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Psalm 40:1-10 1
1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. 4 Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. 5 Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. 6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—but my ears you have opened—burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. 7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—it is written about me in the scroll. 8 I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.” 9 I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, Lord, as you know. 10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly.

Some Facts about the Bible 2scroll

Note: The facts will vary somewhat depending on the translation that is examined

The Bible was written over a 1600-year period by approximately 40 men. The time of the writing was from 1500 BC to AD 100.

While the Bible is 1 book, it contains 66 3 smaller books. The books of the Old Testament were written before the birth of Jesus Christ and the New Testament covers the life of Christ and beyond.

Each of the books, except 5, are divided into chapters and verses. The 5 which aren’t divided by chapters are Obadiah, Philemon, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude. These are short books which only have verse divisions.

Chapters were introduced to the Bible in 1238 by Cardinal Hugo de S. Caro. Verse divisions were not added until 1551 by Robertus Stephanus.

The longest chapter if the Bible is Psalm 119 with 176 verses. The shortest chapter is Psalm 117 with only 2 verses. Incidentally, the middle chapter of the Bible is also Psalm 117 (Psalm 118 in some translations).

The longest book of the Bible is Psalms with 150 chapters, or psalms. It contains 43,743 words. The shortest book is 3 John with only 1 chapter and 299 words.

The longest verse in the Bible is Esther 8:9 with 90 words. The shortest verse is John 11:35 with only 2 words, “Jesus wept.”

The oldest book of the Bible 4 is believed to be Job, written around 1,500 BC, and not Genesis as you might think. The last to be written is Revelations.

As of September, 2016 the entire Bible has been translated into 554 languages, and 2,932 languages have at least some portion of the Bible in their native language.

Background

David probably penned this psalm after his deliverance, by the power and goodness of God, after some great and pressing trouble, which placed him in danger of being overwhelmed. We might speculate that it was some trouble with guilt arising from a sense of sin and of God’s displeasure against him. While for this we speculate, whatever it was, David is so moved to praise God for that deliverance. A Spirit of prophecy comes to David, testifying of the future sufferings of Christ and the glory that will follow.

  1. David records God’s favor to him in delivering him out of his deep distress, with thankfulness to his praise (v. 1-5).
  2. David takes this occasion to speak of the work of our redemption by Christ (v. 6-10).
  3. In the recalling of these thoughts it gives David encouragement to pray to God for mercy and grace both for himself and for his friends (v. 11-17).

Biblical Truths and Theology

Verse 2: It is not easy to get out of very wet (muddy) ground. It is entrapment, pulling you deeper and deeper.

Verse 5: No matter how faithful we are or smart we are, we do not know what God has planned for each of us.

Verse 6: This goes back to Exodus 20:5-6 where a slave might voluntarily choose to remain with his master. Especially if the master had given to him a wife and they had children. Then the master would take him to the judges. The man would declare in front of witnesses that he wanted to stay with his master. Then the master would make that a permanent arrangement. He would make a small hole in his slave’s ear. The slave heard his master’s orders with his ears. That hole in his ear was a visible sign that he would obey his master always.

Verse 7: In the New Testament Jesus said that this was about him. This is in Hebrews 10: 7.

Items for Discussion

  • What does it mean to be “proud” today, in the negative sense that David was addressing in the Psalm?
  • In today’s world, what are the “false gods?”
  • Why is David thankful to God?
  • What is David asking God to do for him?
  • How did David come to these conclusions?

2 Timothy 3:16
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Background 5

At the end of the book of Acts, the apostle Paul was still in prison in Rome. When he came out of prison, he went to Macedonia (1 Timothy 1:3). After that, he travelled to other places. While on these journeys, he wrote the first letter to Timothy. Timothy was then in the city of Ephesus. Timothy was the leader of the church there. Later Paul was again in prison in Rome. It was from there that he wrote this second letter to Timothy. Timothy was still in Ephesus.

