32:35; Why would God allow such a sacrifice w/Jephthah’s daughter but not Isaac?]; “burnt offering” = Offering signifying complete devotion to God or commitment to God’s plan – Lev 1:1-17; 13:15-20 . Hence the reason it was completely burned up versus only a portion being consumed by the flames and the other by the worshipper or priest. Humans – like unclean animals could not be a literal burnt offering and so needed tb ransomed/replaced w/the appropriate animal – Exo 30:12-15 w/Num 31:50; * This principle [right interpretation requires righteous thinking] applies also to Gideon in 6:36-40 = If God let Gideon test him and get away w/it, then God is unrighteous/possesses a double standard – i.e. He is capricious in justice). It is God’s will that His people root out and destroy all those in the covenant community who constantly take offense, find wrong, want to fight or make trouble for God’s appointed or anointed leaders (12:1-6 w/8:1-3; Rom 16:17-18; Tit 1:10-16, 3:9-11). Unpopular women who love God often end up being the mothers of God’s most popular people (13:2-5, 24-25 – Manoah’s wife w/Samson; 1Sa 2:21 – Hannah w/Samuel; Luk 1:13-17 – Elizabeth w/John; Luk 1:26-48 – Mary w/Jesus). It is the job of covenant parents to: 1) determine the “mission” assigned to every one of their covenant children (13:12), 2) do everything they can to support the “manner of life” that will ensure he/she accomplishes that mission (13:1-14), 3) be fully committed to God’s plan/agenda for their children (versus their own) (13:15-20). Sometimes women must help their husbands be rational thinkers versus thinking according to their feelings (13:21-23).

Journaling: Judges 6-9

December 20, 2020 • R. Scott Jarrett • Judges 6, Judges 7, Judges 8, Judges 9

Being God’s people guarantees that we wb punished if we live in disobedience to His commands (6:1; Heb 12:5-6; 1Pe 4:12-18; Pro 11:31; Lam 3:39; Deu 28:15-68). Living in a cave, never being able to get ahead in life or possess enough sustenance, always being taken advantage of by others, having all your effort come to waste, becoming very discouraged or depressed; these are some of the things God does to His people when they live in disobedience to His commands (6:2-6a). God uses His ministers to tell His people, “I told you so” (6:6b-10). Even the courageous and loyal among God’s people (6:12 – “mighty man of valor” = Gideon was a courageous and loyal man to God and His people; Jos 1:14, 10:7) can at times be guilty of: 1) missing the forest for the trees (6:10-13), 2) doubting themselves and seeking assurance from God (6:14-21, 36-40, 7:9-15), 3) fearing men (6:25-27). Plenty of problems could be avoided if we learned to listen/respect words (What God said was, “w/you” [6:12]; what Gideon heard was, “w/us” [6:13]). There is a big difference between doubting oneself and doubting (testing) God (6:15 – “Please Lord, how can I save Israel?”, 36– “save Israel by my hand” versus Deu 6:16 w/Exo 17:1-7 – “Is God among us or not?”). Outside of a few exceptions, the first time most people will see God is on the day of their death or Judgment Day (6:22-24; Heb 9:27; Rev 20:11-15). A good sign that people have drifted away from faithfulness to God is that they demonstrate more willingness to fight for their own interests than the interests of their God (6:28-35). Being the severe underdog can be a sign that God is going to give His people a great victory over their enemies (7:1-9; 300 versus 135,000 – 8:10). God uses belief to not only save but also destroy (7:13-25; 2Th 2:11; Hence Col 2:4). Wrong perspective equals wrong emotions (or) change perspective, change emotions (8:1-3). Severe discipline or death is reserved for those who refuse to support God’s commissioned men or their mission – especially when they are “exhausted” (8:4-17, 5 and 15 – “exhausted”). Courage and loyalty to God and the (covenant) family is what: 1) causes a person to seek justice in re: to their bros/sis (8:18-19), 2) separates the boys from the men (8:20), 3) determines a person’s strength in the midst of adversity (8:21). The godly intentions of God’s men are thwarted by gold, glory and girls (8:22-35; Top three reasons good pastors go bad). Those who gain authority, power or loyalty by partiality (9:1-3, 18b) and collusion (9:4-6, 18a), have been known to be cursed by God (9:7-21 w/56-57) with: 1) short reigns/careers (9:22; Pro 29:14), 2) treachery/mutiny/anarchy within their leadership (9:23-29 w/20), 3) bloody civil wars and horrible atrocities (9:30-49), 4) a disgraceful death (9:50-55). Besides medicinal use (Pro 31:6; 1Ti 5:23), the only other permissible use of alcohol is sacred celebration: happy celebration to God for His abundant provision to us (9:13 – “cheers God and men” = God becomes happy as we use wine to make ourselves happy over His goodness to us – e.g. Psa 104:15; Ecc 9:7, 10:19; Mic 2:11; Joh 2:1-12).

