Old Testament reading: Deuteronomy 16-18
Deuteronomy 16 reviews the Passover and the three annual feasts. The unleavened bread is called “the bread of affliction” in verse 3. Thinking of this bread reminds me of Jesus. It was without leaven, and Christ was without sin. It was eaten in remembrance of bondage in Egypt, and we eat it in remembrance of our deliverance from sin. After a week of eating unleavened bread, a feast was declared. Can you imagine how marvelous that food tasted? Only after we put away sin can we taste the graciousness of the Lord (1 Pet 1:1-3). Another point of interest is Moses’ prophecy concerning a future king to be set up in Israel (17:14-15). Though brought to fruition several hundred years later (1 Sam 8-9), an earthly king was not God’s desire for Israel. In like fashion, Jesus shall not reign physically as an earthly king (Jer 22:28-30, Matt 1:11). We must also note the prophecy of the rise of the prophet like unto Moses in Deuteronomy 18:18-20, which text Peter quoted in Acts 3:18-23 and applied to Jesus.
New Testament reading: 2 Corinthians 11-13
One of the beauties of the biblical text is its use of so many different writing styles. I find the narrative accounts the easiest to read and remember, but I have developed a great and deeper appreciation for the poetry and proverbs. Another beauty of the biblical text is the utilization of various parts of speech. For example, Solomon uses personification in speaking of wisdom as if it were a woman (cf Prov 1:20-21). Jesus used hyperbole (intended exaggeration) on at least two occasions (cf Matt 7:3-5; 19:24). In today’s reading, Paul uses a form of speech that is not often associated with the biblical text – sarcasm. In 2 Corinthians 11:19 Paul writes: “For you put up with fools gladly since your yourselves are wise!” Do we think for a moment that Paul actually believes the Corinthians are wise in this regard? And again, from Paul’s pen: “For what is it in which you were inferior to other churches, except that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong!” (12:13). Do we really think Paul was confessing wrong and asking for forgiveness? Such use of language helps me identify with Paul as a person who was unafraid to use such wit and wisdom in his correspondence with those brethren.