Friday, July 10, 2009

Why Marriage Matters
by Caitlin Flanagan

...Think of the touching moments on Inauguration Night, when at ball after ball, crowds of young people swooned at the sight of Barack and Michelle Obama dancing together, artlessly but sincerely and clearly with great affection. They are an immensely appealing couple, and it was a historic night, but what we saw reflected in the faces of those awed young people — and in the country's insatiable appetite for photographs of the First Family's private life — was wonder at the sight of a middle-aged man and woman still together, still in love.

We want something like that for ourselves; we recognize that it is something of great worth, but we are increasingly less willing to put in the hard work and personal sacrifice to get there. The Obamas, for example, are enjoying their time of family closeness after almost two years of enforced separation, an interlude that would have caused many less committed couples to turn in their cards and give up. A lasting marriage is the reward, usually, of hard work and self-sacrifice.


...It is time instead to come to terms with both our unrealistic expectations for a happy marriage and our equally unrealistic beliefs about the consequences of walking away from the families we build.

The fundamental question we must ask ourselves at the beginning of the century is this: What is the purpose of marriage? Is it — given the game-changing realities of birth control, female equality and the fact that motherhood outside of marriage is no longer stigmatized — simply an institution that has the capacity to increase the pleasure of the adults who enter into it? If so, we might as well hold the wake now: there probably aren't many people whose idea of 24-hour-a-day good times consists of being yoked to the same romantic partner, through bouts of stomach flu and depression, financial setbacks and emotional upsets, until after many a long decade, one or the other eventually dies in harness.

Or is marriage an institution that still hews to its old intention and function — to raise the next generation, to protect and teach it, to instill in it the habits of conduct and character that will ensure the generation's own safe passage into adulthood? Think of it this way: the current generation of children, the one watching commitments between adults snap like dry twigs and observing parents who simply can't be bothered to marry each other and who hence drift in and out of their children's lives — that's the generation who will be taking care of us when we are old.

Read the rest at,8599,1908243,00.html

Fri 090709 am Psa 31-33

Psalm 31 David; 24 vs.; 31.5--Luke 23.46
Psalm of general praise with some mention of enemies and the wicked.

31.5 This was quoted by Christ on the cross.
31.19 those who fear you used as a loose synonym for those who take refuge in you.
31.23 the faithful used in contrast to the one who acts in pride.

Psalm 32 David; 11vs.; 32.1-2---Romans 4.7-8
Praise for sin forgiven.

32.2 in whose spirit there is no deceit... Candor is often in short supply. Who am I kidding when I pretend to God I have no sin?
32.6 at a time when you man be found... This verse raises the uncomfortable possibility that God will not always be sitting there at our beck and call. Hmmmmm.

Psalm 33 Anon.; 22 vs.; ---??
Praise (esp. re creation) and hope in God.

33.1 Praise befits the upright. "Befits" is an odd word for the ESV, but true nonetheless.
33.8 fear the Lord placed alongside stand in awe.
33.12 I guess any nation could have God as their Lord, but only Israel can be truly called "His heritage."
33.18 the eye of the Lord is on... in a good sense that includes his steadfast love.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Accountability questions web sites
A three part article that starts with section that features a lot of scriptures and then moves to “general accountability theory” and a boatload of questions to choose from. Specific questions for men, women, teens, etc. on a site that looks like it has a lot of helpful resources. The whole web site is oriented that way.
Good short article about Christian accountability with a sample list of questions. has a lot of good concise answers to a wide variety of questions about the Bible, etc. Covenant Eyes provides software that sends your internet usage to a friend. This article has several accountability questions lists.
The Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development at has a article about accountability and a bunch of questions.
A secular site that still has some good ideas on how to craft effective questions using the acronym SMARTER that stands for Specific, Measurable, Acceptable,Realistic, Time Frame, Extending, Rewarding.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wed 090708 pm Psa 25-30

Psalm 25 David; 222 vs.; ----??
Praise with prayer to be preserved, etc.

verses 1&2 are a chorus
25.1 the humble...
25.12 the man who fears the Lord...
characteristics of the one who is close to the Lord

Psalm 26 David; 12 vs.; ---??
David blesses the Lord and does not walk with sinners.

