Reading #1 – John 12
Reading #2 – Psalms 104
Reading #3 – Proverbs 7
Reading #4 – Jeremiah 16
Reading #5 – 2 Chronicle 30
2 Chronicles 30 – All of Israel Invited to the Passover. The Passover meal was established the evening before the nation left Egypt (Exodus 12:42). The Passover lamb or Pesach was to be prepared before the meal, the bread had to be without yeast. The reason the bread could not have yeast in it was that the time it took to prepare the bread and the people had to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice (Christianity.com). So, for seven days the nation was to eat this bread without yeast to commemorate the Exodus. Everybody in the nation was to attend the Passover meal. The day of Passover was to be the first month of the year however because there were not enough priests consecrated, they waited until the 2nd month (2-3). So, the proclamation was sent to every quadrant of Israel and Judah; remember, these were two disparate kingdoms but one nation. There would be hard feelings that stemmed from the time of Rehoboam who missed the opportunity to keep the kingdom intact. Do not be like your fathers and your brothers, who were unfaithful to the LORD God of their fathers, so that He made them a horror (lifeless, desolate), just as you see. Now do not stiffen your neck [becoming obstinate] like your fathers, but yield to the LORD and come to His sanctuary which He has sanctified and set apart forever, and serve the LORD your God, so that His burning anger will turn away from you (7-8). The magnitude of this celebration had not occurred since the time of Solomon which was about 250 years (26). Because of the actions of the wicked kings, not everybody was prepared for the meal so the priests who had consecrated themselves prepared the meal for the unclean people.
Psalms 104 – The Lord Cares over All His Works. Just as priests in the time of Hezekiah prepared the meal for the people who were not prepared so that the people could participate in the Passover, so the Lord takes care of us. We do not always know how we should pray so the Spirit the Lord whispers to our heart (Romans 8:26). The Word of G_d does not say, “You know everything”, it says “The Holy Spirit will teach you all things to help you to remember everything I taught you” (John 14:26). G_d does this so that we can live and breathe and have His being (Acts 17:28). He causes grass to grow for the cattle, And all that the earth produces for cultivation by man, So that he may bring food from the earth— And wine which makes the heart of man glad, So that he may make his face glisten with oil, And bread to sustain and strengthen man’s heart (14-15). The Lord made all things for his creation that they might have the power and strength to live life to its fullest. May my meditation be sweet and pleasing to Him; As for me, I will rejoice and be glad in the LORD (34, Joshua 24:15).
Proverbs 7 – Wiles of the Prostitute. The young man the teacher is talking about seems to have been warned about the woman who sits in the city square. The young man, of course, doesn’t listen to the teachers and take what is said to heart so he goes thinking “how bad could it be”? So, he saunters down at nighttime so that he doesn’t get caught. All of the preparation by the Father, the wise counsel of the Teacher, and the encouragement of the Prophets are for naught or so it would seem. If you look back on all of the examples from Genesis to the end of the Old Testament, Canonicals to letters, you will notice two different types of people: those who did listen and those who didn’t. Those who listened shared the good things of the Lord, those who didn’t become the example of “what happens when _____ happens. Because the writers thought it worthwhile to document the good, the bad, and the “boy oh boy”, we have a solid working document by which we can develop our foundation (1 Timothy 3:16-17). The naïve young man became fodder for the wayward woman who had no trouble bringing the young man down. The people who read about the event can glean life lessons so that they won’t be caught in the same trap.
Jeremiah 16 – Distress Foretold. Jeremiah is told by the Lord to specifically “do not take a wife or have sons and daughters in this place (2).” The reason why is that the nation was about to endure a time of tremendous struggles, pain, and destruction, unlike anything they have dealt with since Egypt (3-4). By listening to the Lord G_d, Jeremiah was being equipped to handle the days ahead. In the same way, if listen to the Lord, He will prepare us for the days ahead; conversely, when we ignore the advice, we will fall head-long into trouble and be unable to deal with the struggles. Both great men and small will die in this land; they will not be buried, nor will they be lamented (mourned over with expressions of grief in death), nor will anyone cut himself or shave his head for them [in mourning]. People will not offer food to the mourners, to comfort anyone [as they grieve] for the dead, nor give them a cup of consolation to drink for anyone’s father or mother (6-7). The people believed the false prophet’s messages because “they sounded like G_d’s words” when they were not. The Prophets all spoke the same message and it was a source of consternation for the kings and the people. I will first doubly repay and punish them for their wickedness and their sin [before I return them to their land] because they have profaned My land; they have filled My inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable idols and with their abominations (18).” When it comes to prophecies, we must be quick to listen and slow to react. “Therefore,” [says the LORD] “behold, I will make them know—This time I will make them know My power and My might, And they will know and recognize [without any doubt] that My Name is the LORD (21).”
Luke 12 – Mary Anoints Jesus. Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her tears. This brought about the ire of the disciples especially Judas (3-4). By pouring the oil on Jesus’ feet, it was symbolic of the cost of forgiveness from sin. So Jesus said, “Let her alone, so that she may keep [the rest of] it for the day of My burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me (7-8).” Mary poured out her heart in thanksgiving for raising her brother Lazarus while Jesus was still alive. Jesus could have lived a normal life but he chose to honor his Father despite the desires of the priests. To save the people, he had to die so that the seeds would bring plants of righteousness to life (Psalms 1:3). Whoever rejects Me and refuses to accept My teachings, has one who judges him; the very word that I spoke will judge and condemn him on the last day (48).