Reading #1 – Genesis 7
Reading #2 – Psalms 139
Reading #3 – Proverbs 11
Reading #4 – Ezekiel 7
Reading #5 – Job 4
Genesis 7 – The Flood. It is important to note that when we are called to do a task, we need to first prepare for it. Noah built the ark according to the exact specifications (Genesis 6:13-16). The human tendency is to think, “I know better than G_d” which always, without exception causes problems; This was also Cain’s dilemma. When we are called to a task, we are given the resources to do the task, the skills to do it, and the stamina to see it through. Because Noah was obedient even though he most likely asked himself 1000 times “why I am doing this”, he followed through, and because of it, his family was saved along with the animals. The ship floated on the waters for five months and was most likely the longest 5 months of Noah’s life. When people are gathered together long enough, there will be fights, frustrations, and anger which is unavoidable.
Job 4 – Eliphaz: Innocent Do Not Suffer. Eliphaz the Temanite had initially come to comfort Job but then decided the time was right to admonish him “for wishing he was never born, the day he was never born had never occurred, and his mother’s womb dried up before conception” (Job 3:1-6). While Job’s speech may seem like “utter nonsense”, it is the same format that we speak about our pains and sorrows to this date. Eliphaz capitalized on this speech by pointing out that Job had a lot to be proud of and that if he was never born, the people that he helped, prayed over, and supported would be abandoned. More troublesome was all that Job did his life was to comfort those in affliction but never had to deal with problems in his life which, is the true test of faith (5-6). The reference to the spirit in the night pointed out how “if G_d doesn’t trust his angels” [Reference to a failed coup for the throne of Heaven] (Isaiah 14:14-15) how much does he trust mankind (17-20). To the naïve ear, this makes logical sense however, like everything the Devil says and does, there are always missing pieces to the puzzle; sometimes, those missing pieces are removed from the board.
Psalms 139 – G_d’s Omnipresence and Omniscience. No matter where we are in life old age, youth, retired, just starting to earn a paycheck, grandparents, or just starting a family, the Lord G_d will be with us every step of the way. When we make mistakes, we never need to hide from Him like Adam and Eve did (Genesis 3:8-11). Because His Spirit abides in our heart, He goes where we go; because He made us and breathed life into us, He knows how we operate (1-3). This may sound like it is the worst thing that can possibly happen to have a non-physical life that hears and sees all that we do but, it is actually a good thing because then we will know without a doubt that we are not alone. It seems to me, anyway, that the only person we ever confound by our actions is “us” (15-17). There will always be wicked people in this world just as there will always be good people. We could pray that G_d would magically remove every wicked person from the earth and specifically those who are cause us trouble but, he won’t and never will even if we earnestly pray for it (19-22). We are the only ones we can change, the only ones who compel us to right or wrong, and the only ones we have the right to dictate which moral compass to follow (23-24).
Proverbs 11 – Contrast the Upright and the Wicked. There is a constant and consistent battle between good and evil; it is a battle that is as old as time itself; the names and faces may change but the battle is the same; both have a beginning and both have an ending. In our hearts, we chose the pathway we will follow. The problem is, at the beginning sin makes sense partly because of pride, and because of that, we either succeed or fail. So Solomon warns the student to becare of the pathway they chose to walk on (2). G_d gives each of us the ultimate control of our ship; that is, we can choose which path to follow, how far to go, and when to stop. Of course, we can hand over the helm to anybody we chose but we are still responsible for the choices we make. When we bring trouble into our homes, the Lord G_d will not accept Eve’s claim “the Devil made me do it”; The Devil will be punished just like every person who follows the Devil’s lead (Genesis 3:14-15). By turning over the helm of our life, we will be held accountable for every action taken (28-29).
Ezekiel 7 – Punishment for Wickedness Foretold. The end of the road had come for Judah. No more would they revel in the “Beautiful Temple” nor lay claim to David’s kingdom (1-3). The Temple’s initial purpose was to be a house of prayer where the Ark of the Covenant would reside so that the people would be united (2 Chronicles 6:40-42). The problem is, Solomon, put the first gash in the relationship by his foreign-born wives, and from that gash, the one nation became two distinct and separate nations. Solomon got the hammer and the nail from his father, David by the Bathsheba incident (2 Samuel 11-12). The Temple did not mark the end of the hostilities between G_d and man, it provided a place where forgiveness could be received; instead, it became a place where sin was hidden in the cloth of religion. The disaster would wipe out everything that David and Solomon had done to build and develop the coalition of the two kingdoms (5-9). In the end, the Temple was destroyed and the “holy people” became little more than street urchins trying to get enough food to survive; the people became ill with incurable diseases. The people that were supposed to be the “salt and light” (Matthew 5:13-16) became the dredges of the world and were laughed at because of the horrible situation they were in even their finest gold and silver could not help them (19). Their Temple, the place where animals were sacrificed to atone for sins, the enemy marched in and committed atrocities in it (24).