Wednesday 30 April 2014

"HE SHALL WRITE FOR HIMSELF" Thoughts from today's Bible readings - 30/4/14


            We continue to read with great interest the final instructions Moses gave to the new nation before he died.  God had raised up Moses to play the major role in creating his nation, he was a prototype of Jesus.  We read yesterday how Stephen highlighted the role of Moses in his address to the council, that “he was mighty in his words and his deeds” [v.22] before God called him from the burning bush for a special role of service in leading his people.  In today’s chapter in Deuteronomy we noted Moses’ words to the people allowing them to “set a king” over themselves, but only one “whom the LORD your God will choose” [ch. 17 v.15], David and Solomon are the outstanding examples of God’s choice.
            Now note Moses’ rather remarkable instructions about one of the duties of such a “when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his lifethat he may learn to fear the LORD his God” [v.18,19]   What are we learning as we read?
I have never thought of writing my own copy of at least one of the Gospels, have you?  How well would we start to get to know them if we did.  Think of how often Jesus quoted from the Old Testament, remember how he refuted the temptations in the wilderness, using 3 different quotations, “it is written …”
And then in today’s reading in Acts ch. 8 we read of the Ethiopian travelled home after worshipping in Jerusalem.  He was reading a scroll of the prophet Isaiah and Philip was caused by God’s Spirit to join him and explain it to him – how it was all about the work of Christ.  This led to his baptism, after he asked, “What prevents me from being baptised?” [v.37]
            If you are not yet baptised, ask yourself the same question? If you are reluctant, it may well be because you have not read God’s word with sufficient attention, let alone writing out parts of it for yourself. Solomon in today’s chapter 9 in Ecclesiastes begins by observing, “how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God.”  We should all want to be “in the hand of God.”
We have just come to the throne of Israel. We are filled with many feelings, excitement, trepidation, concern, happiness? Where do we start, so many different competing priorities of varying degrees of importance and urgency?

Would this be on our priority list, where would it be on our priority list?
"And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites" (Deut 17:18)

Just think how long it would take the king to write out. And the effort it would take, careful not to make a mistake, probably having to re-write if he made a mistake.

This was not an exercise in itself:
"And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life:that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them" (Deut 17:19)

Where is making the Word of God personal to us, in our priority list?

Making it personal by reading it every day, meditating upon it every day, that we learn every day, and to do it every day.

Do we consider how privileged we are to be able to purchase a Bible and read a Bible at very little cost to us?  We don't have to save up for months and months and go without things in our lives to gain a Bible. We haven't had to give our lives to get a Bible and read it like some have. Because it doesn't cost very much in effort and expensive to have and read our Bibles, do we treat it as a thing of great price and very precious, and the time we can spend with it?

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