Daily Encouragement

March 26 – The Deuteronomy, the Shema, and the Mezuzah

March 26
Deuteronomy 5:1-6:25
Luke 7:11-35
Psalm 68:19-35
Proverbs 11:29-31

Deuteronomy 5:7-21 – If you missed this in Exodus 20, we have the Deuteronomy (Second Law). Why is this important? This was the covenant of verse 2, spoken by the LORD “face to face.”

Deuteronomy 5:29 – Why can’t people keep God’s commandments? They need a new heart! (Ezekiel 36:26).

Deuteronomy 6:4 – is the Shema:

The Shema is one of only two prayers that are specifically commanded in Torah (the other is Birkat Ha-Mazon — grace after meals). It is the oldest fixed daily prayer in Judaism, recited morning and night since ancient times. It consists of three biblical passages, two of which specifically say to speak of these things “when you lie down and when you rise up.” This commandment is fulfilled by including the Shema in the liturgy for Ma’ariv (evening services) and Shacharit (morning services). Traditional prayerbooks also include a Bedtime Shema, a series of passages including the Shema to be read at home before going to bed at night. –Judaism 101

  • v.2 – The best prescription for long life isn’t an herbal supplement but fearing the Lord and keeping his commandments!
  • v.5 is the Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:37-38).
  • v.6 says you should memorize this passage

Deuteronomy 6:9 – The Mezuzah is affixed to the door of devout Jewish homes (and hotel rooms)! What’s on the doorpost of your home?

Deuteronomy 6:25 – You can obtain righteousness by the law – IF – you fulfill all the commandments of the LORD. All 613, all the time. We can’t, but Someone did (2 Corinthians 5:21)!

Luke 7:22 – a reference to Isaiah 35:4-6

Psalm 68:20 – The one who obtained the righteousness of Deuteronomy 6:25, who preached salvation from Isaiah 35:4, as testified in Luke 7:22, was the God of Salvation of Psalm 68:20.

Proverbs 11:30 – Is this an ancient text for an evangelism conference? Yes!

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Daily Encouragement

March 25 – The House on the Rock

March 25
Deuteronomy 4:1-49
Luke 6:39-7:10
Psalm 68:1-18
Proverbs 11:28

Deuteronomy 4:2 – Interesting parallel to Revelation 22:18-19.

Deuteronomy 4:6 – What is the purpose of the law? Wisdom that transcends earthly wisdom. To make the nation a model for the nations. In Ronald Reagan’s farewell address, he referred to the Puritan vision of a shining city upon a hill.

Deuteronomy 4:8 – There is a purpose for the 613 laws we’ve read in the Pentateuch!

Deuteronomy 4:13 – This is the only mention of the phrase “ten commandments” in the Bible. Forget them? We’ll see them again tomorrow!

Deuteronomy 4:32 – In the 2,600 years from Creation to this passage – God had dealt with man in a unique manner. This chapter is emphasizing the uniqueness of His dealings with Israel. The system of dispensationalism recognizes that God deals with different people in different ways at different times. We’ve seen:

  • Innocence (God’s dealings with Adam)
  • Conscience (God’s dealings after the fall)
  • Government (God’s dealings with Noah)
  • Covenant (God’s dealings with Abraham)
  • Law (God’s dealings with Moses)

For the next 1,400 years, we’ll be under law until we see God’s dealings with all of humanity thru a new way that unites Jew and Gentile in one body, the church. But no matter what dispensation we find – there’s only one obligation – Obey! (v.40).

Luke 6:46 – Speaking of obedience – if we do not obey, why do we refer to Jesus as Lord?

Luke 6:48 – Being from Wisconsin, when I hear about the house on the rock, I think of

The House on the Rock, Dodgeville, WI

Whatever your mental picture of a house on a rock is, its surely more solid than the house built on the sand. And of course we have to share the Sunday School song:

Luke 7:8 – Speaking of Lordship, the Centurion who had favors owed to him by the Jews, sent to Jesus a message that conveyed that while others were under him, he was under Jesus. This faith was marvelled at by Jesus (v.9).

