At King Street Church, we believe that the Word of God is vital to a growing walk with Jesus.  We make reading the Bible a priority at our church with a new Bible Reading Plan every year.  It is our desire that the church body would read the Scriptures together, and come to a ever-deepening understanding of God’s purpose and plan for our lives.  We welcome others around the world to join us in this quest! 

If you would like to hear messages that focus on biblical teaching, visit us at www.kingstreetchurch.com.   

2019 Focus

Our new Bible Reading Program for 2019 will feature readings each day from the Old and New Testament  as well as a reading from Psalm or Proverbs. In addition our pastoral team is providing directives and questions that will lead you in a deeper study experience each day. The first time you encounter a new book we will be including a short video from the Bible Project to help provide context.  Over the course of the year, we believe that you will see growth in your spiritual walk as you discover new truths about Christ!

Ways to Read

  • – Subscribe via the sign box below to receive daily emails
  • – Text DAILY to 717.210.5729 to receive the readings and questions via a text message
  • – Visit 2019.kingstreetchurch.com daily to read the passage and respond to the questions. 

 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

DEUTERONOMY 21-22

If someone is found slain, lying in a field in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess, and it is not known who the killer was,
your elders and judges shall go out and measure the distance from the body to the neighboring towns.
Then the elders of the town nearest the body shall take a heifer that has never been worked and has never worn a yoke
and lead it down to a valley that has not been plowed or planted and where there is a flowing stream. There in the valley they are to break the heifer’s neck.
The Levitical priests shall step forward, for the Lord your God has chosen them to minister and to pronounce blessings in the name of the Lord and to decide all cases of dispute and assault.
Then all the elders of the town nearest the body shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley,
and they shall declare: “Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it done.
Accept this atonement for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, Lord, and do not hold your people guilty of the blood of an innocent person.” Then the bloodshed will be atoned for,
and you will have purged from yourselves the guilt of shedding innocent blood, since you have done what is right in the eyes of the Lord.
10 When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives,
11 if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife.
12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails
13 and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife.
14 If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.
15 If a man has two wives, and he loves one but not the other, and both bear him sons but the firstborn is the son of the wife he does not love,
16 when he wills his property to his sons, he must not give the rights of the firstborn to the son of the wife he loves in preference to his actual firstborn, the son of the wife he does not love.
17 He must acknowledge the son of his unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double share of all he has. That son is the first sign of his father’s strength. The right of the firstborn belongs to him.
18 If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him,
19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town.
20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.”
21 Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.
22 If someone guilty of a capital offense is put to death and their body is exposed on a pole,
23 you must not leave the body hanging on the pole overnight. Be sure to bury it that same day, because anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse. You must not desecrate the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. 

DEUTERONOMY 22

If you see your fellow Israelite’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner.
If they do not live near you or if you do not know who owns it, take it home with you and keep it until they come looking for it. Then give it back.
Do the same if you find their donkey or cloak or anything else they have lost. Do not ignore it.
If you see your fellow Israelite’s donkey or ox fallen on the road, do not ignore it. Help the owner get it to its feet.
A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.
If you come across a bird’s nest beside the road, either in a tree or on the ground, and the mother is sitting on the young or on the eggs, do not take the mother with the young.
You may take the young, but be sure to let the mother go, so that it may go well with you and you may have a long life.
When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from the roof.
Do not plant two kinds of seed in your vineyard; if you do, not only the crops you plant but also the fruit of the vineyard will be defiled.
10 Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.
11 Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together.
12 Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear.
13 If a man takes a wife and, after sleeping with her, dislikes her
14 and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,”
15 then the young woman’s father and mother shall bring to the town elders at the gate proof that she was a virgin.
16 Her father will say to the elders, “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her.
17 Now he has slandered her and said, ‘I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.’ But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.” Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town,
18 and the elders shall take the man and punish him.
19 They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the young woman’s father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives.
20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found,
21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.
22 If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel.
23 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her,
24 you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you.
25 But if out in the country a man happens to meet a young woman pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die.
26 Do nothing to the woman; she has committed no sin deserving death. This case is like that of someone who attacks and murders a neighbor,
27 for the man found the young woman out in the country, and though the betrothed woman screamed, there was no one to rescue her.
28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered,
29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
30 A man is not to marry his father’s wife; he must not dishonor his father’s bed.

PSALM 38:13-22

13 I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,
like the mute, who cannot speak;
14 I have become like one who does not hear,
whose mouth can offer no reply.
15 Lord, I wait for you;
you will answer, Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Do not let them gloat
or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.”
17 For I am about to fall,
and my pain is ever with me.
18 I confess my iniquity;
I am troubled by my sin.
19 Many have become my enemies without cause;
those who hate me without reason are numerous.
20 Those who repay my good with evil
lodge accusations against me,
though I seek only to do what is good.
21 Lord, do not forsake me;
do not be far from me, my God.
22 Come quickly to help me,
my Lord and my Savior.

ROMANS 14:1-12

The Weak and the Strong

1  Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.
One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.
The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.
Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.
Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.
For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.
If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.
11 It is written:
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.’”
12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

Deuteronomy 21-22 – Think about how Deuteronomy 21:23 is a prophecy of Jesus’ death on the cross. In what way was Jesus “under God’s curse” as he hung on a pole?

Psalm 38:13-22 – What is David’s greatest fear in this Psalm?

Romans 14:1-12 – What is something that you do (and might very well be free to do) that might be causing other people to stumble in their faith? Are you willing to stop doing it out of love for them?

Select a verse from today’s passage, and memorize it. Write it on a card where you can look at it throughout the day. Hide God’s Word in your heart.

