Reading #1 – Exodus 36
Reading #2 – Psalms 29
Reading #3 – Proverbs 11
Reading #4 – Jonah 4
Reading #5 – 2 Thessalonians 2
Exodus 36 – Building of the sanctuary – The writer of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes spoke about the benefits of wisdom. In the building of the sanctuary, it is amazing to me how a nation of over a thousand people came together as one person to build God’s sanctuary. I believe the key element was Mosees’ leadership, integrity, and above all “faith in God”. When God is actively involved in the building, nothing is impossible. But the people continued to bring additional gifts each morning. 4 Finally the craftsmen who were working on the sanctuary left their work. They went to Moses and reported, “The people have given more than enough materials to complete the job the Lord has commanded us to do!” So Moses gave the command, and this message was sent throughout the camp: “Men and women, don’t prepare any more gifts for the sanctuary. We have enough!” So the people stopped bringing their sacred offerings. 7 Their contributions were more than enough to complete the whole project (4-5 NLT).
Psalms 29 – In our world today, we are facing unprecedented times of great struggles with this virus, confusion, frustration, and fear. Yet no matter how bad these times are, God is greater than anything that come against us (Isaiah 54:17). The voice of the Lord echoes above the sea. The God of glory thunders. The Lord thunders over the mighty sea. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic (3-4). The writer of this Psalm is proclaiming that Yaweh not Baal is king of the storm so no matter how menacing the storm may be God is greater still. “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still” (Corrie Ten Boom).
Proverbs 11 – Every day of our life, we face struggles, deal with people that are dishonest, fears of what the future holds, and dispair over the mess of our life and those we serve. Yet, we find in this chapter some very key ingredients that will help us through move through them without losing our faith in God. The most important thing we must always keep in mind is that the Devil is a liar; because he is a liar, he knows how to make an illussion seem real enough to entrap even the strongest most intelligent person on planet earth as quickly as one can snap his or her fingers. To defeat his plans, we must always make our mindset to do what is right according to God’s commands no matter what is going on, no matter who tells you to do the wrong thing, how tempting, or “how much we owe it to ourself”. If we react in accordance to the temptation, we open the door for the Devil to come in any time he choses and he will exploit the opening. Those who bring trouble on their families inherit the wind. The fool will be a servant to the wise (28 NLT).
Jonah 4 – No victory for Jonah – Jonah becomes upset because God didn’t bar-b-que the people of Ninevah. Jonah had fully expected the people to laugh at his message so that he could laugh later. Yet, upon hearing the message people repented so God relented. When we warn another person how their actions will lead to trouble, in a way we hope “it” happens so that we can judge the person. Commentary points out the fact that Jonah knew what would happen if the people repented and so he did not want to appear to be a fool and I don’t blame for feeling that way. This is one of the primary reasons many refuse to act on their God given call to prophecy or tell another person about this “King of our life”.
2 Thessalonians 2 – Passing of the Batton – Paul in his parting comments encourages the people to carry on the mission that was given to them. Someone had told them that the day of the Lord had already come, and they were too late; yet, Paul calls the message what it was “a lie”. The church for countless centuries has had to deal with false messages, calls for compromise, and pressure to abandon our post. The encouragement from Paul was, “He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News; now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter (14-15 NLT).”