Saturday, November 8, 2014

Deuteronomy 23

Today's reading in our daily plan is Deuteronomy 23. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Though Gentiles (non-Jews) were allowed to live within the confines of Israel’s territory, they did not have full access to the inner camp including the feasts and some religious events.  To be a part of the inner camp was a sacred privilege (Verses 1-8)
  • Citizens of this inner camp were held to very high standards.  Keeping the camp pure (clean) was the primary objective (Verses 9-14).  
  • In order to maintain a pure community, God’s people of this inner camp were to abstain from any sexually immoral practices, show hospitality and acceptance to their neighbors as well as the disenfranchised, and demonstrate integrity in commitments (Verses 15-24). 

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Though we may not understand some of the restrictions given by God in the past, we can rejoice knowing that physical blemishes and limitations are not a barrier to faith in Jesus as we can all have citizenship in His Kingdom (See Acts 8:26–39).  
  • Christians are to be set a part by God to live pure lives (see 1 Peter 2:9).  Embracing purity aligns us with God’s plan for our lives (see 1 Peter 1:15-16). 
  • The Bible speaks a great deal about sexual behavior, hospitality, and integrity.  These 3 specific areas are some of the most obvious ways to live set apart.  To be set apart is to live in a way that is set apart from people without faith, so they can see the different God makes in our lives (see 1 Corinthians 6:18, 1 Peter 4:9, Hebrews 13:2, Matthew 5:37). 

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • How can you uniquely express gratitude for being accepted into God’s Kingdom?
  • How are you actively seeking and prioritizing purity in your life?  If purity is a challenge for you, who can you get to help you?
  • Who do you need to show exceptional hospitality to this week?