Reading #1 – Matthew 10
Reading #2 – Psalms 34
Reading #3 – Ecclesiastes 10
Reading #4 – Isaiah 11
Reading #5 – 2 King 14
2 Kings 14 – Amaziah son Joash Reigns in Judah. After Joash was killed by his “trusted advisors”, his son was crowned king of Judah. Amaziah killed the two men responsible for the death of his father. However, he did not kill the children of the assassins, for he obeyed the command of the LORD as written by Moses in the Book of the Law: “Parents must not be put to death for the sins of their children, nor children for the sins of their parents. Those deserving to die must be put to death for their crimes (6).” Amaziah did what was pleasing in the LORD’s sight, but not like his ancestor David. Instead, he followed the example of his father, Joash (3). Amaziah, like the previous kings, left the pagan altars and the Asherah poles in place so the people continued to sacrifice to them. Amaziah, like Joash, listened to the wrong people so after beating the Edomites in the Valley of Salt and captured Selah. After these two small skirmishes, he wanted to prove himself against the mighty Northern Kingdom. The king of Israel, Jehoash, tried to talk the king out of it by telling him “You have indeed defeated Edom, and you are proud of it. But be content with your victory and stay at home! Why stir up trouble that will only bring disaster on you and the people of Judah (10)?” The king foolish king didn’t listen and because of it, the nation was decimated and the foolish king was captured and the treasuries of the temple were carried off to Israel. There was a conspiracy against Amaziah’s life in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish. But his enemies sent assassins after him, and they killed him there. They brought his body back to Jerusalem on a horse, and he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. All the people of Judah had crowned Amaziah’s sixteen-year-old son, Uzziah, as king in place of his father, Amaziah. After his father’s death, Uzziah rebuilt the town of Elath and restored it to Judah (19-22). This was about the time Isaiah started his prophecies (Isaiah 1:1). in the fifteenth year of King Amaziah’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria for forty-one years. He did what was evil in the LORD’s sight. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel to commit (23-24). Jeroboam II was an instrument in G_d’s hands to save Israel only to become “just another king like the rest”.
Psalms 34 – A Psalm of David While in Philistia. I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the LORD; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the LORD’s greatness; let us exalt his name together (1-3). David was hiding from Saul. David was pretending to be insane to save his life. The kings of Philistia knew all about David because he had killed many men in his conquests under the direction of Saul. The Lord G_d whom David served and honored knew why David was acting like he was and He protected David. In my desperation, I prayed, and the LORD listened; he saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the LORD is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him (6-7). David was the only king in Israel’s history that got to witness his son ascend to the throne of Israel. Come, my children, and listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the LORD. Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous? Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies! Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it (11-14). While in Philistia, David honored the King of Philistia by not seeking inroads to destroy Philistia to please Saul. But the LORD will redeem those who serve him. (22)No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned (22).
Ecclesiastes 10 – Life’s Ironies. Irony is a rhetorical device (used to inform or motivate the audience). The audience (students) are being informed about the pathways the listener can take and how their choices can lead to an alternate outcome. As dead flies cause even a bottle of perfume to stink, so a little foolishness spoils great wisdom and honor (1-2). Even “little choices” can lead to big problems like the foolish king Amaziah picking a fight with Jehoash king of Israel (2 Kings 14:8-10) to elevate his position and show his prowess in battle. Wisdom will help the listener succeed in accomplishing goals and aspirations (10). Listening to wisdom and acting on its guidance are two different things. If a snake bites before you charm it, what’s the use of being a snake charmer (11)? Ironically, the person claimed to be skilled in charming snakes but was bitten by the snake and died so he couldn’t have been too good of a “snake charmer”. In the same way, the child of G_d can claim “I am a Minister of G_d” but act like the world so he must not think too much about his position or the G_d he serves is as bad as the Devil.
Isaiah 11 – A Branch From David’s Line. This “branch” was Jesus and his lineage, physically” traced itself back to David 28 generations (Matthew 1 – His father’s line, Luke 1 – His mother’s line). Jesus also had a spiritual connection to David based on his actions and how he served his Father (Luke 20:41-44). And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. He will delight in obeying the LORD. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay (2-3). These were markings so that the people would know who this “Messiah” would be. John was given pictorial evidence of who the Messiah was so that he would know him and not have a doubt in his mind. Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God (John 1:32-34). The first people returning to Judah occurred in 539 between the collapse of Babylon and the rise of the Medes and Persia. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to bring back the remnant of his people— those who remain in Assyria and northern Egypt; in southern Egypt, Ethiopia, and Elam; in Babylonia, Hamath, and all the distant coastlands. He will raise a flag among the nations and assemble the exiles of Israel (11-12). The people that flocked to Jesus came from all walks of life. Previously, fights kept the people apart but Jesus’ word drew them back together not by words alone but by the fruit that would come of his words (Matthew 7:29). He will make a highway for the remnant of his people, the remnant coming from Assyria, just as he did for Israel long ago when they returned from Egypt (16).
Matthew 10 –. The disciples were sent out to the lost people of Israel (6). Ministering to the lost people of Israel included family, friends, and neighbors. Ministering to these groups was a daunting task because the disciples, just mankind today, had checkered pasts that got in the way of sharing the word of G_d and healing people. Judas Iscariot’s family were members of the Sanhedrin who despised Jesus, Matthew was a tax collector the “scum of society”, James and John were poor fishermen so how could these men reach their families? “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved (21-22).