Reading #1 – Exodus 21
Reading #2 – Psalms 53
Reading #3 – Ecclesiastes 3
Reading #4 – Hosea 12
Reading #5 – 1 Corinthians 10
Exodus 21 – Ordinances for the People. To live in a community, there must be laws that are followed. The first ordinance was the slavery issue. The second ordinance had to deal with personal injuries. So if a man is injured which encompassed injuries to a human, whether they be intentional or unintentional, and injuries due to animals. These ordinances may seem to be “non-sensical” when you compare them to 21st-century ethics but, these people had to live together, and the only way to accomplish this was for the people to abide by the laws.
Psalms 53 – Folly and Wickedness. There is one important part of scripture that must be fully understood, “It doesn’t tell the wicked how to live their lives, it tells G_d’s children what is required of them in an unG_dly and unholy world (Mike Krier, Micah 6:6-8). The empty-headed fool may declare, “there is no G_d” and “it is a figment of our imagination” but, that doesn’t mean it is up to us to change his/her mind, it is up to us to live for the Lord out of obedience (1). When the Angels met with Abraham, they were ready and willing to destroy the land because of the sin of Soddom and Gomorrah but Abraham stood in the gap (2-3, Genesis 18:16-33). This world is indeed on a crash course towards hell but, we have the G_d given mandate to “stand in the gap” no matter what the condition is because we might just save one person from Hell and was the same reason why Paul spoke about the “believing and Unbelieving spouse” and the “slave who was saved” (4-6, 1 Corinthians 7:20-24).
Ecclesiastes 3 – A Time for Everything. One of the most aggravating things, to me at least, in this world, is a “Time for Everything” (1). We don’t like this concept because it means that there are things that we will have no control over and some of those “things” wreak havoc in our world like, death and destruction, bad situations, the failure of a relationship, and/or “watching a loved one destroy themselves and be so blind about it. Destruction does not always come because of something we or someone else did, sometimes it is “to grow us” or to “get us out of our comfort zone” (11). When G_d sent His people into the promised land, He knew without a shadow of a doubt that the people would destroy themselves and it did happen; He also knew, that not everybody from the lineage of Abraham would honor the G_d he served (12-15). Equally, G_d had faith in His people that no matter how bad the situation would be, someone would arise through the destruction to take on the mantle of Abraham, Moses, and Joshua (16-22).
Hosea 12 – Ephraim Reminded. One of the saddest epitaphs of mankind, to me, is when he/she forgets where they came from and becomes enamored with their status in life. Ephraim was the 2nd son of Joseph the Righteous man who saved the nation but when he left Egypt, he was no longer a rich and powerful man, he was in the same boat as the rest of the nation. During the 40 years of walking in circles, the tribe became decimated because of rebellion and believing a lie instead of the truth (Numbers 14:26-35). These people lived in tents because they were a nomadic tribe. When they entered into the “Promised Land”, the nation became wealthy because of the resources in the land. It is said, “wealth corrupts and absolute wealth corrupts absolutely” (Socrates). So Ephraim had become absolutely corrupt and for this reason, is being warned so that they can change (10-11). The last portion talks about the lives who the nation Israel owed their life to because those people stood in the gap when they had absolutely no reason to do anything for them (12-14).
1 Corinthians 10 – Avoid Israel’s Mistakes. I will say categorically, “We owe our lives to our parents, to our community, state, nation, and the Kingdom of the Almighty” (Mike Krier). Israel, the nation mentioned many times over, had its origins in on man Abraham. This Abraham was one man with no special power other than to have the understanding that the life he lived was owed to the Creator. Moses was called by G_d to lead the nation out of slavery into the Promised Land or the “land flowing with milk and honey”. The trip from Rameses to Canaan for 40 years longer than it was intended to be because the people were tempted with deceiving information, was given to complaining and were a rebellious nation (1-5). The nature of “repeating history” was not to beat the nation over the failures of their forefathers but as a reminder of what can and will happen when sin is allowed to exist in their life and in our lives (6-9). The nature of mankind is to “test G_d’s patience” by repeated acts of disobedience, listening to the Devil, and doing things “our way although”. Israel did the same stupid things that got them into trouble and we are no different today. It is for this reason that Corinth is warned about this because just as the nation could go back into slavery that would have ramifications well into the 20th century AD so it is entirely possible for even the most Spirit-filled church to go the wrong direction at the behest or at the ire of the Pastor (14-22). It is lawful and legitimate for a church to decide which G_d will be G_d just as it is lawful and legitimate for people to eat whatever they want the danger is when sin is allowed to ferment in the church leading to its destruction or grow into the church that G_d desires so that lives can and will be saved from Hell (27-33).