Monday, March 25, 2019

DEUTERONOMY 19-20

When the Lord your God has destroyed the nations whose land he is giving you, and when you have driven them out and settled in their towns and houses,
then set aside for yourselves three cities in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess.
Determine the distances involved and divide into three parts the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, so that a person who kills someone may flee for refuge to one of these cities.
This is the rule concerning anyone who kills a person and flees there for safety—anyone who kills a neighbor unintentionally, without malice aforethought.
For instance, a man may go into the forest with his neighbor to cut wood, and as he swings his ax to fell a tree, the head may fly off and hit his neighbor and kill him. That man may flee to one of these cities and save his life.
Otherwise, the avenger of blood might pursue him in a rage, overtake him if the distance is too great, and kill him even though he is not deserving of death, since he did it to his neighbor without malice aforethought.
This is why I command you to set aside for yourselves three cities.
If the Lord your God enlarges your territory, as he promised on oath to your ancestors, and gives you the whole land he promised them,
because you carefully follow all these laws I command you today—to love the Lord your God and to walk always in obedience to him—then you are to set aside three more cities.
10 Do this so that innocent blood will not be shed in your land, which the Lord your God is giving you as your inheritance, and so that you will not be guilty of bloodshed.
11 But if out of hate someone lies in wait, assaults and kills a neighbor, and then flees to one of these cities,
12 the killer shall be sent for by the town elders, be brought back from the city, and be handed over to the avenger of blood to die.
13 Show no pity. You must purge from Israel the guilt of shedding innocent blood, so that it may go well with you.
14 Do not move your neighbor’s boundary stone set up by your predecessors in the inheritance you receive in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess.
15 One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
16 If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse someone of a crime,
17 the two people involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the Lord before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time.
18 The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against a fellow Israelite,
19 then do to the false witness as that witness intended to do to the other party. You must purge the evil from among you.
20 The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you.
21 Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. 

DEUTERONOMY 20

When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.
When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army.
He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them.
For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
The officers shall say to the army: “Has anyone built a new house and not yet begun to live in it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else may begin to live in it.
Has anyone planted a vineyard and not begun to enjoy it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else enjoy it.
Has anyone become pledged to a woman and not married her? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else marry her.”
Then the officers shall add, “Is anyone afraid or fainthearted? Let him go home so that his fellow soldiers will not become disheartened too.”
When the officers have finished speaking to the army, they shall appoint commanders over it.
10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace.
11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you.
12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city.
13 When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it.
14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies.
15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.
16 However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.
17 Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you.
18 Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God.
19 When you lay siege to a city for a long time, fighting against it to capture it, do not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can eat their fruit. Do not cut them down. Are the trees people, that you should besiege them?
20 However, you may cut down trees that you know are not fruit trees and use them to build siege works until the city at war with you falls.

PSALM 38:1-12

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
Your arrows have pierced me,
and your hand has come down on me.
Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.
My guilt has overwhelmed me
like a burden too heavy to bear.
My wounds fester and are loathsome
because of my sinful folly.
I am bowed down and brought very low;
all day long I go about mourning.
My back is filled with searing pain;
there is no health in my body.
I am feeble and utterly crushed;
I groan in anguish of heart.
All my longings lie open before you, Lord;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
even the light has gone from my eyes.
11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
my neighbors stay far away.
12 Those who want to kill me set their traps,
those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
all day long they scheme and lie.

ROMANS 13:8-14

Love Fulfills the Law

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

The Day Is Near

11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.
14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

Deuteronomy 19-20 – As we read in Deuteronomy 19, why do you think God allowed for mercy (fleeing to a city of refuge) in the case of manslaughter (vs. first or second degree murder)?

Psalm 38:1-12 – What impact has sin had on David’s body? Why do you think the guilt of sin can impact our bodies in such a devastating way?

Romans 13:8-14 – Paul is crystal clear in these verses about the fact that Jesus is coming back soon—and unexpectedly. Just as in the days of Noah, when the day came that God reached down and shut the door to the ark. You were either in (and saved), or out (and doomed). Do you really believe that will happen again?

Select a verse from today’s passage, and memorize it. Write it on a card where you can look at it throughout the day. Hide God’s Word in your heart.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

DEUTERONOMY 16-18

Observe the month of Aviv and celebrate the Passover of the Lord your God, because in the month of Aviv he brought you out of Egypt by night.
Sacrifice as the Passover to the Lord your God an animal from your flock or herd at the place the Lord will choose as a dwelling for his Name.
Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste—so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt.
Let no yeast be found in your possession in all your land for seven days. Do not let any of the meat you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain until morning.
You must not sacrifice the Passover in any town the Lord your God gives you
except in the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name. There you must sacrifice the Passover in the evening, when the sun goes down, on the anniversary of your departure from Egypt.
Roast it and eat it at the place the Lord your God will choose. Then in the morning return to your tents.
For six days eat unleavened bread and on the seventh day hold an assembly to the Lord your God and do no work.
Count off seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain.
10 Then celebrate the Festival of Weeks to the Lord your God by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the Lord your God has given you.
11 And rejoice before the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites in your towns, and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows living among you.
12 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and follow carefully these decrees.
13 Celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress.
14 Be joyful at your festival—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns.
15 For seven days celebrate the festival to the Lord your God at the place the Lord will choose. For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.
16 Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed:
17 Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you.
18 Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the Lord your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly.
19 Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent.
20 Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.
21 Do not set up any wooden Asherah pole beside the altar you build to the Lord your God,
22 and do not erect a sacred stone, for these the Lord your God hates. 

DEUTERONOMY 17

Do not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep that has any defect or flaw in it, for that would be detestable to him.
If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the Lord gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God in violation of his covenant,
and contrary to my command has worshiped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars in the sky,
and this has been brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done in Israel,
take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death.
On the testimony of two or three witnesses a person is to be put to death, but no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.
The hands of the witnesses must be the first in putting that person to death, and then the hands of all the people. You must purge the evil from among you.
If cases come before your courts that are too difficult for you to judge—whether bloodshed, lawsuits or assaults—take them to the place the Lord your God will choose.
Go to the Levitical priests and to the judge who is in office at that time. Inquire of them and they will give you the verdict.
10 You must act according to the decisions they give you at the place the Lord will choose. Be careful to do everything they instruct you to do.
11 Act according to whatever they teach you and the decisions they give you. Do not turn aside from what they tell you, to the right or to the left.
12 Anyone who shows contempt for the judge or for the priest who stands ministering there to the Lord your God is to be put to death. You must purge the evil from Israel.
13 All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not be contemptuous again.
14 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,”
15 be sure to appoint over you a king the Lord your God chooses. He must be from among your fellow Israelites. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not an Israelite.
16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.”
17 He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.
18 When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests.
19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees
20 and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel. 

