Reading #1 – Exodus 38
Reading #2 – Psalms 31
Reading #3 – Proverbs 13
Reading #4 – Micah 2
Reading #5 – 1 Timothy 1
Exodus 38 – Building of the articles for the sanctuary. All the items built came from offerings from the people. Much of the silver that was used to build items came from the census offerings (26). When the census took place, the people had to give a ransom for their life (writings for another time) and everyone gave the same amount no matter what their status was nor how much wealth they had (Exodus 30:12).
Psalms 31 – Where is our trust? Where we really place our trust is shown by how we order our life. Many people claim to have unfailing love or a love for God that will remain strong always, but a faithful person who can find (Proverbs 20:6). The unfortunate reality is that we do not receive our reward for living righteously immediately nor is it always shown in a physical form. Human beings are subject to the troubles of the world in the form of illnesses, setbacks, death, etc. For this reason, many start off on the path of righteousness and then become disillussioned when an event like the death of a loved one from an illness like “cancer”. Love the Lord, all you godly ones! For the Lord protects those who are loyal to him, but he harshly punishes the arrogant. So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord (23-24 NLTL)!
Proverbs 13 – Listening to wise advice. “Listening” in this context is not merely hearing the words but acting on them. In scripture, we read the refrain “son of Abraham” or “son of David” when the child was not the physical child of that person rather the emodiment of the patriarch because they listened to that person’s wisdom and acted upon it. Possessing great wealth will not get us listed in the rolls of the righteous but it will open doors for thieves and con-artists to come in and steal the wealth away from us by extortion, ransom demands, and con-games. It is interesting that the people of privilege are invited to grand parties and rarely consider that it is their money that the people want. So who do we listen to? The need to listen to “wise advice” is not limited to the poor as to say, “remain poor” rather, it is for every single soul on planet earth. To every situation, there is an “end time” or the end of the matter. The person who goes astray does not run into trouble immediately nor do his or her behaviors bring immediate reproach. Today just as in the time of the writing of this proverb, there are cultural norms. The cultural norms give way to bad behavior and say, “it is ok”. Consider “adultry” which from the time Abraham to the present day was and is considered to be wrong. The norms of culture turn a blind-eye to such behavior yet, when the single act of adultry occurs, a fire is started that may never be quenched as was the case of David. Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble (20 NLT).
Micah 2 – Samaria was on a steep decline into trouble whose end would come many years after the death of the prophet. One may wonder why Yaweh did not just wipe out the nation Israel and be done with it. The reason He did not was since the person praying for the nation also lived in the land and didn’t want to be wiped away with the unrighteous. The false prophet says, “good times are ahead, disregard what is going on and take no thought because ‘God will will not allow such things to happen to his people’” (6). When the enemy comes in to destroy the land, it is G_d the people blame rather than their actions. What the people do not realize is that the false-prophet and the false-priest have alterior motives for promising “rainbows and unicorns” and that is they want to rob the people who listen to them and then will turn on them. Yet to this very hour my people rise against me like an enemy! You steal the shirts right off the backs of those who trusted you, making them as ragged as men returning from battle. You have evicted women from their pleasant homes and forever stripped their children of all that God would give them. Up! Begone. This is no longer your land and home, for you have filled it with sin and ruined it completely (8-10 NLT).
1 Timothy 1 – Pastor Timothy. Timothy was a prodige of Paul. Paul had expended a lot of energy developing this man Timothy into the pastor God had in mind for him. Timothy was the pastor the church at Ephesus a kingdom that also dealt with false religions, worship of godess Artemis. The other problem was with the teaching of the “law” by so called “Priests in the order of Aaron”. This created a “two front war”. The front of “Jewish teachings and geneology” was by far the hardest one to overcome because the teachings created a division in the church. When a church is divided, it is in effective in its ability to grow and mature in faith (Matthew 12:22-28). When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth. Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don’t help people live a life of faith in God (3-4 NLT). How can one lead a divided church without losing control? Timothy, my son, here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier. May they help you fight well in the Lord’s battles. Cling to your faith in Christ and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.