Scripture: Deuteronomy 15: 11 “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’”
Observations: Galatians 1 is a bit of an introduction of who Paul is and why he is following God, instead of persecuting the Way.
Deuteronomy 13 warns about false prophets, and people who follow other gods, leading the Israelites astray. In Deuteronomy 14, Moses warns against self-mutilation and the eating of unclean foods. Tithing is also explained. Chapter 15 gets into the Sabbatical year, or the jubilee.
Application: This isn’t the only place that God tells us poverty will never die. Matthew 26:11 “11The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.” Mark 14:7 “7The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me.” John 12:8 “8You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me." In many ways that is disheartening to me, but I can see why. God created a perfect world, but the sin of the first couple caused thorns. Sin continues to propagate poverty. Greed. Laziness. Addiction. Incorrect use of resources causing areas unable to sustain food production, etc., etc. From what Moses said, and Jesus after him, this is not something we can conquer in our lifetime. However, that does not stop us from trying to ease the pain where we can. We must be generous with the poor. They are living right here in our midst. We don’t have to send our moneys overseas (though they do need help). We can start right in our own backyard. Especially with Covid-19 forcing so many out of work. We can give of our plenty, or even sacrificially.
Prayer: Lord, guide us in using our resources in a manner that is pleasing to you. Father, show us how we can help in our communities. Give us wisdom not to help breed poverty, but to conquer it. Lord, we pray for wisdom, especially during this state of chaos we find our world in today. Please direct our steps to help our brothers and sisters in need.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Deuteronomy 16-18; Psalm 38; Galatians 2
I finished my class on “Whatever Happened to Holiness?” and will return to my daily blog.
Scripture: Deuteronomy 10:12-13 “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LROD, which I am commanding you today for your good?”
Observations: Moses is reminding the Israelites of what has happened on their journey. He tells of his second trip up the mountain to have God write his commandments on tablets of stone. Stone, so they would be long lasting. He recounted the good stories and the bad so they would not forget what the Lord, their God had done for them. Moses tells the Israelites that there will be blessings if they follow the Lord and curses if they turn away from Him. (I feel like we are in a time of curses here in the US.) They were to teach their children all that the Lord had commanded them through Moses. I don’t believe I ever noticed how in Deuteronomy 12:5-7, Moses was telling the Israelites that God would choose one place where they were all to worship – that one place later was Jerusalem under King David. Verses 13-14 says: “Take care that you do not offer your burnt offerings at any place that you see, but at the place that the Lord will choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I am commanding you.” Now it makes more sense why the woman at the well said what she did about the Jews thinking they have to worship in Jerusalem, but that they worshipped on the mountain. They were clearly not following what God had instructed through Moses.
In the last chapter of Mark, the story of the Resurrection is read. Mary Magdalene saw Jesus and no one would believe her. The two disciples (I assume on the road to Emmaus) saw him and the others would not believe them. Not until Jesus appeared to them would they believe. At the end of the chapter is the Great Commission. We read the one from the final chapter of Matthew more commonly. This one is a little different in that it promises signs and wonders to accompany those who believe.
Application: Most people dislike the idea of fearing God, but we are told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. It isn’t that God is an ogre that is going to beat us up, but the fact of the matter is, He holds everything in His hands, and we need to respect that. He loves us enough to want the best for us, but if we are disobedient, then we expect just punishment. God wants to be our loving father, not like our earthly dad, but our heavenly Father. Some have had dads that were not loving or patient or kind, but God is all that and more. The commandments he has given us are truly for our own protection because of his great love for us. Obedience and love is all he requires of us.
Prayer: Father, we confess that we have not lived in obedience all the days of our lives. We confess that we have not always given you the love and respect you deserve. Forgive us, Lord, for our shortcomings, and guide us in our understanding. Show us the straight path, and we will journey on it because it will lead us into a glorious eternity with you!
Tomorrow’s Reading: Deuteronomy 13-15; Galatians 1