Friday, April 27, 2018

Deuteronomy 20:1-21 (Daily Bread of 28/4/2018)

 Key verse 20:5
This text talks about exemption from military service. However, it is not the dispensation of service by illness. God also explains how to carry out a siege.
1. Let the cowards go back home! (1-9)
God says that when we enter the country and fight the enemy, we should not fear tthem. When the battle time is near, the priest gives the people inspiration saying," The Lord will walk with you and fight with you. Do not weaken, do not fear, do not be afraid, do not be frightened. As the President of the republic said in the American Congress, "fear does not build, it weakens and paralyzes." That's right, we have to overcome fear before we fight. The officers will speak and say, "all those who are fearful, all those who have family concerns go home." (5,6,7). They'll also say, "All those who are afraid and lack courage, go away!"
2. You will siege the far cities (10-21)
God gives very concrete instructions regarding combat. There will be a distinction between near and far nations. It will be necessary to ban the near nations, for they  commit horrible practices before God and God decided to judge and destroy them. This act is needed so that they will not teach Israeltheir horror. As for distant nations, a distinction will be made between submissive nations and rebellious nations. The latter will be destroyed, while the former will be subjected to tribute. The Israelites will spare the women, children and the fruit trees in the destroyed cities -  what sin would they have committed they, when they will be rather useful to men - but on the other hand, they will kill all the men. They will cut down the other trees so that they can be used as building materials for the entrenchments.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Deuteronomy 17:1-20 (Daily bread of 24/4/2018)

Key verse 17:5
God talks about how to deal with idolatry in Israel. Israel will have to follow the servants in legal matter and the King is supervised.     
1. You will extirpate idolatry from the land (1-7)
Moses told the people not to offer malformed animals to God. It is strange that he should mention it in the midst of idolatry. Perhaps because idolatry is similar to a malformed animal. God wants the people created by Him to be faithful to Him. God is a perfect God, so one cannot bring him something imperfect, even though he is not at fault for himself. Human idolaters are different. They are not distorted in appearance, but they are internally twisted beings. God hates them. They don't do their creator any credit. They must be punished by the people. The investigation must be serious and we need two witnesses, because man's heart is not trustworthy. The man and woman who rally with the idols must be stoned first by the witness and then by all the people. The evil is eradicated.
2. Judgments and Royalty (8-20)
If the cause of judgment is too complicated, the people have to go up to the temple of Jerusalem and ask the Levite priests who reside there for advice. When someone brings the case before them, his heart needs to be emptied of all prejudices. He must be ready to listen to the servant's opinion, whatsoever it may be. He must not give up in the middle because of his preference. It is necessary to follow the  teachings which are given to him until the end . God foresees that the people would claim royalty when they enter the country. Samuel said what good would it do, but he hearkened to the voice of the people, and crowned them King. The King's status will not be special nor above the people, he is one of the citizens. It is especially necessary for him to move remove any objects which would distance him from God, such as many horses, gold, women etc.. He has to make a copy of the law and keep it on his bedside table and read it every day. Thus he will not depart from God and will assume the role of King to rule the people.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Deuteronomy 6:1-25 (DB of 12/4/2018)

Key verse: 5


Moses exhorted his people to love God with all of the heart, soul and might. This is the fundamental base for a believer, and this love is expressed through the commandments. 

1. That you may do them (1-19)

God gave his people the commandments so that they would observe them and in doing them be happy. To observe means to fear the Lord. Love for the Lord also means to fear him, for he is our Creator God. When man maintains this attitude, he is blessed and his life on earth prolonged. Not only that, God also multiplies his fruit. Israel had to listen to God because God is one. Our God is the tri-une God, existing as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but he is one. He was incarnated in Jesus Christ to save man, but he is the God of eternity. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We must love God with all our heart, soul and might. The people would experience great blessing in the new land, but at this moment, man's heart was ready to fall. We must well remember God's grace and thank him, lest we turn to idols and be vainquished by the enemy. 

2. You shall teach them to your children (20-25)

Moses pointed out the importance of religious education, since man is quite forgetful. We must therefore teach children so that they obey the commandments with joy. The young generation has no understanding of history. But they must be told who they were and how a loving God delivered their ancestors from the hand of enemies through miracles. They must know that this loving God had given them these commandments based on love. So, we must not perceive God as too demanding or legalistic, for his fundamental motive is love. It is so that his people enjoy a long and fulfilling life. We must believe in his love. Moses says that obediance is righteousness for the people.