Reading #1 – Numbers 36
Reading #2 – Psalms 95
Reading #3 – Ecclesiastes 4
Reading #4 – Mark 3
Reading #5 – Revelations 18
Numbers 36 – Zelophed’s Daughters. The tribal leaders presented a lawful argument that today would not hold water. At that time, the lands passed from parent to child. Because Zelophed passed away and had no sons, the daughters were to receive the property. The issue for the tribal leaders is that if the daughters married outside of the family, the property would go to another clan. This is important because, just all of G_d’s laws, there must be a peace that is obtained by righteous acts, not by pacifying the people. The daughters agreed to the plan and adhered to it. Once you agree to a request, you are committed to the course of action.
Psalms 95 – Song of Moses (Continued). In light of all that G_d has done through our lives for us, let us with grateful hearts humbly come before him to thank him. Moses had born witness to the struggles of the nation from the 1st day leaving Egypt to 40 years later when he was about to die. The people who had rebelled against the Lord and rallied the people to call for a leader to bring them back to Egypt. He knew what it was like to calm the anger of the Lord G_d and what it was like to receive a reprimand from Him. Despite all of that, Moses still served the Lord and called for anybody who would stand by his side to praise the Lord G_d. Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD our maker, for he is our G_d. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care (6-7).
Ecclesiastes 4 – Futility of Achievement. The profound question for our life today is, “What am I working so hard for”? Remain in me, and I will remain in you. A branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me (John 15:4). Again, I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless. So I concluded that the dead are better off than the living. But most fortunate of all are those who are not yet born. For they have not seen all the evil that is done under the sun (1-3). We can work ourselves to our death and still never achieve our dreams. In the same way, when you take the magnet out of a compass, you will try to head in one direction and miss the goal.
Mark 3 – Jesus Heals a Man on the Sabbath. The sabbath day is a day of rest; because of the purpose of the day, it is also a time of releasing heavy loads by helping people. To the SanHedrin, the sabbath was a time of deep prayer and personal focus without considering the silent message the people were receiving. In the same way, when we say “praise the Lord” yet refuse to help others, our message comes across loud and clear that the G_d they are praising accepts accolades and then you are permitted to live like everybody else. Jesus put the boundary stones back in their rightful places and led people back to his Father. He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! 6 At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to plot how to kill Jesus (5-6). When the religious leaders were schooled on the true Torah law, the Devil incited the leaders to find a way to kill him “but not on the Sabbath because we might have a riot on our hands” (Mark 14:2).
Revelations 18 – The Fall of Babylon. Zondervan’s commentary titles the chapter as “The Dirge of Babylon”. Babylon in the book of Revelations just like the book of Daniel represented a “worldly kingdom”. The Jewish nation is very familiar with Babylon because it is part of their story. The nation was exiled to Babylon and farmed out to the tributary cities. The world of the time catered to Babylon just like how nations catered to Rome during the pinnacle of their glory. With Babylon out of the way, there was a void that was felt by the people who made money from the nation and for the vendors who brought the wares across the continent. When we fail as a nation, we not only hurt our nation and its citizens, we hurt everybody who relied on us. Of course, the only one we should ever completely rely on is G_d because only he will not fail us. My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness I dare not trust the sweetest frame But wholly lean on Jesus’ name (My Hope). Come away from her, my people. Do not take part in her sins, or you will be punished with her. For her sins are piled as high as heaven, and God remembers her evil deeds (4-5). When a nation sins, everybody in the nation of the time suffers and we need to keep this ever-present in our minds.