Daily Bible Reading 12/30/2021

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 12:29-32

Reading #2 – Psalms 25:11-18

Reading #3 – Lamentations 3:1-9

Reading #4 – John 7

Reading #5 – 1 Samuel 1:21-28

Notes

Deuteronomy 12:29-32 – Warning Against Idolatry. Idolatry is the practice of extreme admiration of an item as though it were G-d. In Abrahamic religion, an idol was anything that causes us to take our eyes off of the Lord and worship a manmade item. The very first commandment was “I Am the Lord who rescued you from the hands of the Egyptians, you shall have no other G-ds before me” (Exodus 20:1-3). Notice the word “shall not” is an expressed assertion whereas the word “cannot” implies, “I haven’t yet found a way”. The reasoning behind the expressed assertion is that the Lord knew that if the people bowed down to these idols, they would be ensnared in a trap bigger than the one He rescued them from. An argument has been made that the reason for having idols is to have “a face to associate G-d with”. The problem would be that the nation would not be filled in on the gravity of worshipping the idols that are, “what are the rules of worshipping it?”. In that time, children were burned in the fires to pacify this G-d and things haven’t changed a whole lot since that time. These laws were finite and complete. So any new laws would come from mankind, not G-d and that is where many of our societal ails stem from (29-32, Revelations 22:18-19).

Psalms 25:11-18 – Teach Me Your Paths. When we come to the, we must understand that it is by grace not by an obligation that we are saved (11[MK5] ). All who come to the Lord to learn of Him must first realize that the pathway that he/she has been on doesn’t work and something is broken (12). The Lord, unlike the world, does not use us, He heals us and restores us and for this reason, our eyes need to be on the Lord (13-15). Recognizing our brokenness is a humbling experience because it means taking stock of where we are in life and is the part that keeps us from coming to the Lord. When we refuse to acknowledge that we were wrong and dig our heels further into the mud, the Lord turns up the heat until we reach our breaking point. For the young man in Luke 15:11, his breaking point was in the pigpen looking down at the pigs’ evening meal (16-18). The question we need to ask ourselves is, “how long will we stay in our pigpen?” which is a subject I will address in 2022.

Lamentations 3:1-9 – Great is Your Faithfulness. When you read this segment, you might think that Jeremiah was just complaining about his sorrowful lot but, that’s not what was happening. Jeremiah was writing on behalf of Israel as though he was repenting for Israel. Israel enjoyed lengthy periods of living off of the fat of the land until the bad years came (Genesis 41:1-8). Sinfulness had brought the nation over the cusp into slavery something that was not ordained by the Lord. For sinfulness to be unwound or forgiven, there must first come a time in which we realize that we were in the wrong and needed forgiveness (1-6). How long we endure the mess we created is up to us. The Lord hates sin because He knows all too well what the outcome is even if the sin seems “harmless”. When we capitulate into sin, whatever happens, is a direct result of our foolishness. The thing is, G-d isn’t looking for and nor does He relish it when we are forced repentance, it must come from a genuine heart for the Lord. The enemy of our soul leads us down a crooked road and that is by design (7-9).

John 7:14-24 – My Teaching is not Mine. Jesus was teaching Kingdom principles which set the learned teachers on a tizzy. When Jesus taught, it was always in his Father’s name hence the name “I Am”. When we seek to do G-d’s will through obedience to His commands and precepts, we will know by the outcome that Jesus was right (14-17). When seeking His word for our lives, we will know the truth and whatever lie that has been told will be found out whether it be prophecy or misconstrued theology (18-19, John 8:31-32). The Moses that the Sanhedrin called their “Standard” was not  “thee Moses”, it was a Moses who was their mouthpiece. When we make G-d’s word align with our theology, we are one step from the abyss (20-24).

1 Samuel 1:21-28 – Samuel Given to the Lord. After the birth of Samuel, Hannah waited the prescribed time before presenting the child as she had vowed. After the child was weaned, she took her sacrificial animal according to Mosaic law to the Temple at Shiloh (21-24). Lending her only son to the High Priest to raise was a sacrifice of obedience and faithfulness (25-28 ). According to Mosaic law, if a woman makes a vow and her husband does not refute it, it stands and must be honored (Numbers 30:10-11).

Daily Bible Reading 12/26/2021

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 12:15-28

Reading #2 – Psalms 25:1-10

Reading #3 – Lamentations 2:13-22

Reading #4 – John 6

Reading #5 – 1 Samuel 1:12-20

 

Notes

Deuteronomy 12:15-28 – Offerings. When the people killed animals to feed their families, there were a couple of major sticking points (15-18, 20). First, and most importantly, “do not drink the blood of the animal because it is the life force” (23). Second, “make sure to share with the Levite” (19). Third, the firstborn of your flock or the “holy things” were not to be eaten in the towns where the people lived, they were to be taken to the “One place” (24-27). When the people entered the land, it wasn’t the end of the story, it was the beginning of a new chapter. The commands that the Lord uttered were not meant as a “punishment”, it was a recipe for living long in the land (28).

Psalms 25:1-10 – Teach Me Your Paths. When we ask the Lord to teach us the way of the Lord, we owe it to Him to be obedient. When we are disobedient, the outcome will first cause us distress and then we will be mocked and publicly shamed. The world is a cold dark place and its frost reaches across all nationalities, righteous and unrighteous, well or ill, light or absence of it. Where we turn our eyes to will either lift our soul up or bring it down (1-3). When the Lord commands us to do something, He will never tell us “why” or “what lies behind ___”. Remember this, the Lord always has sound logic behind His commands, precepts, and laws. When we follow in His footsteps, we find out why the laws are in place or why He wanted us to do ______ (4-5). The problem each of us faces is that we will never do things perfectly and this is why “grace” is afforded to us (6-7). Each of us will get to the point where we have an “I get it moment” and it usually occurs at the end of the storm (8-10).

Lamentations 2:13-22 – The Daughter of Jerusalem Destroyed. The children of Israel that entered the covenant with the Lord were referred to as “holy people” and the “Lord’s treasured people” (Deuteronomy 7:6). The problem with time and space is that their fortunes had changed due to neglect and outright disobedience. Disobedience, as I have stated before, affects everyone around you because, like the spider’s tentacles, it injects poison on everything it touches (13). The leadership listened to the words of the false prophets, the priests listened to the leaders, and the people followed the misguided words so everyone fell (14). Because of the name, the nation clung to, the world around them mocked at their collapse (15-16). The nations that invaded and destroyed Jerusalem put themselves under a curse because, the success they experienced was not due to their prowess in battle, it was because the Lord removed His covenant blessing (17). When we are destroyed because of our actions, we naturally turn to our Father and ask for His forgiveness (18-22).

John 6:52-59  – I Am the Bread of Life. When Jesus uttered this infamous statement, the people thought he was off his rocker.  First of all, “I Am” references the name given to Moses when he asked, “And who shall I say sent me” (Exodus 3:13-14). Unbeknown to mankind, he/she seeks after things to fill a void in their life. Each of us has a place in our life that only the presence of G-d can fill and it is the bread of G-d’s presence that fills it to overflowing. The blood is the lifeforce of mankind and by saying “whoever drinks my blood shall never thirst” it is filling our life with the Spirit of the Lord that replaces the bitterness, envy, and strife (52-59).

1 Samuel 1:12-20 – Prayer is Answered. It is a woman’s desire to bear a child. Hannah had prayed and petitioned G-d for that child. The problem for Hannah is that she looked like she was drunk which struck the ire of Eli the High Priest (12-16). When Hannah had expressed the desire of her heart and what she was doing about it, Eli said “the Lord has granted your request” (17-18). So Hannah, her husband, and Peninnah’s family worshiped the Lord and then went home. After Hannah and her husband knew each other (sex), she became pregnant and bore a son and named him Samuel “I asked for him from the Lord” (19-20).

Daily Bible Readings 12/25/2021

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 12:8-14

Reading #2 – Psalms 24

Reading #3 – Lamentations 2:8-12

Reading #4 – John 5:19-24

Reading #5 – 1 Samuel 1:1-11

 

Notes

Deuteronomy 12:8-14 – The One Place. As the nation was on the cusp of entering the Promised Land or “their inheritance”, all of the pieces of the puzzle would be put together. During the years in the wilderness, the temple was mobile as it could be torn down and put up again. In the new land, the temple would be put in one place and never moved. The people up to this point in time had endured scorn and derision from the neighboring tribes. For the Lord’s name to be on the new land, the people would have to keep their eyes on the real prize which would be the “One place of sacrifice and the one place of celebration” (8-11). This “One Place” would be a holy place where ever it may be. Because there could only be one place, the people had to travel to it and bring their offerings with them. During the years in the wilderness, laws, and rules were established for conducting the sacrifice. So when they got into the land and were established, these laws and rules would be the foundation on which their religious experience would be predicated (12-14).

Psalms 24 – The King of Glory. Everything belongs to the Lord G-d including the beloved Canaan land (1-2). Because it all belongs to Him, He has the authority to give to the person who pleases him as the example of Mordicai (Ester 6:10-11). The person who pleases the Lord does that which is right in the Lord’s eyes. This man/woman seeks to honor the Lord in all of their dealings. The logic behind this person’s actions is not to receive a reward but to honor the Lord like a slave would (3-6). Which Lord will you allow over your life? Will He be the King of kings or just another king (7-10)?

Lamentations 2:8-12 – Destruction Be Your Inheritance. In the time of Joshua, the nation entered Canaan with a copy of the law and the Ark of the Covenant. The people were instructed to tear down the altars, smash the idols, and cleanse the land. Once the land was cleansed, they were to establish one place of worship. Fast forward over 500 years, and the law that was given through Moses had been violated and a false law was put in place with the old name affixed to it. The people believed the lie because it came from the mouths of the Priests (Jeremiah 5:30-31). Because the people did not believe the prophets’ words and chose instead to align themselves with the religious leaders, the nation was being destroyed (8-9). As I have said before, when destruction occurs in the land, everyone in it is negatively impacted. The invading army would take everything of value and reduce the people to mere urchins seeking morsels of food and filthy water (10).  When the Prophet looked back on these events, it brought tears to his eyes knowing that this was not the Lord’s best nor His desire, it was the outcome of sin (11-12).

