Old Testament reading: Deuteronomy 8-9
Deuteronomy 8 contains a beautiful statement from God concerning the wilderness wandering, as well as a stern warning. God said the wilderness wandering was a test to see what was in the heart of Israel, whether or not they would obey (v 2). He allowed them to be hungry so he could feed them (v 3). He did not permit their clothes or shoes to wear out (v 4). Later in chapter 8, Israel was warned not to become puffed up at their newfound wealth, as if they actually had anything to do with it (vv 11-20). Verses 11-20 may be summed from a text in yesterday’s New Testament reading: “And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” (1 Cor 4:7). Chapter 9 is a review of past rebellions and Moses’ great intercession for the people. Moses’ love for Israel reminds me of Paul’s for Corinth. Some folks are rebellious and stubborn, yet we can’t help but love them.
New Testament reading: 1 Corinthians 12-14
This is the landmark text on the distribution (12:1-11), purpose (12:13-31), duration (13) and exercise of spiritual gifts (14). This includes chapter 13, which must not be wrenched from its context. Also, it seems no one in the charismatic movement has ever read 1 Corinthians 14. Everything we see them do is the exact opposite of what Paul taught. Consider the following from chapter 14: In verses 6-19, there is the admonition to speak so as to be understood, lest there be confusion among the hearers. Is this what we see practiced today? No. In verses 20-25, we find that tongues are not a sign for believers, but for unbelievers. But where do we see this practiced? In their assemblies among believers! Also in this text, Paul says that prophesying is for believers, yet when was the last time we saw such in practice? In verses 26-40, we find that no more than two or three are to speak, and each in turn (not at the same time), and let one interpret. Is this the practice we see on TV, online, or in their assemblies? To ask is to answer. Verse 34 commands women to be silent in the assemblies. Is this the practice of charismatics today? Hardly. Finally, verse 40 says all things are to be done decently and in order, yet chaos is the order of the day.