Mark 2

Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?

I am often disturbed by how light we (including myself) take it when we hear someone has come to believe that Jesus died on a cross to take away their sins and give them eternal life in heaven.  “Oh, that’s nice, congrats.”  BUT the celebration we take when one of our kids makes a touchdown or scores a goal.

Just something to think about.

Forgiving his sins was the big miracle-not the external healing.  However, for the onlookers to understand that Jesus ‘could’ change the inside of a man, He followed by proving it with a superficial change.     HOWEVER, only one person can forgive sins…The Lord.  This is going to cause an issue and an uprising.  (we might say who cares about the uprising BUT remember, the Jews were allowed to ‘self govern’ as long as they didn’t cause problems for Rome.  Well…it’s starting)

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

They never said anything!  But Jesus says: “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” 

I bet their jaws dropped!


Jesus eats at Matthew’s house.

I KNOW I say “this is my favorite” a lot.  BUT this time, I mean it.  Verse 13-17, by far, is my favorite scripture in the New Testament.  I won’t get into the 100 reasons why,  but just know that they are!!!  One of the 100 has to do “Christians” walking out of one of my Bible studies after they saw a picture of me loving on some close friends of mine that happen to be in a same-sex marriage.  I love them as much as Jesus loves them. Don’t assume someones’ doctrine…assume a mission field through LOVE.

Levi (renamed Matthew by Jesus “the gift of God”), as we know, is a tax collector.  Before he was a tax collector, he was the son of a priest.  We know he was taught the Scriptures well because when He wrote the Book of Matthew, he quotes the Old Testament. He gave up his family role of being a priest to be a criminal. $$$.  Tax collectors were the bottom feeders who pre-paid poor people’s taxes and charged them high-interest rates.   When Jesus said “Follow Me,”- this was atypical.  Usually, Jews studied for years and had to “ask” to follow a Rabbi.  Rabbi’s were picky-they wanted someone educated in the scriptures (not money laundering), and they had to have a current job so they could pay their own way.

17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Think about that (talking to myself) the next time you complain about some of the people, music, service, etc., in your church service.  I am often reminded of my second favorite story in the NT about the 99 sheep.  Once when I was complaining (in my head) about something at church I heard in my heart- Luke 15:

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’

Basically, I heard: “This is not for you, Szymanski…feel free to leave.” Ouch, He was right!


Jesus was not coming to “fix” the Covenant.  He was the Covenant. He wasn’t the patch or going to refresh the law.

21 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. 22 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”


The Sabbath- Two main things set the Jews apart from the rest.  Circumcision and the Sabbath.  The Sabbath had become so steeped in “rules” that the purpose of it had become polluted.  The Pharisees had created rules about the rules and added restrictions to those rules.  The purpose was gone.

27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

He backed that up with a story about David.  (2 Samuel 21)  At one point in David’s life, when he was on the run from Saul, he asked the priest Ahimelech for food. The priest gave David the bread of the Presence (from the Temple) since it was the only bread available. David was not a priest, so it was technically unlawful for him to eat the showbread. However, Jesus refers to this event, using it as proof that the Law was designed for man’s benefit and that Christ is Lord of the Sabbath.

Nehemiah 11-13, Psalm 126

Chapter 11-12 -Good news and bad news.  Nehemiah was concerned about the lack of population that had returned to Jerusalem.  The good news is many began coming.  Nehemiah highlights the list of people to show the Levitical line and how it matched before they were taken into captivity. If you skim like me you might miss that the Tribes of Israel were regathering (just like the prophets said).

Nehemiah describes the dedication of the wall and the revival of HIs people.  God instituted these celebrations as a way to commemorate His Provisions, to teach the generation to come, but also to build community.

43 And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.  ❤


Chapter 13   Now the bad news- they disobeyed the Lord and broke their promises.

  • verse 4-14 they failed to keep the Temple Holy
  • verse 15-22 they failed to keep the Sabbath Holy
  • verse 23-28 they failed to keep their marriages Holy

When the people began to regather they specifically chose to live outside the city limits where they could live a “less strict life”- Feel free to let your Holy Spirit apply that to your own life 🧐

Nehemiah returned again to restore order.  (We really do need Godly leadership in our lives and our country).

Well, my sweet friends…you have finished the History of the Old Testament.  We have our last prophecy book to read-Malachi.  This will be a bridge book connecting the OT to the NT through John the Baptist.

So as you reflect-you can see why it is important to read Chronologically.  Look at this and see where Ezra and Nehemiah are.  If you tried reading your Bible in the past and were confused…now you know why.

Reading it like this you see God’s character, His Promises, His Love, His commitment, His Forgiveness-And that gives me Hope.

And we end with Praise.  An Ascent song as they come to the Temple to Praise HIm:

Psalm 126

A song of ascents.

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
    our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, Lord,
    like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears
    will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
    carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
    carrying sheaves with them.

Coincidence? NO. God does incredible things to get out attention.

