Reading #1 – Numbers 2
Reading #2 – Psalms 62
Reading #3 – Song of Solomon 8
Reading #4 – Malachai 1
Reading #5 – 1 Peter 1
Numbers 2 – Organization of Israel’s Camp. Everything about the Kingdom of G_d is organized. For the nation to move cohesively, it would require a very organized and mobilized force. Israel had been in captivity two years earlier and the only organization they knew was that of the taskmaster. Even in freedom, there must be a system of organization to keep things moving smoothly. By being obedient, the nation moved as one cohesive organization and the nations greatly feared Israel just as Israel would greatly fear the armies of Babylon centuries later.
Psalms 62 – A Psalm of David. It is very easy to say at the beginning of the trouble, “I trust G_d” yet, let the trouble rage on for days then weeks, months, and sometimes years and that trust just might be as sound as it was on day 1. Every Psalm and/or Proverb that was written by David were not mere words to please G_d or elicit awe from the reader, they were inspired by events in his life. When you read the words of Proverbs 1-8, you can get the sense that someone learned the hard way why adultery does not make sense. In the same way, the speaker has gone through a great storm and found out that G_d is abiding even amid storms (Psalms 46:1). Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge (5-8).
Song of Solomon 8 – There is a type of love that can not be bought as there is no price high enough to garner it. ‘Were a man to offer all the wealth of his house to buy love, contempt is all that he would purchase’ (From Zondervan’s Commentary 5). G_d’s love for us, agape (unconditional) cannot be bought. Because it cannot be bought, it cannot be earned either, it is given freely and fully. Solomon’s marriage to the Egyptian princess, Naamah, was in clear violation of the Torah. As King Solomon felt it within his purview to violate the centuries-old law (Proverbs 16:10). As we’ll find out later in scripture, this marriage created many more unanticipated problems for the nation and would lead them to exile. When the church was accepted into the same club as Israel, it created more problems for the nation that were “anticipated’.
Malachi 1 – The Word of the Lord Through Malachi. When a child sees the love of the parents only by what the parent(s) do not give, it can be said that “the child has an upside-down view of the parent’s love”. The love of a parent to a child transcends what you can see. The parent(s) is/are responsible for the child and by the proxy need to take the necessary steps to lead the child and prepare him/her for the days ahead. When the child treats the parent’s love contemptuously by bad-mouthing them to their friends or by giving their parents sub-marginal effort, they are showing much they respect what the parent has done. When the child grows up and raises a family of their own, that conduct comes back to cause that child great difficulties. In the same way, when the child of G_d gives Him only sub-marginal effort, they show the true level of their love for Him. Israel/Judah had been giving G_d only sub-marginal offerings and it became offensive to G_d. When trouble comes, and we have not been obedient, we will see how big the enemy is and say, “G_d who”? Because, we will forget what He has done in and through our lives, how the enemies were silenced, and the forces of hell kept at bay. When say “G_d who”? Satan comes in and he will attack unmercifully and completely. The LORD of Heaven’s Armies says to the priests: “A son honors his father, and a servant respects his master. If I am your father and master, where are the honor and respect I deserve? You have shown contempt for my name! “But you ask, ‘How have we ever shown contempt for your name?’ “You have shown contempt by offering defiled sacrifices on my altar” (6-7).
1 Peter 1 – A Letter from Peter. There is an old English recipe for a successful marriage, “Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe” (https://www.theknot.com/content/wedding-traditions-the-meaning-of-something-old). These four “good luck charms” were meant to ward off evil. When it comes to our faith in G_d, there is also the “something old, something new, and something borrowed” which gives substance to our faith. Many of our beliefs stem back to the days of Moses in the wilderness. The warnings that G_d gave the nation were meant for their survival for the storms that lay ahead. In our present situation, G_d commands us to adhere to his regulations for our safety that we can survive whatever storm faces us including COVID19. All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see (3-5).