Reading #1 – Mark 15
Reading #2 – Psalms 67
Reading #3 – Proverbs 26
Reading #4 – Isaiah 45
Reading #5 – 1 Chronicle 22
1 Chronicle 22 – Preparations for the Temple. The Temple was to be built on the ground purchased by David from Araunah. The prophecy given to Solomon had the appearance of being the same however if you look closer at the message given to David through Nathan and then compare it to the one given by David to Solomon, the message is not the same. David made some assumptions which is a common action of mankind. Compare 2 Samuel 7:10-17 with 1 Chronicle 22:7-11 and you will notice the discrepancies. While the message sounds genuine, it was also misguided and would cause problems for the nation following Solomon’s implosion. The point is, G_d never wanted the Temple in the first place, He would have been content with the little tent area set up by David if the people would simply honor his name (2 Samuel 7:11). In the early days of building the Temple, there was joy in the land because the son of the great King David initiated the construction of a community gathering place; after the 3rd structure was built, the excitement had worn off and the people would become bitter and Solomon’s ally Hiram of Lebanon would pawn off a bad piece of land to honor an agreement. Now seek the LORD your God with all your heart and soul. Build the sanctuary of the LORD God so that you can bring the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant and the holy vessels of God into the Temple built to honor the LORD’s name (19).” Solomon, unlike David, did not seek the face of the Lord before commencing the work project and that is also part of the problem.
Psalms 67 – A Song. Part of our worship should always be, “Seek the face of the Lord” (Psalm 105:4) and “May G_d be merciful and bless us. May his face shine with favor on us (1).” Praising G_d is not simply a “song” no matter how well crafted it may be. When we praise G_d, we invite him into our presence for his the Lord G_d of Heaven and Earth not a puppet on a string. May your ways be known throughout the earth, your saving power among people everywhere. May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you. Let the whole world sing for joy, because you govern the nations with justice and guide the people of the whole world (2-4). The nations will not praise our G_d simply because we demand it of them or write laws to compel them to do so. They praise our G_d because of the fruit that comes from our life because they have tasted the fruit and it is good for the taste and fills the needs of their life; this is part of the reason Jesus fed the people who came to listen to him so that his message was more than “mere words.” May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you. Then the earth will yield its harvests, and God, our God, will richly bless us. Yes, God will bless us, and people all over the world will fear him (5-7).
Proverbs 26 – Pearls For Life in an Ungodly World. The tongue is one of the smallest parts of the body yet is capable of burning lives, destroying things in less time than it took to build them. In the same way, hiring a fool to fulfill your vision leads to devastating results like what happened to David and his vision of the temple. Trusting a fool to convey a message is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison (6)! After Solomon, the kingdom that David put his blood, sweat, and tears into was now a matter of 2 clans (Benjamin and Judah). From Solomon to the time of the exile the nation Judah, David’s ancestry), would be decimated by the hands of foolish kings except for Hezekiah and Josia. Judah had the promise of kings in the line of David (2 Samuel 7) yet wanted to live according to their own rule of law. Smooth words may hide a wicked heart, just as a pretty glaze covers a clay pot (23).
Isaiah 45 – Cyrus the Lord’s Chosen One. Cyrus, king of Persia, attacked and conquered Babylon in 539 BC about 50 years after Babylon captured Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. Under Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon basked in a time of splendor or the “golden days”. Daniel, Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednigo ministered to Nebuchadnezzar; because these four young men lived for the Lord no matter what came about, they were elevated in leadership over the “wise men”. By the time Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson Belshazzar ascended to the throne, the kingdom was in disrepair and subject to being attacked by the Medes and Persians. According to research, this chapter of Isaiah was written by the “school of Isaiah” around 539 BC which is why the conquering king was mentioned by name and not alluded to. A new kingdom taking control of Babylon was not good news to Babylon and not to the Jews in exile in Babylon at that time. A new kingdom would mean “new policies” and people would lose their jobs sort of like what happened to the Sanhedrin in the time of Jesus. And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness— secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name. “And why have I called you for this work? Why did I call you by name when you did not know me? It is for the sake of Jacob my servant, Israel my chosen one. (3-4). Cyrus was a man used by G_d to accomplish a purpose just like Jesus. Because Cyrus was G_d’s anointed, the people were responsible for honoring him and being obedient (11-12). Cyrus was an unlikely savior because he was not Jewish in fact, he served his gods until he had a chance meeting with Daniel.
Mark 15 – Jesus Before Pilate. Jesus had been arrested, tried, and convicted of rebellion although he never raised so much as his eyes against the religious. Jesus or the Sanhedrin had to go because the two could not be more dissimilar. The disciples just like Joseph of Aramethia had hoped that Jesus was the promised Messiah but how could he possibly be the one? The answer is found in the prophecy just like the one given to David and the one given about Cyrus. When a prophecy is altered, the reader will get mislead into believing the “revisionist’s theory.” Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. (Joseph was an honored member of the high council, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come) (43). Doctored prophecy causes a great deal of turmoil in the life of a believer because when what is believed was authentic prophecy does not happen as we were told it would, we doubt everything else that comes out of the mouth of the minister or we will adjust the timeline of events to suit our current situation.