Reading #1 – John 6
Reading #2 – Psalms 98
Reading #3 – Proverbs 1
Reading #4 – Jeremiah 10
Reading #5 – 2 Chronicle 24
2 Chronicles 24 – Young Joash Influenced by Jehoiada. While Jehoiada lived, Joash did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord. The problem is, Joash never fully embraced the law of the Lord G_d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So when Jehoiada passed away, the people that the venerable priest kept at bay were now free to do their worst. The play by the wicked people is the same one that the Devil used in the Garden of Eden. Joash commanded the priests to repair the temple and saw that it was completed as prescribed by the law. Unlike his father, Joash was matched with a faithful wife from the tribe of Judah so he had no excuse. The officials of Judah who served Athaliah stepped forward to mislead the king. Now after the death of Jehoiada [the priest, who had hidden Joash], the officials of Judah came and bowed down to King Joash; then the king listened to them. They abandoned the house of the LORD, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols; so [God’s] wrath came on Judah and Jerusalem for their sin and guilt (17-18). The leaders who mislead Joash compelled Joash to kill all of the sons of Jehoiada because they wanted no one left who could get through to Joash and spoil the leader’s plans. Two of Joash’s servants conspired and killed him out of vengeance. Joash was buried in the city of David but not in the tomb of the kings (25). Jehoiada was buried in the tomb of the kings although he wasn’t a king because of his courage, conviction, and the good that he did at a time when wickedness prevailed (16).
Psalms 98 – Praise the Lord for His Righteousness. Sing to the Lord a new song, For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him (1). Why should we praise the Lord? We praise the Lord when we realize that there is no way that we can save ourselves from the pits of hell. Praising the Lord is not synonymous with “placation”. The nations learned from the previous generation how to do evil the Lord G_d, unlike the nations, has restored countless generations from the pits that hold them bound. He has [graciously] remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; All the ends of the earth have witnessed the salvation of our God (3). When we live according to G_d’s word, we become a testimony to the world not only while we live but sometimes long after we are gone sort of like Jehoiada the priest who was honored by being buried in the tomb of the kings besides valiant men like David. Jehoiada’s death was honored and mourned by the nation and, in some ways, the Lord judged him to be righteous so that the world would know what happens when a righteous man/woman obeys the Lord G_d. Let the rivers clap their hands; Let the mountains sing together for joy and delight Before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness And the peoples with fairness (8-9).
Proverbs 1 – The Purpose of Wisdom. Wisdom’s main intent is not to make people smart but to teach them about the pitfalls of life. Jehoiada taught Joash; Joash studied the material but never made room for it in his life. Wisdom makes us wiser than our enemies because it uncovers the wicked schemes so that we do not become confused by the bluster and luster of the wicked words. My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent (10). Wicked plans always look good on the outside but fall apart in practice. Had Joash learned wisdom, he would have known that not everything that sparkles is “gold”. Adam and Eve were enticed by the shining fruit and tempted by their stomachs only to lose out on life-giving fruit. Throw in your lot with us [they insist]; We will all have one money bag [in common],” My son, do not walk on the road with them; Keep your foot [far] away from their path, For their feet run to evil, And they hurry to shed blood (particularly yours) (14-16). “Greed” is a common malady that afflicts mankind and is often at the root of wars; wars destroy countries, kingdoms, and continents. “How long, O naive ones [you who are easily misled], will you love being simple-minded and undiscerning? How long will scoffers [who ridicule and deride] delight in scoffing, How long will fools [who obstinately mock truth] hate knowledge (22)? G_d offers his salvation to “whosoever” and we see tangible fruit in the lives of those who honor Him. The time to seek wisdom is before acting by seeking guidance from many counselors, not just those that you agree with. “Therefore they shall eat of the fruit of their own [wicked] way And be satiated with [the penalty of] their own devices. “For the turning away of the naive will kill them, And the careless ease of [self-righteous] fools will destroy them (31-32).
Jeremiah 10 – A Satire on Idolatry. Idolatry or worshiping an idol has been a problem since before the exodus from Egypt. Down through the ages, the nation served various idols when the wicked kings served the land. At this juncture, the nation was about to enter another period of exile because of the wicked things that the nation had done at the hands and bequest of the kings. The nation knew the difference between serving an idol and serving the Lord G_d because Judah, like Israel, had righteous kings like Hezekiah, David, Jehoshaphat, and Josiah but willingly went back to serving idols without a qualm. For the customs and decrees of the peoples are [mere] delusion [exercises in futility]; It is only wood which one cuts from the forest [to make a god], The work of the hands of the craftsman with the ax or cutting tool. “They adorn the idol with silver and with gold; They fasten it with hammers and nails So that it will not fall apart (3-4). The Lord G_d, unlike the Devil, shows his authority in the lives of those who serve him; what he promises, He comes through on. But the LORD is the true God and the God who is Truth; He is the living God and the everlasting King. The earthquakes and shudders at His wrath And the nations are not able to endure His indignation (10). The Devil will never stick around when the Lord G_d takes center stage nor when destruction is about to befall the Devil’s victim. Those who serve the Devil will find out in the finale’ who is G_d and who is not. The Portion of Jacob [the true God on Whom Israel has a claim] is not like these; For He is the Designer and Maker of all things, And Israel is the tribe of His inheritance [and He will not fail them]— The LORD of hosts is His name (16). The Devil knew that the Babylonians were on their way so he lulled the people into a comfortable embrace and distracted the nation with lies so that they would be destroyed (22).
John 6 – Five Thousand Fed. The provisions that Jesus used to feed the people would not have been enough to feed a family. The people had heard the Prophet’s words about the coming of the Messiah and here was Jesus standing right in front of them but the people didn’t believe him. Fast forward 2000 years and Jesus is accepted by the goyim that Jesus was/is the Messiah of G_d. The human side of us wants to ask the question, “Jews are you mere fools”? We have the privilege of possessing G_d’s word in many languages and versions yet we still trip over the rock just the Jews did. The jews had been fed a lie by the retelling of lies mixed with truth and it is the reason why they missed out; however, in our time, many still miss out on the truth because fiction is stranger than truth. People will seek the truths of G_d when they see fruit coming out of our life and sometimes not a moment sooner (26-27). Jesus replied to them, “I am the Bread of Life. The one who comes to Me will never be hungry, and the one who believes in Me [as Savior] will never be thirsty [for that one will be sustained spiritually]. But as I told you, you have seen Me and still, you do not believe. All that My Father gives Me will come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out [I will never, never reject anyone who follows Me] (35-37).