GENESIS 21, MATTHEW 20, NEHEMIAH 10, ACTS 20

Genesis 21:33
"Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and called there on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God."

What a great name for God, "the LORD, the Everlasting God." In the ESV this passage is the only time this exact phrase is used to describe God.  Isaiah 40:28 says, "The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth."  In this verse, the order is reversed, but the meaning is obviously the same, "the LORD is God Everlasting."  The rest of the Bible makes it abundantly clear God must be "from everlasting to everlasting."  In Psalm 90:2 Moses says, "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God."

If this were not so, He could not make "everlasting covenants" with Noah (Genesis 9:16), Abraham (Genesis 17:7), and David (2 Samuel 23:5).  His steadfast love could not "endure forever" in Psalm 136 if He were not the Everlasting God.  (So that you know, the Psalmist repeats 26 times "his steadfast love endures forever.")  Everything in the world in which we live has an end.  But God is described as the "Alpha and Omega...who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty" (Revelation 1:8).

Thank You, Everlasting God for being unchanging.  Everything I know is in constant change, but You remain the same.  You do as You will as the Almighty One and what You do is good and right.  May my spirit be settled in You as I live in a sea of unsettledness.

Matthew 19:30-20:16
"But many who are first will be last, and the last first."  Matthew 19:30

Since Matthew 19:30 and Matthew 20:16 are the same statement in reverse order, it would seem obvious the parable is an illustration of the proverb.  What insight does the parable of the landowner and the laborers give to the proverb?   How does this relate to the discussion Jesus has with the rich man in Matthew 19:16-26, and His answer to Peter's question in Matthew 19:27-30?

Nehemiah 10:28-39
These Israelites are a serious-minded group of people!  In Nehemiah 8 and 9, those Jews who returned from exile spent a great deal of time studying the Word of God, which lead to repentance, prayer, and worship.  In Nehemiah 9:38, they commit to a signed written covenant to keep God's instruction.  Just look at what they have committed themselves to before God and each other. They bound themselves with a curse and an oath to keep the LORD's commands.  They committed to not intermarry with foreigners.  They promised to observe the Sabbath, rest the land every seven years and fulfill all God's instruction concerning forgiveness of debt.  "We will not neglect the house of our God" sums up verses 32-39.

Almighty God, You alone are worthy of such commitment.  Thank You for the example of this group of people.  May Your Word stir in me the same repentance, prayer, and worship that leads to a more profound commitment to You and Your kingdom.

Acts 20:20-21
"I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ."

What an excellent description of life as a believer: "repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ."  There are many ways of preaching the gospel to myself, but this is one of my favorites.  Repentance is a key, if not the key, to the Kingdom of God.  Jesus made that so clear.  And how many times did He speak of believing Him, who He is, what He does and what He says?


"But many who are first will be last, and the last first."  Matthew 19:30

Since Matthew 19:30 and Matthew 20:16 are the same statement in reverse order, it would seem obvious the parable is an illustration of the proverb.  What insight does the parable of the landowner and the laborers give to the proverb?   How does this relate to the discussion Jesus has with the rich man in Matthew 19:16-26, and His answer to Peter's question in Matthew 19:27-30?

Nehemiah 10:28-39
These Israelites are a serious-minded group of people!  In Nehemiah 8 and 9, those Jews who returned from exile spent a great deal of time studying the Word of God, which lead to repentance, prayer, and worship.  In Nehemiah 9:38, they commit to a signed written covenant to keep God's instruction.  Just look at what they have committed themselves to before God and each other. They bound themselves with a curse and an oath to keep the LORD's commands.  They committed to not intermarry with foreigners.  They promised to observe the Sabbath, rest the land every seven years and fulfill all God's instruction concerning forgiveness of debt.  "We will not neglect the house of our God" sums up verses 32-39.

Almighty God, You alone are worthy of such commitment.  Thank you for the example of this group of people.  May Your Word stir in me the same repentance, prayer, and worship that leads to a more profound commitment to You and Your kingdom.

Acts 20:20-21
"I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ."

What an excellent description of life as a believer: "repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ."  There are many ways of preaching the gospel to myself, but this is one of my favorites.  Repentance is a key, if not the key, to the Kingdom of God.  Jesus made that so clear.  And how many times did He speak of believing Him, who He is, what He does and what He says?

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