Reading #1 – John 8
Reading #2 – Psalms 100
Reading #3 – Proverbs 3
Reading #4 – Jeremiah 12
Reading #5 – 2 Chronicle 26
2 Chronicles 26 – Uzziah King of Judah. After Amaziah passed away, Uzziah became the king of Judah (1). The king sought the face of the Lord G_d in the beginning just as his father had done. Serving the Lord has its benefits because when we do seek the Lord, He guides our pathways (Proverbs 3:4-5). The problem with humans, though, is that too long in power will cause us to become proud and that is Devil’s plan. Pride brings our downfall. Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. Better to live humbly with the poor than to share plunder with the proud (Proverbs 16:18-19). When we begin to seek the Lord, we need to continue to seek the Lord or problems will occur. But when Uzziah became strong, he became so proud [of himself and his accomplishments] that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful and sinned against the LORD his God, for he went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense (16). By burning incense, he got leprosy which meant he could no longer hold court because leprosy is contagious so he had to live out his remaining days in exile. His son Jotham became the regent until the day Uzziah passed away. Uzziah was buried outside of the tombs of the kings because of leprosy (23). The demon called “Pride” has the command of his master, the Devil, to lead its victim to his/her death so this demon succeeded.
Psalms 100 – A Psalm of Thanksgiving. When we turn our eyes and hearts to the Lord and thank Him, the demon called “Pride” loses its grip on us. So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7). We resist the Devil every time we praise the Lord by our words, the meditation of our heart, and our actions (Psalms 19:14). Sheep are not intelligent, they will follow anyone who steps forward to lead them even if it is to their demise. So, it should be the cry of our heart to belong to the Lord’s fold otherwise, we will walk in the wrong direction. Know and fully recognize with gratitude that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, not we [and we are His]. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture (3). If you look back on the reigns of Ahaziah and Jehoshaphat, the nation was the same people only the Shephard changed; The difference between the two shepherds was like night and day. So if our heart desires to serve the Lord, we need to daily turn our eyes to Him and never take our eyes off of Him. Enter His gates with a song of thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, bless and praise His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy and lovingkindness are everlasting, His faithfulness [endures] to all generations (4-5).
Proverbs 3 – The Rewards of Wisdom. Wisdom’s reward is “Peace”. For the length of days and years of life [worth living] And tranquility and prosperity [the wholeness of life’s blessings] they will add to you (2). I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid (John 14:27). Listening to the words of the wise is a continual event that requires diligence and obedience. Oddly enough, these words came from David to his Solomon before Solomon ascended to the throne. David understood the dynamics of wisdom’s guidance because he saw what happened when he did not listen compared to the times when he did listen to it. Uzziah listened to wisdom in the beginning but turned away at the behest of “Pride” (2 Chronicles 26). Do not let mercy and kindness and truth leave you [instead let these qualities define you]; Bind them [securely] around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart (3). Unfortunately, we are human and are prone to lose our way. There is not a man on earth past, present nor will there be in the future who lived his/her life without making a mistake in judgment. This does not alleviate us from taking responsibility for our mistake and cleaning it up. My son, do not reject or take lightly the discipline of the LORD [learn from your mistakes and the testing that comes from His correction through discipline]; Nor despise His rebuke, For those whom the LORD loves He corrects, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights (11-12).
Jeremiah 12 – Jeremiah’s Prayer. The prophet had been called as a witness against Judah. From the onset, the Lord told Jeremiah that his mission would not be easy and that he would be rejected (Jeremiah 1:19). The problem was, Jeremiah faced a “no-win” circumstance and the people bent on following the Devil did not fail immediately and it was the same situation that Jonah faced (Jonah 3). So, it was reasonable for Jeremiah to complain although he was rebuked. [The LORD rebukes Jeremiah for his impatience, saying] “If you have raced with men on foot and they have tired you out, Then how can you compete with horses? If you fall in a land of peace [where you feel secure], Then how will you do [among the lions] in the [flooded] thicket beside the Jordan (5)? Which, was similar to the message given to Elijah (1 Kings 19:18). The Lord’s plans do not occur in our sense of timing because He is never in a hurry and is a Chess Master. Every generation has its time when they are in control and while it causes issues for other people, unfortunately, their plans need to come to fruition before we will know if their plan is right or wrong and this was a problem for Jeremiah. Unfortunately, the Lord’s plans would not come to fruition how Jeremiah envisioned it. We would find the same problem in the vision of John the Revelator. Sometimes, G_d’s vision comes in a “manner of speaking” and not how we conceive it to be this requires us to be patient and wait for the Lord and to work while we wait.
John 8 – The Adultress Woman. This snippet of scripture is not repeated anywhere else in the gospels and, potentially, is pseudepigrapha; its background is scriptural but the event may or may not be. No one has the authority to judge another person because sin is universal as everybody on planet earth has and is still dealing with their sins. Jesus had two types of people following him, those who were intent on listening and being obedient and those who were there for the show. The Pharisees and Sadducees did not attempt to hide their contempt for Jesus. To the religious leaders, their sole authority came from Moses and the law (Matthew 23:2) and they were not wrong in their beliefs, they just didn’t listen to everything Moses said. The religious leaders judged Jesus unfairly because he was not like them nor did Jesus agree with everything they said (13-18). The main issue was with the listeners, who should they listen to, and what would be the justification? So Jesus was saying to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word [continually obeying My teachings and living following them, then] you are truly My disciples. And you will know the truth [regarding salvation], and the truth will set you free [from the penalty of sin] (31-32).” Claiming to be “Children of Abraham” just like claiming to be a “Christian” should compel us to honor his complete word instead of just the parts that we agree with (39-42). ou are of your father the devil, and it is your will to practice the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar and the father of lies and half-truths (44).