Spiritual Rants: April 2 “Hate The Sin, Love The Sinner” Readings to read through the Bible in a year: Deuteronomy 21:1-22:30 Luke 9:51-10:12 Psalm 74:1-23 Proverbs 12:11

Old Testament:  Deuteronomy 21:1-22:30

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Deut. 21:1-9  Embarrassing Laws

When a man was slain, a heifer was slain and the elders of the town nearby must swear in the heifer’s blood that they had nothing to do with the crime.  An innocent life of the heifer was given in place of the slain man to indicate the value of life to God.

Israelites were allowed to take foreign women as their wives.  She could be freed but not mistreated.

If a man has two wives and doesn’t like one of them but has kids with her, he has to treat the firstborn male as having all his privileges.

If you have son who is a glutton, drunkard or basically “rebellious,” he could be offed by stoning in front of the rest of the community.  Loving parents giving up their son indicated the reality of the guilt and showed God’s respect of the fifth commandment.  It put “fear” in the community and dissuaded children from “rebellion.”

A person worthy of death can be hanged on a tree but had to be taken down on the same day.  Jesus was taken down the same day (cf. Gal. 3:13).

Deut. 22:1-12  More Embarrassing Laws

If anyone in your country loses anything, you are supposed to try to return it or take care of it till he finds it.

No cross-dressing!

You cannot eat a mother and her eggs.

Guardrails on roofs.

Only one can of seed can be planted in a vineyard.

Cannot bind an ox and donkey together.

No mixing together of different kinds of material like wool and linen.

No tassels on the four corners of your garments.

Deut. 22:13-30  Even More Embarrassing Laws

If a man accuses his wife of not being “pure” when he married her, the parents could bring out proof that she was.  The guy’d be fined 100 shekels of silver and could not divorce her the rest of her life.  If it turns out she is guilty, she is to be offed by stoning.  So are adulterers that are found out.  Engaged women get the same treatment.

Death penalty for rape.  But if a couple is found that are not married, the man has to pay the fifty shekels for the dowry and marry her forever with no chance of divorce.

A man cannot have his father’s (step) wife.

New Testament:  Luke 9:51-10:12

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Luke 9:51 -56  No Nuking

The boys wanted to destroy a town because they didn’t want Jesus there.  Jesus said He didn’t come to destroy men but to save them.  This is consistent with what Luke was trying to show everyone in his gospel, “the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).  They moved on.

Luke 9:57-62  Calls To Ministry

A man wanted to follow Jesus but Jesus told him the foxes and birds have places to stay but the Son of Man (Jesus) didn’t have a home.  Jesus gave the man permission but the man wanted to wait till his father died.  Jesus told the man to let other dead people bury dead people but the man should go out and preach the gospel.  Another man wanted to say goodbye to his family but Jesus told him that no one should look back if he’s going to preach the kingdom.

Luke 10:10-12  The Seventy Are Sent Out

Jesus called seventy more disciples to go out and preach in pairs.  “The harvest was plentiful” but Jesus didn’t have enough workers (Luke 10:2). Prayer was needed for more workers.  Jesus was sending them out as “lambs in the midst of wolves” (Lk. 10: 3).  They couldn’t bring a suitcase or any extras.  They were to stay in the houses of people sympathetic to Jesus’ ministry.  They were to take what was given them and heal the sick in the town.  If a town didn’t receive them, they were to shake the dust off their sandals to show that even their dust wasn’t worthy of moving out of that town.  Jesus said it would be better in Hell for Sodom and Gomorrah than a town that rejected His messengers.

Psalm 74:1-23     A Lament Psalm by Asaph . . . probably

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Psalm 74:1-23   God’s Turtledove

Psalm 74 is another maskil psalm meaning it is a teaching psalm.  The author is Asaph who lived during the time of David.  Or is he?  The psalm focuses on the destruction of the temple in 587-586 B.C. so the author may have been a namesake of Asaph.

