Reading #1 – Exodus 39
Reading #2 – Psalms 32
Reading #3 – Proverbs 14
Reading #4 – Micah 3
Reading #5 – 1 Timothy 2
Exodus 39 – Making of the Priestly Garments – While it is interesting how much care went into making the cloths for the priests, it is more intersting that all of the articles had a purpose and a meaning. The breast-piece, as I have said, reminded the priest of who he was serving and what was at stake should he fail, commit an offense against G_d. The turban was white in color and had a gold emblem that was inscribed with “Holy to the Lord”. When Moses inspected the garments, the tabernacle, the articles of the sanctuary, and the sanctuary itself, he did a thorough check of it to ensure everything was built to specification. If the work was not done correctly and Moses blessed it, he and he alone would be held responsible for the judgement of G_d that would befall the people. So, the people of Israel followed all the Lord’s instructions to Moses. 43 Then Moses inspected all their work. When he found it had been done just as the Lord had commanded him, he blessed them (40 NLT). For those in leadership positions, such as the preacher, teacher, or prophet, it must be understood that people take their queue of what you believe by what you allow to occur.
Psalms 32 – Freedom through repentence. Repenting of one’s sins is a daunting thing because, it means taking off the shroud of deceit that envelops your life and allow sunshine to pour through the darkness. Holding onto a sin because of anger, remorse, fear, and/or embarassment, doesn’t make the sin go away, it makes it grow. When I was school as a boy, we were given petry dishes and told to put our thumb into it and then put the dish into a dark area. After the two days elapsed, we were to take the dish out and see what had happened. The place where I had pressed my thumb, fungus had grown, and the dish was now full of it. In a. way, this is what it is like when sin can exist in our life, the problem festers in our heart until it consumes us. When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat (3-4 NLT). Sin causes us to walk away from fellowship, avoid the people that have offended us or the ones we have offended, and this is the Devil’s “great idea for dealing with problems”. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone (5 NLT). The Devil will whisper in our ear that “we sinned for a reason” and will repeat this reason in our ears until we fully believe it to be true then, the Devil will turn on us and tell the world what we did. The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control (8-9 NLT).”
Proverbs 14 – Two Types of People the Wise and the Foolish. A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands (1 NLT). If we were to put “life” into a model that would represent the world, we would have to setup a couple different models with the one common denominator being “the subject” (human being). What we do with our life, that is the gifts and talents, will greatly determine which model we really represent. In the book of Jeremiah, it is recorded “This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land (Jeremiah 29:10-14 NLT).” Hidden within the confines of this familiar verse lies a “however” and that “however” really depends on what the people do with the time they are given. The people that came back to rebuild the temple used the 70 years to pray and seek God’s favor while many others succombed to the religious practice of the time and never returned to Israel.
Micah 3 – Judgement Against Israel’s Leadership. Leadership has a dual-edged blade. It was said, “A nuclear blaster is a good weapon but, it points both ways” (Sir Isaac Azimoth). The same is said of “leadership”. Israel was on the downside to the destruction by the time of the prophet Micah. The leadership had enjoyed many years of eating the fruit of leadership. The priests were ordained by the king so he was able to hire his own cadre of priests who would do whatever he said. The people picked up their queues from the priests and so the whole nation was ripe for destruction. This is what the Lord says: “You false prophets are leading my people astray! You promise peace for those who give you food, but you declare war on those who refuse to feed you. Now the night will close around you, cutting off all your visions (5-6 NLT). When a people do not know what to believe and what not to believe, confusion’s reign of terror will envelop everything and everyone in its wake (Mike Krier). The people of Israel/Samaria had been fed a line of non-sense with the specific purpose of keeping control of them. Unfortunately, when the promises of the false prophets and priests did not occur, it created frustration on behalf of the people; this lead up to the people saying, “Don’t tell us another word about this ‘God who love us.’” This is a very dangerous time because, it leads up to another episode in which the people ask the true prophet, “give us a king like all of the other nations around us that will fight our battles” (1 Samuel 8:6). You see, God gets a black-eye everytime we misuse the name of God, promise something He never said would occur.”
1 Timothy 2 – Instructions for worship – In God’s house, we must understand the importance of “good order and discipline”. Where there is discipline and order, peace exists, and the people can learn without wondering which person is telling the truth. I urge you, first, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For, there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. 6 He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone (3-5 NLT). While this may sound militaristic and is not conducive to a growing church, it is the direct opposite. Where this is good order and discipline, people can learn and grow in their faith.