26.2 test my heart and mind... Heart is literally kidneys in the Hebrew. I wonder why he said heart (or kidneys) and mind. Is is parallelism or does in have more significance?
26.4 men of falsehood paralleled with hypocrites Somehow men of falsehood sounds worse that hypocrites.

Psalm 27 David; 14 vs.; ----??
General psalm of praise.

27.1 Light, Salvation, stronghold... These three things about God keep me from fearing.
27.4 to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord... This is a motive that God will honor.
27.10 The Lord is faithful when everybody else can't or won't help.

Psalm 28 David; 9 vs.; ---???
Praise sandwiched around prayer to give the wicked their just reward.

Psalm 29 David; 11vs.; ----??
Theme: glory of the Lord. David does not refer to himself in this psalm.

29.2 the splendor of holiness...

Psalm 30 David; 12 vs.; ---??
From weeping and sackcloth to joy.

30.7 I wonder if we would even notice when the Lord hid His face.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tues 090706pm Acts 18 Psa 32 1 Cor 1

Acts 18

18.10 for I have many in this city who are my people... This is a wonderful and intriguing statement that God makes to Paul. God has "people." It is also a reminder that I am one of His "people" who represents His interest in my city, etc.
18.11 a year and six months, teaching the Word of God among them... I would love to be able to see his "scope and sequence" for his teaching.
18.25 ...he taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he know only... I know that I don't know it all, but may God grant me and wisdom and grace to teach accurately where I can teach and provide instruction where I am lacking.

Psalm 32 David; 11 vs.; 32.1-2--Romans 4.7-8
Praise for God's "forgiveness" and general praise.

32.1 I am blessed!
32.5 This ties in somewhat with Job 31. 33-37
32.8 with My eye on you... Great verse!
32.9 be not like a horse or mule... This is much more practical and applicable than it might seem.
32.10 wicked ... trusts These two word stand in contract in this verse as antonyms. Hmmmm. Sorrows is also the opposite of steadfast love. The Hebrew parallelism is rich.

1 Corinthians 1

1.5 that in every way your were enriched in Him... Pretty high praise for a church that gets trashed in so many sermons.
1.17 not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. I wonder how often all our slick techniques dilute the power of God.
1.27 wise ... weak ... Those are two qualifications that I can handle.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fri 090709 am Psa 31-32

Psalm 31 David; 24 vs.; 31.5--Luke 23.46
Psalm of general praise with some mention of enemies and the wicked.

31.5 This was quoted by Christ on the cross.
31.19 those who fear you used as a loose synonym for those who take refuge in you.
31.23 the faithful used in contrast to the one who acts in pride.

Psalm 32 David; 11vs.; 32.1-2---Romans 4.7-8
Praise for sin forgiven.

32.2 in whose spirit there is no deceit... Candor is often in short supply. Who am I kidding when I pretend to God I have no sin?

Mon 090706 pm Rom 16

Romans 16

16.2 her in whatever she may need.
Paul would have had a ton of Facebook friends.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sun 090705 pm Psa 23-24

Psalm 23 David; 6 vs.; ---??
The all time classic psalm.

Psalm 24 David; 10 vs.; 2.1--1 Corinthians 10:26 [28]
Praising the King of glory.

24.4 clean hands and a pure heart... I wonder was sins are mentioned in the context of clean hands.

Sat 090704 pm Job's Accountability Questions Pt 1

A. Ask congregation about Bible reading.
How are you doing on your Bible reading?
· Bible Reading booklets by office in foyer.
· Daily Breads at welcome desk.
· E-mail me for link to e-mailed readings.
Do you still have a "Bible reading buddy?"