DEUTERONOMY 18

The Levitical priests—indeed, the whole tribe of Levi—are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the food offerings presented to the Lord, for that is their inheritance.
They shall have no inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the Lord is their inheritance, as he promised them.
This is the share due the priests from the people who sacrifice a bull or a sheep: the shoulder, the internal organs and the meat from the head.
You are to give them the firstfruits of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the first wool from the shearing of your sheep,
for the Lord your God has chosen them and their descendants out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the Lord’s name always.
If a Levite moves from one of your towns anywhere in Israel where he is living, and comes in all earnestness to the place the Lord will choose,
he may minister in the name of the Lord his God like all his fellow Levites who serve there in the presence of the Lord.
He is to share equally in their benefits, even though he has received money from the sale of family possessions.
When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.
10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,
11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.
12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you.
13 You must be blameless before the Lord your God.
14 The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so.
15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.
16 For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”
17 The Lord said to me: “What they say is good.
18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him.
19 I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name.
20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.”
21 You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?”
22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.

PSALM 37:27-40

27 Turn from evil and do good;
then you will dwell in the land forever.
28 For the Lord loves the just
and will not forsake his faithful ones.
Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed;
the offspring of the wicked will perish.
29 The righteous will inherit the land
and dwell in it forever.
30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
and their tongues speak what is just.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts;
their feet do not slip.
32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,
intent on putting them to death;
33 but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked
or let them be condemned when brought to trial.
34 Hope in the Lord and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.
35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man
flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,
36 but he soon passed away and was no more;
though I looked for him, he could not be found.
37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright;
a future awaits those who seek peace.
38 But all sinners will be destroyed;
there will be no future for the wicked.
39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.

ROMANS 13:1-7

Submission to Governing Authorities

1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.
For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.
Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Deuteronomy 16-18 – How interesting that God required any king over Israel to make a personal copy (a scroll) of God’s commands and “read it all the days of his life” (Deut. 17:19) so that he would learn to revere God and remain humble. How is this the same as having “a quiet time,” and spending time daily in the Word of God?

Psalm 37:27-40 – What are some practical ways that having the law of the Lord in our hearts keep our feet from slipping? (v. 31)

Romans 13:1-7 – How does this command by God—to be subject to the governing authorities & view them as divinely ordained—fly in the face of our current political climate?

Select a verse from today’s passage, and memorize it. Write it on a card where you can look at it throughout the day. Hide God’s Word in your heart.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

DEUTERONOMY 13-15

If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder,
and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,”
you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.
It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.
That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.
If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods”(gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known,
7gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other),
do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them.
You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people.
10 Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.
12 If you hear it said about one of the towns the Lord your God is giving you to live in
13 that troublemakers have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods you have not known),
14 then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you,
15 you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. You must destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock.
16 You are to gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God. That town is to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt,
17 and none of the condemned things are to be found in your hands. Then the Lord will turn from his fierce anger, will show you mercy, and will have compassion on you. He will increase your numbers, as he promised on oath to your ancestors—
18 because you obey the Lord your God by keeping all his commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in his eyes.

DEUTERONOMY 14

You are the children of the Lord your God. Do not cut yourselves or shave the front of your heads for the dead,
for you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession.
Do not eat any detestable thing.
These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat,
the deer, the gazelle, the roe deer, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope and the mountain sheep.
You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud.
However, of those that chew the cud or that have a divided hoof you may not eat the camel, the rabbit or the hyrax. Although they chew the cud, they do not have a divided hoof; they are ceremonially unclean for you.
The pig is also unclean; although it has a divided hoof, it does not chew the cud. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses.
Of all the creatures living in the water, you may eat any that has fins and scales.
10 But anything that does not have fins and scales you may not eat; for you it is unclean.
11 You may eat any clean bird.
12 But these you may not eat: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture,
13 the red kite, the black kite, any kind of falcon,
14 any kind of raven,
15 the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk,
16 the little owl, the great owl, the white owl,
17 the desert owl, the osprey, the cormorant,
18 the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.
19 All flying insects are unclean to you; do not eat them.
20 But any winged creature that is clean you may eat.
21 Do not eat anything you find already dead. You may give it to the foreigner residing in any of your towns, and they may eat it, or you may sell it to any other foreigner. But you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.
22 Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.
23 Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always.
24 But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the Lord your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the Lord will choose to put his Name is so far away),
25 then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the Lord your God will choose.
26 Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice.
27 And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own.
28 At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns,
29 so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. 

DEUTERONOMY 15

At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts.
This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the Lord’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed.
You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your fellow Israelite owes you.
However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you,
if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today.
For the Lord your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.
If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them.
Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need.
Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin.
10 Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.
11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.
12 If any of your people—Hebrew men or women—sell themselves to you and serve you six years, in the seventh year you must let them go free.
13 And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed.
14 Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to them as the Lord your God has blessed you.
15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today.
16 But if your servant says to you, “I do not want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and is well off with you,
17 then take an awl and push it through his earlobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your female servant.
18 Do not consider it a hardship to set your servant free, because their service to you these six years has been worth twice as much as that of a hired hand. And the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.
19 Set apart for the Lord your God every firstborn male of your herds and flocks. Do not put the firstborn of your cows to work, and do not shear the firstborn of your sheep.
20 Each year you and your family are to eat them in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose.
21 If an animal has a defect, is lame or blind, or has any serious flaw, you must not sacrifice it to the Lord your God.
22 You are to eat it in your own towns. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat it, as if it were gazelle or deer.
23 But you must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water.

PSALM 37:12-26

12 The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming.
14 The wicked draw the sword
and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose ways are upright.
15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.
16 Better the little that the righteous have
than the wealth of many wicked;
17 for the power of the wicked will be broken,
but the Lord upholds the righteous.
18 The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care,
and their inheritance will endure forever.
19 In times of disaster they will not wither;
in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.
20 But the wicked will perish:
Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field,
they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.
21 The wicked borrow and do not repay,
but the righteous give generously;
22 those the Lord blesses will inherit the land,
but those he curses will be destroyed.
23 The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
25 I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be a blessing.

ROMANS 12:9-21

Love in Action

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.
18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Deuteronomy 13-15 – Does it seem “harsh” for the Lord to require the death of those who lead people astray by enticing them to worship other Gods? Why do you think God is so firm on this?

Psalm 37:12-26 – Why do you think God makes such encouraging promises to generous people?

Romans 12:9-21 – Make a list of all of the intensely practical ways that God is calling us to put our love into action in these 13 verses.

Select a verse from today’s passage, and memorize it. Write it on a card where you can look at it throughout the day. Hide God’s Word in your heart.

