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Showing posts from June, 2018

(180) 29 June : Proverbs 14v31 / Deuteronomy 32v48-34v12 / Psalm 41v7-13

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world. 
Wisdom to chew on Proverbs 14:31
Understanding to grow in Between the instruction and then activity of Moses climbing Mount Nebo, we have his blessings on the twelve tribes (32v48-52, 34v1-8). Israel are pictured as humbly receiving God’s law with Moses acting like a king. This is the ideal for God’s people. The focus is on the tribe of Levi. Not sharing in Israel's grumbling, they proved their qualification to watch over God’s word and guard his covenant when they put him first by executing his judgement even on their relatives (Exodus 17). It seems this is why the decision-making of the Thummim and Urim are entrusted to them. Their other tasks are to teach the law, and co-ordinate Israel’s worship. And Moses prays for them to be blessed …

(179) 28 June : Proverbs 14v30 / Deuteronomy 31v30-32v47 / Psalm 41v1-6

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world. 
Wisdom to chew on Proverbs 14:30
Understanding to grow in This song brings home Israel’s history and future. Heaven and earth are first called to witness, with a prayer that God’s word would bring abundant life to Israel. God’s faithfulness is affirmed, making Israel’s corruption all the more serious. His care as Father and Creator in making and forming her (Jacob) is then outlined. The language reflects his purpose, protection and provision. And the past tense marks how certain the future is: Israel will reject and “forget” him for gods they hadn’t even known. In loving jealousy God will then reject them, bringing the promised disasters. But Israel will not understand this is all from God. He therefore calls them to “see” there is no God but …

(178) 27 June : Proverbs 14v29 / Deuteronomy 31v1-29 / Psalm 40v13-17

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world. 
Wisdom to chew on Proverbs 14:29
Understanding to grow in Moses prepares the people for his departure. Israel are to be “strong and courageous” not because of confidence in themselves, but because of God's presence. Likewise, Christ’s promise to be with his people even to the end of the age emboldens us (Matt 28v20). Moses charges Joshua in the same way. In the light of the people’s prior grumbling, this was necessary so that they recognise Joshua as God’s chosen leader. We then learn how the essence of Deuteronomy (and possibly Numbers) came into being. Moses writes the law down and commands that it be read every seven years when Israel's religious life was sort of rebooted at the feast of tabernacles. Even the children were to “hear …

(177) 26 June : Proverbs 14v28 / Deuteronomy 29-30 / Psalm 40v9-12

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world. 
Wisdom to chew on Proverbs 14:28
Understanding to grow in This covenant is “in addition” to that at Horeb (29v1), detailing actual life in the land to the next generation. Significantly, we learn that God has not enabled Israel to “understand” what they’ve seen as those in Jesus' day (Mk 8v18). Nevertheless, they will be held responsible, being warned against idolatry. Indeed, they are to keep one-another from turning away from the LORD, ensuring “no root” grows up to “poison” the community, and not assuming that because they are in covenant with God that they are "safe." To some extent we too are responsible for one-another's faithfulness (Heb 12v15), and should likewise remain vigilant. A prophetic description of Israel’s f…

(176) 25 June : Proverbs 14v26-27 / Deuteronomy 27-28 / Psalm 40v5-8

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world. 
Wisdom to chew on Proverbs 14:26-27
Understanding to grow in Warnings matter. They should not be forgotten. So when the people gain the land they are to enscribe "the law" on stones, and standing on two great mountains declare the blessings and curses of the covenant that will accompany obedience or disobedience. The curses of chapter 27 probably represent key concerns of the law, and by declaring "Amen" the Israelites agree that they are fitting. The gospel likewise declares blessing for those who trust and so obey Christ, and curses for those who don't. Moreover, the sacraments keep us mindful of them. So the blessings and curses detailed in chapter 28 not only look back to Eden but foreshadow the everlasting blessing…

(173) 22 June : Proverbs 14v25 / Deuteronomy 24v10-26v19 / Psalm 40v1-4

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world. 
Wisdom to chew on Proverbs 14:25
Understanding to grow in We come to an end of the laws that define the covenant agreement in which the people obey the LORD as their God, and the LORD holds them as his treasured possession whom he will exalt above other nations (26v16-19). As for the laws of this section: The needy are again very much in mind. Assets given against debt aren’t to be forcefully taken, nor kept if the person is poor and needs them for basic living. Likewise, poor hired workers are to be paid daily so they don’t go without (Jam 5v4-6). Family members are not to be held to account for each others’ sin. The alien, fatherless and widowed in particular are to be ensured justice, not impoverished, and left the remains after harvest for…

(172) 21 June : Proverbs 14v23-24 / Deuteronomy 22v13-24v9 / Psalm 39v11-13

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world. 
Wisdom to chew on Proverbs 14:23-24
Understanding to grow in Various laws reflecting God's concern that he is honoured in both the big things and little things of life, and that are shaped to provide protection. If sin was not dealt with, it might increase provoking God's wrath against the nation. So the call to "purge the evil from among you" with its absolute penalties was to protect the nation. The law on proving virginity was to protect new wives from being rejected by husbands who simply “dislike” them. The requirement that the rapist marry his victim if she is not betrothed (depending on the father's permission) would be a deterrent, but also protect the girl and any child that might result. And countering the assum…

