Daily Encouragement

March 31 – Duties of a King

March 31
Deuteronomy 16:1-17:20
Luke 9:7-27
Psalm 72:1-20
Proverbs 12:8-9

Deuteronomy 16:16 – What is this place that the Lord has chosen? 2 Chronicles 6:6 says the Lord revealed it to David – Jerusalem!  That is the city of the Great King! (Psalm 48:1).

Deuteronomy 17:14 – What are the duties of a king?

  • v. 14 God is prophesying I Samuel 8:20.
  • v. 15 God requires that the king be an Israelite, not a stranger
  • v. 16 the king is prohibited from multiplying horses,
  • v.17 prohibited from multiplying wives, silver, and gold,
  • v.18 required to copy out the Torah
  • v.19 required to read the Torah, and obey it
  • v.20 required to be humble

Luke 9:9 – Herod was curious about Jesus, but in a positive way (as opposed to his father’s “curiosity” about the new born king (Matthew 2). Perhaps Joanna and Chuza (Luke 8:1-3) were able to help lobby the king to take a friendly approach similar to Frederick the Wise and Martin Luther.

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Luke 9:17 – The mosaic is from the traditional Church of the Multiplication. By Berthold Werner – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7973912

Luke 9:21 – Why didn’t Jesus want them to tell who He was? Because it was not the right time yet – He still had prophecies to fulfill. Prior to fulfillment, He could rightly be crucified as a false prophet.

Luke 9:23 – Complete self-surrender. One who takes up a cross, is not going anywhere else but to the hill where he will be crucified. Are you crucified with Christ? (Galatians 2:20).

Psalm 72:20 – This is the end of the “Second Book” of the five that make up Psalms. From the Pulpit Commentary:

Verse 20. – The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended. This is a note appended, either by the collector of the first two Books of the Psalms, or by the collector of the Third Book, who thus marked the difference between the previous collection and his own, the former containing sixty psalms ascribed to David in their titles, and the latter one only (Psalm 86). 

Proverbs 12:8 – From Gill’s Exposition:

Not according to his birth and pedigree; not according to his riches and wealth; not according to the places of honour and trust he may be in; but according to his wisdom, which he discovers in his words and actions, in his life and conversation.

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Daily Encouragement

March 30 – An exception to the Jewish Dietary Laws

March 30
Deuteronomy 13:1-15:23
Luke 8:40-9:6
Psalm 71:1-24
Proverbs 12:5-7

Deuteronomy 13:1 – What happens when the Antichrist comes with signs and wonders? (2 Thessalonians 2:9) Don’t hearken! Just because Pharoah’s magicians could duplicate some of the miracles was not cause to listen to them. Interestingly the phrase “dreamer of dreams” occurs only in this chapter, and not positively.

Deuteronomy 13:10 – Apostasy is to be punished with stoning. In John 10:31 the Jews sought to stone Jesus, for blasphemy (v.33).

 

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Image from joyfullygrowingingrace.wordpress.com

Deuteronomy 14:21 – The dietary laws were not universal – they were just for the Jews. The strangers and aliens were not subject to the dietary laws. Circumcision on the other hand was a prerequisite for certain activities of strangers (Exodus 12:48, Ezekiel 44:9). To help you keep track of the changing dietary laws (based on the message God was communicating to the people at the time) here’s a helpful chart from your author. Obviously meats pre-Fall would require death. For the Jews abstention from certain meats were a symbolism of the holiness God called them to. The phrase “Others may, but I cannot” comes to mind for those whom God has called to a higher standard.

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Deuteronomy 15:3 – With the responsibilities of being an Israelite, comes the privileges of being an Israelite. A stranger was entitled to judicial fairness but not all the benefits of Israelite citizenship (see v. 12 also).

Deuteronomy 15:23 – We’ve seen the admonition now 12 times to not eat the blood. That’s why Jesus’ command to drink His blood (John 6:53-60) really bothered the Jews. They knew that the Torah prohibited it, and their forefathers were judged for eating the blood (I Samuel 14:33, Ezekiel 33:25).

Luke 8:41 – Let’s look at who reached out to Jesus in this chapter:

  • Demon-possessed Mary Magdalene (v.2)
  • Joanna, wife of Chuza, Herod’s Chief of Staff (v.3)
  • Mary and Jesus’ half-siblings (v.19)
  • The faithless disciples (v.24)
  • The Demonic Legions of Gedara (v.27-30)
  • The unfriendly Gadarenes (v.37)
  • The now-clothed former-Maniac of Gedeara (v.38)
  • Jairus, ruler of the synagogue (v.41)
  • The anonymous unclean woman with an issue of blood (v.43)

While Jesus was besought of by the political elites (Joanna and Jairus), He also healed those who were suffering from the curse of sin (Mary Magdalene, the Maniac of Gedara, the woman with the issue of blood, and us!)

Psalm 71:1 – Earl Martin has set this verse to music, while the audio version isn’t available online, for $15 you can obtain all 99 Scripture memory songs he has produced.

Proverbs 12:5 – What are your thoughts like?

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Daily Encouragement

March 29 – Where do famines come from?

March 29
Deuteronomy 11:1-12:32
Luke 8:22-39
Psalm 70:1-5
Proverbs 12:4

Deuteronomy 11:1 – How do we show love? By trusting God. How do we keep his statutes? By obeying God.  We just need to trust and obey.

Deuteronomy 11:7 – Why should we trust God? Because we’ve seen what He has done.