B. Accountability questions lists.

Chuck Colson--Prison Fellowship
1. Have you been with a woman anywhere this past week that might be seen as compromising?
2. Have any of your financial dealings lacked integrity?
3. Have you exposed yourself to any sexually explicit material?
4. Have you spent adequate time in Bible study and prayer?
5. Have you given priority time to your family?
6. Have you fulfilled the mandates of your calling?
7. Have you just lied to me?

"W" list
1. Word--Where are you nurturing your life in Gods Word? (Matt 4.4)
2. Walk--How are you doing in the "fruit of the spirit" walk? (Gal 5.16)
3. Warfare--How are you doing battling with the lusts of the eyes and flesh? (Titus 2.12)
4. Wife--How are you doing loving your wife? (Eph. 5.24-28)
5. Witness--When was the last time you gave a verbal witness for Christ?
(Mark 16.15)
6. Wealth--Are you laying up treasures in heaven? (Matt 6.19-21)
7. Waffle--Have you just waffled on any of the above? (Eph. 4.25, 1 John 1.7)

John Wesley’s Questions:
1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
3. Do I confidentially pass onto another what was told me in confidence?
4. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habits?
5. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
6. Did the Bible live in me today?
7. Do I give the Bible time to speak to me everyday?
8. Am I enjoying prayer?
9. When did I last speak to someone about my faith?
10. Do I pray about the money I spend?
11. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
12. Do I disobey God in anything?
13. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
14. Am I defeated in any part of my life?
15. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful?
16. How do I spend my spare time?17. Am I proud?
18. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisee who despised the publican?
19. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I going to do about it?
20. Do I grumble and complain constantly?

It is interesting that none of the lists include our spiritual discipline for this month—serving. One could add…

Describe your acts of service in the ministry of the Body of Christ.
What are some practical ways that you served others?

· There are many places in Scripture that have a “list.”
· Micah 6:8 (Matt. 23:23);
· Matthew chapters 5-6;
· 2nd Timothy chapter 2

C. Example of Job
· Job was one of the most righteous men in the Bible.
1. Ezekiel 14:12-14
2. James 5:10-11
3. Job 1:6-7

1. Ezekiel 14:12-14 During the Babylonian captivity, Ezekiel describes judgment on Jerusalem and Israel that include...
12 The word of the LORD came again to me, saying: 13 “Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. 14 Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord GOD.

2. James regarded Job as one of the prophets whose perseverance was legendary.
James 5
10Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

3. Job 1
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. 7 And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” 8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”

Job 31 gives the list that Job used to give an account for himself.


A. For the book of Job
Author: Unknown
· Events in Job’s life are real.
AT TBC We teach the literal, grammatical, historical (contextual) interpretation of Scripture, which for example affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal 24-hour days. We teach a dispensational interpretation of the Scriptures, which distinguishes God's different programs for the Jew, the Church, and the Kingdom.
"All the discourses are divinely inspired in the sense of being correctly reported, but they often illumine the faulty reasoning and attitudes of fallible human beings rather than the inerrant revelations of an infallible God." ——Henry M. Morris in The Remarkable Record of Job

· The author (or recorder) is uncertain, maybe Moses.
· The book is named Job because it is a record about Job's life.
· There are no textual hints about who wrote Job like there are in the other wisdom literature books and many of the prophetic books.
· Job, Elihu, Moses, Solomon, Isaiah, Hezekiah, Jeremiah, & Ezra have all been suggested.
Date and setting: Uncertain
· Probably around the times of the patriarchs.
· "...perhaps between Genesis 11 & 12 or not long after Abraham.
· (1)Job lived 140 years after the events in the book (42.16); his lifespan must have been close to 200 years. This fits the patriarchal period (Abraham lived 175 years, Gen. 25:7)"
Job 42.16 After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation.
Gen 27.7 Altogether, Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years.
· "(2) Job's wealth is measured in terms of livestock (1:3; 42:12) rather than gold and silver.
· (3) Like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Job is the priest of his family and offers sacrifices.
· (4) There are no references to Israel, the Exodus, the Mosaic Law, or the tabernacle.
· (5) The Chaldeans who murder Job's servants (1:17) are nomads and have not yet become city-dwellers."
——Bruce Wilkinson & Kenneth Boa in Talk Thru the Old Testament
Probably in the region around Edom / Midian.
Lamentations 4:21
Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, You who dwell in the land of Uz!