1 Samuel 1:1-11 – Birth of Samuel. Elkanah a Kohathite had two wives (1-2). Unfortunately, one of the wives bore children for Elkanah but the other did not which of course became “bragging rights” for Peninnah. Because of the instruction by the Lord to establish one place of worship, the people traveled great distances to go to the Temple. Hannah would go to the Temple out of obedience and would use the time to pray for a child and vowed to give the child to the Lord. As Hannah prayed, Peninnah used the moment to heckle Hannah “like this woman’s got the plumbing to bear a child”. All of Elkanah’s best wishes for Hannah did not stop her heart from hurting. Of course, no one can truly know what is going on in someone else’s heart so Hannah could have been rejoicing through tears and have been so full that she had no room for more. Remember, something was about to happen that irrevocably change the Temple (3-8, 1 Corinthians 2:11, John 4:32).

John 5:19-24 – The Authority of the Son. The nation had told and retold stories about the coming Messiah until it all became little more than lore. The religious leaders had built an empire based on selling lies and extracting money from the people. So, when Jesus ascended to his ministry, it wasn’t good news for those selling lies. The thing is, not everyone in Jerusalem or the surrounding communities had capitulated to the lies and chose to believe in Jesus. Jesus quoted Moses, the Prophets, songs, and wisdom yet the priests disliked him because he was not like them. When Jesus did good deeds and miracles occurred, you would think the people would have put their faith in him but they didn’t, or at least not all of them. This situation set up a storm of epic proportions (19-24).

 

Daily Bible Reading 12/23/2021

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 12:1-7

Reading #2 – Psalms 23

Reading #3 – Lamentations 2:1-7

Reading #4 – John 4

Reading #5 – Revelations 22

 

Notes

Deuteronomy 12:1-7 – the Lord’s Chosen Place of Worship. During the years in the wilderness, the people worshipped and presented their offerings at the Wilderness temple. At that time, the people were all close to the surrounding tribes. When they entered Canaan, though, the tribes would disperse to their inheritance. The thing is, the Lord stipulated that “one place be established for worship” (5-7). Because the current occupants had as many idols as they had tribes, it was highly probable that the Israelites, based on their history, would succumb to the idol worship. So, the people were instructed to tear down the altars, idols, and asherims (1-4).

Psalms 23 – The Lord Is My Shepherd. In a roundabout way, David is seeing his life through the eye of the lamb. Sheep are not very smart because they have a tendency to roam and follow each other into trouble. The shepherd is responsible for the sheep under his/her care that is, he/she leads the sheep to food and water, keeps a sharp eye out for predators, and is willing to lay down his/her life for the sheep (1-3, John 10:11). The sheep did not choose the shepherd, the shepherd chose the sheep, and all who came to him he in no way cast out (John 15:16, John 6:37-40). There are people in this world that will not listen to the word of the Lord just as there are sheep that will not follow the Shepherd (John 10:27). That said, it is not incumbent on us to worry about popular opinion, it is up to us to obey the word of the Lord even if we don’t like it or we are ostracized by the world. When we are obedient, G-d blesses our pathways and opens doors that were previously shut or seemed impossible (4-6).

Lamentations 2:1-7 – The Lord Has Destroyed Without Pity. The destruction of Jerusalem was an unnecessary act that was predicated upon disobedience. In our daily life, we do things that grieve the heart of G-d. The thing is, the Lord will never compete for our allegiance, either we work with him or we won’t.  when more than one leader is guiding and directing our lives, we are said to be in “confusion” (Proverbs 28:2). When Jerusalem was destroyed, everybody in that town was affected so when the King and his staff ducked out one night, they, in fact, threw the city to the wolves (1-4, Ezekiel 12:12). In the end, the nation was reduced to poverty, illness, and hopelessness. G-d is a jealous G-d in that He will not give His glory to the enemy of our soul. When Israel went down the path into sin, just as it happens today, they sold the G-d’s glory to the highest bidder (1 King 14:16). When things matter little to us, G-d takes them away (5-7).

John 4:27-41 – The Faith of a Samaritan Woman. In the time of Jesus, a good Jew was to have to do with a Samaritan or a person from Samaria. The reason for the animosity on both sides of the coin had to do with the instance of the Jews intermarrying with Assyrians during the exile. After the exile, some of the men came back with their Assyrian-born wives and children. When Ezra the priest mourned this situation, the men took it upon themselves to make a vow to send the women and children back to Assyria which set up a future war. Anyway, Jesus goes to Samaria and meets this woman who is told about her husband because of a sexual union. This woman tells everybody to come to meet this man who could be the Messiah. The funny part about the whole ordeal is that the woman came to the Lord in direct opposition to the supposed hatred. When the disciples tried to get him to eat, Jesus said “I am full because I ate bread that you have no idea about (27-41, )

Revelations 22 – The River of Life. The River of Life gives life to all who drink from it. This life-giving water fed the trees the nutrients they live on so that fruit would come in its season (3-5). This prophecy ending unlike Daniels was not sealed up meaning that it would happen soon (10-13). When Jesus departed on ascension Sunday, the angels told the people to stop looking up but to go to Jerusalem and go to Jerusalem and get to work on prayer (6-7, Acts 1:9-11). Part of the commandments, precepts, and laws involved taking charge of our soul and keeping it clean before G-d. We have no authority to demand that the world toe the line and have no power to tell anyone to serve only the Lord G-d that has been tried and has failed miserably. Every soul on earth is accountable before G-d. While we have no authority to demand change, we can be an ounce of balm from Gilead and the leaves of heaven to heal and restore lives (2,16-17, Jeremiah 8:22). This prophecy had a divine impact on the diaspora. The problem with the prophecy is that people add to it and take away from it the things that they disagree with which causes problems with the listener. Remember, Jesus is speaking directly to John, and the ending of it the “double amen” or “amen and amen” meant “and so be it” (18-21).

 

 

Daily Bible Reading 12/21/2021

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 11:26-32

Reading #2 – Psalms 22:12-21

Reading #3 – Lamentations 1:13-22

Reading #4 – John 3

Reading #5 – Revelations 21:15-27

 

Notes

Deuteronomy 11:26-32 – A Curse and a Blessing. G-d’s laws like parental rules and laws come with a blessing for obedience and a curse for disobedience. Moses did not give out a copy of the law to every member in attendance, it was given to the leader Joshua in the presence of the people (26-28). When the people entered the land, they were to recite the blessings on Mount Gerizim and the curses on Mount Ebal. The two mounts or hills were on the other side of the Jordan a place the nation had never been before (29-30). The Great Oak of Moreh or, “Givet HaMoreh” was where Abraham had stopped it or “only went as far as”. The Shechemites used to live on this parcel and named the town after them; this was the same place where Jacob’s boys embarrassed Jacob and put the family at great odds with the nations surrounding them (Genesis 34). Going into the land was an unwritten but explicit acceptance of the G-d’s covenant (31-32).

Psalms 22:13-21 – Beyond Destruction. It is thought that this psalm was written around 587BC which was a year before the nation would go into exile. So the “bulls of Bashan” is the Babylonian army and before them the Syrian army both of which were intent on destroying Israel (12-13). When the Babylonians broke through the walls, it didn’t take much because the Babylonians cut off Israel’s water and food supply (14-18). It could be said that “not everybody in Israel of the time was evil”. So, there were people, like Daniel and his friends, who turned their eyes and heart to the Lord. While their prayers and attitude did not stem the destruction nor did it stave off the coming exile, they kept themselves in right standing before the Lord (19-21).

Lamentations 1:13-22 – Destruction of Jerusalem. Every promise made by the prophets of the Lord had come to pass in Jerusalem. The mighty army of Israel in the time of David was not the same army that is in this chapter and time. By admitting that it was the Lord who was in charge of this destruction was to admit their errors. The “Sword of the Lord” was Babylon just as Gideon defeated Zebah and Zalmunna (13-15, Judges 7:21).  Physically, there was nothing the nation could do but spiritually, they could turn their heart and eyes to the Lord. Turning their eyes to the Lord and repenting would not stop the coming exile but, it would set the tone for the time in exile (16-18).  “It is a funny thing in the world when money and resources are plentiful the people show up for the party; when the money runs out the world abandons the party” (19-21, Luke 15:11-32, ). When Babylon attacked Jerusalem, it was a direct result of Israel’s sinfulness. Israel’s demise should have been a stark reminder of what will happen when the people disobey the Lord’s laws and precepts (22).

John 3:1-8 – You Must Be Born Again. Nicodemus a representative of the Pharisees had come to Jesus to find out what his ministry was all about. Jesus’ response threw Nicodemus for a loop and showed the condition of Nicodemus’ heart. In his heart, Nicodemus was “worldly” and he thought as the world did. In worldly logic, it was physically impossible to crawl back in the womb again at any point in the spectrum (1-4). Being Israel’s teacher, Nicodemus was responsible for teaching the way of the Lord G-d so Jesus’ response should have made all of the sense in the world but it didn’t. Before you can take one step in the Kingdom of G-d, you must be born again that is, you need to start fresh, wash off the grime and baggage that is hanging from you. Understing what the Kingdom of G-d is all about requires looking at it from G-d’s perspective. Nicodemus was a learned man and was qualified to teach but, all of his learning did not prepare him for the conversation with Jesus. In the same way, we can go to Christian colleges, prepare for ministry, and even go on a few mission trips but never have a relationship with the Lord nor enter into a covenantal relationship (5-8).

