Reading #1 – Numbers 15:1-31
Reading #2 – Psalms 112
Reading #3 – Job 17
Reading #4 – Matthew 11
Reading #5 – Hebrews 7
Numbers 15:1-31 – Laws of Canaan. It is important to note that these laws were enacted before the nation put one step into the new land. The reason for establishing the law, I believe, is two-fold: first, the nation would scatter to the four winds second, the nation is hearing the law from Moses, not Joshua. Before conquering the land, the nation was required to hold a sacrifice as a “Thank offering” or, a “free-will offering” this is a mandatory offering so each family was required to bring an animal, wine, and grain. (2-13). Unintentional sins are often unavoidable but, when they did occur it was the Priest’s job to make atonement so that the man/woman would be forgiven; this law applied to both the native and non-native. The individual who sinned was required to bring the requisite animal to sacrifice which was incurred on behalf of the person who sinned (22-29).
Psalms 112 – Prosperity of the One Who Fears the Lord. Walking in obedience to the Lord yields long-lasting results and bears edible fruit (1-2). The man and/or woman’s children will have a strong foundation on which to build their lives. Troubles will come but they will not move the Lord’s foundation. wherever the man or woman of G_d lives and/or works there will be a light that will shine amidst the darkest rooms (3-4). The gracious individual lends without requiring interest and conducts their life with justice and equity because of this, he/she will become an example to live by (5-9). The man/woman of peace will not be liked by the individual(s) who want nothing to do with peace because they prosper in times of war (10).
Job 17 – Job’s Lament. One of the Devil’s diabolical plans is to upend or bring down the righteous man and His minions quickly to garner an audience (1-2). While Job’s situation is dire, his life is not over it only looks like it. The people who mock Job are the minions of hell’s mouth peace but, they do not understand what they are doing or who they are insulting or, how blind they are (3-5). How Job conducted his life before everything was taken away, impacted how well he would survive the storms that were now confronting him (6-9). No matter what was facing Job, he never surrendered his faith or his hope in the Lord (10-16).
Matthew 11 – Messengers from John the Baptist. Sodom and Gomorrah have been an integral part of scripture since they were destroyed (Genesis 18:20). Capernaum, which was given to the tribe of Zebulon and would be where the Hasmonean dynasty originated, saw miracles but did not repent; so, Jesus holds this city up as a contrast with Sodom and Gomorrah. Regretfully, Capernaum would cease to exist and be judged by the world for her apathy and unresponsiveness to the Lord’s mercies (23-24).
Hebrews 7 – Melchizedek’s Priesthood Like Christ’s. The name Melchizedek is mentioned 10 times throughout scripture. The goal of the writer of Hebrews was to help the diaspora to understand who this Jesus is and how his life’s story ties into Israel’s story. For this reason, I believe, that key references, like Melchizadek, Sodom, and Gomorrah, were put into the New Testament and specifically in the book of Hebrews (1-3). Like Jesus, Melchizadek had no beginning and no end that we are aware of; basically, he was born, lived a righteous life, and then he died. The thing is Melchizadek was not part of the Levitical priesthood because Levi wasn’t born yet Moses gave him a 1/10th or a tithe of the spoiled gained from war (4-10). The reason for mentioning the Levitical priesthood is that the Levites were picked by the Lord to offer the sacrifices since the time of Moses. So, for the people to accept this Jesus, there had to be some tie into the priests to be authorized to offer sacrifices or, “why the cross” (11-13). If Jesus have simply crowned the King of the Israelites but had not made peace with G_d through his sacrifice, he would have been readily accepted because of his lineage (14-25). Because the daily sacrifices could not provide steady and continual salvation, we need Jesus (26-28).