(171) 20 June : Proverbs 14v22 / Deuteronomy 20v1-22v12 / Psalm 39v5-10

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world. 
Wisdom to chew on Proverbs 14:22
Understanding to grow in God's law dealt with the realities of life then not the niceties of our day. Hostility would inevitably come from other nations. But, unless they are those Israel must drive out in judgment, God's people are commanded to offer peace under their overlordship, and if it is not accepted, to spare the women and children. And any woman from war that an Israelite married was to have sufficient time to mourn and not to be treated as a slave. Compared to what can occur during war this is all rather enlightened. Another reality, was the importance of respect for parents if the faith is to be passed to each generation. This probably explains why persistently rebellious sons were to be put…

(170) 19 June : Proverbs 14v21 / Deuteronomy 16v18-19v21 / Psalm 39v1-4

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world. 
Wisdom to chew on Proverbs 14:21
Understanding to grow in God is concerned with true and impartial justice. Judges are to be appointed to judge fairly, and convictions are only to be on the evidence of two or three witnesses, with them leading the punishment if the death penalty, as a disincentive to lying. Harder cases are to be brought to the priests at the location of the tabernacle (later, the temple). And kings are not above the law, but to forgo grandeur and consider themselves no better than the people. Cities of refuge are to be provided as places of protection from vengeance for those who accidentally kill others, whilst murderers who flee to them are to be put to death. All crimes are to be thoroughly investigated and false witnesses…

(169) 18 June : Proverbs 14v20 / Deuteronomy 14v1-16v17 / Psalm 38v18-22

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world. 
Wisdom to chew on Proverbs 14:20
Understanding to grow in Two things mark out God's people here. First, is holiness. This means they are to be set-apart in devotion to God. So they are not to cut themselves or shave in the way that was common in the paganism of the surrounding nations. And the food laws symbolically pointed to the need for spiritual cleanliness in the act of eating only what God deemed clean, rather than eating whatever others did. Likewise, we are to be set-apart from others in obeying God's instructions just as Christ was. The second mark of the people is joy. Their tithes were to be eaten in God's presence with joy, and bring joy to the poor and needy that would in turn bring more joy as the nation was blessed w…

(166) 15 June : Proverbs 14v19 / Deuteronomy 12-13 / Psalm 38v13-17

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world. 
Wisdom to chew on Proverbs 14:19
Understanding to grow in To turn from the Lord to other gods and religions couldn't be more serious. Two things here protect the people against that. First, they are only to worship as God commanded (12v32). Not anywhere one could find a high place as paganism did, but at a specific place God would appoint and according to the practices he prescribed. Second, they are to put to death those who entice them from the LORD, whether it is prophets who can perform signs and wonders, relatives, or whole towns. God's commands for our worship are different. We can worship anywhere, but it must be in Spirit and truth - acknowledging him as he actually is (Jn 4v21-24). And it is to be as he has prescribed, meeting…

(165) 14 June : Proverbs 14v18 / Deuteronomy 9v7-11v32 / Psalm 38v1-12

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world. 
Wisdom to chew on Proverbs 14:18
Understanding to grow in The Christian is not saved because they are better than others, but only by God's mercy and grace. Here Moses retells Israel's fall into idolatry with the godlen calf. The lesson? They are no more inherently righteous than the Egyptians. Their tendency is to false worship too. And so they are called to be faithful as the Levites were - to cut off (circumcise) the unfaithfulness within their hearts in order to love the LORD as he deserves. There is promise of blessing of they do. But they are warned that if they don't they will face curse. If they are enticed to worship false gods then "the LORD's anger will burn against" them. All this is why remembering the Lo…

(164) 13 June : Proverbs 14v17 / Deuteronomy 7v1-9v6 / Psalm 37v34-40

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world. 
Wisdom to chew on Proverbs 14:17
Understanding to grow in How we think about sin really matters. Nothing less than our eternal destiny depends on whether we are prepared to put it to death and separate from those who might draw us into it. This is why Israel were to totally destroy the Canaanite peoples and the means of their idolatry. It was certainly a judgment on them (9v5). And history records that they engaging in some of the most depraved practices every known. But it was also to be a protection for Israel's future generations, clearing away what might lead them from the LORD. Only if the people remained faithful to him, would they continue to experience the various blessings recorded in these chapters. As you read, note the things G…

