One Little Word: Laughed

Rev. Andrew Prin
March 1, 2020

GodSpeak for the Week of March 1

We continue this week with our Lenten series we began on Ash Wednesday – “One Little Word”; a program focused on the last line verse of Martin Luther’s famous hymn, “A Mighty Fortress”.

In addition to the word “Jesus,” God has put into His Word a variety of “little words” which have the power to “subdue” the devil.

Borrowing from the readings of Ash Wednesday and this morning, we end with the word “laughed.”

Day 1…Read Joel 2:1-15 (from our Ash Wednesday readings)

  • Answer this – what does the “day of the Lord” look like early in this passage?  What images is Joel called by God to share with the people?
  • Consider this – bear in mind that God’s Word (i.e., the Bible) is made up of two fundamental types of “Word” – Gospel & Law.
  • Answer this – why, then, would God offer His people such a vivid (and even scary) Word?
  • Answer this – so, how important then is v. 12?  What does God offer His people in this and the following verses?  How does God balance Law & Gospel in this passage?

Day 2…Read Joel 2:16-19 (again, from our Ash Wednesday readings)

  • Answer this – after all of the Law & Gospel of vv. 1-15, what is the tone and intent of God’s Word here?
  • Answer this – what strikes you as being most important in this part of the passage?  What verse (or verses)/idea(s) offer the most important correction and instruction?  What offer the most hope?

Day 3…Read Genesis 3:1-7 (from our Ash Wednesday readings)

  • Consider this – notice how the serpent twists God’s Word right from the beginning of Creation!
  • Answer this – how does Eve first respond to the serpent? (i.e., vv. 2-3)
  • Answer this – how does the serpent respond to Eve’s answer?
  • Answer this – focus on v. 6 (Eve’s answer to the serpent’s second rebuttal)…what changes in Eve that she takes the fruit and eats?  Why couldn’t/didn’t she just stick to what she’d just said?  Again, what changed?

Day 4…Read Genesis 18:1-8

  • Consider this – the word “Mamre” in Hebrew means “fatness” or “strength”.  As we see, it’s the name of the group of trees where Abraham is camped.
  • Answer this – at what time of day do these events take place?  Yet, what does Abraham do?  What does Abraham’s response at this time of day say about his character?
  • Answer this – how does Abraham’s response and generosity reflect the definition of the word “mamre”?

Day 5…Read Genesis 18:9-14

  • Consider this – the Hebrew word for “laughed” carries the connotation of “jest” or “for sport” (i.e., of disbelief, here).
    • The Hebrew word for “pleasure” carries the notion of something “luxurious”, “dainty” and of “finery” (i.e., thus a newborn child).
  • Answer this – while he is not mentioned in this passage, how does Sarah’s response speak to Satan’s temptation?  What would Satan have liked to have happened in this episode?
    • How does God use Sarah’s laughter to “subdue” the devil?
  • Answer this – what does God say in this passage which refutes the seeming impossibility of the situation?

Day 6…Read Mark 5:37-43

  • Answer this – how does this episode compare with the response Sarah gave at God’s seemingly impossible good news?
  • Answer this – how does the Lord emphasize that what He has accomplished was not mere slight-of-hand or wishful thinking? (hint – focus on v. 43)
    • Again, how does God’s Word – in this passage from Mark – “subdue” the devil?

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