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bible reading june 16



Bible reading for June 16. 

Deuteronomy 21.

"And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance."  (Deuteronomy 21:22-23) 

CIVIL LAW. In this chapter there are continued instructions concerning justice: regarding unsolved murders, female captives, inheritance of the firstborn, and judgment of rebellious sons (vv 1-21). These judicial decisions reflect the underlying value that God places upon human life (created in the image of God), and upon authority within the family. (See the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 5, especially those relating to life and family.) However, these particular judgments were part of the civil code of Israel, and regulated their national life under the Mosaic covenant. Believers today are under the New covenant (Rom 7:4; 1 Cor 9:20-21), and though the principles may apply, we can be thankful for the mercy and grace we have in Christ (Acts 15:10). 

HANGED ON A TREE. In verses 22 and 23, the Israelites were told to remove the hanged bodies of criminals by the end of the day of their execution.  Such a public execution, open and exposed, was considered especially shameful and signified God's curse upon that individual. So the Jews of Jesus' day would naturally assume by his public crucifixion that Jesus was cursed by God, and not a righteous man, after all (much less a prophet or the Messiah). Isaiah prophesied, however, 700 years before Jesus came, that the Servant (Messiah) would be considered accursed by God because of his suffering, but that curse was actually the curse upon the people that God placed upon the righteous Servant as a substitute for them: "...we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities... [As] for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?" (Isa 53:4, 5, 8)  Most Jews witnessing the crucifixion did not consider this truth. And this is why the Apostle Paul writes, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us - for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree'" (Gal 3:13). The truth of substitutionary atonement, absolutely essential for our salvation, is indeed taught in the Old Testament.  

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Psalm 108-109.

"Oh grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man! With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes." (Psalm 108:12-13) 

WHY DEFEAT (108)? In this psalm David petitions the Lord to give Israel the victories needed to secure their land from enemies. The Edomites (v 10) may have been a particular concern. One thing to note is that David desires that the victories come at God's hand in fulfillment of his promises (vv 12-13).  A salvation which is accomplished in human strength is "vain", or ultimately worthless, says David. He is asking for God's supernatural demonstration of power in fulfilling the promises that David cites in verses 7-9. Takeaway: We need to remember that the Christian life is a life that is impossible to live in our own strength. It is a supernatural life (Acts 1:8), of walking by the Spirit (Gal 5:16). We must always pray, rely, and act on God's promises and God's power as we seek to grow in Christ (1 Cor 15:10; Gal 2:20). 

DECEPTION (109). David is the victim of lies, or perhaps, a lying campaign by those who are cursing him and undermining his reign. His feelings for retribution are strong, yes. But note, as in the previous psalm, David is looking to God for intervention: "But you, O GOD my Lord, deal on my behalf for your name's sake; because your steadfast love is good, deliver me!" (v 21) He himself is not taking vengeance (see Rom 12:19). One takeaway from both of these psalms: let God be God. Let him do the empowering (for life and victory, Ps 108) and let him do the avenging (for judgment, Ps 109). 


Image credit: Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger 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.
The NET Bible is a free, online resource, and a ministry of bible.org.


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