January 30, 2018: If God Were Santa Claus…

January 30, 2018

Bible Study Session 4: If God Were Santa Claus…

This week, we will be reading 2 texts: Psalm 58 and Matthew 6:25-34. There are 66 books in the library we call the Bible, and sometimes, it is valuable to put different authors into conversation.

Our first text, a song of King David, is a song of both petition and hope. The context is David’s capture by the Philistines, a time when many of us would undoubtedly be asking God for help as well!

The second text comes from the Gospel of Matthew, and it encourages us to trust in God, even in the midst of hardship. As if to answer the obvious question, “But how can we trust something we can’t even see?”, the author uses examples from nature to demonstrate God’s trustworthiness and compassion for all of us.

Are you convinced? Will God be there for us when we need God most? I look forward to exploring these texts with you next week!

Study Scripture 1: 

Psalm 58   

International Standard Version

 1How is it that by remaining silent you can speak righteously?
How can you judge people fairly?
No, in your heart you devise injustice,

And your hands mete out violence on the earth.
The wicked go astray from the womb;
they go astray, telling lies even from birth.
Their venom is like a poisonous snake;
a deaf serpent that shuts its ears,
refusing to hear the voice of the snake charmer,

however skillful the enchanter may be.

God, shatter their teeth in their mouths;
Break the fangs of the young lions!
May they flow away like water that runs off,
may they become like someone who shoots broken arrows.
May they be like a snail that dries up as it crawls;
Like wax that is melted and falls before the fire.
Before your clay pots are placed on a pile of thorns—
whether green or ablaze—
wrath will sweep them away like a storm.

10 The righteous will rejoice when they see your vengeance;
when they wash their feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 A person will say,
“Certainly, the righteous are rewarded;
certainly there is a God who judges the earth.”

 Study Scripture 2:      

Matthew 6:25-34         

New Revised Standard Version

 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly God feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life or one cubit to your height? 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will God not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly God knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.