Does anyone really want to be a fool? Do we want to make bad decisions? So why don’t we do the simple things we can to walk in God’s wisdom?
Deuteronomy 25 & 26
Well, we’re one fourth of the way through the Bible. If you’re reading with us, whether you’re up to date, whether you’ve fallen behind a time or two, or if you’re a newcomer, let me know? I’d love to know about your progress. And if you’ve gotten off track, just get back up and start with today!
Instead, what we do over and over is say, “I’m too far behind. I’ll start over again next year.” But next year is the same. The enemy will see to it. There are always reasons, excuses really, to give up. As the Nike slogan says, “JUST DO IT!”
I’m praying for you and hope you’re doing the same for me. I’m praying that you won’t give up and that you’ll continue getting to know Him better in the pages of Scripture.
On to His Word …
Deuteronomy 25 & 26:
Law of the kinsman redeemer
Chapter 25.5-10 covers the “Law of the Kinsman Redeemer.” If you’ve ever read or studied the book of Ruth, you see this law lived out in the marriage of Boaz & Ruth. Their beautiful story is part of the heritage and lineage of Jesus Christ.
If you remember reading about Judah and Tamar in Genesis 38, you’ll remember that Judah had promised his next son would marry Tamar when he was old enough, so this was apparently a common practice even before the law was instituted.
According to Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary, this was done partly out of respect for the widow who had left her family and her own inheritance. Remember, this was a time when there was no Social Security, only the security of having children to care for you in your old age. It was also done out of respect for the deceased brother so that his name would not be forgotten and his lineage not lost.
Strange to think about this in our culture today where we think we must be “in love” to have a good, faithful, committed marriage. In reality, we can choose to love biblically and when we do, right feelings generally follow.
The sovereignty of God
David acknowledges the sovereignty of God in these verses. First he sees his hope as coming from God. Then he says, “I was mute, I did not open my mouth, because it was You who did it.” God had either caused or allowed the circumstances in which David found himself and he willingly accepted it as coming from a sovereign, holy, loving God.
The fear of the Lord
Proverbs is a study in contrasts. The fool or the one who is acting foolishly is contrasted with the wise man. In verse 4 the character qualities compared are the foolish man’s laziness and the diligence of the wise man or woman. Verse 5 compares foolish liars and those who love truth.
Few of us really want to be a fool, so where does wisdom start? Psalm 111.10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.” So wisdom starts with the “fear” of the Lord. This is not a cowering fear, but a reverential respect for the God of the universe and creator of all things.
One way we live out the fear of the Lord is found in the middle of that verse, “a good understanding have all those who do His commandments.” Hebrews 5.14 says, “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” “Solid food,” the deeper things of God, the wisdom of God, belongs to those who have matured by “reason of use.” The NASB says “practice.” By practicing what we know to do, obeying the commandments as Psalm 111 said, we gain the ability to “discern good and evil”—that is to obtain wisdom.
No decision made without prayer
Here in verses 12-16 we see Jesus about to make some very important decisions—choosing His twelve Apostles. And what does He do first? He spends the whole night in prayer. May the Lord help us to understand the value of seeking Him in all of our decisions. How many fewer mistakes would we make if we followed Elizabeth George’s advice in The Heart of a Woman Who Prays, where she says, “No decision made without prayer.”
In His Debt,