Mark 12:28-44,Mark 12. Jesus answered the question: “What is the Greatest Commandment,” by changing the question into a the riddle “whose son is the Christ?” Finally, looking at temple offerings Jesus noticed the widow that gave her all, two mites.
Ruth 3. Ruth’s Redemption was assured.
Ruth 4. Boaz redeemed Ruth, and that’s how Ruth came to be in the genealogy of David and Jesus.
Psalm 36, of David, the Servant of the LORD. This Psalm also tells of wicked people, but then shows the mercies of God and ends up with David recognizing that without God’s protection he too is vulnerable, as are we all.
Mark 12:1-27 begins with Jesus telling the parable of the unfaithful tenants, and after that the Pharisees tried to entrap Jesus with the question “Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar?” You know the answer, if not, check it and ponder. Then it was the Sadducees’ turn to entrap him with the question what happens to marriage at the Resurrection. Jesus answered: “He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.”
Ruth 1. Elimelech’s family went to Moab, and all the men in the family died. Naomi returned back to Israel with Ruth, a Moabite. The famous quote from Ruth 1: “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:”.
Ruth 2. Ruth met Boaz.
Psalm 35, of David. An urgent call for God to execute His righteous judgment on the enemies of God and vindicate David. (This is the Psalm that has received the most hits of any Psalm on my blog)
Mark 11 starts what is called the Holy Week with the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. Jesus entered, riding on an unbroken foal of a donkey. This was the sign. The next day Jesus cursed a fig tree (symbol of Israel) and cleared the Temple of the money-exchangers (You don’t want to give too much, you know). Following morning the fig tree was withered, and all marveled. Finally, Jesus authority was questioned by the religious authorities.
Proverbs 1. It extols the virtue of wisdom. Read it and apply it. Wis
Psalm 34, of David. This Psalm is an almost acrostic psalm (except for the letter waw). Like many acrostic Psalms, this is to be sung and memorized as it is full of praise and good advice. It contains one notable prophetic reference: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken.”
Mark 10:17-52. A Rich Young Ruler asks what he must do to receive eternal life, but he cannot make himself do what Jesus required of him, so Jesus commented: ”It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” The disciples were astounded and said: “Who then can be saved?” upon which Jesus answered “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” Yes, that’s how it is with salvation. Jesus then predicted his resurrection. James and John wanted to be great, but Jesus pointed out that greatness comes by serving. The chapter finally ends as Jesus healed Bartimaeus.
Judges 19 tells in painful detail about the Levite’s Concubine and Gibeah’s crime, probably the most gruesome story in all the Bible. The Bible is honest and tells it as it was, totally wicked.
Judges 20 describes Israel’s War with the Benjamites. Another horrendous chapter.
In Judges 21 they had killed nearly all so the Israelites had to find wives for the Benjamites. The book of Judges ends fittingly: “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes,” in other words, anarchy.
In Mark 10:1-16 Jesus explained the Christian concept of Marriage: One man, one woman, one lifetime,“6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Then Jesus blessed the little children and said: “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”
Judges 16 contains the vivid story of Samson and Delilah and how he finally was captured. In his death Samson slew many more than when he lived.
Judges 17 is short, contains only the telling of Micah’s Idolatry.
Judges 18, as the Danites had failed to take their allotted land from the Philistines they wandered around and finally settled in Laish and changed the name of the city to Dan, and there they still practiced idolatry.
Mark 9:33-50. Jesus’ disciples argued among themselves who was the greatest. To give a perfect object lesson Jesus picked up a little child and explained what it means to be a servant of all. Jesus taught unity, not division, “whoever is not against us is for us,” and warned of of the dire consequences of offenses and told them to be “salt with savor” and to be at peace with each other.
Judges 12 records Jephthah’s Conflict with Ephraim where they killed people based on their accent. After that three more people, Ibzan, Elon and Abdon led Israel.
Judges 13 tells of bad times for Israel for forty years. Then came a glimmer of hope, the birth of Samson.
Judges 14. Samson started out great, but then he took a Philistine as his Wife.
Judges 15. Samson defeated the Philistines with the jawbone of an ass.
Mark 9:1-32,Mark 9 begins with the Transfiguration and gives an explanation regarding Elijah, he had already come. Then a boy with an evil spirit was healed and the disciples asked Jesus why they could not drive out the evil spirit. He answered: “This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” After that Jesus predicted his death and resurrection but the disciples did not understand it.
Judges 10. Things went from bad to worse with Tola, Jair and Jephthah as leaders, so the Israelites were again oppressed. They finally repented and got rid of their false gods.
Judges 11 describes the glorious victory and tragic vow of Jephthah. Jephthah’s Daughter is forever memorialized.
Psalm 33 is a Psalm about the sovereignty of God in creation and history. Here and in many other places of the Bible it encourages us to “sing a new song”.
Mark 8:22-38. Jesus healed a blind man at Bethsaida, followed by Peter’s Confession and Jesus predicting his death.
Judges 7. Gideon called for fighting men. Eighty-two thousand men gathered to fight. God said that was too many, reduce their number, and in two steps they were whittled down to Gideon’s Valiant Three Hundred men. With that “army” and God the Midianites were defeated.
Judges 8. Gideon Defeated the Midianites, the story is getting complicated but read it anyway. After the great victory Gideon made an Ephod from the Ishmaelites’ golden earrings and this became a snare to them all. Finally Gideon died and immediately after the Israelites fell back into idolatry, worshiping Baal.
Judges 9. The Bible tells it as it is, warts and all. So it is with the story of Abimelech’s Conspiracy and the parable of the trees. All the evil led to Abimelech’s downfall. A take home from this chapter is his last words, after his skull was cracked by a millstone, dropped by a woman. “Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him.”
Mark 8:1-21Mark 8 begins with Jesus as he fed the four thousand, the Pharisees were still looking for a sign, but Jesus warned of the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod, all very confusing for the disciples; they were still not thinking in the spiritual realm.
Judges 4. Every now and then God raises up a woman to lead the people. Deborah was such a woman and judged the people of Israel.
Judges 5 is all about the Song of Deborah. Read it and enjoy!
Judges 6. Things were going bad for Israel, the Midianites oppressed them, God called Gideon. Gideon was reluctant but after speaking with the Angel of the LORD Gideon destroyed the altar of Baal. God wanted Gideon to defeat the Midianites but again Gideon was reluctant, so he demanded the sign of the Fleece (twice). God provided the sign.
Mark 7:24-37. Jesus went to the region of Tyre and Sidon and gave an example of Great Faith: The Canaanite woman, and the healing of her daughter. Then Jesus healed a deaf-mute man, and the people said: “He has done everything well.”
Judges 1 describes the continuing conquest of Canaan, and the Israelites’ incomplete conquest of the land.
In Judges 2 God decried Israel’s disobedience, the author recorded the death of Joshua, and chronicled Israel’s unfaithfulness and sin.
Judges 3. The cycle of straying from the LORD and coming back to Him began for the nations remaining in the land. Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD and He raised up Judges: Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, and during their time there was peace in the land for 40, then 80 years.