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August 26: 1Ki 21 | Jer 48 | 1Cor 7

Reading 1 - 1Ki 21:3

"Naboth replied, 'The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers' " (1Ki 21:3).

The Jews could not permanently sell their land, but only lease it until the year of Jubilee (Lev 25:23). To sell land is to presume its ownership, but the true Israelite knew that Yahweh was the only real "owner" of the Land. Naboth only held the property in trust for Him.

Naboth's rationalizations might be imagined:

  • The Law is often ignored anyway;

  • Selling the land will bring me material gain; and

  • I must protect my family.

Yet against all these arguments Naboth is steadfast to the Law of God.

Likewise, we must learn to look at our SPIRITUAL inheritance from the LORD; we must not "sell" it -- no matter the price offered, or any other inducement to part with it, or any threat to us if we don't give it up! It is absolutely priceless.

Reading 2 - Jer 48

"The prophet Jeremiah reviews the neighbouring nations to Judah, and pronounces divine judgment. Jer 48 is against Moab, because they did not wisely benefit from their long period of peace (v 11). They thought they did, by fortifying their cities, establishing their worship, building up their wealth. But these were the very grounds of complaint against the nation (v 7). So the prophet declares that:

  1. They will be invaded by Babylon: vv 1-5.

  2. Therefore they were urged to flee: vv 6-10.

  3. Consequently Moab would become desolate: vv 11-25.

  4. The reasons for divine judgment are given: vv 26-30.

  5. A lamentation for Moab is expressed: vv 31-39.

  6. The Babylonian invasion is pronounced: vv 40-46.

  7. There is a restoration for Moab: v 47.

Moab and Ammon were closely related to Israel, being born of the incestuous union between Lot and his two daughters (Gen 19:31-38). Moab signifies 'from a father', and Ammon 'son of my people'. In his treatment of Moab, Jeremiah reproduces some of the language of Isaiah 140 years earlier (cp Isa 15;16), and applies them to the Babylonian invasion as Isaiah did to the Assyrian. Though closely related to Israel, even in language, the Moabites showed hostility to them on Israel's original approach to the Land, and refused them hospitality, on account of which they were denied entrance into the congregation of Yahweh to the tenth generation (Deu 23:4). They hired Balaam against Israel, and used their women to entice Israel from their allegiance (Num 25:1). But a latter-day restoration of Moab is seen in the redemption of natural Israel (Jer 48:47), who have acted as did Moab formerly" (GEM).

Reading 3 - 1Co 7:26,27

"Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are... Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife" (1Co 7:26,27).

Some historians say that it was a localized plague or epidemic that was taking away many Corinthians at this time.

"It is a great mistake to think that Paul discountenanced marriage because upon one occasion, by reason of certain distress, he gave exceptional advice. To the Hebrews (Heb 13:4) he wrote of marriage being honourable in all, and the word he used has been rendered 'had in reputation' (Act 5:34); 'dear' (Act 20:24); 'precious' (1Co 3:12); 'most precious' (Rev 21:11); and similarly in fourteen texts. Besides, Paul expressly commanded the young women to marry (1Ti 5:14). Who were they to marry? Surely not old brethren -- or the medically unfit -- or the alien young men! No: marriage is honourable in all. Brother Roberts was right in concluding as he did: 'I always felt that marriage was something that lay in my path before I could enter upon the earnest work of life. And, now I see how serviceable it has been in every way for the work that has been done.' How many of us who have been Christadelphians practically all our lives can say Amen to those conclusions?" (FG Jannaway).


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