Reading #1 – John 4
Reading #2 – Psalms 96
Reading #3 – Ecclesiastes 11
Reading #4 – Jeremiah 8
Reading #5 – 2 Chronicle 22
2 Chronicles 22 – Amaziah King of Judah. After Jehoram, Ahaziah’s father died of colon cancer and his sons were killed in the conflict, Ahaziah became the default king of Judah. Unfortunately, Ahaziah would be killed by Jehu the son of Nimshi (7-8). Ahaziah was related to the wicked king Ahab of Israel through Athaliah Ahab’s daughter. When a person is judged in the Kingdom of G_d, it plays out in the lives of those who remain. Jehoshaphat arranged the marriage between Jehoram and Athalia which started the ball rolling; the people remaining would move the ball by their choices. Ahaziah also followed the evil example of King Ahab’s family, for his mother encouraged him in doing wrong. He did what was evil in the LORD’s sight, just as Ahab’s family had done. They even became his advisers after the death of his father, and they led him to ruin. Following their evil advice, Ahaziah joined Joram, the son of King Ahab of Israel, in his war against King Hazael of Aram at Ramoth-Gilead (3-5). AHazia remained in power for one year during which, he led the kingdom further down the road to sin. After Ahaziah died, Athaliah became the default ruler; remember, she was the daughter of Ahab and Joram’s sister which created further problems for the nation. In some ways, it was like a game of chess. Athaliah probably had it mind that she made the final move and the game was called; however, G_d is the master chess player and always has a trick up his sleeve to alter the Devil’s plans; only the Devil and, unfortunately, mankind believes the “game is over”. When Athaliah, the mother of King Ahaziah of Judah, learned that her son was dead, she began to destroy the rest of Judah’s royal family. But Ahaziah’s sister Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram, took Ahaziah’s infant son, Joash, and stole him away from among the rest of the king’s children, who were about to be killed. She put Joash and his nurse in a bedroom. In this way, Jehosheba, wife of Jehoiada the priest and sister of Ahaziah, hid the child so that Athaliah could not murder him. Joash remained hidden in the Temple of God for six years while Athaliah ruled over the land (10-12).
Psalms 96 – A Sabbath Prayer (Continued). Part of the Sabbath prayer is “singing a new song” (1). To “sing a new song”, is to change the tune, tempo, and script. When we come before the Lord G_d, we bring the hurts, pains, sorrows, sins, and tribulations that we are going through that, is the “old song” or “old me”. When I change the tune to admiration for the Lord G_d, everything I am facing and/or going through falls away and the weight I have carrying around falls off at the foot of the cross. Sing a new song to the LORD! Let the whole earth sing to the LORD! Sing to the LORD; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves (1-2). When we sing the old song long enough, people learn to avoid us because we bring no joy. Conversely, when we change our tune by coming into the presence of G_d, people will see the good in our lives and want to be a part of it. We change our tune when we change our outlook and our outlook changes when we see in the Word of G_d how much he loves us and cares for us. O nations of the world, recognize the LORD; recognize that the LORD is glorious and strong. Give to the LORD the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come into his courts. Worship the LORD in all his holy splendor. Let all the earth tremble before him. Tell all the nations, “The LORD reigns!” The world stands firm and cannot be shaken. He will judge all peoples fairly (7-10). We can always claim, “The Lord is coming” but when the way we live day-to-day, does not show that “we really care” or that we are not fear him, we can fully expect that the world will not care either. Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he is coming! He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth (12-13).
Ecclesiastes 11 – The Uncertainties of Life. It is an easy thing to say, “Life is unpredictable so live life to its fullest” but, the most difficult part is making your life count. Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you. But divide your investments among many places, for you do not know what risks might lie ahead (1-2). If we wait until the opportune time to invest, it will never present itself. We have no earthly idea when G_d is coming for us if we did, we’d wait until the last minute to do something productive with our lives so that our kids would have something good to say about us. Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest (4). “Age” is meaningless (10) meaning, it should never be used as an excuse for living marginal lives and doing nothing to help yourself and others.
Jeremiah 8 – Deception of False Prophets. For costume parties, people dress up as anything from Cinderella to the Duchess of York. While costume parties are meant for entertainment purposes, the person dressing up as another individual real or fake, that person has no power to act like the person they are dressing up as even if they quote the lines correctly. In the same way, the false prophets of Judah presented themselves as “the real thing” and their words sounded like the “real Mccoy” because the words sounded scriptural. The purpose of the prophet or Seer was to warn the people about violating G_d’s laws and bringing people back to the Lord (8-9). The people gave credence to the false prophets and became as corrupt as the Prophet who enticed them. I listen to their conversations and don’t hear a word of truth. Is anyone sorry for doing wrong? Does anyone say, “What a terrible thing I have done”? No! All are running down the path of sin as swiftly as a horse galloping into battle (6)! The false prophets spoke in the language of the serpent who convinced Adam and Eve to surrender Eden to the Devil. The language of the serpent sounds so much like the words of G_d because some of the words are identical in spelling different in meaning. They offer superficial treatments for my people’s mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of these disgusting actions? Not at all—they don’t even know how to blush! Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered. They will be brought down when I punish them, says the LORD (11-12). This message was not well received nor did the prophet look with glee at the downfall of Judah because he, Jeremiah, lived in the community where destruction would occur. I hurt with the hurt of my people. I mourn and am overcome with grief. Is there no medicine in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why is there no healing for the wounds of my people (21-22)?
John 4 – Jesus and the Samaritan Woman. Samaria, which is located between Judea and Gallilee was a place that no respectful Jew would ever go to or spend time in. The two days that Jesus spent there was a springboard to reach the people of Samaria who had been at odds with Judea since before the exile in 586. The second part of the problem was that Jesus ministered to a woman instead of a man. Hebrew culture of the time put walls up between men and women so when Jesus dared to minister to a woman, he shattered the wall and opened the door to healing (JWA.ORG). From this one woman, many more came to know the Lord Jesus the son of G_d, and became saved. What is funny, is that the time spent with the woman at the well provided more nourishment to Jesus than any food could provide. Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.” But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about (31-32).” This food that Jesus was referring to fed his soul more encouragement than physical food could fill the stomach’s hunger. The official who came to Jesus to request that Jesus heal his son, had his spirit-filled by the fulfilling of his request at the very same hour he asked. Then the father realized that that was the very time Jesus had told him, “Your son will live.” And he and his entire household believed in Jesus. This was the second miraculous sign Jesus did in Galilee after coming from Judea (53-54).