Reading #1 – Genesis 26
Reading #2 – Psalms 8
Reading #3 – Proverbs 30
Reading #4 – Ezekiel 26
Reading #5 – Job 23
Genesis 26 – Isaac Settles in Gerar. Gerar belonged to the Philistines. Because of the famine where Isaac lived with his families, they went to live in Philistia. The Lord’s word to Isaac was to stay where you are in Gerar and do not go to Egypt for help (1-5). While in Philistia, Isaac did what his father had done by portraying his wife Rebecca as his “sister” because he was afraid that he would be harmed. When Isaac was caught caressing Rebecca, Abimelech saw what they were doing and knew immediately they were husband and wife (6-11). While in Gerar, the Lord did bless Isaac because his family grew by leaps and bounds, his crops were blessed, his flock was blessed, and he found water (Deuteronomy 28:1-13). When the blessings of G_d had descended on Issac, while it was good for Isaac, it also elicited “envy” from those who were not as blessed (12-17). By moving to the valley, it meant starting over again. Isaac’s men dug wells and water was found so Isaac gave the names to the wells that his father Abraham had given them. Every well that was dug and water was found, the Philistines declared that they belonged to Philistia which started fights. Everywhere Isaac set up camp, he was blessed abundantly and it didn’t matter what the land was like when he arrived (18-25). Abimelech, Ahuzzath, and Phicol the commander of his army, broached the idea of a “covenant” with Issac. The covenant would be binding that is, no matter who was the king of Philistia or who was the leader of Isaac’s family they would agree not to harm each other, and the well Sheba and the town Beersheba would be the reminder to future generations (26-33). Esau, on the other hand, was not as blessed as Jacob was so he married foreign-born women which was cause problems for Isaac and Rebecca as well as future generations (34-35).
Job 23 – Job Says He Longs for G_d. Because he was in a place of great pain and his so-called friends are telling him “you are a sinner Job and that is what is causing you issues”, the only place he could go to was the throne room of G_d (2-4). To me, it seemed logical to want to present your case before the G_d Heaven and Earth because he couldn’t find anything that would substantiate the destruction that had come his way (10-12). The problem is, “where can G_d” be found (8-9)? There are things in life that we have no control over and destruction is one of them. Bringing our case before the Lord G_d means we must be prepared to hear everything He has to say and some of those things are not palatable (13-16). When we understand this concept, we begin to understand that maybe the darkness isn’t so bad and maybe I endure this to see what the Lord will say (17).
Psalms 8 – The Lord’s Glory and Man’s Dignity. When I consider the glory of the Lord as it is displayed throughout the earth, I cannot help but stand in awe and I am humbled by His greatness. In the eyes of a child whose heart is set on honoring G_d does not need lengthy explanations about who G_d is (1-2). When I consider the expanse of this world and how small I am in size, yet G_d still cares for me, all I can do is fall before Him and thank him (3-8). O Lord our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth (9).
Proverbs 30 – The Words of Agur. There are things in life that we have no control over because we are not G_d. We have no power to change the seasons but G_d is able. We have no power and no authority to change people’s mindsets but let us live for the Lord G_d and the blessings flow and the same people will want to know this G_d we serve (1-4). His word stands throughout eternity the language may have changed but it is the same truth: man’s foolishness brings him to discredit but if we live for the Lord not out of “show and tell” but out of genuine love for Him and many tribes and nations will seek the Lord (5-6). G_d has given us absolute power and authority over life and what we do with it will either be a gift for G_d or just another dismal failure (7-14). Sin is never satisfied even if the entire ground is burned to its core (15-17).
Ezekiel 26 – Judgment on Tyre. Tyre is located on the shores of Lebanon which made it an important city for commerce on the sea. Before the construction of the Temple, Solomon contracted with Hiram the king of Lebanon to supply logs from the cedars of Lebanon. The logs were sent out of Tyre because it was a port city. When it came time to repay the debt to Hiram, Solomon gave him 20 of the worst possible cities and, I think anyway, was the reason the people of Tyre rejoiced over the Temple’s collapse (2-6, 1 King 9:10-14); in Proverbs, we are warned against such behavior (Proverbs 24:17-18). G_d takes no pleasure in destruction even if it is justified. Tyre’s fall would be felt by all of the nations that depended on the port city for trade and barter for products (15-18). This is the part that we fail to understand that when we sin, everyone who depends on us will eventually be impacted by our behavior.