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February 14, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: Numbers 7
Audio: Numbers 7

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Deuteronomy 25 (ESV)

“If there is a dispute between men and they come into court and the judges decide between them, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty, then if the guilty man deserves to be beaten, the judge shall cause him to lie down and be beaten in his presence with a number of stripes in proportion to his offense.Forty stripes may be given him, but not more, lest, if one should go on to beat him with more stripes than these, your brother be degraded in your sight.

“You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.

“If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. And the first son whom she bears shall succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. And if the man does not wish to take his brother’s wife, then his brother’s wife shall go up to the gate to the elders and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to perpetuate his brother’s name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of a husband’s brother to me.’ Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him, and if he persists, saying, ‘I do not wish to take her,’ then his brother’s wife shall go up to him in the presence of the elders and pull his sandal off his foot and spit in his face. And she shall answer and say, ‘So shall it be done to the man who does not build up his brother’s house.’ 10 And the name of his house shall be called in Israel, ‘The house of him who had his sandal pulled off.’

11 “When men fight with one another and the wife of the one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him and puts out her hand and seizes him by the private parts, 12 then you shall cut off her hand. Your eye shall have no pity.

13 “You shall not have in your bag two kinds of weights, a large and a small. 14 You shall not have in your house two kinds of measures, a large and a small. 15 A full and fair weight you shall have, a full and fair measure you shall have, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 16 For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to the Lord your God.

17 “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt,18 how he attacked you on the way when you were faint and weary, and cut off your tail, those who were lagging behind you, and he did not fear God.19 Therefore when the Lord your God has given you rest from all your enemies around you, in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget.

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Next: Deuteronomy 26

Back: Deuteronomy 24

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 25:16

    Dishonesty

    Back in August a young woman reached out to Michelle via Facebook Messenger to wish her a Happy Birthday. Michelle did not "know" her but was Facebook friends with her through a mutual friend. She quickly learned that this woman was sleeping in her car. We prayed about it and felt led to help her. 

    We paid for a few Airbnbs and a few days in an "extended stay" motel until the apartment she was going to move into was available. That week she told us the place "fell through" and she had no place to go. Michelle and I couldn't afford to keep paying for her to stay where she was, so after prayer, we decided to let her move in with us to help her get on her feet. 

    What we discovered was a level of dishonesty I have never seen or experienced before. Because Michelle and I have been in youth ministry for many years, we've seen our share deception and drama. But this was a whole new level. This woman was so dishonest, when Michelle was diagnosed with cancer, she told us she had thyroid cancer. She even told the church she had cancer and had to have surgery. She gave us this elaborate story and it was all a lie. 

    When I confronted her about her deceptions and manipulation, she admitted to SOME of it but not everything. I had proof she was lying about other things but she refused to admit to many of the things I brought to her attention. I spoke with her about the potential harm she caused people in our church by lying about such a thing as having cancer (especially to those in our church who are new to the faith or may not be Christians). She said she would apologize for lying to them. I told her she couldn't come back unless and until she did.

    Sunday came and went and there was no apology. The next day I asked her if she contacted anyone from our church to apologize and she said she "didn't have time yet." Another Sunday came and went and still not apology. No confession. No repentance. 

    When I confronted her about this, we saw another side of her. Not only was she a deceiver, liar and manipulator, she was cocky, arrogant, smug and disrespectful. She was truly evil. Her entire character was ungodly and her actions and attitude were down right satanic. I say that because she grew up going to church, she had a bible (with things marked and underlined), she put little "faith-based" stickers on the walls in her room and she claimed to be a Christian. But the fruit was rotten to the core. She didn't "struggle" with sin but was given over to it. She paid God lip service but her heart was far from Him. 

    Despite her attitude, we let her stay with us until February 9th when the apartment she supposedly put money on was available. True to form, this place "fell through" like the other places she told us about in the past. We told her she could no longer live with us and we gave her until February 10th to move her things out.

    She cursed at us, threatened us and basically flipped out via text. I asked her to stop texting us because Michelle, who was fatigued from chemo, was having a hard time dealing with her bad attitude and drama. She responded with more cursing and more threats. She even questioned the validity of our faith. 

    February 10th, I decided to have church in our home so we could be here in case she showed up to move out. Sure enough, she drove by thinking we were at church. Within 10 minutes, she and one of her friends came in and started moving her things out while were meeting in our living room. There was no apology or even a hello to the group. After she moved her things out, she left without saying goodbye, thank you or even giving us our key back. Since Michelle and I don't do things to get a thank you or to be appreciated (and I changed the locks already), a goodbye was not necessary. 

    We are grateful for the challenges we faced. We have no regrets because we felt we did what the Lord wanted us to do. We learned a lot and we refuse to allow this experience to cause us to be jaded or apprehensive about helping people in the future. 

    I don't know if God will show her mercy or not. Perhaps all that she did to us and the church will be used by God to draw her to Himself. But maybe we are just debris on her sin-filled road that will end with her eternally separated from God. 

    What we do know is that being dishonest is an abomination to the Lord. 

    Don't be dishonest.

  2. When I read these laws in Deuteronomy, I remember Jesus publicly rebuking those who “kept the Law” so rigidly and perfectly but were far, so far, from God.

    Jesus went straight to the heart of this “perfect obedience” displayed by the religious teachers and exposed hypocrisy. 

    I think of Galatians 5, and see how Paul addressed those who performed outward “signs of obedience” but had strayed from the pure gospel, and allowed the “yeast” of works-focused adherence/obedience to “leaven the whole lump” of their faith and begin to ferment and change the “bread” of their life and faith. 

    Is my obedience to God’s commandments accompanied by the fruit of the Spirit? Or the fruit of my flesh? God doesn’t want “outward obedience” apart from His Spirit. He wants to make me more like Jesus, who is the perfect fulfillment of God’s Law…in every way. 

    The Pharisees were nothing like Jesus. Yet they strived to “keep the Law” perfectly…or so they thought. So perfectly, they had Him crucified.

    “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:19-25

    Heavenly Father, let me always look to Jesus as my example, lest I be deceived by my heart into believing I am pleasing You by my outward obedience to “principles” when my heart is far from You. 

  3. I used to be like the woman Scott spoke about in his comment. 

    I was a liar, a master manipulator, and there was always a self-serving reason for warping the truth. 

    I wanted what I wanted: total freedom to use drugs and alcohol, to feel the way I wanted to feel. I really didn't have much regard for anyone except myself. I stole; if I wanted it and I was able, I would take what didn't belong to me to satisfy the pleasures of my flesh. 

    And all the while, I identified and told others that I was a Christian. I knew the Lord, had Jesus in my heart, and I was saved. 

    I was a goat. 

    When I came to Love and Light Christian Church, I saw true Christians in action. I wanted what they had: a different kind of freedom, one not stolen and hidden from others, but freedom from exactly that type of thing! 

    It finally "clicked," and I received the true peace of Jesus. I will never be able to express the amount of gratitude I have. I came out of the darkness, and everything changed. 

    I continue to pray that people who live in darkness and are suffering without God, will find their way. 

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