Reading #1 – Mark 16
Reading #2 – Psalms 68
Reading #3 – Proverbs 27
Reading #4 – Isaiah 46
Reading #5 – 1 Chronicle 23
1 Chronicle 23 – Duties of the Levites. Before David passed away, he registered the entire tribe of Levite and re-assigned their tasks according to the Book of the Law. Moses’ offspring were registered with the Levites and would do the work assigned to their family. And so, under the supervision of the priests, the Levites watched over the Tabernacle and the Temple and faithfully carried out their duties of service at the house of the LORD (32). The work at the Temple would require that all of the Levites work together to complete the task. Because the Levites would no longer carry the Ark of the Covenant, they were reassigned to other tasks.
Psalms 68 – A Psalm of David. Rise, O God, and scatter your enemies. Let those who hate God run for their lives. Blow them away like smoke. Melt them like wax in a fire. Let the wicked perish in the presence of God. But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy (1-3). When we can fathom two truths of scripture that G_d is not on our side and that we must stand behind Him, our prayer life will be dramatically altered so that when we pray, our prayers are answered according to G_d’s providence. David’s prayer alluded to historical events like the release from captivity, the entrance into Canaan, and the division of the land (7-18). The purpose of doing this was to remind the people what the G_d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had done for the nation (7-18). Our God is a God who saves! The Sovereign LORD rescues us from death (20). If we cannot remember what G_d has done in our lives, what the Devil is doing presently will catch us off-guard. Sing to the one who rides across the ancient heavens, his mighty voice thundering from the sky. Tell everyone about God’s power. His majesty shines down on Israel; his strength is mighty in the heavens. God is awesome in his sanctuary. The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God (33-35)!
Proverbs 27– Pearls For Life in an Ungodly World. While the world does not see a problem when people switch allegiances, however, G_d calls it “being unfaithful.” Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of earthly wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? And if you have not been faithful in the use of that [earthly wealth] which belongs to another [whether God or man and of which you are a trustee], who will give you that which is your own (Luke 16:10-12)? We are afforded the opportunities in life to reach family and friends for the Kingdom but sadly, the opportunity slips away from us when our actions do not coincide with our words. Be wise, my child, and make my heart glad. Then I will be able to answer my critics (11). When we sin, we are doing more harm inside of the Kingdom than any armed attack could ever do (Zechariah 13:6). It seems, more can be done, or undone, by the position we espouse than the causes and/or people we support (18). The world is looking for “the difference” so when it finds “more of the same” it will refuse to listen. now the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds, for riches don’t last forever, and the crown might not be passed to the next generation (23-24).
Isaiah 46 – The Fall of Babylon. As the prophet was watching, the gods the Nation Babylon served and worshiped were hauled away by the Persians and Medes. These heavy items would be melted down to form the gods of the Persians. Bel and Nebo, the gods of Babylon, bow as they are lowered to the ground. They are being hauled away on ox carts. The poor beasts stagger under the weight. Both the idols and their owners are bowed down. The gods cannot protect the people, and the people cannot protect the gods. They go off into captivity together (1-2). G_d said these things ahead of time so that the nation would know the truth and would know without a doubt “who was right and who was wrong.” In the same way, when we tell our kids what will happen we are mocked and called “old-fashioned.” However, let the consequences point out who is right and who is wrong and the argument is ended without a fight. “To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal? Some people pour out their silver and gold and hire a craftsman to make a god from it. Then they bow down and worship it! They carry it around on their shoulders, and when they set it down, it stays there. It can’t even move! And when someone prays to it, there is no answer. It can’t rescue anyone from trouble (5-7). Babylon was powerful but so were the Edomites, Assyrians, and Samaria yet they all were conquered in due course. The only kingdom to ever return from exile was the nation, Judah. “Listen to me, you stubborn people who are so far from doing right. For I am ready to set things right, not in the distant future, but right now! I am ready to save Jerusalem and show my glory to Israel (12=13).
Mark 16 – The Resurrection. The Easter story of Jesus’ death and resurrection has been taught since the 2nd century by the Roman Catholic Church as an integral tenant of faith (Britannica). The story begins with the last supper culminating with the resurrection. The original writer of Mark did not include 9-20 it was added in the 2nd century (around 500 AD) by the Roman Catholic Church (Brittanica). The “Great Commission” was written in Matthew 28 and Luke 24 so it was witnessed and confirmed, for this reason, it was added to Mark 16 by the early church fathers so it was not a hoax. A key point to Jesus’ message was that it did not ask for a temple to be created nor an idol in any form or shape because, if he did the religion would be no better than Babylon’s idols that were carried away (Isaiah 46:1-2)