Reading #1 – Numbers 16:1-15
Reading #2 – Psalms 114
Reading #3 – Job 19
Reading #4 – Matthew 12:22-50
Reading #5 – Hebrews 9:1-14
Numbers 16:1-15 – Korah’s Rebellion. Korah, Dathan, and Abiram descendants of Levi rose up against Moses and Aaron in the same way Satan rose up against G_d (1-4, Revelations 12:7-12). Korah’s assigned position in the temple was to be the choir but he wanted more and he promised: “more” for his followers who were not aware of the price they would pay for rebellion against the Lord. Moses was the Lord’s emissary and he would have gladly yielded his position to Korah just to watch the show that would follow. To prove to Korah and his followers who was the Lord’s anointed and who was the fool, they were told to take their censers and present themselves before the Lord (5-7). The rabble-rousers refused Moses’ command because they knew what would happen when they met before the Lord (8-11). It was then that the real issue came to light “we are not going into the land flowing with milk and honey; instead, we are going to walk in circles with you in the lead” (12-15).
Psalms 114 – Tremble at the Presence of the Lord. When Israel marched out of Egypt with Moses in the lead, it was a new day for the nation. The Lord’s plan for the nation was that they would inherit Canaan just as He promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Judah would receive the throne over the nation but Israel would be the Lord’s dominion (1-2). At first, everything was in Israel’s favor including the rolling back of the Red sea (3-6). When we walk in obedience to the Lord, He will set the pathway before us and the earth will tremble in the presence of the Lord (7-8).
Job 19 – Job Replies: My Redeemer Lives. So Job’s friends had taken their best shot at him by accusing him of “sinful behavior and the subsequent reward” (1-3). The problem the three counselors had was that searching for the sins of another person can and will inflict problems in their lives. By calling Job “sinful”, the counselors were elevating themselves above Job and this is a dangerous place because the bigger the platform the further you fall (4-5, Proverbs 16:18). Job was fully convinced that something greater than that which meets the eye is at play (6-22). It is important to note that there are two players with the title “Lord”, the Lord G_d and the Lord Lucifer. In saying, “I know that my redeemer lives”, Job is echoing the truth of his heart that stands in contrast to the condition of his physical body (23-27). When the trio started to attack him, they were unaware of the pitfalls that occur in the lives of those who speak against the Lord’s anointed (28-29).
Matthew 12:22-50 – Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit. When Jesus cast out an impure spirit, the Pharisees said “it was just by the power of Beelzebub”. The problem is, Satan will never cast himself out because then he would lose his hold on the kingdom. According to an online blog, blaspheming the Holy Spirit is to continually harden your heart by refusing to see His work in your midst (22-32, ). The type of fruit that comes from our lives is up to us to cultivate. If we plant seeds of distrust, we will grow plants that are of no value and we will have a heart like the Pharisees “having a perception of G_dliness but denying the power of G_d” (33-37, 2 Timothy 3:5-7). The Pharisees asked for a sign of Jesus’ authority, Jesus said, “how about the sign of Jonah”. The three days in the belly of the beast would be the same length of time Jesus would be in Sheol. That all aside, the people of the Old Testament would have cheered for these days while the Sanhedrin was wishing that it would all go away (38-42). The man that had been cleansed from the unclean spirit would be responsible for keeping his life pure because of what would happen in due course (43-45).
Hebrews 9:1-14 – The Earthly Holy Place. The wilderness temple, as well as Solomon’s temple, were earthly models of things to come. The reason the writer mentions this is that the listener, the diaspora, needed to understand why Jesus was so important. So the writer is holding up both temples, one in each hand, and sharing how these go hand-in-hand. For nearly 900 years the nation had watched the priests sacrifice animals on the holy days and when people sinned which had to be as clear as mud (1-10). Jesus’ sacrifice paid the price of sin once for all time and he became the minister of a better covenant (11-12, Hebrews 8:6). The previous practices of their ancestors simply cleansed their conscience but did nothing to solve the eternal issue “where their soul was going to” (13-15).