Reading #1 – Numbers 16
Reading #2 – Psalms 75
Reading #3 – Proverbs 15
Reading #4 – Matthew 11
Reading #5 – 2 John 1
Numbers 16 – Korah’s Rebellion. This revolt mirrored Satan’s plan for taking over the throne of Heaven (Isaiah 14:3). Korah was related to Moses and Aaron. The Lord had chosen Moses and Aaron to set up the priesthood this was not an honor they took for themselves. The reference to Egypt being “the land flowing with milk and honey” implies that the nation had no problems living there and that “this Moses character pulled us away from it”. Rebellion usually starts with agitators who rile the masses. No one asks these men and/or women “what is in it for you”? For Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, the question should have been, “what were you doing in Egypt that you found to be so ‘wonderful?’”. One day Korah son of Izhar, a descendant of Kohath son of Levi, conspired with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth, from the tribe of Reuben. They incited a rebellion against Moses, along with 250 other leaders of the community, all prominent members of the assembly (1-2). One would have thought that the nation would have learned their lesson about the seeds of rebellion that Moses was operating under G_d’s authority, not his own (Exodus 32).
Psalms 76 – Praise to the G_d of Israel. This Psalm of Asaph addresses who it was that won the victory for Israel and who it was that gave them the land that they now dwelled in. When we see that the place we dwell in, work in, and possess comes from G_d and thank him for it, He will crush the enemy that seeks to destroy us. Human defiance only enhances your glory, for you use it as a weapon 10). Defiance, which is a trademark of Satan, rallies people to a cause they believe is “righteous” only to find out that the perpetrator will end up being crushed by the force he/she created. Make vows to the LORD your God, and keep them. Let everyone bring tribute to the Awesome One. For he breaks the pride of princes, and the kings of the earth fear him (11-12). The path of life leads upward for the wise; they leave the grave behind (24).
Proverbs 15 – Words and Actions In Light of Consequences. How we live, what we say, what we write, and how we act will either bring us credit or lead us to our demise. G_d’s word is about how we live in covenant not about throwing it out for the world to obey. When Israel entered into the new land, G_d commanded them to be obedient and honor him in all that they did. In doing so, David was able to win acclamation even from the enemy nations (Proverbs 16:7). This principle is still in play today. If we want the world to be at peace with us, it will never be won by legislation, regulation, and/or indict only when we chose to honor him in our private and public life.
Matthew 11 – Jesus and John the Baptist. John was put in prison primarily because he confronted the king about taking his brother Philip’s wife Herodias which is in clear violation of Mosaic law. John was “Elijah” who preceded Jesus to prepare the people through baptism. John had no illusions of being anyone of prominence because he understood his position unlike Korah and his ilk (Numbers 16). “I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is! 12 And from the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and violent people are attacking it. 13 For before John came, all the prophets and the law of Moses looked forward to this present time. 14 And if you are willing to accept what I say, he is Elijah, the one the prophets said would come. 15 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand (11-15)!
2 John – Live in the Truth. 5 I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. 6 Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning (5-6). “Loving one another” is not tantamount to “agreeing with each other”. In a relationship, we can have our disagreements without breaking fellowship or going to court. Loving one another makes our connections stronger and able to endure all storms that come our way. Of course, there will be people like Dathan and Abiram who will speak heresy to garner a following just the Devil did.