Reading #1 – Genesis 11
Reading #2 – Psalms 143
Reading #3 – Proverbs 15
Reading #4 – Ezekiel 11
Reading #5 – Job 8
Genesis 11 – Universal Language, Babel, Confusion. So the people journeyed east toward the land of Shinar or Mesopotamia. Shinar encompasses Syria, Iraq, and Kuwait. Mesopotamia is two words Meso and Potamos. Meso means “In the middle of” and Potmos means “Rivers”. Mesopotamia was a fertile valley between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers. The people had a common language which enabled them to understand what the other person was saying. The Lord had told Noah and his sons to spread out across the land and populate it. By choosing to stay in one location, they were being disobedient which is a sad refrain of mankind. When the Lord confused the language, it created a conflict so the work could not be completed. The differentiation between the events in Genesis 11 and Acts 2 is that the disciples spoke in the common languages of the time so that everyone could hear the good news (7-8, Acts 2:5-12). In both incidents, the people asked “What could this mean”? The difference between the two is that in the first incident, the work stopped and in the 2nd, the work moved beyond Jerusalem to the uttermost parts of the world. For the remaining part, we are given the lineage of Abram and Lot through Noah’s son Shem.
Job 8 – Bildad Says G_d Rewards the Good. Bildad, in a roundabout way, taunts Job for thinking “he is righteous”; basically, he is saying “You are about as righteous as the Devil. And I have proof” (2-3).” By castigating Job for the mess he is in, Bildad puts himself in the place of the prosecutor in the Kingdom of G_d without having done a shred of research. Indeed, G_d does not pervert justice as to do things in his favor or, He would be no better than mankind. Unknowingly, Bildad is using to confound Job into making a mistake in judgment (10-18). “Job you have a way out of this mess by confessing your sin and then life will be just like it was before” (19-22).
Psalms 143 – A Prayer for Help and Guidance. When we are being persecuted for what we believe in, we need to search our hearts to see if there is something that we have done that is contributing to the issue. When we have done things to ascorbate the issue, we need to confess those things and make them right. In our eyes, we see that we have done nothing wrong so, we turn our eyes to G_d and ask for His guidance (2). When Jesus was on the cross, he wasn’t flippant about it nor was he boastful instead, as a faithful servant of the Lord he went to the cross to pay the price for sin (Psalms 22:1-3, Matthew 27:46). During the good times of our life when the wind was at our back and the power of G_d flowed through our veins, we need to revel in them. The reason is, the good times will help us to endure the bad times (3-5). Just as it is important to honor G_d in the times, so it is also to remain steadfast in the bad times and there will be many of them (10-11, Ecclesiastes 11:7-8).
Proverbs 15 – Contrast the Upright and the Wicked. There are two pathways mankind takes although he/she would say “I do well most of the time”. Walking the path of righteousness doesn’t mean that we do not make mistakes rather, it means we will be less prone to “Pride” (Proverbs 16:18). We should endeavor to build people up by encouraging them in their daily life (4). It is, of course, easier to belittle a person but it requires more thought to build them up. We can never be sure of what people are going through in life, so we need to tread carefully and encourage them with truth, not flattery, and not condemnation. When we encourage people, the hell they are going through will be overcome and you will win a soul for the Kingdom of G_d (23).
Ezekiel 11 – Evil Rulers to be Judged. In the background of just about every trouble that man faces, there lies a reason. For Jerusalem and the Northern Kingdom/Samaria, the trouble started in the house of G_d. The wicked men and women caused the cities a great deal of trouble. The naïve populace followed these people head-long into the pits of trouble. A parallel was the time Moses was on the mountain top receiving G_d’s laws (Exodus 32:1-3). The wicked profits promised “great things to come” all of the while the land was being decimated (5-9). There is no such thing as “the exempt” when it comes to a nation being destroyed. When Israel went into exile, every person in that community was afflicted. Jerusalem’s decimation was no the end of the story though, it was the end of a chapter (16-20). The end of the chapter for this situation would be the decimation of the Temple (22-23), the breakdown of the kingdoms, and the numbers that would die in battle.