Reading #1 – Matthew 5
Reading #2 – Psalms 29
Reading #3 – Ecclesiastes 5
Reading #4 – Isaiah 6
Reading #5 – 2 King 9
2 Kings 9 – Jehu Anointed King over Israel. Now Israel had been under the evil command of Joram and Ahaziah the son of Jezebel Ahab’s wife. Elija had pronounced a curse on Ahab for how to killed Naboth and took his property although it had been Jezebelle who set it all up (1 Kings 16:29 – 22:41). Elisha sent a prophet of the Lord to anoint Jehu king over Israel. You are to destroy the family of Ahab, your master. In this way, I will avenge the murder of my prophets and all the LORD’s servants who were killed by Jezebel. The entire family of Ahab must be wiped out. I will destroy every one of his male descendants, slave and free alike, anywhere in Israel. I will destroy the family of Ahab as I destroyed the families of Jeroboam son of Nebat and Baasha son of Ahijah (7-9). Jehu was part of the royal family in Israel a descendent of Omri. Being anointed king came with the responsibility of killing every male in Ahab’s family and he didn’t waste a moment in getting the kingdom under his control.
Psalms 29 – A Psalm of Praise. Honor the LORD, you heavenly beings; honor the LORD for his glory and strength. Honor the LORD for the glory of his name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness (1-2). This Psalm of praise glorifies G_d for who He is, for what He has done, and what He is doing in the writer’s life. If we do not praise Him, the rocks and hills will cry out (Luke 19:40). When our world is crashing in around us, we need to look up and praise G_d no matter how much water flows around us. The voice of the LORD echoes above the sea. The God of glory thunders. The LORD thunders over the mighty sea. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic. The voice of the LORD splits the mighty cedars; the LORD shatters the cedars of Lebanon (3-5). There are two problems, “will He find Faith” and “if not He will destroy the earth” (Ezekial 22:30).
Ecclesiastes 5 – Approaching G_d. The overarching theme of the Bible is “Approaching G_d with Reverence”. G_d is our Father (2 Timothy 2:15). He is refuge and fortress in times of trouble (Psalms 46:1). He was G_d to generations before us and He will be the same G_d after we have passed away. As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God. Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few (1-2). The operation of our world makes no sense how can one turn away from such a great offer as to have one’s sins forgiven and set free? The Devil uses the chaos of the world to get even the most elect to turn from G_d (Matthew 24:24). Don’t be surprised if you see a poor person being oppressed by the powerful and if justice is being miscarried throughout the land. For every official is under orders from higher up, and matters of justice get lost in red tape and bureaucracy. Even the king milks the land for his profit (8-9)! If the most ardent child of G_d can be deceived, what hope does the world have?
Isaiah 6 – Isaiah’s Cleansing and Call. This message would be repeated in the book of Revelations and the book of Ezekial. ‘Listen carefully, but do not understand. Watch closely, but learn nothing.’ Harden the hearts of these people. Plug their ears and shut their eyes. That way, they will not see with their eyes, nor hear with their ears, nor understand with their hearts and turn to me for healing (9-10).” If even a tenth—a remnant—survive, it will be invaded again and burned. But as a terebinth or oak tree leaves a stump when it is cut down, so Israel’s stump will be a holy seed (13).” G_d always leaves a remnant to return to the land. Yet when we read Isaiah’s message we understand “ever seeing but seeing, ever hearing but not hearing” (Isaiah 6:9) .
Matthew 5 – The Beatitudes. This sermon on the mount or the “Beatitudes” Casts the church’s perception of “righteous living” against the Word of G_d”. It was not hard to believe that “the chosen people” could be easily duped primarily because they did not know what the Word of G_d said; many of them could not read so they needed a teacher to read it to them. When we read scripture and see how people fall short of the Kingdom of G_d, we may think “what a bozo how can they not see the truth”? The answer to that question is that we are blinded by our brilliance and deafened by our knowledge which has been repeated by those who lead us.