I LOVE when God speaks!  I went to Chattanooga today to visit my daughter at college.  I took her and her friends out for dinner.  I went to wash my hands and I passed a table in the section that was “closed” on the way.  The section was empty and there sat a Bible open on a table (at the restaurant!). I stopped and took a look.  This is exactly what I saw.  It was open to today’s reading.  ❤️. I never saw a person the whole night go near it.

2 Kings 22-23, 2 Chron 34-35

On April 9th we read about the Hebrews asking for a king!  116 days ago!!

The Lord WARNED them that it was not what they needed, they needed God to be their King.  They said no thanks, and God gave them what they asked for to show them they were wrong.  That was in 1046 BC.  500 years has passed and we are about to read the last 5 kings of Judah.

Last 5 Kings of Judah

03 last five kings of juda

Click here if you want to print this one.  But I will post it again this week.


2 Kings 22 “Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years.”  Ok…so you know I need my trusty line graph to prepare myself!  So Manasseh and Amon were his father and grandfather….terrible role models. BUT Josiah comes on the scene at a mere 8 years old so obviously, he wasn’t old enough to follow in their footsteps.  He shoots straight up to the “revival” section…BUT we can see he is the LAST good king…

It saddens me that since Hezekiah the Temple has to be repaired again after the damage Manasseh and Amon did making alters to foreign gods in it.  Young Josiah puts the task to repair the temple when the Book of the Law was found.  WHAT???  I honestly didn’t realize it was lost.

Who remembers when I used to repeat Deuteronomy 17 over and over…What was a King supposed to do??

The King must:

  1. He must be the one the Lord chooses
  2. He must not multiply his horses for military purposes
  3. He must not acquire many wives
  4. He must make a copy of the Law and have it with him at all times.  He will read it every day.

So imagine finding the Book of the Law (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) and reading ALL that they are not doing according to God’s plan and then realizing that the King should have been reading it every day.  (Kind of like me finding my dusty Bible)

Tickled Pink Life » 31 Days – Josiah and the Provision of a ...


Entering stage left is a prophetess!  Yaaaasssss!  Huldah.  BUT her message was bittersweet.  Judah will be destroyed, but I will wait till after your death to do it.

Chapter 23- It takes 20 verses to describe how many pagan altars Josiah had to demolish in the Temple area.  The only thing he left from the “yester-year” were the bones of the prophets that disobeyed God’s commands in 1 Kings 13.

Josiah makes an atonement for their sins:

20 Josiah slaughtered all the priests of those high places on the altars and burned human bones on them. Then he went back to Jerusalem.

This was the same atonement that was made when Moses came down from Mt. Sinai to find the people worshiping the golden calf!.

Exodus 32:  27 Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’” 28 The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. 29 Then Moses said, “You have been set apart to the Lord today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.”


NOW let’s start putting all the pieces together.  ALL those prophecy books…all the splintered facts we have…they all fit.  Remember I was talking about the world powers in the prophecy books…who can remember them??

Map of Middle East at 3500BC | TimeMaps

Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon.

29 While Josiah was king, Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt went up to the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. King Josiah marched out to meet him in battle, but Necho faced him and killed him at Megiddo.

And then finally we read about the next 2 kings…who did evil in the eyes of the Lord…

  • Jehoahaz King of Judah
  • Jehoiakim King of Judah

2 Chron 34-35-  SOoooo I was a little lazy and read only kings before I wrote this and then I listened to 2 Chronicles.  It’s been a while since we read these side by side and I forget that I like the detail from the Chronicler.  Just know when you read it you are reading it from the Priestly view so you will definitely see more of the Temple’s “workings”.


Thank you for all the encouragement.  I love you guys.-  Patricia Szymanski

The Book of Micah

It’s a 20-minute read (long). So I vow to keep this post short.

Samaria and Jerusalem:Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) - Wikipedia

The capitals should be the Holiest city!  Are they?

What is Jacob’s transgression?
    Is it not Samaria?
What is Judah’s high place?
    Is it not Jerusalem?

There are 3 trials:

Ch 1 and 2-The Trials of the capitals: Samaria and Jerusalem. The Covenant is a “contract”.  The people broke their contract.  So now God brings His case against them. God tells them the consequence for their sins: their land will be a heap of rubble!

Here is a picture of Samaria today-

Samaria (city) - BibleWalks.com

Micah is the first one to weep over the verdict.

v10-16 -Micah used puns and plays on words to talk about the judgment coming upon the cities of Judah.  Names of cities and people were often their destiny  (LIke our character is often ours)


Chapter 2- As I was reading Chapter 2 I thought about the horrible Kings that made their “own” plan instead of God’s Plan.

v6-False prophets say what people “want” to hear…not “need” to hear.  Look at verse 11:

If a liar and deceiver comes and says,
    ‘I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,’
    that would be just the prophet for this people!

(this is not a dig at drinking…this is sarcasm about “If a prophet  talked about beer and wine you would like him…they didn’t like Micah and his message)

BUT God’s “contract” is unconditional.  Regardless of this trial: v12

“I will surely gather all of you, Jacob;
    I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel.
I will bring them together like sheep in a pen,
    like a flock in its pasture;
    the place will throng with people.
13 The One who breaks open the way will go up before them;
    they will break through the gate and go out.
Their King will pass through before them,
    the Lord at their head.”

