Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 33-34
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Key Verse: Deuteronomy 33:27a
The eternal God is your refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms…
Our reading begins with praise to God and then blessings on all the tribes except one, Simeon. In Genesis 49:5-7 both Simeon and Levi are cursed by their father Jacob. All the other brothers are blessed. Moses and Aaron came from Levi, the tribe that became Israel’s priests. It remains a mystery why Levi was chosen for special service and Simeon was not. Perhaps Levi repented of the sins Jacob mentioned and Simeon did not. God always responds to a godly sorrow for sin, followed by a turning away from sin. Restoring our relationship with God is absolutely essential to experiencing the powerful promise found in our key verse. God blessed Moses. Jesus, Peter, James and John would later meet him on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8).
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, I search my heart, confess my sin, and trust You for the gift of genuine repentance. Levi became the recipient of Your blessings, and his brother Simeon did not. I’m desperate for Your everlasting arms under me. I lean on Your arms today and every day. Thank You for Your promise of strong support. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
Often over the years I have visited the modern expression of “The Promised Land”…Israel. Bible prophecy indicates the establishment of a nation state in the end times called “Israel.” The olive tree symbolizes the spiritual life of Israel; the fig tree symbolizes political Israel (Luke 21:29-31). I, as a Gentile believer in the King of the Jews, Jesus, have been grafted into the olive tree. Jews who believe in Jesus as Messiah, Saviour and Lord (there are thousands in Israel in many congregations) continue an expression of the original olive tree. Following the birth of Jesus’ Church (Acts 2), many thousands of Jews formed the first congregations of believers in Jesus. A non-Jew, Cornelius, was the first Gentile grafted into the olive tree (Acts 10). While modern Israel has come into being, let’s not forget that the modern state of Israel is not gathered in righteousness. For example, I’m told that abortion is legal and huge numbers of little ones are being torn apart in the wombs of Jewish mothers. Jesus’ last prophecy was about this (check out Luke 23:27-31). Let us never forget that God loves all people equally; Arabs and Jews all need to receive Jesus in order to be saved. We all need to come to Him and trust His promises (e.g. John 6:37). Tomorrow, God willing, I’ll do my first blog from the book of Romans. I’ve just had a head-start by reading about the “olive tree.” It’s found in Romans 11:17-24 (click here to read with me).
Yours for God at work today with Jews, Arabs, and all the rest of us…and for the growth of the “olive tree” and its grafted-in branches, of which I believe I’m a little twig,
P.S. Yesterday I linked you to my Uncle’s book on the last sayings of the dying at a time before modern sedatives (If you missed it, here is the link again). Most people today are not conscious when they pass away. Many of the last sayings were from a time when believers, both Roman Catholic and Protestant, were persecuted and martyred by wicked leaders from both sides (e.g. Henry VIII). My Uncle featured Heaven and Hell statements from both sides of that great divide. I hope we don’t automatically presume we are reading of only one side or the other. Below is a picture of my uncle, Rev. Manley C. Pritchard. He edited a weekly and also a monthly publication beginning approximately in 1910.