Friday, March 22, 2019

DEUTERONOMY 11-12

Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always.
Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the Lord your God: his majesty, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm;
the signs he performed and the things he did in the heart of Egypt, both to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his whole country;
what he did to the Egyptian army, to its horses and chariots, how he overwhelmed them with the waters of the Red Sea as they were pursuing you, and how the Lord brought lasting ruin on them.
It was not your children who saw what he did for you in the wilderness until you arrived at this place,
and what he did to Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab the Reubenite, when the earth opened its mouth right in the middle of all Israel and swallowed them up with their households, their tents and every living thing that belonged to them.
But it was your own eyes that saw all these great things the Lord has done.
Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess,
and so that you may live long in the land the Lord swore to your ancestors to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey.
10 The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden.
11 But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven.
12 It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.
13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul—
14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil.
15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.
16 Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them.
17 Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the Lord is giving you.
18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
20 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates,
21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.
22 If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him—
23 then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you.
24 Every place where you set your foot will be yours: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea.
25 No one will be able to stand against you. The Lord your God, as he promised you, will put the terror and fear of you on the whole land, wherever you go.
26 See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse—
27 the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today;
28 the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.
29 When the Lord your God has brought you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim on Mount Gerizim the blessings, and on Mount Ebal the curses.
30 As you know, these mountains are across the Jordan, westward, toward the setting sun, near the great trees of Moreh, in the territory of those Canaanites living in the Arabah in the vicinity of Gilgal.
31 You are about to cross the Jordan to enter and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you. When you have taken it over and are living there,
32 be sure that you obey all the decrees and laws I am setting before you today.

DEUTERONOMY 12

These are the decrees and laws you must be careful to follow in the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you to possess—as long as you live in the land.
Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains, on the hills and under every spreading tree, where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods.
Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places.
You must not worship the Lord your God in their way.
But you are to seek the place the Lord your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go;
there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks.
There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you.
You are not to do as we do here today, everyone doing as they see fit,
since you have not yet reached the resting place and the inheritance the Lord your God is giving you.
10 But you will cross the Jordan and settle in the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and he will give you rest from all your enemies around you so that you will live in safety.
11 Then to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name—there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the Lord.
12 And there rejoice before the Lord your God—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites from your towns who have no allotment or inheritance of their own.
13 Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offerings anywhere you please.
14 Offer them only at the place the Lord will choose in one of your tribes, and there observe everything I command you.
15 Nevertheless, you may slaughter your animals in any of your towns and eat as much of the meat as you want, as if it were gazelle or deer, according to the blessing the Lord your God gives you. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat it.
16 But you must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water.
17 You must not eat in your own towns the tithe of your grain and new wine and olive oil, or the firstborn of your herds and flocks, or whatever you have vowed to give, or your freewill offerings or special gifts.
18 Instead, you are to eat them in the presence of the Lord your God at the place the Lord your God will choose—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites from your towns—and you are to rejoice before the Lord your God in everything you put your hand to.
19 Be careful not to neglect the Levites as long as you live in your land.
20 When the Lord your God has enlarged your territory as he promised you, and you crave meat and say, “I would like some meat,” then you may eat as much of it as you want.
21 If the place where the Lord your God chooses to put his Name is too far away from you, you may slaughter animals from the herds and flocks the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you, and in your own towns you may eat as much of them as you want.
22 Eat them as you would gazelle or deer. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat.
23 But be sure you do not eat the blood, because the blood is the life, and you must not eat the life with the meat.
24 You must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water. |
25 Do not eat it, so that it may go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord.
26 But take your consecrated things and whatever you have vowed to give, and go to the place the Lord will choose.
27 Present your burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord your God, both the meat and the blood. The blood of your sacrifices must be poured beside the altar of the Lord your God, but you may eat the meat.
28 Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the Lord your God.
29 The Lord your God will cut off before you the nations you are about to invade and dispossess. But when you have driven them out and settled in their land,
30 and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.”
31 You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.
32 See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it. 

PSALM 37:1-11

Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy peace and prosperity.

ROMANS 12:1-8

A Living Sacrifice

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Humble Service in the Body of Christ

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,
so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;
if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;
if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Deuteronomy 11-12 – Why do you think Moses emphasizes so strongly the great importance of teaching children the commands of God? ((11:16-21)

Psalm 37:1-11 – When my oldest daughter left for college, we both memorized verses 3-5 out of the New English Translation. I challenge you to do the same: “Trust in the Lord and do what is right! Settle in the land and maintain your integrity! Then you will take delight in the Lord, and He will answer your prayers. Commit your future to the Lord! Trust in Him, and He will act on your behalf.”

Romans 12:1-8 – Think about the ways that you continue to conform to the patterns of this world. Do these things grieve you heart the way they grieve the heart of God? Is it your prayer that God will renew you through the transformation of your mind?

Select a verse from today’s passage, and memorize it. Write it on a card where you can look at it throughout the day. Hide God’s Word in your heart.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

DEUTERONOMY 9-10

Hear, Israel: You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities that have walls up to the sky.
The people are strong and tall—Anakites! You know about them and have heard it said: “Who can stand up against the Anakites?”
But be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the Lord has promised you.
After the Lord your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself,“ The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you.
It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the Lord your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.
Remember this and never forget how you aroused the anger of the Lord your God in the wilderness. From the day you left Egypt until you arrived here, you have been rebellious against the Lord.
At Horeb you aroused the Lord’s wrath so that he was angry enough to destroy you.
When I went up on the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant that the Lord had made with you, I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water.
10 The Lord gave me two stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God. On them were all the commandments the Lord proclaimed to you on the mountain out of the fire, on the day of the assembly.
11 At the end of the forty days and forty nights, the Lord gave me the two stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant.
12 Then the Lord told me, “Go down from here at once, because your people whom you brought out of Egypt have become corrupt. They have turned away quickly from what I commanded them and have made an idol for themselves.”
13 And the Lord said to me, “I have seen this people, and they are a stiff-necked people indeed!
14 Let me alone, so that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven. And I will make you into a nation stronger and more numerous than they.”
15 So I turned and went down from the mountain while it was ablaze with fire. And the two tablets of the covenant were in my hands.
16 When I looked, I saw that you had sinned against the Lord your God; you had made for yourselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. You had turned aside quickly from the way that the Lord had commanded you.
17 So I took the two tablets and threw them out of my hands, breaking them to pieces before your eyes.
18 Then once again I fell prostrate before the Lord for forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water, because of all the sin you had committed, doing what was evil in the Lord’s sight and so arousing his anger.
19 I feared the anger and wrath of the Lord, for he was angry enough with you to destroy you. But again the Lord listened to me.
20 And the Lord was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, but at that time I prayed for Aaron too.
21 Also I took that sinful thing of yours, the calf you had made, and burned it in the fire. Then I crushed it and ground it to powder as fine as dust and threw the dust into a stream that flowed down the mountain.
22 You also made the Lord angry at Taberah, at Massah and at Kibroth Hattaavah.
23 And when the Lord sent you out from Kadesh Barnea, he said, “Go up and take possession of the land I have given you.” But you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. You did not trust him or obey him.
24 You have been rebellious against the Lord ever since I have known you.
25 I lay prostrate before the Lord those forty days and forty nights because the Lord had said he would destroy you.
26 I prayed to the Lord and said, “Sovereign Lord, do not destroy your people, your own inheritance that you redeemed by your great power and brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand.
27 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Overlook the stubbornness of this people, their wickedness and their sin.
28 Otherwise, the country from which you brought us will say, ‘Because the Lord was not able to take them into the land he had promised them, and because he hated them, he brought them out to put them to death in the wilderness.’
29 But they are your people, your inheritance that you brought out by your great power and your outstretched arm.”

