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Text Study for the Third Sunday in Lent -- 2011

Text Study for the Third Sunday in Lent -- 2011

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Published by Joseph Winston
Text Study for the Third Sunday in Lent
The Rev. Joseph Winston March 27, 2011

Commentary
The people are thirsty and know that death comes soon to those without water. They express this discontent to the leadership and this escalates into a fight where Moses feels threatened. Moses takes the issue to God who tells Moses to strike a rock. Water flows and the people are contented once again.

Exodus 17:1-7
Exodus 17:1 journeyed by stages – The land cannot bear this number of people and livestock, s
Text Study for the Third Sunday in Lent
The Rev. Joseph Winston March 27, 2011

Commentary
The people are thirsty and know that death comes soon to those without water. They express this discontent to the leadership and this escalates into a fight where Moses feels threatened. Moses takes the issue to God who tells Moses to strike a rock. Water flows and the people are contented once again.

Exodus 17:1-7
Exodus 17:1 journeyed by stages – The land cannot bear this number of people and livestock, s

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Published by: Joseph Winston on Mar 27, 2011
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Text Study for the Third Sunday in Lent
The Rev. Joseph WinstonMarch 27, 2011
Commentary
The people are thirsty and know that death comes soon to those without water.They express this discontent to the leadership and this escalates into a fight whereMoses feels threatened. Moses takes the issue to God who tells Moses to strike arock. Water flows and the people are contented once again.
Exodus 17:1-7
Exodus 17:1
journeyed by stages
– The land cannot bear this number of peopleand livestock, so they move in smaller groups.Exodus 17:2
The people quarrelled with Moses
– The concern about water wasenough so that Moses felt that his life was in danger.Exodus 17:3
to kill us
– The attitude is that Moses wants everyone to die.Exodus 17:4
They are almost ready to stone me
– While the people was willingto find a scapegoat, they are not able to act on their own and leave.Exodus 17:5
take some of the elders of Israel with you
– Only a small subset of the people saw what actually happened.Exodus 17:6
I will be standing there in front of you on the rock 
– God might notbe visible to the naked eye, but that does not mean that God is not with you.Exodus 17:7
Is the
L
ORD
among us or not?
– The unspoken answer is that Godis present.1
 
Psalm 95
This psalm reflects the author’s joy that he feels in the worship of the L
ORD
. Italso describes the posture of prayer in the L
ORD
’s house. The second half of thepsalm exhorts the congregation to trust in the L
ORD
. Here the narrator changesfrom the one calling to people to worship to the L
ORD
’s voice.Psalm 95:1
let us sing to the
L
ORD
– Worship includes the assembly lifting upits collective voice to God.Psalm 95:2
come into his presence with thanksgiving
– The music offers praiseto God.Psalm 95:3
a great King above all gods
– While there might be others who rule,this One is different.Psalm 95:4
In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountainsare his also.
– Nothing is outside of His rule. He is where no one else is andalso where the other gods live.Psalm 95:5
The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land, which his hands haveformed.
– He is where the daemons dwell and where the humans reside.Psalm 95:6
worship and bow down
– Worship includes reverence because it ac-knowledges that without God we are no thing.Psalm 95:7
we are the people of his pasture
– God provides a place to live.Psalm 95:8
Do not harden your hearts
– But there are some who refuse to ac-knowledge in their minds what the L
ORD
does.Psalm 95:9
put me to the proof 
– Now the speaker is the L
ORD
and He does notwant to be placed in a situation where He is forced to act.Psalm 95:10
They are a people whose hearts go astray
– Rather than realizingwho saved them, the people find other things which interest them.Psalm 95:11
in my anger I swore
– The L
ORD
acknowledges that passion in-fluences His behavior. An identical example is found in John 3:16. God’spassion for the cosmos, motivated Him to send His only Son.2
 
Romans 5:1-11
Paul begins this section by describing the benefits of faith. He then attempts toexplain the reason for pain in this world. He ends this part by reminding the readerof God’s blessings.Romans 5:1
peace with God 
– The cessation of the strife between a person andGod brings a wholeness that earlier was missing.Romans 5:2
obtained access to this grace
– Paul does not explain how this gracecontinues past the initial investment Christ makes on a believer’s behalf.Romans 5:3
but we also boast in our sufferings
– The reality of the cross meansthat it must be directly addressed. One what to do that is by seeing a re-flection of what happened to Jesus in the life of a believer. Paul takes thisapproach and turns what normally would amount to shame into honor.Romans 5:4
endurance produces character 
– Paul wants to end this list with anattribute that is widely respected.Romans 5:5
hope does not disappoint us
– This is rather a Pollyannaish view of the final outcome of trust.Romans 5:6
God’s love has been poured into our hearts
– If Paul is speakingfrom a Jewish point of view, this affection is found in the intellectual un-derstanding that peace is now a reality. If Paul is using Greek anthropology,then he is speaking of an emotional response.Romans 5:7
rarely will anyone die for a righteous person
– This fact is obtainedthrough observation.Romans 5:8
proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us
– The scandal is that the ruler of the universe helped the inhabitantsof the kingdom by giving everything up, including existence itself.xRomans 5:9
justified by his blood 
– Paul identifies the way that the believer’saccount is balanced.Romans 5:10
while we were enemies
– The state of humanity is wretched butthat does not deter God’s plans.Romans 5:11
we have now received reconciliation
– The offenses have beenremoved from the official record.3

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