Deuteronomy 11:17 – God warned that He would shut up the heaven. Did He ever do this after this warning? Yes!

  • Ruth 1:1 in Bethlehem (because of Judges 21:25)?
  • 2 Samuel 21:1 in the United Kingdom (why did it take David three years to ask God?)
  • 1 Kings 17:1 in Israel (because of 1 Kings 16:33)
  • 2 Kings 4:38 in Gilgal (on the whole, Gilgal hasn’t been a site of good things)
  • 2 Kings 6:25 in Samaria (not specified, general sinfulness)
  • 2 Kings 8:1 in Israel (God called it)
  • 2 Kings 25:3 in Jerusalem (because of 2 Kings 24:19-20)
  • Nehemiah 5:3 in Jerusalem (because of Nehemiah 1:7)
  • Acts 11:28 (prophesied)

How do you stop a famine? Hearken! (v. 13)

Deuteronomy 12:5 – What was the city that the LORD put his name there? (this is the first usage of this phrase).

 

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Author’s photograph from the Mount of Olives

Deuteronomy 12:8 – This is the first usage of “right in his own eyes.”

Luke 8:24 – This is exercising the power assigned to God in Psalm 65:7, 89:9, 107:29, and attributed to God in Jonah 1:15

Psalm 70:5 – God uses the phrase poor and needy 17 times. If this Psalm seemed familiar, it looks very similar to Psalm 40:13-17 (like Psalm 53 and Psalm 14 being similar to each other), and Matthew Henry thinks that’s why it is called a Psalm of Remembrance. Sometimes in a hymnal it lists the verse and the chorus, and other times just the chorus. It could be that this “chorus” was used in worship by the Israelites as well. Spurgeon says “As we have the words of this Psalm twice in the letter, let them be doubly with us in spirit.”

Proverbs 12:4 – Good advice for the young man looking for a wife, and a great commendation to the woman who exemplifies virtue!

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Daily Encouragement

March 28 – Sinai U’s Commencement Speech

March 28
Deuteronomy 9:1-10:22
Luke 8:4-21
Psalm 69:19-36
Proverbs 12:2-3

Deuteronomy 9:4 – Let’s count: “Speak not…for my righteousness” (v.4)…. “Not for thy righteousness” (v.5)…. “not…for thy righteousness” (v.6)…. “ye have been rebellious” (v.7)… “the LORD was angry with you” (v.8)…. “ye had sinned against the LORD” (v.16)…. “all your sins which ye sinned” (v.18)…. “the LORD was wroth against you” (v.19)…. “ye provoked the LORD to wrath” (v.22)…. “ye rebelled against the commandment of the LORD” (v.23)…. “Ye have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you.” (v.24)… “the LORD had said he would destroy you” (v.25)…. “he hated them” (v.28)…. 13 times in 24 verses. Not your typical Commencement Address for graduates of Sinai U.

Deuteronomy 10:12 – Now we get to the summary: Fear God, Love God, Serve God, Obey God.

Deuteronomy 10:19 – What are the commands for the Israelites to do for strangers? Have consistent laws (Exodus 12:49, Leviticus 24:22, Numbers 9:14, 15:15-16, Deuteronomy 1:16), Not oppress them (Exodus 22:21, Leviticus 19:33-34, 24:22), but love them (Deuteronomy 10:18-19), and do justice (Deuteronomy 24:17-18, 27:19).

Marten_van_Valckenborch_-_Parable_of_the_sower_(September)

Luke 8:5 – Have you been sowing lately?

Psalm 69:24 – Another imprecatory Psalm, not seeking personal revenge, but begging God to intervene and avenge us.

Proverbs 12:3 – An interesting parallel to the house of sand vs the house of rock.

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Daily Encouragement

March 27 – Meet Joanna!

March 27
Deuteronomy 7:1-8:20
Luke 7:36-8:3
Psalm 69:1-18
Proverbs 12:1

Deuteronomy 7:4 – God cares about who you marry. 2 Corinthians 6:14 warns about being unequally yoked. I Kings 11:2-4 reiterates this warning to Solomon and says that the women led him astray.

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Author’s photo, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago. Note the two missing corners, and the cracks on the two remaining corners.

Deuteronomy 7:5 – The LORD does not believe all roads lead to Heaven. He commanded destruction of pagan altars. In Judges 6:25 God commanded Gideon to destroy the altar to the false gods, as did Josiah in 2 Kings 23:8.

Deuteronomy 7:18 – We are commanded to remember the works of God.

Deuteronomy 7:25 – Sometimes we want to repurpose things used in the service of Satan to other purposes.  But God says we must utterly separate from the worship of other gods.

Deuteronomy 8:10-11 – On March 30, 1863, Abraham Lincoln echoed these words:

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Luke 8:3 – We are introduced to Joanna, the wife of Chuza, who financially supported Jesus. Throughout history God has used people of means to support His work – Frederick the Wise who supported Luther, John Thornton who partly supported John Newton, Cyrus McCormick who supported Moody, Lyman Stewart who funded the Fundamentals and started the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (B.I.O.L.A.), amongst others. Interestingly this financial support may be from gratitude – Joanna may have been the mother of the child healed by Jesus in John 4. Today many Christian ministries are supported by faithful older women who are grateful for what the LORD has done in their life.

Psalm 69:5 – Don’t be afraid to admit your faults to the LORD, He knows them already.

Proverbs 12:1 – What do you love?

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