Reading #1 – John 7
Reading #2 – Psalms 99
Reading #3 – Proverbs 2
Reading #4 – Jeremiah 11
Reading #5 – 2 Chronicle 25
2 Chronicles 25 – Amaziah Succeeds Joash in Judah. Amaziah became king in about 796BC after Joash’s untimely demise. Joash gave left plenty of evidence that should have convinced Amaziah that following sin’s trail is disastrous. After his inauguration, he had the people responsible for his father’s assassination put to death. In the first days of his reign, Amaziah did what was right in G_d’s but not wholeheartedly (2). In preparation for the Salt Sea battle, Amaziah conducted a census to find out how many men would make up his army which, came to 300,000. To supplement the army, Amaziah hired 100,000 from Israel in which the prophet warned him not to bring them with his army. But a man of G_d came to him, saying, “O king, do not let this army of Israel go with you, for the LORD is not with Israel nor with any of the sons of Ephraim. But if you do go [despite this warning], be strong and courageous for battle; yet G_d will cause you to stumble and fall before the enemy, for G_d has the power to help and to cause people to stumble (7-8).” The problem with Amaziah’s approach is that he did not remember the importance of seeking the Lord’s face before making decisions that would affect his kingdom. The Edomites had broken away from Judah during the time Amaziah’s grandfather ruled Judah. Amaziah conquered the Edomites so they were once again a vassal to Judah. The problem was that Amaziah brought back the G_ds of the Edomites and re-established idol worship in Judah. After Amaziah came back from the slaughter of the Edomites, he brought the G_ds of the sons of Seir, and set them up to be his G_ds, bowed before them, and burned incense to them (14). These G_ds were not able to save the Edomites so, bowing dowing down to them was useless and brought the ire of the prophet (16). After winning the swift victory over the hapless Edomites, Amaziah thought his army was impenetrable so he compelled Joash of Israel to meet him in battle. In the end, the nation Judah was destroyed, and the pompous king was put in prison until his death (25-28).
Psalms 99 – Praise the Lord for His Fidelity to Israel. While Israel is mentioned, I would interject that G_d maintains His fidelity to anybody no matter who you are, what you look like, how you talk, and/or where you are from; this is a part of scripture that must be first and foremost in the minds of G_d’s children. Scripture was written from the perspective of a Jewish Psalmist (Mike Krier 1/7/2021). When it comes to worship and devotion, we must turn our hearts to Him and serve Him only. The LORD reigns, let the peoples tremble [with submissive wonder]! He sits enthroned above the cherubim, let the earth shake (1)! If the Lord does not reign in our heart or we are simply mouthing words, the world will not shake at the name of the Lord G_d. conversely, let the child who seeks the Lord G_d and honors him shout and the world will not stand in his/her way (Amaziah’s two battles in review 2 Chronicles 25). Exalt the LORD our G_d And worship at His footstool; Holy is He (5). The Lord’s footstool is the place where G_d dwells (Exodus 25, Isaiah 66:1). Just as there are bad examples for us to consider, so there are also good examples (6-8) so which example you chose to follow will determine the course of your life. Exalt the LORD our G_d And worship at His holy hill [Zion, the temple mount], For the LORD our G_d is holy (9).
Proverbs 2 – The Pursuit of Wisdom Brings Security. This thing called “wisdom” would seem to be an anomaly of sorts. The kings of old had counselors and some of them had their agendas which caused problems for the listening ear. In the time of Rehoboam, he had his father’s counselors and his peers. Unfortunately, the king followed the guidance of his peers to the demise of his kingdom (1 Kings 12). To “fear the Lord” is to respect Him by listening to His wisdom, not man’s (2). If you seek skillful and G_dly wisdom as you would silver And search for her as you would hidden treasures; Then you will understand the [reverent] fear of the LORD [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] And discover the knowledge of G_d (4-5). To listen to the Lord is a purposeful direction meaning, it requires careful consideration of the events of man in the light of G_d’s word. He stores away sound wisdom for the righteous [those who are in right standing with Him]; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity [those of honorable character and moral courage], He guards the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His saints (believers) (7-8). Once we deviate from G_d’s word and yield control to the Devil (world’s ways), it will never let us go free (19).
Jeremiah 11 – The Broken Covenant. Israel in the time of David, was a righteous kingdom so it prospered. To break up this thorn in his side, the Devil had to find an in-road and it was found in Bathsheba. The seed of sin does not die with the owner, it spreads to a new generation, and on from there. In the time of Jeremiah, the nation was at the throws of revolt and exile. The Lord repeated the covenant made at Horeb in the time of Moses because He wanted the people to consider the covenant in the face of their behavior currently. For I solemnly warned your fathers at the time that I brought them up from the land of Egypt, even to this day, warning them persistently, saying, “Obey My voice.” Yet they did not obey or incline their ear [to listen to Me], but everyone walked in the stubborn way of his [own] evil heart. Therefore I brought on them all [the suffering threatened in] the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not (7-8).'” It is the same thing that occurs when a parent reminds his/her child what they were promised and how the child’s actions precluded him/her from receiving the promise. What Israel received during the conquest of Canaan was a mere fraction of what G_d had in mind. “What right has My beloved [to be] in My house When she has done many vile things and acted treacherously [over and over again]? Can vows and the meat of your sacrifices remove your wickedness from you and cancel the consequences of your sin, So that you can [escape your judgment and] rejoice (15)?” Being G_d’s voice, caused Jeremiah to be charged with “treason” (Jeremiah 38). Therefore thus says the LORD regarding the men of Anathoth, who seek your life, saying, “Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD, so that you will not die by our hand.” Therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, I am about to punish them. Their young men will die by the sword, their sons and their daughters will die by famine; and there will be no remnant [of the conspirators] left, for I will bring disaster and horror on the men of Anathoth in the year of their punishment (21-23).”
Luke 7 – Jesus Teaches at the Feast. The feast of “Booths” or “Tabernacles” is/was an important event in Judaic history that dated back to the time of Moses (Leviticus 23:33-34). Being G_d’s representative did not absolve Jesus from being present. His brothers came to chide him or poke fun at him because they didn’t quite believe that their elder brother was the Messiah of G_d. So Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but any time is right for you. The world cannot hate you [since you are part of it], but it does hate Me because I denounce it and testify that its deeds are evil. Go up to the feast yourselves. I am not going up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come (6-8).” The Devil tried to get Jesus to acquiesce earlier at the start of his ministry but failed so here are his flesh and blood trying to do the same thing and we see the same outcome. Jesus wisely went to the feast alone to avoid being caught by the Pharisees until he was in the public eye (13). Jesus was not liked because he spoke the truth as it was written not as it was interpreted. The Pharisees were known for embellishing the law to fit their best interests. If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know whether the teaching is of G_d or whether I speak on My own accord and by My authority. He who speaks on his own accord seeks glory and honor for himself. But He who seeks the glory and the honor of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness or deception in Him (17-18). Everybody heard the same message because Jesus spoke publically but there were two camps, one said he is of G_d the other said, “He is a demon” (30-31). This division caused issues for the Pharisees because if everybody agreed with them, arresting Jesus would be no problem but, having two camps would cause a conflict.