Reading #1 – Judges 2
Reading #2 – Psalms 1
Reading #3 – Proverbs 8
Reading #4 – Acts 4
Reading #5 – 1 Kings 3
Judges 2 – The Angel at Bokim. This warrior Angel had been with the nation from the day they entered into the land until the day the people had started making treaties with the nations that surrounded them. For your part, you were not to make any covenants with the people living in this land; instead, you were to destroy their altars. But you disobeyed my command. Why did you do this (2)? G_d opened the land for the nation Israel because of their connection to his friends Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses. The people responded to Angel’s message with weeping and sorrow. This prevailing attitude would set the stage for the events to follow. In good times, the people would turn away from the G_d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In times of captivity, they would lament their sorrowful condition, repent, and pray for a savior. A savior would come in to lead the nation to victory and then the cycle would start over. This repetitive cycle would also apply to the present-day church. Then the LORD raised judges to rescue the Israelites from their attackers. Yet Israel did not listen to the judges but prostituted themselves by worshiping other gods. How quickly they turned away from the path of their ancestors, who had walked in obedience to the LORD’s commands (16-17).
1 Kings 3 – Solomon Asks for Wisdom. Solomon married an Egyptian princess which was a mistake in judgment and would be a snare for him in time. At that time, there was no “central place of worship” so the communities had a local place of worship. I contend that G_d never wanted the “imposing Temple”. When Solomon went to Gilgal to worship and offer sacrifices, the Lord met with him because G_d found in Solomon the very characteristics of his servant David. That night the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you (5)!” So, Solomon asked for wisdom to guide his nation and it was granted plus he was given what he did not ask for riches and power (12-13). Because of this “wisdom like no one ever held”, Solomon was able to navigate a difficult decision (17-28). Because of this gift, we have the books of Wisdom. Despite all of this, we have to remember that this was the “early days” much like a “Honeymoon”.
Psalms 1 – Two Paths in Conflict. Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers (1). This statement would seem contradictory to the lament “And this is not all that is meaningless in our world. In this life, good people are often treated as though they were wicked, and wicked people are often treated as though they were good. This is so meaningless (Ecclesiastes 8:14).” The problem is, the writer is speaking in “end times thought” or “end “Sin’s End Game” (Future writing). The reader must understand that in this world, “appearances are deceiving”. People idolize worldly people of wealth and prestige without considering the underlying issues that torment them. The child of G_d who honors the Lord by the course of their life may never receive the accolades of the world but in the Kingdom of G_d, there is much rejoicing over the man or woman who repents and is welcomed into the Kingdom (Luke 15:7-10). For the LORD watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction (6). The Devil will never tell his prey why such “opulent gifts” are offered or what he has in mind for that person.
Proverbs 8 – Wisdom Calls for a Hearing. Wisdom’s hearing is being held in the Kingdom of Satan or the “Kingdom of this World”. She is calling out the people who live by Satan’s wisdom and are oblivious to “Satan’s End Game”. “I call to you, to all of you! I raise my voice to all people. You simple people, use good judgment. You foolish people, show some understanding. Listen to me! I have important things to tell you. Everything I say is right, for I speak the truth and detest every kind of deception. My advice is wholesome. There is nothing devious or crooked in it (4-8). This would seem preposterous to enlightened people (or so they think). Wisdom does not speak idol words but comes with proof from the life of David, Solomon, and Hezekiah.
Acts 4 – Peter and John Before the Sanhedrin. Peter and John had healed a man which upset the Sanhedrin and the Temple guards because it was done by the power of Jesus of Nazareth and Risin King. To the religious leaders, “Jesus” was like fingernails to the back of a chalkboard. Previously, the leaders crucified this scoundrel Jesus for preaching heresy and they thought they had squashed him for good; yet, it only spread the fire that burned up the ground they walked on. There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus (12-13). The two men were commanded, “Do not speak in that name ever again” (18); this was intended to frighten them into obedience. But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” (19-22). In essence, they would rather stand guilty in the kingdom of this world than to stand guilty in the Kingdom of G_d. Because of their obedience, G_d honored their prayers and the power of the Holy Spirit filled the room where they prayed