Journaling: Judges 14-17

January 3, 2021 • R. Scott Jarrett • Judges 15, Judges 16, Judges 17, Judges 14

God uses even the compromise/sin of people to accomplish His plans (14:1-4; “His father and mother did not know it [Literally, “she”] was from the Lord” = They did not know God was intending to use Samson’s sin w/this Philistine woman to strike them down; Pro 16:4; e.g. Eze 21:21-23). Parental complicity in relation to their children’s sin (14:5 w/10; Deu 7:1-3; Jug 3:6) is not excused by: 1) previous attempts to persuade the child to do otherwise (14:1-3a), 2) the stubbornness of the child (14:3b, 7-8a), 3) knowing God uses even our sin/compromise to accomplish His plans (contra 14:4). “Uncircumcised” was a sign of those not in covenant w/God (or unsaved) (14:3, 15:18; Eze 31:18; Hence another reason circumcision was such a big deal to the Jews in the NT). Not taking immediate action to repent when we violate the parameters of those great privileges or power that God gives us will eventually lead to: 1) false bravado and further violations (14:5-9 = Samson did not tell his parents about his eating of the grapes while in the vineyards of Timnah [not the account of the lion]. Samson also did not tell his parents about taking the honey from the dead body of the lion. The reason was bc both were a violation of his Nazirite vows. Samson’s seeming ability to get away w/the first violation [of the grapes] – as demonstrated thru his privileged power and victory over the lion emboldened him in re: to the second [w/the honey]) – as well as in his desire to marry the Philistine. The pattern of false bravado leading to further violations is demonstrated also in the sexual immorality that follows (15:14-16 w/16:1; 16:2-3 w/4; 16:17-20 = Samson’s continuous supernatural victories combined w/his constant violations ultimately lead him to believe he was invincible; that God would never take his great privilege/power away – even when other Nazirite vows were violated. Hence verse 20 – “He did not know the Lord had left him” [though he did know his hair was gone].), 2) others taking advantage of us (14:10-18, 16:4-17), 3) a use of our privilege/power that ends in great loss and sorrow (14:19-20, 16:22-31), 4) the temporary or permanent loss of our privilege/power (16:21). A man’s jealousy for his wife is effective in producing great wrath (14:20-15:8; Pro 6:34, 27:4; In re: to God – Psa 79:5). Revenge often leads to retaliation (15:9-11). The Spirit’s empowerment is effective in accomplishing great tasks (14:6, 19, 15:12-17; Zec 4:6). Even those empowered by God’s Spirit need to rest and be revived if they are to continue in delivering God’s people from their enemies (15:18-20). A woman’s seduction, emotional manipulation and nagging are effective in accomplishing great compromise (14:17-18, 16:1, 4-17, 4, 15-16; Pro 5:3, 7:1-27). The discipline of God’s people is often viewed by the world as the victory of their false religion/gods (16:23-25; 1Sa 4:1-11, 5:1-2; Isa 10:5-14). Not all forms of suicide are wrong (16:28-31). Right interpretation requires recognizing repetition (The repetition of “1,100 pieces of silver” in 16:5 and 17:1-3 considered along w/: 1) their deliberate and close proximity in the book, 2) the probability of this as a valid option [there are no apparent contradictions w/this as an option], 3) Jewish [midrashic] tradition which views Delilah as Micah’s mother, 4) the exorbitant amount this money represents mitigates against it being coincidental [110 yrs worth of wages – see 17:10]). Possessing a strong biblical name (“Micah”) means nothing if the person possessing it is a momma’s boy (17:1-4). People prove they don’t possess God as their “king” and are instead following their own laws (17:6) when they: 1) think/respond to God according to what is prohibited (17:3-5a; Exo 20:4), 2) start their own churches and appoint their own pastors (or “priest”) (versus following God’s paradigm) (17:5b-12), 3) think that as long as the pastor (or “priest”) is for them/working for their good, they are good with God (17:10, 13).

