Posted by: Pauline | February 4, 2014

Scriptures for Sunday February 9

Psalm 112:1-10

This psalm tells of the blessings the righteous person will experience. These include a good reputation, prosperity, and confidence even in bad times. These are not guarantees that the righteous will always experience all of these blessings, but a generalization of how right behavior tends to lead to positive consequences.

It is interesting that the Hebrew word for “fear” is used three times in this psalm. In verse 1, it is used about fearing God, which goes along with delighting in His commands. In verses 7 and 8, it says that this person will not be afraid of bad news.

We generally speak of the fear of God being awe or reverence rather than what we usually think of as fear, but the same Hebrew word is used in both contexts. Isaiah 8:13 tells us “If you fear him, you need fear nothing else.”

1 Corinthians 2:1-16

Paul contrasts two kinds of wisdom, the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of God. God’s wisdom is hidden except from those who have been given spiritual life by God’s Spirit, to whom also the Spirit gives understanding of spiritual things.

Matthew 5:13-20

Jesus’ words about salt losing its saltiness may seem puzzling. But Dr. John Pilch explains in his Cultural Dictionary of the Bible that it was common practice to collect animal dung and mix it with salt, forming patties to be dried then used as fuel in earthen ovens (translated “earth” in our Bibles). The salt contained magnesium which acts as a catalyst for burning, but over time the mixture would lose its catalytic quality and would need to be discarded.

If salt does not fulfill its purpose in helping the fuel burn, it is useless. Likewise a lamp under a basket cannot fulfill its purpose and is useless. We need to seek understanding of God’s purpose for us and His grace to fulfill it.

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