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Watchfulness: good and bad

Jesus said be watchful for His return.  Moses warned against a bad watchfulness that leads to sinful disobedience.  Do you know the difference?

Today’s reading

Deuteronomy 14-16; Mark 13:14-37

Selected Verses

Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, “The seventh year, the year of release is near,” and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin.  Deuteronomy 15:9

And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.  And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.  Mark 13:26-27

Reflections

One of the functions of God’s word is to warn His people to obey Him and not look for creative ways to avoid doing right.

In ancient Israel, God instructed His people in how they were to manage their economy so that there would be no poverty among them.  God made provisions for addressing those in need. But the Lord knew their hearts.  He warned them against trying to evade their responsibilities.  If the year of release were near, a loan would be almost an outright gift.[1]  He warned them not to take into account the coming year of release, as they were considering the needs of their poor brother.  One might be tempted to ignore the appeal of the needy, but the Lord would hear his cry and bring judgment on the neglectful, unresponsive relative.

In Jesus’ teaching about the coming time of tribulation, He also warned people to be watchful, but for a different reason.  The coming of the Son of Man in power and glory is certain but the time is unknown.  In contrast, the years of release or of Jubilee came predictably every seven years or every 49 years. There is a godly watchfulness and an unrighteous watchfulness.

Think about it

Believers should live each day as if the Lord could come.  We ought not to think that today does not matter because final judgment seems to be delayed.  Neither ought we to neglect our duties in this world because we are convinced the Lord will be here within hours.  We are called to be watchful in a good way not calculating so as to disobey.

Do the things God has called you to do today.  When He comes you will be glad you did.

[1] See note in the Reformation Study Bible, page 275

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#Biblereading #devotional #Obedience #ReformationStudyBible #discipleship #Eschatology

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