Psalm 68:15 – From the Treasury of David:

An high hill as the hill of Bashan, or rather, “a mount of peaks is Bashan.” It does not appear that Zion is compared with Bashan, but contrasted with it. Zion certainly was not a high hill comparatively; and it is here conceded that Bashan is a greater mount, but not so glorious, for the Lord in choosing Zion had exalted it above the loftier hills. The loftiness of nature is made as nothing before the Lord. He chooses as pleases him, and, according to the counsel of his own will, he selects Zion, and passes by the proud, uplifted peaks of Bashan; thus doth he make the base things of this world, and things that are despised, to become monuments of his grace and sovereignty.

Proverbs 11:28 – Reiterated in 1 Timothy 6:7.

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Daily Encouragement

March 24 – 38 Years of Waiting, a Night of Prayer

March 24
Deuteronomy 2:1-3:29
Luke 6:12-38
Psalm 67:1-7
Proverbs 11:27

Deuteronomy 2:14 – 38 years between Kadeshbarnea and the brook Zared. Waiting for the generation to die off.

Deuteronomy 2:36-37 – Nothing was outside their reach, except what was outside of God’s Will.

Luke 6:12 – That’s a powerful model of prayer.


Luke 6:22 – Paul Washer told a memorable story about this passage at the VCY Rally about the pastor who began to worry because nobody had persecuted him in a couple days.

Luke 6:38 – From Earl Martin –


Psalm 67:3 – From the beautiful Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, “Let All the People Praise Thee“, or for a more chorale version try this from the Atlanta Master Chorale.

Proverbs 11:27 – What are you seeking?

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Daily Encouragement

March 23 – A limited pool for courtship?

March 23
Numbers 36:1-Deuteronomy 1:46
Luke 5:29-6:11
Psalm 66:1-20
Proverbs 11:24-26

Numbers 36:8 – This might seem that your options are limited, but considering Numbers 1:35, there were 32,200 able-bodied men in the tribe of Manasseh, and a few of them should be eligible bachelors.

Numbers 36:10 – Numbers 26:33, 27:1, also talk about the daughters of Zelophehad, but the best thing that can be said about them, is that they obeyed the LORD even in an ‘arbitrary’ action. By marrying within the tribe, they protected the distinction of the tribes, so that by the time of the birth of the Messiah, it would be clear what tribe He was from.

Deuteronomy 1 – Moses is reminding the tribes of what they have seen, because the adults who rejected God’s offer had died off, and a new generation was being shown God’s mercy and grace.

Luke 5:30 – I’ve yet to see a positive use of the word ‘murmur’ in the Bible. Notice what happened to the murmurers in Luke 6:11 at the end of today’s reading.

Luke 6:1 describes a controversial Sabbath snack

Luke 6:6 – “And they were filled with madness.” Jesus took madness out of the possessed, yet the madness possessed others (similar to Mark 5:13). Ever notice today that the hatred of Jesus seems a bit irrational? It’s always been.

Psalm 66:1 – This is an echo of the classic Psalm 100.

Psalm 66:18 – Prayers not answered? Check in with 1 John 1:9.

Proverbs 11:26 – This seems to extol the virtues of Joseph, the manager of the wealth of Egypt.

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Daily Encouragement

March 22 – Moral Authority for Warfare

March 22
Numbers 33:40-35:34
Luke 5:12-28
Psalm 65:1-13
Proverbs 11:23

Numbers 33:52 – Why do the Israelites have the moral authority to engage in offensive warfare? v.53 gives the reason, because the Creator of the land, people, and law has given it to Israel. He made (and therefore has the rights to possess, use, and dispose of) the place they dwell, the inhabitants, and the rules of the game. If the LORD is not the Creator of the earth, man, and law, there is no moral authority to displace another people group under norms of reciprocity – either the gold or silver rule. But if the LORD is the Creator of the earth – He can give land to whomever He desires. If He is the Creator of man – He can give orders to whomever He desires. If He is the Creator of law – He can give judgment whenever He desires. And if He’s the Creator of moral authority – how can you argue the Creator of moral authority is immoral?

