Reading #1 – Exodus 10
Reading #2 – Psalms 42
Reading #3 – Proverbs 28
Reading #4 – Daniel 12
Reading #5 – Romans 15
Exodus 10 – The Plague of Locusts. So the trees and vegetation have been decimated by an immense hail storm and balls of fire, the bulk of the animals have been destroyed and, now the plague of locusts. While all of this is going on, it is with the hopes that the nation Israel is paying attention (1-5). Pharaoh’s servants tried to entreat him to “let the people go” because there was no food in Egypt and the animals were decimated. Pharaoh then told Moses and Aaron that they could leave but only the men could go and then Moses and Aaron were driven out of Pharaoh’s presence (7-11). Once out Pharaoh’s presence, The Commander of Heaven’s armies gave the command to “stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt” and then the locusts came in like a tornado and covered the land! No one had ever seen anything like this before because nobody had ever shoved a fist in G_d’s face before (12-15). After this, Moses was once again called to Pharaoh’s presence to beg Moses to get rid of the locusts and Pharaoh would relent. Moses prayed and the Lord shifted the winds and the locusts were driven into the Red Sea. Pharaoh once again rescinded his promise as the Lord knew he would. The next plague was “darkness over the land. This Amplified version states that there was a “Supernatural Light” that was over Goshen so that the Israelites would have light. Pharaoh once again called Moses and Aaron into Pharaoh’s presence with the carrot and stick to let the people go but the animals had to stay but Moses refused the offer. Then Pharaoh threw Moses and Aaron out and instructed them to never again come into “My presence or you will die”. Moses agreed and left Pharaoh’s presence which set up the 2nd to last round (21-29).
Psalms 42 – Thirsty for G_d in Trouble and Exile. When we are in places that are from the presence of G_d, we get thirsty for Him. In this world, there will be trouble but that does not mean that the Lord has abandoned us (John 16:31-33). What it means, is that our faith is being tested and we just need to hang in there until He breathes free winds upon our lives. The example of the deer that pants for water when it is far away from living water but in the writer’s view, it resembles the thirst for His Spirit (1-2). Trials are no fun and become a never-ending headache when they seem to continue “forever” (3). The writer reminisces about the good days when he could walk with his friends to the Temple and sing the song G_d’s abundant grace and how it filled him to overflowing (Luke 6:38). When we enjoy anything, good weather, memorable events, and/or times when we won a battle, we need to commit them to memory so that when bad things happen, these memories will uplift us (4). While we cannot control the weather, we can control our attitude. We can either be constantly beaten down or be uplifted, the choice is up to us (5-6, 9-11).
Proverbs 28 – Warnings and Instructions. Our attitude coupled with our behavior and the choices we make will either be a credit or a discredit. The outside attacks have no bearing on our attitude, behavior, and/or choices we make. We have the choice, let the outside people direct our course or consider what is presented and make a logical choice. The world is waiting for the people who will make a positive difference in a dark world. If we do nothing with G_d’s word and allow the world to dictate what we believe, there is a price to pay for it (1-4). It is by far easier to complain about the condition of the world and cry out “the world is going to Hell in a handbasket” than it is to take positive steps towards reaching a resolution (5).
Daniel 12 – The Time of the End. Amid the rebellion that will occur in Babylon, the nation’s Guardian Angel, Michael that stands guard over the nation will arise. There will be troubles like no other nation before ever saw. Those that have been sealed by the Lord G_d will be rescued. The reference to the people coming out of their graves occurred when Jesus died on the cross (1-3, Matthew 27:50-54). Daniel would see the events that would unfold just like many other prophets; this prophecy is recorded for the reader’s benefit (4). Before the Angel tells Daniel to stop listening in and leave, he hears about the 1290 days or 3.5 years which is the length of Jesus’ ministry based on the historical references. The reference to the 1335 days either means that the total is 2625 days or, it means that the total number of days is 1335 (9-13). If it is the latter, then the difference between both number of days is 42 which would put it neatly into the length of time Jesus walked the earth after the resurrection (Acts 1:3). Personal note: some of this may not be agreeable with current teachings but, I encourage you to do your due diligence to see if what I am saying is correct. Remember, that as easy as it is to “Hyper-spiritualize” things, there is also a need to consider things into “what did they see”, “what did they hear”, and “what does history have to say”. Equally, many of the books were added to years and centuries after they were originally written or transcribed.
Romans 15 – Self-Denial on Behalf of Others. One of the hardest tasks that can be assigned to us is, “Love others like you would like to be loved” (Matthew 22:39). The reason this is because the world says “Look out for #1” so you have to see things in reverse. Paul’s epistle or letter to the Church at Rome was contrary to the Rule of law in Rome so it creates a conflict between the church and the people in the community (1-4). For the church to have peace, it had to apply Biblical wisdom in the face of conventional wisdom (5-6). Just like the churches today, there would be people coming into the church that would struggle with the teachings, personality clashes, differences of opinion, and/or language barriers. For the church to grow and mature, it would have to come to grips with them and be able to put arguments to rest without breaking the bonds of fellowship (7-9). Paul had hope for this church even though it languished due to political pressure it never quit meeting together, rejoicing in the Lord, and/or growing in the Lord (Acts 18:2). Paul’s ministry to the Gentile nations was not popular in Jerusalem nor anywhere else yet, it didn’t stop him from preaching the word. Unless Paul had been obedient, this church like most of the other gentile nations would never hear the message of Salvation so it put the church in debt to Paul. The church, in turn, owed to Paul to share the same message they received (18-21). Paul was on his way to Jerusalem when he penned this letter and it would be his final journey because once in Jerusalem, he would be arrested (30-33, Acts 24:17-21).