(163) 12 June : Proverbs 14v16 / Deuteronomy 5-6 / Psalm 37v30-33

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world. 
Wisdom to chew on Proverbs 14:16
Understanding to grow in Jesus is our go-between (mediator). Just as Israel couldn't come close to God to hear his words and so needed Moses to bring them, so Christ as the Word of God speaks God's words to us. And he calls us to a similar response. As we say yesterday: remembering, loving, obeying, and passing the faith onto the next generation. As you read note why it is so important to teach children the faith and the ways in which it might be done.
Deuteronomy 5-6
Finish this reading by pausing to ask yourself: 1) What’s the main thing it teaches me about God or his purposes in Christ? Then praise him for this. 2) What’s the main thing it teaches me about his will for me or the world? Then pray that …

(162) 11 June : Proverbs 14v15 / Deuteronomy 4 / Psalm 37v25-29

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world. 
Wisdom to chew on Proverbs 14:15
Understanding to grow in Seeing is believing. The structure here is that because Israel saw God act for them in the Exodus, they should readily love and obey him, and by doing so display his wisdom and greatness to the nations. But what is easy to miss is that the Exodus was witnessed by the previous generation, not this one that is preparing to enter the land. That's what it is to be one of God's people. We stand in line with those before us. What the apostles saw has been passed to us down the generations, so that we might say that we've seen it too. And it is on that basis that we love and obey Christ. That's why its so important to remind ourselves of what we've inherited and pass the fa…

(159) 8 June : Proverbs 14v14 / Deuteronomy 2v14-3v29 / Psalm 37v21-24

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world. 
Wisdom to chew on Proverbs 14:14
Understanding to grow in Here we see how the two and a half tribes to settle east of the Jordan gained their land. Israel’s battle with the Amorites begins to fulfil Abraham’s dream (Gen 15v16), the promise of land (Num 2v31), and God’s purpose of putting fear into “all the nations under heaven,” no doubt so that they were reluctant to attack Israel. These are the first of the coming instances where peoples are completely wiped out. We must remember this was justified only because they were particularly wicked (Gen 15v16, Deut 9v5), and so foreshadows Christ’s return in judgement. Moses stressed God told him not to be afraid, and commanded Joshua in the light of these victories not to fear either, because the L…

(158) 7 June : Proverbs 14v13 / Deuteronomy 1v1-2v13 / Psalm 37v16-20

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world. 
Wisdom to chew on Proverbs 14:13
Understanding to grow in Deuteronomy begins where Numbers left off, east of the Jordan. It comprises speeches Moses gave to preach God’s law, exhorting Israel to obey in the land (1v1-4). Likewise, we need preachers to “always remind” us of God’s great acts and will, so that we don’t go astray (2 Pet 1v12).
Moses begins recounting Israel’s journey. We're told that as the people wandered in the desert for forty years, God “blessed” and “watched over” them, so that they didn’t lack anything (2v7). As you read note the different ways he did.
Deuteronomy 1:1-2:13
Finish this reading by pausing to ask yourself: 1) What’s the main thing it teaches me about God or his purposes in Christ? Then praise him for this. 2…

(157) 6 June : Proverbs 14v12 / Numbers 35-36/ Psalm 37v10-15

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world. 
Wisdom to chew on Proverbs 14:12
Understanding to grow in We've already seen that the Levites (of which the priests were a part) were not assigned a specific section of the land. Instead they are given forty eight towns dispersed amongst the tribal areas so that everyone could be taught God’s law and reminded of his presence. Likewise, every church needs preachers. So Paul commanded Titus to appoint elders in “every town” (Tit 1v5). Six of the Israelite towns were to be cities of refuge for those in danger of revenge for manslaughter. Even if an accident, they must live there until the high priest dies because all taking of life warrants a life in return (35v33, Gen 6v9). Once again the penalty depends on whether the sin is intentional or …

(156) 5 June : Proverbs 14v11 / Numbers 33-34 / Psalm 37v7-9

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world. 
Wisdom to chew on Proverbs 14:11
Understanding to grow in Our God is a great big God! In brief his exploits since the Exodus are recounted. He brought the hoards of Israel out of Egypt having shown his power over its false gods in the plagues. He led and provided for the people for 40 years in the desert, and has now brought them to the border of the land he had promised To Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We need never doubt his ability to fulfil his promises. But enjoying their fulfilment here is to be dependent on driving out the Canaanite peoples in judgment for their sins (33v56). Unless this is done, they will cause Israel trouble and lead them astray. Likewise, ensuring we remain faithful and enjoy all God has for us is dependent on our not al…

(155) 4 June : Proverbs 14v10 / Numbers 31-32 / Psalm 37v1-6

BEGIN WITH PRAYER "Lord open my eyes and my heart."

Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world. 
Wisdom to chew on Proverbs 14:10
Understanding to grow in Chapter 31 is hard reading. The destruction of the Midianites in Moab (there were others elsewhere) is because they led Israel into immorality and idolatry. However, God had already put 24,000 Israelites to death for this sin (Num 25), and promises that even Moses is about to die for his. So he is impartial, but regards justice as more important than human life. And he considers leading people away from him as particularly serious. Jesus taught it would be better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around one’s neck! (Lk 17v1-3). Killing the boys and sexually active women would have safeguarded Israel against being attacked or married into by Midianite men when the boys grew…