Reading #1 – Genesis 37
Reading #2 – Psalms 19
Reading #3 – Proverbs 5
Reading #4 – Ezekiel 37
Reading #5 – Job 34
Genesis 37 – Joseph’s Dreams. Joseph the first son of Rachel was Jacob’s favorite son and had made him a special coat. Consequently, Jacob’s other sons did not like Joseph because he was treated with greater favor. The first round of fights began when Joseph tattled on his brothers to his father. Jacob had done nothing to Joseph and became complicit in the fight (3-4). By treating Joseph differently from the others, Jacob became responsible for the fights between the boys. Where the wheels came off the proverbial axel was when Joseph had two dreams; in one of them, the 11 stocks of grain that belonged to his brothers bowed down to Joseph’s stock of grain; in another, the Sun, Moon, and 11 stars bowed down to Joseph. When the boys heard the first dream, they became indignant after all, “wasn’t it enough that our father favored you must G_d also favor you”? When Jacob heard the second dream, he castigated Joseph for thinking that “Mom, Dad, and the boys would bow down to him” (5-11). When Joseph was sent out to find his brothers at his father’s bequest, the boys had to do something to get rid of this “insolent dreamer” (18-19). The plan was hatched to kill Joseph and make it look like an accident. Reuben, the oldest, intervened by trying to reason with his brothers “that killing him would backfire terribly”. So Joseph is thrown into a dried-up well. Before Rueben got back, the boys had sold Joseph to the Midianites/Ishmaelites to take into Egypt. The boys took Joseph’s coat and dipped it into animal blood so that it would appear he was mauled by an animal (31-32).
Job 34 – Elihu Vindicates G_d’s Justice. In the absence of proof, Job’s afflictions are taken as “proof positive” that Job is guilty of sin. While on the witness stand, he refutes Job’s claim to be “righteous” by pointing out the flaws and how G_d would judge Job most harshly (4-8). The problem with his defense is that Elihu is saying that if Job is innocent, G_d is a mean being that takes pleasure in destruction. But G_d is not vindictive so Job must be at fault (10-13). What Elihu did not consider is that when we declare G_d’s judgment, we will not be declared innocent and that is just the beginning of the problems (26-29).
Psalms 19 – The Works and Word of G_d. The Lord G_d doesn’t need us to declare His glory and nor do we have to justify His Word. The stars in the sky, planet alignments, and the world we live in has been around for countless centuries (1-5). What we do offer the world is a present-day testimony of what the Lord has done for us that is, “how His word has changed our thought process”. We do not need to tell people, “just look at the stars and that is proof of G_d” because no one was around when they were created however, let the Saving grace of G_d positively change the course and speed of our life and the world will be amazed. We don’t need to tell the world that G_d’s word is true, but when we live it out they will see how the laws of the Lord G_d have changed us and they will flock to the truth (7-8). We don’t need to tell the world “G_d is real” but let Him permeate our lives and the evidence will speak for itself and it will be undeniable (12-14, 1 John 1:6-8).
Proverbs 5 – Pitfalls of Immorality. Just like we don’t need to tout the teachings of the Bible as authoritative, we also don’t need to tell the world “your sinner and going to Hell”, yet when we live out the teachings and allow it to change our life, the truth will speak for itself (1-2). When we warn our children about immoral behavior and its nasty side effects, we don’t need to make sure the event occurs, it will happen all by itself. Solomon had experience with the side effects of immorality because he saw the effects through his father David. Sin’s beginning is rooted and grounded in “poor choices”. G_d desires that all mankind be free from the dragging effect of sin and He is not biased in His approach and nor is He blind. Only mankind thinks he/she has matured in their thinking and that G_d has no idea what He is doing.
Ezekiel 37 – Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones. This vision, according to commentary, is one of the most well-known of Ezekiel’s prophecies. The dry bones represented both Israel and Judah that had long ago been dried out due to no visions and teachings about righteousness becoming non-existent (Proverbs 29:18). Israel and Judah’s unrighteous kings had led the nations down the primrose path into sin and it would cause problems for the nation long after leaving Jerusalem. G_d, however, was not finished with Israel/Judah because people like Daniel, Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel had been praying for the nation. There are two types of “death” spiritual and physical. The physically dead died in battle or due to hunger and illness whereas the spiritual dead were alive on the outside but dead on the inside as to have “no hope”. When the Lord called the bones and sinew to reunite, the body came together but was dead on the inside until the Prophet was told to “prophecy life into the body” and when he did this, the body was physically and spiritually alive (3-10). The purpose of the vision was to point out that although the nation was in exile a remnant that is spiritually and physically alive would return to rebuild the destroyed city (11-14, 18-22).