Day 102 – April 12, 2021
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 26-27, Psalm 19, Proverbs 12
Psalm 19:14 - May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord,my Rock and my Redeemer.
Deuteronomy 26:16–17 - The Lord your God commands you this day to follow these decrees and laws; carefully observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. 17 You have declared this day that the Lord is your God and that you will walk in obedience to him, that you will keep his decrees, commands and laws—that you will listen to him.
Today’s a great day to declare that the Lord is your God and walk with him in obedience.
Keep His law, commands and decrees, listen to him!
"May the meditation of my heart, be pleasing in your sight!"
What a prayer! Let’s pray it!
Day 102 – April 12, 2021
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 26-27, Psalm 19, Proverbs 12
“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
When we read through Psalm 19 and Proverbs 12 we are called to a beautiful life of trusting in the Lord and walking with Him. There is a beautiful life to be had in trusting in the Lord.
It’s important to note that when it comes to the Proverbs, this is not a formula for success but a guide for your life. It is not always true that, “those who promote peace have joy.” – Proverbs 12:20. But it is true that as we seek peace, we have a greater joy in our life because we have the lasting peace of Christ. I can think of a lot of times in which people seeking peace, aren’t filled with joy. Their lives get exponentially harder promoting peace.
I make mention of this, because it would be easy for us to read through the Proverbs and think that we can control God and outcomes.
The point of Proverbs is not about our control. It’s pointing us to the joy of knowing that the outcomes are for and from God. He is the one who holds all things together. He is the one carrying the peacemakers through. They will have joy because God is the bringer of peace.
Proverbs and the law are often used as a means to control outcomes. Do this, get that. But it’s not the intent of Proverbs.
It’s pointing us to the trustworthiness of the righteous one. God will carry us through, he will care for us, and the evil of the world will be vanquished.
We can trust the Lord,
Day 101 – April 11, 2021
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 24-25, Proverbs 11, Psalm 49
“This is the fate of those who trust in themselves.” – Psalm 49:13
Our reading today opens us to the wisdom of God for us to live a righteous and good life. There is a way for us to live, filled with goodness and blessings. Of course, there is another way, that leads to sin and death.
We are invited to see that goodness, mercy and love are the way forward. Whether it is in the Proverbs, guiding us towards a righteousness that lasts. We also listen to Moses, he guides the Israelites to purge the community of evil, by eradicating the evil idolatry in the land. It is the Psalm that guides us forward, we reap what we sow. Sow what is righteous, reap righteousness. Sow what is evil, and harvest evil.
It’s not unlike Jesus saying to us, “A Good tree bears good fruit.”
Let’s seek what is good!
Day 100 – April 10, 2021
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 23, Philemon, Proverbs 10
This wisdom of this Proverb really stood out to me in my reading:
Proverbs 10:9 – “Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.”
Talk about wisdom for the day. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried talking my way through or out of trouble! Sin isn’t ended by our words. Hold your tongue. My mouth gets me in more trouble than it helps!
The organizer of the Bible reading plan tossed Philemon into the reading, alongside of Deuteronomy.
“If a slave has taken refuge with you, do not hand them over to their master. Let them live among you wherever they like and in whatever town they chose. Do not oppress them.”
As Moses instructs the Israelites to care for the slave, he calls them to empathy. Frequently he will remind them that they were once slaves. So don’t be harsh and oppress them, like they were in Egypt.
In Philemon, Paul appeals to the hearts of the believer’s Philemon, Apphia and Archippus, and to the church there, to love the slave Onesimus. Onesimus' status has changed. He might still be a slave, but now he is a brother in Christ and a fellow human. Treat him even better! Treat him the way they would treat Paul!
Our status changes when we come to Christ. We enter into the family of believers through Christ. And we should treat, even the perceived “lowest” as the greatest among us. That’s what Jesus did, we should too!
Day 99 – April 9, 2021
Deuteronomy 21-22, Proverbs 9
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
How does one “Fear the Lord?” How do we gain in knowledge of the Holy One?
"Fear the Lord" is a familiar phrase of the Bible, one of its most frequent instructions. Deuteronomy actually initiates a way for the fear of the Lord. We see that the fear of the Lord is reflected in how the Israelites were called to treat one another. There were safety protections for women that guarded them against false testimony. There were calls to holiness and ways to conduct themselves, all the way down to the equal yoking of animals. Evil was to be purged from their communities. All of this, was a way to honor that there was a better way, God's way, instead of our way.
What we see is in regards to the way in which we fear the Lord is this:
We fear the Lord by revering his ways.
We fear the Lord, by how we treat one another.
