Reading #1 – Genesis 47
Reading #2 – Psalms 29
Reading #3 – Proverbs 15
Reading #4 – Ezekiel 47
Reading #5 – Romans 2
Genesis 47 – Jacob’s Family Settles in Goshen. Pharaoh gave permission for Joseph’s family to live in the land of Goshen which was about 10489 KM from Egypt or over a month’s journey by horse and cart. The problem with the transaction is that Jacob and the families were on the land in a “grace and mercy” arrangement so it could be taken at will. The second part of the problem was how Joseph’s brothers arrogantly spoke to Pharaoh and did not say what they were instructed to do. This, I believe, set the stage for the mistreatment of the Hebrew children after Joseph passed away; because, unlike the cave of Machpelah that Abraham purchased, the Hebrew children did not pay for the use of Goshen (3-6, Genesis 23:17). When asked about his age, Jacob/Israel did not give a defined number (9-11). Unfortunately, the famine lasted for five more years. The people ended up selling their land, animals, and families to pay for food to eat (13-19). Basically, the people were sold into slavery to Pharaoh. When the fields were planted in the seventh year, the people had to give 1/5th to Pharaoh and keep the rest and the people were thankful just to survive the famine (24-26).
Psalms 29 – The Voice of the LORD in the Storm. In the books of Proverbs and Psalms, there are several references to the elusive “fear of the LORD”. The LORD commands respect both on the earth and in the Heavens. When we forget ourselves and forgo respecting the LORD for what He has done in our lives, the very things He owns and has given to us can be taken away just like we see going on in our world today (1-3). G_D has absolute authority over every square inch of this world and every man, woman, child, and animal on it (3-9, 1 Kings 18:9-18). Because the LORD G_d owns everything and everyone, He can change the seasons, establish kings and kingdoms and tear them down (10-11).
Proverbs 15 –. Unfortunately, the words from our mouths can be our undoing, can build people up, and tear them down and many times we are not even aware of what we said (1-4). People will indeed get offended no matter what we say or how we say it. The fool could care less who he/she hurts as long as it doesn’t negatively impact him/her. (6-7).
Ezekiel 47 – Water from the Temple. Matthew Henry’s commentary on Ezekiel 47 says that the meaning of the first half refers to the coming Gospels that would happen in Jesus’ time. The Gospel would go from Jerusalem and the Temple to the distant areas of the world. The water of the Holy Spirit would positively affect every person to whom the message touched. Rebuilding the temple was just the fringes of what G_d had in mind for the nation and the diaspora. The message of the Gospel would heal a broken world if it was employed (6-12). The restoration of Israel was for all of the people of the dispersed people or “whomsoever” (13-14). The power that was given to Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham would have been given to the nation but they wanted to “be like all of the other nations” so it was stripped away. The new occupants would receive the blessing their forefathers had rejected. By accepting G_d’s offering, the people had to know that if one generation could lose the gifts of G_d so can another. For this reason, Israel’s stories just like our stories need to be told so that people would know the truth about why they are where they are and what it will take to get out of it.
Romans 2 – Impartiality of G_d. When we live contrary to the Word we claim to be “the Word of G_d for the People of G_d”, we are denying He exists or that His word is the inerrant word. Living for the LORD G_d is not a matter of “who we are, where we live, and/or what verses we utter. Living for the LORD is its own reward and does not need a physical reward or attention for it to be true in our lives. When we hold up the “Plumbline” but yet allow the foundation of our home to be built out of plum, we are denying its truth for our lives (1-2). Judging other people for their indiscretion(s) is fraught with problems because just as we judged the sinner so we are also judged and the words from our mouth condemn Us (3, Matthew 12:33-37). When we enter into covenant with the LORD G_d, we are bound by the whole law to be obedient and faithful all of the time. There is no pre-determined time that G_d will judge our actions sometimes, it is immediate and for others, it is spread out across several years but, whatever time it is, we need to be faithful in all of our houses and in every area of our lives (8-11). Sin is a universal condition that leads people to do things a thinking person may or may not do (12-13). The problem is that when we do what is wrong morally and violate the Word we cherish, we do harm to the church and the world around us (24-27).