OYB March 26
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 Mar 26
5:9-10 Let me remind you that the Hebrew word is not "punish" but "watch" or "visit." And to keep things in perspective, the watch is for 3-4 generations, the LOVE is for 1,000 generations! We skip over the 1,000, forgetting how much His love overwhelms our sin and rebellion.
5:11 You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name. This one is sort of confusing. I hear so many Christians say "Oh my God," without batting an eye. But really, "God" is not His name. It is His title. But it IS what we call Him, so it's worth questioning ourselves on. Why even go there? Why show the disrespect toward a holy God on any level? I do not hear Christians typically misuse the name of Jesus, but if I do, I'm sure to say something. Many believers think saying, "OMG" is not misusing, and see no problem. But I do! For the record, let me define misusing: If you are not talking TO our Father, and you are not specifically talking ABOUT our Father, you are misusing His name or His title.
5:15 Remember that you were once slaves in Egypt, but the Lord your God brought you out with his strong hand and powerful arm. That is why the Lord your God has commanded you to rest on the Sabbath day. What a cool contrast! What better way to appreciate a 24/7 day of rest than to have been a 24/7 slave? Resting would remind them to be thankful and appreciative. Remember this was not a curse or even a restriction. It was a happy occasion of allowing God to be their provider and restorer. It is also a shadow of the Millennial Kingdom, or the Sabbath Millennium when Jesus rules the earth for 1,000 years and He is then our provider and our rest. Imagine, a thousand years of rest after 6 thousand years of blood, sweat, toil, and tears. Sabbath is our reminder to be grateful looking back at Egypt, and joyful looking forward to our Sabbath Millennium rest with Jesus.
6:10-11 It is a land with large, prosperous cities that you did not build. The houses will be richly stocked with goods you did not produce. You will draw water from cisterns you did not dig, and you will eat from vineyards and olive trees you did not plant. What a beautiful picture of His provision in the Millennial Kingdom of rest! Interestingly, the warning in verse 11-13 will likely still be in effect in that Kingdom, as I believe there will be people living that can still choose to sin (those who live through the tribulation). Those who have been resurrected will not sin (I believe sincere believers who "finish the race" of faith according to NT principles will be in the first resurrection at the beginning of the MK). Check out Isaiah 65:10, describing the MK: "No longer will babies die when only a few days old. No longer will adults die before they have lived a full life. No longer will people be considered old at one hundred! Only sinners will die that young!"
6:20-25 When your children ask...you must tell them, "We were Pharaoh's slaves in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with his strong hand." This is a very cool prophetic passage of Jesus rescuing them (and us) from bondage to sin! The "laws" were merely the Torah (teachings) pointing them to their Messiah as a prophetic picture!
7:11-15 I love this story! What a great comfort for all parents who have either lost a child to death or just had a loss of relationship that feels like death. I love reading about the compassion of Jesus toward this desolate mother, and how He gave the child back to his mother. A great comfort for many parents.
69:27 Look, the little tribe of Benjamin leads the way. Then comes a great throng of rulers from Judah. I wonder if this is telling us that John is from the tribe of Benjamin?
33-35 So beautiful!
Questions for reflection:
Did you see the patterns emerging today? Obedience=a long prosperous life. Fear the Lord God only. He is your only God. This must have been repeated five times today! Remember. Teach them to your children and grandchildren. Note that our obedience doesn't save us, but it certainly shows God what is in our hearts. If we try to love Him out of duty or fear, we will have a hard time engaging in joyful obedience. If we love Him out of gratitude and response to His loving character, we will find that obedience is our health and our delight!
Do you struggle with using any form of the Lord's name in vain? If so, do you see the importance of weeding out this habit?