DEUTERONOMY 10

At that time the Lord said to me, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones and come up to me on the mountain. Also make a wooden ark.
I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Then you are to put them in the ark.”
So I made the ark out of acacia wood and chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I went up on the mountain with the two tablets in my hands.
The Lord wrote on these tablets what he had written before, the Ten Commandments he had proclaimed to you on the mountain, out of the fire, on the day of the assembly. And the Lord gave them to me.
Then I came back down the mountain and put the tablets in the ark I had made, as the Lord commanded me, and they are there now.
(The Israelites traveled from the wells of Bene Jaakan to Moserah. There Aaron died and was buried, and Eleazar his son succeeded him as priest.
From there they traveled to Gudgodah and on to Jotbathah, a land with streams of water.
At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister and to pronounce blessings in his name, as they still do today.
That is why the Levites have no share or inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the Lord is their inheritance, as the Lord your God told them.)
10 Now I had stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights, as I did the first time, and the Lord listened to me at this time also. It was not his will to destroy you.
11 “Go,” the Lord said to me, “and lead the people on their way, so that they may enter and possess the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.”
12 And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
14 To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.
15 Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today.
16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.
17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.
18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.
19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.
20 Fear the Lord your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name.
21 He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.
22 Your ancestors who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.

PSALM 36

I have a message from God in my heart
concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:
There is no fear of God
before their eyes.
In their own eyes they flatter themselves
too much to detect or hate their sin.
The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful;
they fail to act wisely or do good.
Even on their beds they plot evil;
they commit themselves to a sinful course
and do not reject what is wrong.
Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
10 Continue your love to those who know you,
your righteousness to the upright in heart.
11 May the foot of the proud not come against me,
nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12 See how the evildoers lie fallen—
thrown down, not able to rise!

ROMANS 11:25-36

All Israel Will Be Saved

25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,
26 and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written:
“The deliverer will come from Zion;
he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
27 And this is my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”
28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs,
29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.
30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience,
31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you.
32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

Doxology

33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Deuteronomy 9-10 – According to Deuteronomy 10:12-14, what five things does the Lord require of the Israelites (and ultimately of us)?

Psalm 36 – Self-awareness is a very good thing—recognizing when you’re headed in the wrong direction and changing course. According to verses 2-4, what keeps sinful, wicked people from being self-aware?

Romans 11:25-36 – What do you think Paul means when he says, “until the full number of the Gentiles has come in” (v. 25)? Could this be why Jesus is waiting to return in His second coming?

Select a verse from today’s passage, and memorize it. Write it on a card where you can look at it throughout the day. Hide God’s Word in your heart.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

DEUTERONOMY 7-8

When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations— the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you—
and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.
Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons,
for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you.
This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire.
For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.
But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
10 But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction; he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him.
11 Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees and laws I give you today.
12 If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the Lord your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors.
13 He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land—your grain, new wine and olive oil—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.
14 You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless, nor will any of your livestock be without young.
15 The Lord will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will inflict them on all who hate you.
16 You must destroy all the peoples the Lord your God gives over to you. Do not look on them with pity and do not serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you.
17 You may say to yourselves, “These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?”
18 But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt.
19 You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the Lord your God brought you out. The Lord your God will do the same to all the peoples you now fear.
20 Moreover, the Lord your God will send the hornet among them until even the survivors who hide from you have perished.
21 Do not be terrified by them, for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God.
22 The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you.
23 But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed.
24 He will give their kings into your hand, and you will wipe out their names from under heaven. No one will be able to stand up against you; you will destroy them.
25 The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire. Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the Lord your God.
26 Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Regard it as vile and utterly detest it, for it is set apart for destruction.

DEUTERONOMY 8

Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors.
Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years.
Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.
Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him.
For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills;
a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey;
a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.
10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.
11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.
12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down,
13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied,
14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
15 He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock.
16 He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you.
17 You may say to yourself,“ My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”
18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
19 If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.
20 Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God. 

PSALM 35:22-28

22 Lord, you have seen this; do not be silent.
Do not be far from me, Lord.
23 Awake, and rise to my defense!
Contend for me, my God and Lord.
24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God;
do not let them gloat over me.
25 Do not let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!”
or say, “We have swallowed him up.”
26 May all who gloat over my distress
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who exalt themselves over me
be clothed with shame and disgrace.
27 May those who delight in my vindication
shout for joy and gladness;
may they always say, “The Lord be exalted,
who delights in the well-being of his servant.”
28 My tongue will proclaim your righteousness,
your praises all day long.

ROMANS 11:11-24

Ingrafted Branches

11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.
12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!
13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry
14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.
15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,
18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.
19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.”
20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble.
21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.
23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

Deuteronomy 7-8 – According to Deuteronomy 7:6, why are the Israelites commanded to completely destroy the seven nations that occupied the Promised Land?

Psalm 35:22-28 – Instead of taking his anger and frustration out on his enemies, where does David turn for help? What does he ask God for?

Romans 11:11-24 – Why did God harden the hearts of the Israelites? Will their hearts be hardened forever?

