Reading #1 – Exodus 19
Reading #2 – Psalms 51
Reading #3 – Ecclesiastes 1
Reading #4 – Hosea 10
Reading #5 – 1 Corinthians 8
Exodus 19 – Moses on Sinai. In the 3rd month after leaving Egypt, the people arrived in the wilderness of Sinai or the desert. According to an online map, the Sinai is located in the Sinai peninsula which is to the east of present-day Cairo or lower Egypt. The people camped outside of Mouth Sinai which is located southeast of Cairo on the Sinai peninsula (1-2). When you look at the map of the region, and I will put this on my web page for your review, the people are taking a long route through a desert area. The reason for this was the Lord did not want the people to have to fight the nations and become discouraged and run back to slavery (Exodus 13:17-18). When Moses is summoned to the mountain top, the Lord gives Moses the mission statement or purpose for the fledgling nation (3-6). When Moses relayed the words to the leadership, they quickly affirmed their support and by it spoke for the people (7-9). The part the leadership did not fathom was the “price they would have to pay for it” (Luke 14:25-33). Because of the affirmed vote, an appointment was set on the 3rd day for the people to meet the Lord who got them out of slavery (10-15). After the people had done everything they were told to do, they were escorted out of the camp to the mountain and this is where the wheels come off of the proverbial axel (24-25).
Psalms 51 – A Contrite Sinner’s Prayer for Pardon. David had sinned against G_d and against his kingdom by the entanglements with Uriah’s wife (2 Samuel 12:7-10). I want you to put this in the back of your mind, “Pardon does not make our sin “magically disappear”, it only removes the barricade towards healing” (Mike Krier). In this Psalm, we see an example of Jesus’ model of prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). First, “acknowledge the Lord” (1). Second, “May your kingdom’s purpose be established in me (2-4). Third, “forgive our trespasses and help us to forgive others” (7-9). Fourth, “Help me to remain strong in the face of temptation so that I can be rescued from the Devil” (10-19). I will expound on this prayer in one of my Daily Psalm posts.
Ecclesiastes 1 – The Futility of All Endeavors. The Preacher’s unwritten statement “Work to honor yourself and always end up on the short end” is a common theme in our world to this day. Mankind is quick to claim “I have found something new” only to find out that someone else discovered years before his/her time (10-11). There are two types of wisdom “mankind’s and G_d’s” and Solomon had both which created a conflict in his life (16-18). When an individual employs mankind’s wisdom, he/she sets out to garner as much wealth as possible only to find out in the end that he/she “has everything they want and nothing they need”. When the individual employs G_d’s wisdom, he/she is at peace with themselves and their world so they do not fear death (12-15).
Hosea 10 – Retribution for Israel’s Sin. When the Prophet uses the name “Israel”, he is referring to the nation which groups Judah and Samaria. From its conception, Israel was selected to be G_d’s chosen people a nation of Priests of Righteousness (Exodus 19:3-6). The problem is, the nation at this juncture in time had gone as far to the left of G_d’s plan as she could go (1-4). The problem with sin is that we mourn over it only when the fruit comes out and the Ring Master (The Devil) abandons us to our fate (5-10). G_d’s plan for our life is and will always be “redemption from sin” and would be accomplished with hard work. The world will go its way despite our testimony and will find out, just as we found out, “sin is an illusion of grandeur and the final model does not look anything like the conception” (Mike Krier) (11-15).
1 Corinthians 8 – Take Care of Your Liberty. As children of G_d, a cross-road is set before us providing two choices act on knowledge or on love. When we garner knowledge by study and reading, it is a natural compulsion to think that somehow we are above everybody or “self-righteous”. Love, on the other hand, says “not for my glory but for yours oh Lord” (Psalms 115:1) and works towards bridging the gap so that others can come into the Kingdom (1-3). In Corinth, there was a multitude of temples in honor of the G_ds. The people that were going to the temples to eat were most likely those who were secure in their relationship with the Lord G_d and were not confused about who was the true G_d of the Universe. The problem was that, just as it is in every community, some were weak in their faith and would be easily beguiled into turning away from the Lord they served (4-7). The 900 Lb Gorilla in the room is “the attitude” because the food is just the medium, not the source. The questions we always need to ask ourselves before we commit to a course of action are, “why am I doing this” and “Who will be hurt if I do it” (9,13).