Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 1
Reading #2 – Psalms 96
Reading #3 – Ecclesiastes 5
Reading #4 – Mark 4
Reading #5 – Revelations 19
Deuteronomy 1 – Moses’ First Address. In this book, Moses expounds on the law, its implications, and where Israel fits in G_d’s plans. Telling our story helps the reader and listener to understand a little more about the speaker. This would be Moses’ last chance to speak publically and his words needed to resonate in the hearts of the people. The command is given to “break camp and prepare to go into the new land”. 41 or more years earlier, the same command was given and the people suggested that a delegation be sent to spy out the land. “But you all came to me and said, ‘First, let’s send out scouts to explore the land for us. They will advise us on the best route to take and which towns we should enter.’“This seemed like a good idea to me, so I chose twelve scouts, one from each of your tribes (22-23). Moses sent the spies without seeking G_d’s counsel. In doing so, it resulted in the majority of the spies spreading a false report about the land and the people bought it without challenging the speaker. Because of the false report that grew to epic proportions, the people were afraid and so the entire generation ended up dying in the desert. The second time the command was given, Moses said “go”. Unfortunately, Moses didn’t go as far as to confess his misgivings and pressed the charge against the people. 7 “And the LORD was also angry with me because of you. He said to me, ‘Moses, not even you will enter the Promised Land! 38 Instead, your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will lead the people into the land. Encourage him, for he will lead Israel as they take possession of it. 39 I will give the land to your little ones—your innocent children. You were afraid they would be captured, but they will be the ones who occupy it. 40 As for you, turn around now and go on back through the wilderness toward the Red Sea (37-40).”
Psalms 96 – Time to Change Your Tune. The way we live our life is like a song. When we are defeated, our song goes something like this “I am beaten, defeated, broken, and empty” and we repeat the song day in and day out. When we give our lives to the Lord and walk in obedience to him, the song of our life changes. Sing a new song to the LORD! Let the whole earth sing to the LORD! Sing to the LORD; praise his name. Each day proclaims the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods. The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the LORD made the heavens! Honor and majesty surround him; strength and beauty fill his sanctuary (1-6). In G_d’s kingdom, there are many rooms (John 14:2). There is room for everyone and the freedom to change your tune.
Ecclesiastes 5 – Approaching G_d’s throne. The encouragement in this verse was for the listener to treat the Kingdom of G_d with respect and dignity. In the time of the Aaronic Priesthood, the priests were dressed to ensure dignity. How the Priest carried out his tasks determined how long he would be in office. In the time of the exile, the Priests had abandoned their posts and gone in search of greener grass (Hosea 5) which left the people in the lurch. Before the Priests could come back to their tasks, they had to go through a time of purification because G_d does not allow sin to have a foothold on his church. Wealth’s Futile Game. Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying a life that they take no time to brood over the past (18-20).
Mark 4 – Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed. The Parable speaks to the different types of soil using the same seed. On the good ground, the crop grew and provided fruit. On the rocky soil, something came up but quickly died. The seed that fell on thorn infested ground the seed was choked out. The seed itself is G_d’s word which has never changed. Parable of the lamp. This is how we use or hide the message that is given to us.
Revelations 19 – Victory in Heaven Marriage of the Lamb. “Praise the LORD! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God. His judgments are true and just. He has punished the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality. He has avenged the murder of his servants.” And again their voices rang out: “Praise the LORD! The smoke from that city ascends forever and ever (1-3).” The battle of Armageddon between Heaven’s army and the Devil’s army.