Reading #1 – Exodus 4
Reading #2 – Psalms 36
Reading #3 – Proverbs 22
Reading #4 – Daniel 6
Reading #5 – Romans 9
Exodus 4 – Moses Given Powers. When he was told by the LORD what was required of him, Moses was afraid because it meant going back to Egypt (1). The power Moses is given is mere parlor tricks meant to make the magician, in this case, Moses, seem like he has a little bit of an edge. The tricks that Moses is given are a staff that turns into a snake when thrown to the ground and the ability to turn his hand from clear to leperous and back again The problem with magic acts is that the simple believe it but the cunning will question everything and maybe even figure it out. If the two magic tricks didn’t convince Pharaoh, the LORD told Moses to turn their water into blood maybe they’ll believe (2-9). When Moses complained that he wasn’t good at speaking partly because “he was slow of speech”, it dawned on me that he was trained in the courts of Pharaoh and when G_d chooses the person He prepares them sometimes without them knowing it (10-11, Philippians 1:6). By rejecting the LORD, Moses was told “fine then your brother will speak and you’ll put the words in his mouth” (14-17). Remember this plan was merely a framework and what happened in Egypt was a powerplay between Moses and Pharaoh. Moses was told that the magic acts will only serve to harden Pharaoh’s resolve. The final act of the play would be the death of Pharaoh’s firstborn son because Pharaoh having harmed G_d’s firstborn (21-23). The reference to “Husband of blood”, according to commentary, consummates the relationship between Moses, his son, and the LORD (24-26). The meeting in the wilderness was a relief to the elders not knowing that, while the mission seemed easy enough given the powers. At issue, though, the same people who were present in the wilderness would be the same people who would oppose Moses (27-31).
Psalms 36 – Wickedness of Men and Lovingkindness of G_d. There is a problem with sin in that no matter how well it is designed, it always comes to the light of day when its suspect least expects it. The Master of this world, the Devil, will whisper in the ears of unsuspecting “no one will find out”, “you deserve this”, and/or “it is never going to be given to you so take it” (1-4). The problem is, we forget that G_d has never and never will withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly (5-6, Psalms 84:11) so all we have to do is “ask” (Matthew 7:7-8). Asking means that we have to wait or fear being told “no – not right now” but never know what G_d has in store for us or how that gift will be presented if we will just be patient. Fear causes us to have a disproportionate view of the world around us. Faith helps us to see the world through G_d’s eyes (10-12).
Proverbs 22 – On Life and Conduct. The moment mankind ate from the tree, he and/or she was given the authority to either grow in grace or die in sin. Sin is easy, “just do it”! Those that get away with sinful behavior think they are immune from being found out which leads to “arrogance”. Like a horse race, no matter how many times the horse wins, there will be a loss at some point in time and usually when the most money is placed on it. Wisdom, unlike Folly, warns its student to “be patient, think through the process, and consider the cost” (3). Learning and growing in wisdom helps us to earn a good name so that we will never have reason to be ashamed of what we have done (1-2).
Daniel 6 – Daniel Serves Darius. Darius the Mede defeated the Neo-Babylonians in 523 BC at the age of 62 (Daniel 5:30-31). Because of the size of the kingdom, King Darius placed a satrap over the provinces and three commissioners over the Satraps; this would help the king run his kingdom without having to do the work himself like the wise words of Moses’ father inlaw Jethrow suggested (1-2, Exodus 18:13-23). Daniel proved himself worthy of the job he was given by properly executing his assigned task with integrity and honesty. Darius, after seeing how Daniel carried out his responsibilities, planned to promote Daniel to the #2 man in the kingdom. When the other two commissioners got wind of the possible promotion, they knew they had to get Daniel but, it would not be easy because Daniel refused to cave into sin’s demands (3-5). A plan was hatched to have the king write a new law and seal under the laws of Medes and Persians that could not be altered (6-9). Upon hearing about the new law, Daniel went to his prayer closet as he had always done and was caught “like a fish in a barrel” and was thrown into the den of lions. After that, Darius spent a long sleepless night worrying about Daniel and “if the LORD he trusted in would indeed come through”. The next morning, the king ran to the den and called for Daniel hoping and praying that Daniel was alive. Daniel responded, “Oh King live forever, my G_d sent an angel that closed the mouths of the lions”! Darius then released Daniel and threw the commissioners, their wives, and their children into the den with the lions and were immediately eaten (16-24). Darius then wrote a new decree publically commending people to reverently fear the LORD G_d of Daniel (25-28).
Romans 9 – Concern for Israel. The nation Israel currently has about 10 million people. The thing is, not everybody serves the LORD G_d of Abraham some serve Allah, others Yeshua Hamasiach, others are atheists, and still, others don’t who know who they serve. Paul was from the tribe of Benjamin which was the smallest tribe and was the youngest brother of Joseph which tied him to Israel. The first missionary trip Jesus sent the disciples on was to their families and that is probably the hardest people to reach but this did not make them any more or any less important (). Paul’s desire was that the entire nation would come to the knowledge of salvation but he knew it was impossible. Just because all of the people didn’t come and fall at the feet of Paul, it didn’t make the power of the LORD G_any more or any less powerful to save lives; for a young church, this was a difficult concept (6-13). Accepting the salvation message is not dependent on the speaker, the priest, Rabbi, or whosoever, it is dependent on the person receiving it; if the person receiving the message is not willing, it doesn’t reflect negatively on the speaker (14-18). G_d calls us today just as he called Paul, Moses, and many millions to be His voice in a dark world. The reality is, no matter how well or how poorly we speak, not everybody will receive the message and accept G_d’s precious gift for their lives. If not everybody who listened to Jesus accepted salvation, we really can’t hope for any more than what is given to us for this reason, Jesus is a stumbling stone although it holds the foundation together (30-33).