We fear the Lord by honoring the dead. By taking one hanging on a pole and burying them before evening. (Deut 21:23)
One day, a group of Jews will honor this law, revere the Lord and bury one hanging on a pole.
And in three days, the buried one will be raised from the dead. Breaking the curse, and bringing new life.
Then we will truly know who the Holy one is, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Day 98 – April 8, 2021
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 19-20, Proverbs 8, Psalm 128
“Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.” Psalm 128:1-2
As we continue through the wisdom of Proverbs, the wisdom of Moses, and the wisdom of the Psalms, we are wise to listen to the summary of the Psalm. “Blessed are all who fear the Lord.”
When we talk about those who are “blessed,” we often consider it in regard to the material matters of life. But these blessings of adhering to the Lord’s Law, fearing Him, and living under His counsel, results in a different kind of prosperity than the “American Dream.”
The Bible teaches that you will “eat the fruit of your labor.” Proverbs teaches us that we can’t take the material things of the world with us, but you can take the wisdom and love of God. Best of all, you can take this peace with you wherever you go. You can take the comfort of knowing the presence of God is there for you. You can know, that even when the world threatens you, you’re standing on the Promises of God’s love and faithfulness and goodness. You can take the difficulty of life because you know you are standing on the wisdom of God.
When we fear God, the fear of the world wanes.
When we fear the world, our love for God and trust in him wanes.
The wisdom calls us forward, revere God, trust in Him, and the prosperity will grow. This prosperity is a peace that money can’t buy, a comfort that the things of this world can’t offer and a hope than no one else can. It leads us eventually to Jesus Christ. God's blessing for the world, eternal life in Him.
Be blessed, Revere the Lord,
Day 97 – April 7, 2021
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 17-18, Proverbs 7
Instruction for the king:
“He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray.” He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.” – Deuteronomy 17:17
It won’t take long, and Solomon will have both an excess of wives and money. He will also have a bunch of horses as well, also advised against.
Proverbs also teaches the avoidance of evil, walking in the path of righteousness. The counsel of the Proverbs is to avoid the adulterous woman. As a metaphor, it expands to us all, that we would avoid the enticement of sin.
“Her house is a highway to the grave.”
As we have all experienced our own hearts being led astray, as well as experienced the grief of it in others, we are wise to draw closer to God and His Word. As we study the wisdom literature and Deuteronomy, we are reminded of the problems sin brings.
As Christians, we are hopeful that we have forgiveness and a new heart. We have new life in Christ.
Our hearts are not led astray when we fix our thoughts on Christ.
Day 96 – April 6, 2021
Scripture: Deuteronomy 15-16, Proverbs 6
Proverbs 6:20–23 “My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. 21 Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck. 22 When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. 23 For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life.”
I recently preached through the book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy 15 stood out to me as something incredibly important for the modern church. We see inspiration of this text in the early lives of the church. The early church cared for the poor among them and ministered to one another. Cancelling debts and caring for the poor should be a hallmark of the Christian Church.
So, I’ve invited the congregation I serve to love one another in a practical way, by giving to a fund that has as its central focus, caring for the needs of those within the church. We are not trying to solve the world’s problems, but making a significant impact in the daily life of those suffering in our church family.
I share about it here, so that we can remind ourselves that there are still practical implications from Old Testament texts. But also to see that we are to still bind the law of God around our hearts, listen and obey our parents, honor them, and learn to let the commands of God be a light to our lives and instruct our life.
Let the Scriptures teach you,
Day 95 – April 5, 2021
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 13-14, Proverbs 5
Proverbs 5:22 “The iniquities of the wicked ensnare them, and they are caught in the toils of their sin.”
As we continue through Deuteronomy and Proverbs, I’ve enjoyed the connections between wisdom, the law of God, obedience and blessing. There are two ways for us to live. We can seek the Lord and His ways or we may seek our own will and desires. Deuteronomy and Proverbs lays out a bleak picture for those who choose to go their own way – toil and death.
We know this. We’ve experienced the toils of sin. On this Easter Monday, we celebrate that we are forgiven, and have new life in Christ. And the inequities that have ensnared us, are broken, we are forgiven and free.
Enjoy your day, Christ is Risen
Day 94 – April 4, 2021
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 11-12, Proverbs 4
"Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil."
Happy Resurrection Sunday!
As we seek the Risen Lord today, and hear of his Resurrection, let us hold unswervingly to the faith that we confess. Jesus is Lord and He is Risen.
Turn our hearts away from evil and walk with the Lord. Listen to him on the road to Emmaus, walk with him, touch him, know that he is our risen Lord. He is risen indeed!
Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.