“Curses!” and “Martha, Martha, Martha” – One Year Bible Reading – April 4

Old Testament:  Deuteronomy 26:1-27:26

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Dt.  26: 1-9  First Fruits

Some scholars believe that the two offerings mentioned in this chapter were one time events.  This may be but the offering of first fruits and the tithe to be given the third year have already been prescribed (Lev. 23: 10-11; Dt. 14: 28).

“My father was a wandering Aramean” (v. 5)  is a reference to Jacob who few in number, seventy, became a large nation after the sojourn in Egypt.  Abraham was a Syrian, Jacob was an Aramean and the namesake of Israel.  Neither were Jews (Luther was not a Lutheran!).

Again, the Scripture shows God’s concern for the poor, aliens, widows, and orphans (v. 13).  Again, there is a command to make sure that the ministers, the Levites get paid.  There are many commands in Scripture regarding payment of pastors (e.g. 1Cor. 9: 14).  I recently met with a head elder of a church that was completely unaware of these Scriptures.  That explains some things . . .

Israel collectively affirmed the covenant (v. 16-19).

Dt.  27: 1-26   Curses!

The Apostle Paul states in Gal. 3: 10, “For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written,  ‘CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.’”  Paul is quoting the last verse, v. 27, of Dt. 27.  His point is that no one can get to heaven by keeping the law.  A relationship with God and entry to heaven is purely by faith in Christ’s work (cf. Rom. 3: 24-25; Eph. 2: 8-9). 

The chapter is the beginning of a recitation of blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience continued in Dt. 28.  Twelve curses on sins are enumerated and the common feature of each sin is that they could be committed in private.  What they also have in common is that God would know when the person sinned (v. 15-26).  All of the sins had already been enumerated by Moses in the book of Deuteronomy.

New Testament:  Luke 10:38-11:13

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Luke 10:38 -42  Martha, Martha, Martha

Martha was the sister who worked and worked and worked.  She was particular and tried to get everything right.  She was a type A personality.  Mary was chilled.  Jesus told Martha to chill.  Dig?

Luke 11:1-4  The Disciples’ Prayer

Luke recounts the model prayer for disciples.  Study it and model it.  Don’t pray it as rote. That’s dumb.  BTW, the Lord’s Prayer is found in John 17, technically speaking.

Luke 11:5-13  The Disciples’ Determination

Don’t pray and give up!  Jesus tells a story about a man who needs some bread and asks his neighbor but it’s about midnight.  The neighbor says, “bug off!  I just put my kids down!”   Jesus says if you keep bugging the guy, he’ll give in.

Jesus told the disciples to A-sk, S-eek, and K-nock.  It’s an acrostic, get it?  He said a father would give his son fish and an egg not some kind of gross reptile or anthropod.  In the same way, the Heavenly Father will give us the Holy Spirit!

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