Bible Readings 1/1/2022

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 13:1-5

Reading #2 – Psalms 25:19-22

Reading #3 – Lamentations 3:10-24

Reading #4 – John 8

Reading #5 – 1 Samuel 2:1-8


Deuteronomy 13:1-5 – The False Prophet or Dreamer. Then, as it is now, any time there is a movement of the Lord, people will flock to it especially when a miracle occurs. In the same way, false prophets and dreamers rise up to claim to be “An agent of the Lord G-d” and people will follow this person to be a “member of the flock”. The danger is that this “member of the flock” will be led to their demise just like the Jonestown Massacre (Jonestown). The 900LB gorilla in the room is, “which Lord is Lord of their life?” (1-3[MK1] ). Before the exodus, Moses performed miracles in the court of Pharaoh but the priests were able to replicate the miracle the staff that was turned into a snake and the water that was changed to blood (Exodus 7:22-25[MK2] ). When we set our heart on walking in Jesus’ path, we can expect to be tested and the easiest test to fail is the person we listen to. When Moses first presented himself before Pharaoh he said, “Thus sayeth the Lord ‘Let my people go that they may worship me”. Pharoah turned that argument around by showing Moses just who is “Lord and Master” and who is the “mythical G-d of the lazy” (Exodus 5:8-9[MK3] ). These people, like the Pharaoh who had a G-d complex, were to be ended so that their influence would not cause problems for the whole community (4-5, Matthew 16:6-11[MK4] ). Today, we cannot throw rocks at people to kill them, it is against the law. However, we are still responsible for who and what we listen to so that the leaven of our lives is not corrupted.

Psalms 25:19-22 – Teach Me Your Paths. How we conduct the affairs of our lives, will be a direct reflection of the outcome. When we ask for G-d’s hedge of protection, we need to be sure that we are doing what is right in His sight. Sin is enticing and it plays upon our perceived needs, wants, and lusts (1 Corinthians 10:6-11[MK5] ). Of course, we can become deluded and think that our integrity is bulletproof and have a strong sense of self-righteousness. When we talk with fellow Christians and those who have not declared faith, we may come across as having our act together; but when we stand before the Lord, all of that pretense falls away like the example of Nicodemus (John 3:1-3[MK6] ). When we ask the Lord to teach us and guide us, we must be prepared to go to put our thinking cap on (19-22[MK7] ).

Lamentations 3:10-24 – Great Is Your Faithfulness. When the people set foot on the new land across the Jordan river, it was a new day. The people were finally entering the beloved “Promised land” sort of like how we started a New Year. The problem was that a subtle yet diabolical enemy entered their camp and he slowly methodically altered the course of Israel negatively (10-15[MK8] ). The nations that allied themselves with Israel in David and Solomon’s life would become enemies of the nation because of abuse, sin, and failure to honor their promises (1 King 11:14-1 Kings 12:24[MK9] ). The thing is, the enemy will show his hand when we are at our weakest and he shows us just how weak we are like the example of Samson (16-18, Judges 16:18-24[MK10] ). We need to always keep in mind that the Lord loves us and wants to heal us but our sins keep Him at arm’s length. When we turn back to the Lord, He will meet us halfway (19-24[MK11] ).

John 8:12-18 – I Am the Light of the World. By saying “I Am”, Jesus is not referring to himself but to the Father who sent him (12-13, Exodus 3:13-14[MK12] ). The Pharisees and scribes could not see beyond the flesh to the heart of the Father because their hearts were darkened by sin. Jesus did not come to hold court over the world, he came to forgive sin and restore the relationship with the Father. Jesus’ mission, just like Moses’, was to get the people released from the death hold of slavery. The problem is that Jesus’ opposition, just Moses, was a small fraction of the nation Israel did not want to surrender their positions of power (14-18, John 1:1-5, John 11:47-50[MK13] ).

1 Samuel 2:1-8 – Hannah’s Prayer. Peninah, which means “Pearl”, is an example of the world’s modicum of operation. Hannah, which means “Favor”. Hannah approached the Lord for a child to raise and then she waited patiently and prayed continuously for it. Hannah was favored because of her willingness to petition the throne of G-d, vowed that she would give the child to the Lord, and then did it. The joy this woman had deep in her heart could not be taken away even by the snubbing of Peninah (1[MK14] ). Because of Samuel, Hannah would never doubt the Lord’s promises (2[MK15] ). Although Peninah may have had the most children, she had the least joy and the least peace. Hannah would have other children after Samuel just like Mary had other children after Jesus yet (Mary’s Family), the greatest gift Hannah received was that she would never be forlorn or at a loss (3-5[MK16] ).

