Judges 21; Acts 25; Jeremiah 35: Psalm 7-8
I have not been very good with keeping up with my reading this summer. Somehow in my list of things to do it has not been a priority, I look at my to do list and starting my day in God’s Word gets set aside…maybe that is why I have been going through a bit of depression; I have not allowed God’s word to refresh my soul, I have not taken the time to really listen, I have not spent time sitting at His feet and listening to His word…oh dear, I have become Martha this summer! (You remember Mary and Martha, the inspiration for the name of my blog? Luke 10:38-42)
I have to say that I am not very inspired by today’s reading: First, the things the people of Israel did to get wives for the tribe of Benjamin are just disturbing. Then Paul proclaims his innocence and yet remains imprisoned, though what an opportunity he had to share the Gospel with King Agrippa and his wife, in defending himself against the charges brought by the Jews Paul gets to tell them all about Jesus because that is what the whole dispute is about. Next I come to Jeremiah-now it is interesting to read about the Rechabites, it seems to me that God brought the Rechabites to the house of the LORD in order to show Israel why He was proclaiming judgement on them. Here was a people who had obeyed the command of their father, given some 200 years earlier to not drink wine or live in houses or plant crops, but to live in tents as nomads-they had faithfully obeyed this command for all these years and God proclaims to Israel, “I have spoken to you (the people of Judah and Jerusalem) persistently, but you have not listened to me. I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, sending them persistently, saying, ‘Turn now every one of you from his evil way, and amend your deeds, and do not go after other gods to serve them, and then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to you and your fathers.’ But you did not incline your ear or listen to me…Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing upon Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the disaster that I have pronounced against them, because I have spoken to them and they have not listened, I have called to them and they have not answered.” (so maybe there is something here for me about sitting at His feet and listening to His word?)
Finally I come to Psalms 7-8. This line from Psalm 7 struck me, The Lord judges the peoples;
“Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me.” (verse 8) I could not help but think it is a good thing I am not judged by God according to my righteous and integrity but rather the righteousness imputed to me by Christ. Imputed is one of those words we hear but do we know what it means? By definition it means, “ascribe (righteousness, guilt, etc.) to someone by virtue of a similar quality in another.” In essence we are declared righteous because Christ is righteous. When I first read that verse in Psalms my thought was I could never say such a thing-but I realize that that to state such a thing would deny the work of Christ in my life. God does see me as holy and righteous and I still struggle to wrap my mind around that.
Grace, peace, and mercy,