Reading #1 – Exodus 35
Reading #2 – Psalms 67
Reading #3 – Proverbs 5
Reading #4 – Amos 9
Reading #5 – 2 Corinthians 6
Exodus 35 – The Sabbath and the Temple. The Sabbath or “day of rest” was a time set aside for the people to rest that is, “no work was to be done” (2-3). The offering that was directed by the Lord asked “anybody whose heart is moved” so, it was not compulsory (20-29). The articles requested were for the Holy place and the Holy of Holies. Everything that was requested would be put to use and nothing would be wasted (4-9). Everybody who had a skill or talent was invited to work on the project. Two men were pointed out specifically because of the unique gifts they possessed and these men would train others sort of like an apprenticeship (30-35).
Psalms 67 – The Nations Exhorted to Praise G_d. When we are obedient to our Lord King’s call upon our life, our hearts will overflow in willingness to serve, and kindhearted to bless (1-2). For “all people to praise the Lord” and “for every knee to bow”, it all begins in the confines of G_d’s people (3-6, Romans 14:11). For the earth to yield its harvest, peace must be on the earth not as the world gives it but as the Lord approves it (6-7, John 14:27).
Proverbs 5 – Pitfalls of Immorality. One of the hardest things to get through our hard heads is that G_d’s commands and precepts boil down to two key factors: obedience and faithfulness. There are things we are admonished to do that would seem to be non-sensical. The prostitute mentioned (1-6) is setting a trap that most people will not catch onto until it is too late. The Lord’s goal is not to make us “perfect examples” but to get us to see the trap for what it is and not step into it. The prostitute’s weapons are a smile and an enticing body for which many see as “she or he loves me” and will miss her/his diabolical plan for your life, your home, and your community. The thing is, we too have weapons and one of them happens to be a smile and an open hand that will lead that person from his/her pathway to the eternal pathway; kindness is the key to unlocking a hardened heart.
Amos 9 – G_d’s Judgment Unavoidable. The nation Israel was being hurdled towards a time of great calamity and there was no safe place to go to (). The disobedience of the nation had become a stench in G_d’s nostrils. The Lord had rescued them from Egypt’s whip”, provided for them along their journey, and gave them lands they did not work for (). The thing is, just like it is the present-day world, not everybody in the nation was given to pagan worship nor had they bowed a knee to Baal (7-8, 1 Kings 19:18). Israel because of their sinful ways caused nations that once supported them to become part of the insurgency. The same Lord who leads the nation of Egypt would be the same G_d who would command its destruction and the reason is, He’d rather destroy than give his people over to the Devil (9-10).
2 Corinthians 6 – Their Ministry Commended. Paul is speaking about the problems the church at Corinth was experiencing. Receiving G_d’s grace and not changing the course of your life makes His promises null and void or “receiving it in vain” (). To G_d, the present-time is His time of favor and the best time to get things right before Him (2). Because Paul was a faithful servant, made it his life’s mission to minister the word of G_d without obstructions, pitfalls, and/or skeletons in the closet (3-10); because he ordered his life this way, he demanded it of his preachers, teachers, and the people within the church (11-13). The notion to be “unequally bound” implies connecting two different animals and making them work together; no matter how fast or tall the one animal is, the team will always be negatively affected by the slowest animal. In the same way, when two people forge a friendship if one is a born-again Bible-believing Christian and the other is not, they will be unable to minister to each other or lift each other up (14-16). While this sounds like I am saying “avoid the world at all costs”, you can minister to the world but do not let the world impact your life negatively. When we walk in obedience to the Lord, He walks with us, ministers to our needs, opens doors that we never thought possible, and brings great joy into our life. The world will always have its “community fairs” to entice us but it is our responsibility to always be obedient and faithful in all things (17-18).