Reading #1 – Numbers 25
Reading #2 – Psalms 130
Reading #3 – Job 32
Reading #4 – Matthew 26
Reading #5 – 1 Peter 3
Numbers 25 – Baal Worship at Peor. What happened at Shittim is an inward attack called “enticement”. The Devil is the most shrewd, diabolical, and unyielding enemy any person, nation, or continent will ever face. This one comes in like a friend but leaves seeds that grow into weeds. The Moabite woman invited the men to sample their wares and then invited them to participate in their worship (1-3). What Israel was not expecting was the plague that would envelop the nation (4-5). One man, the tribal leader of the Simeonites, blatantly brought in a Midianite woman into the camp and into his tent while the remainder of Israel was weeping at the tent of the meeting (6, 14-15). Phineas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron picked up a spear and ran it through the bellies of the man and the woman which stopped the plague (7-9). Moses was given direction to harass the Midianites because they had beguiled Israel (16-18).
Psalm 130 – My Soul Waits for the Lord. Sin, just as it had at Peor, touches the inside of the heart negatively. When sin has not gotten hold of you, there is freedom, justice, and peace no matter what is going on in the world at that time. When enticement’s seed gives way to the fruit of sin, it changes our outlook, sort of like the night David spent in prayer when his child died (1-4, 2 Samuel 12:15-18). G-d forgives the “bloodguilt” that is, the thing that stands between you and Him. Overcoming sin’s grip takes as much time as the Lord G-d needs. The thing is, we have to wait for Him without expecting anything from Him and be satisfied with His forgiveness (5-8).
Job 32 – Elihu Rebukes Job’s Three Friends. Elihu had listened to Job and the three friends talk about their opinion. Job had given his defense and this offended Elihu. Elihu was a young man who believed he had all of the answers. The problem was that Job’s friends also thought they had all of the answers but could not answer Job’s questions. In the same way, when the Sanhedrin rose up to ask Jesus questions but could not answer his questions. Elihu is a case of having “Information without Wisdom” (18-22).
Matthew 26 – Plot to Kill Jesus. Jesus was a spark that the Sanhedrin wanted to “go away”. When Jesus reiterated the prophecy of his death, it moved the Sanhedrin’s timeline up and would require some scrambling. The question was, “how can we do it”? If we force him to be quiet, his message will spread quickly. If we force him to comply, he won’t. So, he had to die but how would they accomplish it? The High feast would soon occur and if they tried to kill him before on the feast, they feared that uproar would occur and they could potentially lose their exalted positions (1-5). The alabaster box, according to what I have read up on it, is a drawing stone that is, once broken it can either draw people close or repel them depending on the fragrance. In this case, the woman was drawing out repentance for what she had done and by it set Jesus in a place of honor (Alabaster Box). The problem was that Judas saw the box “as money in his pocket” (6-13). Judas had spent the past three years listening to Jesus, ministering, and had every opportunity to make things right but, greed is a monster that is never satiated; add to the mix, Judas father was a Pharisee and he taught his son well (14-16). The thing is, Jesus was not blind to what was going on in Judas’ heart and mind we are not told about any conversations between the two men because, if they did occur, they were private.
1 Peter 3 – Wives and Husbands. To have peace in the home, some things must occur that might seem untenable because it means getting off of our “High Horse”. In the course of life, it is very easy to believe that we are right and the other person is wrong yet, this leads to problems. The Devil, as I have mentioned, loves to start fights by getting his prey to think along the lines of “if only”. The thing when an angry, bitter, and upset spirit is in the house, prayers do not go up; if prayers do not go up, answers do not come down; if answers do not come down, fights prolong (1-7). In our communities and church organizations, it is much the same – where unforgiveness, bitterness, strife, and fear are, forgiveness is held hostage and along with it “Peace”. The purpose of the cross was that healing and forgiveness could happen where the Levitical offerings could only offer was temporary forgiveness (18-22).