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April 14, Day #105 – Lostness Emphasizes True Value

We continue in Deuteronomy today with chapters 19-20. In chapter 19, the Lord expands on a topic we saw earlier in the book of Numbers (cf., Numbers 35, April 4, Day #95). Here, He tells them to “set aside for yourselves … cities of refuge … so that innocent blood will not be shed in your land” (verses 1-10). Killing another human being is not always murder. A person may die as the result of an accident “or unintentionally without malice aforethought” (verse 4). To prevent hotheaded “rage by the avenger of blood” (verse 6), God established these cities – as a part of the law - for dealing with such deaths in a moral, peaceful, and rational way which ensured that a person who shed innocent blood received proper justice. We also see in chapter 19 the law of testimony by a witness. “One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime” (verse 1). Standing in the presence of the LORD, the priests, and the judges, false witnesses were subject to divine exposure and revelation, and if found guilty of bearing false witness, they would be punished by the self-same action (verses 16-20). God exacted the law of retribution: “life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, and foot for foot” (verse 21). He tells us why: “The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you” (verse 20). God has decreed that severe punishment serves indeed as a deterrent against heinous crime – regardless of what today’s post-modern politicians and social workers think.

Psalm 45:1-9 prophetically points to the second coming of Jesus Christ, when He will return to earth victoriously “in the cause of truth” (verse 4) to set up His millennial kingdom. The “nations will fall beneath His feet” (verse 5), and “His throne will last forever and ever” (verse 6). The Psalm is consistent with all of Scripture proclaiming the truth about our Lord’s return. Verse 9 says that “God has set you [i.e., Jesus Christ] above His companions.” This verse is quoted in the book of Hebrews which establishes and validates the superiority of Christ over all things (cf., Hebrews 1:9).

In Luke 15, all three parables about the lost – “lost sheep … lost coin … and a lost son” – are time-honored truths that reflect God’s deep and abiding love for us. Possessing an abundance of sheep, coins, or sons (or anything!) in no way negates the importance or actual value of a resource or asset that has been lost. On the contrary – the lostness of anything only emphasizes its worth to the owner. We notice in these three parables that the lost items reflect increasing values - animals, money, and human souls. We also see the way that lostness occurs: (1) the sheep are lost by natural tendency – they go astray; (2) the coin is lost because of circumstances; and (3) the son is lost by choice – he chose to flee the father’s house. Of these things, the value of a human soul is immeasurable and priceless (cf., Mark 8:34-38). Unfortunately, our culture rejects this teaching because, like lost sheep or coins, post-modern people don’t know that they are lost. Having “squandered” his inheritance and now mired completely in his lost estate, the prodigal son’s hunger drove him “to his senses,” whereupon he returned to his loving father for mercy. This is exactly what God wants for us, and He alone can bring about such repentance and restoration.

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