Journaling: Judges 2-5

December 6, 2020 • R. Scott Jarrett • Judges 5, Judges 2, Judges 3, Judges 4

The consequence of claiming life is too difficult God’s way is that God makes things more difficult in an effort to wake us up (2:1-5 w/11-15, 20-23; Pro 11:31, 13:15, 15:10; What it means if life gets easier = Heb 12:5-8). The prior generations’ faithfulness to God does not guarantee the faithfulness of the next generation (2:6-10 – “know” = Trust; e.g. Jug 2:22; Psa 140:12). Each new generation must make its own choice to follow and be faithful to God (2:6-10). Children becoming idolators and going apostate is the cost of allowing bad influences/theology to remain around your family (2:2:13 w/10-13). As long as a divinely appointed priest and covenant exists, so also there exists a divinely appointed community offering salvation – or deliverance, irrespective of how many sinful or rebellious members there may be in her midst (2:1, 16-18 w/20:27-28). In one generation the covenant community can go from being a place w/strong spiritual leaders and people committed to obediently serving the Lord, to a place w/weak spiritual leaders, idolators, apostates and anarchists (2:6-19; 17:6 & 21:25). Like kings, military leaders are not leaders in the church and therefore possess power to defeat physical enemies but not spiritual enemies (2:16 -17; “judges” = Military leaders [e.g. 3:7-11]; “they did not listen to their judges” = These military leaders had no power to curb the spiritual enemy of sin; This is true even of Jesus and why His role of priest and prophet is so important to His reign as king; Consider Deu 18:18-20 w/Act 3:22-23 and Heb 4:14-16 w/Heb 10:12-13). Obeying God’s commands includes going to war w/His enemies – not shacking up w/them (3:1-6; 2Co 6:14-7:1; Eph 5:5-11). Those God considers His and our enemies include any person whose proximity to us could influence us to serve a false god (2:3, 3:6; Hence 2Jo 1:9-11). Being unconventional in your ways is not a disqualifier to God using you to accomplish great things for His kingdom and people (e.g. Ehud – 3:12-30, 15; Shamgar – 3:31). Though never functioning as spiritual or military leaders, women: 1) have been used by God to give important spiritual counsel to others in the covenant community (4:1-16, 22-24, 5:6-7 = Deborah w/Barak; vv4-5 “judge…judging” = Deb was a prophetess rec’g God’s judgment for the people but neither a spiritual leader or a military leader [or judge]. Barak was the designated judge/military leader), 2) can make important contributions in the battle against God and His people’s enemies (4:9, 17-21, 5:24-27 = Jael against Sisera). Women have been known to know what it means to act like men, more than the men around them (4:6-9, 17-22; 1Co 16:13 = Be courageous). Willingness and participation in the covenant community’s battles is not only expected of her leaders (the “commanders of Israel” -5:9), but every member: 1) no matter how small or insignificant (5:1-2, 8-15a, 18; 5:11 -“villagers in Israel” = Common people), 2) who wb cursed by God if they shrink like cowards (5:15b-17, 23; Consider 2Ti 4:16 = Pastors often need the help of their people to win the spiritual battles raging in the church. People however tend tb cowards to not only the detriment of those they should have helped, but their own detriment as well). What God does in helping His people often requires His people’s help (5:1-5 w/23b – “to the help of the Lord…to the help of the Lord against the mighty”; God helps those who help themselves Him). Looking to past and present providence can be the key to future progress and blessings from God (5:24-26; “tent-dwelling…milk…curds in a noble’s bowl” = All related to her past and present and what gave Jael the ability and skill to kill God’s enemy and receive His blessing. She knew how to drive a “tent peg” and what warm milk and curds would do in making one sleepy [Hence the reason she gives that instead of “water”]). The fact that God’s enemies have mothers who love them must never cause us to pity them – or desire something less than death for them, if we desire to continue as God’s “friends” (5:28-31; *Remember there is a difference between God’s enemies and those now welcomed to God).

