Reading #1 – Mark 2
Reading #2 – Psalms 54
Reading #3 – Proverbs 13
Reading #4 – Isaiah 32
Reading #5 – 1 Chronicles 9
1 Chronicle 9 – The Returning Exiles. The people of Judah were exiled to Babylon because they were unfaithful to the LORD. The first of the exiles to return to their property in their former towns were priests, Levites, Temple servants, and other Israelites. Some of the people from the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh came and settled in Jerusalem (1-3). The Priests, musicians, and temple servants were the first to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. The people of Jerusalem would be under the auspices of Babylon. In all, there were 212 gatekeepers in those days, and they were listed according to the genealogies in their villages. David and Samuel the seer had appointed their ancestors because they were reliable men (22). For the remaining chapters of Chronicles, the writer notes the rise and fall of the kings of Israel/Judah
Psalms 54 – Psalm of Consolation. David was being hunted by Saul and the Ziphites had told Saul where David was hiding. This should spell out David’s demise but David turns his fears into faith. But God is my helper. The Lord keeps me alive! May the evil plans of my enemies be turned against them. Do as you promised and put an end to them (4-5). David’s consolation is that the Lord G_d had anointed him, king, in place of Saul. Knowing this, David did not fear what the enemy was attempting to do nor how angry Saul was. David had done nothing wrong so he was not afraid. When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies be at peace with him (Proverbs 16:7). David was not out of the weeds at this point but, listen to his statement of faith: I will sacrifice a voluntary offering to you; I will praise your name, O LORD, for it is good. For you have rescued me from my troubles and helped me to triumph over my enemies (6-7). David was not speaking idol words nor flowing words for the reader, he knew the Lord G_d and trusted in him, and walked obediently before him.
Proverbs 13 – Axioms For Life. Listening to advice is most likely the hardest thing to do partly because there is so much of it. These were the words of Solomon and copied by Hezekiah’s team. The reader can glean that there are two different personas “the person who does not listen to advice” and the “one who does listen to advice”. The two pathways show the result. The reader is responsible for making the choice which one he and/or she will take. A wise child accepts a parent’s discipline; a mocker refuses to listen to correction (1). Making choices about life is a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because we are afforded the responsibility to make our choice. It is a curse because, when the fruit comes, we get to eat it so, when we make mistakes in judgment whatever happens we are accountable for the outcome. The life of the godly is full of light and joy, but the light of the wicked will be snuffed out (9). When we allow other people to make choices is to yield our autonomy while this is advantageous and certainly expedition, we still will be held accountable for the choices that were made.
Isaiah 32 – Israel’s Ultimate Deliverance. Look, a righteous king is coming! And honest princes will rule under him. Each one will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a parched land (1-2). This is a Messianic prophecy that encourages the reader to hold onto the hand of G_d because the Deliverer is coming. Jerusalem was not a nice place to be at this time because of the destruction at the hands of Manassah, and his son. It would not be until Josia ascended the throne that there was any good news to be had in the land. Under Josia, the nation enjoyed a short period of peace. After Josia, the nation would crumble until the time of the exile and the subsequent destruction of Jerusalem. This is the problem with earthly kings, they around for a short time and then they die. Everything Josia to rebuild Jerusalem, re-establish worship to the Lord, and demolish the altars and idols to Baal would be undone. Jesus the Eternal King of Righteousness is for all times. Jesus did not build a physical temple to honor him, he built a temple in the heart of his disciples and they, in turn, shared the same message to another generation and so on. Then everyone who has eyes will be able to see the truth, and everyone who has ears will be able to hear it. Even the hotheads will be full of sense and understanding. Those who stammer will speak out plainly (3-4). The only reference to people getting healed in the OT was in the times of Elijah and Elisha. So, when Jesus started healing people, he fulfilled this prophecy; every parable ended with “those who have eyes to see and hears to hear let him listen”. Verses 5-8, point to the Sanhedrin who held power over all things “spiritual” and many of them were not from the priestly line. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t care about the sheep. “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep (John 10:12-15). Isaiah was blowing the shofar warning the people of the troubles to come and, he points to the blessing to come (9-20).
Mark 2 – Jesus Heals the Paralytic. When Jesus healed the paralytic, it should have been received with “glory” and “praise” rather, the religious who should have remembered the word in Isaiah rose to criticize Jesus. “What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins (7)!” Forgiving sin and releasing people bound by their actions requires proof. So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before (10-12)!” Jesus’ power to forgive and heal is not because of any special breeding nor is it because Jesus said the “right words” or had a charismatic character. Jesus’s power to heal and forgive came from his connection with the Father. So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does (John 5:19). Unfortunately, this statement is also true if you follow the Devil’s way, you will do what your father does. In essence, we need to check the fruit that is coming from our life.