Deuteronomy 23: 1—25: 19
Well geeze, I am not even sure how to start today. When you sit down at 6 am and the first thing you read is, “If a man’s testicles are crushed,” you start to really understand that God has a sense of humor. (Not that its funny to crush testicles but sitting down and that is the first thing you read.) I told my friend Ashley this morning, “I was good with that first part, I thought, oh yeah, I can deal with that, but then God threw in nocturnal emissions and emasculation and I was at a loss.” But I am past reacting like a middle schooler so lets get serious.
I feel like a broken record but lets remember that these orders for the Israelites were meant to make them unique among the nations around them. They were God’s holy people and were supposed to handle things differently. So when you read, “No Israelite, whether man or woman, may become a temple prostitute,” you need to assume that the Israelites will see that going on around them and feel compelled to create that kind of immoral worship. Also this instruction on divorce is the same one the Pharisee’s try to trap Jesus with. The marriage to a close relative is to protect the uniqueness (holiness) of Israel. It was also a protection for woman because in this culture a woman with no sons if very vulnerable. This kind of marriage is called levirate marriage and is the theme behind the story of Ruth. They better adhere to it because no one wants to be known as “the family of the man whose sandal was pulled off!” That is the ultimate burn.
Luke 10: 13—37
It is important to stay square on the fact that if people accept what you say about Jesus it is because of Jesus and if they reject what you say about Jesus it is because of Jesus. Lest we marvel at feeling accepted or lament feeling rejected. We have to remember it is not about us. The disciples are pumped because the evil spirits obey them but Jesus corrects them by saying don’t worship because of that! Worship because it is proof that you have put your faith in the right thing and are going to heaven.
Look at that cheek on that expert of religious law. I read it like this: “aaaannnndddd, who exactly is my neighbor????” The story that follows is multifaceted just like all of Jesus’ parables. He is teaching that a neighbor is anyone one that we come across who is need no matter their background. But also that Jesus is despised, like the Samaritan, even though He is the one coming to save and care for the world. It is a brilliant story. I can absolutely own that I have been convicted in my heart of times that I have passed by someone and not shown mercy. It is not a “Am I going to heaven or hell?” issue, it is a “am I responding to what Jesus has done for me” issue. Remember God saves us, we respond by loving Him. Loving Him includes doing what He asks of us.
Psalm 75: 1-10
I was reminded of Jesus praying in the Gospels before He goes to the cross. He says something to the effect of “Let this cup pass from me.” But He is obedient to the point of death and drinks the cup of God’s wrath for all mankind. This psalm describes the cup of God’s wrath. Our faith in Jesus saves us from “draining it to the dregs.” Praise Jesus!!
Proverbs 12: 12-14
I can remember being such a liar that I would get tripped up by my own stories and have to stop and remember what I had told what person. Praise God that life with Him steers us to be honest. Words cannot trap you when you are honest.