Currently, I’m doing a reading plan that involves reading ten different chapters in ten different books of the Bible per day. For me, it’s a fairly flexible one—some days, I only end up reading one chapter, other days it’s just five, but I always aim for all ten. The way this particular plan is set up is that once you finish reading a certain “section” of the Bible, you just start it over—and that can cause some interesting mashups at times!
A few days ago, several chapters really stood out to me, and I thought I’d share my notes from them today, as I’m still thinking about them this morning.
Key texts: Mark 14:3–9, Judges 17–18
Mark 14: The gift Mary gave Jesus (“ointment on his feet”) was to be talked about wherever the gospel was preached, forever (see vs. 9).
In Judges 18, something else has happened that will also be spoken of for a very, very long time: Micah, an Ephraimite, “did that which was right in his own eyes” (see 17:6), and made himself both graven and molten images. He then created a priest in a weird mix-up of calling these images “the LORD”, thinking he was worshiping the God of Israel.
It was an evil combination of true and pagan worship, and it happened while the house of God was at Shiloh…he still had access to the truth, but he decided to do what he thought was right.
And by that one perversion in one man, one family, everyone in Dan (well, at least the ones who came to live in a nearby city) ended up being drawn away too. This lasted “all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh,” “…until the day of the captivity of the land.” (See vs. 30-31.)
Of course, we don’t really know which captivity this was (or at least, I haven’t taken time to study that part out!)—it may have been as far out as the Babylonian captivity, or perhaps a closer, smaller one. It’s hard to tell.
What we DO know is that this perversion, confusion, and sin, lasted a long, long time.
One sacrificed everything for her LORD.
One didn’t even bother to figure out or ask what his LORD required.
One did perfectly, and caused great blessing.
One did perversely, caused great confusion, and drew many away from the truth.
Which one am I?
Both may have considered their decisions inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. It’s easy for us, me, to fall into that trap, too. Thinking that our little actions don’t really matter.
But they do.
We may never see the long-term results. Mary probably didn’t, although Micah may have, at least to a certain extent. Both thought they were in the right. But what each one did affected many, many following generations.
How am I living my life?
Am I living it right in my eyes, after the pattern of Micah, or right in God’s estimation?
How are my actions now—however inconsequential, thoughtless, or otherwise—going to affect those around me…and the generations following me?
What a sobering thought!
As we start this next week, let us never forget that each action, each decision, does matter. Yes, God gives grace. But we’re still responsible to continue living for Him in everything we think and do.
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” —Ephesians 5:8
“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” —1 Timothy 4:16
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” —1 Peter 2:9-10
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” —1 John 1:7
What have you been learning in your personal devotional time lately?