Reading #1 – Numbers 30
Reading #2 – Psalms 89
Reading #3 – Proverbs 29
Reading #4 – Matthew 25
Reading #5 – Revelations 12
Numbers 30 – Laws Regarding Vows. The mouth, said Paul, is an open sepulcher (Romans 3:13). From our mouths, come blessings and cursings but, from the mouth come vows. Taking a vow can get us into trouble as easily as dry wood can catch fire. Because we are subject to emotion, we promise things that we cannot come through on. When a man makes a vow, he is responsible for coming through on the promise and that goes for financial support or physical support. For the woman, if she makes a vow and her husband hears about it, one of two things will occur: the husband will say “no” or, the husband will say nothing and the vow will be upheld. When the widow or divorced woman makes a vow, everything she promises is upheld (8-10).
Psalms 89 – Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite. Ethan was a songwriter in King David’s court. As a minister, he understood that G_d created all things and by His power, all things were created. David was anointed by holy oil at the hands of Samuel (1 Samuel 16). David was promised an eternal kingdom but David misunderstood the implication. David failed along the way and problems occurred in the kingdom and for the kingdom. The power in the kingdom did not come by proxy of David but by the power that was behind David. You rule the oceans. You subdue their storm-tossed waves. You crushed the great sea monster. You scattered your enemies with your mighty arm. The heavens are yours, and the earth is yours; everything in the world is yours—you created it all. You created north and south. Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon praise your name. Powerful is your arm! Strong is your hand! Your right hand is lifted high in glorious strength (11-13). In the same way, we may see great things happening in our lives and it is easy to think it was because of the work we did rather than the power, G_d ruling over us. When things turn sour our life or if we sin, it doesn’t mean that G_d has forsaken us rather, it is a time of testing and coming to grips with our failure(s). The promise to David was not that his kingdom would endure but the Spirit of the Living G_d living through him that would influence his children and grandchildren after him. 9 Lord, where is your unfailing love? You promised it to David with a faithful pledge. Consider, Lord, how your s servants are disgraced! I carry in my heart the insults of so many people. Your enemies have mocked me, O LORD; they mock your anointed king wherever he goes. Praise the LORD forever! Amen and amen (49-52).
Proverbs 29 – Oh the Paths We Take. In life, we make choices either consciously or unconsciously. There is a term that we need to come to grasp with and that is, “unintended consequences”. Unintended consequences happen as a direct result of our actions. When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan (2). King David did not intend for his kingdom to be thrown into turmoil and nor did he intend that his sons would seek to destroy each other these are unintended consequences. Mockers can get a whole town agitated, but the wise will calm anger (8). The mocker or the one who sits back and quietly agitates the people. Jonadab created the issues for David’s son Amnon. Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad. When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful. Words alone will not discipline a servant; the words may be understood, but they are not heeded (17-19).
Matthew 25 – Parable of the 10 Bridesmaids. Jesus’ teachings stem from the Old Testament Proverbs and Psalms. Unfortunately, the teachings went right over the people’s heads so much so that the words were like dessert after a meal. Part of the whole problem is that we never work to build up the people we associate with and then when the bell tolls, we are not ready and have not made a difference in our world. This is the sad story of mankind, we live and we die just as Chronicles repeats of the kings of Israel and Judah (1 Chronicle). It is my opinion that what we do all of the time is exactly what we will do in the critical hours. The people who lived to please themselves will do so despite all appearances. For the 5 bridesmaids who came ill-prepared, in the critical hours they were left in the dark. The man who although knew the money was probably ill-gotten, did not put the money to use (24-26). In the same way, when G_d gives us gifts and refuse to use them either because of the time or financial requirements, we waste the talents we are given.
Revelations 12 – The Woman and the Dragon. The characters in this play were symbolic of current events of the time and part of the history of Israel (Genesis 37:9). Israel from the very beginning was “G_d’s chosen people” despite the current condition of the nation. The dragon or, Rome, was a threatening issue for the nation. In Jesus’ time, Rome was just getting a foothold on the nation and because of it had to hide. Amid Rome’s foothold, the ministry of Christ Jesus still flourished. So, for the nation Israel that was enduring the continual onslaught of problems, the encouragement is that they would make it through the storms. “It has come at last— salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth— the one who accuses them before our God day and night. And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens! And you who live in the heavens, rejoice! But terror will come on the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you in great anger, knowing that he has little time (10-12).”