Reading #1 – Genesis 6
Reading #2 – Psalms 138
Reading #3 – Proverbs 10
Reading #4 – Ezekiel 6
Reading #5 – Job 3
Genesis 6 – The Corruption of Mankind. This episode in scripture is often met with criticism because to prove there was a “flood” that destroyed the land would mean that someone or something had to do it. Students of scripture contend “There was a flood and Noah saved people by building an ark because I can read it in scripture.” The biggest part of the problem is the origin of Mesopotamian stories which, as I stated before, are used to explain “where did I come from” and “where am I going” to another generation. There was little or no documentation that would help us to date our claim and that is problematic. The corruption of man is as old as time itself. The bigger part of the problem is that if this story is wrong or inaccurate, what is/are the propensity for other stories to be wrong? The thing is when we say “My parents are wrong” or, “My parents believed a fable”, the family connection will break up and the Devil will have a hay day pointing out misinformation and calling our parents “liars”. Our parents are not liars, and nor are the parents of the nation Israel because they too were just repeating what they are told by their parents. The stories helped the parents relay to their kids the truth about a loving G_d who called Abraham from the land of his ancestry to go to the land He wanted to give Abraham. We’ll call this “Job’s Debacle”
Job 3 – Job’s Lament. Like the story of creation and Noah’s Ark, we do not have a lot of information to go by. All Job knew was that one day he was wealthy and the wind at his back; the next day, his world collapsed first with his wealth, second with his family, and third with his livestock. There was no excuse for what happened and so of course he became upset. Job had every conceivable reason to lament “Why me”? The G_d Job served and honored throughout his life pulled the communication link. The only reason we know anything about the conversation between the Devil and G_d is that we were let in on the big secret. Job lamented the day he was born wishing the day never occurred, his mother never got impregnated, and he was never born (1-4). Job would look back on his life in the succeeding chapters to determine if there was any fault of his that caused these problems and find could find none. “For the thing which I greatly fear comes upon me, and that of which I am afraid has come upon me. “I am not at ease, nor am I quiet, And I am not at rest, and yet trouble still comes [upon me] (25-26).”
Psalms 138 – Thanksgiving for the Lord’s Favor. The world looks at the wealth of our homes, the treasures we possess, and skills which shine brightly. What they do not look at is “our faith”. Faith does not see success or G_d’s favor because of our treasures, it sees G_d beyond the treasures and thanks to Him when the promises are not yet fulfilled but have the proof of His grace in the lives that have gone before us. This is part of the reason why Noah’s Ark and Job’s case always spark the ire of the world. The world says, “Some G_d, he left you high and dry when you needed him the most” (Psalms 42:2-3). I will tell safely tell you that it is far easier to say “Thank G_d” when the wind is at your back, like Job, than it is to say “Thank G_d” when the world turns against you. When the world was at Jesus’ doorstep hankering to be healed, lives resurrected from the dead, and the size of his following being in the thousands then it was the day he was nailed to the cross and stood alone. Standing on his Father’s promises, took a massive act of faith and his faith did not fail him.
Proverbs 10 – Contrast of the Righteous and the Wicked. The common denominator between the Righteous and Wicked is “Faith and where we place our trust”. Finding faith is not difficult, as mankind, we put our faith on the line every day of the week, every month of the year, and every year of our life. When we send someone to do a job for us without direct supervision, we are saying “I have faith and I trust”. When we put our money on the line to buy an item without checking to see if the product or service is valid, we are saying “I have faith and I trust”. The 900LB gorilla in the room is that we can read scripture and ask, “Is this true or not”, “should I trust Him or not”, and/or “Is this a true story or is it a work of fiction”. The thing is, we can see money going out, check out a good or service, and/or get a few references and then make the decision. To trust G_d is much harder because we have not read His word to know the work that He has done in the Patriarchs, we simply believe a story without context; when what we believe we are promised does not come true, we frown on His word believing it to be a lie. Having faith in G_d requires action on our part and faithfulness to honor His degrees (4). From this passage, Jesus crafted his parable of the talents and why the third man was excoriated (5, Matthew 25:29-30).
Ezekiel 6 – Idolatrous Worship Denounced. Israel from the time just before crossing the river into Canaan, until the day they were exiled to Babylon, rode a rollercoaster of “righteousness”. When they were righteous, the nation thrived when the nation became sinful, it was decimated. The nations outside of Israel seemed to enjoy the best of the land but they could do whatever they wanted to seemingly without impunity. Israel, unlike the worldly nations that surrounded them, was taught by the Lord the requirements of their G_d (Jeremiah 8:7). Israel had G_d’s commands (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) and ordinances where the world had the word of another man about “how to worship the idol” (Jeremiah 10:14-15). The promised destruction stated in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel did not happen immediately so, the people had cause to doubt the message; yet, the earlier prophets told about the destruction of Ahab, Athaliah, and Jezebelle, and they were destroyed. G_d’s time is not our time, G_d’s mind is not our mind, and G_d’s love for the world does not line up with human love for that we need faith (Psalms 31:15-16)