Reading #1 – Numbers 9
Reading #2 – Psalms 69
Reading #3 – Proverbs 7
Reading #4 – Matthew 4
Reading #5 – 2 Peter 3
Numbers 9 – The Passover and the fiery cloud. In the 2nd year after leaving Egypt, G_d instituted the “Passover” or in Hebrew word “Pesach”. This meal celebrates the nation’s freedom and is still celebrated today and is held in the spring of the year which coincides with “Easter”. Everyone, including those who were unclean for whatever reason was to celebrate the feast. “But those who neglect to celebrate the Passover at the regular time, even though they are ceremonially clean and not away on a trip, will be cut off from the community of Israel. If they fail to present the LORD’s offering at the proper time, they will suffer the consequences of their guilt. 14 And if foreigners living among you want to celebrate the Passover to the LORD, they must follow these same decrees and regulations. The same laws apply both to native-born Israelites and the foreigners living among you (13-14).”
Psalms 69 – Praise be to G_d! The writer, believed to be David, had gotten himself into deep trouble the kind that will lead to imprisonment. The words strike a chord with me because they do not request that G_d remove him from the problems he is facing. After all, he was the author of the trouble. O God, you know how foolish I am; my sins cannot be hidden from you. Don’t let those who trust in you be ashamed because of me, O Sovereign LORD of Heaven’s Armies. Don’t let me cause them to be humiliated, O God of Israel. For I endure insults for your sake; humiliation is written all over my face. Even my brothers pretend they don’t know me; they treat me like a stranger (5-8). What we do not always consider is how our actions and words can cause problems for G_d’s family and our own family (Proverbs 11:28). The OT Priests wore an ephod that contained rocks to remind them of their families and nation so that when they made decisions, these rocks would cause them to consider what was really at stake.
Proverbs 7 – The Foolish young man. The boy was walking straight into the beguiling woman. The woman was crafty and had years of experience to hone her skills. Unfortunately for the young man that he was not aware of how good the woman was and what price he would pay for what seemed like a season of fun with a skilled woman. So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap, awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart.
He was like a bird flying into a snare,little knowing it would cost him his life (21-23).
Matthew 4 – The Testing and the Ministry. Jesus was presented with three opportunities for personal gain. Jesus could have accepted the loot and felt justified for doing so because “it was in the Word”. While the Devil pointed out the writings of David as “justification for bowing down” Jesus knew what his Father’s will is/was and was not willing to surrender for the little and give up the rulership of the eternal kingdom. Because of faithfulness, Jesus went onto minister in the power of His Father.
2 Peter 3 – The Day of the Lord’s Coming. Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, 12 looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. 13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness (11-13). There is a part of the Word of God in that the words “Last Days”. It is a common thought that the words “last days” implies the “end of the world”. Each of us has an appointed time before the throne of G_d and the way we lived our life will be on the witness stand. The contention Peter had was that the “wild animals” or the false teachers with their flowery promises will come in to garner power over the weak. When the troubles would ensue, these people would not be around. 4 And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight. And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him—16 speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction (14-16).