Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 17:14-20
Reading #2 – Psalms 32
Reading #3 – Proverbs 3:1-12
Reading #4 – Acts 1:12-26
Reading #5 – 1 Samuel 8:10-22
Deuteronomy 17:14-20 – Laws for Israel’s King. Israel was entering a new arena in the life of their nation. For 400+ years the nation languished in slavery to Egypt. When the nation left Egypt 120,000+ marched out. When the nation entered Egypt during the drought, 70 people in all moved into Goshen (Genesis 46:26). So, the nation never had the luxury of being considered a nation much less appointing a King. The thing is, electing a king just like living in G-d’s land required the occupants to listen and obey the Lord for good reason. The man chosen to lead the nation must be native-born and in good standing (14-15). The king was to write a copy of the law that he would read all of the days of his reign (18-20). When came to horses, wives, excessive amounts of gold and silver, and horses nor was he to send people back to acquire more horses from Egypt (16-17). When you read this section, if you are like me, it screams “Solomon” as we will find out later in 1st Kings.
Psalms 32 – Blessed Are the Forgiven. Having your sins forgiven releases the guilt that you have felt, breaks down walls, and barricades that kill relationships. The caveat to “confession and forgiveness” is “complete honesty” (1-2). When we harbor sin in our hearts, we tend to avoid the person we have offended. The Devil’s minions will cleverly convince us to justify our sin(s) which adds poison to an already toxic issue (3-4). When we acknowledge our sins, the Lord will forgive whatever it is that we have done providing we do not lie to Him (5). When we offend the Lord, the Holy Spirit, and the Father, the time to reconcile is immediately after we have sinned or we will find excuses for our actions and why we were not forthcoming. The Lord is our Hiding place when we have offended Him, that hiding place is stripped away like the case of Adam and Eve. Yes, there will be consequences for our actions (6-7, Genesis 3). Dealing with sin is one of the Lord’s many specialties. When we have hurt other people, go to him first and he will direct the course that you should follow like the case of Onesimus (8-11, Philemon 1:10-16).
Proverbs 3:1-12 – Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart. The reason the Word of G-d is in print and online is so that we will read it. The reason we are admonished to “keep his commandments” was that we would have peace and joy in our lives. Sin, on the other hand, strips away the presence of the Holy Spirit so that we have nothing left to fight with and no hope to carry us through the storms of life (1-2). As a child of the King, we are to write his laws on the tablet of our hearts so that we will know with absolute assurance the right path to follow and, by proxy, we will also find favor and good success in the eyes of mankind and G-d (3-4). While His laws may seem “archaic”, they are as vibrant and powerful as the day they were written. Those who follow his law are never ashamed for doing so, families have been restored, and nations united (5-8). If we want true prosperity, we need to be obedient to what He has provided (9-10). Yes, we will be disciplined and we may not like it any more than a son enjoys having his Dad correct him or reprove him (11-12).
Acts 1:12-26 – Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas. After the ascension, the disciples returned to Jerusalem just as they had been told. The first order of business was to find a suitable replacement for Judas. Replacing a leader is a matter of prayer accompanied and fasting. So, two men were selected as candidates Matthias and Justas. The qualification for being considered was that the person had to be with the 12 from the first day of Jesus’ ministry. The lot was cast and Matthias was chosen. The thing that the disciples needed to keep in the forefront of their minds was, “what disqualified Judas?” being told the truth would keep them from trouble (12-26).
1 Samuel 8:10-22 – Samuel’s Warning Against the Kings. What Samuel had to tell the people what “this king” would be like was ignored. Earlier we read about the requirements for the king which meant, the Lord knew it would happen. The reason why the people received this harsh rebuke was, “They demanded a king like all of the other nations”. The kings that ruled the surrounding nations were not good men in the caliber of David, they were ruthless, selfish, arrogant, and had no compunction about stealing to fill their bellies. These people would be ruled by a tyrant (10-13). The fields and land that were given as an inheritance would be taken away from them and given to people who did not work for it. These men, their families, and their children’s families would be slaves in the Kingdom. The difference between this time and the exodus would be that the Lord would not listen to their cries, complaints, or whining – basically, He would turn a deaf ear (14-18).