Deuteronomy 16:1-17:20 ~ Luke 9:7-27 ~ Psalm 72:1-20 ~ Proverbs 12:8-9
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Old Testament - Deuteronomy chapter 16 verse 18 is of note today: "Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in all the towns the LORD your God is giving you. They will judge the people fairly throughout the land." After Deuteronomy comes the book of Joshua, which is followed by the book of Judges. And then... Israel won't be satisfied with just judges. Israel will want a king...
Below is an image for Deuteronomy chapter 17 verses 8 and 9 today: ""Suppose a case arises in a local court that is too hard for you to decide--for instance, whether someone is guilty of murder or only of manslaughter, or a difficult lawsuit, or a case involving different kinds of assault. Take such cases to the place the LORD your God will choose, where the Levitical priests and the judge on duty will hear the case and decide what to do."
New Testament - In the beginning of Luke chapter 9's readings today we read in verse 7 - "When reports of Jesus' miracles reached Herod Antipas, he was worried and puzzled..." This is of note. Herod was running the show in Jerusalem, and Jesus had made him worried and puzzled. Why? Maybe because in part Herod realized that he was not fully in "control" of everything as he thought he was... and I wonder about this today... Does Jesus maybe continue to make people worried and puzzled in our modern world today? Is it perhaps because, like Herod, we get worried and puzzled about Jesus when we start to realize we are not fully in "control" of things... that maybe there is something bigger going on around us. I pray that Jesus continues to make people worried and puzzled today - such that they realize that there is someone who is truly in Control and one to whom we can truly surrender our "control" to. For, in doing so, we will find true peace, joy & happiness for eternity. Have you given the control in your life over to Jesus? If not, is now perhaps a good time for you to hand the "remote control" of your life over to Jesus? Will you?
Verses 23 through 26 are so amazing and I cannot personally read and meditate upon these verses often enough. They are beautifully convicting me once again today... ""If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose or forfeit your own soul in the process? If a person is ashamed of me and my message, I, the Son of Man, will be ashamed of that person when I return in my glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels." Putting aside our selfish ambition... this is tough folks! I know I am still struggling to do this. I still have so much selfish ambition within me... but, I am thankful that through Christ and through learning to carry our cross each day - slowly though surely it may be - our ambition will be morphed from selfish into godly. We know we are arriving closer and closer to true life when we care about the things God cares about. When we think about the things God thinks about. When we are ambitious for the things God is ambitious about. How are you doing with selfish ambition in your life? Will you drop the things you are carrying so tightly due to your selfish ambition, so that you can instead take up your cross daily?
Verse 13 I found intriguing - "But Jesus said, "You feed them."" If Jesus said this to his followers 2,000 years ago, think he might say this to us today as well? You feed them. Who might Jesus be calling you to feed in your life? Maybe feeding someone spiritually, mentally, or literally? You feed them...
Psalms - I'll admit. I pay attention every single time the Bible talks about serving the poor. And it is a lot. And I think it is for a reason. Here it is again in Psalm 72 verses 12 & 13, speaking about Israel's king - "He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them."
Verse 20 tells us - "This ends the prayers of David son of Jesse." And below is a painting of an older King David... perhaps playing a Psalm he wrote...?
Proverbs - Proverbs 12:8 today teaches us: "Everyone admires a person with good sense, but a warped mind is despised." Let us pray for consistent good sense in our lives! A warped mind is a sad state of affairs indeed...
YouTube: Our readings about the judges in Deuteronomy today reminded me of the new book by Shane Claiborne called Jesus for President. Don't worry, Shane's not literally advocating Jesus to be our President of our government, but he is reminding us that our ultimate allegiance is to Jesus. You can learn more about Jesus for President at this link. Below is a video of Shane speaking about the book:
Is Jesus your eternal "President"? Click here and vote for eternity!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture this week: "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31 NIV
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: Based on Psalm 72 verses 12 & 13, what about us today? Does this Psalm speak to us? Do we rescue the poor when they cry to us? (do we even listen for their cry?) Do we help the oppressed and those who have no one to defend them? Do we feel pity for the weak and needy? Do we rescue them? Do I? Do you? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!