Jeremiah 41-42

Jeremiah 41-42

Chapter 41: Ishmael kills Sedaliah

Ishmael (of royal seed) executes his conspiracy against Gedaliah and his companions. Ishmael also attempts to carry away the Jews who were with him as captives to the Ammonites. Johanan recovers them, and proposes fleeing with them into Egypt.

Chapter 42: Jeremiah promises peace if they obey

Johanan and the remnant of the people desire Jeremiah to ask counsel of God what they should do. Jeremiah says they will be safe in Judah, but face destruction in Egypt. Jeremiah expresses his disapproval of their hypocrisy in asking advice they have no intention of following.

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Jeremiah 35-36

Jeremiah 35-36

Chapter 35: Blessings for Obedience

The Lord commands Jeremiah to go and test the obedience of the Rechabites by essentially tempting them with wine. However after having wine placed before them they tell Jeremiah and those that are with him; “…We will drink no wine: for… our father commanded us… Ye shall drink no wine…” (Jeremiah 35:6) So even after being tempted they resisted and obeyed the commandment of the Lord. This is something we should learn from… even after temptation and perhaps peer pressure or pressure from the world to do something that goes against God’s commandments… WE CAN HAVE THE STRENGTH TO SAY NO!

The Lord commends and blesses the Rechabites, who obey the Lord by staying sober and not partaking of any wine.  Their obedience is contrasted with Judah and Jerusalem.

Chapter 36: Roll or Book

Word comes to Jeremiah in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim. Using Baruch as his scribe, Jeremiah writes down his prophecies. Baruch reads them publicly upon a fast day in the temple, where the princes hear him, and decide to tell the king of what they are preaching while at the same time advising both Jeremiah and Baruch to hide. Jehoiakim has the roll thrown into the fire, and orders Jeremiah and Baruch to be seized. The Lord conceals them and then later commands Jeremiah to rewrite the roll, and denounces the burning of the roll.

 

Proverbs 23-24

Proverbs 23-24

Chapter 23: Labor not to be Rich

“Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.” (Proverbs 23:4)

                We should never focus on work as only a means for us to become wealthy. If we become wealthy by our work, then so be it, but it should not be our main focus.

                “…as he thinketh with his heart, so is he…” (Proverbs 23:7)

                If a man lusts after sex, drugs or alcohol then that is what the man is. This is similar to the idea of “you are what you eat”, we are what we do in private and public.

                “Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.” (Proverbs 23:9)

                Fools will not listen.

                “Withhold not correction from the child; for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.” (Proverbs 23:13-14)

                Does this mean we should be children? NO! But we shouldn’t be too easy going either… we need to put some tough love into parenting.

                “…despise not thy mother when she is old.” (Proverbs 23:22)

                When our parents get old, we should still respect them. We should always look out for them, as they have looked after us.

Chapter 24: Listen to Counsel

In a multitude of counselors there is safety. We need to learn to take advice from others! A wise man is strong, and a man of understanding increases that strength daily.

“Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.” (Proverbs 24:29)

Here we see that we are judged on our works and are not just saved by the grace of God alone. We need to remember that if someone has wronged us we cannot always get revenge by doing the same thing to them. Let’s say someone cut off your arm, would it make sense to cut off the arm of the offender? No. This is what the scripture is talking about.

 

Psalms 43-44

Psalms 43-44

Chapter 43: Light and Truth

David asks God to judge him and plead his case to an ungodly nation, he further asks “…send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me…” (Psalms 43:3)

                This light and truth can be found many places, one place in which it can be found is through His spirit (the Holy Ghost), through His teachings (the scriptures), through His teachers (apostles, prophets, and other church leaders), His children (those around you; friends and family can convey His light and truth), prayer (direct communication to His light and truth through Him).

Chapter 44: Sheep for the Slaughter

To the chief Musician, for the sons of Korah, Maschill.

                David opens with a conversation with God; he tells the Lord about the great miracles He performed helping the “fathers of old” and how they got the land without their own sword, but only the sword of the Lord and His mighty power. David tells the Lord that he “…will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.” (Psalms 44:6) This is always a good reminder, we can have weapons to protect ourselves, but we should never completely trust in them to save us. David had a bow, and he used it. But he said that he would not put his ONLY trust in his bow, but the Lord. David said “In God we boat all the day long and praise thy name forever.” (Psalms 44:8). Instead of boasting of money, power or fame… we should only boast in the Lord!
David then goes on to reveal something interesting; “If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god; Shall not God search this out? For he knoweth the secrets of the heart. Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.” (Psalms 44:20-22)

                Essentially this tells us that if we have different desires (other than what the Lord would have for us), God will know! God knows our desires, whether they be good or bad. It says that if we seek out other gods, those gods could come in the form of power or money. It is just important that we remember to keep the Lord our number one priority.

 

Job 30-31

Job 30-31

Chapter 30: Job Weeps for Those in Trouble

At this point Job is pretty upset, men younger than him are mocking him, Job was tortured by the irony of it all. The sons of men whom Job would not even put with the dogs of his flock were now his mockers and critics.

Job was now low in the eyes of these worthless men. Job, continues again to describe his present crisis. He described the persistent, gnawing pains that were ever with him; but for him it was first a crisis of the soul.

