Daily Word

Deuteronomy 20

Read Deuteronomy 20 – Rules of war – If I were in charge of a war (it’s not likely) I would want every conceivable person on my side.  I would want a large army to show up and stand with me.  But God’s ways are not my ways, and God only wants those pure in heart in the battle.

The first thing God commands is, “You shall not be afraid, for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up out of Egypt.” (:1-4) Being reminded of who God is, what he has done, and that he is with you is a great strength when facing any battle.  Then the officers were to thin out the soldiers by calling out those who needed to settle things at home or were just plain fearful.  (:5-8)  The LORD can do great things with pure hearts and those men would be hindered by the half-hearted.  

The first act in an impending battle was to offer peace. (:10)  If peace were acceptable, the townspeople would serve the Israelites and do the forced labor.  If they did not accept peace, the Israelites were to siege the town, putting all males to the sword. (:12-13)  It is generally understood that any surviving male would be a perpetual enemy.  The women, children, livestock and spoils were considered plunder… spoils to be enjoyed by the fighting men of Israel.

BUT, certain cities that the LORD was giving Israel required everything that breathed be killed.  These places were so wicked that their utter destruction was required, so that their sin would not corrupt Israel.  However, the LORD had special instruction for the trees.  Fruit bearing trees were not to be cut down and the men could eat the fruit.  Other trees could be cut and used to build siege works until the city fell.  

Beloved, marvel at these details, nothing escapes the LORD’s instruction.  May your heart be pure and useful to the LORD in all ways.

Daily Word

Genesis 14

Read Genesis 14 – Life with Lot – Oh Lot… He just had to pick life on the edge. 

Lot is now living in Sodom when war breaks out (this is the first mention of war in the bible).  He is captured, along with everything he owned, :12.  But one of his men escaped and reported the situation to Uncle Abram. 

Abram was a man of great faith.  He was blessed with great wealth.  And here we see he was also a prudent man, with 318 men born in his household and trained to fight.  Abram recovered all that was taken, including Lot, all the women and other captives, :16. 

After Abram returns, the King of Sodom and Melchizedek, the King of Salem, go out to meet him. 

Melchizedek is one of the most fascinating characters in the bible.  He is a bit of a mystery, not in any genealogies.  He is both King and priest of God Most High (a special designation), and he brings bread and wine to Abram, and blesses him (perhaps a foreshadowing of Jesus).  Then Abram gives him 1/10 of the recovered goods… our first example of tithing. 

The king of Salem asks for the return of his people, and tells Abram he can keep all the recovered goods.  Abram answers, “Ewww”  (slight paraphrase on my part).  He does not want a cent for himself, lest the king say he made Abram rich… Abram’s wealth is to God’s glory alone.  But Abram does request that his allies get their fair share.  In other words he did not make his standards the standards of his neighbors. 

Beloved, where are you in this?  Do you live one foot in faith and one in the world, like Lot?  Are you ready to take a stand against evil, like Abram?  Do you use money to make yourself look good, like the King of Sodom? Does your faith shine with the extraordinary love of God, like Melchizedek?❓🤷‍♂️🤺💰💖❓