Reading #1 – Genesis 4
Reading #2 – Psalms 136
Reading #3 – Proverbs 8
Reading #4 – Ezekiel 4
Reading #5 – Job 1
Genesis 4 – Cain and Abel. The story of Cain and Abel is familiar because for those who have two boys or girls, you know the struggle it can be. Cain’s offering, although not stipulated specifically, was just something he grew. Abel brought the choice lamb for an offering. The Lord accepted Cain’s offering but said nothing. When Abel brought his offering, the Lord was pleased with it. Cain got upset that his offering did not receive the same respect as his brother’s which led to jealousy. And the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you so angry? And why do you look annoyed? If you do well [believing Me and doing what is acceptable and pleasing to Me], will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well [but ignore My instruction], sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you [to overpower you], but you must master it (4-7).” Cain had two choices, accept the Lord’s discipline and try harder the next time or be overcome with anger, either way, the ball was in Cain’s court (Timshel – Mike Krier) sort of like Paul’s argument (1 Corinthians 3:13-15). Cain killed Abel thinking this would end the conflict of “whose offering is best”. Unfortunately, what Cain did not consider is that no matter how many people he killed his offering would only be looked on with pleasure when he put the work into it. Cain went to live in the land of Nod away from the manifest glory of G_d (Proverbs 19:3). Verses 16-17 point out that Cain married a descendent of Adam (Mesopotamian Stories). The Lord G_d protected Cain during his journey into the wilderness. Lemech killed a man and his son for injuring him (23-24).
Job 1 – Job’s Vast Wealth. Job had everything going his way with the wind at his back and the rains from heaven to water the land. The wealth did not consume him as to become greedy. His children loved to throw parties which were consternation for Job. When the angels presented themselves before the Lord, Satan also came. The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Then Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming around on the earth and from walking around on it (2).” When the Lord asked Satan about his thoughts on Job, you might think that He was being a traitor however, that is far from the truth. The Lord knew Job and had complete trust that no matter how much was removed, Job would still trust the Lord and not blame Him for the misery although it would be justly deserved (3-5). So all of Job’s animals, his wealth, and his family were taken away from him. Then Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head [in mourning for the children], and he fell to the ground and worshiped [God]. He said, “Naked (without possessions) I came [into this world] from my mother’s womb, And naked I will return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD (20).”
Psalms 136 – Thanks for the Lord’s Goodness to Israel. This Psalm was written by King David and given to the Levites to be recited daily. When we read the context of the Psalm, it points out the areas where G_d has come through on his promises: Israel was delivered, the great wonders were done on behalf of Israel, the creation of the heavens, the new day, and the light from the moon by night. Mankind could not have possibly made all things because he is mortal and given to his/her passions. Mankind passes away and new ones take their place and life goes on. Yet, G_d is from all eternity and his laws have never changed. This Psalm is a daily reminder of our limitations and the power of an unlimited G_d.
Proverbs 8 – I Wisdom! Wisdom was created before any work was done on earth. Having access to wisdom and applying it are two different things. The Lord created Wisdom for a purpose and that was as a consultant or tool in His arsenal. Wisdom stands in prominent places offering her insight to anyone who would listen. “O you naive or inexperienced [who are easily misled], understand prudence and seek astute common sense; And, O you [closed-minded, self-confident] fools, understand wisdom [seek the insight and self-discipline that leads to godly living] (5). She is not boisterous as to push herself on anybody who passes by. Wisdom is practical that is her plans work for the best of those who listen and apply what she has to say (7-9). We can search for treasures on earth but, there is no amount of treasure that will outweigh the value and strength of Wisdom (10-11).
Ezekiel 4 – Siege of Jerusalem Predicted. The prophet was told to take a brick and draw the city of Jerusalem on it then lay siege ramps on it to symbolize the fall of Jerusalem. The brick should have created panic in the city knowing the demise that was coming but it didn’t. Then he was told to lay on his left side towards the north symbolizing Israel for 390 days which was symbolic for 390 years (4-5). Then he had to lay on his right side for 40 days symbolic for 40 years. While laying on his side, he was to cook his food over cow dung (13-15). The food and the water had to be weighed out so that the quantity on hand could be extended (16-17).