Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 25
Reading #2 – Psalms 119
Reading #3 – Proverbs 12
Reading #4 – Luke 13
Reading #5 – 1 Samuel 23
Deuteronomy 25 – Family Laws. The family unit is important to G_d and this shown by the laws which require the brother to marry his deceased brother’s wife the firstborn child of the union will be recognized as his brother’s child to preserve his name. 21st-century thinking cannot grasp how important it is to preserve the deceased man’s name in Israel.
1 Samuel 23 – David Protects the Town of Keilah. This town is in the Hill Country which I believe belonged to Ephraim. David inquired of the Lord through what commentary believes is by using the Urim and Thummim (casting lots). Castings lots helped people to find out what the Lord’s direction was especially in difficult issues. Saul was bent on finding and killing David. While Saul was on one side of the mountain, David and his men were on the opposite side a game of “Cat and Mouse”. David now stayed in the strongholds of the wilderness and the hill country of Ziph. Saul hunted him day after day, but God didn’t let Saul find him (14). Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God. 17 “Don’t be afraid,” Jonathan reassured him. “My father will never find you! You are going to be the king of Israel, and I will be next to you, as my father, Saul, is well aware.” 18 So the two of them renewed their solemn pact before the LORD (16-18).
Psalms 119:49-72 – A Psalm for Life. G_d gives us his promise “If you will honor me and follow my decrees you will never fail.” The writer knew what it was like to live under the blessings of Yahweh and despite the best attempts of the Devil and his ilk, the writer remained focused on G_d’s decrees. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one (John 10:28-30).” The Devil will always set the trap first with the pressure from the outside and we can endure this but where we get into trouble is when we become “comfortable.” No one can pluck us out of G_d’s hand but we can by our choices jump out on our own volition. My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees. Your instructions are more valuable to me
than millions in gold and silver (71-72).
Proverbs 12 – The Two Paths and the Outcome. Although there are multiple ways to live life, there are only two paths that we can go down. Jesus said, “You cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24).” Either we will follow G_d’s commands or we will follow the ways of foolishness and waste what G_d has so graciously provided. To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction (1). When we follow the ways of the world, we end up in futility trying to find our way back where we belong. The world says, “Take all you can no matter who gets hurt” and then when we are the recipients of the “who gets hurt” we bemoan our sad estate. Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave (24).
Luke 13 – Living One Foot in the World and the Call to Repentance. The people who followed Jesus around rejoiced at what he did especially the way he responded to the Pharisees questions and insults. As much as it should have been a feather in Jesus’ cap to have such a large following, he knew all too well what the results would be especially when the shadow of the cross loomed just over the horizon. “Go tell that fox that I will keep on casting out demons and healing people today and tomorrow; and the third day I will accomplish my purpose. 33 Yes, today, tomorrow, and the next day I must proceed on my way. For it wouldn’t do for a prophet of God to be killed except in Jerusalem! “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. 35 And now, look, your house is abandoned. And you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD (32-35).’”