Daily Scripture readings for February, set #21:
“In overflowing anger for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,’ says the Lord, your Redeemer” (Isa 54:8). Overflowing anger and everlasting love. The Lord is both of these.
It’s interesting that this text in Proverbs parallels faithfulness and blessing against chasing riches and punishment. “A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished” (28:20). In other words, according to the logic in the contrast of this verse, pursuing wealth is the opposite of faithfulness, and pursuing wealth is something that gets you punished.
“But when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus” (Luke 24:3). Christ was BODILY resurrected, and the apostle Paul tells us that Christ is “the firstborn from among the dead” (Col 1:18). So why do so many Christians view the future hope of resurrection as merely a metaphor pertaining to souls only?
Again the theme of Old Covenant vs New, and again the reality that the whole structure hinges on the New Covenant. “And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect” (Heb 11:39-40).
Daily Scripture readings for February, set #22:
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh” (Isa 58:6-7). True fasting, for the purpose of having one’s prayer heard, is more than simple prayer. Kingdom work – doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly – this is what the Lord requires.
“He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing” (Prov 29:1). This reminds me of a recent reading in Hebrews. TODAY, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts… lest it be suddenly broken BEYOND HEALING. Yikes.
Jesus’ death was not foreseen by his followers – it was not what they expected: “But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21). Even less expected was a bodily resurrection of Jesus: “Some women from our company… they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive” (vs 23). The death and resurrection of Jesus was God’s plan, not man’s: “Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (vs 26-27).
“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Heb 12:12). What an important text! Note the use of the term “discipline” rather than “punishment” or “retribution.” The latter words imply anger or just deserts, whereas the former implies shaping and molding, as the second half of this verse makes clear.