Reading #1 – Numbers 37
Reading #2 – Psalms 94
Reading #3 – Ecclesiastes 3
Reading #4 – Mark 2
Reading #5 – Revelations 17
Numbers 35 – Towns for the Levites and Cities of Refuge. The Levites’ inheritance would come through the support of the towns they ministered in. Each town was to provide a farm area for the Levites. The “Cities of Refuge” were maintained by the High Priest of the time. Anybody who killed somebody “accidentally” could flee to these towns and stay until the old High Priest passed away. The caveat for fleeing to the city is that if you murdered stepped outside of this town, the avenger of blood (nearest relative) could capture and kill the person which would pollute the land (33).
Psalms 94 – Appeal to the Court Room of Heaven for Justice. Life is full of injustice and no one is exempt from it. When we first begin praying, we look at the issue(s) we are having and ask G_d to condemn the wicked. Somehow, or another, G_d doesn’t grant that request because we are speaking from the hurt of our heart. As we continue praying with the help of the Holy Spirit, our request turns inward and looks deep into our hearts to see if there is any offense in us that is contributing to the problem. I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O LORD, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer (18-19).
Ecclesiastes 3 – A Time for Everything. The Teacher brings out the point that “life is cyclic” and “it repeats itself”. In our futility, we think that no one has ever faced the depth of issues that we are embroiled in. The reason we think this is, “we haven’t been around for 500 years” and much of human history is unrecorded so we have no idea what happened in the years before our parents. This is encouraging because, just as someone else has faced our problem and succeeded, so can we. What do people get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God (9-13).
Mark 2 – Jesus Heals the Paralytic and the Call of the Levite Matthew. The healing of the paralytic was a miracle in the eyes of the public but just another day in the Kingdom of G_d for Jesus. The religious leaders did not like Jesus and were not happy that he was healing the people. In healing the people, the leaders walked away with egg on their faces and the people praised G_d and not the leaders. Levi was a tax collector one of the worst breeds of Jews because that person was able to help himself to a few pieces of silver simply by increasing the amount of money required (Luke 19 calling of Zaccheaus).
Revelations 17 – The Great Prostitute. The prophet got a glimpse of what would happen to the dreaded threat of Rome in the coming years. The prostitute who sat over the seven hills referred to Rome; NIV uses the phrase “Seven Hills” whereas NLT says “many Waters” (1-2). Rome’s time was short just like of the centuries of mankind on earth; only in heaven is time, not a factor. Rome fell in about 406 AD or about 390 years following the prophecy of Revelations and would not be heard from again until about 1939 when the 3rd Reich came into existence.