 [MK1]If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other G-ds,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your G-d is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 13:1-3

 [MK2]But the magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts and enchantments; so Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said. Then Pharaoh turned and went into his house, and he did not take even this [divine sign] to heart. So all the Egyptians dug near the river for water to drink, because they could not drink the water of the Nile. Seven days passed after the LORD had struck the Nile. Exodus 7:22-25

 [MK3]But the number of bricks which they were making before, you shall [still] require of them; you are not to reduce it in the least. For they are idle and lazy; that is why they cry, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our G-d.’ Let labor be heavier on the men, and let them work [hard] at it so that they will pay no attention to [their G-d’s] lying words.” Exodus 5:8-9

 [MK4]You shall walk after the LORD your G-d and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the LORD your G-d, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the LORD your G-d commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. Deuteronomy 13:4-5

Jesus said to them, “Watch out and be on your guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” They began to discuss this among themselves, saying, “He said that because we did not bring bread.” But Jesus, aware of this, said, “You men of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves that you have no bread? Do you still not understand or remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you picked up? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many large baskets you picked up? How is it that you fail to understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Matthew 16:6-11

 [MK5]Now these things [the warnings and admonitions] took place as examples for us so that we would not crave evil things as they did. Do not be worshipers of handmade G-ds, as some of them were; just as it is written [in Scripture], “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK [after sacrificing to the golden calf at Horeb], AND STOOD UP TO PLAY [indulging in immoral activities].” We must not indulge in [nor tolerate] sexual immorality, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand [suddenly] fell [dead] in a single day! We must not tempt the Lord [that is, test His patience, question His purpose or exploit His goodness], as some of them did—and they were killed by serpents. And do not murmur [in unwarranted discontent], as some of them did—and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example and warning [to us]; they were written for our instruction [to admonish and equip us], upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 1 Corinthians 10:6-11

 [MK6]Now there was a certain man among the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler (member of the Sanhedrin) among the Jews, who came to Jesus at night and said to Him, “Rabbi (Teacher), we know [without any doubt] that You have come from G-d as a teacher; for no one can do these signs [these wonders, these attesting miracles] that You do unless G-d is with him.” Jesus answered him, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless a person is born again [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified], he cannot [ever] see and experience the kingdom of G-d.” John 3:1-3

 [MK7]Consider how many are my foes,
and with what violent hatred they hate me.
Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.
Redeem Israel, O G-d,
out of all his troubles. Psalms 25:19-22

 [MK8]He is a bear lying in wait for me,
a lion in hiding;
he turned aside my steps and tore me to pieces;
he has made me desolate;
he bent his bow and set me
as a target for his arrow.
He drove into my kidneys
the arrows of his quiver;
I have become the laughingstock of all peoples,
the object of their taunts all day long.
He has filled me with bitterness;
he has sated me with wormwood. Lamentations 3:10-15

 [MK9]Recap – During Solomon’s slow decline into sin, old enemies came back into play. Anytime we think we are invincible because we have had a lengthy period of carefree living, we need to be aware that failure is one step from happening.

 [MK10]He has made my teeth grind on gravel,
and made me cower in ashes;
my soul is bereft of peace;
I have forgotten what happiness is;
so I say, “My endurance has perished;
so has my hope from the LORD.” Lamentations 3:16-18

Then Delilah realized that he had told her everything in his heart, so she sent and called for the Philistine lords, saying, “Come up this once, because he has told me everything in his heart.” Then the Philistine lords came up to her and brought the money [they had promised] in their hands. She made Samson sleep on her knees, and she called a man and had him shave off the seven braids of his head. Then she began to abuse Samson, and his strength left him. She said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as I have time after time and shake myself free.” For Samson did not know that the LORD had departed from him. Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with [two] bronze chains; and he was forced to be a grinder [of grain into flour at the mill] in the prison. But the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaved off.
Now the Philistine lords gathered together to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their G-d, and to celebrate, for they said,
“Our G-d has given Samson our enemy into our hands!”
When the people saw Samson, they praised their G-d, for they said,
“Our G-d has handed over our enemy to us,
The ravager of our country,
Who has killed many of us.” Judges 16:18-24

 [MK11]Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 3:19-24

 [MK12]gain Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” John 8:12-13

Then Moses said to G-d, “Behold when I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The G-d of your fathers (ancestors) has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” G-d said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “You shall say this to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” Exodus 3:13-14

 [MK13]Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. In your Law, it is written that the testimony of two people is true. I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” John 8:14-18

In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with G-d, and the Word was G-d Himself. He was [continually existing] in the beginning [co-eternally] with G-d. All things were made and came into existence through Him, and without Him, not even one thing was made that has come into being. In Him was life [and the power to bestow life], and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand it or overpower it or appropriate it or absorb it [and is unreceptive to it]. John 1:1-5

So the chief priests and Pharisees convened a council [of the leaders in Israel], and said, “What are we doing? For this man performs many signs (attesting miracles). If we let Him go on like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our [holy] place (the temple) and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was the high priest that year [the year of Christ’s crucifixion], said to them, “You know nothing at all! Nor do you understand that it is expedient and politically advantageous for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” John 11:47-50

 [MK14]And Hannah prayed and said,
“My heart exults in the LORD;
my horn is exalted in the LORD.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation. 1 Samuel 2:1

 [MK15]There is none holy like the LORD:
for there is none besides you;
there is no rock like our G-d. 1 Samuel 2:2

 [MK16]Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the LORD is a G-d of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble bind on strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
The barren has borne seven,
but she who has many children is forlorn. 1 Samuel 2:3-5

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