Revelations 21:15-27 – The Angel Measures the Walls. The term “stadia” is an ancient Greek unit of measure that equals about 6000’ (15-17, ). The walls were 144 cubits by a human measurement or “natural measurement” which measures from the outstretched thumb to the elbow which is about 1.5’ (Cubit Measurement) which makes the wall about 216’. Interestingly, the stones on the wall were the same type in the Breastplate of Judgment that the HighPriest wore (18-21, Exodus 28:15-21). The purpose behind the Breastplate just like the purpose of the wall was to remind the petitioner what is all at stake by our actions. We have the 12 tribes and the 12 Apostles to remind us of the outcome of sin and righteousness. There is no Temple in Heaven because Jesus is the Temple He is the only way to salvation. G-d never asked for a final resting place for the footstool and would have been content with the simple tent with an extraordinary devotion to the Lord through obedience. Because the temple never had an opening or closing, anybody at any time until the day of their death can come to him and repent (22-27).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Bible Readings 12/19/2021

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 11:18-25

Reading #2 – Psalms 22:1-11

Reading #3 – Lamentations 1:8-12

Reading #4 – John 2:13-17

Reading #5 – Revelations 21:9-14

 

Notes

Deuteronomy 11:18-25 – Remember His Laws. Interestingly, the people were told to remember His laws. His laws were about living life in a community, family, and personal to please Him. To remember the laws, the man/woman were to keep the laws before them so that they could read them. By always reading them and committing them to memory, the individual would sub-consciously abide by the law. So writing the laws on the hand or frontlets was meant symbolically that implied writing them on your heart by reading the laws as the kings of old were instructed to do (18-21). So whatever way that you would be best remember the laws was what you were to do. Some remember things by repetition others hearing, and still others by touch. Passing the laws down to the children was done by reading the laws to them without interpretation. When the children asked “where did the laws come from?” it would lead to telling Israel’s story. At the age of accountability, the boy/girl would repeat the cycle. Obedience to the laws would yield a bountiful harvest, the enemies would fall before them, and everywhere they put their foot would belong to them (22-25).

Psalms 22:1-11 – Why Have You Forsaken Me? Each at one time or another has felt alone and the only thing we hear from G-d’s throne is “silence”. The writer, David, was enduring a very difficult time in his life and it appeared like the promise given to him was a “pipedream”. Yet David trusted in the Lord and believed in the promise that was given to him although it didn’t appear immediately. The thing is when we are promised something like a job, ministry, and/or gift by the Lord, the Devil will be just as quick to tell us why it won’t happen. When we talk about our conversion to Jesus and the promises we are given, the people we know will make fun of it and call us things like a dreamer, a fool, and/or an idiot. If these attacks don’t stop us, the Devil will add a little razzle-dazzle and if this doesn’t stop us, he’ll send in the destroyer to break our will (1-5). So David is being broken into several pieces but each piece resounds with “Praise to the Lord” (6-11).

Lamentations 1:8-11 – Shedding Righteous Clothing. There is a funny thing about destruction, just like loneliness, it compels us to change our views about the Lord and His word. During the good years, the nation enjoyed the luxuries afforded only to the rich. Wealth attracts people and the nation had no lack of suitors who would peddle their wares included in their packs were their G-ds. What Israel did not see was how those “G-ds” were tearing down the walls of Righteousness “G-d’s laws” and, in the end, the nation was broken, empty, and financially and morally broke”. In the end, the nation went from walking around with fancy clothes and accouterments of gold and silver to being hungry and destitute (8-11).

John 2:13-18 – Jesus Cleanses the Temple. The Temple that was designed by the Lord, handed down from David to Solomon, had an area just outside for the gentiles to hear the message. The problem was that this area had been taken over by money changers who took the money or animal and traded it for a much more expensive and less quality animal. What the priests were most likely not aware of was that these practices lent to a misunderstanding of who G-d is. This travesty leads people further from the Lord which is the Devil’s plan and it is what he used to lead angels to his side. For this reason, Jesus cleared the moneychangers, animals, and salesmen from the Temple to restore the area for the Lord G-d. In the same way, when we trade the time and resources set aside for the Lord for things of the world, we get confused about the values we hold dear. When we ask the Lord into our hearts, the first thing that happens is the area where his throne will be is emptied and a new chair is set in place. Then our heart is cleansed and the disruptions are cleared away making more room as we yield the areas of our life (13-17).

Revelations 21:9-14 – The New Jerusalem. Jerusalem or Yerushalem means “city of peace” which would appear to be a misnomer because the city has been captured and ransacked many times over the centuries. John saw this pristine city coming down thru the heavens to earth like a beautiful and rare jewel (9-11). The 12 walls represented the 12 tribes each having lost lives in the battles. The names of the tribes were inscribed on the gates. There were 12 foundations one for each of the 12 apostles who were responsible for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to a hungry world. Remember, the nation had languished under oppression for over 500 years due to disobedience and many of the people died senseless death but a remnant came from it and this is who that message is being delivered to (12-14).

 

When trouble finds its way to our doorstep, at first we endure it then when nothing happens with our faith, we look for salvation from the world. The thing is, we do not see how the infectious ways of the word alter our heart and what is written on it. Over time, the places where G-d dwelt in our hearts become filled with the idols of the world like our job, financial standing, and/or sexual intimacy.

 

 

 

 

Daily Bible Reading 12/16/2021

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 11:8-17

Reading #2 – Psalms 21:8-13

Reading #3 – Lamentations 1:1-7

Reading #4 – John 1

Reading #5 – Revelations 21:1-4

 

Notes

Deuteronomy 11:8-17 – The Full Commandment. The reasoning behind the necessity for obeying the full command of  G-d is that otherwise, we go off half-cocked. Everything that we are commanded to do is for a reason known only to G-d. The people were going into the land as a “free nation” unlike their time in Egypt. In Egypt, the leaders took the little that the nation grew to feed the Egyptian gods. In the new land, the people would eat everything they grew and would prosper providing they paid attention to the Lord’s commands (8-12). The Lord gave Moses multiple commandments but each was linked to the other and it’s where we get the two Great Commandments. Obeying the laws would lead to prosperity so who wouldn’t want everything they do or undertake to be prosperous? The reason I believe people disobey G-d’s laws is that it means sacrificing our will on the altar.  Obeying G-d is not a checklist, it is a composite picture of our life given the outcome (13-17, ).

Psalms 21:8-13 – The King Rejoices in Your Strength. When we are obedient to the Lord, He paves the way for our life and for David that meant being victorious in war (8-9). The human tendency is to fear the enemy’s intrigue and it compels us to become fearful and despondent (Exodus 14:10-12 as an example). Consider the dreaded word “Test”. Now, there are three ways to enter the classroom to take the test: fully prepared, partially prepared, and not prepared at all. Each of the three has an outcome the people that are fully prepared will be calm and rely on their studies to complete the test; the people who are partially prepared will rely on their arrogance thinking they know it all; the people who are not prepared at all will be afraid and will fail the test. David’s men knew what was expected of them and David never waffled in his instruction. David also never called in mercenaries to help him in battle. David and the Israelites were feared and respected because of obedience and for this reason they had reason to praise the Lord (10-13).

Lamentations 1:1-7 – The Lonely City. The picture being painted by Jeremiah the Prophet is bleak at best and horrendous at worst. The city once was the epic center of joy and peace during the reigns of David and Solomon’s first half (1-3). The problem that was started by Solomon through forbidden marriages and the garnering of riches ended up in destruction. On Solomon’s watch, the surrounding nations were vassal to Israel but those vassal nations broke away and became Israel’s judge, jury, and executioner (4-5). The Israelites, because of their king, were mocked (6-7).

John 1:1-13 – The Word Became Flesh. The coming of the Messiah was promised by the major and minor prophets. The thing is Israel was a vassal kingdom and had, except for the 100 years of the Hasmoneans, been vassal to the Babylonians, Persia, Medes, Greeks, and now Rome. So the people had gotten used to the idea of not having a king add to the mix the remnant of the Hellenistic Jews. The Messiah, so they were told, thought this Messiah would become the King of the nation as David had been. While having a king over them once again sounded wonderful, not everybody among the nation was happy to hear about his coming. John’s ministry shook the religious leaders to their core because a new king meant their days of profiting from the people would come to an abrupt end unless they could coerce him into listening to them (Mike’s rendition). When the Word existed in written form only, it could be overlooked, misquoted, and forbidden to be read. Once the Word became flesh, the words that the religious leaders refused to read came alive and every hidden word was revealed.

Revelations 21:1-4 – The New Heaven and the New Earth. When we read this chapter, we think of some time in the future when all the evil will be gone and we’ll live in peace. The problem with this chapter is the reference to a New Heaven and a New Earth. For the Jews, it goes back to the Old Testament on the subject of obedience versus disobedience. The nation had been disobedient from the time of David through to the birth of Jesus. Because of disobedience, the sky became iron in that it did not rain so the crops dried out. The earth became like clay due also to the extended drought (Deuteronomy 28:23-24). So, getting a New Heaven and Earth implies a change is coming in which the land would be rained down with the power of the Holy Spirit (Hosea 6:3). The purpose of the sea was for baptismal purposes so the living would be baptized and the dead would be baptized in Jesus Christ (Molten-Sea). So putting the verse together, the hard earth and the dry skies would become born again and the symbolism of the sea would be no more (1-4).

 

If we are disobedient in one area, we are disobedient and it causes problems in our life (James 2:8-10). Consider the commandment “children obey your parents and, conversely, parents do not aggravate your children” (Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:1-4) If there is disharmony in the home, it will bleed out into the community.

Daily Bible Reading 12/14/2021

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 11:1-7

Reading #2 – Psalms 21:1-7

Reading #3 – Proverbs 31

Reading #4 – Luke 24:13-26

Reading #5 – Revelations 20:7-15

 

Notes

Deuteronomy 11:1-7 – Love and Serve the Lord. The people are being admonished to love and serve the Lord by obeying His laws and precepts (1). The children that stood at the mountain that day were infants and toddlers when Egypt was decimated at the river. Yet, they are being held accountable to obey the laws as their parents had reiterated to them. To add to the mix, the kids bore witness to the untimely demise of Dathan and Abiram (2-6). Having seen the awesome work of the Lord, they would be without excuse (7, Romans 1:20).

Psalms 21:1-7 – The King Rejoices in the Lord’s Strength. David was 15 years old when Samuel anointed him as the next king of Israel but he was 30 years old when he ascended to the throne. So, in 15 years he had fought Goliath, served Saul, and became public enemy #1. So, when you read this Psalm you get an understanding of the dynamics of G-d’s providence. After receiving the anointing and the promise, David did not go about choosing colors for his throne nor did he become insolent. Because he waited and worked until the promise would come true, G-d blessed David’s life (1-4). David knew that the blessings he received were not due to his prowess but because David had served the Lord all of the days of his life (5-7).

