October 22 to 28, 2011
This is the “One Year Bible Challenge:” to read the entire Bible in one year. Assuming a normal reading level, this can be done by spending about 10-15 minutes per day, each and every day. See ReadTheWholeBible.COM for more information. If you would like details so you can join us, or if you have any other questions, please call Tom Truex. Or send an email by using the CONTACT form on K-Line.ORG.
OLD TESTAMENT READINGS: Jeremiah 39:1 to 52:34
Themes and stories: Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonian and his army sieged Jerusalem. After more than a year, all of Jerusalem was about starved to death. When the Babylonians finally breached the city wall, King Zedekiah and his officials made a run for it. The Babylonians caught them on the plains of Jericho. Nebuchadnezzar had the king’s sons slaughtered in front of him. Then he poked out Zedekiah’s eyes and had him taken to Babylonian in chains. King Nebuchadnezzar ordered that the Prophet, Jeremiah not be harmed. Jeremiah was given the choice to travel to Babylonian, where he was assured he’d be well cared for. But Jeremiah decided to stay in Judah, even though it meant sharing the hardships of his people in their conquered nation. Only the poorest people were allowed to remain in Judah. All the others were taken to Babylonian. Gedaliah was appointed Governor by Nebuchadnezzar. Gedaliah was overpowered and murdered as he dined with his killer and his friends.
In chapter 42, the remnant of the people remaining in Judah asked Jeremiah to pray for them as to where they should go and what they should do. God told Jeremiah he should instruct the people to stay where they were. Jeremiah warned them to not go to Egypt. The people ignored Jeremiah’s advice, and went to Egypt anyway, where they worships idols.
Jeremiah’s prophesied against the Egyptians:
 The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, said: “Behold, I am bringing punishment upon Amon of Thebes, and Pharaoh, and Egypt and her gods and her kings, upon Pharaoh and those who trust in him.  I will deliver them into the hand of those who seek their life, into the hand of Nebuchadrez’zar king of Babylon and his officers. Jeremiah 46:25-26 (RSV).
Jeremiah’s prophesied against the Philistines:
 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the Philistines, before Pharaoh smote Gaza.  “Thus says the LORD: Behold, waters are rising out of the north, and shall become an overflowing torrent; they shall overflow the land and all that fills it, the city and those who dwell in it. Men shall cry out, and every inhabitant of the land shall wail. Jeremiah 47:1-2 (RSV).
Jeremiah’s prophesied against the Moabites:
 “Give wings to Moab, for she would fly away; her cities shall become a desolation, with no inhabitant in them.  “Cursed is he who does the work of the LORD with slackness; and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from bloodshed. Jeremiah 48:9-10 (RSV).
Jeremiah’s prophesied against the Ammonites:
 Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will cause the battle cry to be heard against Rabbah of the Ammonites; it shall become a desolate mound, and its villages shall be burned with fire; then Israel shall dispossess those who dispossessed him, says the LORD. Jeremiah 49:2 (RSV).
Jeremiah’s also prophesied against the Edomites, Syrians, and Elamites. He prophesied against Kedar and Hazor.
Jeremiah’s prophesied against the Babylonians:
 The word which the LORD spoke concerning Babylon, concerning the land of the Chalde’ans, by Jeremiah the prophet:  “Declare among the nations and proclaim, set up a banner and proclaim, conceal it not, and say: `Babylon is taken, Bel is put to shame, Mer’odach is dismayed. Her images are put to shame, her idols are dismayed.’  “For out of the north a nation has come up against her, which shall make her land a desolation, and none shall dwell in it; both man and beast shall flee away. Jeremiah 50:1-3 (RSV).
Chapter 51 of the Book of Jeremiah ends, “Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.” Jeremiah 52:64 (RSV). This appears to be a natural end to the book; but another chapter (52) follows. Chapter 52 contains details about the fall of Jerusalem. Some commentators consider chapter 52 to be an appendix to Jeremiah, which:
- Shows that the destruction of Jerusalem and the Babylonian captivity happened, as the prophet predicted; and
- Serves as preface to the next book, Lamentations.
Discussion points: Why did Nebuchadnezzar protect Jeremiah?
Psalms: Psalm 90:1 to 100:5
Proverbs: Proverbs 26:1 to 26:19
NEW TESTAMENT READINGS: 2 Timothy 1:1 to Titus 3:15
Themes and stories: 2 Timothy is Paul’s letter to Timothy. Paul encourages Timothy to be faithful. He recalls Timothy’s mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, both who were women of faith.
Paul warns Timothy of the difficult times that await in the last days:
 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress.  For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, fierce, haters of good,  treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,  holding the form of religion but denying the power of it. Avoid such people.  For among them are those who make their way into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and swayed by various impulses,  who will listen to anybody and can never arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3:1-7 (RSV).
The Book of Titus is Paul’s letter to Titus, a Greek who may have been converted to Christianity by Paul’s ministry.
Paul describes the qualifications for church leaders. These are similar to the instructions he gave to Timothy for church leaders in Ephesus:
-  An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Titus 1:6 (NIV).
-  For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain,  but hospitable, a lover of goodness, master of himself, upright, holy, and self-controlled;  he must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it. Titus 1:6 (RSV).
Paul warns against false teachers. He says they must be silenced, because they are upsetting whole families.
In Titus 2:2-10 (NIV), Paul gives advice for different types of church members.
-  Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.
-  Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.
-  Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
-  Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled.  In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness  and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
-  Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them,  and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.
Good works are important, but avoid useless arguments:
 This saying is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed God might be careful to devote themselves to good works. These are good and profitable for everyone.
 But avoid foolish debates, genealogies, quarrels, and disputes about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.  Reject a divisive person after a first and second warning,  knowing that such a person is perverted and sins, being self-condemned. Titus 3:8-11 (Holman Christian Standard Bible )
Discussion points: Why is the Bible so important? Is it literally the word of God?
DISCUSSION POINTS AND VERSES — Christian Men’s Breakfast only
The discussion notes ( PDF / TEXT ) for breakfast on Saturday, October 29, 2011 are now online — ”The Word of God”. This is week 43, which means we are entering the last 10 weeks of the ONE YEAR BIBLE CHALLENGE. This week we finish Jeremiah. Some nations and people did not do so well. We also read in 2 Timothy and Titus. Discussion verses: Jeremiah 39:11-14 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17