Reading #1 – Genesis 30
Reading #2 – Psalms 12
Reading #3 – Lamentations 3
Reading #4 – Ezekiel 30
Reading #5 – Job 27
Genesis 30 – The Sons of Jacob. Jacob, I would believe, found out why Abraham wouldn’t let his servant take Isaac back to the place he was called to leave. This was a treacherous relationship between Jacob and Laban. During the marriage festivities, Laban got Jacob too drunk to recognize that the woman in the tent was Leah, not Rachel. Now, there were fights between Rachel and Leah because Leah was bearing children but Rachel was not so, the maids are given to Jacob as a 2nd wife and more children were born from those two unions. In essence, Jacob has four wives to contend with. Rachel finally conceived and gave birth to Joseph. When Jacob asked to leave Laban to return to Canaan, again hatches a scheme to keep Jacob in the east by offering him flocks and herds of his own (31-34). Then Laban turns around and steals the animals belonging to Jacob by putting them with his sons’ care and has them put a three-day distance from Jacob (35-36). Jacob probably figured out what had happened so he hatched his own scheme to manipulate the offspring’s color of their coat so that it came out in his favor and thereby increasing his flocks and herds (40-43). The term “Self-Preservation” comes into play here.
Job 27 – Job Affirms His Righteousness. Job would never kowtow to his friends by surrendering his claim to being guilty of sin (2-6). Job knew the difference between right and wrong and righteousness and unrighteousness so, the previous arguments were mere myths and were dispelled. Job’s legacy was that he provided for people outside of his family, counseled the hurting, mourned for those who were mourning, and raised his children to know the Righteous Lord G_d although they didn’t adhere to the teachings. When Job was afflicted, nobody took anything from him. The people, like the three friends, came to ridicule Job (23).
Psalms 12 – G_d’s a Helper against the Treacherous. Treachery is a skill set that is learned in the world and it is justifiable because the world is not necessarily “Honest” (1-2). Our “Helper” is the Lord G_d (7). There is a defined difference between the world’s ways and the Lord’s ways ().
Lamentations 3 – Jeremiah Shares Israel’s Affliction. Sadly, when a nation or any group of people are afflicted, everyone in that group or nation is afflicted without exception. Jeremiah was afflicted by the people and king of Judah for daring to tell the people to “repent”. After the exile started, everything that was considered “normal” no longer existed. The plentiful food supply in the nation was cut off by Babylon so that everyone, including Jeremiah, starved to death (1-4). For a while, Jeremiah was placed in a cistern until he was rescued by Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian (5-7, Jeremiah 38:4-10). Jeremiah knew that no matter how bad things got, the Lord was still in control and would bring the people back to Jerusalem albeit a lot smaller in size (19-23). Just like the Levites of old, Jeremiah would get no reward from the world for being righteous and warning the people (24-28, Deuteronomy 18:1-2). Although the exile was in full-swing, Jeremiah exhorts the people that there is still time to make things right (39-40). What is going on in Jerusalem was a direct result of sin and nobody was exempt from the judgment.
Ezekiel 30 – Dirge for Egypt. Egypt would lose the power and control that Pharaoh had. The people would be exiled to a place where they could hear the Word of the Lord. In their own land, the people heard the “might of Pharaoh” and “mighty Egypt”, the people served their idols and their gods, and the wealth of the nation incited pride. After they were exiled and all of the stuff had been taken away, the people became vulnerable to Word (2-8). All of the nations that depended on Egypt or, “leaned on it” would be given ample reason to believe that no matter how big the nation became, it was only as strong as the provisions it received in other words, “if it can happen to mighty _____, it can happen to me” (10-12, 1 Corinthians 15:9-10).