o ———————————————————————
Main characters:
· Job,
· God,
· Satan, ( "The scene in which the angels and the adversary alike present themselves to report on their activities expresses in vividly dramatic form the sole authority of God, whose ends even the rebellious unintentionally serve. The point is further emphasized in that the Hebrew treats the word Satan here not as a name but as a common noun, 'the satan', to indicate the place he is allowed to occupy in the total scheme of things. In a trial at law, the satan, or 'adversary', is a term for an accuser or prosecutor." ——Derek Kidner in The Wisdom of Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes: An Introduction to Wisdom Literature.)
· Job’s children,
· four messengers of woe, &
· Job’s wife.

· Eliphaz, Bildad, & Zophar, Job’s “miserable comforters,”
· Job,
· Elihu, the final man to speak,
· God, &
· Job's children (Daughters Jemimah, Keziah, & Keren-Happuch are mentioned by name.)

o ———————————————————————

I. Prologue (narrative) ch. 1-2
B. HIS ADVERSITY (1:6-2:13)
II. Dialogue (poetry) ch. 3-42
A. Three rounds of “debate”
1st Round (4-14)
1. Eliphaz (4-5) Job's reply (6-7)
2. Bildad (8)_Job's reply (9-10)
3. Zophar (11)_Job's reply (12-14)
2nd Round (15-21)
1. Eliphaz (15)_Job's reply (16-17)
2. Bildad (18)_Job's reply (19)
3. Zophar (20)_Job's reply (21)
3rd Round (22-37)
1. Eliphaz (22)_Job's reply (23-24)
2. Bildad (25)_Job's reply (26-31)
3. No Zophar
B. Elihu’s speech
1. Contradicting Job's friends (32)
2. Contradicting Job himself (33)
3. Proclaiming God's justice, goodness, and majesty (34-37)
C. God’s responses
GOD HUMBLES JOB (38:1-42:6)
1. Through questions too great to answer (38:1-41:34)
2. Job acknowledges his inability to understand (42:1-6)
III. Epilogue (narrative) ch. 42
GOD HONORS JOB (42:7-17)
1. God rebukes his critics (42:7-10)
2. God restores his wealth (42:11-17)
o ———————————————————————
Summary verses:
· Though He slay me…yet I will… (13:15)
13.15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.
This verse highlights two things about Job through this.
1. He would not be disloyal to God.
2. He would not give up on having integrity living a upright life.

· But now my eye sees…Therefore I… (42:3-6)
42.3-6 You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
4 Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’
5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.
6 Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”

Job sees three things here
1. He cannot understand everything God is doing.
2. God does not answer to us. We answer to Him.
3. He has the same response to God as Isaiah.

· Mediator (9:33; 1stTim. 2:5-6)
9:33-33 “For He is not a man, as I am,
That I may answer Him,
And that we should go to court together.
33 Nor is there any mediator between us,

Who may lay his hand on us both.
1stTim. 2:5-6
5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,
· Redeemer (19:25-27)
& 19:25-27 25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth;
26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God,
27 Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
o ———————————————————————
Context of Job 31
29: Job remembers his happy past
30: Job describes his present humiliation
31: Job defends his innocence & looks ahead to God's vindication.
32–37: Elihu speaks
o ———————————————————————
Divisions of chapter 31
14: John E Hartley in The New International Commentary on the Old Testament
12: Matthew Henry
11: Delitzsch in Commentary of the Old Testament
Albert Barnes in Notes on the Old Testament
D. A Carson in New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition
7: Warren Wiersbe in Be Patient
Roy B. Zuck in Bible Knowledge Commentary
David Guzik
4: Bruce Wilkinson & Kenneth Boa in Talk Thru the Old Testament