Numbers 34:2 – The same Creator who owns the entire earth, set borders for His people.  This is an interesting concept to ponder.

Numbers 35:30 – While this may seem dry, this is actually the “Criminal Procedure” of Israel. Today’s criminal procedure is much more complex.

Today’s events in Luke occur in the city of Capernaum, right on the Sea of Galilee. https://www.flickr.com/photos/upyernoz/2996887011/

Luke 5:16 – Interesting contrast to the “televangelists” of today.

Psalm 65:7 – This is an interesting prophecy of David. A few hundred years later God would calm the Mediterranean, and a thousand years later Jesus would calm the Galilee (Jonah 1:15, Matthew 8:26).

Proverbs 11:23 – An interesting parallel to Job 23:10

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Daily Encouragement

March 21 – The Exodus Route

March 21
Numbers 32:1-33:39
Luke 4:31-5:11
Psalm 64:1-10
Proverbs 11:22

Numbers 32:29 – This will be fulfilled in Joshua 22:2

Numbers 33 – While there are many theories of the Exodus, Bible.Ca has a nice map and possible details of the route.


Numbers 33:38 – Aaron has had an interesting life – and now it has come to an end, just a few months before entering the Promised Land.

Luke 5:5,8,10 – Simon the passionate – always has the first word, and the last word! But God was able to use him and He can use you too!

Psalm 64:10 – Are you glad in the LORD? Or are you not trusting in Him?

Proverbs 11:22 – A vivid comparison, no?

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Daily Encouragement

March 20 – Is God Immoral?

March 20
Numbers 30:1-31:54
Luke 4:1-30
Psalm 63:1-11
Proverbs 11:20-21

Numbers 30 – It’s amazing that a string of words coming out of your mouth can be so significant that God spends an entire chapter on it. (On a side note – in Rhetorical Criticism class in graduate school, we discussed communication theory, and there are debates as to whether words have inherent meanings). That God cares about your words is obvious not only in the Old Testament but also in the New (Matthew 5:33-37). Ligonier Ministries has an interesting commentary:

Understanding common first-century Jewish practices helps us see what our Savior was getting at in His teaching on oaths and vows. To keep people from breaking the law’s rules regarding our promises (Num. 30:1–2), Jewish teachers and leaders invented a system by which they could determine whether a vow had to be kept. Extrabiblical literature indicates that many rabbis did not consider it a sin to break a vow if it was not made explicitly in the name of God. Oaths made in the name of heaven or even the gold of the temple were not regarded as ultimately binding. As we might expect from sinners, this led to people making oaths by persons or objects other than God to give them an out in case they did not keep their word…..

Jesus’ teaching leads us to conclude that it is better not to make a vow than to swear an oath that we have no intention of keeping. It also reinforces the point that oaths and vows should not be made on just any occasion, but they should be reserved only for occasions of great import and lasting significance. In other cases, we should let our yes be yes and our no be no. But in all circumstances, we must strive to keep our word.


Numbers 31:17 – This sounds like a violent, capricious leader ordering his followers to do something grossly immoral. Is the God of the Bible that told Moses to kill the Midianites (v.2), any better than the Allah of the Koran that commands followers to “slay them wherever ye find them” (Sura 2:191, among many other verses)?

If God were just our “fellow man” he would have no right to command the death of his “fellow man.” But God is not a “fellow man” – He is our Creator (Genesis 2:7). By virtue of His creation of us, we are His property. The historical rights of property include Possession, Use, and Disposition. God, our Creator, has the right to use and dispose of us how He wishes. Throughout the New Testament, the concept that God is our slavemaster is evident (Matthew 23:10, John 13:3, Colossians 4:1, Ephesians 6:9).

