Deuteronomy 21:1-22:30 ~ Luke 9:51-10:12 ~ Psalm 74:1-23 ~ Proverbs 12:11
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Old Testament - It is interesting to read about the cleansing for an unsolved murder in Deuteronomy chapter 21. I think God makes it crystal clear here that murder is such a horrible crime that affects the entire land and community. The Ten Commandments are obviously clear on "do not murder." These verses in Deuteronomy go into a bit of what happens to the land when one is murdered. Interesting to think about these verses on murder - and then realize that Jesus, whose blood was wholly innocent, was murdered on a cross. Was Jesus' murder unsolved? Who is guilty for this murder of Jesus? Whose sins put Jesus on the cross? Thankfully, whose sins does Jesus' blood cover? Who does Jesus rescue and redeem through His innocent blood shed on a cross?
Deuteronomy chapter 22 has various rules & regs, including sexual purity. It makes sense that there needed to be rules & regs for 1 million+ Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years - and for them as they are now about to enter the Promised Land. Essentially, these rules & regs kept the peace. But, hopefully more than that, they kept the Israelites minds & hearts focused on God and not on sin. I think the rules & regs for sexual purity are obviously still so needed today. Our culture can take us quickly into the depths of sexual impurity. Depths that are so dark - even though the culture doesn't tell you about the darkness of sexual impurity as it is selling you the shiny lie. Sexual sin unchecked is incredibly dangerous. If you are struggling with it, please flee. Run to God and Jesus. Humble yourself in confession & repentance. And allow Jesus to heal & transform you. Sexual purity is something we must pursue diligently each and every day. Don't start to go down any slippery slopes. It gets dark quickly....
New Testament - Luke chapter 9 has a couple of challenging teachings for us from Jesus in verses 60 & 62 - "Let those who are spiritually dead care for their own dead. Your duty is to go and preach the coming of the Kingdom of God... Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God." How do these verses speak to you? Today verse 62 is standing out to me - once we start our Christian journey we should not look back toward the life we left behind. At least not in a way where we wish we were back in that old life. Once Jesus rescues us, we are now His forever. We have put our hand to the plow. We will preach the coming of the Kingdom of God in the way we live our lives. We should not look back longingly toward our old life. It is behind us. Have you set your hand to the plow? And are you looking straight ahead joyfully?
Continuing this agricultural / farming theme - in Luke chapter 10 verse 2 today we read this teaching from Jesus to the disciples - "These were his instructions to them: "The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. Pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest, and ask him to send out more workers for his fields."
Bible.org's commentary on Luke chapter 9 readings titled "Conflicting Commitments" is at this link and commentary on chapter 10 readings titled "When Personal Evangelism is Inadequate" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 74 dates from the time of the exile when the Promised Land was in shambles and the temple destroyed by neighboring nations. This is very evident by the verses we read in this Psalm. In light of this, I absolutely love the plea in verse 22 - "Arise, O God, and defend your cause. Remember how these fools insult you all day long." And as we will read later in the Bible this year, God indeed will arise to defend his cause!
Below is an image for verses 13 & 14 of this Psalm: "You split the sea by your strength and smashed the sea monster's heads. You crushed the heads of Leviathan and let the desert animals eat him."
Proverbs - Proverbs 12 verse 11 is so true on quite a few levels - "Hard work means prosperity; only fools idle away their time." I have been thinking about this "idling away time" issue recently. I know that I idle away and waste a lot of time in my life. And I know the Enemy wants us to waste time. The Enemy wants us to be distracted. The Enemy does not want us to work hard on things that are pleasing to God. The Enemy does not want the Kingdom of God to be prosperous. And if we buy into all of this that the Enemy tries to sell us each and every day, then indeed we are fools. Don't buy into the Enemy's Fool's Gold!
Worship God: Luke 10:2 in today's readings reminds me of the fantastic song by Downhere called "Here I am" Enjoy this live version after a brief intro from the lead singer.
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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: Back to Luke Chapter 10 verse 2 above - Do you believe that the harvest is great? Do you pray to God to send out more workers for his fields? Are you one of those workers? How are you participating in the harvest? If you're not participating in the harvest in some way, will you pray to God to show you where He would have you participate in the harvest? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!