Bible reading for weekend June 13-14.
"I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him." (Deuteronomy 18:18-19)
A PROPHET LIKE MOSES (18). Moses reiterates the support needed for the Levites (vv 1-8), which in the NT is applied to those who, like the apostles, proclaim the gospel (1 Cor 9:13-14). Occult practices are treated in the same way as idolatry (vv 9-14), which likewise are condemned in the New Testament (Acts 13:6-8; 19:19; Gal 5:20; Rev 9:21). Rather than through occult methods God's people are informed of truth via God's revelation through his prophets (vv 15-22). This is the beginning of the OT office of prophet, but the singular "a prophet" (v 15) points ahead to the ultimate Prophet, the Lord Jesus (Acts 3:22-26). He himself is the revelation of God, not only in his words, but in his very person and life (John 1:14-18). The Christian has no need to read horoscopes or seek fortune-tellers, for God has provided in his word everything we need to know to live for him.
CITIES OF REFUGE (19). The judges of Israel were to assure that true justice was followed in the land. Cities of refuge were set apart to provide safety for those who took a life by accident, without malice. This would protect them from undue vengeance. But also, there must be investigation and hearing of witnesses, so that intentional murderers would not escape justice. There was place for both mercy and retribution in God's justice. Takeaway: true justice involves both the intention of the individual and the absolute standard of God's law. What do you think is missing in today's discussions regarding justice?
"For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham, his servant. So he brought his people out with joy, his chosen ones with singing." (Psalm 105:42-43)
THE SONG OF ISRAEL (105). Psalm 103 was a song of praise for redemption, and Psalm 104, for creation. Psalm 105 is a song of praise for history, specifically, God's kind dealings in leading Israel. This poetic telling of Israel's story, unlike other psalms (e.g., the following one), does not focus upon their sin and failure but rather on God's power and faithfulness toward his people. It's wonderfully encouraging and could be read aloud to your family as a summary of God's control of history in guiding his people. Because of Christ the history and destiny of the church is ultimately a happy story. Sin will not thwart God's plan. The last verse highlights the goal: that God's people would be obedient to his commandments (cf Matt 28:19; John 14:21). Takeaway: Do you recognize God's control over history in guiding and providing for the church? Does this motivate you to be more trusting and obedient in following the Lord?
SINGING THE BLUES (106). This psalm, unlike the previous one, sings the sad song of failure on the part of Israel. As you read, note the kinds of sinful responses Israel gave to the Lord in spite of his grace and faithfulness. Make a list of them. Are there any of these attitudes or actions in your life as you walk with the Lord? One good thing about reviewing God's history with his people is to realize how gracious and patient God has been, and how there really is no room for us to complain or seek out any other gods. Our God, the true God, is good to his people, and sometimes you have to look at the big picture to appreciate that. For me, I go back to the Cross and think, "If he would die this way to take away my sin, is there any reason I can't trust or obey him?"
Image credit: photo of open Torah scroll from Wikimedia Commons.
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.