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Today in Deuteronomy chapter 7, the New Living Translation has the chapter titled "The Privilege of Holiness." Keep in mind that these chapter headings - or headings within sections of chapters - are not Biblical text. They are not from the original manuscripts, but are basically brief summaries from the viewpoint of modern-day translators. Generally speaking though, you can trust what they are telling you - but just remember, they're not Biblical text. All this to say, I was intrigued by this chapter's title in today's readings. Israel was indeed privileged and called to holiness. I think an important for us to keep in mind is that in the Old Testament, Israel was God's chosen people. So, yes, we do read in this chapter and future OT chapters God favoring Israel over all other nations. However, keep three things in mind. One, Israel is the people of God's covenant going to back to Abraham and God is just forming Israel as a nation. Two, the other nations at that time were immersed in sin and idolatry to other gods. Three, through Jesus' ministry, God indeed shows love toward all nations today and wants all nations to be in relationship with him. But, prior to Jesus, we see clearly in this chapter that Israel is, per verse 6: "a holy people, who belong to the LORD your God. Of all the people on earth, the LORD your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure."
Today in Deuteronomy chapter 8 verse 10 we read: “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.” What a great verse! Many say that it is because of this verse that we traditionally say grace at meal time. Interesting that this verse indicates that the Israelites were to praise God after eating – which, actually, is sometimes how I say grace today now too – when I forget to say grace before eating! :) I think the other thing this verse above gets at is that we humans have a tendency to “forget” God in the good times. In the bad times, maybe we do a decent job of praying to God and trying to stay close to Him. But in the good times, I know that sometimes I can forget Who really blessed me with the good times. I think it is so important for us to remember each and every day this one thing – God has given us everything. Every single good thing we have in our life comes from God. Our family. Our friends. Our physical abilities. Even the very air we breathe. It ALL comes from God. And, while I think it is pleasing to God for us to praise him for these good things – I also think it is ultimately healthy for us to praise God for the good things he has given us. Because, when we truly thank God each and every day for even very simple things – our eyesight, our 12 year old car that still runs fine, etc. etc. – we realize how very blessed we really are, and then I think we have less of a chance of feeling sorry for ourselves. We are blessed! How are you doing on praising God for the good things he has given you in your life? Now that we are in this Easter & Spring season, will you make a conscious effort to really praise and thank God each and every day? Think this might be pleasing to God? Think this might be healthy for you?
Worship Video: Today's readings reminds me of the fantastic live version of "Christ our Hope in Life and Death:"
Who is your hope in life and death? Click here for Hope!
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: Based on Deuteronomy chapter 8 verse 10 above, do you say grace or offer up some sort of prayer of thanksgiving to God at each meal? Why or why not? Do you think it is pleasing to God when we do say a prayer at mealtime? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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