Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 May 2010 Deuteronomy 33:3‏

Deuteronomy 33:3     Yea, he LOVED the people; all his saints are in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; every one shall receive of thy words.
‘And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. And he said, The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.’ (Deut.33:1-2) Oh Friends, it just seemed rather appropriate to let the Good Book introduce Today’s Bit, with Moses recounting the Lord’s power and majesty displayed before the Israelites during their rough and rugged journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. The reference to Sinai is the Lord’s descent upon that holy mount in a hail of smoke and fire, when He called Moses up to the summit and gave him the Ten Commandments. (Ex.19:18,20) And the mention of Seir reminded him of the time they spent in the wilderness surrounding Mt. Seir: ‘and we compassed mount Seir many days.’ (Deut.2:1) They skirted or circled the mount several times until the Lord said enough, turn north, but be careful, for they would pass through the land of Esau’s descendants, Jacob’s brother, who, though they were related, would not take kindly to them passing through their land, but staunchly warning them to avoid strife. (Deut.2) The Lord’s shining forth from Paran deals with them leaving the wilderness of Sinai; ‘and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran.’ (Num.10:12) Can you imagine Friends, being guided by a cloud, but as you’re leaving one wild, deserted, scrubby area, your guiding cloud points you to another wilderness. No wonder the Israelites griped. And betwixt and between all of that, the Lord came a roaring with a host of His people. The scholars describe the ‘saints’ as ‘myriads of holy ones’ and the last sentences as; ‘at his right hand were warriors of God.’ Moses was most likely trying to impress upon the people the great things God had done for them, and would continue to do, if they remained faithful to Him. And why would an omnipotent God do all of that for a wayward, disobedient people? For the greatest reason of all Friends: ‘Yea, he LOVED the people.’ And the Lord really had to have a very strong LOVE for the Israelites to put up with all their shenanigans. As the psalmist declares in Psalm 47, titled, God is King of all the earth: ‘ He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he LOVED. Selah.’ (Ps.47:3-4) Yes Friends, the Lord did redeem them out of Egypt and settled them in the land He’d promised. And you only do those things if you care greatly for people. And in talking of the Lord’s LOVE for a fickle and faithless Israel, Hosea declares: ‘When Israel was a child, then I LOVED him, and called my son out of Egypt.’ (Hos.11:1) Matthew quoted those words, applying them to Jesus, when His parents fled to Egypt to protect Him from Herod’s killing spree of young children. "And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.’ (Mat.2:15) Oh my brethren, the Bible is such an intriguing and interrelated book, that we can never grasp or understand its full significance in our lives, no matter how long we spend studying it. Every time we open it, something new jumps out at us from passages we’ve read for years. That’s why we need to constantly read and study it, so we can get new and deeper insights into its marvellous wisdom and holy guidance. That’s the only way to truly comprehend what the Lord is saying to us in it. And taking our current passage, the same way the Lord considered Israel His people, whom He LOVED and looked after, and Jesus, His Son, whom He also LOVED, but cruelly and innocently sacrificed for us unworthy sinners, proves that He also LOVES us with the same strong, powerful, unconditional LOVE. Else why would He intentionally sacrifice His only Son eh? But just like the Israelites, we’ve turned away from a merciful, forgiving and LOVING God to worship the glamorized man made idols that unfortunately only lead us down the path of death and destruction. The Lord’s therefore suffering from unrequited LOVE. And any of you who have experienced it will know that it’s the worst ailment known to man. Broken body parts hurt and pain, but Friends, there’s no pain like that of a broken heart. It’s so all consuming and causes such anguish of the very soul, that we often consider death the only reprieve. Now you can imagine how the Father and Jesus must feel when we ungratefully turn away from them and follow the foibles of foolish Beelzebub. Consider how we feel when our children disobey our dictates and follow unwise advice down foolish paths. Well our heavenly Father and our Saviour feel the same way, because they are also living Beings, and since we’re made in the Father’s image, it means He also has feelings and emotions like us, and every time we do wrong, a hurt pains His heart. And though many of us claim to LOVE Him, it’s only a superficial LOVE if we continually disobey His wishes. Consequently, we need to smarten up and do better if we truly LOVE Him. And we’ll close today with a quote from Dag Hammarskjold, the long time Secretary General of the U.N. which says: ‘Prayer, crystallized in words, assigns a permanent wave-length on which the dialogue has to be continued.’ Oh Friends, we all know that it’s through prayer we discern God’s wishes for our lives, but it MUST BE CONSTANT AND CONTINUAL. If needs be, all day, every day. We can’t get proper direction without communicating with the Lord on a regular basis, and I believe it’s something many of us don’t pay enough attention to. We simply can’t talk about our LOVE for God and don’t communicate regularly with Him or do His will; that only spells hypocrisy. Anyway Friends, we’ve run out of time and space, so tomorrow, God willing, we’ll continue this theme. Till then, Much LOVE!…the only way to show true LOVE for Jesus…is to walk it…much much more than we talk it…

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