Our Creator and Master has set the “laws of nature” and has warned us from day one that sin results in death (Genesis 2:17). He has the right to call in the judgment on us at any time, but has been so merciful to us by not exercising His wrath immediately. But justice delayed is not justice denied. And the death of the Canaanites was just the beginning of the troubles they would face – after death, they would enter sheol. As we saw earlier our sin was so repugnant to God, the Israelites would offer over a million sheep to the Lord as part of their corporate reconciliation, not counting the individual offerings. Death is a consequence of sin.

But the Good News is that if we believe on the only begotten Son, we shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). How is that possible? Because while we were yet sinners, God’s Son died for us, in our place (Romans 5:6)!

Unfortunately this is not a popular message today. I was talking with a friend of mine that did not know Jesus and He was so offended by the idea that God had ownership rights to Him and would allow His Son to die for him, that He said He’d rather go to hell than serve a God like that.

Ary Scheffer, The Temptation of Christ

Luke 4:7 – Revelation 11:15 says that all the kingdoms of the world will become the kingdoms of Jesus Christ. Satan’s offer is something that will be coming in due time, but Satan will offer it faster (by at least 2,000 years), and easier (without the cross). Satan’s shortcut is often offered today – the joys of marriage before the commitment of a wedding, or maybe financial gain without work.

Luke 4:20 – Jesus closed the book in the middle of the verse. Isaiah 61:2 continues “and the day of vengeance of our God.” Jesus was not fulfilling the second half of the verse, only the first half. When He comes again He will fulfill the second half.

Luke 4:29 – On most Israel tours, you will see the Mount of Precipice, where this happened. Good preaching gets results, sometimes positive, and sometimes negative.

Dr. Avishai Teicher via the PikiWiki – Israel free image collection project

Psalm 63John Zimmer recorded a beautiful song based on this text, enjoy it

Proverbs 11:21 – As we saw with Jesus’ temptation – though the wicked look like they will be successful faster, God will deliver the righteous and punish the wicked!

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Daily Encouragement

March 19 – The Feast of Trumpets

March 19
Numbers 28:16-29:40
Luke 3:23-38
Psalm 62:1-12
Proverbs 11:18-19


Numbers 29:1 – The Feast of Trumpets is known as Rosh Hashanah – the “Jewish New Year” according to Jews for Jesus.

The Feast of Trumpets has a prophetic significance per GotQuestions.org:

In the New Testament, we see that the Lord’s Second Coming will be accompanied by the sound of a trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). Each of the judgments in Revelation 8-9 is also signaled by a trumpet. Just as the shofar called the Jewish nation to turn their attention to the Lord and ready themselves for the Day of Atonement, so will the “trump of God” call us to heaven and warn the world of coming judgment.

Prophecy experts may distinguish the Lord’s Second Coming (post-trib) from the Rapture of the Church (Pre-trib).

Luke 3 – Why does Luke’s genealogy differ from Matthew’s? Was Matthew or Luke wrong? Or as Zondervan Academic poses:

  • One of the genealogies is actually Mary’s, or
  • One genealogy is a royal/legal genealogy while the other is a physical genealogy, or
  • Joseph’s father adopted Joseph, or
  • Joseph was following levirate marriage (Deuteronomy 25:5),

Psalm 62:1, 5 – Waiting upon the Lord is a theme of John Donne’s poem “When I Consider How My Light is Spent,” published in 1673.

When I consider how my light is spent

Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,

And that one talent which is death to hide

Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent

To serve therewith my Maker, and present

My true account, lest he returning chide;

“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”

I fondly ask. But Patience to prevent

That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need

Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best

Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state

Is kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed

And post o’er land and ocean without rest:

They also serve who only stand and wait.

Proverbs 11:19 – As Moses said, Choose Life!

