Reading #1 – Genesis 24
Reading #2 – Psalms 6
Reading #3 – Proverbs 28
Reading #4 – Ezekiel 24
Reading #5 – Job 21
Genesis 24 – A Bride for Isaac. So Abraham sends his servant to his relatives living in Mesopotamia to get a bride for his son Isaac (1-4). Isaac is the son who would inherit Canaan which was promised by G_d to Abraham and to his descendants forever (Genesis 13:14-18). When Abraham was called to leave Ur of the Chaldees, it was to separate him or consecrate him for service to the Lord and he would never step foot back in that land again. Part of being consecrated meant not taking wives from the people that currently lived in the land like the Hittite Efron. The servant was given strict orders “do not take my son back to the land of my relatives. If the girl does not want to come with you, you are free from the oath you are taking” (5-6). Abraham prayed that G_d would send an angel to be with his servant that his task be successfully accomplished and it was (7-8). When the servant got to the land, he prayed for guidance and he set the scenario by which G_d would show his approval which parallels Gideon’s account (13-14, parallel Judges 6:36-40) and that is how it played out. When the servant got back to Canaan with Rebecca and her nurse, Isaac took her as his wife and loved her (67).
Job 21 – Job’s Dialogue Regarding the Wicked. Job points out a sticky point in Eliphaz and Zophar’s argument “How is it possible then that the wicked live luxurious lives and die at an old age” which parallels Jesus’ conversation with his disciples about the man born blind (7-13, John 9:1-3). The problem for Job as it is for anyone who is suffering is that “we are not privy to the private conversations” which might cause us to become angry which turns to resentfulness and bitterness which plays into the Devil’s hands (4-6). The issue with wickedness is that while yes they are successful and the world caters to them, they do not and will not take accountability for their actions and they leave a mess for future generations (28-34).
Psalms 6 – Prayer for Mercy in Time of Trouble. Mankind is, will, and always has been subject to trouble. If people like David, Abraham, and Isaac did wrong things and asked for forgiveness and were forgiven, we have hope. David owned the problems he created and that is the first step to healing (1-4). It is true that in the grave where we are all heading there are no more prayers for us, no more “please forgive me”, and/or “repaying for our crimes” (5-7). We cannot change the world nor make it apologize but as Children of G_d, we are not to follow their example.
Proverbs 28 – Warnings and Instructions. The things we do in life either bring us credit or discredit. The part we don’t always understand, though, is that while “yes we can choose the path we will follow”, future generations will pay for it, be a progenitor to the things we hoarded and will give it away (8). We have no power to force a change in the world because if we do, future generations will pay for it and then force their will on another generation. When we set aside G_d’s laws in favor of “our will” and call it “G_d’s will” the change will work for a short period until people get wise to our deception and revolt (4). Once a revolt is started, it is like a spark to dry wood so we pray that the revolt will cease but it doesn’t, it grows and multiplies (9).
Ezekiel 24 – The Parable of the Boiling Pot. Jehoiachin had been in exile for 9 years at this point in time (1-2). Ezekiel was told to put a pot on the fire to boil water and then add the choice meat as well as other animals into the water. The pot Ezekiel used had rust in it but it seems that no matter how hot the water got or how well the animals cooked, the rust was not removed. In the same way, the nation would be put into the boiling pot in Babylon (6-7). When Ezekiel’s wife passed away, he was told not to mourn for her customarily because she would be an example that the nation would follow in time (16-19). The coming destruction of Jerusalem would cause people to groan inwardly but say nothing as to be more concerned with the mess they had to endure than the destruction of their homeland (20-24).