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|Posted on March 10, 2011 at 6:12 AM|
The Bible readings for March 9 are Deuteronomy 7 – 9 and Mark 12:1 – 27. In Deuteronomy, Moses continues to tell the Israelites what to do in obedience to God. God’s blessings would rest upon them should they be obedient, but if disobedience, there would be severe consequences. Throughout their wilderness journey, the Israelites have already experienced blessings and punishments. God was not going to change His ways just because the Israelites would finally cross the Jordan River into the land of Canaan. God required obedience from His chosen people, and disobedience would result in punishment. Often, they were a stubborn people, and Moses advises them to change their ways and simply obey God. God would clear away many nations ahead of the Israelites. These seven powerful nations could not stand against the might of God. God wants the Israelites to completely destroy these nations. If they chose to make treaties with them, then it would be possible for the Israelites to worship other gods. God chose the Israelites to be His own special treasure. They belong to God, and He calls them to be holy. Obedience to all God’s commands is so important. Moses longs for the Israelites to learn from the past. Obey God. Remember His goodness. Learn from your mistakes. Never take God for granted. Don’t be proud, and don’t forget God. Moses had much to say to the Israelites. He pointed them to God to encourage and remind them that He is on their side. He will fight their battles. As He has done in the past, so He will do in the future. But, it all hinged on their obedience to God. Allow God to speak to you through these words of Moses. If these words are challenging you, then let me encourage you to repent and turn back to God for He will not fail you. In Mark, Jesus challenges His the Jewish leaders with His stories. He also deals with the Pharisees, supporters of Herod and the Sadducees, who all try to bamboozle Him into making a fool of Himself. In the story of the evil farmers, Jesus pointedly refers to the Jewish leaders. Of course, He does not mention them by name, but His inference is clear and the Jewish leaders certainly picked up on it. Although they realised they were the wicked farmers, they were unable to touch Jesus because He was popular with the crowds. I imagine they were bristling with anger, and there was nothing they could do. Jesus saw through them and in their darkness, they disliked intently the light shining upon them. They longed to hide away, but it was too late. Jesus had found them out. Next comes the question about paying taxes to the Roman government. As Jesus sincerely teaches the way of God, it seemed appropriate to them to ask Jesus if it was right to pay taxes to the Roman government. They buttered Jesus up and tried to sneak under His guard. Jesus was way ahead of them, and using a coin to illustrate His point, asks whose picture and title are stamped on the coin. “Caesar’s,” they replied. Jesus then makes the wonderful statement: “Give to Caesar what belongs to him. But everything that belongs to God must be given to God.” In failing to stump Jesus, they discovered they were amazed at His answer. Jesus could still teach a valuable lesson even when being challenged in an underhand manner. The final section of today’s reading deals with the resurrection. If a woman married so many times, who would be her husband in the resurrection? Again, Jesus deals with this question by giving an answer that totally flips their benign ideas on their head. When the dead rise, they won’t be married. When a believer is married to an unbeliever, it is impossible for the unbeliever to share in eternity with the believer. So what Jesus says here makes sense. We will recognise people in the resurrection, but it will not be the same as here on earth. God is the God of the living, not of the dead. In not believing in the resurrection, the Sadducees made a serious error. The Old Testament is clear – God said to Moses, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Issac and the God of Jacob.” He is indeed the God of the living.
Categories: Read Your Bible In A Year