Reading #1 – Exodus 16
Reading #2 – Psalms 48
Reading #3 – Lamentations 3
Reading #4 – Hosea 7
Reading #5 – 1 Corinthians 5
Exodus 16 – The Lord Provides Manna. The nation Israel is like present-day society in that they were and are never happy. The nation had begged for G_d to intercede and deliver them from the Egyptian tyrant. Once they were out of Egypt, they wanted to go back because of the harsh conditions they had to live with (3). You would think that after witnessing Egypt’s demise and the flowing of freshwater that all they would do was ask kindly “Please send us bread to eat” and G_d would have gladly supplied the need. So the Lord sends this wafer-type bread called “manna” into the camp with provisions: take as much as you need for your family on the sixth day take twice as much so that you will have enough for Sabbath (4-5). These were simple instructions but, as in every population, there will be those who will not listen and/or not appreciate what they receive. So the people continued their murmuring about the lack of meat so the Lord sent quail again with provisions; those who adhered to the instructions always had just enough no matter how many people were in the family or how much was gathered (17-18). Those who did not listen to the instructions and had leftover quail found it was infected with magots (19-21). The Sabbath day or the “7th day” was a designated “day of rest”. The people were instructed to get double the amount of quail and mana so that they would have the requisite supplies for the Sabbath meal. The people were required to prepare their meal before the start of the Sabbath because once it started, they could do no “regular work” (22-26). Regretfully, people again did not listen and many went out to look for bread and meat for the sabbath and came home empty-handed (27-30).
Psalms 48 – The Beauty and Glory of Zion. Zion was the city of David or Jerusalem (1-2). When the Lord was the G_d of Israel, the city prospered under the auspices of the wise king (3-4). When the city was under the watchful eye of David nations trembled when David and the armies lined up for battle (5-7). Israel was not great because of David nor was Jerusalem the pearl because of the Temple both are as they are because the Lord was G_d of the city and He sat on the throne (9-11). The prayer of the writer was that the G_d of the Universe would remain on the throne all of the days of his life and that of his family (12-14).
Lamentations 3 – Jeremiah Shares Israel’s Affliction. Although Jeremiah had never committed the sins of his colleagues, his king, or the people yet, he was lumped into the whole group. When Jerusalem was under attack and the food and water supply were cut off, everybody innocent and guilty alike shared the same punishment (1-3). Unlike Elijah, there was no respite for Jeremiah (1 King 17:2-16, Jeremiah 37:21). Unlike the king, the false prophets, and the people who were unwilling to listen, Jeremiah had hope and had not lost faith in the Lord G_d although the situation was dire (17-18). When faith in G_d is deeply entrenched into our hearts, no matter how bad the situation may be or how hopeless it may appear, we do not give up, we do not surrender our post. The reason Jeremiah had this deeply entrenched faith was that he had seen what the Lord had done from the 1st day G_d called him to ministry (Jeremiah 1:2-19). The Prophet was a priest in the order of Hilkiah because of this, he would not receive land except for that which the Lord promised him from his ancestral home yet, his inheritance would always be the Lord Himself (24-26, Jeremiah Jeremiah 32:6-12, Deuteronomy 10:8-9).
1 Corinthians 5 – Immorality Rebuked. This scathing letter to the church at Corinth addressed a known issue: Immorality amid the ranks and had not been rooted out (1-2). Immorality is expected in the world but in the church, this should not be the case (9-10). The church, the bride of Christ, should be the “difference” not “more of the same. Unfortunately, rooting the person out would cause further contentions especially if that person was an elder. When sin is allowed free reign, it destroys like fire as I said yesterday and it morphs into worst issues until the church is ruined irreparably (6-8). When it comes to judging, it should all begin within the church (12-13, 1 Peter 4:17).