Highlights In Today's Reading:
It may seem amazing how God arranges the blessings at Mount Gerizim with Jacob's six children by his two wives. The curses at Mount Ebal are predominantly pronounced by the children of his concubines. The blessings reveal the result of obedience and faithfulness. The curses are the result of disobeying the Word of God! Take note of the Law of the offering of firstfruits given here.
From the day of Moses to the reign of David, the Amalekites, descendants of Esau, were cruel enemies of Israel (Ps. 83:1-7). These perpetual enemies made a fierce attack on the Israelites at Rephidim near Mount Sinai soon after the exodus from Egypt (Ex. 17:8-16).
Many years later, God said to the new generation: Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt. . . . Therefore . . . when the Lord thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies . . . in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance . . . thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven (25:17,19).
Love was to be Israel's guiding principle, but the love of God was not to be interpreted as sentimental weakness or indifference toward lawlessness.
The principle of justice is based on the unchangeable nature of God and should be the desire of every Christian. The righteousness of God requires justice. Evildoers are to be dealt with according to their crimes.
Israel illustrates how the people of God are guided by the Spirit of God and the Amalekites picture the old Adamic nature motivated by Satan that can often hinder Christians. Paul explains how our old sinful nature still exists and tempts us to fail in fulfilling the will of God: I delight in the Law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members (Rom. 7:22-23). Reckon . . . yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof (6:11-12).
Just as God commanded Moses to destroy the sinful Amalekites, we are to allow our sin nature to be destroyed. Our old man is crucified with Him (Christ), that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin (Rom. 6:6).
Thought for Today:
A person will not be a Christian long before he realizes that his old nature is a powerful enemy.
Through the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt and Pharaoh (Deut. 26:8). Our Lord Jesus Christ . . . gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world (Gal. 1:3-4).
24:3 hate =dislike; 24:4 abomination =detestable; 24:10 pledge = loan, security; 24:12 not sleep with his pledge =not keep it overnight; 24:15 hire =wages; 24:18 bondman =slave; 25:1 controversy =dispute; unto judgment =to court; 25:4 treadeth =brushes; corn =grain; 25:5 without unto a stranger =outside the family; 25:11 secrets =genitals; 25:13 divers =different; 26:5 sojourned =lived as a temporary immigrant; 26:6 evil entreated us =treated us harshly; bondage =cruel slavery; 26:10 set =offer; 26:14 mourning =distress, defilement; ought =any; hearkened =listened; 26:18 peculiar people =treasured possession; 26:19 make thee high =make you supreme; holy =consecrated; 27:11 charged =commanded; 27:15 an abomination = detestable thing; 27:16 setteth light by =disgraces, dishonors; 27:17 landmark =boundary marker; 27:18 maketh =misdirects; 27:19 perverteth =denies justice; 27:24 smiteth =strikes, kills; 27:25 taketh reward =accepts a bribe; 27:26 confirmeth =upholds the terms.
Pray for Radio Sri Lanka Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. Duane A. Estey • Staff: Tammy Davis • Government Official: Rep. Vito Fossella (NY) • Country: Congo, Republic of the (2 million) in west-central Africa • Major languages: French and Lingala • Limited religious freedom, but government hostility has lessened • 41% Roman Catholic; 20% fetishism and belief in ancestral spirits; 17% Protestant; 9% cults • Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice that our Savior was born (Luke 2:11).
Optional Reading: Luke 24
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:12