Proverbs 31 – What Are You Doing? The king’s mother asked her son “What are you doing?” (1-2). This question paves the way to talk about the qualities of a G-dly king and it has implications for G-d’s children. King David was a legend and he left a very big set of shoes to fill. Solomon was not a clone of David, there were things about him that made him unique. The King’s mother was not attempting to make her grandson be like her son, she was laying out a pathway that the former king followed that made him a great king (3-9). In the same way, the Lord does not demand us nor did he groom us to be a clone of Billy Graham, D.L. Moody, and/or any other legendary minister. He desires that we follow his precepts and laws that we would not fall into temptation. Understanding this concept will be critical to comprehend what will be written about in 2022.

Luke 24:13-26 – Connecting the Dots. As the two men walked towards Emmaus, the conversation of that day was the events following the crucifixion. When Jesus came alongside them without disclosing who he was. To catch up with the conversation, he asked what they were talking about. Cleopas asked him if he had been living under a rock because everybody knew about the events of the past few days. Naturally, Jesus asked, “what events”. I often wondered why in the name of all that is Holy didn’t Jesus just disclose who he was and make the people sit down and listen to another sermon. If he had done that, the follow on question from the two men might have been, “so what?”. They thought in all earnest that Jesus would be the king they had been waiting for since the time of Daniel. So, using their basic understanding of the events, Jesus connected the dots so that they would have a complete picture.

Revelations 20:7-15 – The Defeat of Satan. Satan had been the great puppet master that brought the beast to life and filled the false prophet’s head with non-sense. The Devil’s plan is and always has been to get people to stop listening and start fighting over presumption. For 1000 years the Devil was locked up which allowed the people time to resolve the issues without the Devil’s influence. When the Devil was set free, the first thing that occurred was that he compelled people to go to war. The number of the people was like sands of the sea which was a reflection of the nation Israel (Isaiah 10:20-22). The purpose for the battle or its mission was over “Religion”. Remember the Sanhedrin was still in play and their ire was still towards the Christian church. Because of obedience, the Lord interceded by pouring down fire on the nations that were coming against the church. In Israel’s history, there were three distinct times when the fire of the Lord was poured down on the altar and it occurred through obedience (Leviticus 9:22-24, 2 Chronicles 7:1-3, and 1 King 18:36-38). When the Devil was cast into Hell, the ESV and other translations use the word “forever” but, the Greek Interlinear uses the word “Eon” so, how long is an eon? In geological terms, it is 4 billion years but for our use, it is “undisclosed”. Revelations, like most of scripture, make it sound like these events happened in a short period but, what we are unaware of is that “time” irrelevant to the Lord and to the Devil. So, how long would the Devil remain in lockup? We are not told (2 Peter 3:8-9). What we are told is that we need to be obedient at all times so that when we are judged, it would be our actions that would be judged by.

Daily Bible Reading 12/12/2021

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 10:12-22

Reading #2 – Psalms 20

Reading #3 – Proverbs 30:7-9

Reading #4 – Luke 23

Reading #5 – Revelations 20:1-6

 

Notes

Deuteronomy 10:12-22 – Circumcise Your Heart. When you think back on all the Lord has done on your behalf, just as Israel is being asked, all He asks for is “wholehearted devotion to Him”. You may think, “that’s easy” but consider the implications, we must be obedient, faithful, and true to Him. If we love Him we’ll accept people in His name even if it is a sojourner (12-14). All of this boils down to the requirement to “circumcise the heart”. Removing the cold exterior skin of the heart means to open your heart to the Lord and allow Him into your heart (15-16). The Lord had been good to the nation even while they were in Egypt. The Lord never bribed the nation into following Him, He opened His hand and the people followed like sheep. While what the Lord asked of the people seemed to be an easy request, it’s the implications of His request that would cause people to walk away sort of like the rich man (17-21, Matthew 19:22-24). The proof of G-d’s answer to prayer was seen in the sheer number of people standing at the mountain despite everything that had occurred for its members (22).

Psalms 20 – Trust in the Name of the Lord our G-d. The word “May” poses a question. It is not a matter of “Can G-d” or “will G-d” but “will we allow …”. For G-d to answer us on the day of our trouble, we have to ask for His help and be willing to listen and follow His guidance. For the Lord to accept our offerings, we need to check our motives and provide the best possible offering with what you possess “your soul” (1-3). For the Lord to grant our heart’s desire, we need to ask for it and wait patiently for Him. When He answers and directs us, we need to go through the door. The key to the whole equation is “Repentance unto salvation” (4-5). When we are faithful to the Lord in all that we go through, He will stand beside us and guide our hands, feet, and mouth. The world says, “trust me” but seldom comes through on its promises. Lord save the King (6-9).

Luke 23:13-25 – Be Careful What You Ask for! The Pharisees wanted Jesus to be crucified because he told them and the nation of the time the truth that would set them free from false beliefs. The Pharisees could do a lot of things but the one thing they couldn’t do was “commit murder” (Exodus 20:13). Committing murder would have meant they would have blood on their hands and would not be able to participate in the Sabbath. To get around this obstacle, they roped in Pilot and Herod both of whom knew the man was innocent. The only reason Pilot conceded to handing Jesus over to crucifixion was because he was afraid of Caesar who was his “G-d”. In exchange for Jesus, the Pharisees got the people to ask for Barrabas who had committed an insurrection and was a murderer so now the people had a worse problem on their hands.

Revelations 20:1-6 – The Thousand Years. The Devil of old would be bound and put in a pit for 1000 years. The devil may be bound but it doesn’t say anything about his minions. So the church was in for a time of growth and prosperity but not without problems or trials (1-3, Matthew Henry Commentary). When we read this segment of Revelations, we tend to believe that this is the beginning of the apocalypse and the great catching away of the church but we need to look at this passage in the light of history (Church History). During this same space of time, the church reigned with Jesus as their King and would have a deeper understanding of what this King went through during his physical time on earth. Those who had died for the testimony of Jesus Christ would stand in judgment of the church and would be the example for the church to live by. Anyone who thought they were alone against the enemy could look at the life of the disciples who had passed on or been martyred for their faith and know with absolute assurance that they were not alone. Today, it is much the same. Many people feel isolated thinking “I’m all alone I can’t withstand this battle I am going through”. For those people, I encourage you to consider not only the lives of the disciples or King Jesus but people the likes of Billy Graham, Mother Theresa, and countless others who have passed on (4-6).

Personal Reflections

While we are alive, we make eternal choices that either bring us closer to or further from the Lord. We tell ourselves lies like, “I’ll come to the Lord tomorrow” or, “it won’t hurt doing it just once” and these lies become the foundation for our lives. G-d wants more from us than “waiting to die”, He wants us to live joyful, content, and overflowing into other people’s lives.

One of the many things that amaze me about life in Jesus’ kingdom is that we set the boundaries and we can choose to live in His Kingdom or stay in the world have partial freedom. Each of us has or had false beliefs that we cling to or clung to that keep us from the Lord. These false beliefs are detrimental but we are not or were not aware of the problems they were causing us. In asking only for his daily bread, he is asking for the guidance and wisdom to face the current situations. Asking for our daily bread or help in our times of trouble is not a weakness nor is it sinful, but denying the Lord out of arrogance or stealing when all we need to do is ask is sinful (Mike Krier)

 

 

Daily Bible Reading 12/11/2021

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 10:1-11

Reading #2 – Psalms 19

Reading #3 – Proverbs 29

Reading #4 – Luke 22

Reading #5 – Revelations 19:11-21

 

Notes

Deuteronomy 10:1-11 – New Stone Tablets. After the incident with the Golden Calf, Moses threw down the two tablets the Lord had cut out for him. The first rendition of the law was made by the hand of the Lord (Exodus 24:12). Unlike the first time, Moses was directed to cut out two stone tablets and bring them up on the mountain and he would be the one chiseled out the tablets. The new tablets were to be placed in the ark of the covenant which was a wooden box made specifically for carrying the tablets (1-5). Because Aaron, like Moses, did not honor the Lord at the rock he would not be joining the people in the new land Moses would join him (6). The tribe of Levi was given the privilege of carrying the Ark because of their obedience during the incident with the golden calf (7-9). While on the mountain, Moses interceded for the people and the Lord heard and forgave them. Though forgiven, the Lord would not go with the people into the new land. My supposition is that the Lord sent the people in knowing what lay in store for them (10-11).

Psalms 19 – The Law of the Lord is Perfect. Under the tent of Heaven, the Lord reveals His glory. He utters no words to accompany the beauty, that is left up to us just as David is doing. From one end of the earth to the other from morning to night and back to the morning, the Lord’s glory is revealed. There is nothing that we do on earth that will not be made known which includes both bad and good (1-6, Luke 12:2-3). The reason that the law of the Lord is perfect for reviving the soul is that it gives us a solid ground on which to start over after we commit sin. The precepts of the Lord have been written for thousands of years and they are true to this date. If we read the precepts and laws, we’ll see our error and move on in the truth of the Lord. If we are to grow in the truth of the Lord, we must first fear him not the world nor its endless repetition of non-sense (7-9). We are to view the law of the Lord like we would a brick of the finest gold which implies that we do not casually throw it around or misspend it (10-11). Who is the only one who can help us to discern our errors? The only person is the Lord G-d. David has no power to demand anyone accept himself to honor the Lord by thought and word (12-14).

Proverbs 29 – Proverbs for the Road. As we journey through life, we will make mistakes in judgment. Making a mistake is not a deal-breaker, as long we confess it and do what is right and just. The problem is when we are reproved of our error and do not change our direction or heading. When we persist in our actions long enough, we will get to the point where the Devil yells “Checkmate”. For this reason, we are admonished to treasure wisdom and always check with it before going headlong into trouble (1-3).

Luke 22:3-6 – CheckMate. We are not told a lot about this Judas the son of a Pharisee and nor are we told anything about conversations between Jesus and Judas. The problem with private conversations is that unless that person testifies, the truth will never be known. The deal Judas made with the Pharisees was made under the cloak of darkness that is, “when no one was around”. Making deals, just like private conversations, are good in one way and a trap waiting to be sprung in another. For Judas, once the money transferred hands, the deal was done and there was no going back to undo the deal (3-6).

