Reading #1 – Genesis 13
Reading #2 – Psalms 145
Reading #3 – Proverbs 17
Reading #4 – Ezekiel 13
Reading #5 – Job 10
Genesis 13 – Abram and Lot. When Abram and Lot left Egypt, they both had a vast number of animals which caused fights between the herdsmen of Abram and the herdsmen of Lot (2-6). The decision was made to split up by Lot and Abram to go one way or the other (9-10). Lot chose to go into the Jordon valley near Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodom and Gomorrah had not yet been destroyed (11-13). Abram chose Canaan which the Lord had promised that he would get. Once Lot had taken his families and animals and departed for the valley, the Lord showed Abram the quality of land he was inheriting. At this time, Abram’s flocks, herds, and families could be counted which should have caused Abram to doubt the promise. Because he did not doubt, this pleased G_d (14-18).
Job 10 – Job Despairs of G_d’s Dealings. If we were in Job’s shoes having gone from “blessed” to “cursed” with no knowledge of a sin that we have done, who would not or could not but help to ask the nagging question “What did I do wrong”? When people are accusing us of sin, but we cannot come anywhere near close to grasping the issue, we have but one recourse “take it G_d ask him” (1-2). To the world around us, this act of giving sound to our pain is called “whining”. To the G_d, though, this is a way of saying “I care about my life. If have done wrong, then I will repay. If I have done no wrong and there is another logical answer, please let me know.” G_d, unfortunately, could not tell Job why he was being afflicted. If He did, it would validate the Devil’s claim that the only reason Job praised Him was because of much Job was being blessed (Job 1). Because Job was not told, his friends also had no idea why he was being mistreated; consequently, the three friends used their imaginations to think up excuses.
Psalms 145 – The Lord Extolled for His Goodness. When you consider Job’s life story, it would be tempting to believe that he was cursed and believed in G_d in vain. When we do not walk in the admonition of the Lord, we ride a rollercoaster of emotions. When we have received blessings, we are happy; when the blessings are removed we become sad. Unfortunately, this rollercoaster bleeds over into our faith in G_d; this is incomprehensible in man’s eyes (3). Why should we “extoll the Lord”? The simple answer is, “because when we lift Him up, He draws all men “unsaved” and “saved” to Him (4-5, John 12:29-32). Trouble and sorrow will endure for a night but joy comes in the morning after the storm passes (20-21, Psalms 30:4-5).
Proverbs 17 – Contrast the Upright and the Wicked. In the Kingdom of G_d, there is an unwritten law that speaks to “end results”. When we walk upright before the Lord, we do not receive the rewards “immediately”. In the end, though, we are shown the pathway that we walked by the way we kept a steady course. To the world, walking uprightly is foolishness because we do get rewarded immediately (1 Corinthians 3:18-20). When you consider what happened to Job, it would be believable to think, “Gee Job look at what your righteous life did”. When we are being judged, G_d looks at the entire substance of our life, does not judge by what He sees; rather, He judges by the content of our heart that is, our motives or “why did you do ___” (2-5)? When we do evil, every decision made will be in direct reflection to the evil either to cover it up or proclaim it. More troublesome, though, when evil is acted on there is no end of the matter because the Devil will not stop (14-15).
Ezekiel 13 – False Prophets Condemned. Both the Northern and Southern kingdoms had been seduced by false prophets. These men promised “good things” when G_d’s prophets proclaimed bad things to come. When we lie to people in G_d’s name by proclaiming “visions” G_d will not honor them. When the storms come in, the false prophet along with the people who listened to them would be destroyed. The prophet’s job is to warn the people about the sin and how it would cause problems for them. The “Foxes among the ruins” speaks to the false prophets’ true mission (4-6). The Prophet of the Lord’s mission was to warn people about what would happen when they sinned against the Lord. The “whitewashed wall” refers to the practice of making the wall look good enough to pass inspection but not enough to leads lives to the Lord G_d (). The whitewashed wall would not endure the harsh storms to come any more than a seed planted in the rocks or thorns would endure the pressure and arid conditions (12-13, Matthew 13:2-9, 15).