Reading #1 – Genesis 33
Reading #2 – Psalms 15
Reading #3 – Proverbs 1
Reading #4 – Ezekiel 33
Reading #5 – Job 30
Genesis 33 – Jacob Meets Esau. This was a time to close the books on the days now past. Jacob was responsible for the pain he inflicted on Esau. When Esau met Jacob, he hugged Jacob and wept for joy (4). In this interaction, it is difficult to decide “did Jacob ask for forgiveness for the mess he created, and did Esau truly forgive Jacob”? In the succeeding verses, it appears that a truce was called because Jacob was not harmed and that Jacob’s fears were not justified. The thing is, I believe that a door was opened but Jacob did not go through and missed a golden opportunity to make things right not with “stuff” but with a genuine “I am sorry”(). Esau finally relented and accepted Jacob’s offering (8-11). After this interaction, Jacob and Esau break company, Esau goes to Seir, and Jacob goes to Schechem (12-17). Once in Schechem, Jacob purchased a piece of ground to pitch his tents for 100 pieces of silver; on that ground, he built an altar and called “El-Elohe-Israel” or “The Mighty One, the Lord G_d of Israel” (18-20).
Job 30 – Job’s State is Humiliating. Before the attack, Job cared deeply for the people of his community and it didn’t matter if they were unsavory or he didn’t trust them. After the attack commenced, these same people returned hospitality with hostility. Part of the problem with ministry is that we must accept that what we do may never be returned and that is why it is so important to give from the heart (Luke 6:30-35). Job could find solace in the grave but, in the meantime, he is in pain and is reaching out for help (23-25).
Psalms 15 – Description of Zion. In this Psalm, David asks a rhetorical question “Who can dwell in this city” or be “part of my kingdom”? Only those who would serve the Lord in spirit and in truth (1-2, John 4:23-24). David understood that the city he was building was for the glory of the Lord G_d and not the glory of David. The remaining verses are from the Mosaic law which was near and dear to David’s heart.
Proverbs 1 – The Purpose of Wisdom. This book of maxims that an individual should do before they take a course of action (2-3). Those who know everything could quite possibly trip over this book because the maxims would appear to be beneath them. The beauty of the book is that it reflects in the mirror of the heart and will be a reminder of why our plans failed. Learning and applying the teachings will not stop us from having problems like Job but it could warn us about traps like the one Dinah fell into that led to the deception of her brothers (Genesis 34:1-2, 13-17).
Ezekiel 33 – The Watchman’s Duty. Ezekiel was the Watchman for the nation. Being honored by G_d with the task of warning people carry with it a stark warning. If Ezekiel does nothing with the words, he will be responsible for the collapse of the people but if he warns them, is exonerated but the people will be responsible (2-7). G_d takes no pleasure in the death of anyone. For this reason, He sends out the warning call in the form of trouble. The people may get out of the trouble once, twice, and maybe a third but, eventually their luck runs out and that is when they bow down. This may sound like extortion but consider the child who wanted to live on his terms with money gained too early and the troubles that would ensue (Luke 15:11-32). When word had reached Ezekiel about Jerusalem being sacked, he pointed out that no matter how many weapons they had, their hold on the city would not last (23-27). Ezekiel’s words sounded pleasant but the people listened to them with their physical ears, not their spiritual ears because they did not apply the teachings to their life (32-33, Matthew 11:16-19).