Reading #1 – Mark 6
Reading #2 – Psalms 58
Reading #3 – Proverbs 17
Reading #4 – Isaiah 36
Reading #5 – 1 Chronicle 13
1 Chronicle 13 – David Attempts to Move the Ark of the Covenant. When David went to bring back the ark of the covenant from Kiriath-jearim, he sought counsel from his captains and the people. At first glance, it may seem that the Lord overreacted by killing Uzzah because he tried to steady the ark. What David did not know was that in the book of the law it states, “the sons of Aaron (Levites) were responsible for preparing the ark to be moved (Numbers 4:15). The ark of the covenant was not just a box, it was sacred so only those anointed priests could touch it. Matthew Henry admonishes the reader to be careful how we approach the things of G_d whether it be an article or “the Lord’s anointed”.
Psalms 58 – A Psalm of David – Do Not Destroy. Every man, woman, and child on this earth has had to deal with wicked people; sometimes, that “wicked person” is us. We will know “wicked behavior” by the fruit it bears (Romans 6:23). Unfortunately, there is a point where there is no return as we will find out in the case of Saul. justice—do you rulers know the meaning of the word? Do you judge the people fairly? No! You plot injustice in your hearts. You spread violence throughout the land. These wicked people are born sinners; even from birth they have lied and gone their own way. They spit venom like deadly snakes; they are like cobras that refuse to listen, ignoring the tunes of the snake charmers, no matter how skillfully they play (1-5). When the spirit of the Devil is in a person, it will work counter-productive to the person’s best interests and will use the Word of G_d to justify it as it happened for the naïve young man in Proverbs 7. The godly will rejoice when they see injustice avenged. They will wash their feet in the blood of the wicked. Then at last everyone will say, “There truly is a reward for those who live for God; surely there is a God who judges justly here on earth (10-11).” The Devil will always attack the vulnerable points of mankind.
Proverbs 17 – Pearls For Life in Ungodly World. There are two types of people, according to Proverbs, the “fool” and the “wise”. IF we were asked, we’d all see ourselves as being “wise” and in the right rather than being the fool and in the wrong. Jesus used the example of the farmer planting seeds across a variant of soils (Matthew 13:1-17). The seed was the Word of G_d which never changes but, the soil will determine if the fruit will be good or bad, will grow and mature, or die quickly. The fool will do foolish things like trying to cover his/her paths so they are not found out it is one of many reasons that people bribe justices, acquit the guilty, and convict the innocent (15). Unfortunately, when we try to hide sins, someone must pay the price and it is usually the wrong person. There are people in this world that do not want peace and will do everything within their power to prevent it. For example “starting a quarrel”, “egging on the foolish”, and bribing the powerful. Knowing this, we do not need to be part of it nor let the foolish use us (Matthew 10:16).
Isaiah 36 – Assyria Invades Judah. Hezekiah’s father Ahaz had struck a deal with Assyria to protect them from the attack of another nation. The problem is, the agreement was not contingent upon how long Ahaz lived but for an “all-time”. When Hezekiah came into power, he broke the agreement with Assyria which caused Assyria to come and reclaim the deal. Ahaz was a pushover whereas Hezekiah was not. Ahaz did not honor the Lord G_d whereas Hezekiah did so the two kings were opposites something Assyria had not counted on. “But perhaps you will say to me, ‘We are trusting in the LORD our God!’ But isn’t he the one who was insulted by Hezekiah? Didn’t Hezekiah tear down his shrines and altars and make everyone in Judah and Jerusalem worship only at the altar here in Jerusalem (7)? The commander of Assyria’s army thought he was thumbing his nose at the god because he knew Hezekiah had torn down the altars to Baal and destroyed the Asherah poles. The land the promise the commander made appeared to be a good deal “what is one land compared to another”. The problem is, the people heard mere words and would find out too late that the lands differed starkly; the Devil will use this ploy every day and in every generation and he can make these promises because he has no intention of giving them. “Don’t listen to Hezekiah! These are the terms the king of Assyria is offering: Make peace with me—open the gates and come out. Then each of you can continue eating from your grapevine and fig tree and drinking from your well. Then I will arrange to take you to another land like this one—a land of grain and new wine, bread and vineyards. “Don’t let Hezekiah mislead you by saying, ‘The LORD will rescue us!’ Have the gods of any other nations ever saved their people from the king of Assyria? What happened to the gods of Hamath and Arpad? And what about the gods of Sepharvaim? Did any god rescue Samaria from my power (16-19)? What the commander did not know was that while it was true “no one has ever been saved from the Assyrians that is “no earthly king has”. Hezekiah was trusting the Lord G_d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Mark 6 – Jesus Rejected at Nazareth. Some of the hardest people to reach are the members of our family(ies). Somehow or another, we will always be “little Jesus” in the eyes of our family members. Jesus had ministered in areas where no one had ever gone before, raised the dead, healed the wounded, and taught large numbers of people yet, in his hometown, he was rejected. “Healing” requires faith because, without it, we’d remain sick, the woman with the issue of blood would never have reached out to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their unbelief (4-6). Wherever he went—in villages, cities, or the countryside—they brought the sick out to the marketplaces. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed (56).