Reading #1 – Genesis 36
Reading #2 – Psalms 18
Reading #3 – Proverbs 4
Reading #4 – Ezekiel 36
Reading #5 – Job 33
Genesis 36 – Esau Moves. Esau moves his family and flocks to a distant area on Mt. Seir so that the two nations would not contend with each other. Esau married Hittite and Hivite women in addition to the ones he married from the tribe Ishmael (2 – 6); this created a source of consternation with Isaac and Rebekkah but it was a problem that Rebekkah created because of favoritism (Genesis 27:41-44, Genesis 28:8-9).
Job 33 – Elihu Claims to Speak for G_d. Elihu who is the youngest of the three claims to have the Wisdom from G_d and appears to be Pius. Job had reiterated his claim that he had done nothing wrong yet, his afflictions give the appearance of guilt. The appearance of guilt is the grounds of judgment and it is also the smoke and mirrors that cause conflict. Elihu is speaking for G_d although G_d does not need a spokesman/woman (3-5). Because Elihu was a human being, he was subject to faulty thinking as well as Job and it is the groundwork for him getting rebuked at the end of this play (7-10). This, I believe, is the groundwork of the statement “Judge not that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1).
Psalm 18 – David Praises the Lord for Rescuing Him. Trials and tribulations are two things that mankind likes to avoid at all costs. Yet, there is an upside to them and that is, we learn to trust the Lord G_d, look beyond the current situation and see G_d’s hand leading through the fray, and tests the metal of our life to see if it can withstand them so that we are prepared for the next battle (2-3). When David faced down Goliath, it wasn’t his first battle, his first battle occurred while he was in charge of the sheep on the night watch (1 Samuel 17:34-36). When Saul attacked David, the spirit that pushed him, the Devil, was leading the king to his demise because even the Devil knew who David was and was afraid of him (James 2:19).
Proverbs 4 – A Father’s Instruction. One of the main things a father should pass on to the son is a relationship with the Lord G_d. The gold, silver, and stuff can all be taken away or stolen but a solid relationship with the Lord can not be taken away from the child (3-4). It is because of this gift that Job was able to stand his ground even when conventional teachings were failing. Wisdom will guide and protect her student even when the trials and temptations come in like a flood (8-9, Isaiah 59:19-21).
Ezekiel 36 – The Mountains of Israel to be Blessed. When the Spirit of the Lord was speaking to the Prophet, He was speaking the future into the current time. The nation had been exiled and its populace being diminished. The wicked nation had cheered at the defeat of the mountain areas that were “holy to the Lord” only to find themselves locked in open conflict with the Lord G_d (1-3). The reason for the exile was to cleanse the land by getting rid of those who perpetrated the crime. Those who attacked Israel did so out of compulsion but when they attacked, they forgot that just assuredly as the nation Israel could be defeated so could any nation that came against it (6-9). Israel would be rebuilt in time however, it would never be the same as it was in the time of David. By “being restored”, doesn’t mean that the nation would not be judged for its actions that led to the collapse (16-19). Equally, the rebuilding would not be because “Israel was righteous and the other nations unrighteous” but because of G_d’s name and promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (22-36).