Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 2
Reading #2 – Psalms 97
Reading #3 – Ecclesiastes 6
Reading #4 – Mark 5
Reading #5 – Revelations 20
Deuteronomy 2 – Remembering Israel’s Journey. Moses is recapitulating the journey for the nation as many had not been born yet. There are ancient boundary stones that had been placed for Esau (Edom) and Lot Abraham’s cousin. The nation was told to not engage the places under Edom and the Moabites’ control because no land would be given to them. This is significant because it shows how G_d honors his promise to only the individual but the family members of that person. Moses does not shy away from speaking about the race of giants called “Emites” or “Anakites” because the people needed to hear about it as the rumors persisted even at that time. A race of giants called the Emites had once lived in the area of Ar. They were as strong and numerous and tall as the Anakites, another race of giants. 11 Both the Emites and the Anakites are also known as the Rephaites, though the Moabites call them Emites. 12 In earlier times the Horites had lived in Seir, but they were driven out and displaced by the descendants of Esau, just as Israel drove out the people of Canaan when the LORD gave Israel their land (10-12). Defeating the giants is always a possibility because the small nation of Moab defeated them and acquired the land.
Psalm 97 – The King Reigns. The LORD is king! Let the earth rejoice! Let the farthest coastlands be glad. Dark clouds surround him. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire spreads ahead of him and burns up all his foes. His lightning flashes out across the world. The earth sees and trembles. mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth (1-5). We have a King who lived, was crucified, died, buried, and then rose from the dead to defeat death’s hold on the people. Our G_d is not of this world that is, we cannot touch him or see him so he cannot be swayed by the world’s ways. His Kingdom is 180 degrees out of sync with this world. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; every nation sees his glory. Those who worship idols are disgraced— all who brag about their worthless gods— for every god must bow to him. Jerusalem has heard and rejoiced, and all the towns of Judah are glad because of your justice, O LORD (6-8).
Ecclesiastes 6 – The Tragedy of Life. There is a tragedy that affects mankind and that is, the idea or notion that there is a need to work ourselves to death. As a father, I am responsible for my family in that I must provide for their needs when the children are young and there is nothing wrong with this. The problem is that when the greed of the heart wants more money and works beyond what is necessary, he does so at the expense of his family and this is where the problems always start. A man might have a hundred children and live to be very old. But if he finds no satisfaction in life and doesn’t even get a decent burial, it would have been better for him to be born dead. 4 His birth would have been meaningless, and he would have ended in darkness. He wouldn’t even have had a name, 5 and he would never have seen the sun or known of its existence. Yet he would have had more peace than in growing up to be an unhappy man. 6 He might live a thousand years twice over but still not find contentment. And since he must die like everyone else—well, what’s the use (3-6)? We are given so few years to make a difference in this world and when we use work as our “away time” eventually, life becomes drudgery and in the end, the wealth is given to someone else or the government.
Mark 5 – The Demon-Possessed Man. When Jesus got to the shores of the Gerasenes, he saw a man who was possessed. The Devil knew who Jesus was and so did his minions who were holding the man in a death knot. When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet him, and bowed low before him. With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the G_d? In the name of G_d, I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had already said to the spirit, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit (6-8). It’s funny that the Devil knows and fears Jesus and the world he came to save doesn’t fear him.
Revelations 20 – The Thousand-Year Reign. This is the first resurrection. (The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years had ended.) 6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them, the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and Christ and will reign with him a thousand years (5-6).