Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday, 3 July 2015, Deuteronomy 19-21; Acts 5:1-21 Elizabeth

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  Deuteronomy 19-21; Acts 5:1-21

In our OT reading for today, God gives statutes covering both unintentional and intentional killings. God has given life-all life, from conception on-and reserves the right to take it. No individual can presume to take life into his or her own hands: “You shall not murder” (5:17).

God gives each family of His people an allotment of land, and the property boundaries of neighbors are to be respected. Laws are given concerning witnesses who bring accusations against others, and safeguards concerning them are given to ensure justice. God calls us to deal with one another with integrity, being faithful witnesses for the protection of ourselves or others and never hurting others by bearing false witness against them. Holy Scripture itself is a witness that our God is just; His perfect justice is seen at the cross, where payment was made in full for sin. There, Jesus became a curse for us; the One who knew no sin was made sin for us.

The Lord provides a sacrifice for an unsolved murder. He emphasizes the value of human life by describing the atonement that must be made for it. In satisfying His divine justice, God sent His own Son into this world to make the expiatory sacrifice, the atonement, for our lives on the cross of Calvary, there shedding His lifeblood for the guilt of our sins.

Israel is given laws governing the marrying of female captives. God expects Israel to act differently than the world around them. God has established marriage for the good of men and women. The model for this union is that of the Bridegroom, Christ, with His Bride, the Church. For her, He gave Himself up unto death and applied the benefits of His death and resurrection to her in Holy Baptism. We the baptized, the Church, thus stand before God without spot or blemish as the Bride of Christ.
The inheritance rights of the firstborn are safeguarded. God assures fair treatment and proper inheritance, which helps stabilize family life. Since He gives all things to us by grace, there is no basis for rivalry based on our merits. In Christ Jesus, we are assured of an inheritance imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for us.

Persistent and utter rebellion against parental authority is covered by a law that demands capital punishment if there is no repentance. God demands that the integrity of the family be maintained by honoring fathers and mothers as His representatives to their children. To despise one’s mother and father is to despise God Himself and threaten the well-being of the larger community. God is our heavenly Father, who has given us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, making us members of His household.

Executed criminals are not to be left hanging but must be buried the same day. They are cursed by God and will defile God’s gift, the land of promise, which God had hallowed. God gave Israel and us the gift of a Savior, His Son, who was hung on a tree to redeem us. He hallows us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us.

In our NT reading today, Ananias and Sapphira pay a high price for their hypocrisy, taking grace for granted and forgetting that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ”. Woe to those who disturb and deceive the Lord’s Church! Yet, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. God heals many people through the apostles. This massive outpouring of God’s love and power comes with His serious appeals for repentance God’s power to change lives is still at work today. His greatest work always remains the forgiveness of sins. 

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage:  Deuteronomy 21-24; Acts 5: 22-42

1 comment:

Pamela said...

This stood out for me:
5 “A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established.

I try to apply this to my grade 1 classroom as well. Kids lie. Kids are self centred. Kids don't always know the whole story. We are not that different from 6 year olds in that way. We don't know they whole story and just one witness is not enough to "convict" a person to judgement.

and this:
18 “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, 19 then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, 20 and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ 21 Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones.

I'm not thinking and saying that the whole stoning part applies today but I do believe that calling a rebellious and lazy child to task is a necessary job as a parent. Tough love. Aiding a child who has no desire to do better doesn't help him to change his ways.

I always think about the story of Ananias and Sapphira and wonder why their need to be recognized is so great that they would lie about the value they received. I guess it reminds us that we can do a good thing (donate money) but when it is done for the wrong motivation (recognition) that it is not right.