Journaling: Joshua 22-24; Judges 1

November 22, 2020 • R. Scott Jarrett • Joshua 22, Joshua 23, Joshua 24, Judges 1

Joshua 22-24 Receiving God’s blessing and an inheritance of great wealth and real estate (22:6-9) is the result of: 1) not forsaking the covenant community (22:1-3a), 2) obeying God’s commands (22:3b). Continuing to be faithful in the present and future is necessary to keeping the promises and blessings afforded through our faithfulness in the past (22:1-5; 23:1-16; Eze 18:24; Heb 10:36-39). Selective obedience doesn’t count (22:5 “Only be very careful to…walk in all His ways and to keep His commandments”; Compare also 22:2-3 w/10-12; Mat 7:21-23). Going to “war” against members of the covenant family: 1) is something we must be prepared to do when there is evidence of major sin (22:10-12), 2) requires due diligence in inquiry and investigation by her leaders to confirm (22:13-16; Deu 17:4), 3) is the commitment we all make when there is rebellion in the camp (22:16 “Thus says the whole congregation”), 4) includes attempts to reason and save not only them – but all of us, from God’s curse and coming destruction (22:17-20; Phi 4:4-5; Jam 5:19-20), 5) is only cancelled when those in question can sufficiently explain, demonstrate or defend themselves to be innocent to the leaders and covenant community (22:21-34; Act 21:17-24; Act 15:22). God forbids us to identify with, have loyalties to – or be united religiously with, those of false religions (including Christian false religion) (23:7, 12; Hence the reason we cannot work for “Christian” organizations; 2Jo 1:9-11; 2Co 6:14-18). Having wicked friends/influences can cause us to go apostate (23:13; 1Co 15:33). Not one good thing that the Lord has promised to give His people will fail to be fulfilled (23:14). The only thing God’s promises are conditioned upon is the one thing we can control: our choices (23:15-16, 24:19-20). The history of God and His people that He clearly wants us to remember (and reflect on as it relates to our own) is one of constant protection, mighty deliverance (24:1-12) and generous provision (24:13) (Hence the reason we are to confidently pray/ask for these things – Mat 6:9-13). Faithful shepherds: 1) constantly remind their people of the need to be sincere, faithful and free of idolatry in serving the Lord (24:14; 2Ti 4:2), 2) realize that serving the Lord is something we must recommit to everyday (24:15), 3) warn their people of the consequences of not taking their walk seriously (24:19-20), 4) call out/expose those sins that will keep their people from being saved (24:19-23), 5) bear witness and hold their people accountable to their covenant commitment (24:24-28), 6) must establish covenant w/anyone who understands and is willing to make the commitment regardless of their suspicions (24:19 w/21, 24-27). As the leaders go, so goes the congregation (24:29-33). Judges 1 Just because something is: 1) God’s plan doesn’t mean we don’t need help (1:1-11, 12-16, 17-18) 2) hard doesn’t mean God is not in it or doesn’t want us to do it (1:19). What comes around, goes around (1:6-7; Gal 6:7-10). When we don’t finish the work God has called us to do – in the way – and to the degree that God calls us to do it, we are being rebellious to God irrespective of how hard the work is – or the sacrifice it may require (1:19-36 w/2:1-2; i.e. selective obedience is full disobedience – Mat 7:21-23) Selective obedience is what happens when we limit our commitment to what is easy (1:19 “because they had chariots of iron”).