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Bible Pathway - Mar. 8, 2012


Read Deuteronomy 21


Laws and responsibilities governing children, marriage, enemies, separation, integrity and worship.

Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt in any case bring them again unto thy brother (Deut. 22:1).

Israel had been taught to express the same concern for the property of others as they would for their own. Everything belongs to God. Therefore, because of their Covenant relationship with Him, they were caretakers of the Lord's possessions. This meant that they were responsible for the property of even their enemies (compare 22:4, 25:15-16).

In our Lord's Sermon on the Mount, He summed it up by saying: Bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven (Matt. 5:44-45). As His disciples we must do the same.

We may not be legally responsible for an enemy's loss, but our stewardship responsibility to God requires that we respond to another's needs in the spirit of love. This, of course, goes far beyond merely complying with the law. It means responding to the needs of others as we would want them to respond to our needs.

The benefactor may or may not appreciate or deserve the kindness. But our responsibility is not to the person; it is to the Lord, who provides opportunities for us to express His love.

Jesus illustrated this by saying: A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which . . . wounded him . . . leaving him half dead. . . . a certain priest. . . . And likewise a Levite . . . looked on him, and passed by (Luke 10:30-32). Perhaps they had completed their religious responsibilities in Jerusalem and were on their way home to Jericho, the city of palm trees, where many of the Temple priests lived. To stop and help this man could have defiled them and made them ceremonially unclean or, perhaps, they felt he was undeserving. But a certain Samaritan wasn't looking for excuses to avoid giving aid or questioning whether the hurting man was deserving of help. Instead, this outcast from Samaria, who was much despised by the religious Jews, demonstrated Christlike love and had compassion (pity) on the man who fell among thieves and proved it by providing for his care (10:33-36).

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth (I John 3:18).

Thought for Today:

The Lord arranges daily incidents to present opportunities for us to express His love to our fellowman.

Christ Revealed:

Christ died on a cross in our place, submitting to the penalty of death imposed by the Law for our sins (Deut. 21:22-23). In the evening He was taken down from the cross, signifying the Law had been satisfied (John 19:31). Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us (Gal. 3:13).

Word Studies:

21:3 wrought, worked; 21:4 eared, ploughed; strike, assault; 21:12 pare, trim; 21:13 bewail, mourn; 21:15 hated, loved less; 22:3 hide thyself, do nothing to help him, avoid responsibility; 22:6 dam, mother; 22:8 battlement, guard rail; 22:9 divers, various kinds of; 22:14 maid, virgin; 22:15 damsel, young woman; 22:19 amerce, fine; 22:25 force, rape; 22:30 discover, uncover; 23:1 stones, testicles; 23:13 paddle, spade; 23:19 usury, interest.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer • Staff: Clarence Rathbone • Country: Thailand (60 million) in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Thai and English • Limited freedom of Christian ministry; Buddhism is the state religion • 92% Buddhist; 4% Muslim; 2% Chinese folk-religionist; 1% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that Christ will be seen through you (Phil. 1:20-21).

Optional Reading: Luke 23

Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 2:13

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