“As your days, so shall your strength be”

Daily Scripture readings for August, set #24:

Deuteronomy 32
Psalm 70
Matthew 28:1-10
Romans 15:14-33

Deuteronomy 32:39 is another highlighted text in my reading notes from last year, within the theme of knowing who God REALLY is in his attributes and character. “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.” It’s noteworthy to me that the Lord takes credit here for both good and bad, assuming that “kill” and “make alive” represent two sides of the same spectrum.

I would love to hear from David how he views the first verse of Psalm 70. “Make haste, O God, to deliver me! O Lord, make haste to help me!” What I mean is, how does someone both “wait on the Lord” (Ps 27, etc) AND call on the Lord to hurry up? I suppose technically those two sentiments work together, but they sure seem to be contrary.

These first few verses of Matthew 28 were interesting to read having just read Romans 6. In fact, I just now went back and reread Romans 6 again, and seeing Paul’s emphasis on resurrection as the source of freedom from FUTURE sin makes me freshly thankful for it.

Daily Scripture readings for August, set #25:

Deuteronomy, chapters 33-34
Psalm 71
Matthew 28:11-20
Romans 16

Boy, it sure seems like Reuben got the short straw on the blessing from Moses before his death. On another note, a friend of mine references Deuteronomy 33:25 regularly as an encouragement to trust the Lord for provision/capability for life’s tasks: “and as your days, so shall your strength be.” This has always encouraged me, however, upon reading it in it’s actual context, I realize that it’s spoken specifically to the people of Asher. In terms of reading and understanding the Bible well, is it fair to take this verse and apply it to people beyond the ancestors of Asher?

Psalm 71 contains this phrase is verse 3: “you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.” It’s noteworthy to me that being saved is worded as a command that God gives, so that if someone doesn’t get saved it is because the command has not been given. The context here certainly doesn’t warrant that “saved” refers to eternal salvation, but the wording is interesting to me regardless.

I recently read an interesting essay by NT Wright on the authority of Scripture, and in it he mentions this Great Commission passage. He notes how remarkable it is that the word “therefore” is used in verse 19: “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go THEREFORE and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit'” (vs 18-19). The logic is surprising: JESUS has the authority and yet WE are the ones told to go, and the “therefore” indicates that our going is rooted in Jesus’ authority.

Romans 16, verse 17: “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.” It’s interesting to me Paul instructs the church in Rome to “avoid” people who cause divisions. Isn’t avoiding someone a division in itself?

 

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