Reading #1 – Exodus 15
Reading #2 – Psalms 47
Reading #3 – Lamentations 2
Reading #4 – Hosea 6
Reading #5 – 1 Corinthians 4
Exodus 15 – The Song of Moses and Israel. The song that Moses and Israel sang is recorded for the Bible reader and in Jewish history. The purpose of recording this song was to remind the people where they came from, how the Lord delivered them from a formidable enemy. This singular event should have removed any doubt from the mind of the people that the Lord who delivered them from Egypt would always meet their needs and remove any argument, fear, and/or doubt (1-3). Interestingly, the warrior angel set the trap for the Egyptians knowing that their pride and arrogance would blind their spiritual eyes and harden their hearts (4-7). After the armies of Egypt were swallowed up into the sea, it would never again raise its ugly head to seek retribution. Future generations would read this Psalm and combined with the nation’s history cause some to tremble others to doubt. One would surmise that after seeing the might and power of Egypt being crushed by water that the people would never again doubt the Lord but, as we’ll find out, the same people at the river would be the same people that would cry out against Moses. The warning that followed set up a “crossroad” that would be placed at the corner of every decision the people would make (23-26).
Psalms 47 – G_d the King of the Earth. This King I worship is incorruptible meaning, that although the world changes its morals and beliefs, this kingdom does not change (Malachi 3:6). We can praise this King for the victories He has/will win resting on the knowledge that He is not influenced by public opinion (1-2). Singing praise to the G_d of the Universe can only be done once we recognize what He has done (3-7) otherwise, it is just another inspirational song.
Lamentations 2 – G_d’s Anger Over Israel. In Israel/Judah, it was known throughout the world that the G_d of the Universe dwelled among the nation. In its history, Israel had seen the might and power of Moses, David, and Solomon coupled with the mighty prophets. The kingdom of Judah was under attack and the meeting place “footstool” was destroyed (6-8). Sin blinds its prey so that it thinks itself to be the preditor and the sin the prey when it is in reverse (9-10). When the prey finds itself in an inescapable prison of guilt, fears, and anguish (11-12). Israel was G_d’s chosen people but the leadership persuaded innocent people to follow them in search of “something better”. Once they were outside of G_d’s protection, the “sin” turned on its prey and killed it viciously and completely (13-17).
Hosea 6 – Response to G_d’s Rebuke. In the section on Exodus 14, I said that the work of the Lord had created a “crossroad”. At this “crossroad” the sin turned on the charm and the nation Israel went like lambs to the slaughter and there would be nobody to rescue them. Hosea the prophet encouraged the people to return and repent so that they could be healed (1-3). The thing about sin is that it is never satisfied sort of like fire (Proverbs 30:16). G_d desires steadfast loyalty but Ephraim and Judah were as faithful as a swinging door in the wind (6-10, Jeremiah 8:11) and this is Israel’s history from the time of Moses onward. Despite this, G_d sent His only Son to die for the sins of the nation that healing could begin (11).
1 Corinthians 4 – Servants of Christ. In Paul’s view, ministers have the difficult assignment of being G_d’s appointed leader so he/she had to be faithful which, some apparently were not (1-2). Paul had been away from the church working in other communities so some had stepped up to grab for power and part of the grab was to discredit Paul (3-5). This letter pointed out the church’s duplicity and competition for control. If I were to paint a picture of this event, I would paint a “Y” in block letters and write “sin” on it. Half of the church was on the right and the other half was on the left but neither half was where they needed to be. Paul had the difficult decision of pulling the halves together to help the church grow in unity (6-13). As the Overseer of that church, Paul was like a father to the body and it was within the scope of his G_dly assigned mission to admonish the church. While his writing may seem a little brash, consider the implications: if the church failed in its mission, many would walk away from the body believing it to be a lie. It is for this reason that Paul did not sidestep nor water down his message because the soul of the church and that of the community were at stake (14-15). Pastor Timothy was being sent to minister to this church to help resolve the arguments and help the church unite in soul and spirit. Timothy would continue the ministry that Paul had started and his message would resonate with Paul so that there would be no division (16-17). The problem the church had was that many sought to destroy it from within by creating contention and the only way to deal with it was to cast them out of the body for some time (18-21, Proverbs 22:10).