Reading #1 – Genesis 50
Reading #2 – Psalms 32
Reading #3 – Proverbs 18
Reading #4 – Daniel 2
Reading #5 – Romans 5
Genesis 50 – Burial Preparations and Mourning for Jacob. After Jacob’s death, Joseph honored his father’s request and asked Pharaoh for permission to go to Canaan. Joseph honored his promise to Pharaoh that only the young and the flock would remain (4-8). Pharaoh went one step further by attending the funeral procession along with his court. The size of the procession bewildered the Canaanites so the place where the procession stopped to lament Jacob’s death was renamed “Abel-Mizraim” or “Mourning of Egypt”; remember, in that time places were named after important events (10-11). Jacob’s passing created consternation for the 11 brothers because they knew that Joseph had not forgotten the situation although he had forgiven them. Joseph understood from the story of Cain and Abel and the situation between Jacob and his brother Esau that forgiveness and leaving room for vengeance was a personal choice one that carried consequences (Genesis 4:4-7, Genesis 27:41-42). When the brothers came to Joseph and bowed down to him offering their families as slaves or servants to Joseph; they presented a half-baked lie to Joseph, but he saw through it and told them “to think nothing of it”. The brothers were conspirators in the plan to get Joseph away from Canaan but G_d knew what lay ahead for the nation. Because of this, Joseph coming to Egypt was all a part of G_d’s eternal plan (16-21). Joseph and his brothers all passed away before the next shoe fell for the nation (22-26).
Psalms 32 – A Reflective Psalm. The Psalmist, David, is reflecting on an important kingdom virtue and that is, “forgiveness” both for the penitent and the person who was wronged. Being forgiven does not wipe out the incident that occurred, it just means that the person forgiving is releasing the right to redress and is stepping out of the trap that is laid for them. Sin causes us to become bitter, envious, isolated, and fearful. We can think that a sin is “no big deal” or “nobody has any clue that we have sinned” so the Devil says “just keep quiet and time will pass” (3-5). The time for getting things right with the person or people we have wronged is while the situation in front of us (6). Asking for forgiveness takes an act of courage and faith. When we have wronged someone and resolve to make it right, the LORD will be right beside us to help us face the people we have hurt (7-9).
Proverbs 18 – Contrast the Upright and the Wicked. These two characters have attributes that speak well or ill of themselves. The wicked delight in airing their opinions. Unknowingly, the wicked show what they stand for, the depth of their character, and who they really trust (1-3). The wise person may appear “uneducated” or no “social graces” yet, what he/she has to say echoes louder than the words from his/her mouth (4). Solomon was wise on the outside but in his heart, he struggled with character flaws that defied what he had to say. Unfortunately, our mouths are the greatest source of our problems (7-8).
Daniel 2 – The King’s Forgotten Dream. In 605 BC or Nebuchadnezzar’s 2nd year, he had a dream that he could not understand. Knowing the propensity for lying and misinterpretations, the king required the wise men to tell the contents of the dream and interpret it. This, of course, created a stumbling stone for the men. When the men were not able to tell what the dream was and the king was unwilling to change his mind, the king ordered all of his wise men to be put to death. Unfortunately, that also meant that Daniel and his brothers must also be put to death (2-5, 8-9). Daniel approached the problem by asking “why is this happening” and then petitioning the executioner to go to the king and after prayer he went to the king and told the king what the dream was and what it meant (19-22). Every sin, just like every act of righteousness, has a “latter days” or, “the following days”. For Nebuchadnezzar, those “latter days” would be the kingdom he was so proud of would give way to the rise of the Medes and Persians (36-39). After the Medes and Persians, the Greeks would attack, and then later Rome. The bright spot in this dream was the reference to the Messiah (40-45). Daniel was promoted to the “chief counselor to the king” which would create problems for the wicked counselors (46-49).
Romans 5 – Results of Justification. When we are justified from sin or “forgiven”, we have peace with G_d (1). Being forgiven is one thing but living out that salvation is another (2-5, Proverbs 16:6). The atoning sacrifice through the cross was only effective or “sin’s final answer” because Jesus didn’t die on the cross because he was a criminal or justly incited a revolution, he was sent there because of “jealousy” (Mark 15:10-11). So, the blood he shed brought peace to the kingdom. The peace was temporary because the blood couldn’t cover the sin of Sanhedrin and the community not because the Sanhedrin never confessed their crimes and prove it by turning to the LORD G_d in Spirit and in Truth (6, Matthew 3:8, John 4:21-24). G_d showed his love for mankind by paving the way for the stain of sin to wiped away and all who came received him” (8, John 1:11-14). Sin is a universal problem that will never be cleaned by the will of man even if he/she boycotts, riots, and/or kills to make the problem go away (12-13). The original sin was a rebellion against G_d which was perpetrated by the Devil and extended to mankind because of the trespass. When Adam and Eve listened to the usurper, they became complicit and like the Devil was kicked out of Eden; to this date, rebellion continues to be a problem no matter how many times the message is preached. All who received the message and applied it to their heart were forgiven and the blood of the Lamb covered a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).