Revelations 19:11-21 – The Rider on a White Horse. The Word of G-d, according to the Bible Dictionary, is the mind and will of G-d. At Horeb, the Lord handed down the commandments and precepts for the people to follow or, as we refer to them the “10 commandments” (Exodus 20). The rider on the white horse was the Word of G-d (11-13). The reason this horseman can judge the earth is that when sin makes its final play, the word stands in judgment that had the person walked in wisdom this death would not be necessary. The reason Jesus died on the cross and shed his blood was that the problems we go to war over would be resolved and the debt paid in full. The gathering of the armies of the earth to battle is a direct reflection of sin (14-16). The armies of Rome, just like the present-day situations, were to fight over power and dominance on the earth. Behind these armies on both sides of the argument is the Devil and his spokesperson who compel people to the damnable things. Remember this, every soul that is lost due to his/her sinful actions is a soul that is lost for the Kingdom (17-21).

Daily Bible Reading 12/9/2021

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 9:13-29

Reading #2 – Psalms 18

Reading #3 – Proverbs 28

Reading #4 – Luke 21:10-19

Reading #5 – Revelations 19:1-10

 

Notes

Deuteronomy 9:13-29 – The Golden Calf. Israel’s stubbornness and hardheadedness almost cost them their lives. Moses interceded for the people and for Aaron who also was marked for death (13-15). The two stone tablets that were written by the Lord’s finger were thrown down in anger. By throwing down the tablets, it was symbolic that the covenant was breached as though Moses was the Lord (16-18). Moses took the golden calf and crushed it into fine dust and threw it in the river and then made the people drink the water. After doing this, Moses spent another 40 days in the mountain repenting for the people. The Lord was about to wipe out the nation and make a new nation that would be mightier than the 1st (but this time, he chiseled out the next set (19-21, Exodus32). With all of the trouble Israel causes Moses, it would make me wonder why didn’t Moses allow the Lord to destroy the nation (22-24). The thing is, that it would speak negatively about the Lord and that was something Moses would not allow (25-29).

Psalm 18:1-12 – The Lord He is My Rock and My Fortress. David, the man after G-d’s own heart, knew first-hand what it was like to experience times of danger.  The thing about these dangerous times is that by prayer and praise they turned in David’s favor (1-3). In this Psalm, he is being threatened probably by Saul and his henchmen. Death threatened his life but David turned his eyes and heart to the Lord (4-6). When David sought the Lord in faithfulness and being innocent of the charges against him, the Lord began to do amazing things in David’s life. By saying “G-d was angry”, the implication was that the actions of the offending party brought about the destruction that would fall. This was similar to the events on Mount Horeb when the people built the golden calf (7-12, Exodus 32).

Proverbs 28 – The Way of Integrity. When we seek the Lord, we must understand that we are placing our character for the Lord to examine it. You see, the Lord will not work on our behalf when we have been partially responsible or fully responsible for the events that unfolded. G-d calls His children to live moral lives not because He wants perfect minions but that we would live free from guilt (6-12). Guilt is a terrible taskmaster because it will compel us to do things we know are wrong like killing an innocent man.

Luke 21:10-19 – Jesus Foretells Wars and Persecution. As Jesus’ ministry was winding down and the lot had been cast against him, he tells his disciples what will occur shortly. The Sanhedrin had the crazy idea that killing Jesus would make their problems go away. When Rome came into power, the Sanhedrin had coalesced to them to retain the power over the people. By doing this, the Sanhedrin opened themselves to scrutiny. When Jesus came on the scene, the guilt they felt and heard from Jesus’ parables riled the ire and fear they knew would happen at some point in time. For the disciples, Jesus’ death meant there would be a change in leadership. Trouble was brewing in Jerusalem that spill over into war between other kingdoms and nations. Despite all of the troubles that would come, the challenges from the Sanhedrin, and the possibility of standing trial, the word to them was “Do not be afraid. I will give you the words to speak (10-13). Understand this and write it on the tablet of your heart “Following Jesus does not stop the trouble from coming against you, it changes how trouble affects you” (14-19, Deuteronomy 28:6-14, ).

Revelations 19:1-10 – Rejoicing in Heaven. After the beast had been judged, found guilty, and sentenced to life in hell for 1000 years, there was rejoicing in heaven (1-3). Everyone in heaven rejoiced in spontaneous praise and worship to the Lord (4-5). John heard the same thing that Ezekiel had heard which lent credibility to what the Angel was showing John (6-8, Ezekiel 43:1-2). Attending the Marriage Supper of the Lamb was by invitation only. One did not attend because they belonged to the church nor because they sang praise songs. An invitation was to those who repented and believed in the Lord Jesus and lived for him throughout the storms (9-10).

Daily Bible Reading 12/8/2021

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 9:1-12

Reading #2 – Psalms 17

Reading #3 – Proverbs 27

Reading #4 – Luke 20:9-18

Reading #5 – Revelations 18

 

Notes

Deuteronomy 9:1-12 – Not Because of Your Righteousness. Israel was to enter Canaan which was just beyond the Jordan River. Several giants dwelled in the land that Israel would have to contend with and this frightened the people (1-2). The Lord encouraged the people to remember that the Lord would go before them to be their front and rear guard. The thing is, the Lord wasn’t going to do the work for the people, they would still have responsibilities (3). The reason the Lord was opening the door for Israel was due to their forefathers and also because of the wickedness of the current occupants (4-5). The implication of G-d’s reasoning was that if the Israelites polluted the land like its predecessor, they too would be kicked out of the land. If it weren’t for Moses interceding for them, the nation would have been a footnote in history (6-8). The two tablets of the law that were placed in the Ark came at a price. The price was the 40 days spent in the mountains receiving from the Lord. The people were not up on the mountain to witness this event because of “fear” so Moses went alone (9-12).

Psalms 17 – In the Shadow of Your Wings. David was in the thicket of trouble with Saul hot on his heels. As he prayed about the situation, note how he asked the Lord to check the king’s heart to check the root and see if the problem began with David (1-2). The thing is, David had peace in his heart because he knew that he had not been part of the problem or the source of the problem (3-5). Because he had peace in his heart, he knew that he also had peace with the Lord G-d (6-12, 1John 3:24).

Proverbs 27 – Rules for the Road. One thing is for sure in life and that is, we need others to help us. When we try to go at life alone, we are the target of the people who are stronger than we are. When Israel entered Canaan, they went in with the Lord in the lead but sin and rebellion pushed Him out and trouble was on their heels every step of the way. The reason for this is that sin will turn our eyes from the Lord’s direction and cause us to seek a new leader. When our lives are likened to yo-yo’s, at some point in time we will get tired of it and look for something different. It was for this reason that the Israelites asked for a king instead of these lousy judges (17-19). For this reason, we must constantly be aware of where we are in the Lord and if trouble finds its way to our door, we need to check with the Lord to see if we are guilty of sin. Remember this, sin always points the finger to someone else and rarely, if ever, admits guilt (23-27).

Luke 20:9-18 – Parable of the Wicked Tenants. This parable was directed to the Pharisees and Sadducees. The Pharisees had been in existence since 165 BC after the Maccabean revolt (Pharisees). When the Romans took over Jerusalem 63 BC forcing the Herodians into a vassal state, the Sanhedrin continued to be Israel’s spiritual leaders (Herodian-dynasty). When Jesus started his ministry, the Sanhedrin had been in existence for almost 200 years. The religious leaders knew without a doubt that Jesus was the heir to the throne of David because they too knew the Torah Nevaiim and Ketuvim.  In fact, it was reported to Herod who the King would be, where he would be born, and what his mission was. Knowing this information should have brought these people to their knees the problem was that the Sanhedrin did not want to relinquish control. Control and power were the impetus behind the Sanhedrin killing the prophets or the “servants”.  Jesus knew from the very beginning that his disassociation with the Sanhedrin placed his life in peril. Jesus could have been like Elijah and told the Lord G-d “just take me home” yet, he considered the soul of mankind worth the price being paid.

Revelations 18 – The Fall of Babylon. In AD70, the Roman General Titus ransacked Jerusalem and removed every Jew and Christian from the city. This Titus was ruthless and loved money and power. This event triggered revolts by the Jews. After the revolts, the sacrifices dictated by Caesar came to an end (Revolt). What Rome had done in Jerusalem was nothing compared to what the Jews did the difference was that Rome did it on a much larger scale (1-3). When the revolts started, it was the prime opportunity for the people to escape and shed the cloak of oppression (4-6). Rome had enjoyed the fruit of controlling Jerusalem by taking people and products without compunction (7-8). Under Rome’s leadership, the people of Jerusalem suffered but the nations outside of Rome enjoyed a long time of producing wealth by association with Rome (9-14). After the fall, the outside nations were thrown into flux because they wondered how they would survive (15-20). While this may sound like good news, the problem was that there were people in the city who made their income by associated with Rome (21-24).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Bible Reading 12/7/2021

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 8:11-20

Reading #2 – Psalms 16

Reading #3 – Proverbs 26

Reading #4 – Luke 19:11-27

Reading #5 – Revelations 17

 

Notes

Deuteronomy 8:11-20 – Humble Origins. The reasoning behind this diatribe was to prepare the people for the challenges that awaited them in the new land in the same way that Jesus was preparing his disciples before his death. You may not forget the Lord in the heat of the battle but when the battle is over and the victory is yours, it becomes “the Lord who?”. When we live off of the fat of the land for lengthy periods, we tend to forget what it is like to engage in battle except to tell exaggerated war stories. The reasoning behind the yearly festival of Huts was to take the people from their lavish homes to the place of destitution so that the nation would not forget its origins. Before the conquest, the people entered the land with the clothes on their back, the horns, and the Ark of the Covenant.  In the future, though, the people would acquire vast lands, buildings, and crops that they did not work for.  So, it would be up to the people to remember the Lord in every situation (11-20).

