Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 15
Reading #2 – Psalms 110
Reading #3 – Proverbs 2
Reading #4 – Luke 2
Reading #5 – 1 Samuel 11
Deuteronomy 15 – Year for Releasing Debtors. This principle paves the way for G_d’s blessing over the land. Just as the nation was released from Egypt, so must the people also release their slaves. In Ecclesiastes 3, the teacher expounds on “time for everything” and this includes letting go of the stronghold we have over others. In the book of Luke, Jesus uses this principle as a catapult into the tough subject of “forgiveness” (Luke 7:36-50). All of this is predicated upon the choice of the one with the power to forgive/release. If we chose to be hardhearted towards our fellow man, then we should expect the same in return. G_d will never hold a sledgehammer over our heads to force us into forgiving nor releasing rather, we find out that other people will treat us the same way and the circle events continue to occur. The people were entering into a beautiful land or “Beula land” and if that were not enough, He pours out the rain in its season to water the land. Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the LORD your God will bless you in everything you do. 11 There will always be some in the land who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor and with other Israelites in need (10-11).
Psalms 110 – A Psalm of David. The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet (1). David was G_d’s chosen successor to the throne of Israel/Judah. In the time of Jesus, the Sanhedrin were angry that Jesus was able to call himself “Son of G_d”. This prestige should be only afforded to the King. So Jesus reminded them of this Psalm that they so proudly sang at the festivals. Jesus was a simple “Carpenter’s Son” how can be given the honor of ascending G_d’s throne? This is the part of G_d’s providence we do not understand how He chooses the one who is available and willing to do the complete work for the kingdom. Many would be willing to take on the mantle of “king” if it were not for the difficult tasks or honoring G_d’s requirements. Saul was not a liked man nor was he anything special other than being a “tall man”. In the same way, David was no one special and probably would have been overlooked. The LORD has taken an oath and will not break his vow: “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek (4).”
Proverbs 2 – Wisdom’s Puzzle. Every puzzle has a framework and when it is not put in place, finding the matching parts can be that much more difficult. The framework of Wisdom’s puzzle is: Listen to what I tell you, tune your ears to what say, cry out for understanding, and search out for like one would for silver or gold. hen you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him (5-8). Conversely, if we ignore the framework, then we should expect, but rarely do, to never understand G_d’s purpose for our life and we will wander throughout the days of our life and never discover what G_d is and has done in our lives and how we have wasted it.
1 Samuel 12 – Passing of the Batton. Samuel did as the people asked for, he gave them a king and now Samuel’s service was done. Now testify against me in the presence of the LORD and before his anointed one. Whose ox or donkey have I stolen? Have I ever cheated any of you? Have I ever oppressed you? Have I ever taken a bribe and perverted justice? Tell me and I will make right whatever I have done wrong.” “No,” they replied, “you have never cheated or oppressed us, and you have never taken even a single bribe.” “The LORD and his anointed one are my witnesses today,” Samuel declared, “that my hands are clean.” “Yes, he is a witness,” they replied (3-5). In doing this, Samuel was ensuring himself and the people that he is not responsible for the events that will occur under Saul’s leadership. In every situation where change is demanded, something must have happened for the people to rise and demand the change. Samuel’s sons, on the other hand, set the stage for the events to follow. “Now if you fear and worship the LORD and listen to his voice, and if you do not rebel against the LORD’s commands, then both you and your king will show that you recognize the LORD as your God. 15 But if you rebel against the LORD’s commands and refuse to listen to him, then his hand will be as heavy upon you as it was upon your ancestors (14-15). What we ask for, we are responsible for honoring our commitments and this includes our debts.
Luke 2 – Jesus’ Ascension to the Throne. For over 400 years since the time of the Hasmonean dynasty, the nation had been without a king to lead them as it was prophecied. The chosen king would not assert the rights of the throne but it would be given. In the book of the Great Isaiah, it is said of the king “Who has believed our message? To whom has the LORD revealed his powerful arm? My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care (Isaiah 53:1-3). Jesus was no one special so how was he afforded the right to ascend the throne? The answer is that he went willingly not for anything the world would offer but please his Father in Heaven.