It’s Not Just New, It’s Better
Daily Scripture readings for February, set #11:
A warning from the Lord: “Ah, you who hide deep from the Lord your counsel, whose deeds are in the dark, and who say, ‘Who sees us? Who knows us?’ You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, ’He did not make me’; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, ’He has no understanding’?” (Isa 29:15-16). Right thinking about God and his authority/omniscience is essential.
Another important text from the Proverbs regarding alcohol: “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast. ’They struck me,’ you will say, ’but I was not hurt; they beat me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake? I must have another drink’” (Prov 23:29-35). These are easily the most compelling verses that I’ve found regarding abstaining from alcohol.
“When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness” (Luke 22:53). The time for Jesus to be taken into custody had come. Make no mistake: it is not an over-powering or conquering issue, but a time, a decree.
The author of Hebrews kinda loses me in the first section of chapter 7. I think I understand the logic of Melchizedek’s priesthood and the tithing, but then the “loins” part in verse 10 seems a little overboard. Just saying.
Daily Scripture readings for February, set #12:
“Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord!” (Isa 31:1). This verse reminds me of one of my favorite passages in all of Scripture, the first few verses of Psalm 127.
“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles” (Prov 24:17). Man, that is some Matthew 5:44 right there, but LONG before Jesus said it.
Today’s Luke reading covers Peter’s denial, which is a cool coincidence, timing-wise as I catch up on these year-long Scripture notes, because July 30′s Spurgeon morning devotional was on the Gospel of Mark’s account of this same story. Spurgeon’s exposition is, as always, very moving. “We eat our own words with the bitter herbs of repentance.” I highly encourage everyone reading this to obtain a copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening daily devotional book.
The foundation of the New Covenant: “For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God” (Heb 7:18-19). Then, a few verses later, the author of Hebrews just comes right out and says it: “This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant “ (vs 22). It’s not just NEW, it’s BETTER.