Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 22
Reading #2 – Psalms 117
Reading #3 – Proverbs 9
Reading #4 – Luke 9
Reading #5 – 1 Samuel 19
Deuteronomy 22 – Laws For Life. Many of the Mosaic laws make no sense to 21st century Christians. Yet, at that time, breaking these laws would lead to unrest and problems between family members. For a nation to live at peace, the things that would drive peace from the community must be dealt with. The Devil uses these items as a shear pin that will come off at the most inopportune time. Consider the whole issue of “sexual immorality”, virginity is the woman and the man’s best gift to give to the spouse. When that gift is given away as one would give away a free item, that union will struggle at some point in time. For this reason, G_d speaks clearly about “doing what is right over that which is convenient.” Living free from the struggle hold of sin is not easy because it takes great pains to maintain it. We may not like G_d’s laws but if we adhere to them, we have far fewer issues and far more joy.
1 Samuel 19 – Saul Tries to Kill David. It is a foregone conclusion when we allow bitterness to enter our hearts, the people we invite into our lives will also be the people we will become jealous of. Jealousy is a characteristic of the Devil. It was because of jealousy that he lost his place in Heaven and so he uses that same anger to compel others to follow his path. Jealousy has ebbs and flows so it can be assuaged but not very long. Part of the problem was that Saul knew that David would be the next king and this grated on his nerves because he saw how well David was respected by his officers and warriors. The part of David’s character was that he obeyed the voice of G_d no matter where he was or what conditions he lived under. Saul’s jealous behavior never gave him a license to react in anger towards Saul nor become slack in his duties.
Psalms 117 – Praise the LORD, all you nations. Praise him, all you people of the earth. For his unfailing love for us is powerful; the LORD’s faithfulness endures forever.
Praise the LORD (1-2).
Proverbs 9 – Wisdom’s Invitation. Wisdom invites “whosoever” into her home. When you enter someone else’s home, you are there at their bequest. Should you offend the homeowner, you will be asked to leave. When Wisdom invites you in, there is no pretense to her invitation and there is no ulterior motive. Folly, on the other hand, invites people in on a pretense of “fun” only to take away from the invitee and lead that person to their demise. “Come in with me,” she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says, “Stolen water is refreshing; food eaten in secret tastes the best!” But little do they know that the dead are there. Her guests are in the depths of the grave (16-18).
Luke 9 – Jesus Sends Out His Disciples. Jesus’ time was drawing near and knowing this, he was making the final preparations for those left behind. Part of the responsibilities of any leader is to make sure the people can function with or without him or her. For 3.5 years Jesus taught his group with great urgency and great courage. During that same period, Jesus protected his flock from the whiles of the Devil. The first test of the student was to minister out of sight of the from the master. 3 “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes. Wherever you go, stay in the same house until you leave town. And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate (3-5).” The people they were sent to minister to were members of their families. Herod’s confusion was due to the guilt he bore for allowing a man like John, whose only crime was confronting the king about the sin of his life, to be killed by the executioner.