Reading #1 – Exodus 40
Reading #2 – Psalms 72
Reading #3 – Proverbs 10
Reading #4 – Jonah 4
Reading #5 – 2 Corinthians 11
Exodus 40 – Tabernacle Erected. In the 2nd year after leaving Egypt, the tabernacle was erected. What is interesting is the timing of the tabernacle being erected and that is in the first month of spring at the time of the barley harvest or the time of the “first fruits” (1-2). The of our life is a heart that beats for the Lord. In the same way, the first fruit of the nation was the tabernacle, or the place accessed only by the High Priest once a year on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:2, Hebrews 9:7). The bread of the presence or “shewbread” was the symbolic acknowledgment that the Lord G_d is the giver of life and nourishment. The lighting of the Menorah candle was to provide light for the Priests to perform their assigned task without the light, the Tabernacle would be a dark place (3-4, Revelations 2:5). The golden altar of incense which was placed in front of the veil was symbolic of prayer (). The bronze altar of sacrifice was the place where the priests would sacrifice an animal to atone for the sins of the nation and of the priests it was placed outside of the Tabernacle (6). The basin for washing was placed between the bronze altar and the Tent of Meeting it was where the priests would wash before entering the tent (7). Once everything was in place, it was to be anointed with the special mixture of oil to consecrate or, “set aside as a special place” and separated the secular (9-11). The Priests were then dressed in their garments and anointed for service to the Lord (12-15). The last thing that was done was to erect the Tabernacle, place the 10 commandments in the ark of the covenant (29-33). Once all of this work was completed and the Tabernacle was ready for service, the Glory of G_d which guided the people from Egypt to the mountain fell upon the Tabernacle. Until the Glory of G_d moved, the people did not move one step (34-38).
Psalms 72 – The Reign of the Righteous King. This would be David’s last Psalm and it was written to honor the new King Solomon or Jedidiah (2 Samuel 12:25). David’s hope for Solomon was that he would honor and serve the Lord G_d faithfully, provide justice for the people, and live his life to please the Lord (1-2). David’s prayer that went up like incense to the Lord would come down to Solomon doing his part by living a righteous and sanctified life (3-5). David understood that ruling the kingdom could not be done simply by having wisdom it had to be done by the power of the Living G_d operating in the life of the King flowing into the people (6-11). Only when the King operated under his G_d given calling, could he accomplish anything for anyone (12-15). When the king lived obedient to the Lord G_d, the blessings flowed down on the kingdom conversely, when the king was not obedient, the people would not be obedient and the nation would not be blessed (16-17). All praise belongs rightfully to the Lord G_d as Solomon was but a servant and all the authority he possessed came from G_d and it could be taken away from him when he became disobedient (18-19).
Proverbs 10 – Contrast the Righteous and the Wicked. David’s prayer for Solomon (Psalms 72) speaks volumes about the benefits of living a righteous life. The problem is, although we desire all of G_d’s best for our lives and that of our families, we contend with the world’s examples and become hamstrung because of sin. Wisdom’s words of admonishment portray both sides of the argument “should I live righteous or foolish” with equal but opposite outcomes. So, if our spiritual needs are not met, we will seek out anything and anyone to fulfill them but never find them and our lives will become ruined (2-3). Everything about the Kingdom, except for earning our salvation, requires work and dedication without it, we will never garner anything for our lives except to have our name written in the Lamb’s book of life which could potentially end with us (4-5). Mankind seeks to know “what am I leaving behind” or, “what is my legacy” and this applies not only to the physical but to the spiritual as well (7-8). Just like David, G_d desires more from us than a simple relationship, he wants us to be the head, not the tail but our choices will dictate how it will all play out (Mike Krier).
Jonah 4 – Jonah’s Displeasure Rebuked. So Jonah had done what was asked of him and the people properly responded. Jonah became angry because the message he spoke spurned a change in the people’s hearts and the heart of G_d. Jonah was waiting for the town to be torched but when it wasn’t, he thought that “G_d had gone soft” (1-2). To avoid being treated with contempt by the king for declaring a silly warning, Jonah wanted to be put to death which earned G_d’s ire (3-4). The illustration of the plant that grew up provided cooling shade, and died in the heart of the day points out the control that G_d has over this world and that includes the authority to exercise grace and mercy (5-11, Romans 9:15).
2 Corinthians 11 – Paul Defends His Apostleship. This “G_dly Jealousy” implies “I want all of you or none of you” like how Solomon had to judge between the two women to decide “who was the rightful mother” (1-2, 1 Kings 3:16-28). The church leadership was blindsided by false prophets who came into the church to misdirect it, cause a commotion, and then left the church to flounder (3-4). The difference between the false prophets and Paul was the motivation of the heart coupled with an agenda. Paul’s motivation was to edify the church and his agenda was to prepare it for service to the Lord Jesus by telling the truth. It is true Paul was not like Peter, John, Matthew, or Luke and he certainly did not have the gift of gab. Paul was a writing prophet and there was nothing wrong with it (5-6). The perception of the Kingdom of G_d has many viewpoints and all of them are excuses for walking away from a relationship with the Lord Jesus and this is by design (7-11, Matthew 11:16-19); the argument against Paul was designed to make it a “no-win situation”. The good thing is, the argument did not change Paul, it deflated the argument the church had (2 Corinthians 10:5). Independence is not something you get from a candy machine, it is something that is earned by hard work and the sweat of our brows. If we give in to the world’s demands, we are saying “Jesus your work on the cross was not all that beneficial” and we need to carefully consider this when we walk the paths of our life (12-13). The Devil is the great manipulator because he can make the impossible seem possible and the possible seem impossible so that the decisions we make align with his plans without one time having to tell us what to do (14-15). Paul knew who he was in Christ Jesus and was unabashedly, unashamedly, and firmly set in the Kingdom of G_d (30-33).