~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
Deuteronomy 18:1-20:20 ~ Luke 9:28-50
Psalm 73:1-28 ~ Proverbs 12:10
Wow, the past 3 months seem to have flown by... It's now April 1 and we are officially 25% of the way through the Bible! Give yourself a pat on the back. High five God. Your marathon pace is going great!
Old Testament - Bob Deffinbaugh with Bible.org has a great commentary on Deuteronomy chapter 18 titled "False Prophets" at this link. One good quote from this link from Bob is - "False prophets play down the majesty and holiness of God. They try, as it were, to ‘bring God down’ to our level. They make us feel comfortable around “God” (or the “gods”), and they even seek to convince us that we can manipulate God to our advantage. The true prophets did just the opposite.'" Think there are false prophets in our world today?
In Deuteronomy chapter 19 we read about the Cities of Refuge today. An image is below for verse 11 - which did not allow one safety in the Cities of Refuge.... ""But suppose someone hates a neighbor and deliberately ambushes and murders that neighbor..."
An image is below for Deuteronomy chapter 20 verses 1 through 4 - ""When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The LORD your God, who brought you safely out of Egypt, is with you! Before you go into battle, the priest will come forward to speak with the troops. He will say, `Listen to me, all you men of Israel! Do not be afraid as you go out to fight today! Do not lose heart or panic. For the LORD your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!'" This reminds me of a great lyric off Chris Tomlin's latest album - "If God is on our side, who can be against us?"
New Testament - Today in Luke chapter 9 we read about the Transfiguration. I read an interesting commentary that said Peter was suggesting that 3 shelters be made because Peter thought at that time that the faith was built on these 3 pillars: The Law (Moses), the Prophets (Elijah), and Jesus. Whereas, Peter later understood that through the New Covenant our faith is now built on Jesus, "a chosen and precious cornerstone" (1 Peter 2:6).
Bible.org's commentary on Luke chapter 9 titled "The Transfiguration of Christ" is at this link.
In Luke chapter 9 verse 46 today we read - "Then there was an argument among them as to which of them would be the greatest." Hmmm.... think this sort of thing still goes on today? :) Sure it does, because I've participated in this sort of thing. No, I guess I've never straight out argued with someone that I'm greater than them in the kingdom of God... but I've thought it. How sad. How very sad. Why sad? Because if we consciously thinking about ourselves as being better than someone else, then we are spending precious time focused on the wrong thing in life - ourselves. God calls us to love & serve others in so many more valuable ways. When we are focusing on ourselves, and thinking we are all-that-and-a-bag-o-chips we are not loving anybody... Praise God that Jesus teaches the disciples - and you and me today - that there is a better way. Verses 47 & 48 continue - "But Jesus knew their thoughts, so he brought a little child to his side. Then he said to them, "Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes my Father who sent me. Whoever is the least among you is the greatest.""
Bible.org's commentary on Luke chapter 9 titled "Secular Saints" is at this link.
Psalms - Wow... Psalm 73 today is amazing! I love it. I actually had lunch with a good friend very recently who said to me verse 13 almost verbatim - "Was it for nothing that I kept my heart pure and kept myself from doing wrong?" It was so sad for me to hear him say this... but he obviously is not alone. The Psalmist thought this too, and I imagine each of us might feel like this is at times. Praise God that the Psalmist rallies, as hopefully do we, in verse 23 - "Yet I still belong to you; you are holding my right hand." And then I absolutely love where he goes with verse 26 - "My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever." I can quickly think of people in our world today where this verse 26 is so applicable... let us pray that those in time of failing health and spirit have God remain the strength of their heart. Let us pray God is theirs forever.
Proverbs - Proverbs chapter 12 verse 10 I kind of forgot was in the Bible - "The godly are concerned for the welfare of their animals..." Great Proverb for all you animal lovers out there! :) I'm an animal lover too... but as I know my weakness for even caring for plants, I have wisely not moved into caring for the animal kingdom in any way, shape, or form... I probably should not put this out there publicly. God may now put me to the test in this arena! :)
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!