Reading #1 – Exodus 7
Reading #2 – Psalms 39
Reading #3 – Proverbs 25
Reading #4 – Daniel 9
Reading #5 – Romans 12
Exodus 7 – So Pharaoh did not listen to Moses just as the LORD had told Moses; when this happened, Moses tried to get out of the assignment and was castigated (6:28-7:2). The signs and wonders that Moses and Aaron were going to show Pharaoh would not convince him any more than when Moses directly confronted Pharaoh (3-4). A point to remember: the children of Israel were not only slaves in Egypt, they were a source of economic support. The Egyptians had been used to the slave labor force for close to 400 years so they were not going to be quick to let the people go until they were negatively impacted by the signs and wonders (5-6). The first miracle was when Moses was told to drop his staff on the ground and it became a snake. Pharaoh’s magicians were able to replicate the miracle by chicanery. The defining difference was that Moses’ snake ate the Pharaoh’s snakes; in essence, the magicians were able to replicate the miracle but not completely (8-13). The second miracle was when Moses was told “touch your staff into the water of the Nile” and the water turned blood red and was the cause for the fish and water life dying. The magicians were able to replicate this miracle; the problem was, the people had to dig for freshwater along the Nile (21-25).
Psalms 39 – The Vanity of Life. Vanity is a common malady and no one is immune from its influence. Vanity elevates the man/woman to a pedestal. Once on a pedestal, the individual can only go so far in any of the four directions before he/she falls off. Why would the Devil want a human being to occupy a pedestal? Because, when our feet are not on the ground we become “full of ourselves”. When we are full of ourselves, our eyes are on us and not on the Lord and we step headlong into the trap set by the Devil. So, we have to set barriers by first governing what goes into our hearts and what comes out of our mouths (1, Psalms 141:3-4). Second, we need to consider how precious life is and not waste it on ourselves (4-5). We have neither the power nor the authority to tell anybody else how to live their life until we can properly direct our life and that of our family (7-8).
Proverbs 25 – Similitudes and Instructions. As a budding writer, I am amazed at how quick it is to say the wrong thing or come across as offensive. In the same way, dealing with a bone of contention is also very easy to exacerbate a situation by simply opening the mouth and insert the foot (15) which takes about 30 seconds to do. Having Wisdom is more than just the right words to say, but it is knowing when to use them, when to speak, and when to be quiet and carefully check our information (8-9).
Daniel 9 – Daniel’s Prayer for His People. The prophecy to Jeremiah was that the exile would last 70 years beginning with the Temple’s demise until the command to rebuild the Temple or the end of the desolation (2). Daniel understood that although the exile would soon end, the important part “the sin that caused it had to be dealt with”. So, he puts into a matter of prayer. When we are promised something by the Lord, we owe to ourselves to make it a matter of prayer so that we know how to handle the promise. As an example, when Samson’s parents were promised a child, his mother was the first one to ask “what shall be the order for his life” and then his father reiterated the request (Judges 13:3-13). So Daniel seeks the face of the Lord by intense prayer and petition (3-6). The people had sinned against the Lord and it was the root cause of the exile (7-8). While the people would return to Jerusalem and the Temple would be rebuilt, the nation would still be a vassal to the Medes, then the Greeks, and then the Romans. This would not be a good time to be in Jerusalem because of the turmoil that would occur. Accordingly, it would be about 483 years (24-26) from the time of Daniel to the time of Jesus or 69 weeks of years. From this chapter, we would hear about the 3.5-year ministry of Christ and how it would end (27). Remember what I said about “redemption” it always occurs in times of war or trouble.
Romans 12 – Dedicated Service. Paul’s admission to the fledgling church at Rome was to live to please the LORD which is a minimum requirement or “rational, logical, act of worship” (1). The churches and nations that surrounded the church in Rome did not live like the Church in Rome but that did not give the church license to cave into heathen worship (2); so, the old adage “when in Rome do as the Romans do” did not apply to this church. The reason for this was that the church’s responsibility was to live a G_dly life in the face of unG_dliness. Knowing the struggles this church would face, the Lord provided many gifts of varying degrees and types so that the church would be prepared (3-5). The purpose of the “gifts” was to equip the church for ministry (6-8). When Paul references the word “love”, it is not predicated upon “like” but on “brotherly love” that is, “caring deeply for the spiritual needs of the church so that it can stand the days of trouble (9-13).