Reading #1 – Exodus 13
Reading #2 – Psalms 45
Reading #3 – Proverbs 31
Reading #4 – Hosea 3
Reading #5 – 1 Corinthians 2
Exodus 13 – Consecration of the Firstborn. The firstborn man or animal was to be set aside for G_d’s purpose. Zondervan’s commentary states that the firstborn male human/animal and unleavened bread are linked in commemoration of the exile (Commemorative institutions). The events leading up to the exile as well as the event itself are commemorated so that the people would remember where they came from (3-8). The Jewish faith and culture are based on historical facts and characters. For this reason, the people were told to remember by annually celebrating the feast of Passover or Pesach (9-10). Once the people got into the new land, the people were commanded by the law of the Lord to set aside the firstborn male both mankind and animal. From these passages, we get an understanding of how Jesus’ sacrifice redeemed us from the grave. Remember, the first man and animal were killed when the destroying angel passed through Egypt. The firstborn male child was redeemed by a suitable sacrifice which was usually silver coins. Future generations would not understand the pain that was endured for the 400 years because they were not involved all that they would know is that the parent would hand over their firstborn to the Lord G_d. So, there would be questions and the answer would come in the form of re-enaction (11-14). The men were to wear what was called a “Phylactery” or “frontlet” on the forehead or on their dominant arm which contained the Torah texts referring to the Exodus (15-16). When the people left Goshen, the Guardian Angel directed them through the wilderness or desert to the Sea of Reeds or the Straights of Tiran. Although it would have been quicker to go through the land of the Philistines, the people were in no condition to start a war (17).
Psalms 45 – A Song Celebrating the King’s Marriage. The queen was originally from Egypt. In Egypt, they had set practices and traditions just like in Israel. When the two were married, the woman was to leave her home, just like the man, and the two would become one (8-11, Genesis 2:23-24). The coronation of a new king was a time of great celebration because it was a new day. The hope of the people is that the new king would do that which was right in the sight of the Lord G_d and that he would be a “just” king in the sight of the people (3-5). The King, of course, was not G_d nor did his throne become more important than G_d’s throne (6-7). This Psalm was written before the events occurred. If the king acted wisely and acted justly he would be remembered as “the wise king” but we’ll find out later in history that although he knew the “wisdom of the Lord”, he didn’t act on it (16-17).
Proverbs 31 – The Words of Lemuel. This mother’s oracle or prophecy talks about what is required of the king. A prophecy speaks about the promises of what will happen if the person is faithful and the unspoken words of what happens if the word is ignored. There were things that the king needed to know and they were things that ruin the king irreparably (2-5). The king was the judge for the nation so he needed to administer justice for everyone equally (8-9). If a judge or, king, is corrupt his judgments will also be corrupt and justice will not be accurately served.
Hosea 3 – Hosea’s Second Symbolic Marriage. Hosea is sent to remarry the prostitute and former wife Gomer (1). During the first marriage, Gomer played the prostitute and corrupted the marriage bed. Gomer was purchased at the price of a slave (1-2). This woman was told that she could no longer play the prostitute and could not have a mate until she proved herself faithful (Proverbs 16:6) and be a slave to Hosea (3). Just like Gomer, the nation had prostituted itself by serving by the pagan G_ds of the nations that surrounded them (1). Like Hosea, G_d purchased the nation back from the pagan G_ds at the price of a slave and the nation would be a vassal nation for many days (4-5). The nation would return to its homeland but not have its autonomy – basically “home arrest”. At the end of this, the people would bow their knees to the Lord and repent.
1 Corinthians 2 – Paul’s Reliance upon the Spirit. Corinth was a Roman colony that boasted was known for being an attraction for athletes, artists, and philosophers (Help Me with Bible Study). So, it made sense why Paul did not speak like a Greek orator or speak in lofty words because of the importance of his message (1-2). Paul came humbly but spoke with power about the cross and G_d’s plan for redemption. Certainly, he could have argued the Greek philosophical views of Plato or Sacrotes but then he had more important things to speak about (4-5). In Paul’s view, the soul of the people far outweighed anything and if he got sidetracked the ministry he was called to would also get sidetracked (3). Remember the church was caught between crosshairs of culture and the message of the cross. Paul would not win everybody he spoke to but, he would win a few and those few like Timothy would go on to do great things for the kingdom (6-7). The understanding of the cross is not dependent on the person’s religion nor is it dependent on the person’s aptitude for philosophy; it is dependent on an open heart to the move of the Spirit (9-10).