Bible reading for June 17.
"You shall not see your brother's ox or his sheep going astray and ignore them. You shall take them back to your brother." (Deuteronomy 22:1)
VARIOUS LAWS? The subtitle in my Bible for chapter 22 is "Various Laws". That sounds a bit random, and these commandments may seem unrelated, but they are specific applications of God's law to situations they would face in the new land. These in chapter 22 center around having respect for property, for life, and for sexuality and marriage. Care for livestock relates to animal life and property (vv 1-4). The mother bird and its young (vv 6-7), like the goat and its mother's milk (Ex 23:19; 34:26), relate to the special bond of mother and young. The roof parapet saves people from accidental falls and death (v 8). The laws against admixture (vv 9-11) is designed to reinforce to the Israelite that he has been separated from the other nations. The rest of the laws here have to do with sexual relations and marriage. In the situation addressed in vv 28-29 the word "seize" (or "grasp") may refer to sexual assault, but more likely, it may be a case of seduction. In either case, the marriage and subsequent prohibition of divorce means that the man (the seducer) must not only pay the father but must also pay the support of the woman for the rest of her life, because she had been disgraced and likely would not marry otherwise. See the NET notes and Constable's notes on this chapter.
"The LORD says to my Lord: 'Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.'" (Psalm 110:1)
AN IMPORTANT CHAPTER. This psalm is probably the most quoted passage from the Old Testament in the New. After Jesus cleansed the Temple, various religious leaders were grilling him with their challenging (so they thought) theological questions. At the end Jesus asks them a question related to this psalm (Matt 22:41-46). It was climactic moment that revealed the leaders' ignorance regarding who the Messiah was. It appears that because the Messianic King was the "son" of David, and a son is not greater than his father, then perhaps the Messiah would be of slightly less distinction than David? The psalm makes it clear that David refers to his greater son, the Messiah, as "Lord". The Messiah was not a mere human, but would be seated at the right hand of God. The religious leaders could not respond to this.
WHO IS MELCHIZEDEK? But more, this psalm teaches us that the son of David, the Messiah, would also be a priest (v 4). Now the Davidic king would be descended from David (tribe of Judah), but the priests were descended from Levi, a different tribe. How then could Messiah be all three anointed offices of prophet, priest, and king? The answer David says, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is that the Anointed One would be a different kind of priest, not a Levitical priest making offerings in the temple, but a priest like Melchizedek, whom Abraham knew (Gen 14:18-20) long before Levi was born. The book of Hebrews, especially Heb 7, talks about this in detail. It's wonderful to see how all the details of Scripture connect and explain each other. Psalm 110 tells us that this Priest-King (Jesus!) will ascend to sit at God's right hand and one day return to judge the nations. I especially love the last verse, "He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head" (v 7), which speaks of his complete victory and enjoying a refreshing drink from a nearby stream. I love that image!
STUDY HIS WORKS. Psalm 111 is a call to worship the Lord for his character and works. Note verse 2: "Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them." The word for "study" is also used for treading grain, or beating a path, or searching something out. Repetition is involved. Do you study the works of God? And with that, do you delight (take pleasure) in the works of God? Do you think about creation, his care for creatures, his miracles, the ministry of angels, his guiding of history, his providence, his works of salvation, the prophecies of OT and NT, the incarnation, life, and ministry of Jesus his Son, the cross and empty tomb, his bringing us to faith, his many answers to our prayer, the advance of the gospel, his care for the church, Christ's return and judgment, and the new heavens and earth? These truths should fill our minds. Often we are absorbed in the problems of our age or with the amusements of this world, rather than with the great works of God. Ask God to help you delight in all that he has done. And you might want to consider reading a book like Herman Bavinck's The Wonderful Works of God.
Image credit: Photo by Josh Hild 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.