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Psalm 147:12-20 1
12 Extol the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion, 13 for he strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you. 14 He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat. 15He sends his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. 16 He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. 17 He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy blast? 18 He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow. 19 He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel. 20 He has done this for no other nation; they do not know his laws. Praise the LORD. 

clip_image026Background 2

The psalmist praises God for his goodness to Jerusalem, 1-3; shows his great mercy to them that trust in him, 4-6; he extols him for his mercies, and providential kindness, 7-11; for his defense of Jerusalem, 12-15; For his wonders in the seasons, 16-18; and his word unto Jacob, 19, 20.

This Psalm, which is without title in the Hebrew, Chaldee, and Vulgate, is attributed by the other Versions to Haggai and Zechariah. It was probably penned after the captivity, when the Jews were busily employed in rebuilding Jerusalem, as may be gathered from the second and thirteenth verses. It may be necessary to remark that all the Versions, except the Chaldee, divide this Psalm at the end of the eleventh verse, and begin a new Psalm at the twelfth. By this division the numbers of the Psalms agree in the Versions with the Hebrew; the former having been, till now, one behind.

Biblical Truths and Theology 3

Verse 12-20 – The church, like Jerusalem of old, built up and preserved by the wisdom, power, and goodness of God, is exhorted to praise him for all the benefits and blessings vouchsafed to her; and these are represented by his favors in the course of nature. The thawing word may represent the gospel of Christ, and the thawing wind the Spirit of Christ; for the Spirit is compared to the wind, John 3:8. Converting grace softens the heart that was hard frozen, and melts it into tears of repentance, and makes good reflections to flow, which before were chilled and stopped up. The change which the thaw makes is very evident, yet how it is done no one can say. Such is the change wrought in the conversion of a soul, when God’s word and Spirit are sent to melt it and restore it to itself.

Items for Discussion

  • What are the dangers of assigning all that happens in the modern world to explainable events?
  • How does our society, either intentionally or unintentionally, feed this perception that man is in control of his world?
  • When modern science attacks the very nature of our Scriptures, how should we respond: (a) to our selves; (b) to our friends and family; and (c) to our children?
  • How does a society teach its children that they have been granted a blessing from God?

 

Luke 10:1-12
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. 5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. 8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

Background 4

Luke wrote two books of the New Testament (NT). Luke’s Gospel tells the story of the life and work of Jesus. Luke’s second book, Acts, continues the story after Jesus went back to heaven. The two books amount to a quarter of the NT, more than Paul wrote.

Luke was a doctor (Colossians 4:14). He was often Paul’s companion in his travels. The book of Acts contains passages in which the author includes himself as a companion of Paul (‘we’ in Acts 16:10-17; 20:5-21:18; 27:1-28:16). Luke shared Paul’s work (Philemon, verse 24). He was a loyal friend. In prison, Paul says, ‘only Luke is with me’ (2 Timothy 4:11). Luke was a Gentile. He came from Antioch, which was a town in Syria. Luke was a skilled writer, showing that the gospel is good news for all people.

Biblical Truths 5

Christ sent the seventy disciples, two and two, that they might strengthen and encourage one another. The ministry of the gospel calls men to receive Christ as a Prince and a Savior; and he will surely come in the power of his Spirit to all places whither he sends his faithful servants. But the doom of those who receive the grace of God in vain will be very fearful. Those who despise the faithful ministers of Christ, who think meanly of them, and look scornfully upon them, will be reckoned as despisers of God and Christ.

Items for Discussion

  • What can we discern from Luke about the job of spreading our faith to others?
  • What are we told about those who do not welcome the message of salvation?
  • How would you write our job description based on Luke’s comments-what are our duties?
  • What conclusions can we draw about judgment against those who do not respond to the message of hope? (see Lu 12:47-48; Matt 12:41; 23:13).

Discussion Challenge

  • How does a congregation equip its members for the job described by Luke?
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