Reading #1 – Genesis 45
Reading #2 – Psalms 27
Reading #3 – Proverbs 13
Reading #4 – Ezekiel 45
Reading #5 – Job 42
Genesis 45 – Joseph Shows Kindness to His Brothers. When Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, it quite obviously created a deep fear in their hearts (3). What had been meant to harm him and to get rid of him had been turned by the LORD for his benefit and that of the family (4-9). Joseph advised his brothers how long the famine would last and invited them to live in the best land in Egypt which unfortunately would mean that the family would live as guests in Egypt which would be grounds for the pending 400 years of pain and taken away from them (10). The boys were sent back to Canaan to get their father and their families and bring them to Goshen (13-20). When they got back to Canaan, they relayed Joseph’s message to their father who was more than glad to go down to Egypt to see his son before he died (28).
Job 42 – Job’s Confession. Job was confronted by the LORD for the rash words he spoke to which he apologized and was forgiven. This parallels Moses’ account when tasked with “speaking to the rock” but Moses did not apologize and would end up losing his place in the new land (1-6, Numbers 20:9-13). After speaking to Job, the LORD turned His attention to the three so-called counselors and reprimanded them for their part in the trouble. The three men were told to prepare a sacrifice for sin and Job was to pray over them. After the three men were forgiven, Job’s fortunes were restored and he would have three more daughters. The days following this were more blessed than all of the days prior and Job would enjoy a long life and prosperity (12-17).
Psalms 27 – A Psalm of Fearless Trust in G_d. Trusting in the LORD is easy when nothing is threatening your home, your livelihood, and/or family. When our lives are threatened or the “worst is about to happen”, many turn like Jehoshaphat and strip the temple clean to bribe a nation for support. David was not given to “rash words” or “hastily spoken” and then later rescind his promises. Fearless trust in the LORD comes from experience and is not something we are born with (2-3). When troubles threaten our shoreline, we can stand confidently that G_d still has everything under control. Faith is a microscopic seed that needs to be planted, nurtured, grown by the waters of practice, and harvested for others to witness (4-6, 13-14, Matthew 17:20).
Proverbs 13 – Contrast the Upright and the Wicked. The mouth is an open pit that will cause problems for the one that does not curtail it (3, Romans 3:13-18). Learning to control the mouth falls back on the owner and he/she must should that responsibility without fail (10). We are not born with the ability to control our mouth, it is learned by the people we surround ourselves with, the seriousness by which we attack this responsibility, and we must be willing to learn from our mistakes (14-16). Intelligence has nothing to do with the ability to control the tongue any more than having a vast quantity of wealth will stop bankruptcy, it will only lead them to become proud and arrogant like the case of Nebuchadnezzar (13, Daniel 4:28-31).
Ezekiel 45 – The LORD’s Portion of the Land. While the nation was in Babylon, the land had set still for 70 years which allowed the land time to heal (2 Chronicles 26:31). The prophecy says that the remnant would return but the disconcerting issue is “who gets what land”. If it were up to the people, it would be “first come first serve” and the rich would abscond with the quality tracts of land and give the rest to the poor. Canaan belonged to the LORD so he decided who would get what pieces of property. The first division of the tract for the Holy of Holies would go to the priests. Another portion of the land which was equal in size to the Holy of Holies would go to the Levites. A tract was set aside as community property (1-5). The princes or clerical would receive a tract of land on either side of the land given to the Levites so that they too would have a property and would not find it necessary to steal or “borrow permanently” from the populace (7-9). The merchants are admonished to have equal weights so that when people brought stuff to sell, the recipient would receive the right amount of money for their product (10-12, Proverbs 16:11). Providing the supplies for the temple was the community’s responsibility. The Prince was responsible for the burnt offering, the drink offerings, and the peace offerings with the assistance of the people (13-17). Serving at the Temple, although assigned to the Priests, required a cast of 1000’s to correctly serve and honor the LORD. Just as the destruction of the temple was not due to one or two people, so rebuilding it would require a cast of many thousands.