Bible reading for June 2.
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)
THE SHEMA. For Jews and Christians alike this passage summarizes core values of our relationship with God (Matt 22:37). "Shema" is the first word in the Hebrew text of verse 4: "Hear..." What were they, and we, to hear? There is only one God (vv 13-15; cf Isa 45:5, 18, 22-23). And we are to worship him wholeheartedly (v 5) and him alone (vv 13-15). We are to be careful to remember him by abiding in his word (vv 6-9; cf Jn 8:31-32) and teaching biblical truth to our children (Eph 6:4). This means we continually think about, talk about, and seek to believe and obey all that God has revealed to us. The Israelites were to remember that the promised land -- complete with its cities, houses, wells, and gardens -- was a gift from God (vv 10-12). That land, just like salvation itself, was something received and not achieved.
"I will establish your offspring forever, and build your throne for all generations." (Psalm 89:4)
THE DAVIDIC COVENANT. In studying the Bible it is important to know the various historical covenants that God has made. This helps us to properly understand God's dealings with people at those times. There's the Adamic (Gen 1-3; Hos 6:7), the Noahic (Gen 9), the Abrahamic (Gen 12-17), the Mosaic (Ex 19-20; renewed: Deut 27-30), the Davidic (2 Sam 7; Ps 89), and the New (Jer 31-32; Ezek 36-37). This psalm, written by Ethan the Ezrahite, is the last psalm of the third collection within Psalms, and celebrates the covenant God made with David and his descendants. This important covenant involves two dimensions: an ongoing and victorious reign of Davidic kings, and God's grace to bring about righteousness through that lineage (2 Sam 7; Ps 2). At the writing of this particular psalm, however, it seemed like God has rejected the Davidic line (v 39), and the nation is in abject defeat (vv 38-52). At the end Ethan asks, "Lord, where is your steadfast love of old, which by your faithfulness you swore to David?" (v 49)
EXPECTATIONS. The OT prophets made it clear that there would be One King to come, who would rule forever in righteousness (Isa 9:1-7; Mic 5:1-5). But it seems that, later in Jesus' day, the people had a certain view of what victory and righteousness should look like. They were looking for political and military victory, and they settled for an outward, formal righteousness. But God has fulfilled the covenant with David (Rom 1:3) by sending into the world the true king of righteousness, his Son Jesus. He would, and does, reign with righteousness, justice, steadfast love, and faithfulness (v 14). And with power: "You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them" (v 9; Lu 8:24-25).
TAKEAWAY. Even now, at the right hand of the Father, Christ reigns (Matt 28:18). But one day every knee shall bow, every kingdom will crumble, and all evil shall be removed from this world. At his return we shall see Jesus, the descendant of David, visibly take his glorious reign over all the earth. Meanwhile, we are to thank God that he has provided for us an eternal, humble, powerful, righteous King to rule over us. We should seek his kingdom and his righteousness in every area of our lives today as we await the day of his return.
Image above: Deuteronomy 6:4 in the Masoretic text without vowel points.
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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