April 26

I Samuel 2:1-5:5, I Chronicles 3:1-4, 11:1-3

There is so much killing in the Old Testament. Abner and Joab were sitting around a pool and decided to each pick twelve men to fight one other. All twenty-four men died. Abner killed Asahel because Asahel wouldn’t quit following him. So Asahel’s brother Joab killed Abner for killing Asahel. Recab and Baanah killed Ish-Bosheth so David had Recab and Baanah killed for killing Saul’s son.

Yet again I am glad I live this side of the cross.

But how does this apply to me today? Jesus reminds me that one of the commandments is… thou shalt not kill. Then he adds… if you hate someone you’ve murdered them in your heart. ‘An eye for an eye’ may have been the way of life before, but Jesus taught us to love our enemies and turn the other cheek. 

In a sense it’s harder to live a holy life in Jesus’ spiritual kingdom. In the Old Testament it was fairly easy to identify sin. You killed someone you died. You committed a sexual sin you died. You worshiped an idol you died.

But Jesus’ kingdom is no longer flesh and blood. God looks deeper than the surface and demands we not only act holy, but that holiness define our hearts, our attitudes, our thought-life.

Dear Jesus, may I live up to your standards today. Guard my heart and my mind and help me to obey you from the inside out.

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