Moravian Daily Text – September 8, 2014

A major aspect of coaching for me is discipleship. 3DM encourages Daily Bible Reading from the Moravian Text, which simply is a two-year reading program. I found that I would stall out with one-year reading programs and quit. I’ve been using the Moravian readings for about a year. I don’t read and journal every day, but I do most days. I am hesitant to share my notes on the reading, but I can see how it could help a disciple to know some context for the reading and have a place for some minor discussion. I will not comment on every verse or even every book. I’ll write about what strikes me.

Warning: The Bible is not “family friendly.” Many of the themes and stories are tragic and violent. I personally have a very high view of Scripture. You may appreciate some of my views and hate others. I’ll take the risk. Please do not read my notes as a replacement for your own reading.

Scripture Reflection: Psalm 105:37-45; Judges 20:32-21:25; Luke 22:63-71

 42For he remembered his holy promise given to his servant Abraham. 43He brought out his people with rejoicing, his chosen ones with shouts of joy; 44he gave them the lands of the nations, and they fell heir to what others had toiled for— 45that they might keep his precepts and observe his laws. Praise the Lord. – Psalm 105

As you read the Bible, look for two main themes – Covenant (God’s promise) and Kingdom (Restoration of All Things). This passage is Covenant. God promises that He will give Israel a promised land. His coming Kingdom is His promise to us. We can be confident, strong and courageous, knowing this.

While the young women were dancing, each man caught one and carried her off to be his wife. Then they returned to their inheritance and rebuilt the towns and settled in them.  – Judges 21:23

This sounds so foreign to us. That’s because it is. In chapter 19 of Judges, there is an awful incident, one that may remind us today of something shocking on the news. The tribe of Benjamin had not ben ensuring justice in their cities. The rest of Israel rose up and brought justice. It had a high cost. Justice always does. In the end, Jesus takes that high cost upon himself.

Verse 23 is an attempt at restoration. We are appalled that all the women of Benjamin have been killed, but it is always separation and judgment that bring peace. And yet, God is merciful and loves to restore. This is what sets God apart from all other gods.

70They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”  He replied, “You say that I am.” 71Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”

Jesus is the Son of God. He has come to restore and to pay the price for justice. Instead of the conflict between Benjamin and Israel, Jesus himself will pay the price. It is unfair. It the most merciful action ever taken by a king and will always remain so. We are a mess. He promises restoration.

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Moravian Daily Text – September 5, 2014

A major aspect of coaching for me is discipleship. 3DM encourages Daily Bible Reading from the Moravian Text, which simply is a two-year reading program. I found that I would stall out with one-year reading programs and quit. I’ve been using the Moravian readings for about a year. I don’t read and journal every day, but I do most days. I am hesitant to share my notes on the reading, but I can see how it could help a disciple to know some context for the reading and have a place for some minor discussion. I will not comment on every verse or even every book. I’ll write about what strikes me.

Warning: The Bible is not “family friendly.” Many of the themes and stories are tragic and violent. I personally have a very high view of Scripture. You may appreciate some of my views and hate others. I’ll take the risk. Please do not read my notes as a replacement for your own reading.

Scripture Reflection:Psalm 105:16-22; Judges 19 (Warning: This is graphic); Luke 22:39-51

23 The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this outrageous thing. 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But as for this man, don’t do such an outrageous thing.” – Judges 19

Vile is right! Outrageous is an understatement! The Levite, who is not named, had bypassed Jebus and went on late to Gibeah because they wanted to stay with Israelites for safety. And this is what they find.

It seems vile to me that the man would be willing to send his virgin daughter out and that the Levite had a concubine in the first place.

The text has more depth though. The concubine had been unfaithful, but no one killed her even as the law allows. The man even traveled far to retrieve his wife. He was gracious to her father by staying. The Levite is a gracious man.

What we don’t know is exactly how violent these people would be if they didn’t get to have sex and abuse someone new. I’m not an expert but it seems that the concubine would have been the lowest social class, and she had been unfaithful, perhaps this made the Levite less protective. This is not an example of the right thing to do. This is what happened. The Levite isn’t necessarily the example of perfection. Bottom line: The men were not going to leave without something. It is a horror film. There is no right thing to do.

As I ended reading the chapter, I was sick. I can’t imagine my kids reading this passage. However, I trust the Bible has a point. God does not approve of this behavior. The woman is dead. The Levite seems harsh, but he is also in a harsh environment and definitely needs to move his family out of it. She is dead.

At first, sickened, I wished I hadn’t read the chapter. Then, I read part of the next chapter. The story does not end. Justice rolls down the mountain.

42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done. – Luke 22

Jesus struggles with the price for justice. The cost of justice is high. Am I ready to pay such a price?

 

 

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