July 12

Acts 17:1-15

Paul, Silas, and Timothy went to Thessalonica into a Jewish synagogue. Part of Paul’s calling was to the Gentiles, but it was also to the Jews. Understanding Judaism and having the revelation of Christ, Paul knew how to speak to Jewish people. Many followed after Paul in Thessalonica.

The Jews who did not believe in Christ came after Paul and Silas. They went to the house where they were staying, Jason’s house. Paul and Silas were not there, so the dragged Jason and some of his friends before the city officials, talking about how those who had “turned the word upside down” had come to Thessalonica. The officials let Jason go, but the group knew Paul and Silas were in danger, so they sent them on their way. However, we also know that Paul wrote two letters to the people in Thessalonica, which are part of the New Testament.

When we read the entire Bible, we get a better perspective of the Word of God as a whole. Now when we read 1 and 2 Thessalonians, we get an idea of Paul’s relationship with them because of what we learned in the Book of Acts.

Paul and Silas were received by the Jewish people of the city of Berea, so Berea got the benefit of hearing the message and receiving from Christ. Our hearts will determine what we will receive from the Lord. The people in Berea would listen, then search those Jewish Scriptures to see if what they were hearing was true. This is something we all should do – know the Bible for ourselves so the Holy Spirit can confirm truth and expose false doctrine. The Bereans found Paul’s teaching to be true.

When the Jewish haters found where Paul was preaching again, they sent men to trouble the Bereans. Paul left, but Silas and Timothy remained in Berea. Paul escaped to Athens, then Silas and Timothy followed. The people that associated with Paul (Jason, Silas, and Timothy) knew that being with Paul was a risk, a risk they were also willing to take. Paul was blessed to have people to support him, a gratefulness Paul often shared in his letters.

Psalm 7-9

Psalm 7 was written by David when fleeing Saul, a Benjamite. They were persecuting David, or you could say they were pursuing David to kill him. David was on the run. Again, we see David’s dependency, saying in verse 10, “My defense is of God, who saves the upright in heart.” Then David begins to declare God’s character, not just for himself, but because it is who God is. He makes the point that the wicked draw their own trouble. This is the Bible truth, “you reap what you sow.”

Jesus quotes from Psalm 8:2 when the children were shouting His praise at the Triumphal Entry, declaring Jesus to be the King, or the Messiah. The Hebrew word for strength is “oz” meaning “strength, power, security.” In the Greek language, it was translated “praise.” The children were ordaining strength, or “establishing” Him as king through their praise. He was declared as king that day, fulfilling Scripture (see commentary notes for Matthew 21). The writer of Hebrews also quotes from this Psalm in verses 3-6, speaking of Christ and his defeat over hell and the grace.

Psalm 9 and 10 together are an acrostic poem with the words that begin each stanza corresponding to the letters in the Hebrew alphabet. Some Bibles put these two chapters together, but there is a distinction between the two. Chapter 9 is about wickedness outside of Israel, and chapter 10 is about corruption within.

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