Bible reading for June 15.
"Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the LORD your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory." (Deuteronomy 20:3-4)
WARFARE. The time of battle is drawing near, and some of the men may have reasons to exempt themselves (vv 1-9). Terms of peace are to be offered to some of the cities (vv 10-11) but not to the six nations listed (v 17). Conversion was an option (like Rahab), as was flight. In considering this situation we should remember that in those days warfare was a fact of life (as it still is in many parts of the world today), and that there were no prisons or jails or internment camps. Those not killed would return the next season to fight, or if they remained in the land, would undermine the new nation by idolatry. All of this is a picture of an invisible war, whereby Satan, and the influence of the fallen world, and our sinful flesh fight against the believer. Courage and determination is certainly needed for that battle (Eph 6:10-13).
A PRAYER. The sixth petition of the Lord's prayer is, "Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one" (Matt 6:13). Jesus teaches us of the reality of the battle we face. The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) paraphrases this prayer in the following way: “By ourselves we are too weak to hold our own even for a moment. And our sworn enemies— the devil, the world, and our own flesh, — never stop attacking us. And so, Lord, uphold us and make us strong with the strength of your Holy Spirit, so that we may not go down to defeat in this spiritual struggle, but may firmly resist our enemies until we finally win the complete victory.” Sometimes we may be careless in not praying for the Lord's protection in this battle: "And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, 'So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak'" (Matt 26:40-41).
"Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble..." (Psalm 107:1-2)
THINGS WILL CHANGE. We should give thanks to the Lord for the ways and times he has delivered us from trouble (vv 1, 8, 15, 21, 31). This should be verbalized in the hearing of others! Whether from the wilderness, or darkness and the shadow of death, or from folly resulting in affliction, or from the tempest of the sea, the Lord delivers those who call upon him. I am thankful that he "sent forth his word" (v 20) and brought healing to my heart and soul as a troubled college student in 1971! He changes conditions (vv 38-42). There is comfort in this, that those who trust the Lord in their affliction will eventually see their condition change. (For the better!) Conversely, those who are satisfied without God, prospering in their wickedness, will also see their condition changed, for the worse. Things will change.
JUST SAY SO! We live in a time of unrest. Only in Jesus is there true and lasting deliverance. In him there is forgiveness, and power to forgive. In him there is restoration of human dignity and equality and humility and justice. In him we experience new desires for God and willingness to obey his good and perfect will (Rom 12:2). Takeaway: if God has rescued you and delivered you from trouble, if you are redeemed, you have an obligation to say so! Now is the perfect time to speak to others about Jesus.
Image credit: Photo from summit of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, by Rona Lao on Unsplash.
We are following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson.
Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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