Reading #1 – Exodus 12
Reading #2 – Psalms 44
Reading #3 – Proverbs 30
Reading #4 – Hosea 2
Reading #5 – 1 Corinthians 1
Exodus 12 – The Passover Lamb. The Passover or Pesach is the most important feast in Jewish history. It commemorated the nation’s liberation from 430 years of being enslaved in Egypt. Three plus millennium later, the nation still holds the feast and with the same tradition. Each family was to take one of their lambs/goats, pour out the blood, clean it, and prepare it for the meal. The blood on the doorposts and lintel signified that the house’s occupants belonged to the Lord and the destroyer would pass by and it is the same signification of the passage “144000 that were sealed by the Lord” (7-8, Revelations 7:1-3). The lamb or goat that was chosen had to be perfect that is, “it could not have blemishes” and is the same reason that the Messiah could not suffer and die because he sinned and rightfully earned the crucifixion (5, Hebrews 10:14-24). By roasting the lamb/goat, the meat, according to a web page, was quicker than boiling it (Hermanuetics Exchange); during their time in Egypt, the nation boiled meat in a pot but this was not an ordinary night (Exodus 16:3). The nation was told to be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice so they had their coat on and tucked into their paints, sandals on their feet, and staff in your hand (11). The “Feast of the Unleavened Bread” would last seven days and no work could be done during that time. The reason for not using yeast was that there would be no time to get the loaf prepared (14-15). By being obedient to what the people were told, the family would be redeemed from Egypt failure to be obedient would cause death to pass through the house (23-25). Pharaoh called for Moses in the middle of the night and told him to get his people out of Egypt and take everything with them (33-35).
Psalm 44 – Former Times of Help and Present Troubles. There is a thing about “history” that eludes people and that is, “it is there to remind us”. During Israel’s journey from Egypt to the final moments on Herob, Moses was told to write down a song so that future generations would know the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord (Psalms 102:18-22). The writer, probably Korah, is looking backward in the history for encouragement for today and if he didn’t know what the Lord had done, what hope would he have (1-4)? It wasn’t David’s weapons that were the turning point of the battle, it was his faithfulness like the events in the valley of Elah (6-7, 1 Samuel 17:45-47). Disobedience is the main contributing force that stops forward victory like the case of Achan’s failure (Joshua 7:20). There are times however when we have too many people working with us and it would lead to pride so the Lord reduces our numbers or, we are not operating in His time (17-21).
Proverbs 30 (18-20). History is a shadow in that it stands in the background showing images of what is in the present (Mike Krier). The writer of Proverbs 30 talks about four wonderful things: the eagle in the sky, the serpent on a rock, a ship in the middle of the sea, and the way of a man with a maid. Added to this is the reference to the adulteress woman (18-20). When an eagle soars, it leaves its wings outstretched and the wind carries it; according to an online article, an eagle can sour for 5 hours without flapping its wings and can travel upwards to 100 miles. A sailing ship floats on the ocean propelled by wind and sail and upwards to 30 knots but can be stopped by the force of the waves and sent to the shore. A serpent can climb up on rocks without feet and even climb a precipice without leaving a mark. A man, like David who lived a righteous life, knew G_d’s commands, and had been promised an eternal kingdom, threw it all away for a moment of lust. We don’t have any explanation for these events other than to understand that these events did occur and we can learn from them. The reference to the adulteress woman speaks to the never-ending need for the man of G_d to always keep his eyes open and aware that just as David can fall so can we. If the serpent can crawl up on a rock without leaving an imprint, he can do the same to us. If it were possible for a young man to ruin a woman, a young woman can ruin the man. If a ship can be moved by the wind and the waves, we also can be moved with relative ease.
Hosea 2 – Israel’s Unfaithfulness Condemned. Israel is about to receive a certificate of divorce. Israel had been warned as a nation and as a kingdom about the pending destruction to come. To get His point across, He had to answer Israel according to the sin of her heart and that is through the children’s strange names. Gomer was a prostitute well known in the brothels so along comes Hosea and he is tasked with marrying her and siring children. Hosea’s wife would not be faithful to him any more than Israel was faithful to her G_d but her children Lo-Ammi, Lo-Ruhamah were pitied and loved by Hosea (2-3). All that Israel/Samaria possessed belonged to the Lord G_d and could be rightfully taken back (8-9). Sin likes to put on a magic act and uses it to cover up its illicit behavior so that it is not discovered (10-11). No matter how well we try to hide our bad behavior, sins of omission, or sins of commission, they will always come out when we least expect it. The thing is that no matter how evil Gomer and her children were, Hosea still loved them and would still restore them and the same goes for Israel. No matter how far down the road we go to sin, G_d can still forgive and restore us if we come back to him (21-23).
1 Corinthians 1 – Appeal to Unity. One of the biggest and most ardent detractors to church is “division”. The church at Corinth was arguing over “who baptized who” or “whose disciple are you”? These things are brought on by the Devil to break up the movement of the Spirit (10-15). When the church operates cohesively, the Devil has no room to come between the families. The Devil, as you have been told, had been kicked out of heaven for daring to cause division and thereby take the throne of Heaven which failed. Today, we don’t argue over “who baptized who” or “whose disciple are you”, we argue over “theology” and it is as detrimental to the unity of the church as it was for the Corinthian church. Our message is and will always have to be “the power of the cross” (18-19).