Select a verse from today’s passage, and memorize it. Write it on a card where you can look at it throughout the day. Hide God’s Word in your heart.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

DEUTERONOMY 5-6

Moses summoned all Israel and said: Hear, Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them.
The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb.
It was not with our ancestors that the Lord made this covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive here today.
The Lord spoke to you face to face out of the fire on the mountain.
(At that time I stood between the Lord and you to declare to you the word of the Lord, because you were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain.) And he said:
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
“You shall have no other gods before me.
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
10 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
11 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you.
13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
14 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do.
15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
16 “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
17 “You shall not murder.
18 “You shall not commit adultery.
19 “You shall not steal.
20 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
21 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
22 These are the commandments the Lord proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness; and he added nothing more. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me.
23 When you heard the voice out of the darkness, while the mountain was ablaze with fire, all the leaders of your tribes and your elders came to me.
24 And you said, “The Lord our God has shown us his glory and his majesty, and we have heard his voice from the fire. Today we have seen that a person can live even if God speaks with them.
25 But now, why should we die? This great fire will consume us, and we will die if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any longer.
26 For what mortal has ever heard the voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and survived?
27 Go near and listen to all that the Lord our God says. Then tell us whatever the Lord our God tells you. We will listen and obey.”
28 The Lord heard you when you spoke to me, and the Lord said to me, “I have heard what this people said to you. Everything they said was good.
29 Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!
30 “Go, tell them to return to their tents.
31 But you stay here with me so that I may give you all the commands, decrees and laws you are to teach them to follow in the land I am giving them to possess.”
32 So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left.
33 Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.

DEUTERONOMY 6

These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess,
so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.
Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
10 When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build,
11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied,
12 be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
13 Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.
14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you;
15 for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.
16 Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah.
17 Be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you.
18 Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors,
19 thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the Lord said.
20 In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?”
21 tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.
22 Before our eyes the Lord sent signs and wonders—great and terrible—on Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household.
23 But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors.
24 The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.
25 And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.” 

PSALM 35:9-21

Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord
and delight in his salvation.
10 My whole being will exclaim,
“Who is like you, Lord?
You rescue the poor from those too strong for them,
the poor and needy from those who rob them.”
11 Ruthless witnesses come forward;
they question me on things I know nothing about.
12 They repay me evil for good
and leave me like one bereaved.
13 Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth
and humbled myself with fasting.
When my prayers returned to me unanswered,
14 I went about mourning
as though for my friend or brother.
I bowed my head in grief
as though weeping for my mother.
15 But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee;
assailants gathered against me without my knowledge.
They slandered me without ceasing.
16 Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked;
they gnashed their teeth at me.
17 How long, Lord, will you look on?
Rescue me from their ravages,
my precious life from these lions.
18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly;
among the throngs I will praise you.
19 Do not let those gloat over me
who are my enemies without cause;
do not let those who hate me without reason
maliciously wink the eye.
20 They do not speak peaceably,
but devise false accusations
against those who live quietly in the land.
21 They sneer at me and say, “Aha! Aha!
With our own eyes we have seen it.”

ROMANS 11:1-10

The Remnant of Israel

I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.
God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel:
“Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”?
And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”
So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.
And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened,
as it is written:
“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes that could not see
and ears that could not hear,
to this very day.”
And David says:
“May their table become a snare and a trap,
a stumbling block and a retribution for them.
10 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
and their backs be bent forever.”

Deuteronomy 5-6 – Why does Moses feel the need to repeat the Ten Commandments (they first appeared back in Exodus 20)?

Psalm 35:9-21 – When David’s enemies were ill, he mourned and prayed for them. And yet when he struggled, they laughed and mocked him. Does that mean David made a mistake in showing them compassion? How are we to treat those who hate us? Why?

Romans 11:1-10 – What does this passage about God’s grace as it relates to whether a heart is heart or soft toward God?

Select a verse from today’s passage, and memorize it. Write it on a card where you can look at it throughout the day. Hide God’s Word in your heart.

Monday, March 18, 2019

DEUTERONOMY 3-4

Next we turned and went up along the road toward Bashan, and Og king of Bashan with his whole army marched out to meet us in battle at Edrei.
TheLord said to me, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have delivered him into your hands, along with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.”
So the Lord our God also gave into our hands Og king of Bashan and all his army. We struck them down, leaving no survivors.
At that time we took all his cities. There was not one of the sixty cities that we did not take from them—the whole region of Argob, Og’s kingdom in Bashan.
All these cities were fortified with high walls and with gates and bars, and there were also a great many unwalled villages.
We completely destroyed them, as we had done with Sihon king of Heshbon, destroying every city—men, women and children.
But all the livestock and the plunder from their cities we carried off for ourselves.
So at that time we took from these two kings of the Amorites the territory east of the Jordan, from the Arnon Gorge as far as Mount Hermon. |(Hermon is called Sirion by the Sidonians; the Amorites call it Senir.)
10 We took all the towns on the plateau, and all Gilead, and all Bashan as far as Salekah and Edrei, towns of Og’s kingdom in Bashan.
11 (Og king of Bashan was the last of the Rephaites. His bed was decorated with iron and was more than nine cubits long and four cubits wide. It is still in Rabbah of the Ammonites.)
12 Of the land that we took over at that time, I gave the Reubenites and the Gadites the territory north of Aroer by the Arnon Gorge, including half the hill country of Gilead, together with its towns.
13 The rest of Gilead and also all of Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to the half-tribe of Manasseh. (The whole region of Argob in Bashan used to be known as a land of the Rephaites.
14 Jair, a descendant of Manasseh, took the whole region of Argob as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maakathites; it was named after him, so that to this day Bashan is called Havvoth Jair.)
15 And I gave Gilead to Makir.
16 But to the Reubenites and the Gadites I gave the territory extending from Gilead down to the Arnon Gorge (the middle of the gorge being the border) and out to the Jabbok River, which is the border of the Ammonites.
17 Its western border was the Jordan in the Arabah, from Kinnereth to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea), below the slopes of Pisgah.
18 I commanded you at that time: “The Lord your God has given you this land to take possession of it. But all your able-bodied men, armed for battle, must cross over ahead of the other Israelites.
19 However, your wives, your children and your livestock (I know you have much livestock) may stay in the towns I have given you,
20 until the Lord gives rest to your fellow Israelites as he has to you, and they too have taken over the land that the Lord your God is giving them across the Jordan. After that, each of you may go back to the possession I have given you.”
21 At that time I commanded Joshua: “You have seen with your own eyes all that the Lord your God has done to these two kings. The Lord will do the same to all the kingdoms over there where you are going.
22 Do not be afraid of them;the Lord your God himself will fight for you.”
23 At that time I pleaded with the Lord:
24 “Sovereign Lord, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do?
25 Let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan—that fine hill country and Lebanon.”
26 But because of you the Lord was angry with me and would not listen to me. “That is enough,” the Lord said. “Do not speak to me anymore about this matter.
27 Go up to the top of Pisgah and look west and north and south and east. Look at the land with your own eyes, since you are not going to cross this Jordan.
28 But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see.”
29 So we stayed in the valley near Beth Peor.

