Reading #1 – Exodus 28
Reading #2 – Psalms 60
Reading #3 – Ecclesiastes 10
Reading #4 – Amos 2
Reading #5 – 1 Corinthians 15:42-58
Exodus 28 – Garments of the Priests. The Priestly clothing was made so that it would stand out in the populace sort of like a uniform. I will be putting up pictures of the various items on the Priestly clothing on my web page so that you can see what they looked like. The High Priest had a special outfit with items that were not on the other priest’s clothing: the breastplate of judgment, pomegranates (as a rattle), and the Urim and Thummim for making decisions (29-30). These outfits were specially made and would only be used while serving before the Lord. The “breast piece” is like a T-Shirt material that was mounted on the robe from the shoulder pads and around the waist (6-10). One onyx stones were to engraved with six of the tribal names on one stone and the other six on the second stone in their birth order (12). The breast piece of judgment had 12 stones on them one for each of the 12 tribes (17-21). On the turban, a plate was affixed that said, “Holiness to the Lord” (36-38). The outfits were designed not to make Aaron and his sons better than the other tribes but, “to remind them who they are, the importance of their assigned mission, and who they served (40-43).
Psalms 60 – Lament over Defeat in Battle, and Prayer for Help. Sin in our lives will cause us to be defeated just as quickly as Israel when they went up against AI (Joshua 7). When we sin and refuse to repent or, “become stiff-necked”, things start to happen in our lives that we cannot account for. For example, old enemies return to cause us problems like the case of Solomon. We are not told if the “land shaking” was a physical earthquake or troubles that arise to break down our courage, either way, there was no peace in the land (1-3). When a nation is in the throes of sin, everybody in the land faces the same dire consequences. The good thing is, those who keep their eyes on the Lord will see His banner “the truth” and refuse to cave in to the world’s pressures (4-5). The world and everything in it belong to the Lord G_d and because we belong to Him, He knows what it will take to rescue us from the messes we are in (9-12).
Ecclesiastes 10 – A Little Foolishness. The relationship between Israel and the Lord G_d was founded upon Abraham’s faith. From this fledgling faith, a nation started off with two people and grew through a process of time. In the same way, the combined nation Israel was the work and faith of David the 2nd king of Israel/Judah. Along the way, the seems of the nation came apart by a “Little Foolishness”. Of course, at the root of Israel’s problem just like in our lives, the story of our failures was just a little foolishness that grew over time. The seeds of “foolishness” are engrained in the heart of mankind from the first man, Adam. The Teacher is putting these “seeds” on display for his students so that they would understand why “we should never act on foolishness” (1-3). Folly and Foolishness do not impact the naive, the youth, and/or the elderly, they touch the Rich, the poor, and/or the middle-class equally (5). When you consider how the rich are living in humble quarters while the poor are living in luxury and unable to afford them (6). Better yet, when we try to lay a trap for someone and we step into it ourselves (9).
Amos 2 – Judgment on Moab, Judah, and Israel. In Psalms 60 above, we read about “this stiff-necked” people who could not fathom why the Lord had abandoned them. In this chapter, Moab, Judah, and Israel are being excoriated for their sinful behavior. Moab is about to be destroyed because of what they did to Esau’s lineage the Edomites (1-3). Judah and Israel upon hearing about the coming destruction of Moab and the destruction Egypt should have stood up and paid attention because just as the Lord destroyed the evil, so He will punish His children when they sin (4-7). No matter how big we are in the world, how well we are spoken of, or how wealthy we may become, G_d can bring us down to size (9-10, 14-16).
1 Corinthians 15:42-58 – From Death to Life. Just like it is for the plant seed, when we were born we were born into sin. What we do with that seed will greatly determine how much fruit we grow or how quickly we let it die on the package. When we let the seed, our life, die to sin, we arise in righteousness (42-44). G_d gives the choice “live for ourselves” or, “Live for Him”. While we are alive, we have the flesh of this world and suspect to shortcomings. The thing is, we cannot live with one foot in the world’s system and one in the Kingdom of G_d’s because one or the other will rise to the top in our life (50). As long as we walk in step with the world’s ways, we will always do what it says no matter what we claim. When we put our flesh to death that is, “its ways and desires” death will hold no power over us because lives will be changed sometimes by what we say and others by how we live. Death is a reality and every human being and animal on this planet has an appointment with the grave. As long as we are holding on to the reigns of our life and the riches we hold when we die all of it will be for naught and it will all be taken away from us and given to others and this is the “sting” and “Joke” that will be pulled on everyone whose heart is not in right standing with the Kingdom of G_d (54-57). For those whose lives are right standing but are enduring struggles, here is my encouragement “Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord [always doing your best and doing more than is needed], being continually aware that your labor [even to the point of exhaustion] in the Lord is not futile nor wasted [it is never without purpose] (58).