Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March 28

Deuteronomy 9:1-10:22; Luke 8:4-21; Psalm 69:19-36; Proverbs 12:2-3

Three times in today's reading in Deuteronomy we see Moses going to "lay prostrate before the Lord" during which he "neither ate bread not drank water" (9:18, 25 and 10:10) for 40 days and 40 nights. Each time he was interceding on behalf of the Israelites. He was asking the Lord not to destroy Israel, to remember his covenant with them, to forgive their stubbornness and willfulness in their sin. Moses was appealing to God's mercy, that Israel would not get their due consequences, but that instead God would hear his plea and forgive. And God does. In at least two of the instances we see that "the Lord listened to [Moses] that time as well," and turned away from his wrath (9:19, 10:10).

40 days and 40 nights is a long time to fast from food and drink. I can barely make it one day, and when I do, I feel like it's a big accomplishment. What would feel severe or important enough to cause me to fast and pray for that long? Maybe the well-being of an entire nation? I don't know if I'm on that same spiritual level as Moses yet.

But there are times when I want to do more for the kingdom of God. There are days when I look around at our nation and the political happenings of our time and worry. Sometimes I feel like things are going from bad to worse. All around me the world is in decline with wars, destruction, and immorality abounding. Even now, the current political environment of our nation really makes me fear for the path America will be on over the next decade. 

Today's Scripture reminds me to fast and pray more over all these things. To not let fear and worry rule my heart. To remember that "to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it" (10:14). To circumcise my heart, to fear the Lord my God, to walk in his ways and serve him only (10:12). 

As I read, I am also reminded of family and friends who have time and time again turned away from the Lord, on whom I feel like the Lord should probably have given up by now. In years past, I have fasted and prayed on their behalf (never even close to 40 days at a time), but I grow weary in my seeking of the Lord for their sake. Their hearts just seem so hard towards God still. But recently I have sensed God asking me to do this again. I know that there is nothing I could directly say or do for these family and friends to bring them back to the Lord. It is going to take a work of his power and might and mercy. Something likely only brought about by prayer and fasting. So I will offer my meager petitions on their account. He is "the great, the mighty, the awesome God," and he can recall their hearts to him just as he did for Israel over and over and over again (10:17).

- Mary Matthias

How did God speak to you in Scripture today? Click here to share your reflections on God's word or read past posts. We'd love to hear from you. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm challenged here to think about how I hear Gods word. What kind of a listener am I? What kind of soil am I, as our Luke passage instructs? Luke 8:18 says, "pay attention to how you hear!" Verse 15 describes the "good soil" as honest, good hearted people who hear Gods Word, clings to it, & patiently produce a huge harvest! Then God promises even more understanding!