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April 16, Day #107 – Our Duty to Remember

The theme for all our readings today is “remembrance” – stressed in the Deuteronomy readings (cf., 23:4-7, & 21; 24:9; & 18-22). In this section, we see that God is deeply concerned that we live appropriately and do the right things with regard for holiness. Once again, He reiterates and emphasizes the remembrance of their past and what the Israelites had come through to arrive at this point - including treating foreigners well because the Israelites themselves were foreigners once. Although some of these regulations governing their practices may seem a little strange to us today, we must remember that the Israelites were enroute through the wilderness in encampments (i.e., not unlike camping), and in that context, these regulations still make sense – “Your camp must be holy” (verse 14). God is still concerned about purity. We can abide by these same basic guidelines for our own application – knowing that they are timeless. The rest of our section for today deals with various, everyday laws such as slavery (verses 15-16); prostitution (verses 17-18); charging interest (verses 19-20); making vows (verses 21-23); marriage (24:1-5); kidnapping (verse 7); leprosy (verses 8-9); loaning money (verses 10-13); and the treatment of aliens (verses 17-22). Chapter 25 contains various other regulations about disputes, marriage to a dead brother’s widow, and the issue of keeping honest weights and measures. “The LORD your God detests anyone who does these things … anyone who deals dishonestly” (verse 16). The chapter concludes with, “Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way …” (verse 17). In these chapters, God focuses on these sometimes-strange regulations and admonishes the Israelites about them because the Amalekites – like all the Canaanites – engaged in all these detestable behaviors as a matter of standard practice, and He did not want Israel to fall into them. Remember that human beings are easily tempted to fall into the same sins that their neighbors commit.

Psalm 45:10-17 - Today’s continuation of Psalm 45 also contains prophetic overtones that relate to the church, the future Bride of Christ. She is told to “forget her people and her father’s house” (verse 10) and to “enthrall the king by her beauty” (verse 11). This admonishes us, as members of the church, to recognize our previously low standing in our sin - which we are to forget - and to realize our present higher calling “to honor” our King because we bear the “glory” of that call (verses 11-13). For doing this, she is reminded of the King’s promise to memorialize her “perpetually” (verse 17). This is a beautiful picture of our future relationship as the Bride of Christ. Shamefully, many Christians overlook their responsibility to live according to this truth in the here and now.

Luke 16:19-17:10 emphasizes [1] the true connection between today and the future - how we live today affects our destiny tomorrow; and [2] despite the proof that Someone, in fact, has risen from the dead, people still remain unmoved to repent. Jesus warns us that things won’t always be easy; things that might cause us to stumble will come. But He tells us to forgive one another - over and over - if necessary. At times, even our memories get in the way. We may want to begrudge others, but Jesus has forgiven us many times over, and He tells us to do the same. I always appreciate the way faith is described – it is powerful – even when tiny. Moreover, faith is described in different ways (as a mustard seed; as spoken words that do impossible things; etc.). Jesus can take that small faith in us and use it for great things if we trust in Him. The humility expressed in Luke 17:10 should characterize our attitudes about everything - “we are unworthy servants who have only done our duty.”

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