Mark 1:16-34

  1. In what different ways does Jesus exercise his authority here?
    What kind of questions did such actions make people ask?
    On what did they repeatedly focus attention?
  2. How were these Galilaean fishermen to become personal soul-winners?
    What were the conditions and the cost of the realization of such a surprising suggestion?
    Is there any reason why a similar change could not happen in my life?

Notes.

  1. Verse 22. The scribes quoted the great authorities. Jesus spoke as if he himself were the supreme authority. Cf. ‘But I tell you’ (Matt. 5:21, 22, 32-34)
  2. Verse 25-27. Jesus did not invoke God’s name like Jewish exorcists.
    He spoke as if the decisive authority was his own; and it ‘worked’. The unclean spirits obeyed him.
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Mark 1:1-15

  1. Why ‘the gospel’ (verse 1)? How is this record different from a biography?
    What blessing of the gospel of Christ were anticipated in the Baptist’s preaching?
    Cf. Acts 2:38.
    When Jesus himself preached ‘the gospel of God’, what aspects of its accomplishment and enjoyment did he stress?
  2. Observe how the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all active in the events recorded – and Satan also.
    What does this imply concerning the issues involved in the coming story and in our own earthly lives?

 Note. Note mark’s significant use of description ‘gospel. It is of such ‘good tiding’ that Isaiah had explicitly written. Cf. Is. 40:9-11; 52:7-10; 61:1-4.

Deuteronomy 32:48-34:12

Chapter 33, like Gen. 49, requires for its full understanding much research.

  1. Chapter 33. Consider, from where and why did these blessings come to the Israelites?
    Define for yourself the character or significance of each of the blessings promised here, and compare with them our blessings in Christ.
  2. Deut 32:48-52; 34:1-12. Ponder:
    (a) The chapter and work of Moses, and
    (b) The time and manner of his death.
    What can we learn from this record?

Deuteronomy 32:1-47

The analysis of this magnificent poem is as follows:

  1. The writer’s purpose and hope ……………… : verses 1-3 (see Note 1).
  2. God’s perfections, and Israel’s perversity : verses 4-6.
  3. God’s goodness to Israel …………………………. : verses 6-14.
  4. Israel’s backsliding ………………………………….. : verses 15-18.
  5. Divine judgment upon Israel ………………….. : verses 19-29.
  6. The victory of heathen nations over Israel is of God’s permitting: verses 30-35.
  7. But he will finally avenge his people and show them his mercy: verses 36-43.
  • What is said of God in his essential attributes? And what, in contrast, is said of the nature of Israel?
  • What did God do for Israel (at least seven things are mentioned in verses 7-14), and how did Israel respond to his loving kindness?
  • What is God’s purpose in his judgments, and what will be the final outcome?

Notes:

  1. Verse 2. ‘Let my teaching fall like rain’; an expression of the writer’s hope that his words may act on the hearts of men as the rain and dew on the soil.
  2. Verse 4. ‘The Rock’ (see also verses 15, 18, 30, 37): a figure expressing the thought of refuge and place of defence.
  3. Verse 8. ‘According to the number.’ i.e., he reserved for Israel an inheritance adequate to their numbers.
  4. Verse 15. ‘Jeshurun’: a poetical name for Israel, signifying ‘the upright one’. Cf. Deut. 33:5, 26; Is. 44:2.
  5. Verse 29. ‘Discern what their end will be’. i.e., discern where their perversity must lead them to.
  6. Verse 34. God is not unmindful of the sins of Israel’s enemies.

Deuteronomy 31

1.What made it possible for Israel, and what makes it possible for us, to ‘Be strong and courageous’ and not to ‘be afraid or terrified’ even when great human leaders pass away?
See verse 1-8 and cf. Heb. 13:7,8.

2. In how many different ways did the Lord, through Moses, seek to safeguard Israel against the backsliding which he knew, nevertheless, would take place?
What alone can keep us steadfast?
Cf. 1 Pet. 1:5; Gal. 5:16. Cf. also Deut. 32:46,47.

3. How does this chapter emphasize the need for something beside the law of God to promote obedience?
Cf. Rom.8:3, 4; 2 Cor. 3:5,6.

Deuteronomy 29 & 30

  1. Picture the moving scene described in 29:1,2, 10 11, and consider what strong reasons the people had for being loyal to the Lord.
    Why, then, did Moses fear that they would not prove steadfast?
    See 29:4, 18 19; cf. Acts 20:29, 30.
  2. For what purpose is revelation given, according to 29:29?
    Cf. Jas. 1:22. What is God’s character as revealed in chapter 30?
    And what is his people’s responsibility?
  3. Compare 30:11-14 with Rom. 10:6-9 and note ways in which the Old Testament law and the New Testament gospel are identical.

Note. 29:19. ‘Bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry’: a proverbial expression meaning ‘to destroy all’. It expressed here that the outcome of the idolater’s attitude and action is utter destruction. 

Deuteronomy 28:15-68

Verses 15-19 are in direct contrast to verses 1-6.
Thereafter the curses are described in fiver paragraphs, which are somewhat similar in content:
(1) verses 20-26;
(2) verses 27-37;
(3) verse 38-44;
(4) verses 45-57;
(5) verses 58-68.

  1. Examine these five paragraphs, noting their similarities.
    What are the evils contained in these curses?
  2. This chapter shows God’s people brought under a judgment worse than any that has befallen a heathen nation.
    It was fulfilled to some degree in the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, but mainly in the Fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, and the subsequent history of the Jews.
    How does this emphasize the teaching that it is better not to begin to seek God rather than subsequently to turn away?
    Cf. Matt. 12:43-45; Heb. 2:1-4; 10:26-31; 2 Pet. 2:20-22.

Note. Verse 46. ‘A sign and a wonder’: a sign of divine judgment, and a wonder causing astonishment.