Deuteronomy 21: 1—22: 30
“Suppose you……” I am so struck by the fact that God was so earnest in teaching them how to handle things as a nation set apart for God. Remember, if He is instructing them on this the natural tendency of humans or the nations around them were handling it in a way that did not reflect God’s character. Probably because I am a woman the section about how to treat a wife grabbed my attention. My mom is leery of the bible because people, oh I’ll just say it, MEN, used the bible against my mom because she was athletic and talented and did not want to be a teacher. I just don’t know how people left out the parts of the bible that shows how God saw that kind of thinking coming from a mile away, and he taught against it. Laced all through scripture is His love of what He created woman to do. They are special and have a special place. They can be misused, and in this section God teaches that they have to be protected.
The wisdom is these “supposes” is so striking as well. An instruction God gives is so multifaceted that it brings order, peace, life and abundance to the situation. I know that this is not the most interesting rule, but I keep going back to “You must not plow with and ox and a donkey harnessed together.” This has so much wisdom behind it. If you have ever worked with animals pulling anything you know they get so surly if they are unequally matched. The stronger one breaks down because he is shouldering the load and the weaker one breaks down because he is trying to keep up. Ultimately they both end up useless. People do it sometimes to cut corners, but in the end you wind up with two broken animals. But if you harness two animals together that are equally sized, they can do so much more together. This is why Jesus teaches about being equally yoke. I don’t know, I am just blown away this morning by how brilliant God is.
Luke 9: 51—10: 12
James and John have been hanging around Peter for too long! Calling down fire from Heaven sounds like a Peter move to me! The Samaritans hate the Jews for reasons we are about to discover as we journey through the OT. So, their rejection of Jesus has more to do with their prejudice than rejection of the Savior. I’m gonna be honest. My prejudice is what kept me out of church and away from my Savior for a long time. As John Crist says, “Check your heart!”
Jesus then teaches them that following Him takes devoted focus. There is no, “Hold on let me finish this and then I am coming.” It is now or never. There is nothing more important than Jesus. (Not family, not customs and certainly not business.) But that is everyone’s choice to make. God will not force you to take the free gift of a Savior. That is why Jesus tells them that if they are unwelcome in a town to wipe the dust from their sandals from the town and keep going.
Psalm 74: 1-23
This Psalm proves that God’s discipline works to bring people back into obedience and right thinking. We are about to watch this cycle lived out as we journey through the OT.
Proverbs 12: 11
I am a realist in a house full of dreamers. It is so hard not to be everybody’s dream squasher. This proverb proves that there has to be balance. I don’t want my dreamers to get out into the real world and have no food.