Psalms 16 – You Will Not Abandon My Soul. The Lord will never abandon us no matter where we are in our journey (1-2). The problem always stems from the riches that compel us to “take it easy”. The question is, “who will you listen to”? If we listen to the world, will lose the power of the Lord eventually. Remember this, the Devil will use whatever situation we are facing whether it be in times of want or times of plenty to change our viewpoint about G-d (3-4). For David, the Lord was his portion not his victories nor his bounty from battle (5-6). Because David listened to Nathan’s counsel and obeyed the law of the Lord given through Moses, he was victorious in battle, victorious in bringing the nation together as one, and became the greatest King Israel ever had (7-8). Just as David was treasured for his wisdom and fearlessness, in the same way we can see his life and understand that the same G-d who loved and cared for David will do the same for me if I will but ask (9-11).

Proverbs 26:1-13 – The Pathway of the Fool. When we plant fruit trees, we should do so with the expectation that we’ll eventually be eating the fruit from the tree. If we plant apple trees, we should expect apples, grapefruit, pears, or peaches. In the same way, the people we allow to do our business or speak in our name will also produce fruit. The fruit from these people will always speak to their quality of character. Discerning the character requires us to employ wisdom and to look beyond the words, smiles, and platitudes. In the time of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar was looking to employ some of the exiles and a large number applied. The thing is, Nebuchadnezzar had no concept of what was in his arsenal until he needed it (Daniel 2). In the same way, we may never know what is being done behind our backs until it is too late. For this reason, we need to do an in-depth check of what is going on in our lives.

Luke 19:11-27 – Parable of the 10 Minas. One of the many questions asked in an interview is, “where do you see yourself in 10 years?”. The reason for this question is, to get us to think beyond the position we applied for by setting goals for our life. When we see people succeeding and being promoted, we tend to become jealous and privately accuse that person of using their colleagues as stepping stones. While yes there are people who do use others as stepping stones and misuse their authority but, usually promotion comes by hard work and being willing to take a chance. The quantity of minas given to an individual is not the tell-tale sign of success, it is “what did do you do with them”. In every business, state, city, and community there will be those who don’t like the current leadership and refuse to obey them and it leads to trouble.

Revelations 17 – The Great Prostitute and the Beast. The great prostitute that sat on the seven hills was Rome (Seven Hills). The heads on the prostitute were for the give kings that have fallen and two more to come that from one in the same prostitute (9-10). The beast the prostitute rode on was the Devil.  Rome of that time was an abomination due to its leadership (1-6). The Devil is the silent partner in this charade who compelled the foolish kings into believing that they were a G-d only to have the rug pulled out from under their feet. For the churches and John in specific, the only way to overcome the powerful prostitute was to have their names written in the book of life and be obedient to the word of the Lord (7-8). The two remaining kings of Rome would live and die like everyone else (11-12). The earthly kings will cause problems for the church because the church is under the Lord’s leadership and knew to discern between righteousness and unrighteousness (13-14). The churches were to be made aware that they were not alone in the battle as Rome’s fist of power extended over various kingdoms so there were people currently, past, and future who would testify that Jesus was still on the throne (15-18).

 

G-d should never, will never prove Himself to me, it is up to me to remember what the Lord has done in my life. When I remember the victories, the pain points, and the overwhelming power of the Lord, every situation I face will be “all things are possible”! Part of the reason that we are defeated by the Devil is that we forget what the Lord has done in our lives. Remember this, the Lord will never pound it into our brains what He has done, that is up to us. When the Lord gave us control over our will, part of that control is deciding what to remember and what to let go

Daily Bible Reading 12/5/2021

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 8:1-10

Reading #2 – Psalms 15

Reading #3 – Proverbs 25

Reading #4 – Luke 18

Reading #5 – Revelations 16:17-21

 

Notes

Deuteronomy 8:1-10 – Remember the Lord Your G-d is Holy. The nation had endured 40 years walking in the desert and, at first view, it would seem that G-d was being a bully. Yet, as Job’s case played out, they were being tested to see what was in their heart (1-2). It is very easy to say “Trust in the Lord” but it is more difficult than we sometimes realize. Israel left Egypt under the mighty hand of the Lord that was the easy part. The hard part was trusting in him for their food and water when all they could see was the barren land, rocks, and heat. During the 40 years, their clothes did not disintegrate and their feet did not swell up with bites from the scorpions. In man’s purview, it would have been seen as a miracle but to the Lord, it was a simple move of His hand (3-5). With these things in mind, the people were admonished to obey the Lord’s commands. The thing is, mankind is fickle and forgetful (Mike Krier). We can remember every painful event but when good is done on our behalf we forget about those things. When we forget about the good things, we become bitter and resentful like what happened to Job (6-10).

Psalms 15 – Who Shall Dwell on Your Holy Hill? Walking in Jesus’ footsteps is more difficult than we comprehend. The reason is, it requires us to rewire our brain to be thankful instead of complaining, considerate instead of “me first”, fearless instead of fearful, and trust instead of doubting. When we consider the people we interact with, it is easy to complain about them because we forget their wonderful qualities. Of course, there are two different personalities in the world the vile and the faithful. Because the vile person garners wealth and prestige, we want to be around that person because it benefits us financially. The faithful person, unlike the vile, will be there for us when life isn’t at its best and will stay with us through the storms. When we lend money out, we expect it paid back and sometimes people charge interest. The problem with lending money is that it leads to fights between family members. For this reason, I prefer anyway, to give the money away with no expectation of getting it back (1-5).

Proverbs 25:8-10  – How we are Deceived. It is a funny thing about our eyes, they can be deceived by a mirage. In the same way, when we look at what the wicked have garnered, we tend to become envious. When I was in the military, I witnessed how the drug dealers had planes, tracking equipment, and weapons than the US and allies had in their combined arsenal. This is the reasoning behind why righteous people give way to wickedness. In the court of law, witnesses who have been bribed into silence or compelled to give false testimony, their character is tarnished beyond repair.

Luke 18:15-17 – Let the Children Come to Me. When the disciples tried to stop the children from flocking to Jesus because they thought the children were being a nuisance. To Jesus, though, these children were a prime example of what all of mankind should be like. The problem is that as we grow up, we become enamored with the quest for riches, the struggle with wickedness, and the pressures to comply. In our world today, children are being used as pawns to get adults to change their minds on critical issues. When the children are no longer carefree and innocent or allowed their time of innocence, what awaits them is pure and unadulterated hell.

Revelations 16:17-21 – The 7th Bowl Judgement. When the 7th bowl was poured out, the words of Jesus are repeated “It is done” or, “it is finished” (John 19:28-30). The implication is that the judgments have been poured out and the message is concluded (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). In its wake, an earthquake split the great city of Jerusalem into three parts. Biblical scholars have argued that this event has not occurred yet. The problem is, the first recorded earthquake was in 1927 but many other ones did occur but were not recorded (Jericho Earthquake). Jerusalem is located along the “Great Levant” fault line (Great Levant) which makes it susceptible to earthquakes and destruction. The problem is, when these earthquakes happen, it destroys everything in its path and causes things to fall into the earth. When you live on a fault line, you know you need to be prepared but those who are visiting or are allies are not. So, the nations ran as far from Rome as they could possibly go. The Roman empire was then in crisis mode because the leadership (Domitian) was wreaking havoc. Having hail fall in Jerusalem is a rare event (Rare Earthquake) but to have something fall that weighed about 100LBS implies was unimaginable. The religious and Roman leaders brought the city to its knees so to have this phenomenon occur and destroy all of their work compelled them to blame G-d for it and curse him.

Daily Bible Readings 12/4/2021

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 7:17-26

Reading #2 – Psalms 14

Reading #3 – Proverbs 24

Reading #4 – Luke 17

Reading #5 – Revelations 16:8-16

 

Notes

Deuteronomy 7:17-26 – How Shall I Defeat the Strong? One of the most compelling questions of our heart is, “how can I defeat ____ when it looks to be bigger than me or my capabilities”? The answer to that question is, “look at what the Lord has brought you through and see how big our G-d is” (17-19). When the Lord calls you to a ministry, He will always prepare you and the path you will take as we found out with the construction of the Ark of the Covenant (20-21). For this reason, we are not to be afraid of the giants that threaten our world. Everything the Lord does is methodical, slow, and purpose-filled (22-23). The kings that caused problems would die as all of mankind does and so we do not need to be afraid of them or let them be our dread (24-25). The idols that were made were to be destroyed and the people were not to take even a single ounce of the gold or silver that was included. Killing the kings and conquering the land is the easiest part of the equation because the two were defeated in a physical battle. The bounty, on the other hand, is an enticement that feeds mankind’s greed. It was for this reason that the icons were devoted to destruction (26, Joshua 7).

Psalms 14 – The Fool Says, There is No G-d”. There is a problem with time in that it passes and people die. The new generation was not always privy to what happened to bring about prosperity. For this reason, people think “there is no G-d and I am entitled to prosperity” (1). When this happens, the Lord who controls this earth will flip a switch, and storms of trouble occur to humble mankind (2). Prosperity for too lengthy-time compels people to forget their humble origins and so they take advantage of the poor and misuse them (3). When this happens, the Lord humbles us in ways we will not like and, like the unjust steward, we have to take evasive actions so that we land in a soft spot (4-6). It should be the desire of our heart that our salvation comes from the Lord and not from the government because His plan does not come with strings attached (7).

Proverbs 24:3-7 – Proverbs for the Road. When a man/woman seeks to build a life for themselves, the best tool available is “wisdom”. Waging war, whether it be physical or spiritual, requires wisdom because, without it, you will fight the wrong enemy. Across the USA and the world at large today, we see the outcome of fighting the wrong enemy and we are paying the price for it. The real enemy is the Devil and he is not defeated because of our prowess for war, it is fought on our knees and with wisdom from above (3-7, 2 Corinthians 10:1-6).

Luke 17 – The Unworthy Servants. As servants of Jesus Christ, what we receive is our portion from the Lord. We are no more important to G-d than anybody else on this planet bar none because everybody is G-d’s treasured possession. When we are commissioned to ministry, we are held accountable for our actions and what we do with G-d’s possessions. The disciples were being groomed for the ministry that lay ahead of them beyond the Cross. The disciple’s reward for service was in the pathway that was left for the people to follow and the lives that were saved by their actions (7-10, Matthew 19:27-30). Everybody who comes to the Lord will be accepted into G-d’s Kingdom no matter what age, gender, denomination, nationality, and/or creed. Additionally, everybody is hired at the same price and that is, “their life”. No one’s life is worth more or less than another no matter how long we serve the Lord (Matthew 20:1-16).

