Reading #1 – Genesis 12
Reading #2 – Psalms 144
Reading #3 – Proverbs 16
Reading #4 – Ezekiel 12
Reading #5 – Job 9
Genesis 12 – Abram Journeys to Egypt. Abram is told to leave his relatives and parents and go to the land I have chosen for you (1). Abram is not given any reason for being told “leave your families” and he is not told what to take with him. This parallels the sending out of the 12 (Mark 6:7-13) and the 72 (Luke 10:1). For an unknown reason, Lot went with Abram and Sarai (4) and by bringing him along, troubles would happen in time. Lot was Nahor’s son and by all rights should have been left behind. When Abram, Sarai, Lot, and the servants got to Shechem in Canaan, the Lord promised Abram that this land would belong to him and his families (6-7). During the famine, the trio went down to stay in Egypt. While in Egypt, Abram concocted a ruse by portraying his beautiful wife as his sister; this was not a lie in a matter of speaking. In the eyes of the Egyptians, “sister” traveling with her brother meant she was unmarried. So, Sarai is brought to Pharaoh to be part of his harem. Because Sarai was brought into Pharaoh’s home, it was inflicted with severe plagues. When confronted, Abram’s excuse did not hold water because it harmed his host country. Abram, Sarai, and all of the servants were escorted out of Egypt (17-20).
Job 9 – . Job acknowledged that man cannot save himself (2). Before the time of Christ, the souls of mankind rested in the graves. Job was enduring a time of tremendous issues stemming from the loss of his family, the destruction of his property, the loss of livestock, and culminating with the physical attacks. His underlying question would be “What would I possibly say to G_d to prove my innocence”? G_d knows everything about me, He knows where I have been, and the silent arguments I have with myself (Psalms 139:1-5). When we see our life simply by our standards, we see that we have done nothing wrong. When we look at other people and judge by our standards, we notice where that person is going wrong (Proverbs 16:2). When we understand that G_d is Holy and He is just, and walk in the fear of the Lord, we will understand that our standards have blight eating away at our argument (5-10). Unfortunately, Jesus was not walking the earth in the time of Job so, he relied upon what Torah law said was true and he hung onto that promise. Job knew he could not stop the suffering he was enduring. He could replace the animals, heal the land, and start life over but, he would content himself to wait for the Lord (Habakkuk 2:1).
Psalms 144 – Prayer for Rescue and Prosperity. King David of Israel had a walk with the Lord G_d that would be the envy of people to this very day. Although David had sinned by adultery culminating with murder and paid the ultimate punishment, he never surrendered his walk. Unlike Solomon, David endured the punishment because he knew he had done wrong and did not lie about it. Because of David’s faithfulness, G_d never removed his anointing off of David as he did to Saul (1 Samuel 15:23). For this reason, what David penned in this Psalm resonates with the truth (2-3). Job stated it perfectly when he said that “life is short and full of trouble” (Job 14:1-2). But that does not mean we have to succumb to the trouble rather, it means that we need to keep our eyes on the Lord in season and out. Equally, we can use the bad times as a catalyst for praise to the Lord (9-10). When we praise the Lord and not the troubles that confront us, the Lord will be the banner of our salvation (Exodus 17:14-15).
Proverbs 16 – Contrast the Upright and the Wicked. It is an odd thing about mankind, he/she develops their convictions about good times, bad times, and death through the lens of their perception. When we read the Word of G_d, we see life through His lens and that is why His word is 180 degrees out of sync with ours (2). For this reason, we need to read the Word and apply it to our lives. When we commit our lives and our pathways to the Lord, He will make them level (3, Proverbs 3:4-5). We have two options about life struggle with the messes we have made like King David or walk in the fear of the Lord and avoid the pitfalls (6); G_d leaves the choice for us to make. He desires that man be free from the harsh struggle with sin because that is the way we were made to operate (11). G_d will never stop us from going down a sinful pathway as much as it breaks His heart. The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD (33).
Ezekiel 12 – Ezekiel Prepares for Exile. Ezekiel was a “sign of the times”. The false prophets had promised “better days ahead” not realizing how close they were to losing their plumb positions in the kingdom. The king’s prophets were his mouthpiece and they spoke flowery words for Israel as if it were the times of David. Ezekiel was told to pack his stuff to go into exile; he was told to dig a hole in the wall and crawl through it just like Zedekiah would do in the days to come (4-6, 12-13). Effectively, the king would abandon the people he swore to protect and let them be the fall guy for his wickedness. Since the time of Moses, the people were warned about sinfulness and how it would ruin them and cause them to lose the land G_d had so graciously given. Ezekiel, just like Isaiah, Elisha, Elijah, and Jeremiah was portrayed by the wicked kings and prophets as the “bad news guy”. At this juncture, time was running out, and soon the nation would become captives to Babylon (27-28, Revelations 22:6-7).