Whoa! Nice start! Must have been a woman editor in P.M.S.! I was actually in a car with two men (one being my husband) and had to read them "portions" of today's selection just for the entertainment value.
23:5 May all the curses of our enemies turn into blessings!
23:7 I found it fascinating that the Edomites and Egyptians were such detested enemies (even the ones prophesied that Jesus would defeat as we've studied), and yet God had mercy for them.
24:9 When you go to war against your enemies, be sure to stay away from anything that is impure. Think of this verse in spiritual terms. Why do you think He gave this warning? Here is a hint, straight out of Scripture: "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41)." You will eventually be led astray.
24:21 The notion of vows to God is interesting. It's not a sin not to vow, but it seems to be a grave sin not to keep a vow!
24:5 A newly married man must not be drafted into the army or be given any other official responsibilities. He must be free to spend one year at home, bringing happiness to the wife he has married. This shows a romantic and compassionate side to God!
24:16 Parents must not be put to death for the sins of their children, nor children for the sins of their parents. Those deserving to die must be put to death for their own crimes. This shows the principle behind what we studied earlier, that God does not "punish" children for the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generation. The word in Hebrew is "watches," or "visits."
25:5-10 Remember the story in Genesis 38 about Tamar and Judah—how he refused to let her marry his son Shelah so she arranged to sleep with him as if she was a prostitute at the city gate, and in the end he admitted to the city elders she was more right than he, because he denied her the son that was rightfully hers by the law. Anyhow, this is the law that goes with that happening. Aren't you so glad to know?
25:16 All who cheat with dishonest weights and measures are detestable to the Lord your God. There are so many corrupt people in ministry these days (worldwide!). This verse brings me comfort that God is still paying attention! I get furious when I see godly people being taken advantage of by those who claim to be godly—people they should be able to trust!
10:23-24 We are privileged, too. We think OT had it good, seeing God move and all, but they never saw grace or living Torah. We are far more privileged.
10:30-37 Wikipedia gives an interesting early church interpretation of this parable. I have no idea if it's a good interpretation or not, but I thought it was interesting. The one line that leaves me a little suspect is "The manager of the inn is the head of the Church..." If they also saw this as Christ, that is good, but it doesn't sound like it. The rest of it seems plausible, but don't quote me on anything on this one-I don't know much about these early fellas:
The man who was going down is Adam. Jerusalem is paradise, and Jericho is the world. The robbers are hostile powers. The priest is the Law, the Levite is the prophets, and the Samaritan is Christ. The wounds are disobedience, the beast is the Lord's body, the [inn], which accepts all who wish to enter, is the Church. ... The manager of the [inn] is the head of the Church, to whom its care has been entrusted. And the fact that the Samaritan promises he will return represents the Savior's second coming.
"This allegorical reading was taught not only by ancient followers of Jesus, but it was virtually universal throughout early Christianity, being advocated by Irenaeus, Clement, and Origen, and in the fourth and fifth centuries by Chrysostom in Constantinople, Ambrose in Milan, and Augustine in North Africa."
Questions for reflection:
Have you ever started out with good intentions, fighting against sin, and found yourself joining in? Maybe you resolve not to let that certain person influence you or pull you into sin once again, and you determine you are going to be the good influence, but you end up wearing down and giving in? Or you determine that you can go to that certain place without compromising this time, but it doesn't work out? Identify those places of weak-will and avoid them! The key to the Christian life is not always strength; sometimes it is avoidance!
Why would a person make a vow to God? Have you ever made a vow to Him? Did you keep it? I am sure I have made several vows to Him. Some I have kept, some not. I specifically remember a couple that I did not keep that brought me so much shame and such a stricken conscience when He showed me my sin! Thankfully, God does not treat us as our sins deserve, or repay us according to our iniquities (Psalm 103:8-12)! I should probably be struck dead by now otherwise.