The psalmist asks if God has rejected the Israelites (v. 1).  It probably seemed that way if the burning of the temple (v. 7) was the occasion for writing.   Asaph reminds God that He was the One who had redeemed the Israelites (vv. 2-8) so it didn’t seem right to let them perish.

The people were completely disheartened (v. 9) by the defeat by their enemies (v. 10).  They felt like God had abandoned them (v. 11).

Asaph does what all believers should do when demoralized.  He reminded himself Who God is and what He had done (v. 12).

  1. God had divided the sea and tamed sea monsters (v. 13)
  2. He fed the largest of sea creatures to other animals in the world (v. 14)
  3. He controls water in the desert, at the Red Sea and the Jordan so the Israelites could satisfy their thirst and escape their enemies (v. 15)
  4. He turns the lights on in the morning and turns them off at night (v. 16)
  5. He causes the seasons to change and sets the borders of the nations (v. 17)

Asaph knew that God loved Israel, His “turtledove” (v. 19) and wouldn’t allow them to perish at the hands of unbelievers (vv. 18-20).  He knew God would restore them to worship  again (v. 21).

God should protect His own reputation (v. 22a, cf. Num. 14:13-19, blog A Nation Of Jerrys).  God has a soft spot for His Own glory.  We should, too.  We should remember that we exist for His glory and when we pray, it should be to ask for things that will glorify Him (cf. John 14:13).

Ungodly are constantly seeking to diminish God (v. 22b).  Asaph’s purpose was to thwart the voices of those speaking against God (v. 23).

Do you live for the glory of God like Asaph?

Proverbs 12:11   Quick Oats

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If you work and have a job, you’ll be able to eat, in general (remember Proverbs is “wisdom literature” that is generally true).  The New Testament says that if you don’t work, you shouldn’t eat either (cf. 2 Thess. 3:10).

Someone who is quixotic is a dummy (v. 11b).

Choose Life: Scripture:   Luke 9:60   NASB    “Hate The Sin, Love The Sinner”

“But He said to him, ‘Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.’”   Luke 9:60

As I write this today, I am very saddened.  I feel like I’ve had the spiritual air knocked out of me.  Indiana has capitulated to a group of vicious bullies whose goal is to cut off the wick and extinguish the flame of Christianity in this country.  The issue is not about sexual preference and discrimination.  The issue is about sin.  Human beings do not like to hear about sin.  Ask John the Baptist.  Sinners took his head off.  And worse, they murdered the Most Righteous Man who ever lived.  He said we could expect the same (Matt. 10:24-25).

I am writing to Christians today who may feel discouraged by the recent happenings in our state.  Here is what we are called to.  We are called to love everyone.  Everyone means like . . .   you know, everyone!  All have sinned (cf. Rom. 3:23).  Jesus said the one without sin could cast the first stone (cf. John 8:7).  He didn’t say the lady caught in adultery didn’t sin.  He didn’t give her any special privileges or condone her sin.  He gave her the same right and privilege He would give any other sinner.  He allowed her the forgiveness that would come through His death.  He paid the price.

In these perilous days, we can not make more and we can not make less of any kind of sin.  They are all equal in the sense that they keep us from God.  To not admit that sin is sin is to deprive some of the privilege of trusting Christ.  We do not have the privilege of dismissing sin.  Only Jesus can do that.

Nor should we dismiss sin in ourselves.  To not love absolutely everyone is a sin.  We must take seriously what a Catholic nun taught me years ago, “Hate the sin.  Love the sinner.”

If you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!

Fun Application:   

Scripture commands us not to be discouraged (cf. Josh. 1:9).  It also tells us to love everyone and serve everyone (cf. the example of Jesus, Mark 10:45, John 13).  If anyone around tries to thwart that goal, we are to allow them to stay behind.  If they don’t want to be served, we don’t have to serve them.  If they want to sin, we don’t have to engage in their sin.  Do God’s will and enjoy the life He gives.  Don’t let anyone rob you of that.

The purpose of the “Choose Life” is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog:  Some Politically Incorrect Laws

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