Reading #1 – Exodus 3
Reading #2 – Psalms 35
Reading #3 – Proverbs 21
Reading #4 – Daniel 5
Reading #5 – Romans 8
Exodus 3 – The Burning Bush. Moses was about 80 years old give or take 10 years when he saw the burning bush. The first law of the shepherd was, “do not look away from your flock” but this sight was compelling (1-3). . The nation had been enslaved in Egypt over a lengthy period. When things were good and Egypt was favorable to the nation, the people didn’t consider prayer. When things turned against them as their nation grew in size and dimension, then they sought G_d (Exodus 2:23-25). In the time of Abraham, he was promised that his family would be enslaved for 400 years (Genesis 15:13-15); So, this terrible time was prophecied long before Jacob ran away to Haran and the events that would cause a black mark to be on Jacob’s life and that of his family. Moses is being sent back to the place he ran away from (10-12, Exodus 2:11). Being sent to proclaim the message of the LORD and being let go were two different things. Moses knew in advance that this mission would not be easy but all he had to do was trust the LORD which, we’ll find out that slips up. The LORD gave Moses a framework, or foundation, for the mission (20-22).
Psalms 35 – Prayer to Rescue from Enemies. When we stand firm upon the foundation of our faith in Christ Jesus, we must prepare ourselves for the trouble that will follow. The battle is not ours that is, “it is not about us” and it is not personal unless we have caused the problem as the incident with King Johoshephat showed (1-4, 2 Chronicles 20:15-17). Trusting in the LORD requires that we do not break faith in the LORD. Just like the mission Moses was sent out on, this prayer made the issue seem to be “cut and dry” (8-9). The problem is that the battle, although not against us, was still deadly as people would lose their lives. Standing in faith is not “until” or, “unless” but “through everything even if I have to give my life for family, my kingdom, and/or the world” (10-15, John 10:11-18). At the end of the battle and calm prevails, if we have not broken faith we can stand and rejoice in the salvation from the LORD (26-28).
Proverbs 21 – Faith and Trust. Moses was sent on an impossible mission and promised that the nation would be delivered but the outcome was dependent upon “faith and trust” (29-31). These two elements are critical to the outcome of any battle. Having faith in the leader is paramount to obtaining victory if we have no faith, we will not trust what he/she has to say. Fortunately or unfortunately, garnering faith will only occur when the leader’s words and actions are tried and proven to be correct (Matthew 11:19). Having faith in a leader has nothing to do with “being liked” or “being popular” consider the case of Moses (Exodus 2:11-15). Unfortunately, leaders make mistakes in judgment like the case of Saul who thought it necessary to offer the sacrifice instead of acting on the mantle of leadership (27, 1 Samuel 13:10-13) which cost him the future of his kingdom through his son.
Daniel 5 – Belshazzar’s Feast. Belshazzar was Nabonidus’ son and grandson of Nebuchadnezzer. The king should have had a healthy fear of the LORD has heard what happened in the time of his grandfather (22-24). The king had taken the cups that were used in the Temple of the LORD and praised the gods of fold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone (1-4). When the hand of G_d wrote a message on the wall in a well-lit area, it shook the king to his core and called for his wise men to translate and interpret the message but they could not. The Queen mother or the wife of Nabonidus told the king to call in Daniel or Belteshazzar because she knew he would understand it. When Daniel arrived, the king called him by his Hebrew name Daniel instead of the name given by his late grandfather (13). Daniel interpreted the message but not before excoriating the king for his foolishness(22-23). The king’s time in power was numbered, all that Nebuchadnezzar had garnered would be lost, and a divided kingdom would defeat the Neo-Babylonians (25-30). Belshazzar would be the last Neo-Babylonian king and the fear of King Nebuchadnezzar would fade into history.
Romans 8 – Escape from Bondage. When we get free from the bondage to whatever sin that held us, we are the same person we always were. Just as we are still seen as the “little boy/girl” in the face of our elders, the world, we are the same mess that he or she remembers. In the eyes of our Father, we are not the same person we are a new creation (1, 2 Corinthians 5:16-17). Before the blood of Christ paid for sins, we were subject to the law “the soul that sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:19-22). When we come to Christ Jesus, confess our sins, and repent our old life fades into the background and we begin a new life free from the bondage to that sin (2). Man’s laws are simply a plumb line and cannot save the soul of mankind no matter how skillfully they are written (3-8). When the Spirit called the people of G_d to come out of Babylon or the symbol of the world, it wasn’t because He thought His people were just too good to live in that squaller but because He knew what that squaller was doing to His people and what the endgame would be (9-11, Revelations 18:4). After we are set free, we owe it to ourselves, our families, and most importantly the G_d we serve to never go back to the place we came from (12-17).