Chapter 31: Job Invites Judgment from God

This chapter covers Job’s final answer to his friends and their arguments.

“Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps? If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity. If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mind hands; Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out” (Job 31:4-8)

Job says that he is not in the wrong… however, if he is infact in the wrong and he has walked in vanity, he says that he should be punished. Job did not want to lose his integrity before the Lord and therefore, essentially, said let me “reap what I sow”, don’t punish anyone but Job.

Job then continues to expound; “For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure. If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence;” (Job 31:23-24)

Here Job is saying that he was afraid of the Lord and did not put his trust in worldly, material things. This is a lesson we all must remember.

 

Job 11-12

Job 11-12

Chapter 11: By searching we can find God

Zophar criticizes Job for his complaining. Infact, Zophar tells Job that he actually deserves far worse from God.

                “…he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.” (Job 11:6)

                We can learn two very important things here… our knowledge is far less than God’s. Why? Well every day we are discovering new technology, right? Therefore we still do not know everything, to say that we know all is absolutely ridiculous! God knows all and we should trust him. Secondly; God is full of mercy and when we do something wrong, the punishment is probably far less than what we actually deserve.

Zophar then goes on to teach Job about theology.

“Canst thou by searching find out God?” (Job 11:7)

Zophar, essentially criticizes Job, by telling him that God is transparent and should not be questioning Him. Zophar believed that the best thing Job could do was to accept his punishment from God instead of protesting the injustice of it. In Zophar’s mind, Job’s punishment was just and God was actually giving Job less than he deserved.

Zophar then calls upon Job to repent. If Job repents then he will be able to lift up his face to God without spot…

“…thou shalt be stedfast, and shall not fear… thou shalt shine forth… thou shalt be secure, because there is hope… thou shalt take thy rest in safety… none shall make thee afraid…” (Job 11:15-19)

If we do something to wrong God (not saying that Job did anything wrong), but if WE do SIN, we must REPENT. If we do repent then we are promised to have a feeling of hope, that we will be safe and we won’t fear man, but only God.

Chapter 12: The souls of all things are in God’s hands.

Job sarcastically answers Zophar and his other friends.

“No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you. But I have an understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: yea, who knoweth not such things as these? I am as one mocked of his neighbor…” (Job 12:2-4) 

Job was very frustrated with his friend and made two very important points;  First, that he also was a man of understanding. Second, that the principles presented by Zophar and the others were already widely known.

Job goes on to say that all creation knows the power of God (7-12). He returns the favor to his friends by telling them that their wisdom is so simple that even the earth, the animals and all life know the same.

Job goes on to describe the great power of God. Here, Job rebuked the previous speech of Zophar (Job 11), especially where Zophar criticized Job for not knowing God and likened him to an empty-headed man (Job 11:7-12). Here Job showed that he did indeed know that God was great in wisdom and strength, and that He was mighty in counsel and understanding.

Exodus 21-22

Exodus 21-22

Chapter 21: Law of Moses

The Lord reveals his laws for, as part of the Law of Moses:

Servants:

  • If you buy a Hebrew servant, he will work for 6 years and on the 7th year he shall go free.
  • If he came by himself or with a wife, both shall go free.
  • If the master gave the servant a wife, then the servant shall go free. But the wife and any children born belong to the master.
  • If a servant is given a wife by the master and chooses to be with the wife, then he becomes property of the master for life.
  • If a servant is assaulted and has his eye damaged then he can be set free.

Plural Marriage:

  • If a daughter is sold as a maidservant she shall not go out and be free as the servant.
  • If a man take another wife, then his duty to both wives (to feed, clothe, shelter, etc) remains.

Death Penalty:

  • If a man kills, then he shall be killed.
  • If a man steals (kidnaps) or enslaves man, he shall be put to death.
  • If a man causes the “fruit to depart from her” killing a baby in a pregnant woman, then the husband can do with the man as he pleases, and the judges will decide how much he pays.

Eye for an Eye:

  • Life for Life
  • Eye for Eye
  • Tooth for Tooth
  • Hand for Hand
  • Foot for Foot
  • Wound for Wound
  • Stripe for Stripe

Chapter 22: Law of Moses

  • If a man steal an ox or a sheep and kill or sell it. He shall restore 5 oxen for an ox and 4 sheep for a sheep.
  • If a thief is breaking in and is killed, the one who killed him will not be killed.
  • If a thief is unable to make restitution he will be sold.
  • If a thief is caught with an ox or sheep alive, he will restore to the owner double.
  • If a man eats from  a field that is not his, he shall make restitution.
  • If a man causes a fire that burnt down a field he shall make restitution.
  • Anything stolen, once caught the thief must pay the owner double.
  • A witch shall not live, but shall be killed.
  • Anyone who lies with an animal shall be killed.
  • Anyone who sacrifices unto another God, other than the Lord shall be destroyed.
  • Thou shalt not oppress a stranger.
  • Thou shalt not afflict any widow or fatherless child.
    • Anyone who afflicts a widow or a fatherless child and that widow or child cries unto the Lord. The Lord will visit the person who afflicted and make widows and make them fatherless.
    • If you lend money, you cannot be a usurer.