Revelations 16:8-16 – The 4th – 6th Bowls of Judgment. When the 4th bowl was poured out, the nation was scorched with fire and heat. The problem was the people who were negatively impacted by the fire blamed G-d for this event and chose to turn their backs on Him (8-9). When the 5th bowl was poured out the beast’s kingdom was plunged into darkness which further irritated the people compelled them to dig their heels into the earth (10-11). Because the outcome of the first 5 bowls didn’t change man’s mind, a sixth one was poured out and that was watching their drinking water and source of protection being dry up from drought. When all of this happened, the dragon used the events to push his/her agenda. The false prophets and unclean spirits spoke heresy and the people believed it because of the signs they showed. This all led up to a showdown in the desert with the armies of the world like what happened in 1992-3. The thing is, we see it in writing but we never hear of its starting or ending (12-16).

Daily Bible Reading 12/2/2021

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 7:12-15

Reading #2 – Psalms 13

Reading #3 – Proverbs 23

Reading #4 – Luke 16

Reading #5 – Revelations 16:1-7

 

Notes

Deuteronomy 7:12-16 – Rules for the Road. Blessings are a by-product of obedience (12). Being obedient to the Lord goes beyond church attendance, singing worship songs, and/or saying “Hallelujah” and “amen”. Obedience means that we do what is asked of us and according to the instructions. For Israel it meant rooting out the polluted items, clearing away the rocks, and treating the land with respect. If the land is cared for and nurtured, the crops will grow and the animals will be healthy. By being obedient, the Lord will bring the rains to nourish the crops and provide the water to drink both for you and the animals (13-16).

Psalm 13 – How Long O Lord? When we are disobedient, as David had been, there will be unfortunate by-products of our actions. Until we come to terms with our sin and repent of it, G-d will hide his face causing all forward-looking actions to cease (1). Once we have repented of our sins, we will still have the mess we created to clean up, and sometimes some spots never go away. As an example, if the farmer does not plant his/her crops or fails to get them out of the field and he/she repents, the family will still have nothing to eat (2, 2 Thessalonians 3:10). How long will G-d wait? As long as it takes to get His point across to us even if it takes 40 years (3-4). After we have balanced the books in the Kingdom of G-d, it doesn’t stop the accusations or any other penalty for our actions from being leveraged against us. If we pay the price no matter what it is and do so in obedience and faithfulness to the Lord, that penalty will be used to glorify G-d (5-6).

Proverbs 23:1-8 – Proverbs for the Road. As children of G-d, we are held to a higher standard. The world has its ways and means but it doesn’t mean that we have to go along with them. When we are in the presence of the world, we need to carefully consider our words and actions. The examples of gluttony, hunger for riches, and/or going beyond our limitations will bring problems to our home. Once that stain is in our home and lives, it doesn’t go away and will haunt us just like opening a door lets in a fly that breeds more flies.

Luke 16:1-13 – Parable of the Dishonest Manager. The manager had been dishonest with the master of the home’s possessions. The manager had thought he was getting away with his actions until he was called on the carpet and his job hung in the balance. The man was in a conundrum because losing the job was bad enough but to then consider “how will my family and I eat”? While we are enjoying the fruit of sin, we do not consider the ramifications of our actions any more than Solomon did during his lifetime. Losing his plumb job meant he would have to go in search of a new one but, who would hire a person who was fired for mismanagement (1-3). So, he did some quick thinking and came up with an ingenious plan that would benefit the community and reduce the master’s profits (4-7). This scheme should have enraged the master and compelled him to have the manager thrown into prison until he paid back the master. Instead, the master lauded the manager because even he knew that the surest way to please the world was to do things that benefited them (8-9). The point of this story was that when we are dishonest/honest with little things, we will be honest/dishonest with the bigger things. If we do not tithe when we have a little bit of money we won’t do it when we have a vast amount (10-13).

Revelations 16:1-7 – Seven Bowles of G-d’s Wrath. When the first bowl was poured out, the people who bore the mark of the emperor which, was a coin that bore the image of the emperor. The people that wore this coin thought this man would save the empire not knowing this man’s hidden agenda (1-2, ). Sound familiar?  When the 2nd Angel poured out the 2nd bowl, everything in the sea died. When the third bowl was poured out, the rivers, the sea turned to red and all died. The reason behind this was that the Levant Volcancanic Province (LVP) erupted causing lava to flow across the land (3-4, ). The thing we need to keep in mind with this earth is that it belongs to G-d and only He knows what it takes to heal and restore the earth (5-7).

Daily Bible Reading 11/30/2021

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 7:6-11

Reading #2 – Psalms 12

Reading #3 – Proverbs 22

Reading #4 – Luke 15

Reading #5 – Revelations 15

 

Notes

Deuteronomy 7:6-11 – A People Holy to the Lord G-d. To be called a “Holy People” or “Chosen” implies that you are set aside or different. To be “Holy to the Lord” is to be obedient to what is commanded out of respect. When I was in the military, we wore uniforms that identified our employer. When I wore civilian clothes, it was my demeanor that identified my employer. In the same way, the nation’s demeanor and behavior spoke volumes about the G-d they served. Israel was small and mostly insignificant compared to the larger nations that surrounded them. When the people were in Egypt, the Lord heard the inward cries of the heart and in deference to their forefathers, He brought them out. So, it was the prayers of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that opened the doorway for the nation. After moving into the new land, they were responsible for adherence to the laws (6-11).

Psalms 12 – The Lord Hears Our Cry. When we seek the face of the Lord with all of our heart He will be found and a connection will be made. Unfortunately, the path to deliverance is a long journey that many people start but stop when they become comfortable. For the Lord to keep us, we need to be obedient and faithful instead of playing both sides. When the only thing that identifies us as “Children of the Lord G-d” is the Bible we tout, we are one step from failure. When people see us, they should notice a stark difference between us and them which includes producing edible fruit. The reason G-d protects the faithful is that these people do what is required of them and are the solution to the problem (5-8).

Proverbs 22:1-4 – The Pathways. There are two pathways in life one leads to trouble and the other to salvation. When we walk in obedience to the Lord, we won’t find ourselves in a bind of our making. Remember this, the Lord doesn’t look for a pristine person, He looks for the person who will do what is asked of him/her without seeking rewards. A servant will fulfill his/her obligations not because he/she wants something but because it was asked of him/her and they were paid accordingly. G-d’s laws may be old but they are still effective at keeping us out of trouble.

Luke 15:11-32 – The Prodigal Son. The word prodigal means “Spend lavishly extravagant”. When the boy came home in shambles, his father gave him clean clothes, a ring, and a welcome home party. While his father lavished on him, that was the end of the spending as far as we know. The boy would not receive any more of his father’s possessions, he would have to work for a living. The 900lb gorilla in the room was the boy’s brother who had been faithful to his father all of his life. The party incensed the older brother because maybe he thought the younger brother was being rewarded for misbehavior. The Devil got the younger boy dreaming of all the fun he could have. The Devil then presented false reasoning behind the party. The reason he did these things was to cause problems in the home where the Spirit of the Living G-d lived.

Revelations 15 – Seven Angels with Seven Plagues. When you read this chapter, you will notice several references to the wilderness temple and the time of Moses. Remember, G-d poured out seven deadly plagues on Egypt which led up to the nation being let go from service to go into the wilderness. Moses sang his song on the opposite side of the Red Sea or “Sea of Reeds” (3-4, Deuteronomy 34, Psalms 90 and 91). The third reference was the tent of witness or tent of meeting where the ark of the covenant was placed (5). The seven angels dressed in white linen with golden sashes refer back to the Aaronic priests who would help in the service of the High Priest (6). The last reference was when the smoke filled the temple when the Lord G-d resided in it (8, Isaiah 6:4-5).

Daily Bible Reading 11/29/2021

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 7:1-5

Reading #2 – Psalms 11

Reading #3 – Proverbs 21

Reading #4 – Luke 14

Reading #5 – Revelations 14:14-20

 

Notes

Deuteronomy 7:1-5 – Chosen People. While being referred to as the “Chosen People” sounds like “bragging rights”, it comes with a blessing and a curse. The people would be carried into the Promised Land and the previous occupants would be cleared out. While that too sounds wonderful, it must be understood that G-d didn’t do that to honor Israel nor, did He do it because they won a contest, He did to honor His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (1-3). The caveat was that the people were to destroy every altar, every place of worship, and every idol where ever they may be in the land. The reason for being so adamant about destroying these things was that those things would become an enticement for Israel to bow down to them just as it happened at Peor(4-5). Notice that G-d used the words “shall not” instead of “cannot”. If G-d used “cannot”, the people would respond with “Yes I can watch me”.

Psalms 11 – The Lord is in His Holy Temple. One of the single greatest things about the G-d we serve is that He is always with us. In times of trouble, just as in joyful times, He is with us along with a cast of thousands. Even with all of that, we are still powerless to make the world comply with G-d’s way, all we can change is ourselves (1-3). In those times, the Lord is in His temple where you will always find Him. When we obey His laws and precepts, He will guide us through the rough waters (4-7). The secret to overcoming and experiencing G-d’s best for our lives is wrapped up in the word “obedience” not “sacrifice”.

Proverbs 21:1-3 – Wisdom for the Road. Sacrifice means to surrender an item as an offering. In Old Testament times, the people were directed to bring a sacrificial animal, bird, and/or a handful of wheat to sacrifice to the Lord (Leviticus 4). The reason the Lord is adamant about obedience is that He had seen what happened in David and Saul’s time. Consider the laws about “Drunken Driving”. When an individual violates these laws, he/she will be required to offer a sacrifice of their license, paying for lawsuits, raises in insurance cost, and, most important, it negatively impacts the innocent. Just as no amount of money put out would restore the damages caused by our actions, nor would the animal sacrifices restore broken unions much less put things back the way they were. For this reason, I believe, the statement “Righteousness and justice are better than sacrifice”.

