Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 21
Reading #2 – Psalms 116
Reading #3 – Proverbs 8
Reading #4 – Luke 8
Reading #5 – 1 Samuel 18
Deuteronomy 21 – Regulations For Unsolved Murders. You would think that in G_d’s land when occupied by G_d’s people, such regulations would be non-sensical. Yet, it shows His power of understanding and wisdom. In the time of Adam and Eve, Cain killed Able and then denied any knowledge of where his brother was (Genesis 4). To make provision for an event does not imply “I have no faith in you”. Rather, it gives direction should it happen. G_d is not a fool as to believe that such an event could not possibly occur in the land because he knew their ancestors and saw what they were capable of. Everything the nation did in the land would either bring the credit or discredit to G_d. For this reason, laws such as the ones mentioned in this chapter were addressed and without pussy-footing around them. The foolish parent will believe their children would never do wrong. The wise parent will trust their children but also understand their shortcomings and make provisions for “just in case”. Laws established: the right of the firstborn, foreign-born wives, unsolved murders.
1 Samuel 18 – Saul Becomes Jealous of David. Saul watched with angst as this rugged youth had won acclaim in the kingdom. More importantly, it was the victory chant that enraged Saul. “Saul has killed his thousands and David has killed his tens of thousands” (6). Saul had lost the kingdom long before the chant which meant that his son would never ascend to the throne as long as the successor (David) lived. Saul promised his daughter to David with the bridal price of “200 foreskins of the Philistines” which David did successfully (26-30). A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones (Proverbs 14:30). Saul lost control of his kingdom because he refused to honor G_d’s commands. David was nobody special and G_d had not given him one more ounce of a blessing than anybody else. The defining difference was that David honored G_d until the time of Bathsheba.
Psalms 116 – The Lord’s Unfailing Love. Despite our worst, the Lord loves us to the utmost. As humans, it is a natural tendency to follow the crowd not knowing what the cost will be. Of course, we are held accountable for our actions despite what the world has to say about it. Through all of the evolutions of our lives, He is the one source that never leaves us nor forsakes us (Deuteronomy 31:6). The LORD cares deeply when his loved ones die. LORD, I am your servant; yes, I am your servant, born into your household; you have freed me from my chains (15-16). While we were not born in Biblical times, we can get a fresh appreciation for what G_d for the people of the time. While we live, we have hope for our life. When we die, the books are closed and we have no more time to make an imprint on our world.
Proverbs 8 – Wisdom’s Last Call. In the Bar scene, there is a thing called “Last Call” which enables the patrons to purchase their last drink for the night before the bartender closes the cash till and cleans up the bar. The Patrons are given the time to finish their drinks and then the bar is closed and everyone goes home. During the formative years, as parents, we are responsible for directing our children. As our children grow up, our time to direct them and share our wisdom with them also diminishes. Wisdom, in this chapter, is outlining her argument and provides proof of her sustainability. The patrons listening to Wisdom are given the choice, “accept what I say” or “disagree and walk away”. Wisdom never pushes herself onto anyone because in doing so, she would become as bad as the people she warns against. Through the course of the child’s life, what he and/or she learned from his or her parents will show by their actions. “I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment. All who fear the LORD will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption, and perverse speech. Common sense and success belong to me. Insight and strength belong to me. Because of me, kings reign, and rulers make just decrees. Rulers lead with my help, and nobles make righteous judgments (12-16). Later on, we’ll find out that Solomon knew wisdom but wasn’t very wise.
Luke 8 – Lessons From the Teacher. As the teacher, Jesus was responsible for leading and teaching his students. The lesson plans had to be administered across multiple levels of understanding. Jesus’ method of teaching was through parables which takes difficult concepts and molds them into a story sort of like how a math teacher tests the student’s understanding of concepts by use of “story problems”. In the time of Moses, the people asked him to be their representative to G_d and then tell them what He said. Of course, as the number of students increases, so does the level of understanding and the responses. ‘When they look, they won’t see. When they hear, they won’t understand (10).’ One of the tragedies in the student-teacher relationship is that the student may or may not get what the teacher is saying. For this reason, it is incumbent on the student to ask for clarification or continue in the misunderstanding.