Guest Writer: Magnolia Hood
As I read the Old Testament reading for today, it reminded me of times when I was younger when I would want to do things that others around me were doing. Maybe I wanted to go somewhere, or maybe I wanted to do something that my other friends were doing. Often times when I would do them and shouldn’t have, or ask to do them I would be told that I couldn’t. I often felt that this was very unfair and I was being punished or held to a higher standard than others. I can remember saying “So-and-so is doing it, why can’t I”? My mother or great-grandmother would always say: “You belong to me; your friends don’t, I don’t care what they, do”. Sometimes what I wanted to do, or where I wanted to go wasn’t bad. But my mother didn’t want me to do what everybody else was doing, or go where they were going.
That is what God is saying in that text. In the fourth chapter, God is reminding the Israelites to remember what they’ve been taught and told. He tells them that they are getting ready to enter into the Promised Land, but he cautions them to stay obedient to His laws and commands. He (just like my mother) wanted them to know that they were not like everyone else. They belonged to God, so they had to separated themselves and be different. As I further thought about our reading I realized that often we think of Gods commands in levels of most importance, you know. Is this law more important than that one? That law is kind old, do we still have to do that? The fact of the matter is that all of God’s laws are important. Some are relevant to that time period. So no, we don’t have to offer animals as sacrifice. But borrowing from our small group lessons, the timeless truth of God’s laws governing sacrifice is that we show our thankfulness to God for his forgiveness of our sin by offering our own bodies as the sacrifice. So as I read this reading, I thought about the SPACE PETS method of devotional for this reading?
S=Is there a sin to confess after reading this text?
P=Is there a promise to claim in this text?
A=Is there an attitude to change after reading this text?
C=Is there a command to obey in this text?
E= Is there an example to follow?
P=Is there a prayer to pray?
E=Is there an error to avoid?
T=Is there a truth to believe?
S=Is there something to praise God for?
As you meditate on this text, please be encouraged and know that our God doesn’t make laws and commands to keep us from living good lives, in fact He sent His son so that we could have life abundantly. But He knows what best for us, because He loves us. Know that we are Children of a loving, kind, faithful AND Jealous God? Not the jealous lover kind of jealous, but jealous in that He gave and still gives us the very best, and doesn’t want to come in second place.
God thank you for your Word and for the Promise of victory when we obey you. Forgive us for not always obeying your commands. Forgive us when we make excuses for disobedience and please help us to feel your love as a Father that knows what’s best. Help us to always remember what you have done for us. Thank you for loving us enough to give us your laws. In Jesus name, Amen.