Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 18
Reading #2 – Psalms 113
Reading #3 – Proverbs 5
Reading #4 – Luke 5
Reading #5 – 1 Samuel 15
Deuteronomy 18 – Life in the New Land. The people were admonished to take care of the Priests by providing for their needs. The priests would receive no inheritance because they received a spiritual inheritance. Remember that the Levitical priests—that is, the whole of the tribe of Levi—will receive no allotment of land among the other tribes in Israel. Instead, the priests and Levites will eat from the special gifts given to the LORD, for that is their share. They will have no land of their own among the Israelites. The LORD himself is their special possession, just as he promised them (1-2). The land in which they were entering had been polluted by nations that would be dispossessed. The people were encouraged to live a G_dly life despite how the people that currently possessed the land. The nations you are about to displace consult sorcerers and fortune-tellers, but the LORD your God forbids you to do such things (14).” The nation was called to “be the difference”. When it came to prophesy, the true Prophet’s message would come true exactly as it was uttered. If the message did not come true then it could be discarded. But you may wonder, ‘How will we know whether or not a prophecy is from the LORD?’ 22 If the prophet speaks in the LORD’s name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the LORD did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared (21-22).
1 Samuel 15 – Saul’s Kingdom to End. Saul was sent on a mission to kill everything in Amalek. He decided to keep the best stuff and destroy the other stuff and captured the king. The message given to Samuel was, I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to me and has refused to obey my command (11). As the Prophet of the time, it was Samuel’s job to present the message which was difficult because Samuel loved Saul as a father loves a son. Saul thought he did a good thing, after all, it would feed the priests. Agag, king of Amalek, thought his life had been spared until Samuel killed him. “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the LORD, he has rejected you as king (22-23).”
Psalm 113 – Praise the Lord. Praising the Lord is not just in song but in how we live our life. Sing a new song unto the Lord (Psalms 96:1). History records the good works of others who lived by the word of G_d which encourages us to live through our storms. Life isn’t about us nor does it promise “sunshine and roses” simply because we call ourselves by the name of the Lord. We do not get crowns nor “at a boys” from the world when we live by our convictions.
Proverbs 5 – My Son Live by the Word of G_d. Sadly, the father commends the son to “do what I tell you not what I do.” The father had messed up along the way and it cost him dearly. At the end, when our life touches others we are commemorated. Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers? Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors? I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace (13-14).” When we do not live by G_d’s commands, and they are not too hard to follow, we will watch our choices set the stage for the disasters of our children if or when they follow the same path. For the LORD sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes. An evil man is held captive by his sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him. He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness (21-23).”
Luke 5 – This Man Jesus. Jesus was one man the Priests and the people could not figure out. He called people like Levi a tax collector, James and John fishermen, Peter a fisherman. Jesus did not draw alliances with the “religious” nor did he confine his work to “the righteous”, he ate with tax collectors and the other riff-raff of the community. “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. 32 I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent (31-32).”