Reading #1 – Leviticus 13
Reading #2 – Psalms 84
Reading #3 – Proverbs 23
Reading #4 – Habakuk 3
Reading #5 – Ephesians 6
Leviticus 13 – Testing for Leprosy. Leprosy is a skin infection that spreads rapidly. Because the nation was as large as it was and in as close confinement as they were, measures had to be implemented to curtail the infection from affecting the entire nation. The priests were tasked with inspecting all cases to see if it was leprosy or a mere rash; if it was leprosy, the individual or family was excluded from the assembly; if it was just a rash, the person was considered “clean” and was not prohibited from the assembly. Remember, there were no doctors at this time so the only recourse was to isolate people. Once the rash had cleared, the person had to shave his/her hair, and then they could return to the assembly.
Psalms 84 – Longing for the Temple Worship. Worshipping in Solomon’s Temple was the heart of the nation. When the people could no longer worship in the Temple, it created a chasm in the individual’s life (1-3). Somehow or another, this individual had quit attending the Temple and as he thought on the people still attending, how blessed the people were who never abandoned the Temple (4-7). Although the world has so much to offer, there is nothing in it compared to the presence of the Lord (8-10). The world will never shield you from the destruction it has in mind for the person who falls into its trap. The Lord, on the other hand, will watch over His children in good times and bad times (11-12).
Proverbs 23 – On Life and Conduct. Garnering wealth is the desire of mankind and it is the impetus for working longer than he/she needs to and it is also the cause of mental health issues. For this reason, the writer admonishes the listener to not look upon wealth because greed will pull you in multiple pathways (4-5). Wealth is likened to a carrot that stands out in front of you to compel you to follow it not knowing where the holder of the carrot is leading you to.
Habakkuk 3 – G_d’s Salvation of His People. This is an eye-opening prayer for the nation Israel who was enduring a time of great persecution. After hearing what the Lord had to say to the Prophet and His plans for His people, the weight of persecution fell off the shoulders of the listeners (2). In its history, the nation witnessed the rise and fall of Egypt, the exodus from Egypt, and struggles in between, and the pathway of the Lord always shined greatest in times of persecution (3-6). Because the rivers were parted and the rain devastated the earth didn’t mean G_d was angry with the rivers, earth, and waters rather, a pathway was made for G_d’s children so that they could leave the bondage they were enduring (8-10, Luke 3:4-6). The thing is, deliverance from the bondage to Babylon would take time and Habakkuk would not see that day but like Abraham, he believed G_d and had faith that He would work all things for the good (16-19, Hebrews 11:6).
Ephesians 6 – Family Relationships. We hear a lot from the word about “Salvation of the righteous” but we little understand the complexity and the work required on our part. The Devil hates the family because, when the family is united as one, he is given no room to operate and will leave (James 4:7). The thing is, the battle with the Devil requires everybody’s involvement and cooperation, not just the one person seeking peace (1-9). Because the Lord knows that mankind operating on his/her strength will never outwit the Devil unless they put on the whole armor of G_d (10-11). When trouble arises in our homes, communities, and churches, we must understand that our battle is not against the individual but against the noise of the enemy (12-13). To fight the good fight, we must know the truth and that is, having strong moral courage and unbreakable integrity (14). We must know the Word of G_d that is, to the difference between what G_d is saying and what the Devil is saying (15). The shield of faith (16) is a defense against the Devil’s flaming arrows. We must protect our minds against the deceitful attempts of the Devil. The Sword of the Spirit is the Word which is our guiding principle and the answer to why we are not affected by the influence of the world (17). Prayer must be an integral part of the fabric of our lives or we will not succeed in the mission He has for us (18-19).