Saturday, March 7, 2009

Thoughts on Deuteronomy

I've been reading in Deuteronomy since the first of March.

Usually I read on my iPhone using the Mantis Bible application and Peterson's The Message Bible version.

A couple of things have stood out for me so far that I thought it might be worth a blog entry.

Deuteronomy 9 is where I find the first thing I want to mention (emphasis mine):
But when God pushes them out ahead of you, don't start thinking to yourselves, "It's because of all the good I've done that God has brought me in here to dispossess these nations."
That's a little something that all of us who believe in Jesus Christ should keep in mind. It is easy to lose that perspective though. We have something good happen to us and it is really easy to take the credit for it.

I am certain I've read this passage many times before but that admonition really leaps out at me this time around.

Deuteronomy 15 is the second thing:
At the end of every seventh year, cancel all debts. This is the procedure: Everyone who has lent money to a neighbor writes it off. You must not press your neighbor or his brother for payment: All-Debts-Are-Canceled—God says so. You may collect payment from foreigners, but whatever you have lent to your fellow Israelite you must write off.

There must be no poor people among you because God is going to bless you lavishly in this land that God, your God, is giving you as an inheritance, your very own land. But only if you listen obediently to the Voice of God.
Certainly I knew about this passage but it surely stood out this time around.

Just in case someone thought about not loaning money towards the end of the 7 years that issue was raised along with others in following verses:
When you happen on someone who's in trouble or needs help among your people with whom you live in this land that God, your God, is giving you, don't look the other way pretending you don't see him. Don't keep a tight grip on your purse. No. Look at him, open your purse, lend whatever and as much as he needs. Don't count the cost. Don't listen to that selfish voice saying, "It's almost the seventh year, the year of All-Debts-Are-Canceled," and turn aside and leave your needy neighbor in the lurch, refusing to help him. He'll call God's attention to you and your blatant sin.

Give freely and spontaneously. Don't have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God's, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors.
I thought it was interesting.


arutherford said...

I picked out of those scriptures this:

"this land that God, your God, is giving you as an inheritance, your very own land."

I, too, have heard many times that everything we have is a gift from God but that scripture reiterates not only that but that with that gift comes the requirement, "But only if you listen obediently to the voice of God."

How often I forget that. Thanks so much for the reminder.

Lori1955 said...

I wonder if my mortgage company would buy it if I told them that all debts had to be cancelled. Guess not.

I think with the present economy, it becomes more and more apparent that all we have is only on loan. I really did nothing great to deserve the things I have and have done nothing wrong to now be losing them. Either way, rich or poor, there will be a blessing in it.

I have never understood why people go hungry in this world when God has given us such abundance. Whenever I see someone homeless, I ask myself what makes me think I deserve the money in my wallet more than they do.

OK, I'm rambling but this post evoked some strong reactions in me.