Setting free, celebrating, and throwing dinner parties….

14 04 2011

DAY ONE-HUNDRED AND ONE : Deuteronomy 15 v. 1 – 16 v. 20; Luke 13 v. 31 – 14 v. 14; Psalm 44 v. 1 – 12

Year of Cancelling Debt – The Jubilee Year is outlined again – every seven years debts are cancelled. Debts may be required from foreigners but not from fellow Israelites (brothers). There should be no poor amongst you. All depends upon the Israelites sticking to God’s commands, for His rich blessings.
Do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted towards a poor brother, but be open-handed and freely lend.
Don’t use the coming Sabbath year as an excuse not to give…
It is a sin not to be open-handed towards the poor.

Freeing Servants – In the Sabbath Year, anyone who has sold him/herself as your servant must be freed. Don’t send him/her away empty-handed, but give generously, remembering all the Lord has given you. A servant may wish to stay with you for life, and if this is the case, they have their ear pierced (an awl through the earlobe into a door!!!!).
Setting free a servant also shows gratitude (don’t consider it hardship to set him/her free) for the years of service.

Firstborn Animals – The firstborn (spotless) male of herds and flocks is set aside for the Lord. They are to be taken and offered at the place God chooses, and then eaten there. Only the best was to be offered to God, and offered completely.

Passover – Annually, in the month of Abib, the Israelites were to celebrate the Passover, remembering their being brought of Egypt. An animal is sacrificed. Eat unleavened bread for seven days, remembering the haste with which they left Egypt. All the meat sacrificed on day one must be eaten that day.
The Passover must be celebrated in the ‘place the Lord chooses’, i.e. not everywhere and anywhere.
The seventh day following is a day of sacred assembly – no work!

Weeks – Seven weeks after the beginning of the harvest, the Israelites were to celebrate the Feast of Weeks, by giving a share of the produce. It is a time of rejoicing in God’s provision, at the place of God’s choosing.

Tabernacles – For seven days after the harvesting of wheat and vine, the Israelites were to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths). A time of rejoicing for seven days, for God’s blessing on their work.
So these three festivals are an annual requirement of the people if Israel, to attend the place of God’s choosing, and offer thanksgiving, to remind them of their dependence upon Him.

Judges – In the promised land, the Israelites are to appoint judges for each tribe in every town. They are to judge the people fairly, showing no partiality, not perverting justice, not accepting bribes. They are to act justly, and in so doing, they will receive God’s blessing.

Jesus Weeps Over Jerusalem – Jesus is warned that Herod is after Him, but replies to ‘that fox’ that He has things to do – driving out demons and healing people – ‘on the third day I will reach my goal’ (a reference to His forthcoming death and resurrection, to finish what He has come to do).
‘No prophet will die outside Jerusalem,‘ He says; hence He knows what lies ahead of Him as He approaches Jerusalem.
Then Jesus pours out a prayer for Jerusalem, the city which has killed off many of God’s prophets. Jesus wishes He could gather up Jerusalem’s children ‘as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings – but you were not willing’.

Jesus at the Pharisee’s Home – On another Sabbath day, Jesus eats at the home of an important Pharisee, where He was being carefully watched. Jesus heals a man with dropsy, when the Pharisees give Him the nil response to His question about whether it’s lawful to heal on the Sabbath – He knows their train of thought !!
Jesus then gives some Kingdom etiquette for dinner parties :
1) Don’t sit on the highest seats of honour, for you may be asked to move down; rather, sit on the lower seats, where you may then be invited to ‘move up higher’.

Kingdom principle : everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

2) Don’t invite friends, brothers, rich neighbours, in the hope of getting a return invite; rather, invite ‘the poor, the crippled, the blind, and you will be blessed.

Kingdom principle : although you may not be repaid in this life, you will be repaid (rewarded) at the resurrection.

“It was not by sword that they (our fathers) won the land….
it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your face, for You loved them.
In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise Your name for ever….”




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: