Reading #1 – Genesis 44
Reading #2 – Psalms 26
Reading #3 – Proverbs 12
Reading #4 – Ezekiel 44
Reading #5 – Job 41
Genesis 44 – The Brothers Are Brought Back. Joseph’s brothers were given the supply of grain, the money that they had brought with them from the first trip and the 2nd trip. The problem was that Joseph also put his cup in the mouth of the youngest brother’s bag of grain. After they left, Joseph had his assistant go after them and charge them with a crime. The boys, of course, did not know about the cup much less knowing it was in the youngest son’s bag. So when the steward confronted the group with the crime, Judah set the terms which parallel Jephthah’s rash promise to the LORD (7-13, Judges 11:30-40). The boys returned to Egypt throwing themselves at the feet of Joseph trying to overturn their promise. Judah requested a private conference with Joseph to beg his mercy and give himself to Joseph in place of Benjamin. The story told about Joseph getting killed was a lie and Joseph knew it (33-40).
Job 41 – G_d’s Power Shown in Creatures. The Leviathan is a replica of the Devil who is an Arch Angel that should be treated with great respect (1, Jude 1:8-11). The description of the Leviathan defies the imagination to come up with one more powerful, cunning, and unafraid of any human being on planet earth. If mankind cannot capture the Devil how much less could he/she capture G_D and make Him their slave (9-11). Nothing takes G_D by surprise, not even the Devil so when mankind acts in ways contrary to the law or is afflicted with disease, He knows all about it and He has His reasoning (33-34). Nothing on this earth is won “easy” unless there is a bigger hook involved. For Job, just like us, talking about standing in G_d’s court and bringing charges against Him is a whole lot easier than actually doing it. Remember at the onset, it was the Devil who was given permission by G_d to do his worst because G_d knew that Job would not fail Him. Job did not fail G_d but there still some residual things to deal with just like the church in the book of Revelations (Revelations 2:14-17).
Psalms 26 – Protection of Integrity and Prayer for Protection. When we pray for protection for whatever situation we are facing, part of the answer to prayer is “the choices we make”. If our choices are no good, then we step out of G_d’s protective covering. The writer, David, asks G_d to review his heart and mind to see if there is anything offensive to G_d or that which would cause problems (2-3, Psalms 139:23-24). We can do the right things with the wrong motive and the wrong things with the right motive and both cause problems. When we have done everything to protect our integrity and not given to delusions of grandeur or to believe, “there is no way I can fail”, we can be relatively sure of the ground we are standing on (11-12).
Proverbs 12 – Contrast the Upright and the Wicked. There is a truth that we must come to grips with and that is, “You can be the most intelligent student of the Word of G_d and still fail the test of life” (Mike Krier). Job was a righteous man and he never once relinquished his claim but one thing unintentionally came out of his mouth and it caused problems for him (Job 7:19-21). Living righteously before the LORD is a daily and hourly choice to turn our backs on the demands of the world and keep our eyes on the LORD. The weightier part of the problem is that in this world, we have our family members and friends who want us to do what we used to do but we know also that the ways of the world offend G_d so, we have difficult choices to make (Matthew 10:34-39). The wicked person could care less about who he/she hurts or what mess they leave in the wake of time. The righteous person should always be concerned about what he/she is leaving behind (7). Living righteously before G_d comes with rewards in the wake of our actions (14).
Ezekiel 44 – Gate of the Prince. The east gate which was located in Northern Jerusalem was the gate that the Holy Spirit of G_d went through so it was closed to everybody (1-2, John 8:21-24). The prince or the ecclesiastical commissioner would go through the porch of the temple and leave by the same route (3). The importance of the gates was to establish access rights. The Prince was could wear priestly frocks but not be entitled to conduct priestly work only the Priests in the line of Zadoc could do that. There were priests after the exile that would be excluded from conducting work inside the holy of holies because they surrendered their righteousness for the favor of the king; these men were still priests so they were assigned “Gate guard duty”. It is for the same reason that many religious men/women of our time are reduced to minor jobs (9-13); these people are still loved and are called by G_d to do the work assigned. The ordinances laid out in the time of Moses are still in effect today whether or not we chose to adhere to them and they are still in the same place G_d put them (15-31).