Reading #1 – Mark 8
Reading #2 – Psalms 60
Reading #3 – Proverbs 19
Reading #4 – Isaiah 38
Reading #5 – 1 Chronicle 15
1 Chronicle 15 – Preparing to Move the “Ark of the Covenant.” When David first tried to move the ark, he asked the people and his counsel what their thought was but, he did not ask the Lord (13). The second time, David asked the Lord and he found it written in the book of the law how the ark should be moved. Anytime the ark was to be moved, it had to be carried by the Levite tribe of Kohath. The 1st time, David had not prepared a place for it, the 2nd time he did. The Levites were told to “consecrate themselves” in preparation to move the ark. So the priests and the Levites purified themselves to bring the Ark of the LORD, the God of Israel, to Jerusalem. Then the Levites carried the Ark of God on their shoulders with its carrying poles, just as the LORD had instructed Moses. David also ordered the Levite leaders to appoint a choir of Levites who were singers and musicians to sing joyful songs to the accompaniment of harps, lyres, and cymbals (14-16). When Saul’s daughter, Michal, saw the king dressed in a linen ephod and rejoicing and dancing before the Lord, she despised him and ridiculed him (29.
Psalm 60 – A Teaching Psalm. The purpose of a Teaching Psalm is to guide the reader and the warrior. In life, we make mistakes in judgment like Joab killing 12000 Edomites (relatives of Esau) that will cause problems later on. There are people in Christian circles that have caused problems for anyone who calls themselves a “Christian. Joab, although Israel/Judah’s Commander of the Armies was not known for his ethical behavior, unlike David. Before David was crowned king of Israel, Joab killed Abner Saul’s Commander of Israel’s army in peacetime (2 Samuel 3:26-29) in retribution for Abner killing Joab’s younger brother Asahel. Abner killed Asahel after warning him to break off of the attack but Asahel didn’t listen (2 Samuel 2:19-21). David mourned Abner’s death and placed the blame on Joab and his family. Later, he killed Absalom although warned to “be kind to the young man Absalom (2 Samuel 18:15). Lastly, Joab killed Amasa after David fired Joab and put his brother in place (2 Samuel 20:15). The details of Joab’s butchery were not fully relayed to the King. The problem is, although there are always people like Joab who cause problems in our world and to the family, they are part of, G_d’s word does not give us the license to follow their treachery. When we trust the Lord and never surrender our ethical sword to anyone, G_d will see us through. Now rescue your beloved people. Answer and save us by your power. God has promised this by his holiness: “I will divide up Shechem with joy. I will measure out the valley of Succoth. Gilead is mine, and Manasseh, too. Ephraim, my helmet, will produce my warriors, and Judah, my scepter, will produce my kings. But Moab, my washbasin, will become my servant, and I will wipe my feet on Edom (5-8). Trusting the Lord to manage the struggles of our life is not an easy thing to do because we deal with flesh and blood and it is very easy to get caught up in the snares and react in like kind to those who intend on harm. Oh, please help us against our enemies, for all human help is useless. With God’s help, we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes (11-12).
Proverbs 19 – Pearls For Living In An Ungodly World. For certain, not everybody in this world has the same set of ethics. The G_dly live to please the Lord by obeying his word. The ungodly will live to please themselves little knowing how close to the edge they are getting. Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise (1). The world says, “heap up as much of this world as you can hold for tomorrow you may die.” Unfortunately, many do heap up the treasures but are unable to hold them for long. In the beginning, the fool follows the world’s ways and for a while, life is good but then the storms start coming slowly at first then the intensity grows. The fool says, “I have no need for G_d” (Psalms 14:1) and later resents his/her words. Regretfully, we will most always find out too late that we were wrong. Stolen bread tastes sweet, but it turns to gravel in the mouth (17). An inheritance obtained too early in life is not a blessing in the end (20). But if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will be clearly shown for what it is; for the day will disclose it, because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality and character and worth of each person’s work (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).
Isaiah 38 – Hezekiah’s Illness and Healing. Hezekiah the righteous king of Judah became ill to the point that would die. About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill, and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to visit him. He gave the king this message: “This is what the LORD says: ‘Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness (1).’” When Hezekiah received the message, he wept and the Lord heard his cries. Hezekiah was healed by the Prophet Isaiah applying a poultice. Hezekiah asked for a sign and the sign given was the words out of the king’s mouth. “Turn the clock back 10 steps to the time of Ahaz by doing so, the grounds that Hezekiah had so painstakingly completed were undone in the time of his son. “‘And this is the sign from the LORD to prove that he will do as he promised: I will cause the sun’s shadow to move ten steps backward on the sundial of Ahaz!’” So the shadow on the sundial moved backward ten steps (7-8). Ahaz was a wicked man and so was Hezekiah’s son.
Mark 8 – Jesus Feeds the 5000. Once again, Jesus fed the people who were listening to him. It was not enough to see a small amount of food feed 5000, the leadership wanted Jesus to perform a sign to convince them (11-12). St Thomas Aquinas said, “To the one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To the one without faith, no explanation is possible.” Jesus performed no sign for them because they would not have believed even if the dead person walked out of the grave like Mary and Marth’s brother did by Jesus command. “Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod (15).” The “yeast” was their teachings without any substance and they did obey even what they taught. The people who followed the Sanhedrin became as lost as even the most articulate teacher of the law was. The most prized possession we hold is “our soul”. If we allow our soul to become corrupt, our flesh will follow in due time. Is anything worth more than your soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels (37-38).”