1. Lust/looking (1-4)
2. Integrity/honesty (4-8)
3. Seduction/adultery (9-12)
4. Respect/fairness (13-15)
5. Charity/generosity (16-24)
6. Idolatry/covetousness (25-28)
7. Malice/"ill will" (29-32)
8. Secret sins/hypocrisy (33-34)
9. Injustice/oppression (38-40)
· It is clear that Job knows that one is accountable not only for overt acts of sin but also for contemplating immoral behavior and cherishing cruel, vengeful thoughts against others. —John E Hartley in NICOT
· ...sin lies in the inward intentions of the heart, and not just in the outward act. —D. A Carson in New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition

o ———————————————————————
1. Lust/looking (1-4)
1 “I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?
2 For what is the allotment of God from above, And the inheritance of the Almighty from on high?
3 Is it not destruction for the wicked, And disaster for the workers of iniquity?
4 Does He not see my ways, And count all my steps?
· Synonymous Parallelism. The second line repeats the first in words or ideas. The variation gives a two dimension for a richer, fuller meaning.
· Note the use of synonyms to fill out the meaning in verses 2-4.

A. I have made a covenant with my eyes…
ברית Strong's H1285 - bĕriyth ber·ēth' Covenant with a connotation of cutting or eating a meal together.
A covenant or compact was usually made by slaying an animal in sacrifice, and the compact was ratified offer the animal that was slain, but a king of imprecation that if the compact was violated the same destruction might fall on the violators which fell on the head of the victim. —Albert Barnes in Notes on the Old Testament as in Genesis 15
APPLICATION: "...if a man wishes to maintain purity of life, he must make just such a covenant as this with himself" —Albert Barnes in Notes on the Old Testament

בין Strong's H995 - biyn bene (Hithpolel) to show oneself discerning or attentive, consider diligently
yltattend to; kjvthink upon; nkjvlook upon; esv, nasbgaze at; nivlook lustfully; nltlook with lust
· I like the King James Versions emphasis on the thought process here. It is even more a matter of what you think or how you look—than it is how long you look, though all play a part.
· In Job 11:11 the nkjv translates this word "consider"
11 For He knows deceitful men; He sees wickedness also. Will He not then consider it?

B. Sin has consequences.
2 For what is the allotment of God from above, And the inheritance of the Almighty from on high?
3 Is it not destruction for the wicked, And disaster for the workers of iniquity?

allotment חלק Strong's H2506 - cheleq khā'lek portion, share, part, territory
ylt, kjv, nasb, esvportion; nkjvallotment; nivlot
inheritance נחלה Strong's H5159 - nachalah nakh·al·ä'
ylt, jkv, nkjv, nltinheritance; nasb, esv, nivheritage

destruction איד Strong's H343 - 'eyd ād —prop. a burden, load, by which one is oppressed, or crushed
disaster a strange or unhappy misfortune
Our sins, by God's plan, carry their own punishments.
Proverbs 5:
20 For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman,
And be embraced in the arms of a seductress?
21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD,
And He ponders all his paths.
22 His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, And he is caught in the cords of his sin.

C. God sees all.
4 Does He not see my ways,And count all my steps?

Either means that God was a witness to all he did…
· and would punish him if he had sinned in this way
· God saw all his thoughts and would witness to his innocence.

Psalm 139
1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.

Hebrews 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

o ———————————————————————

God is omniscient and just.
Proverbs 24:12
If you say, “Surely we did not know this,
Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it?
He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?
And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?
“The fear of the Lord is the awareness that God is
watching, weighing, and rewarding
all that I do, say, or think.”
o ———————————————————————