You Hold Me By My Right Hand

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DEUTERONOMY 18:1-20:20 | LUKE 9:28-50 | PSALM 73:1-28 | PROVERBS 12:10

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21 Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.  This was the decree as per the old covenant that had been established between God and the people of Israel, and Moses is now reminding the people of proper conduct in the new land they are about to possess. 

The people are aware of these laws; they have been practicing them for the better part of the last forty years, and Moses’ recap of these dos-and-don’ts serve as one final reminder before the great crossing over into Canaan.

And then, of course, several thousand years later, there comes another man, a man greater than Moses, nay, God incarnate himself, by the name of Jesus who comes to dismantle all the decrees of the old covenant, chief among them being the decree to show no pity.  Furthermore, he seems to turn upside down so many other beliefs—beliefs such as who might be first and last.  When asked who among them is the greatest, Jesus says, “For he who is least among you all—he is the greatest.” 

How can that be?  What does he mean?  Could it be true?

Our passage in Luke today continues with an account of Jesus’ ministry of preaching, teaching, and healing.  There is the amazing story of the man who beseeches Jesus to cure his young son from seizures, and Jesus obliges.  Despite this and many other such miracles, however, the important people of the day do not recognize this man to be the long-awaited Messiah.

The Psalm for the day is one in which David is admitting his great weakness of spirit and flesh, and yet he is wise enough to know of God’s steadfast provision for him.  Despite his despair, he does have one thing right, though:  his own love for God.  He says:

21 When my heart was grieved
   and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant;
   I was a brute beast before you.

23 Yet I am always with you;
   you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
   and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
   And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
   but God is the strength of my heart
   and my portion forever.

Finally, a verse from the Book of Proverbs that speaks to the importance of tending to domesticated animals with care:

10 The righteous care for the needs of their animals,
   but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel. 

May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.  Amen.

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