1 King 22:1-28
Matthew 7:1-12 – Judging Others. The Greek word for “judge” is “Krinnos” which has multiple meanings including, “discerning between good and bad”. We are called to use discernment in all things. To me, there is a fine line between saying “I like ..” or, “I don’t like ..” and “This tastes like slop given to a pig”. If I don’t like something, I’m not going back for more. The true intent of this passage, as I found on an online article was that it is about “judging with or without compassion” or separating out the person from the sin or action. The “Golden rule” “do unto others …” is an important part of maintaining our witness for Christ and being His disciple (Christopher John Lindsey).
Psalms 119:41-48 – Song of David. The writer’s attitude toward the law of the Lord was one of complete surrender. The Devil tries to tell us, “You are not good enough for G-d to love you after all the things you have done”. The problem is, he’s right on one level and wrong on many others. Yes we have all sinned and fallen short of G-d’s glory and it is for that reason the word “compassion” comes into play. Our motive for obedience is an integral part of our walk with the Lord. In His presence we do not need to put on an act for Him to love us nor to forgive us. Being forgiven doesn’t make the sin mysteriously disappear from the thoughts of others, it means that we have nothing hidden that will hold us bound by fear.
Proverbs 26:1-15 – Similitudes and Instructions. A “similitude” means a “likeness or direct copy”. It is from this that “allegories” are formed to express a complex idea in a form or fashion that the audience would understand. For example, when Jesus wanted to talk about Heaven, he put in the form of a story that involved “fishing” because it was a staple in that time. The whip for the horse, the halter for the donkey, and the whip for the fool are all used to direct people and keep them on target. Allowing fools to speak for us paves the way for us to be misunderstood and gets us into trouble. Like the lame person with two legs but cannot get up on them so is a proverb “which speaks wisdom”. Playing along with a fool’s notions gives them what they want, “attention”. In the same way, attempting to correct the “fools errant” only leads to an argument or a thorn that the fool would never feel – let it go.
Isaiah 61 – Exaltation of the Afflicted. The day Jesus sat in the seat of Moses and read from this chapter, he was speaking prophetically about the basis of his ministry (Luke 4:18-19). This chapter, while replicated in Jesus’ time also pointed to the return of the exiles following the 70 years. The exiles rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and the temple in record time which proved to the kings and people the power of the G-d they served. The “ancient walls” also referred to the initial intent that G-d has for mankind and that is, “freedom from fear and death” which sin interrupted. We are called to be “Priests of the Lord G-d” just as the entire nation Israel was called to be but again, sin interrupted that plan. Because animal sacrifices could not atone once in fall, until Jesus’ sacrifice of himself on the thorn infested cross or a “beam out of his own house” (Ezra 6:11-12).
1 Kings 22:1-28 – Ahab’s Third Campaign Against Aram. Ahab had been cursed by G-d because he was responsible for the death of Naboth at the hands of Jezebel. So when Ahab planned to attack Aram a third time, he would be killed. Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, came to visit, he was invited and he accepted but wanted to hear what the prophets had to say. So, Ahab invited in the prophets of Baal to foretell the outcome. Not being satisfied, Jehoshaphat wanted to hear G-d’s counsel so the prophet Micaiah was brought in and he explained why the prophets of Baal were so gung-ho about going to battle “the lying tongue”. Having heard this, Jehoshaphat should have run out of the thrown room and returned home expeditiously. When we are unrepentant, the spirit Jezebel or the “Devil” will get us comfortable to the point of complacency.