Daily Word

Deuteronomy 24

Read Deuteronomy 24 – Divorce, marriage and integrity –

I can’t help but wonder how it pained the LORD to address divorce. That was not his intention for the marriage union, but he knows our hearts, so he gave the concession of divorce.
Verse :5 is quite incredible. The first year of marriage was committed to simply delight and solidify the marriage – and the whole community was commanded to support this by not calling him to the army or any public duty. One can’t help but wonder, if a couple was fully committed to this, and the entire community was behind them, how that would affect the divorce statistics.

Our chapter speaks of those indebted to a person. One is not to be cruel when collecting debt from the poor and widows. (:10-15) We see this truth when Jesus gave the model for prayer, commonly known as THE LORD PRAYER (found in Matthew 6 and Like 11). “And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors, ” Matthew 6:12.

Twice in our chapter, and many times in the book of Deuteronomy, God tells the Israelites to remember that they were slaves in Egypt. (:18,22)

Beloved, may you also remember the fate Jesus rescued you from. May the fear of God, the beginning of wisdom, keep you from straying off course.

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 22

Read Deuteronomy 22 – Kindness and purity – Our chapter contains several, seemingly random, laws to set the Israelites apart as God’s people.  In verse :1 a person might be inclined to say, “finders keepers” if a neighbor’s animal wanders onto his land, while God instructs kindness and integrity.  In verse :4 we see this includes one’s responsibility to stop what they are doing to help, and not look the other way.  Living for one’s self is not God’s way for believers.  Jesus made this law simple when he said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (See Mark 12) 

“A woman must not put on men’s clothing, and a man must not wear women’s clothing.  Anyone who does this is detestable in the sight of the LORD your God.” :5  Some religions take this to mean that a woman should not wear pants.  Consider when this was written, men wore robes and tunics… basically dresses!  However, men’s attire, be it in the form of pants, shorts, kilts, robes, tunics or the like is designed for men, and likewise, for ladies attire.  Present culture likes to blur the lines between men and women, and society just gets more and more confused.  Though we are no longer under the law, there is great wisdom here.

Build a railing on your rooftop. (:8)  Rooftops were like patio’s back then – one must be kind and foresee the risk of falling off and prudently put up this railing.  Again, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31)  

Don’t mix up your crops; don’t plow with two different animals; don’t make clothing out of linen and wool.  These instructions seem random, but they are there for both simple wisdom – like linen and wool will shrink differently and pull apart – donkeys and oxen are unequal in size and strength – yoking them together creates an off balance system that will harm both… As well as the big picture – Israel was to be set aside as God’s treasured possession.  They were not to do the things their pagan neighbors did.

Sexual purity is important to God.  God’s Word has protections and punishments for offenders and victims.  I know this seems old fashioned, but just think of all the problems in our society that would not exist if sexual purity was valued. Disease, depression, unwanted pregnancy and fatherless children would all be HUGELY diminished.  Straying from sexual purity always hurts a person in the long run.

Beloved, I hope you see God’s love and protection within these laws.  You can think of them as the railing that keeps you from falling off the roof!

Daily Word

Genesis 9

Read Genesis 9 – Noah, his family, and all of the creatures from the ark are again commissioned to be fruitful and multiply.

God put a natural fear of man into animals, :2.  This is for their protection because in verse :3 we are given God’s permission to eat them, with the admonishment to drain the blood.  

Blood is life, and God will require blood for blood should a human life be taken by another human or animal, :5-6.  God secured his promise to Noah with the rainbow, :15. (more on that in the bonus blog below)

In verse :20 we see that even Noah is prone to a fall. Beloved, that happens so often after a great spiritual victory.   His son, Ham, sees him and tells his brothers, as if his father is deserving of ridicule.   The brothers, Shem and Japheth, show such reverence as they walk in backwards, laying a robe over Noah without looking. When Noah learns what transpired, he curses Ham and his son Canaan, and we will see that play out throughout the bible, wherever the Canaanites are mentioned.

Noah dies at the age of 950, undoubtedly a great influence to all the generations through Terah (Abraham’s father). 

Beloved, who do you relate to the most in this chapter?   Are you the kind of person you want to be? May your walk with Jesus be one of increasing and vibrant integrity. 

Bonus blog – Behold the rainbow!  The LORD declared it a symbol of his everlasting covenant to Noah that He will never again cause the waters to destroy all life, :15.  I’m guessing this rainbow was the first rainbow EVER.  If you’re like me,  every rainbow sighting is amazing!  

The rainbow reminds God of his covenant, and it reminds me how much God loves me.   I am a sinner,  yet God loves me (and all people) so much He made a way,  through Jesus Christ, to redeem us – it’s simply too beautiful a gift, John 3:16, but God says all who call upon the Name of Jesus will be saved. 

Beloved,  let your heart resonate with these ancient people as one who is rescued by God in heaven who loves you!  And your assignment is to share this Good News.  (See Acts 1:8).

Daily Word

Acts 5

Read Acts 5 – There will be no phony-baloney business before God. 

It was a time when the church was being established and believers were freely sharing all of their possessions so that no one lacked anything.  Ananias and Sapphira were caught up in the spirit of giving and sold some property, giving part of the money to the apostles, but claiming it was the full amount.  They exaggerated to seem more generous, to look good.  Why? Why would they do this?  Peter was quick to see the heart issue of this lie and called Ananias out on it.  He dropped dead in response.  Peter then confronts Sapphira and she supports the family lie, testing the Lord as her husband did, and meets the same fate.  Beloved, God judges the heart.  May the motives of your heart always be pure. 

Next, the apostles are arrested for performing miraculous signs and wonders among the people, causing many people to believe.  The Sadducees let their judgment be clouded with jealousy (:12-17).  But there is a clever Pharisee named Gamaliel, an expert in religious law and well respected.  He proposed the phony-baloney test (my paraphrase), saying the men would either fizzle out, as others had, or, if their movement was from God, they would not be able to stop them.  Gamaliel was shrewd, but not godly in motive, yet God used his counsel to free the apostles and fuel the message. 

Beloved, may your heart always be true.  Integrity matters.

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2 Samuel 4

Read 2 Samuel 4 – Flashback to the vow David made to Jonathon in 1 Sam 20:15 “ treat my family with this faithful love, even when the LORD destroys all your enemies from the face of the earth.”  Now, recall what happened in 2 Samuel 1 when the Amalekite man took credit for killing Saul, and was punished by death. 

 In Chapter 4, two of Ishbosheth’s own captains sneak into his room and kill him while he sleeps.  Ishbosheth was already defeated in spirit at the news of Abner’s death, yet they murdered him, and brought his head to David, seeking reward.  They received the same reward as the Amalekite man. 

In vs. 4:4 We are introduced to Jonathon’s lame son, Mephibosheth, but no more is said about him.  Hang on to this verse, we will learn more about him in upcoming chapters.

 David’s integrity is evidenced in Chapter 4.  He keeps his word to Jonathon, and does not approve of revenge against Saul’s family.  Can you think of a time in your life where doing the right thing was unexpected or inconvenient, yet you did it?  Integrity is a priceless virtue.