Reading #1 – Exodus 29
Reading #2 – Psalms 61
Reading #3 – Ecclesiastes 11
Reading #4 – Amos 3
Reading #5 – 1 Corinthians 16
Exodus 29 – Consecration of the Priests. The word “consecration” means to be set aside of a person or thing for the service of G_d. Aaron and his sons were ordained as priests in the service of the Almighty or “Ha Shem Adonai”. The writer does not explain the importance of the specific number of animals, types of unleavened bread, oil, or wheat flour because the Holy Spirit never explained it, He simply said “do it” (1-3). Before Aaron and his sons could put on their priestly garments, they had to wash with water at the tent of the meeting (4). Moses was tasked with dressing his brother and his nephews in priestly garments (5-6). The “holy crown” was the pure gold plate with the inscription “Holy to the Lord” (Exodus 28:36). Aaron was anointed with oil which signified that Aaron was G_d’s specific agent or the “High priest” (7). The laying of hands on the animal, according to commentary, transposed the sin onto the bull and the animal was sacrificed (Zondervan commentary notes). The blood of the animal was poured out at the base of the altar which signified the animal’s death and the penalty was paid (19-20). The “wave offering” was an up and down movement or an “undulation”; the meat once, burnt, was given to the priests to eat (24-25, Zondervan notes). The meat from the second ram was also a wave offering and the meat was given to Moses as his portion (26). The peace offering or, “free-will offering” was a gift from the individual tribes for the service of the altar and was in addition to their normal offerings. The breast was heaved (side to side motion) before the Lord and the meat was burnt. Once the meat was burnt, it was given to the priests as their perpetual share (27-28).
Psalms 61 – Confidence in G_d’s Protection. When we walk in obedience to G_d, we develop confidence and faith in Him. So when troubles come our way, this “confidence” will calm our fears and quell our doubts (1-2). When we go through trials and remain faithful, we see how G_d moves in our life and makes even the most horrid things work for His glory. These events solidify our faith in Him and help us to hold on to His hand in all situations (3-4). We show our love and reverence for Him by the way we conduct our lives and honor our vows that we made before we were in trouble (5, Ecclesiastes 5:4). “Immortality” or “eternal life” is not just for the “sweet by and by” but for how people feed on our faithfulness and grow in faith to the Eternal G_d (6-7). It should be the desire of our hearts to live for Him all of the days of our life (8).
Ecclesiastes 11 – Cast Your Bread on the Waters. G_d’s word calls us to be active participants in our lives by making and acting on our decisions. While not every decision we make will turn out the way we expected, as long as the decisions we make are in line with G_d’s laws and precepts, He will always turn it for His glory (1-2). One of the easiest things we can do is “give an excuse” why we can’t do ____ or why it isn’t the right time (3-5). No one is immune from “dark days” or “days of trouble and trial” but, it should never be the catalyst that holds us in place rather, it should be fuel to propel us to move on and grow up in Him (7-8).
Amos 3 – All the Families Are Guilty. Israel was led out of slavery from Egypt, cared for, provided for, and healed. The nation loved the term “children of G_d” or “chosen ones” yet by their actions, have said, “I want to do it my way”. Unfortunately, the nation’s leadership promised them “good tidings” when the Lord promised “judgment” (1-2). Just as two people cannot walk in agreement with one of them backstabbing the other, so mankind cannot walk in obedience to G_d and yet walk in disobedience. Israel, just like you and I, rightly deserve judgment when we disobey G_d (3-5). The thing is, no one on this planet can say “I didn’t know” because His word has never changed and “sin” is still “sin” even if we disagree (6-8). When we sin, destruction always comes because of the consequences. The nation had said, “I want to be like all of the rest of the world” only to find out that the nations they wanted to emulate would be the same ones that would descend upon them (9-12). When the destruction came, everything would be taken, and everything would be destroyed (13-15). Sin is a predator because it lulls its prey to sleep by making the prey comfortable, takes what does not belong to it, kills the innocent, and makes the temple unusable (Mike Krier).
1 Corinthians 16 – Paul had directed that the churches give a donation for Jerusalem. Each person was to give as they had purposed in their hearts and in keeping with their prosperity. The donation would be couriered by Paul (1-4). The conclusion to this letter encouraged the people to remain faithful and strong in His precepts, to do everything in love, and that included giving donations, which is motivated by Lord’s example (13-14, 21-24). At that time, people came from various backgrounds and nationalities. Timothy, as an example, was from Asia minor, his mother was Jewish, his father was Greek but he was a child of the Kingdom and Paul encouraged the church to accept him in the faith, to be cordial with him, and just as they had done for Paul (15-18).