DEUTERONOMY 4

Now, Israel, hear the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you.
Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.
You saw with your own eyes what the Lord did at Baal Peor. The Lord your God destroyed from among you everyone who followed the Baal of Peor,
but all of you who held fast to the Lord your God are still alive today.
See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it.
Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”
What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?
And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
10 Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when he said to me, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.”
11 You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fire to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness.
12 Then the Lord spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice.
13 He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets.
14 And the Lord directed me at that time to teach you the decrees and laws you are to follow in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.
15 You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully,
16 so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman,
17 or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air,
18 or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below.
19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.
20 But as for you, the Lord took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of his inheritance, as you now are.
21 The Lord was angry with me because of you, and he solemnly swore that I would not cross the Jordan and enter the good land the Lord your God is giving you as your inheritance.
22 I will die in this land; I will not cross the Jordan; but you are about to cross over and take possession of that good land.
23 Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden.
24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
25 After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God and arousing his anger,
26 I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed.
27 The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the Lord will drive you.
28 There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell.
29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.
30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him.
31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.
32 Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of?
33 Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived?
34 Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?
35 You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other.
36 From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire.
37 Because he loved your ancestors and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength,
38 to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today.
39 Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.
40 Keep his decrees and commands,which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.
41 Then Moses set aside three cities east of the Jordan,
42 to which anyone who had killed a person could flee if they had unintentionally killed a neighbor without malice aforethought. They could flee into one of these cities and save their life.
43 The cities were these: Bezer in the wilderness plateau, for the Reubenites; Ramoth in Gilead, for the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan, for the Manassites.
44 This is the law Moses set before the Israelites.
45 These are the stipulations, decrees and laws Moses gave them when they came out of Egypt
46 and were in the valley near Beth Peor east of the Jordan, in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon and was defeated by Moses and the Israelites as they came out of Egypt.
47 They took possession of his land and the land of Og king of Bashan, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan.
48 This land extended from Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Gorge to Mount Sirion (that is, Hermon),
49 and included all the Arabah east of the Jordan, as far as the Dead Sea, below the slopes of Pisgah.

PSALM 35:1-8

Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me.
Take up shield and armor;
arise and come to my aid.
Brandish spear and javelin
against those who pursue me.
Say to me,
“I am your salvation.”
May those who seek my life
be disgraced and put to shame;
may those who plot my ruin
be turned back in dismay.
May they be like chaff before the wind,
with the angel of the Lord driving them away;
may their path be dark and slippery,
with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
Since they hid their net for me without cause
and without cause dug a pit for me,
may ruin overtake them by surprise—
may the net they hid entangle them,
may they fall into the pit, to their ruin.

ROMANS 9:30-10:21

Israel’s Unbelief

30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;
31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal.
32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.
33 As it is written:
“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall,
and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”

ROMANS 10

1 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.
For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.
Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.
Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.”
But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down)
“or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim:
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”
12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,
13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”
17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
“Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.”
19 Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says,
“I will make you envious by those who are not a nation;
I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.”
20 And Isaiah boldly says,
“I was found by those who did not seek me;
I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”
21 But concerning Israel he says,
“All day long I have held out my hands
to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

Deuteronomy 3-4 – The defeat of a king named Og (3:1-11) might not seem all that impressive until you realize how BIG this king was. According to 3:11, how big was King Og’s bed?

Psalm 35:1-8 – According to these eight verses, what kinds of trials did David face? What does this make you think about the various trials that you go through?

Romans 9:30-10:21 – How is Jesus the “stone that caused people to stumble, and the rock that makes them fall” (9:33)? What did He do to make people stumble and fall?

Select a verse from today’s passage, and memorize it. Write it on a card where you can look at it throughout the day. Hide God’s Word in your heart.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

DEUTERONOMY 1-2

These are the words Moses spoke to all Israel in the wilderness east of the Jordan—that is, in the Arabah—opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Dizahab.
(It takes eleven days to go from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea by the Mount Seir road.)
In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimedto the Israelites all that the Lord had commanded him concerning them.
This was after he had defeated Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon,and at Edrei had defeated Og king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth.
East of the Jordan in the territory of Moab, Moses began to expound this law, saying:
The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain.
Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites; go to all the neighboring peoples in the Arabah, in the mountains, in the western foothills, in the Negev and along the coast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the Euphrates.
See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the Lord swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.”
At that time I said to you, “You are too heavy a burden for me to carry alone.
10 The Lord your God has increased your numbers so that today you are as numerous as the stars in the sky.
11 May the Lord, the God of your ancestors, increase you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised!
12 But how can I bear your problems and your burdens and your disputes all by myself?
13 Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you.”
14 You answered me, “What you propose to do is good.”
15 So I took the leading men of your tribes, wise and respected men, and appointed them to have authority over you—as commanders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens and as tribal officials.
16 And I charged your judges at that time, “Hear the disputes between your people and judge fairly, whether the case is between two Israelites or between an Israelite and a foreigner residing among you.
17 Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of anyone, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it.”
18 And at that time I told you everything you were to do.
19 Then, as the Lord our God commanded us, we set out from Horeb and went toward the hill country of the Amorites through all that vast and dreadful wilderness that you have seen, and so we reached Kadesh Barnea.
20 Then I said to you, “You have reached the hill country of the Amorites, which the Lord our God is giving us.
21 See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
22 Then all of you came to me and said, “Let us send men ahead to spy out the land for us and bring back a report about the route we are to take and the towns we will come to.”
23 The idea seemed good to me; so I selected twelve of you, one man from each tribe.
24 They left and went up into the hill country, and came to the Valley of Eshkol and explored it.
25 Taking with them some of the fruit of the land, they brought it down to us and reported, “It is a good land that the Lord our God is giving us.”
26 But you were unwilling to go up; you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God.
27 You grumbled in your tents and said, “The Lord hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us.
28 Where can we go? Our brothers have made our hearts melt in fear. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.’”
29 Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them.
30 The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes,
31 and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”
32 In spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God,
33 who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.
34 When the Lord heard what you said, he was angry and solemnly swore:
35 “No one from this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your ancestors,
36 except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly.”
37 Because of you the Lord became angry with me also and said, “You shall not enter it, either.
38 But your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will enter it. Encourage him, because he will lead Israel to inherit it.
39 And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad—they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it.
40 But as for you, turn around and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea.”
41 Then you replied, “We have sinned against the Lord. We will go up and fight, as the Lord our God commanded us.” So every one of you put on his weapons, thinking it easy to go up into the hill country.
42 But the Lord said to me, “Tell them, ‘Do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you. You will be defeated by your enemies.’”
43 So I told you, but you would not listen. You rebelled against the Lord’s command and in your arrogance you marched up into the hill country.
44 The Amorites who lived in those hills came out against you; they chased you like a swarm of bees and beat you down from Seir all the way to Hormah.
45 You came back and wept before the Lord, but he paid no attention to your weeping and turned a deaf ear to you.
46 And so you stayed in Kadesh many days—all the time you spent there.