Luke 14:7-11 – Parable of the Wedding Feast. The proverb “He who humbles himself ..” speaks to the quality of our character (7-11, Proverbs 29:23). In this snippet, Jesus observed the conduct of those coming to listen to him and were vying for the prominent seats at the expense of everyone in the room. The Pharisees were used to being catered too which included being afforded the most prominent seats in the room. An argument could be made that Jesus was “used to being put in the furthest part of the room” and wanted everyone to understand how it feels to be treated poorly. That argument could not be further from the truth. While yes Jesus was a Carpenter’s son and lived a humble life, he understood the importance of “Submission to the Father”. Remember, Jesus was/is the Son of the Living G-d because of that, he was with G-d in the beginning and had witnessed first-hand what happens when pride, arrogance, and favoritism are allowed to exist like the example of Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25:28, John 1:1).

Revelations 14:14-20 – Harvest of the Earth. Harvest time, which is between the middle and end of October marks the end of the growing season. Those that have raised a farm understand the concept that “whatever you plant, you will reap” depending on the soil and atmospheric conditions (14-16). This book was initially written around AD 69-70 and refers, for the most part, to the end of the 2nd temple age (Destruction of the Temple). By this point in time, most if not all of the original 12 disciples had passed away or been martyred thanks to Nero. In Ad 68-70 after Nero was forced to commit suicide, the Roman Empire was embroiled in a Civil war which caused a quick succession of 4 emperors (17-20, ). It is interesting to see how G-d uses revolts and civil war to bring about deliverance. As an example, in 538, the Israelites were allowed to go back to their homeland after the Babylonians were defeated.

Daily Bible Reading 11/28/2021

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 6:16-25

Reading #2 – Psalms 10

Reading #3 – Proverbs 20

Reading #4 – Luke 13

Reading #5 – Revelations 14:6-13

 

Notes

Deuteronomy 6:16-25 – Righteous By Choice. The words “shall not” imply, “while yes most certainly can find a way but if you want peace in your life you will not ..”. When Jesus was tempted, he replied to the challenge of casting himself from the Temple spire with these words (). At Massah, the nation tested the Lord’s patience by demanding water instead of asking for it nicely (Exodus 17:7). Everything we do in our lives requires us to make a choice and some of them are not easy to make. One of those choices is, deciding the pathway we will take or, “lifestyle” (17-19). The problem with lifestyle choices is that we have no earthly idea what lies on the other side or, what consequences we will endure. When our children are young, they follow our lead most times but, as they age they will question the logic behind our choices especially when the outcome is not in their favor. So, we have to be prepared to answer those questions with honesty, a sound understanding of scripture and, examples from history (20-25).

Psalms 10 – The Unknown Variable. David is asking a difficult question something many parents have experienced the same situation with their children. The answer usually comes down to “choices”. Jesus said, “unless we become like little children” (Matthew 18:3). The problem is, as children we see the ways of the world running in contradiction to G-d’s laws, having fun, and reaping riches. When we go home, we see our parents living a modest life and we want to know the reasoning behind it all. The thing is, all we can see is the outer appearance of the world as compared to what we are experiencing. So, we ask G-d “why should I follow your laws and be penalized for it”? The answer comes down to the simple words “trust me”. The 900lb gorilla in the room is, “we are not always privy to what goes on in the home, history, and/or end of the matter or the ‘unknown variable’”. It would not be until David went into the Sanctuary of the Almighty that he would see what the end of the matter was (Psalms 73:17-19).

Proverbs 20:7-10 – The Pathway of Righteousness. Along life’s highways and byways, we see people living ungodly lives and we shake our heads and say “if only you knew”. The ire is, they do the same things to us sort of like the “Chevrolet versus Ford” argument. The thing is, we have choices as I have said multiple times and many of our choices do not reap rewards until years later. You may or may not have noticed that G-d does put all of the pieces together for us, He gives us the tools and resources but we have to provide the labor. History is replete with examples of the fruit of both righteousness and unrighteousness and we have to choose the pathway we will take (Joshua 24:14-15).

Luke 13:1-5 – Repent or Perish. If you will notice, there is no middle ground in Jesus’ argument, it was “one or the other”. This is important because you will be the outcast of both sides and a coin cannot stand straight up being neither heads nor tails” without support (Matthew 12:30). According to scripture, there is no sin that is worse than another because all sin is wrong in G-d’s eyes. In the same way, as there is no middle ground in life, there is also no middle ground between repenting or perishing. Repenting means to “change your mind”, “turn 180 degrees away”, and balancing the books with the people we have offended. When we follow G-d’s pathway for our lives, we must continue on that path because, when we turn around again the sinful ways will be there waiting for us (Psalms 103:12).

Revelations 14:6-13 – Messages of the Three Angels. The first and most important message was, “Fear G-d and give Him glory” (6-7, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). Fearing G-d because of the current situation we are facing will compel us to switch gears when the trouble passes. In 2001 after the destruction in Manhatten NY, the churches were filled to capacity for prayer and support out of concern for “End Times”. After the tragedy passed, the people went back to what they were doing. The second message was “Fallen is Babylon” (8). Babylon is symbolic of “worldly kingdoms that follow the Devil’s pathway. When the worldly power that we are a part of or integrated with collapses, we are negatively impacted, and is sometimes something we do not get over. In the time of Daniel, Babylon was the gold standard for worldly operations and kingdoms across the landscape allied with it and, in essence, rode the crest of the wave. After the collapse, the kingdoms were in turmoil because they did not know which path to take so several kings rose to vie for control (Daniel 4). The third message was “Anybody who worships the beast or his image he will drink the wine of G-d’s wrath”. The beast is the Devil and his image resembles his attributes and his hidden agenda. The churches in the late 1st century and even to this day are caught up in the crossfire of cultural changes. Two of the churches wanted to be in the good graces of the evil kingdom of Rome to remain relevant just as the Pharisees had done (Revelations 2 and 3). The problem was and still is, the world like fire will never say “enough” or, “we are content” because sin is never content and will always want more (9-12). The people who died in Christ because they will rest from their labors and, for the churches, it meant “Keep your eyes on the mission and take no concern for the dead just adhere to what you have learned (13).

Daily Bible Reading 11/27/2021

Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 6:10-15

Reading #2 – Psalms 9

Reading #3 – Proverbs 19

Reading #4 – Luke 12

Reading #5 – Revelations 14:1-5

 

Notes

Deuteronomy 6:10-15 – Boredom Syndrome. One of the biggest battles that Israel would face and the world still faces to this date is, “boredom. Israel would be inheriting the land, buildings, crops, and cisterns without having to lift a finger. Not having to put in any work into developing the land was a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing because it was the fruit of G-d’s provision. It was a curse because it would ultimately lead the nation down the pathway to its demise (10-12). When the nation was preparing for battle, it was focused on the mission that lay ahead of them or, “the upward calling” (Philippians 3:14). Being busy is not a bad thing. When the nation was busy, they were less apt to moan, cry, and complain. Conversely, when there was very little to do, the people moaned, cried, and complained. Boredom, according to an online article, comes in seven stages just like grief (BOREDOM). After the land was conquered and peace prevailed across the land, the people had very little to do and in essence “become bored”. This, I firmly believe, is the underlying reason for Moses’ warning about “getting fat, forgetting the Lord, and going in search of another G-d” (13-15).

Psalms 9 – I Will Recount Your Wonderful Deeds. Two things stand out about David he was devoted to serving the Lord and he was a War-time King. Solomon or Jediah unlike his father would not experience battle more than a few times in his lifetime. When we are in the heat of battle, we naturally turn our eyes to the Lord to seek His protection and provision.  When the Commander calls the end of hostilities, we naturally tend to lessen the restraints and this is where problems usually start. The thing is, although we will tend to walk away from the Lord, the Lord never walks away from us and will wait as long as it takes for us to come to our senses (7-10).

Proverbs 19:3-7 – Proverb for Life. In the above segment on Deuteronomy, Moses warned the nation about the dire effects of “boredom” (Deuteronomy 6:10-12). The problem was and still is when the nation served the Lord with respect and honor, He provided for their needs just as He provides for ours. When the nation turned towards greed, pride, and arrogance, the Lord removed His protective covering and the nation languished. When this covering is removed, we tend to become angry and say, “There is no G-d?” or “Ichabod” (3, 1 Samuel 4:19-22). Israel, under Solomon’s watch, enjoyed 40 + years of prosperity thanks to David’s leadership and Solomon’s quest for wisdom. While Solomon shared the wealth with his people, he also wheels in motion for the worldly kingdoms to take advantage of the nation (4). Under David’s watch, the nation did not have gold shields, they had weapons that were tried and tested in battle which compelled the nations to fear Israel (5-7).

Luke 12:8-12 – Acknowledge Christ Before Men. What does it mean to “Acknowledge Christ before men”? Does it mean, “saying Praise Jesus” every time we are in the presence of non-Christians? Or, as I suspect, “Honoring him with our life, our choices, and the direction we take our lives”? Remember, Jesus was going away and the disciples would face the fire of the enemy where they lived and Jesus would not be with them physically to encourage them. For this reason, the group, just like us, was responsible for lighting a fire within themselves that the coldest places in Hell could not extinguish (8-12, Matthew 16:13-20, Mark 9:50).

Revelations 14:1-5 – The Lamb and the 144,000. In scripture, just as in present-day, a term is often eluded to and that is, “hyperbole”. The writer, John the Revelator, saw this massive amount of people standing before the throne (1). The point that the Spirit was getting across to John and ultimately the churches in Asia minor, “Just as the 144,000 were able to fight the good fight and win, so can the churches. The people in Heaven were born in Heaven but had endured problems while they lived but had not denied knowing the Lord even though it had cost them their life. To say, “these people were virgins” implied they had not played the harlot with the leadership of Rome. To say, “there was no lie in them”, did not imply that G-d took their word for it, it meant they had lived their life to please the Lord without surrendering their integrity. The churches, as you may remember, were embroiled in a fight for their existence thanks to Domitian and the church leaders who followed him (1-5).