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bible reading oct 15-17



Bible reading for weekend Oct 15 -- 17

Oct 15 -- Ezekiel 48 and Psalm 104

Oct 16 -- Daniel 1 and Psalm 105

Oct 17 -- Daniel 2 and Psalm 106

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"And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The LORD is there." (Ezekiel 48:35)


THE INHERITANCE (ch 48). From time to time I have seen a bumper sticker on a car (usually a nice car) which reads, "I am spending my children's inheritance." Inheritance is not a word which carries much weight in our culture these days. After paying off student loans, mortgages, consumer debt, and then nursing home care there's usually not much to go around afterwards. In the ancient world -- and even our world until just a century ago -- one's inheritance was a very important thing. It meant receiving and carrying on a family legacy, including the traditions, influence, and power that came with it. It meant having land or a house where one could make one's home and raise a family. It was a place to work and raise food, and to be a part of a larger established community. It meant security for the future, and the ability to continue the legacy. Some years ago my wife and I received a gift of some land from her grandfather, and we were able to build our first home. It was such a great blessing, and it lightened the financial load of raising a family. I wonder, do we often think about our inheritance as children of God? Do we realize we have a secure future, a forever home, and a place to serve Christ and share in his reign of righteousness? Can we even imagine the wealth to come?

DIVIDING THE LAND. In the Bible the subject of inheritance is related to other themes such as being stewards of the land, having productive work, living in a righteous kingdom, and future adoption, since in the ancient world an adopted heir formally came into his inheritance in adulthood. Abraham left Ur of the Chaldees to go and receive a land inheritance from God, which was passed on to his heirs. Joshua chronicled Israel's possession of the land, and King David secured its boundaries and Solomon its peace and prosperity. But the people of Israel were exiled from the land at times that they might learn to live worthy of the Lord and his land. Ezekiel, living in exile with his people in Babylon, sees in a vision the new apportioning of the land among the Israelite tribes. For the Jews today the land inheritance is what is called the land of Israel (or Palestine). It was more than mere geography as the author of Hebrews teaches us (Heb 11). "For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come" (Heb 13:14). For the Christian inheritance means spiritual blessings now in Christ (Eph 1:11-14, 18), but also the possessing of, and reigning in, a new world to come. It will be glorious, tangible, material, physical, but permeated throughout by God's seen and felt presence. It is not a return to Eden (Adam's original inheritance) but to a new creation with all good things restored or made better, each in its own way. And we as believers have a real share, a glorious portion of that creation, to have as our very own. Inheritance is a very important concept in biblical teaching.

"THE LORD IS THERE."  Though our inheritance includes a new creation (with new bodies, and no sin or sorrow) and an eternal community of really wonderful and loving people, yet the Bible teaches that the real value of our inheritance, both now and then, is in the Lord himself. "The Lord Is There" (Heb., YHWH shammah) will be the name of that city (48:35). We are on our way to an eternal city in a new heavens and new earth, but the presence of God is with us even now. Largely unseen and unfelt, he is with us nonetheless. And he himself is the Source of all good and true blessing, both in this creation and the next. Consider these words of Asaph, and make them your own: "I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" (Psalm 73:23-26).

WHAT DANIEL IS ALL ABOUT. This weekend we begin reading the book of Daniel. Take a few moments and watch this overview of the book by the Bible Project.

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"O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures." (Psalm 104:24)

GOD'S CREATION (Ps 104). The previous psalm (103) is a song of praise for the many blessings that we have from the Lord. Its focus is upon redemption. Psalm 104 is a song of praise for God and his creation. It is a beautifully poetic description of the Lord's care for all his creatures. Leviathan (v 26) likely refers to some large sea creature, perhaps a whale. Often we think of the Holy Spirit's ministry toward God's people, but here we see, like in Genesis 1:2, it is God's Spirit who gives life and breath to all creation (vv 29-30). This does not mean that the Holy Spirit indwells creation or sanctifies animals, but it does mean that creation and redemption alike come from one God, and we are all dependent upon him for life.

A SONG OF ISRAEL (Ps 105) and SINGING THE BLUES (Ps 106). See my previous comments on these Psalms here.

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Image credit:photo of a whale mother and calf near Maui, by guille pozzi on Unsplash. About this newsletter: I'm Sandy Young, and I post three times a week on my Bible reading, following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson. Subscribe for email at Buttondown.email/Sandy. 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. A very helpful resource is the NET Bible with its excellent notes at netbible.org.  







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