Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 19-20
Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).
GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.
Key Verse: Deuteronomy 20:3
And he shall say to them, “Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them…”
In today’s reading there are at least two points to make: (1) The rule of Law (illustrated by the above picture), and (2) God’s presence and protection. In our courts today, “manslaughter” is the charge that may be brought against someone who accidently kills another person. While we don’t have “cities of refuge” today, there is a strong tradition of taking refuge in a church building. In recent years there have been examples of this, particularly when immigration law requires a person to be deported back to their original country.
War is a sad commentary on the human condition. The most difficult moral decision is choosing the lesser of two evils. If we fail to choose the “lesser,” the “greater evil” will win. Had Israel not fought, the surrounding nations would have destroyed God’s people by attacking, killing all, or by converting them to false religion. In the context of our lives today, let us take heart from the promise found in our key verse. As followers of Jesus, our enemies, if they are people, are to be loved (read Matthew 5:38-48). Our most destructive enemy is sin. We are constantly in a state of war. Identify the enemy (read Galatians 5:16-21). Now, prepare for battle, equipped with the knowledge gained from our key verse, and we will win not only a battle but the war itself. Amen!!!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, You are God’s Word made Flesh. You, as the Light of the world, illuminate truth to me. Please help me to always examine the written Word in the light of Your person and work. In Your brilliant light I see, I perceive, I understand, and I conquer evil in Your strong Name. Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
While a state may wage war (if I support a war, I must be convinced it is a just war. e.g. WW2 against Nazis who killed millions of Jewish people and many others), in my personal life I do not “fight…against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness” (Ephesians 6:12). I find that this fight can be downright scary. To counteract fear, I’ve just read Ephesians 6:10-18. I must learn this lesson over and over again. For emphasis I’ll type out Ephesians 6:18, the secret to winning the war: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” The dictionary definition of “supplication” is “humble prayer, entreaty or petition with pleading fervently.” Having done this, I will no longer fear, but I will truly be a brave heart in every circumstance of life. YES! SO BE IT!!!
Yours for winning each battle and eventually winning the war,
P.S. Here is an additional photo that Reynold took in the ancient ruins of Corinth. The feet of that great warrior, the Apostle Paul, likely walked this very street.