DEUTERONOMY 2

Then we turned back and set out toward the wilderness along the route to the Red Sea, as the Lord had directed me. For a long time we made our way around the hill country of Seir.
Then the Lord said to me,
“You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north.
Give the people these orders: ‘You are about to pass through the territory of your relatives the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. They will be afraid of you, but be very careful. Do not provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land, not even enough to put your foot on. I have given Esau the hill country of Seir as his own.
You are to pay them in silver for the food you eat and the water you drink.’”
The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.
So we went on past our relatives the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. We turned from the Arabah road, which comes up from Elath and Ezion Geber, and traveled along the desert road of Moab.
Then the Lord said to me, “Do not harass the Moabites or provoke them to war, for I will not give you any part of their land. I have given Ar to the descendants of Lot as a possession.”
10 (The Emites used to live there—a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites.
11 Like the Anakites, they too were considered Rephaites, but the Moabites called them Emites.
12 Horites used to live in Seir, but the descendants of Esau drove them out. They destroyed the Horites from before them and settled in their place, just as Israel did in the land the Lord gave them as their possession.)
13 And the Lord said, “Now get up and cross the Zered Valley.” So we crossed the valley.
14 Thirty-eight years passed from the time we left Kadesh Barnea until we crossed the Zered Valley. By then, that entire generation of fighting men had perished from the camp, as the Lord had sworn to them.
15 The Lord’s hand was against them until he had completely eliminated them from the camp.
16 Now when the last of these fighting men among the people had died,
17 the Lord said to me,
18 “Today you are to pass by the region of Moab at Ar.
19 When you come to the Ammonites, do not harass them or provoke them to war, for I will not give you possession of any land belonging to the Ammonites. I have given it as a possession to the descendants of Lot.”
20 (That too was considered a land of the Rephaites, who used to live there; but the Ammonites called them Zamzummites.
21 They were a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites. The Lord destroyed them from before the Ammonites, who drove them out and settled in their place.
22 The Lord had done the same for the descendants of Esau, who lived in Seir, when he destroyed the Horites from before them. They drove them out and have lived in their place to this day.
23 And as for the Avvites who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorites coming out from Caphtor destroyed them and settled in their place.)
24 “Set out now and cross the Arnon Gorge. See, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his country. Begin to take possession of it and engage him in battle.
25 This very day I will begin to put the terror and fearof you on all the nations under heaven. They will hear reports of you and will tremble and be in anguish because of you.”
26 From the Desert of Kedemoth I sent messengers to Sihon king of Heshbon offering peace and saying,
27 “Let us pass through your country. We will stay on the main road; we will not turn aside to the right or to the left.
28 Sell us food to eat and water to drink for their price in silver. Only let us pass through on foot—
29 as the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir, and the Moabites, who live in Ar, did for us—until we cross the Jordan into the land the Lord our God is giving us.”
30 But Sihon king of Heshbon refused to let us pass through. For the Lord your God had made his spirit stubborn and his heart obstinate in order to give him into your hands, as he has now done.
31 The Lord said to me, “See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his country over to you. Now begin to conquer and possess his land.”
32 When Sihon and all his army came out to meet us in battle at Jahaz,
33 the Lord our God delivered him over to us and we struck him down, together with his sons and his whole army.
34 At that time we took all his towns and completely destroyed them—men, women and children. We left no survivors.
35 But the livestock and the plunder from the towns we had captured we carried off for ourselves.
36 From Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Gorge, and from the town in the gorge, even as far as Gilead, not one town was too strong for us. The Lord our God gave us all of them.
37 But in accordance with the command of the Lord our God, you did not encroach on any of the land of the Ammonites, neither the land along the course of the Jabbok nor that around the towns in the hills.

PSALM 34:11-22

11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.
21 Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

ROMANS 9:1-29

Paul’s Anguish Over Israel

1 I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit—
I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.
For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race,
the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises.
Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all,forever praised!  Amen.

God’s Sovereign Choice

It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.
Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”
In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.
For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.”
10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac.
11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand:
12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”
13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all!
15 For he says to Moses,
“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?”
20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”
21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?
23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory—
24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?
25 As he says in Hosea:
“I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people;
and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,”
26 and, “In the very place where it was said to them,
‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’”
27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel:
“Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea,
only the remnant will be saved.
28 For the Lord will carry out
his sentence on earth with speed and finality.”
29 It is just as Isaiah said previously:
“Unless the Lord Almighty
had left us descendants,
we would have become like Sodom,
we would have been like Gomorrah.”

Deuteronomy 1-2 – Deuteronomy begins with Moses introducing the first of three long sermons that make up almost all of the next 34 chapters. Why might “The Three Sermons of Moses” be a more relatable title to the book (as opposed to the title “Deuteronomy”)?

Psalm 34:11-22 – God never promised that His followers will never experience trouble. In fact, quite the opposite is true (v. 19). What, though, DOES God promise He will do for us in the midst of our troubles?

Romans 9:1-29 – What do you think Paul means when he says in verses 8-9: “It is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.”?

Select a verse from today’s passage, and memorize it. Write it on a card where you can look at it throughout the day. Hide God’s Word in your heart.

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