TODAY’S READING: Deuteronomy 14–16
Why do the children of God rejoice at funerals and have no fear of death (Deut. 14:1)? Because we know God chose us to be with Him (v. 2), and whoever was sad about going home? Moses reminds us all that we are God’s movable treasures, His jewels that He wants to carry around and display. Beauty does no good when it’s sequestered, so God unveils His beautified children as an invitation to all the peoples of the earth: Come and be made beautiful, too!
Why do the people of God eat healthy and refuse what undermines physical strength (v. 3)? Because we know our holy God wants to dwell among us, so we must be holy—whole in body, mind, and spirit (v. 21). We know if God lives among us, all is blessed, and when all is blessed, there are resources to bless all, including orphans, poor, aliens, and strangers. When God dwells among us, there are enough resources to wholly meet the needs of the whole earth. When we are healthy and whole, God is extending an invitation through us to a watching world: Come and be made whole, too!
Why do the families of God live generously (15:1, 11), respect the Lord by tithing (14:23), and provide liberally for all we employ (15:13)? Why do we take care of immigrants (14:29) from the unreached nations of the world alongside the poor and bereaved of our own communities? Because when we live generously, both physically and spiritually, God blesses us with more, so that we can give more (15:6, 10). God’s great generous heart is looking to bless all the peoples of the world. Whenever He finds those who generate wealth, that the grace and gospel of Jesus can bless globally, He blesses them. God wants His children to have the capacity to be a physical and spiritual blessing to the unreached peoples of the world, whether that means the Arabs who live with us in Dearborn, Michigan, or the Saramaccan, an unreached animist people, among whom we live in Suriname. When the nations of the world see the generosity with which our heavenly Father meets our needs, God is extending an invitation to the Saramaccan: Come and be taken care of, too!
Why do the people of God take time every year to remember what God has done? Why do we often stop to remember that God delivers us from sin (16:1–8), that God harvests worshippers out of every nation (vv. 9–12), and that God came down to live among us that we might eternally live with Him (vv. 13–17)? Because God wants the 3.15 billion unreached peoples of the world (that’s 42 percent of humanity) to know that they are redeemable, that no tribe or people is excluded, and that the pain of this life is temporary. We have a perfect heavenly home waiting. Through our feasts God calls to the nations of the word: Come and be rescued, too!
Why do the communities of God insist on just systems and judges without bias (vv. 19–21)? Because God is impartial, because He loves the whole world, because He will judge the whole world, because justice is a good thing when wielded by Him who is full of grace and truth. Justice on earth is a reminder that the great day of judgment is soon to be upon us and that those who have made peace with the court of heaven (from any tribe, from every people) can rush towards that court with joy. Justice through God’s people to God’s people for God’s people is an invitation to all nations: Come and be acquitted, too!
Everything God does in His people on this earth has a reason. Let’s not lose the why, the great invitation of God to all the peoples of the world that He shouts through us: Come be made beautiful, come be made whole, come be taken care of, come be rescued, and come be acquitted too!