(Deuteronomy 2, Psalm 83-84; Optional 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, Proverbs 25:11-14)
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See May 11 for SPECIAL NOTE on format change…
Deuteronomy 2 – Deut 2:1-23 – Note the careful LIMITING of Israel to land that God had promised to THEM, along with the clear reminder that He has also given OTHER land to other groups. God chose Israel in a special way, but is sovereign over ALL people and every detail of their lives (see Acts 17:26).
Deut 2:24-37 – Retelling (from Num 21:21ff, but this parallel in Deut has significant new details) the story of how God gave Israel victory over King Sihon. Note that there was an OFFER OF PEACE (v 26), but God had ordained that this was time for judgment on their wickedness (and had prophesied this hundreds of years before to Abraham – see Gen 15:12-16).
Deut 2:24-33 – This is a great paragraph for seeing both the absolute sovereignty of God AND the responsibility of people for our meaningful decisions / actions. So I’ve written “S” by v 24 (“I have given…”), v 25 (“I will…put the dread and fear of you on the peoples”), v 30!, 31, 33 “God gave him over”). And written “R” by v 26 (Israel was to give a real offer of peace and Sihon should have taken it), 32, 33b (“we defeated him”). And we also see the accent Scripture consistently places in this discussion… God is the ULTIMATE, INDEPENDENT Actor, and His people are actively involved, but as DEPENDENT actors. We see all of this summarized in v 33. If you wonder “Since God is absolutely sovereign (as v 30 makes so clear), how can He hold the unrepentant accountable?” Then you read Rom 9:14-24.
PSALM 83-84 – Ps 83 – Sounds bossy towards God at first, but as you keep reading it’s obviously a cry of desperation. It has several “imprecatory prayers,” calling down God’s righteous judgment on the oppressing wicked.
Ps 83:9-12 – Remembering great victories from the past that God has won in judgment over His enemies. Yet another reminder of the need to go through the Bible regularly and know these Bible stories that we can incorporate into our prayer life!
Ps 83:13-18 – This prayer for God to act when the wicked seem unstoppable I find very helpful for believers today. Here’s how this often comes out in my prayer life: “Lord, these folks are doing awful things and I ask you to stop them. I know that you can terrify them so that they come to worship You, Father, and I ask that You do that (see Acts 9). But if they WON’T turn, would You show Your power and Your righteous judgment and stop the awful damage they’re doing.”
Ps 84:10 – Note the title of this Psalm – “sons of Korah”. They WERE indeed “doorkeeper” (1 Chron 9:19) as well as worship leaders (2 Chron 20:19). And they were these things because the first generation of “sons of Korah” listened to the warning in Num 16:26 to get away from the tents of the wicked (who weren’t happy with “just” being doorkeepers for God – see Num 16:8-10). Those that didn’t heed the warning of coming judgment got destroyed (Num 16:27-33), but the sons of Korah DID heed the warning and lived (Num 26:11). And understood the sweet honor and privilege of getting to serve the King of kings and His people!
Optional 1 Cor 6:12-20 – v 12, 19-20 have been so helpful in growing in the Lord and making decisions as to what should be and shouldn’t be in my life. Don’t flirt with sin!