Reading #1 – Numbers 10
Reading #2 – Psalms 70
Reading #3 – Proverbs 8
Reading #4 – Matthew 5
Reading #5 – 1 John 1
Numbers 10 – The Silver Trumpets. These horns, according to Zondervan Commentary, were not the same as the shophar. Because this nation was vast, “spreading the word” would take days. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies instructed the use of the horns This created order and discipline for this vast nation. One set of instructions was given, one leader, and one G_d. When Moses asked his father in law, Hobab, to come along and share in the good things G_d had in store for them, he unwittingly opened the door for future issues. The downside to asking Hobab to join them as “their eyes” was that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies was in command and all invitations needed to be funneled through Him; it is tantamount to being given instructions from your father and you turn around and seek guidance from your peer. This particular action is what got Rehoboam in trouble with his people (1 Kings 12:8). 33 They marched for three days after leaving the mountain of the LORD, with the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant moving ahead of them to show them where to stop and rest. 34 As they moved on each day, the cloud of the LORD hovered over them. 35 And whenever the Ark set out, Moses would shout, “Arise, O LORD, and let your enemies be scattered! Let them flee before you!” 36 And when the Ark was set down, he would say, “Return, O LORD, to the countless thousands of Israel (33-36)!”
Psalms 70 – Urgent Plea for Help. For whatever reason, the writer is lamenting over the conditions that he or she is in. The writer was in a place of power and potentially misused it. The people seeking his death probably didn’t like him to begin with so this instance and believed it gave them a license to attack him. Let them be horrified by their shame, for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!” But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “God is great (3-4)!” It seems our actions get us into trouble unfortunately, the problems don’t end with us being caught in the act, the problems are perpetuated through our families and with the groups we closely align ourselves with. When I consider the actions of the Minneapolis police officer that led to riots, looting, and burning of the city, I see a tragedy, and the Devil was and still is having a gay old time. My prayers go out to the family, the police force, the city, the state of Minnesota, and our major cities of the US. The police officer caused problems for his family that will never go away even with his death. My prayer is that if the officer does not know the Lord G_d that someone will step forward to share the salvation message.
Proverbs 8 – Invitation to Wisdom’s Party or Folly’s Fallout. Wisdom gave an open invitation to “who so ever will come”. Every party has “favors” that provide the “ambiance” that tells why the party is being held in the first place like, “Happy Birthday” or “Congratulations Mama”. The favors at Wisdom’s party are, “Come, eat my food, and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment (5-6). The problem is, Folly’s party seems like it is more fun than drab old Wisdom’s party. “Come in with me,” she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says, “Stolen water is refreshing; food eaten in secret tastes the best!” But little do they know that the dead are there. Her guests are in the depths of the grave (16-18). Wisdom’s counsel speaks to “results” or “with the end in mind”. Folly’s guests are counseled to ”live for the moment” and then complain when at the end of his or her life and the party comes to an abrupt end.
Matthew 5 – The Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes. In a way, Jesus’ message echos proverbs 8 because he gives an invitation to follow “Wisdom’s counsel”. Zondervan’s commentary points out the contrast between Jesus’ message and Moses’ passing down the 10 commandments or “decalog”. The law was meant as a ‘guideline” for living long in the land. Jesus’ message brings Moses’, the prophets, and teacher’s points together like a puzzle with all of its pieces in place. The 10 commandments and the various laws say to the listener “you shall not do”, you will ____, and “you must” whereas the 2 great commandments say, “if you listen to my voice, you will by personal choice not do ____ and you will desire to serve the Lord G_d” (Matthew 22:40).
1 John 1 – Introduction to the Church. John’s message was to point out where his message came from, who is Lord, and how to live a G_dly life. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts (8-10). So the man knew where he came from, who it was that led him, and where he will go after his death. This assurance drove him to share the message. In the same way, when we accept G_d’s eternal offer, our lives are transcended as to become a new person who was destroying his/her life and begin a time of reconstruction. When we begin reconstruction in our life, it is a difficult time because we see with unvarnished eyes how our actions led to the mess we are in. The downside is that we also see things that we want to hang onto yet know they are the very things that held us captive. How willing we are to let go of the things of our life, will determine how far we go in the Kingdom of G_d that is, either we will be led to higher ground or to plateaus where we build our homes and never leave.