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Daily Encouragement

March 18 – One Million Lambs

March 18
Numbers 26:52-28:15
Luke 3:1-22
Psalm 61:1-8
Proverbs 11:16-17

Numbers 27:8 – Is God saying that women have less rights? Rather that the males have the responsibility to provide for those of their family. And if any provide not for those of the household, he is worse than an infidel (1 Timothy 5:8)! While they had the privilege of inheritance, they had the responsibility of redemption (Leviticus 25:47-55). This is best seen in the book of Ruth.

Numbers 27:18 – Joshua was called by God to lead the people of Israel. Even though he was a faithful spy, so was Caleb. We mentioned this earlier – sometimes you’re the one in charge, and sometimes you’re not – but submission to whoever God has put in charge is a Biblical duty.

The Sacrificial Lamb, Josefa de Obidos

Numbers 28:3 – In addition to the other required sacrifices, every day there would be 2 lambs offered as a sacrifice. 720 lambs a year (Israel was under the lunar, not the solar calendar).  Adding in the Sabbath lambs (v. 9 – another 100, specifically additional per v.10), the new moon offerings (v.11 – 10 animals * 12 months = 120). From the entrance to Canaan in 1406 BC to the fall of the Southern Kingdom in 586 BC,  that is 770,800 animals sacrificed as a result of this chapter. Add to it the Second Temple (516 BC to 70 AD), that is another 550,840 animals. 1,321,640 animals sacrificed, of them 1,271,024 were lambs. Over a million lambs.

God spoke to Israel, Bring me a sacrifice
Morning and Evening, Every day
Offer a spotless lamb, Without a blemish
This is my command, You must obey.

Sing Hallelulah, Praise to Jehovah!
Worship the God of Abraham!
Sing Hallelulah, Praise to Jehovah!
Once for all is slain God’s Perfect Lamb!


No longer bring a lamb – Jesus has paid the price!!!

Luke 3:1-2 – Dr. Luke is writing here, and like medical doctors today, they tend to be detail-oriented, or rather I hope they are detail-oriented (don’t want the wrong leg being amputated!). This Fifteenth Year is considered by many to be A.D. 26 (there’s an interesting discussion at StackExchange).

Luke 3:4 – Prepare the way of the Lord – in the New Testament, this is the Greek word Kuriou, but the Hebrew that is quoted is from Isaiah 40:3, not a generic lord, but the LORD (transliterated as Jehovah or Yahweh). And what especially was coming? The Salvation of God (Luke 3:6). And what does the name of Jesus mean? “The LORD is Salvation.”

Psalm 61:2 – When your heart cannot reach the destination, God can lead you to the Rock that is outside your reach.

Proverbs 11:16 – The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown commentary states:

16. retaineth—or literally, “lay hold of as a support.” Honor is to a feeble woman thus as valuable as riches to men.

Even if you do not have strength or riches, you can have honor!

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Daily Encouragement

March 17 – Truly Scared Parents

March 17
Numbers 26:1-51
Luke 2:36-52
Psalm 60:1-12
Proverbs 11:15

Numbers 26:11 – This is the mercy of the Lord that overtakes the justice (Exodus 20:6, 34:7).

Luke 2:37 – It has been said that retirement is not found in the Bible. Thankful for senior saints like Anna!


Luke 2:44 – Joseph and Mary were entrusted with the Messiah – and not only had they lost Him, they didn’t know it until they were already a day’s journey out of Jerusalem. They let the Father down. Yet He was about the business of His Father (v.49).

Psalm 60:9 Matthew Henry shares:

 Now, (1.) David is here enquiring for help to carry on the ark: “Who will bring me into the strong city? What allies, what auxiliaries, can I depend upon, to make me master of the enemies’ country and their strongholds?’’ Those that have begun a good work cannot but desire to make a thorough work of it, and to bring it to perfection. (2.) He is expecting it from God only.

Proverbs 11:15Earlier this year we were warned about being surety for a friend (and we talked about NPR’s story on suretyship). If you didn’t get the message then, Solomon is repeating it!

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