Deuteronomy 6-26 Highlights
- The greatest commandment, to love God with all our heart, soul, and might, is given
- Israel is seen as the chosen people of the Lord
- Israel is reminded to remember God
- Israel is reminded they aren’t chosen because of their own righteousness, but rather God’s grace
- Israel is called to love and serve the Lord
- Israel is warned against all forms of idolatry
- Clean and unclean foods are named
- God promises to raise up another prophet after Moses
- Further law and instruction is given to Israel
Psalms 5, 115, 6 Highlights
- Psalm 5 is David asking for God to lead him in His righteousness. David recognizes God as righteous and able to deliver Him from His enemies, and all who are wicked. God can do this because He hates wickedness, and also because He is perfectly righteous. A perfectly righteous, evil hating God is one who can deliver us from evil. It is also of note that David is praying and asking God to have vengeance on evildoers. David is not taking justice into his own hands, but rather turning to God and asking Him to do what is in His character to do, namely hate evil and mete out justice.
- Psalm 115 sets the Lord against all idols and false gods. False gods, according to the psalm, are just that false. They aren’t real – they have mouths, but don’t speak; they have eyes, but don’t see. Basically, there is no life in them. They are worthless. And, sadly, those who make these idols become like them – lost and broken. God, on the other hand, is a help and a shield. He is real – and He has remembered and loved us. God is a God of steadfast love and faithfulness. We should do as the Psalmist says, “Trust in the Lord!”
- Psalm 6 speaks to our ability to cry out to God in the worst of times. David writes that his bed is flooded with tears and his couch is drenched with weeping; he is troubled to his very bones. That is dark and deep despair. David gives hope though – in those incredibly difficult times, David provides hope. The Lord has heard the sound of David’s weeping. He has heard David’s plea. God has heard! God will act! We can turn to God in the absolute worst of times, because he hears and acts on our behalf.
Luke 7-11 Highlights
- Jesus heals a centurion’s servant and raises a widow’s son from the dead, showing his power over sin and death
- Jesus forgives a woman of her sin, showing he has authority to forgive sins
- Jesus calms a storm, showing he has power over creation
- Jesus heals a man with a demon, showing his power over demonic powers
- Jesus feeds the five thousand with 5 loaves and 2 fish
- Jesus foretells of his death to his disciples
- Parable of the good Samaritan is told
- The Lord’s prayer is given to us as an example of how to pray
- Jesus pronounces woe on the Pharisees
Deuteronomy continues the story of God’s dealings with Israel, highlighted by the second giving of the law to Israel on the plains of Moab. Deuteronomy starts with God commanding Israel to leave Horeb and to take the land promised them and possess it. Israel chooses 12 men, one from each tribe, to go and spy out the land to see who is in it, what it looks like, etc. The spies return with a report that the people are greater and taller than they are. The cities are great and fortified. They do not want to go up and enter the land. God is angered, and says that not one of the men in this generation will see the land. They then say they will go and think it easy for themselves to do it. God tells them not to, but they do it anyway and are chased out by the Amorites.
Deuteronomy starts on a sour note. The problem for Israel is they looked inward (twice) instead of upward. They look inward after the spies report and decide they cannot take the land because they aren’t as big, strong, or powerful. They looked inward and didn’t find the strength necessary, rather than looking upward and remembering God and their strength came from Him. They were never the biggest or strongest, but God was with them and that was all they needed. God is angered at them, and says they will never see the land (other than Joshua) and then Israel tries to fix their problem. They decide they will go fight and it will be ‘easy for them’. Again, the problem is they look inward rather than upward. This isn’t true repentance, but rather arrogance. They still are looking at themselves, and thinking it would easy for them to take the land, even after God says not to. What we learn is that arrogance and despair are really two similar things – both stem from self-reliance. Self-reliance is pride and idolatry – trusting in ourselves rather than in God. Deuteronomy teaches us to remember God and to look upward and trust Him, rather than in anything or anyone else, even ourselves.
Israel is given the ten commandments for a second time in chapter five, God again reminding His people of how to live rightly before Him. Then in chapter six we get the greatest commandment – “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” If we do this, all of the other commandments fall into place. Deuteronomy also reminds us that God never chooses people because they are righteous or the seemingly best. God chooses because He is God. Israel was often a stubborn people, hard of heart, and quick to forget The Lord. When God works in this way, He gets all the glory.
Luke here, like Matthew previously, shows Jesus’ power over all things. Jesus heals the servant of a centurion who was deathly sick. Jesus has power over sickness. It is also of note to recognize the Centurion’s faith; he trusts that Jesus could just speak and heal his servant, without even being with the servant. Jesus then raises a widow’s son from the dead. He shows here he has power over even death, as he brings someone back to life. Jesus then forgives a woman’s sin, showing he has power to forgive sin, something only God can do. He next calms a storm, showing his power over creation. He then heals a man with a demon, showing his power over demonic forces. Jesus is seen here as having power over all things! He is God come in the flesh, the Savior of the world. Nothing is outside of his sovereign control.
Jesus foretells his death in this section of Luke a couple of times. He doesn’t want his disciples to be confused about what is going to happen soon. His disciples don’t understand until after his resurrection and ascension, but Jesus is helping them see that he came to die an unjust death for the sin of all who would trust him. He came to be the Savior that was promised all the way back in the garden. Jesus is on a rescue mission for his blood-bought people.