Reading #1 – John 9
Reading #2 – Psalms 101
Reading #3 – Proverbs 4
Reading #4 – Jeremiah 13
Reading #5 – 2 Chronicle 27
2 Chronicles 27 – Jotham Succeeds Uzziah. Jotham had been the regent for the remaining years of Uzziah’s life because his father had been afflicted with Leprosy. King Jotham did what was right just as his father had done except for the escape in the temple. The people continued to sacrifice at the high places that were set up in the time of Amaziah. By leaving these high places, the people were caught in the cross-fire of religious ideology which is something Elijah cornered them on (1 Kings 18:21). During most of his reign, the nation enjoyed a time of prosperity that enabled the building projects (3-5). So Jotham grew powerful because he directed his ways before the LORD his God (6). In the latter half of Jotham’s reign, Rezin king of Aram or the Syrians and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel attacked Judah and deposed Jotham in favor of Ahaz (2 Kings 15:37). Ahaz was better aligned with the ideals of the two nations who controlled Judah. The people of Judah were divided into factors one half favored serving the Lord the other wanted to serve the Syrian gods. Jotham died in peace and was buried in the city of the kings (9).
Psalms 101 – A Psalm of David. When will You come to me? I will walk in my house in integrity and with a blameless heart (2). People are not righteous simply because they lay claim to G_d’s kingdom but because their actions align with their words. When a king ascends to the throne, he must write a copy of the law so that he can meditate on it always (Deuteronomy 17:19). In the book of the law, we can read what the Lord says about living for G_d, and then we can understand why the king would choose to live righteously. The direction we choose to live and which god or G_d we choose to honor will dictate the outcome, who will allow in our presence, and who we will eradicate (good or evil). Morning after morning I will destroy all the wicked in the land, That I may cut off from the city of the LORD all those who do evil (8). If you walk with the wise you will grow wise conversely, if you walk with the foolish, you will grow foolish (Proverbs 13:20).
Proverbs 4 – Directions of the Heart. When you read the accounts of David and what all he accomplished, you might be inclined to believe that either the story is a hoax or David had it easy. The battles David endured, are common to mankind (1 Corinthians 10:13). The defining difference is “Moral Compass” which points to true righteousness. David made two huge mistakes that put cracks in his otherwise sterling character. Solomon or Jedidiah was groomed by his father David to be the next king of Israel. Being the king, young Solomon would face the common struggles so David is providing clear guidance so that Solomon would not make the same mistakes David had made. Deciding which is “right” and which is “wrong”, is not an easy decision because not everything that glitters is gold. Equally, deciding who he would allow in his cabinet would either build him up or tear him down. Consider well and watch carefully the path of your feet, And all your ways will be steadfast and sure (26). The eye is the window of the heart (Matthew 6:22-24, Proverbs 30:17), so what we look at will either add to the beauty of life or tear it apart (25). Solomon was given to women and it would end up tearing him apart and would lose control of the kingdom. Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life (23). Watching over our hearts or, following the right moral compass, is a continuous activity.
Jeremiah 13 – The Ruined Waistband. Jeremiah was told to go buy a new waistband, bury it in a crevice amidst the water of the Euphrates (1-3). The Spirit of the Lord uses symbology so that those who call themselves by the name of the Lord can understand what He is trying to get across to us. This waistband symbolized the current state of Jerusalem which once was a strong and powerful kingdom in the time of David, Solomon, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah. The waistband of the nation is destroyed and is no longer serviceable and, in the same way, the nation is beyond use and would be taken into captivity to Babylon (2 Kings 20:12-19). “Therefore you are to speak this word to them, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, “Every jar should be filled with wine.”‘ The people will say to you, ‘Do we not already know that every jar should be filled with wine (John 2:1-12)?’ Then say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Behold, I am about to fill with drunkenness all the people of this land, even the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets and all the people of Jerusalem. I will smash them one against another, both the fathers and the sons together,” says the LORD. “I shall destroy them [nothing will restrain Me]; I will not show pity nor be sorry nor have compassion (12-14).”‘” Living in Jerusalem, just like having the Temple in your town would not save the nation any more than carrying a bible and acting “Holier than though” and being an American will save us. “I have seen your vile and detestable acts, Even your adulteries and your lustful neighings [after idols], And the lewdness of your prostitution On the hills in the fields. Woe (judgment is coming) to you, O Jerusalem! How long will you remain unclean [by ignoring My precepts] (27)?”
John 9 – Healing the Man Born Blind. This man was physically impaired due to blindness yet spiritually alive. The man did not go looking for this “Healer”, the healer found him. In Jesus’ time, many got healed and restored to life. The people of that time saw infirmities as a sign of “wickedness” yet here was this man who had done no wrong (3-5). The man’s sight was restored which was a miracle because no one heard of any event since the time of the Prophets where someone was healed. So the neighbors, and those who used to know him as a beggar, said, “Is not this the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Still, others said, “No, but he looks like him.” But he kept saying, “I am the man. So they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” He replied, “The Man called Jesus made mud and smeared it on my eyes and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received my sight (8-11)!” The Religious leaders confronted the man under the pretense of wanting more information, after all, they weren’t involved. The man repeated the same story he told the people yet the leaders could not agree that this wicked man Jesus could do an act of G_d either that or this man was faking blindness which would cause the man to be penalized. The man’s parents were cross-examined to be sure the man was truly blind, they confessed he was indeed blind from birth; Of course, the parents had no earthly idea how he was healed and even if they saw Jesus committing the act of healing, they wouldn’t admit to it because they feared being kicked out of the Synagog or excommunicated (20-22). The priests were furious that a man who had no training in religious education could do what all of the training the priests had could not, it infuriated them so they called Jesus a sinner (excommunicated from G_d) (28-29). The man reminded the priests that a sinner can’t have the attention of G_d and could do nothing outside of G_d’s providence. They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins [from head to foot], and you [presume to] teach us?” Then they threw him out [of the synagogue] (34).