OYB April 6
Julie FerwerdaAre you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
- 2009 Apr 05
29:19 Let none of those who hear the warnings of this curse consider themselves immune, thinking, 'I am safe, even though I am walking in my own stubborn way.' This would lead to utter ruin! This mentality is an arrogant pride that says, "My sin won't catch up with me." I have been there, thinking I could get away with sin, and it ruined many years of my life! Thankfully, once I finally repented with honesty, God put all my sins behind His back and made my life new!
29:20 This verse appears to contradict the one we saw yesterday about God saving all of Israel. It appears He is saying that person is doomed forever-wiped from memory for all time. A better translation is Young's Literal: Jehovah is not (notice it is not the word "never") willing to be propitious to him, for then doth the anger of Jehovah smoke, also His zeal, against that man, and lain down on him hath all the oath which is written in this book, and Jehovah hath blotted out his name from under the heavens... The Hebrew word here for "heavens" is Shamayim, which means, "heaven, heavens, sky, visible heavens, as abode of the stars, as the visible universe, the sky, atmosphere, and Heaven (as the abode of God). So to me, this verse simply says that God is not willing to forgive the man on this earth (under the heavens, whether the visible sky or the place God abides), so he dies on this earth.
30:2-3 If at that time you and your children return to the Lord your God, and if you obey with all your heart and all your soul all the commands I have given you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes. You can see that God is always willing to forgive as soon as His people become repentant. He redeems and restores when we follow wholeheartedly at any point. He doesn't want to blot out the names of His children, but He wants us to turn to Him and live! Consider Ezekiel 18:32: For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!
30:4 Though you are at the ends of the earth, the LORD your God will go and find you and bring you back again. This reminds me of Jesus saying that a shepherd will leave 99 sheep to find one. I love this picture, because it shows that God will seek out all of His stray sheep, regardless of whether we are looking for Him. Jesus said, "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." Luke 19:10.
30:9-14 He has written His Torah in our hearts (the New Covenant). He delights in us when we follow Him and obey His voice.
30:15-20: Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life (vs. 19-20). God WANTS us to pick life and blessings! He wants the very best for His children, just as we do.
11:41 So clean the inside by giving gifts to the poor, and you will be clean all over. Love and kindness are what make us clean, not doing everything by the book for show.
As we have seen, Jesus was very harsh with hypocrites-those who acted superior to others because of their head knowledge and religious piety, but who had no love for serving others. Their hypocrisy flourished in their dishonest, unrepentant hearts. Hypocrites are usually guilty of all the same sins as everyone else, but they put up a good front of having it all together while pointing out or focusing on the sins of others. Those who are in the greatest danger of being hypocrites are those who don't see or admit to hypocrisy in themselves, because we all display hypocrisy at times. It takes an honest, teachable, humble, repentant heart to recognize it and get rid of it.
78 God wants to reveal hidden truths and symbolism to us from the stories of the past to pass on to our children. Remember. Talk about it. This Psalm is yet another recap of that very important event-one that would tell them about a future event.