TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Today is National Atheist’s Day – also known as April Fools’ Day (Psalm 14:1)!
Deuteronomy 18:4 — Throughout the Bible God says that it’s okay and (depending on the passage) even required to pay your ministers! While some groups (the Plymouth Brethren come to mind) cite Paul’s example in 1 Corinthians 9:18 as to their use of unpaid volunteers to minister, it is interesting to note the emphasis and “dollar value” that God gives to those in ministry. God holds these men to a high standard (Luke 12:48) and publicly shames those who don’t meet that standard (1 Samuel 2:12, 8:3). As we saw earlier, God killed two of the sons of Aaron for not following directions (Leviticus 10:2).
Deuteronomy 18:9-12 — Note that these are not “abominations to you” in the case of unclean meat, but these are “abominations unto the LORD.” Yet today we have abortion, Ouija boards, horoscopes, fortune tellers, Wicca, astrologers, vampires, and the occult rampant in our society – not to mention the increasing obsession of popular culture with these activities.
Deuteronomy 18:15 — This is an incredible Messianic prophecy about the Prophet who would come. Was this prophet Mohammed as Islam claims? No – it was Jesus! Let Us Reason shows 32 similarities between Jesus and Moses. Even though Jesus fulfilled this prophecy, He was vehemently accused of false prophecy before the Sanhedrin (Matthew 26:61) by those who were also attempting to disqualify Him under Deuteronomy 18:22.
Deuteronomy 20:8 — We see this in Judges 7:2-3 where the fearful are told to go home.
Deuteronomy 20:17 — Atheists today like to claim that they are more moral than God.
Luke 9:50 — This seems to contradict Matthew 12:30. Like the disciples, we too often find it difficult to understand all the sayings of Jesus (Luke 9:45). But here, as usual, context is king. In Matthew, He was talking to the Pharisees who tried to accuse Him of being empowered by Beelzebub (Matthew 12:24), while in Luke He is talking to the disciples who are jealous of others siding with Jesus but were not part of their group. In today’s English, we use many contradictory proverbs – all dependent on context.
Psalm 73:1 — I heard a great message on Psalm 73 entitled “Asaph’s Slipping Steps”. The cure for despair over the rise of the wicked is to enter the sanctuary of God (vs. 17). Like Job (Job 42:1-6) and Habakkuk (Habakkuk 3:2), when Asaph entered the sanctuary, he was grieved (vs. 21), he realized his foolishness and ignorance (vs. 22), and he recognized that he had no one but God (vs. 25). Draw near to God (vs. 28)!
Proverbs 12:10 — The Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals was started by William Wilberforce. Wilberforce believed that a “Christian” nation should act in a Christian manner; he led the effort to ban the slave trade. He was instrumental as well in the “reformation of manners” which included punishing animal cruelty.
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