Reading #1 – Exodus 14
Reading #2 – Psalms 46
Reading #3 – Lamentations 1
Reading #4 – Hosea 4
Reading #5 – 1 Corinthians 3
Exodus 14 – Pharaoh in Pursuit. When the Israelites left Egypt, the shekinah glory of G_d was a pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day (Exodus 13:21-22). Remember, the nation knew only of Goshen or the city of Rameses so for them to travel, they would need G_d’s spirit to guide them. Yesterday I said that the Commander of Heaven’s armies directed them towards the sea of Reeds or the “straights of Tiran” because for them to go thru Philistia would have most certainly caused the people to turn tail and run back to Egypt. By sending the people the long way, it served a secondary purpose and that was to draw Pharaoh into the final battle that would forever cement into his memory the difference between fighting mankind and fighting with G_d (3-4, Acts 5:39). Pharaoh and his army chased the Israelites to Pi Hahiroth. When the people caught sight of the armies of Egypt approaching, they naturally became afraid. What is ironic about the situation is that these same people had witnessed all that had happened to the Egyptians and were the same people who cried out to the Lord for deliverance yet, this happens and the people want to go back to Egypt (10-12). Moses is told to raise his staff over the water and a dry path is opened for the people to walk on although it took all night long for the path to be revealed. Through the night though, the same cloud pillar stood between Israel and Egypt to keep the two armies apart which parallels the night in the garden (19-20, Luke 22:39-46). Once the Israelites were on the other side of the sea of Reeds, the Egyptians pursued and were drowned, one would think that it would be the last time the nation would doubt G_d but it wasn’t (28-31).
Psalms 46 – G_d the Refuge for His People. In times of trouble, the power and strength of the Lord are made perfect (2 Corinthians 12:8-10) because we see for ourselves that the power is not in the words but in acts of strength (1-3, Exodus 14:19-20). Interestingly, the Spirit of the Lord uses trouble to bring about His deliverance because it is only in those times that we hold onto the hand of G_d and never let go (6-7); It is for this reason that the Devil tries to make us comfortable in our sins until we know of no other life than what we are living. When war comes to our shores, at first we are resistant to it until we see that we become stronger and our faith increases then we have awe and respect for the servants of the Lord (Exodus 14:31 as an example). The battles we fight are not won by strength, prowess for battle, nor equipment, it is fought on our knees in prayer, purposeful acts of peace, and setting the toppled pillars back upright again (2 Corinthians 10:4). The battles the Lord wins are not won by “concession” that is, “we are not given things to line our pockets” but to resolve the true issues (8-9). It is for this reason that Jesus went to the cross to pay the price for our sins.
Lamentations 1 – The Sorrows of Zion. This chapter and Psalms 46 stand in contrast because in Psalms the “victory is the Lord’s” (Psalms 46:1) but in Lamentations, the people are defeated because of sin (1). The nation that was taken by the hand out of Egypt to Canaan was the same nation that was taken back into exile (2-3). The two kingdoms, Samaria and Judah, had become corrupt through pagan worship. The kingdoms that were vassal to Israel became the masters over Israel through complacency (4-5). Now the autonomy they enjoyed for over 200 years was gone and there was no getting back (6-7). When we cave in to sin, life, as we knew it is irreparably, altered and we will follow a pathway that is 180 degrees out of sync with G_d’s plan (Mike Krier, 10-11). The pathway that we follow away from the Kingdom of G_d is not bad at the onset but, when we wake up we see what we’ve done and how far away from the Kingdom we have gotten and how it has destroyed our life and that of our family (17-20). When our lives are destroyed those that led us to it rejoice at our failure “Another Christian has gone down” they sing and we are naturally embarrassed.
1 Corinthians 3 – Foundations for Living. Paul is laying a foundation for the church at Corinth. Remember, this church is located in the center for the arts, philosophy, and athletic competition. His desire was to share some meat of the word with the church but they were not ready for it so he had to keep repeating the need for the “1st works” or the “milk of the word” (1-3). In the Kingdom of G_d, there is no “Paul’s party” or “Apollos Party” everything came from the Lord G_d. Each person has a piece of the puzzle to put into place and not a single piece is more important than the other (5-9). Paul’s problem was that this church that he planted had developed mold in it and the foundation was cracking because of it (16-17).