Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 17
Reading #2 – Psalms 112
Reading #3 – Proverbs 4
Reading #4 – Luke 4
Reading #5 – 1 Samuel 14
Deuteronomy 17 – Mosaic Laws and Commands for a Long Life. Living a long and successful life begins and ends with the command “pay careful heed to instruction”. When people are doing wrong, it must be careful and methodically thought through and investigated. This piece of the law was the precipice by which the Sanhedrin judged Jesus and found him guilty although they misapplied it. At that time, the rule of the Priest was the final authority when it came to the people. If the people could not decide a course of action, they would go to the priest who would hear the matter and render a judgment. Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must die. In this way, you will purge the evil from Israel. Then everyone else will hear about it and be afraid to act so arrogantly (12-13). When the people asked for a king, they must accept the Lord’s direction. The man chooses would be an Israelite. This person would copy the laws in his handwriting in the presence of the Priests to be sure that what the wrote was the exact copy of the law. By doing this, the king would know that what he wrote was the exact copy of the law and not somebody’s interpretation.
1 Samuel 14 – Johnathan’s Daring Plan. Winning the victory pennant is the desire of all mankind but only one can win. Being a child of G_d just like being a child of Israel or the US does not mean that we “automatically win”. Winning requires faith and trust in G_d’s word. Scripture also shows how people still lost though they trusted G_d. In Johnathan’s case, he took his life in his hands and attacked at the command of G_d. Saul’s command for everyone to abstain from eating until he got victory over his foes was foolish because it depleted the men of strength to fight the battle. When Saul chose to find out “who’s missing” instead of acting on the move of G_d. When the victory is within sight or is won, bandwagon jumpers will jump onboard. Even the Hebrews who had previously gone over to the Philistine army revolted and joined in with Saul, Jonathan, and the rest of the Israelites (21-22).
Psalms 112 – Truth Applied. Living a G_dly life does not imply that “trouble will not come” rather, it held us to endure despite the change of seasons. In the NewTestament, we read “a light shining in dark places” (John 1:5) which comes from this chapter of Psalms. The implication is that the child of G_d who holds fast to the hand of G_d and unswervingly follows him will be a light of encouragement in a dark world. Such people will not be overcome by evil. Those who are righteous will be long remembered. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them (6-7). There is always the battle with wicked ideas and ideologies but that should never stop us rather it should compel us to move onward.
Proverbs 4 – A Father’s advice. Living a G_dly life is something we pass along to our kids. The father learned from his father and so was able to pass along what he learned. The child proves the parent’s wisdom by the outcome of following the father’s advice. My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body (20-22).
Luke 4 – Jesus is Tempted. The Devil tempts people at the core of their weakness(es). The three main categories: power, hunger. And position. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions (1 John 2:16). When these temptations failed, the Devil left until a more opportune time.