Reading #1 – Genesis 27
Reading #2 – Psalms 9
Reading #3 – Proverbs 31
Reading #4 – Ezekiel 27
Reading #5 – Job 24
Genesis 27 – Jacob’s Deception. Esau was sent off to kill and prepare a wild game that Isaac loved. When Esau returned he would be blessed as the firstborn. Rebecca overheard the conversation and sent Jacob in with the phony game and prepared Jacob to feel and smell like Esau. Once this was done, she sent Jacob in with the game to feed his father and receive the blessing of the firstborn (1-17). The chapter is titled “Jacob’s Deception” but, it should be “Rebeccah’s Deception” because the integral player, in this case, is Rebeccah. The prophet stated that the “older would serve the younger” (Genesis 25:23). By interfering with G_d’s plan for the boys, Rebeccah would be responsible for the problems that would ensue both in Laban’s family unit and the pain she caused Esau who was also her child. For now, Jacob is blessed by his father with the riches of the land, would be the head of the family, and nations would bow down before him (28-29). When Esau returned with the game he caught, killed, cleaned, and prepared for his father, Isaac was bewildered and angered because he had been deceived (31-35). Esau was rightfully angry with Jacob for this deception. At issue, though, was the stolen blessing. Jacob was blessed abundantly which meant that Esau would get the cursing for no fault of his own (39-40). This meant Esau would have to make a choice stay angry or forgive. Esau promised revenge on Jacob for the stolen blessing so Rebeccah had to do something to curtail Esau (41-46).
Job 24 – Job Says G_d Seems to Ignore Wrongs. It would seem to be a mistake to talk about G_d’s righteous judgment given the mess that wickedness has caused. G_d’s word says that “the righteous shall inherit the earth” (Psalms 37:29-30). This is one of the many difficult questions about scripture and it is answered by the outcome of choices. Consider Rebeccah’s case when she tried to push the hand of G_d and lost both sons and she would be responsible for all of the events that would happen in time. The wicked do not get away with their wicked ways like the case of Rehoboam (1 King 12). The thing is, G_d’s judgment does not happen according to our timeline like the case of Jonah (Jonah 4:1-3). The sticky point in this is, Job’s illness and the destroyed land. Job was righteous yet he is being cursed by his family and friends. The pain afflicting Job caused him to spout off and would later repent (25).
Psalms 9 – A Psalm of Thanksgiving for G_d’s Justice. Giving praise to G_d is not “just until” or “when ___ occurs” nor, “when ___ gets crushed”. We are to give praise to Him through all of the evolutions of our lives and never have to be concerned about what the wicked are doing, we are to keep our eyes on Him (1-2, 1 Thessalonians 4:10-12). We are powerless to change the world but let the fruit come from our life and the world will throng to us to hear the gospel (11). In this world, sin is prevalent and it afflicts everybody. The afflictions should drive us further in prayer not further away from it. When we seek the face of G_d in our time of need, He will meet us where we are and see us through the trials and we can testify to the Lord’s blessing (12-14). The wicked will always do that which is wicked until they hear with their spiritual ears and hear their spiritual ears and let His message sink into their darkened heart and then they too will climb out of the mess they are in. Wickedness and righteousness have an end game (15-16, 19-20, Isaiah 6:10).
Proverbs 31 – The Words of Lemuel. Lemuel was a king who was taught by his mother about the righteousness and justice of the Lord G_d. As the king, he could have done anything and everything his heart wanted to do but, he understood his mother’s warning, adhered to it, and saw the fruit in his life (2-3). Giving one’s strength away takes but a moment to do but the ramifications are felt for a lifetime. Of course, we as humans don’t have a perfect vision to see the end result of our choices like having sex with someone other than our spouse, excessive intake of alcohol. The world has plenty of excuses for excessive drinking but that doesn’t mean we have to be part of it (6-7).
Ezekiel 27 – Dirge for Tyre. Tyre was the pearl of the Middle East. It had everything going for it and the people knew it. Pride will build people up just to push them over the edge and the failures should be noted by the world which is the message Belshazarre should have taken to heart (2-3, Daniel 5:20-30). Tyre had the best oarsman, the best products, nations were bringing their wealth to it just to be part of the success. Wealth is a good thing until it affects the heart and then pride compels the person to want more even though they had more than enough. When we fall everybody associated with us will fall also (25-27). Sadly, just like Israel would find out, the same people who cheered the nation on would be the same people who jeer you as you walk to your Cross (35-36).