1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:8
Jeremiah 12:1 – This is a continual question of the Old Testament. We’ve seen this with Asaph in Psalm 73.
Jeremiah 12:12 – This is the 5th time the phrase “Sword of the LORD” is found in the Bible. David saw three days of the sword in 1 Chronicles 21:12, and seventy thousand men died in just three days.
Jeremiah 12:16 – Obedience, the universal call of God. Yes, God’s mercy extends even unto pagan nations (Jonah 1:2).
Jeremiah 13:9 – This object lesson is a vivid portrayal of how God marred the pride of Judah. God would later tell how long this judgment would be – Jeremiah 25:11-12, and Jeremiah 29:10 show the seventy years of judgment, that Daniel read about (Daniel 9:2).
Jeremiah 13:23 – Human reform falls short. We can try to change our actions, but only God can change our hearts.
Jeremiah 14:8 – The Saviour stands as a stranger in the land, waiting at the door (Revelation 3:20). The hymn Abide With Me is based on this passage – inviting the Savior to come in. Oscar Eliason also wrote a song based on this verse:
Why should He stand as a stranger
Close to your heart’s bolted door?
Graciously, tenderly, pleading,
Gently He knocks o’er and o’er
Why should He stand as a stranger,
He Who can save you from sin?
Peace to your heart Jesus waits to impart
The moment that you let Him in
1 Thessalonians 1:1 – Welcome to a new epistle! No, the epistles were not the wives of the apostles! Here’s from J. Vernon McGee on 1 Thessalonians:
This wonderful epistle is almost at the end of Paul’s epistles as far as their arrangement in the New Testament is concerned. However, it was actually the first epistle that Paul wrote. It was written by Paul in A.D. 52 or 53.
Thessalonica was a Roman colony. Rome had a somewhat different policy with their captured people from what many other nations have had. For example, it seems that we try to Americanize all the people throughout the world, as if that would be the ideal. Rome was much wiser than that. She did not attempt to directly change the culture, the habits, the customs, or the language of the people whom she conquered. Instead, she would set up colonies which were arranged geographically in strategic spots throughout the empire. A city which was a Roman colony would gradually adopt Roman laws and customs and ways. In the local department stores you would see the latest things they were wearing in Rome itself. Thus these colonies were very much like a little Rome. Thessalonica was such a Roman colony, and it was an important city in the life of the Roman Empire.
1 Thessalonians 1:3 – We encounter again the virtue trinity of faith, hope, and love. Paul highlighted this in 1 Corinthians 13:13, referred to this in Colossians 1:4-5, and will reiterate this in 1 Thessalonians 5:8.
1 Thessalonians 1:9 – Paul commended the Thessalonians for turning from idols to the living and true God, while the Jews turned from the living and true God to swearing by Baal (Jeremiah 12:16).
1 Thessalonians 2:2 – Sometimes it’s difficult to continue sharing the gospel when we get shut down. Paul suffered in Philippi but kept preaching in Thessalonica.
1 Thessalonians 2:5-6 – Paul lived his life for “an audience of one.” As he liked quoting Jeremiah, Glory in the Lord! (Jeremiah 9:24, 1 Corinthians 1:31, 2 Corinthians 10:17).
Psalm 79 is titled, A Psalm of Asaph, though it was clearly written after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian armies. This event was so traumatic and important in the scope of Jewish history that it is described four times in the Hebrew Scriptures: 2 Kings 25, 2 Chronicles 36:11-21, Jeremiah 39:1-14, and Jeremiah 52. Since the Asaph most prominent in the Old Testament lived and served during the reigns of King David and King Solomon, this is likely a later Asaph.
Boice (writing regarding Psalm 74) explains the concept of a later Asaph: “Either this is a later Asaph, which is not unlikely since the name might have been perpetuated among the temple musicians, or, more likely, the name was affixed to many psalms produced by this body of musicians. We know that the ‘descendants of Asaph’ were functioning as late as the reign of Josiah (2 Chronicles 35:15).”
Psalm 79:13 – The Psalmist echoes Psalm 100:3, “we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”
Proverbs 24:34 – Patch the Pirate had a great song for this: Rise and Shine!
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