Reading #1 – Matthew 22
Reading #2 – Psalms 46
Reading #3 – Proverbs 5
Reading #4 – Isaiah 24
Reading #5 – 1 Chronicles 1
1 Chronicle 1 – Decendents of Adam. The two books of Chronicles was believed to be written by Ezra the Priest post-exile. The purpose of writing these two books was to document the lineage of the Priests and the nation. When you read the first few chapters, you might be inclined to skip through most of the names or you might get lost in “who begat who”. However, when you read it, you can get the idea of where the wheels came off the bus and where dissension became a problem. Look at the life of Abraham who, for all practical purposes, married Haggar who gave birth to Ishmael. Hagar and Ishmael were exiled by Sarai out of jealousy (Genesis 21:17). From Abraham, two covenants were made (Galatians 4:24). So what is happening even in the present-day is not “nation against nation” but a very large “Family Quarrel”.
Psalms 46 – The Lord Our Strength. Today our world is breaking at the seams as nations rise against nations. The situation the world is in might cause angst, depression, frustration, and fear yet, in the middle of the conflict lies the solid rock (Psalms 18:31) that we can stand on. od is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge (1-3)! When our eyes are on the storm and not on the one who holds the storm in his hand, we lose sight of what G_d is doing in our lives and where he is leading us. The Devil says, “you have everything to fear” or, “you are the master of the storm”. If we listen to these two statements, we will either become fearful to the point of suicide or proud to the point of building a pedestal and climbing upon it only to fall; both spectrums lead to the same place “Sheol”. Come, see the glorious works of the LORD: See how he brings destruction upon the world. He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear; he burns the shields with fire (8-9). We need never fear the struggles of the present world nor the powers that seek to control us. G_d is still on his throne and He yields his glory to no one (Isaiah 42:8). “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress (10-11).
Proverbs 5 – Avoid Immoral People. This chapter speaks about the “Immoral Woman” but, I dare say it should be “Immoral People”. Just as it was in the time of Adam, so it s in the present-day some people seek to corrupt anybody who will cave into their slick talk. One of the most treasured possessions we hold is our integrity. G_d gives us the responsibility for controlling our passions. When we let the world dictate how we should act or give in to “do as the Romans do”, we yield our integrity to the power of the world and will end up being ashamed of ourselves. G_d will forgive our sins because of our advocate who goes before the Father to plead our case (1 John 2:1). The blood guilt of our sin will be atoned for that is, it will not stop us from entering Heaven’s gates but, the problem we started will remain just as the case of David brings out. So now, my sons, listen to me. Never stray from what I am about to say: Stay away from her! Don’t go near the door of her house! If you do, you will lose your honor and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved. Strangers will consume your wealth, and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor. In the end, you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body (7-11).
Isaiah 24 – The Destruction of the Earth. This chapter is an apocalyptic vision that is, the world is on a collision course with death but, the Messiah of G_d restores the land. There is a fact about the scriptures that must be understood and that is when destruction occurs everyone will be destroyed and it does not matter what faith you profess, what G_d or god you serve, and/or how you direct the course of your life. It takes no more than one person to start a fire but it takes a cast of thousands to stop it. Look! The LORD is about to destroy the earth and make it a vast wasteland. He devastates the surface of the earth and scatters the people. Priests and laypeople, servants and masters, maids and mistresses, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, bankers and debtors—none will be spared. The earth will be completely emptied and looted. The LORD has spoken (1-2)! In the Bible, there are many references to “the LORD” and some of them are referring to the Devil. The fire of sin always begins with “temptation” and G_d tempts nobody (James 1:13). The Tempter “Devil” starts fires by the tempting of a man with the promise of wealth or whatever the man treasures. The Devil’s ultimate goal is always the “destruction of mankind” and making the world desolate or uninhabitable. On that day the LORD will punish the gods in the heavens and the proud rulers of the nations on earth. They will be rounded up and put in prison. They will be shut up in prison and will finally be punished. Then the glory of the moon will wane, and the brightness of the sun will fade, for the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will rule on Mount Zion. He will rule in great glory in Jerusalem, in the sight of all the leaders of his people (21-23). Revelations 22, was another apocalyptic vision but it does not tell what the outcome is or if the war is because the ensuing chapters are written all of the days that mankind is on this earth.
Matthew 22 – The Most Important Commandment. Of all the things we need to keep in mind, none is more important than the great commandment: Love the Lord your G_d with all of your heart, mind, soul, and body. The second great commandment is to Love your neighbor like you would have yourself beloved (37-38). These two commandments work together in harmony. If you love the Lord your G_d you will not do the damnable things that would displease him. If you hate your neighbor and seek his/her demise, you cannot love G_d in the same breath. If you adhere to these two commandments, you will honor the full law of G_d without thinking about it. You can know the law, mentally, without adhering to its precepts. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments (40).