More than just neighbors // Chronological Bible Reading

Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 21-25

Today’s reading, like some Old Testament readings, can be…let’s be honest… a little weird. It wasn’t weird for them, but it can be for us. Today we learned how the community dealt with the awkwardness of how to marry a woman you capture in war. Also, we learned how to deal with a son or daughter who is revolting against their parents, but my favorite is how to fight fair.

In the midst of all of those interesting verses of scripture, is a real picture of how we can love our neighbors. 

In the midst of all of those interesting verses of scripture, is a real picture of how we can love our neighbors. One of Jesus’ greatest teachings was based upon our relationships with our neighbors…

He said:
Mark 12:31”…‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

The Old Testament shared it with us as well:
Leviticus 19:18 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

God wants us to love our neighbors. But what does that mean?
In Moses’ culture it meant:

-Lost Property (v1-3)
There were not a lot of fences in this day and age so livestock would wander away. No nation could survive without livestock so it was the neighbors’ duty to take care of any animal that strayed away and have it returned to it’s owner. The economy depended on it, and it also showed compassion.

-Emergencies (v4)
When there is a emergency, it is our duty to represent Christ and help others. You remember the story of the gentlemen who took a picture of a man seconds before his life was taken after being pushed onto the tracks of a oncoming train in the subway of NYC? Everyone questioned this guy’s desire for a front page story (because he was a journalist) over his love for his fellow neighbor? We all get a reality check when reflecting on such a story. What kind of neighbor are we?

Emergencies are not always serious. The point is anything we can do to help others we should be first in line to do so. Even if it’s just a “hello”.

God wanted us to know our home, our neighborhood, and our world is not ours to just create a haven where we forget about others. Don’t get me wrong our home is where we relax from the stresses of our world, but we were all placed where we are for a reason.

Our jobs, our careers, our neighborhoods all have purpose. In the context of today’s passage when we take care of our neighbors we are sharing with them we care not just about their “stuff”, because we hope they return the favor, but we care about THEM. So, who are our neighbors? Anyone…

As Easter approaches what greater week to do just that…

What are some ways you found it easy to connect with your neighbors?

-Follow the other staff members and their observations from our chronological Bible readings  here.

Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, Geneisis-Deuteronomy, (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook Publishing, 2001).

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