Timothy was the son of a Gentile father and a Jewish mother. His mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, both believed the gospel of Christ (2 Timothy 1:5). They and Timothy probably became Christians when Paul first went to the town of Lystra (Acts 14). All the Christians in Lystra and in the church in the town of Iconium said good things about Timothy.

When Paul came the second time to Lystra, he asked Timothy to join his team (Acts 16:1-3). Timothy became a close friend and helper of Paul. He went with Paul as he travelled to many places. Then Paul appointed Timothy to lead and look after the church at Ephesus.

Paul wrote this second letter to Timothy from prison just before he died. Paul knew that the time of his death had come (2 Timothy 4:6-8). The Emperor Nero killed himself in the month of June AD 68. Paul asked Timothy to come to him before winter (2 Timothy 4:21). So, the date of the letter could not be later than AD 67.

Paul wanted to see Timothy again. He thinks about him as his own son (2 Timothy 1:4). Paul is lonely and the prison is cold. He urges Timothy to try to come before the winter (2 Timothy 4:21). He asks Timothy to bring the warm coat that he had left in the town of Troas. He also wants Timothy to bring his books and papers (2 Timothy 4:13). In the court for the first time, he had been successful. But all his friends except Luke had left him (2 Timothy 4:11, 16). Although he had succeeded that time, the Romans would not set him free. He expects that they will soon kill him (2 Timothy 4:6).

Paul writes to encourage Timothy in his Christian life. He urges him to be strong in what he believes. Timothy must use the gifts that God has given to him. He must preach the gospel and teach the truth.

This letter is much more personal than the first one. Paul urges him to be strong in his belief in the Lord (1:1-7). He should not be ashamed of the Lord or of Paul. He must be prepared to suffer for the gospel (1:8-2:13). As he had done in the first letter, Paul warns against the false teachers (2:14-19). Timothy must be a noble servant of Christ (2:20-26). In the last days, people will do awful things (3:1-9). But Timothy must continue to do what he has learned and knows. He must do what the scriptures say (3:10-17). He must preach the gospel because it is urgent that people hear it (4:1-5). Paul then talks about his own life and what he expects to happen (4:6-8). Then he asks Timothy to come and he tells him about his situation (4:9-18). He ends the letter with greetings to his friends and asks the Lord to bless Timothy (4:19-22).

Biblical Truths and Theology

God has given to us all the scriptures. It is as if he breathed them through the human writers. Peter tells us that holy men spoke by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). The scriptures are then in a real sense the word of God. As the scriptures come from God, they must be important for us. He has given them for our use as a necessary guide to how we should live. Paul then gives four areas in which the use of the scriptures is of great benefit.

They show us what God is like. And they show us how God sees us. They teach us what pleases God. Christian teachers should teach the scriptures. This is because in them is the truth that God wants everyone to know.

The scriptures show us what sin is. By them God tells us that all people have sinned. He uses them to convince us that we have done wrong things. He shows us where we have wrong ideas and thoughts.

The scriptures teach that, as we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, God can forgive us our sins. If we repent of them and bring them to God, he will remove them from us. By doing what the scriptures tell us, God can change us. He can correct the errors in our minds and in what we do.

The scriptures are there to educate us in all that is right. They teach us how to live, as God wants us to live. It is essential then that Christians read them and learn from them.

Items for Discussion

  • Where is the harassment and helplessness today?
  • Are Christian churches having compassion on those who are harassed and helpless? How or how not?
  • What did Paul mean by “like sheep without a shepherd?”
  • In what way(s) should the church interweave healing and the gospel’s message?
  • How does the church show compassion?
    • On its members
    • On its neighbors
    • On the needy in the world
  • What are the advantages to having a Bible in one’s own language?
  • What are the best ways to learn what is in the Bible?

Discussion Challenge

  • Scriptures show us what God is like, show us what sin is, teach us to trust Christ, and teach us how God wants us to live – How can the church do a better job at these goals?
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