Reading #1 – Matthew 24
Reading #2 – Psalms 48
Reading #3 – Proverbs 7
Reading #4 – Isaiah 26
Reading #5 – 1 Chronicles 3
1 Chronicle 3 – Decendents of David King of Israel/Judah. For David and for his lineage, the underlying issues always began with the person they married. Marriage in the Old Testament began with a sexual union. When David has sex with Bathsheba, the two were considered married. Now David had other wives and many other sons who should have become the next king but we don’t hear about them and I think it is because they did nothing or died young. We hear about Amnon, Absalom, and Solomon but the rest we hear nothing about. The writer mentions the successors after David but did not list the sons of the successors. It was not until Josia that the sons of the king are mentioned.
Psalms 48 – For the Decendents of Korah. In the Kingdom of Heaven, there is one G_d and no one speaks for Him. In His Kingdom, all who come to him must accept that He is Lord. G_d invites us to partake in His Kingdom. How great is the LORD, how deserving of praise, in the city of our G_d, which sits on his holy mountain! It is high and magnificent; the whole earth rejoices to see it! Mount Zion, the holy mountain, is the city of the great King! G_d himself is in Jerusalem’s towers, revealing himself as to its defender (1-3). G_d is not for one side or another, we are on his side (Joshua 5:14). We had heard of the city’s glory, but now we have seen it ourselves— the city of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. It is the city of our G_d; he will make it safe forever (8). Man has a finite time but G_d is boundless. No man either before David after David is given an eternal kingdom. Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem. Walk around and count the many towers. Take note of the fortified walls, and tour all the citadels, that you may describe them to future generations. For that is what G_d is like. He is our G_d forever and ever,
and he will guide us until we die (12-14).
Proverbs 7 Another Warning About Immoral Women/Men. One of the hardest things for mankind is, “knowing who to listen to”. For the past four years and probably for another 8 years, we have received an onslaught of political messages. The question is, “who do you listen to”? When it comes to mankind, we always need to ask ourselves, “what do you want”? Everything the Devil puts in front of us there is always a hitch to it. The immoral women in this example presented the naïve young man with a tantalizing word picture that was a mere subterfuge. The woman had no intention of giving the man anything other than to rob him. So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap, awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life (21-23). Once we yield G_d’s gift to us, we will not get it back (Genesis 6 as an example).
Isaiah 26 – A Song of Praise to the Lord. Today, our nation is divided into camps and this is by the design of the Devil. Because the nation is divided, it can be easily defeated. The Devil knows that he has a short period to destroy because from the ashes of disaster comes a new plant that will come about. When a nation is destroyed, everyone is destroyed. When Israel went into captivity, the whole nation was affected. However, when the exiles returned, new life took root and fruit eventually grew on the vines. But for those who are righteous, the way is not steep and rough. You are a G_d who does what is right, and you smooth out the path ahead of them. LORD, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws; our heart desires to glorify your name (7-8). Honoring G_d is more than just singing beautiful songs, making lofty vows, or sacrifice, it is about honoring G_d by our actions. O LORD, you have made our nation great; yes, you have made us great. You have extended our borders, and we give you the glory (15)! G_d does not give us access to his land because we are the best and the brightest but because we are faithful to him. When we are faithful to the Lord, He moves mountains that hold us back if we are faithful to him. Go home, my people, and lock your doors! Hide yourselves for a little while until the LORD’s anger has passed. Look! The LORD is coming from heaven to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will no longer hide those who have been killed. They will be brought out for all to see (20-21).
Matthew 24 – Jesus Speaks About the Future. This is the part of scripture that people hone into because they want to know about “what lies ahead”. In the time of Nebuchadnezzar, he thought “what lies ahead” and the Lord gave him a vision that shook him to his core (Daniel 2). When the disciples pointed out how beautiful the temple was so he responded with a vision that shook the disciples and the people listening to him. “Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another (2)!” This event took place in Ad70 when the Temple was destroyed by the Romans after the Jews revolted against Rome. When a nation is destroyed, everyone in it is affected. Of course, the people who died before the destruction and may or may not have had anything to do or everything to do with the destruction would not witness what would soon happen and this is unfair. Unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of G_d’s chosen ones. “Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even G_d’s chosen ones. See, I have warned you about this ahead of time (23-25). It is not a matter of “if destruction comes”, it is “when destruction comes” so we are presented with three choices do nothing, follow the crowd, or live for the Lord even if no one else does. The disciple and the believers would remain on earth some until almost a full century had passed and these people would witness everything Jesus had said would happen; again, this is “unfair”. The reader may wonder, “why didn’t Jesus bring me home to Heaven with him so that I would not have to witness the events. The answer is, Jesus had faith in the group that they would do the right thing despite what the world said to do. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. “Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left. “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into (39-43). Today, we are presented with the same choices how we live our lives will greatly whether we will succeed or fail.