Reading #1 – Exodus 33
Reading #2 – Psalms 26
Reading #3 – Proverbs 8
Reading #4 – Jonah 1
Reading #5 – 1 Thessalonians 4
Exodus 33 – This chapter reminds of what happens when our ways run awry of those who lead us. God was going to enter the land with the nation and so they wore their “Sunday best jewlry”. The problem for the nation was that they refused to be obedient. God’s spirit would go before them but that was the extent of it. The Lord said to Moses, “Get going, you and the people you brought up from the land of Egypt. Go up to the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I told them, ‘I will give this land to your descendants.’ 2 And I will send an angel before you to drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 3 Go up to this land that flows with milk and honey. But I will not travel among you, for you are a stubborn and rebellious people. If I did, I would surely destroy you along the way (1-3 NLT).” God will never contend with disobedience. When we fight him to get our own way, He will let us go on the path we have chosen. While this sounds rather mean that God would bring the people to the land and then turn his back on them, consider the implications: in our disobedience, we are telling God “I know what I am doing and don’t need your help”, “I don’t want to hear about ‘righteousness’””, and “I just want the good things that are promised”. It is said, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the labors work in vain” (Psalms 127:1-2). We cannot accept from God only the “good things” and not expect the “bad things”.
Psalms 26 – While the words of this chapter are greatly encouraging, for the writer it was predicated by a time of intense personal introspection. When we are being charged with a crime, we have to look at our life, our actions, and provide an alibi for the time of any murder we are being charged with. If are heart does not convict us, then we have peace with God and we can claim what the writer is saying for our life (1 John 3:21). Now I stand on solid ground, and I will publicly praise the Lord (12 NLT).
Proverbs 8 – Wisdom is never silent and always at work. She shows herself and proves her merit simply by failures of our life. Before we cast caution to the wind, she speaks to our heart if only we would listen. “I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment. All who fear the Lord will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech. Common sense and success belong to me. Insight and strength are mine. Because of me, kings reign, and rulers make just decrees. Rulers lead with my help, and nobles make righteous judgments (12-16 NLT).
Jonah 1 – The prophet Jonah was given a specific task and he wanted to run away. In ways, I do not blame him for wanting to avoid the mess in Ninevah. It took a storm and big fish to bring him to his senses. Jonah was not the first person in history to try and run away from what lie before him. Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once! The sailors were awestruck by the Lord’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him. Now the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights (15-17 NLT).
1 Thessalonians 4 – It should be the great pleasure of any person calledl by God to live in ways that please him. The world has its ways and means of competing its mission. As enticing as it is to follow the path of least resistance, if we are to remain obedient to God, we refuse to do things according to the world. God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor— not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways. Never harm or cheat a fellow believer in this matter by violating his wife, for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before. God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you (3-8 NLT). Nowhere in this chapter or any other chapter will you find the word “cannot” because you can most certainly do anything you want because you are not a tomotaunt you have your autonomy. However, when we chose to be disobedient like the nation of Israel, we are in fact doing the work of the Devil and he is laughing his head off at us.