Reading #1 – Numbers 16:41-50
Reading #2 – Psalms 117
Reading #3 – Job 21:17-26
Reading #4 – Matthew 13:24-57
Reading #5 – Hebrews 10:19-39
Numbers 16:41-50 – Korah’s Rebellion. After Korah and his band were decimated, one would think that “this Lord G_d is not one to put up with foolishness nor banding against Him”. However, not one day past the ground swallowing up the band the people grumbled against Moses and Aaron (41-45). Moses had to react quickly to prevent the destruction from wiping out what was left of the nation. By making atonement for the people, the bloodguilt was wiped away so the plague stopped which was much the same thing that happened in the time of David after the unauthorized census (48, 2 Samuel 24:15-17). The problem was that no matter how well Aaron performed his duties, 14700 people had died from the plague (49-51).
Psalms 117 – The Lord’s Faithfulness Endures Forever. It is very difficult to come to grips with the fact that G_d is faithful because we have been hurt far too many times. Yet, if we can have just a little bit of faith in Him, He will show by relevant proof that He will never leave us nor forsake us even when the odds are all uphill (1-2).
Job 21:17-26 – Job Says, “The Wicked do not Prosper”. Job has a valid argument because “if it is true that the wicked are punished, why are they still alive better yet”, “why do they live in princely mansions and enjoy the fat of the earth” or, “if punishment is laid up for their children, why doesn’t He spend it on them instead of me”? The thing is, Job isn’t complaining about his lot rather, he is answering his friend’s arguments in a roundabout way. If sin is the issue, then why don’t all of the sinners get punished, after all, G_d is Just (17-26). The problem on this earth today just as all ages past and all ages to come is that there are forces in play that we are not aware of and do not take into consideration. Job, just like David and all of mankind, had an instigator called Lucifer, Satan, or the Devil of old who went to G_d looking for a patsy to take down, and the Lord G_d said “have you considered my servant Job”. Now the Lord could have picked any one of a great number of faithful men and/or women of the time but he chose Job because He trusted that Job would pass with flying colors and Job didn’t fail Him.
Matthew 13:24-57 – The Parable of the Weeds. The topic of the Kingdom of Heaven is one of the many topics Jesus addressed by using parables. The Kingdom of Heaven is an abstract concept. If it were an earthly kingdom, people would fight tooth and nail to be part of but it isn’t (John 18:36). The thing is, the Kingdom of Heaven (KOG) is not of this earth so it doesn’t abide by earthly rules and it is for that reason why it continues through all time. So the man goes out to plant seeds but along the way some clown planted weeds in the garden. The field workers were willing to go out and yank the weeds out but were told not to (24-28). The thing is, if the good were pulled out, some of the bad might go along with them and vice versa; so, the weeds and the plant will grow up together until the end of the plant’s life, and then the fruit will be the tall-tale sign (29-30). The mustard seed or “Faith” when planted in the field of our life will grow up bigger than the seeds of hate and anger (31-33).
Hebrews 10:19-39 – The Full Assurance of Faith. We have a weapon in our arsenal that the generations before the time of Jesus did not have and that is, “we have a mediator”. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we can be assured that we can go to Him and be open and honest with Him. The generations before Jesus had a High Priest who went into the Holy of Holies once a year along with his sacrifice to make atonement (19-22). Having faith in G_d does not mean “believing that which you are told”, it is believing that because G_d made the earth, He knows what it will take to heal it. In the same way, He made you and me so He knows what it will take to heal and restore our lives. For these reasons, we need to have a little faith in Him and not be so quick to jump and run away when the first storm rolls along. Each of us has a salvation story that describes where we started from and how we got to where we are. If we walk away from Him and go live in our land of Moab, we will lose whatever ground we have gained and will return like Naomi looking like we swallowed a horseshoe upside down in our mouth (26-28). Nobody likes to be reminded what we were like when we were deep in sin because it is embarrassing and we would just as soon forget about it. The thing is, looking back on those days helps us to garner the strength to face the current day’s struggles and will find a renewed strength to fight the battles that are confronting us (32-36).