Reading #1 – Exodus 36
Reading #2 – Psalms 68
Reading #3 – Proverbs 6
Reading #4 – Obadiah 1
Reading #5 – 2 Corinthians 7
Exodus 36 – The Tabernacle Underwritten. Bezalel and Ohliab were gifted artisans who were called by G_d to build the Tabernacle and train others in the process. What struck me the most was how these two men compared to Solomon. These men put their talents to use and not just talk about their skillsets. Solomon, on the other hand, asked for wisdom and knowledge on how to lead the people but didn’t employ it in his life as you’ll see in the chapters about his life (1-2, 1 Chronicles 2:9-10). The Tabernacle was to be constructed according to the Lord’s design. When the people were invited to support the construction by donating the supplies and time, people gave more than was needed and would have gladly continued. At one point, though, the workers had to ask Moses to request the people “to stop giving because they had more than enough” (3-7). Everything in the temple was built for functionality that is, it had a purpose and use. The construction was a community project so everyone in the community had a play in it.
Psalms 68 – G_d of Sinai and of the Sanctuary. When the Lord G_d is “G_d” over the sanctuary of our heart, the weapons used against us, the enemy that opposes us, and fears that gripped our life will fall away and that which was forged against us will lose strength (1-2, Psalms 110:1, Isaiah 54:16-17). But what does the Lord want from us in return? He wants to serve Him with a grateful heart, by allowing the direction of His heart to lead us in the pathway, and to honor Him with our whole heart (3-4, Micah 6:6-8). What the Lord G_d becomes Lord not just of our church but of our life, family, and community, we will not be ashamed of allowing Him into our life (5-9, Psalms 126:4-6, Romans 10:11). When we try to tell the world all about this Jesus character without him being Lord of our life, we will struggle immensely and this spills out in our battle against the Devil. Similarly, when our life is not in submission to the Lord with our sins covered in the blood, they will be found out primarily because the Devil will tell you when you least expect it (10-14, Acts 19:14-16). The Lord is a Mighty G_d who has, can, and always will lead His children in victory in any and all battles he/she may face (15-18). Whatever trouble that may confront our lives, if we can but trust Him through the process, He will lead us through storms though we may not see it (19-23). Because we have not been around for all of the years of mankind’s walk on earth, we have the Word of the Lord that depicts in short form the rise and fall of mankind, how men/women who have gone before us have tripped over the “cornerstone”, and how even a foolish man like David was still loved despite his failings (24-27). The only power we are given is “control over our life, passions, and temptations”. The world will not like what we do but cannot argue over results (28-30). We may not understand what the Lord is doing in our life so we need to praise Him and trust Him even if the world appears to be collapsing around us (31-35).
Proverbs 6 – Parental Counsel. One of the most important things about mankind (both male and female) is that they are prone to getting into trouble (Job 14:1). It is for this reason, I believe, that we have stories about David’s epic failure, Solomon’s pride and arrogance, and the rise and fall of kingdoms so that we can see what happens when a person takes an innocuous right/left turn. It is also for this reason that Teacher Solomon is advising his sons to take active steps to get out of trouble and to do so without delay (1-5). Remember, our enemy the Devil never stops working against you until the day you go home to the Lord for that reason, we need to always be on our toes, to be faithful to the Lord, and maintain humility (1 Peter 5:8).
Obadiah 1 – Edom Will Be Humbled. There is an important part of the G_d we serve and that is, “no one gets away with sin” (1-2). Edom was laughing at Israel’s demise not knowing the hour of their judgment. Although they had homes in the clefts of the mountain which should have provided protection from attack, the kingdom was eventually decimated in the 6th century BC by the Babylonian armies (3-6). Although Edom had many allies, they would all abandon her in her hour of need just like that which happened to Israel/Judah (7-9). Edom’s 1st king was Esau the firstborn son of Isaac and Rebecca. When Jacob and Rebecca caused problems for Esau without apologizing for their actions and making it right with Esau, a lifetime battle was started between the two boys; this was most likely the impetus for Solomon to warn his sons about taking immediate steps to rectify a wrong that the young man might commit (Proverbs 6:1-5). Despite what Jacob had done to Esau, the destruction of Edom was the result of the sinful practices of the nation (10-14). Herod the Great and Herod Agrippa were direct descendants of Esau (Acts 12:19). In the second half of Obadiah, we read about “the Day of the Lord” or the time of the Messianic Kingdom (15-21).
2 Corinthians 7 – Paul Reveals His Heart. When it comes to our response to G_d’s correction, it should be our goal to make things right by clearing away the contamination of our life. While Paul’s letters to Corinth may seem rather harsh judgmental, he had a purpose for striking the tone because sin destroys every good thing in our life (1). Paul had invested a tremendous part of his time to plant and develop the church at Corinth and was not willing to stand idly by and see it implode. These people at Corinth were Paul’s students and children who dearly loved and would gladly die for them (2-4). As parents when we have to discipline our children, it isn’t easy because our actions and words may come across as “I hate you” when it could be the furthest thing from our minds. When Titus came to meet with Paul to talk about the good work being done in the church and how Paul’s letter was the medicine the church desperately needed, it was the encouragement that Paul needed at that time (5-11). The letter was a form of love just like a sincere conversation to your children by not pulling any punches (12-13). In scripture, there is a verse “wisdom is proved right by her actions” (Matthew 11:19) and this is particularly true in Paul’s dealing with Corinth because the outcome justified the means (14-16).