Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 27
Reading #2 – Psalms 119:129-160
Reading #3 – Proverbs 14
Reading #4 – Luke 15
Reading #5 – 1 Samuel 25
Deuteronomy 27 – Altar on Mount Ebal. This altar is where the Levites from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali would pronounce the curses of disobedience and the people would respond with “Amen”. In responding Amen”, it meant “I agree” or “so be it”. For every command, there are two opposite responses, “I will be blessed if I obey” and “bring trouble on myself if I don’t” yet the command is the same. Then Moses and the Levitical priests addressed all Israel as follows: “O Israel, be quiet and listen! Today you have become the people of the LORD your G_d. So you must obey the LORD your God by keeping all these commands and decrees that I am giving you today (9-10). “ Disobedience brings its reward through our actions. Consider the case of the speed sign – if you obey it, you don’t get a ticket when you pass the police officer. If you disobey the speed sign, you will get a ticket. The speed sign in this case if not the issue – it is our response to it.
1 Samuel 25 – David and Abigail. David and his men watched over Nabal’s flocks and herds all the time the herd was in the open country. Nabal was not a nice man as the meaning of his name implies. Nabal insulted David in response to the kindness David had shown. If Abigail had not interceded for Nabal and the men in his hire, David would have had innocent blood on his hands and a blemish that would have followed him all of his life. When the LORD has done all he promised and has made you the leader of Israel, 31 don’t let this be a blemish on your record. Then your conscience won’t have to bear the staggering burden of needless bloodshed and vengeance. And when the LORD has done these great things for you, please remember me, your servant (30-31).” David had one of two ways to respond, “positively” or “negatively”.
Psalms 119:129-160. Psalm for Life. In your faithful love, O LORD, hear my cry; let me be revived by following your regulations (149). G_d’s commands and regulations are not out of our reach of possibility, they are simple we just have to follow them. G_d did not authorize commands that would be pleasing to us or agree with our culture, they were written for our wellbeing. But you are near, O LORD, and all your commands are true. I have known from my earliest days that your laws will last forever (151-152). For something to maintain its importance for this many centuries, it has to be of lasting value and can be applied to the lives of whosoever comes. The very essence of your words is truth; all your just regulations will stand forever (160).
Proverbs 14 – Two Pathways One Command. The book of Proverbs makes mention of this person called “Fool”. Now the Fool like the Wise is presented with choices and G_d’s command. To follow the pathway of the command brings one type of reward and following the opposite path brings another. So it appears the pathway of the Wise is the right one to take but, is it that easy? Probably not because the pathway of the Fool brings about fun, danger, and laughter until the party ends at whatever hour it may end. Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation (9). The problem with the Devil’s parties is that we never know just when the “party switch” will be thrown and ends the party leaving the party-goers with the tab. For this reason, Jesus admonished his disciples “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return (Matthew 25:13).
Luke 15 – Parable of the WayWard Child. The religious leaders had become incensed that Rabbi Jesus would consider even speaking to the sinful fools yet, there he was talking to them and even dining with them. So Jesus presented a couple of illustrations: the case of the woman who dropped one piece of silver when she had a handful of them and the parable of the wayward child. Both stories showed the value of reaching out to get the one who ran away or fell. The religious leaders, like the son who never ran away still possessed all of the rights of the kingdom yet, they were never given a great reception party; but, here was this despicable person who enjoyed all of the fun of sinful activities and were now ill. “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost (Luke 19:9-10) .” By saying this, Jesus did not imply that the work of the religious leaders was more or less important but, that the lost children were just as important to the Kingdom of G__d.