Genesis 35-36:43, Matthew 12:1-21, Psalm 15:1-5, Proverbs 3:21-26
Jacob receives his next mission. Meanwhile, God reveals that he, indeed, was the one who saved him from his brother Esau. It didn't say in the reading yesterday, but now it is clarified in hindsight. How many times have situations worked out in our lives and we dismiss them as chance, but it was God moving behind the scenes? The chance that's really involved is the chance for us to choose to praise him for his protection.
I love that, without any prompting, Jacob instructs his household to purify themselves for God, after God speaks. He made the choice to follow this God, and he's going to follow through.
In the NT, Jesus tries to get through the people's heads that what matters to God is the right heart for him and not legalistic adherence to rules. They criticize over people picking grain. When they are legitimately hungry. They conspire about Jesus healing. When people are actually hurting.
But Jesus didn't come for show. He didn't come to entertain their fansies or consider their politics. Often when he healed he told them not to tell anyone. And he wouldn't "crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle." But in the most gut-wrenching of irony, a reed would be crushed. It just wouldn't be the legalistic one. If the anything, the legalistic system and all they stand for would only be crushed in the unlikeliest of ways, by the offering of a pure, gentle reed to be broken.
And if you want to know God, only purity may enter here. From blameless lives and sincere hearts. Do you care about meeting God and knowing him? Then read this list to remind and encourage your heart to desire righteousness.
As a great recap from each of today's readings, Proverbs says hang onto discernment. Then you'll have sweet sleep. The Lord will let nothing come near you.
Know the Lord in purity, my child. And sleep sweet.
And to read along: