Reading #1 – Exodus 33
Reading #2 – Psalms 65
Reading #3 – Proverbs 3
Reading #4 – Amos 7
Reading #5 – 2 Corinthians 4
Exodus 33 – The Journey Resumed. Israel’s journey to the “promised land” was halted because of sin. After the sin had been repented for, Moses was given the command to get the people ready to mobilize. Unfortunately, except for a limited number, the people were living one foot in the Kingdom and one foot out hence the reasoning behind being called “Stiff-necked and rebellious” (1-3). When we are confronted with sin one of two possibilities will happen, our heart will either positively or negatively respond (4-6, Romans 2:1-4). The tent of meeting was the demarcation between the world’s ways and G_d’s ways, all that came there received from the Lord. The shekinah glory of G_d was the presence of G_d in spirit form and was evidence that the G_d Moses served was not like the world. When you walk in obedience as Moses did, the prayers you will pray will be effective (7-11, James 5:16). When Moses interceded for the people, there was a concern on his mind, “if not the Lord then who”?. Remember, Moses had not been to the promised land before the journey from Egypt to the mountain so he could not possibly have known how to get there and this, I believe, frightened him. Add to this problem, the nation Israel was looking to Commander Moses for direction. To the world, Israel was just an invading army that would be no different than the tribes already present so the nation had to be unique (1 Peter 2:9-10). So, Moses prayed to see G_d’s glory (12-16). G_d honored Moses’ prayer by showing His glory. Moses could not see G_d’s face because he would die. Moses was to stand on a rock and hidden in a cleft until the Spirit of the Lord passed by and declared the Name of the Lord the “Holy Righteous Loving G_d who never abandons His children” and this was the encouragement Moses needed (17-23).
Psalms 65 – G_d’s Abundant Favor to Earth and Man. G_d made this world over many millions of years and all that He made was unique “He made them from nothing”. When you consider all that He made, one cannot but give reverence to G_d. Sin is man-made (Mike Krier) or is “synthetic” so all of the blight of the world is not because “G_d hates us”. The good news is that the same G_d who created the world, including you and I, has the rightful authority to forgive sin. By forgiving sin, it means that the “sin” will never come back to mind unless we reopen the “kettle of worms” (1-3, Hebrews 6:4-6). The one that remains faithful in and out of storms is called before the throne and is blessed (4-5). The Lord desires to give us all that we need but, in our foolishness, we tell G_d “not yet” so he waits (6-8). The thing that we need to keep in the forefront of our mind is that this planet belongs to G_d and only He knows how to protect it and what it will take to heal the land (9-13).
Proverbs 3 – The Rewards of Wisdom. Knowledge can be learned from books but Wisdom is learned by revering the Lord above the whims of the world. Without the Lord, the words of wisdom are just some “good story” or, “witty sayings” (Proverbs 1:7). Solomon is recounting the words of his father, David, to his students. The first lesson is, “Don’t forget my Teachings”. The second teaching is, “take the wisdom to heart so that your days will be blessed”. The third is, “Don’t let mercy and kindness and truth leave you” that is, “don’t forget the goodness of the Lord and apply His goodness liberally on those around you”. We can utter the words of Solomon, the prophecies of Jeremiah, Isaiah, Moses, and John to an unsuspecting world and accomplish nothing because, if these words are not alive and breathing in and through you, it will do the world no good (1-6).
Amos 7 – Warning Through Visions. Amos stood in intercession for the nation although the nation did not deserve it. The Lord had determined the destruction of Israel so it didn’t matter how it was destroyed. Amos stood between Heaven and Earth so, in the palm of his hand stood the power to intercede or allow the destruction to push through unchallenged. Like David, though, Amos had to choose and by default, the third plan was enacted (7-8). The “plumb-line” is a measuring device that will show how straight a building is. If the building is not straight, it was to be destroyed and a new one built. The implication is that the covenant that was made would be destroyed and a new one erected (9). What Amos had to say was not popular nor was it accepted because his words were like nails on the back of a chalkboard. Amaziah the priest was sent to tell Amos to “move along this is Bethel” or the place where Jacob stopped and built an altar to G_d (Genesis 28:10-22, Genesis 33:17). The problem was that the famous landmark and home of Royalty dating back to Jeroboam was also the place of the famous “golden calf” (10-13, Psalms 106:19-23). What Amaziah heard next ought to have made his blood boil because his wife would be reduced to prostitution and his lineage would be destroyed (17-18).
2 Corinthians 4 – Paul’s Apostolic Ministry. Paul’s ministry was not without challenges, troubles, and trials. To the Sanhedrin, Paul was an “enemy of the state” and an enemy to all that worshipped under the Pharisees. Paul had a choice though, to surrender to the “status quo” or rise above it by living by G_d’s principles and commands (1-2). To the world, Paul’s teachings were absolute “gibberish” because the message was 180 degrees out of sync with the world’s reality (3-6). Just because the world thought Paul’s message was non-sense was no reason to surrender his post (7-12). The Spirit Paul is talking about is nothing new in fact, it is as old as time itself and the purpose of the Spirit is to call people from sin into life (13-15). For the struggling church at Corinth, this was a breath of fresh air because it spoke in the face of the diabolical acts done by the Devil to destroy the church if it would only wake up and listen. It is true that “sin endures for a night” but joy comes in the morning (16-18, Psalms 30:4-5).