I am a sheep!!  Jesus is the King!


Chapter 3 Trial #2- Trial of the Leaders.

Her leaders judge for a bribe,
    her priests teach for a price,
    and her prophets tell fortunes for money.
Yet they look for the Lord’s support and say,
    “Is not the Lord among us?

WOW!


Chapter 4- (Hey I am doing good keeping it short!)  It’s killing me though!

“In the last days”:  We are split-screen…or watching 2 channels at once…we are looking at the 2nd Coming too….

In the last days

the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
    as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
    and peoples will stream to it.


Chapter 5- Let’s do this!

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.”

Let’s flip to Matthew Chapter 2

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

Well we know he was a big fat liar and was going to have the baby killed but that is beside the point.  Back to Micah…


Chapter 6- Trial #3- Trial of the People.  (Arg!  This is us)

The trial: oh my stars!  God states in concluding arguments recounting just a moment of His provision for the people.  And ends with…and what small task did I ask back? v8:

And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

v9-16 is the verdict.

Therefore I will give you over to ruin
    and your people to derision;
    you will bear the scorn of the nations


BUT God is Love, and we have Hope!

But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
    I wait for God my Savior;
    my God will hear me.

 

How does it end.??? With a Savior:

1Who is a God like you,
    who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
    of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
    but delight to show mercy. ❤️
19 You will again have compassion on us;
    you will tread our sins underfoot
    and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.❤️
20 You will be faithful to Jacob,
    and show love to Abraham,
as you pledged on oath to our ancestors
    in days long ago.

Correction made 🤪

Good Morning. I read the correct reading this morning but the title was wrong. 2 Sam 13-15. It is not a difficult read BUT it is one that you will need to pay attention to. A lot of names. I attached a highlighted family tree AND Quizlet notecards to help. Have a wonderful Saturday!

Psalm 56, 120, 140, 141, 142

Psalm 56:David:  He must have felt the whole world was against him because they were!.  Think about how scared he had to be.  He was using the Philistine territory as a hiding place.  Being pursued by a King of his own people.

Amazon.com: Tapestry Of Truth - Psalm 56:3 - TOT9241 - Wall and ...


Psalm 120:-  In your Bible, it should say “Song of Ascent”. The Songs of Ascent are a special group of psalms (Psalms 120—134) They are also called Pilgrim Songs. Four of these songs are attributed to King David (122, 124, 131, 133) and one to Solomon (127), while the remaining ten are anonymous.

The city of Jerusalem will be situated on a high hill (it has not been built yer, David’s son will be in charge of that). Jews traveling to Jerusalem for one of the three main annual Jewish festivals traditionally sang these songs on the “ascent” or the uphill road to the city.

We will eventually read all of them but if you are interested in reading them now: (walk up a hill I guess 😁)

Psalm 120: God’s presence during distress
Psalm 121: Joyful praise to the Lord
Psalm 122: Prayer for Jerusalem
Psalm 123: Patience for God’s mercy
Psalm 124: Help comes from the Lord
Psalm 125: Prayer for God’s blessing upon His people
Psalm 126: The Lord has done great things
Psalm 127: God’s blessing on man’s efforts
Psalm 128: Joy for those who follow God’s ways
Psalm 129: A cry for help to the Lord
Psalm 130: A prayer of repentance
Psalm 131: Surrender as a child to the Lord
Psalm 132: God’s sovereign plan for His people
Psalm 133: Praise of brotherly fellowship and unity
Psalm 134: Praise to God in His temple

Back to Psalm 120: Meshek was a nation in the far North and Kedar was a nation in the Southeast. No matter where David went he was in danger.

Psalm 120:1 I took my troubles to the Lord. I cried out to him and ...


Psalm 140: If you printed the list you will see that this is a lament BUT considered on Imprecatory Psalm. Click here for the list.

Imprecatory Psalms are rough to read. (Just being honest). An imprecation is a curse that invokes misfortune upon someone. Imprecatory psalms are those in which the author calls down calamity, destruction, and God’s anger and judgment on his enemies. Yikes.  BUT, think about what David is going through.  Think about a time in your life you may have prayed this over someone.  Again, just being honest.  Imprecatory Psalms are: Psalms 5, 10, 17, 35, 58, 59, 69, 70, 79, 83, 109, 129, 137, and 140.

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Psalm 141:I never noticed before how much of his prayers regarded the destruction that comes from the mouth. From his enemies and his own.  But in Psalm 141 I see confidence in David by verse 6.  The word WILL is used often.  Complete trust.

Psalm 141:3. I wish my sister had pinterest, she needs to read ...


Psalm 142: A prayer in desperation and feeling overwhelmed.Psalm 142:2 - It is righteous to complain to God. Complain! If the Israelites in the desert had complained and whined to God, they would… | Psalms, Psalm 142, Words

Psalm 142 – Unjournaled