Thursday, February 23, 2006

Have in Mind a Blessing for the Needy

Deuteronomy is a challenging book to consider. On one hand, it hold the last words of Moses and he makes his last address to the new generation before they enter and take hold of the land God had promised their forefathers hundreds of years before. No longer slaves to Egypt, they have been taught, shaped, tested and readied for God's great plan ahead. Underneath the repetition of laws and instructions found in Leviticus and Numbers, there is a building anticipation for God's fulfillment of His promise to Abraham.

On the other hand, I am reading through the same instructions again. The repetition is challenging my attention span as a Bible student. None-the-less, I found a shout from God among the chapters I read today. This little shout shows me much about the heart of God. Take a look at these verses:

When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back and get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. (Deuteronomy 24:19, NAS)

Remember what Amalek did to you along the way when you came out from Egypt, how he met you along the way and attacked among you all the stragglers at your rear when you were faint and weary; and he did not fear God. (Deuteronomy 25:17-18, NAS)

In all that God has been doing to make this gathering of ex-slaves into a nation, there is a repeated concern and demand that the Israelites practice sacrificial love toward those in need. In the abundance of what God will provide in the land, there will still be those among them who have need. God will be caring for them from the abundance He provides the rest. So, each man who has enough (grain, olives, grapes) is responsible for having in mind a blessing for the needy. What he worked to grow and harvest is not for him alone. The needy are to share in His blessing.

The second verse about Amalek shows God's great anger toward anyone who disregards and seeks to take advantage of the needy and weak. They are a disgust in His sight and show a disregard for the holiness of God. Not even the memory of Amalek is to remain in the future of Israel. As Amalek treated the weak, so God will treat him.

I received this challenge today, to have in mind a blessing for the weak and needy. It is proactive and decided in advance, that what you have is not yours but rather God's. Our blessings are there to share as an extension of the heart of God. He is the defender of the weak and brokenhearted. He is concerned for the hurting and needy. Let's not communicate the opposite to the world we live in. They need to see His heart lived out through us.

© 2006 by Kendra Hinkle.

Scripture marked “NAS” is taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Pounding the Streets of Austin

Austin was freezing...literally. We started with a 28 degree temp and warmed up to 34. When I committed to the race, I thought that there was no way it would be cold in south Texas. I was wrong! The misty wetness made it cold before and after the race, but during the race the temp was perfect.

I was able to beat my goal time of 2:05 for the half marathon. I actually got right at 2 hours, which was my dream time. The race felt really good this time. Having one under my belt from 2004 helped so much. Good luck to y'all in Indy who will be doing the half in May.

I met lots of young ladies on my trip, some who are from Denton and some from Austin. Their company was an encouragement to me...and I love to meet new people. I also learned a new phrase:

Keep Austin weird!

Friday, February 17, 2006

A Bump in the Road

Tomorrow I have an etiquette dinner to attend before I head to Austin for my race. (Yes, they are trying to teach me to be a lady. The suspense is killing me. Can they do it? ) I've had a few bumps in that my car is now unable to make the trip to Austin. On Wednesday, my car started to overheat. I got it into the shop and made partial repairs and am babysitting the other problem for the moment. I have a ride down to A-town, but not one returning before work on Monday. I've made some calls to other runners heading down and surely one will work out.

The car scenario was perfectly timed for somethings that have been on my heart in relationship with God. He's teaching me greater trust in Him.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Heart of the King

This week, I was reading through Deuteronomy 17. Moses is giving his last address to the people (the whole of the book) before he dies and the new generation of Israel enters to take possession of the Promised Land. Knowing that they will possess the land and then desire a king to rule over them like the other nations, God lays down some guidelines about the man He will choose to be king. I liked thinking of these guidelines as indicators of character in the man I will marry, and as a test for my own heart. God says that the king:

  1. Should be from among Israel, and not a foreigner.
  2. Must not acquire great numbers of horses (military strength which would be like tanks and aircraft today)
  3. Must not take many wives or his heart will be lead astray
  4. Must not accumulate large amounts of silver or of gold for himself
  5. As King, he must copy the Law for himself to read all the days of his life

What I see in those qualities that relates today is that my husband should be from among the Christian brethren. His core values should reflect a Christ-centeredness. Second, his greatest strength is not his ability to bust his shirt by flexing muscles or having a great car, but deep down his confidence and strength are found in Christ's righteousness. As women, we can encourage men so they know that we respect them greatly, but first it comes from their relationship with Christ. (We should never be a substitute for Christ in a man's life.) Muscles and cars are not sinful things (preach it, sister), but they are not to be the source of a Godly man's confidence. Thirdly, gratification of his desires is held to account by other brothers in Christ. Women, or other sources of gratification, can act as seducers to lead a man away from God. In the Old Testament, foreign women were seducers who led sinful men to worship other gods. A man being called to account by other brothers in Christ is important, because sinful battles don't dissipate with marriage. They are lifelong and part of the sanctification process. Fourth, his bank account does not rule him. God granted his kings great wealth, a blessing to the king and to the kingdom. What is financially acquired should be treated as kingdom property, under God's and the individual's authority. It is not a boastful possession, but a matter of stewardship while on earth. Lastly, the words of God are near and dear to his heart. The OT king had to copy, a long and careful process, his own scroll of the Law. The words of God are read by this man all the days of his life so that he fears and honors God appropriately.


A man who fears the Lord...isn't that such an attractive quality?! I'll never have to be his nagging wife or his disciplinarian, because God's got that under control. There's a country song that reminds me of this. It uses the phrase, "Because she never asked me to." The husband does all of these honorable things for her, because he can love freely instead of by her nagging.


All of this talk about Godly men makes me want to be a better Christian woman. Now, how do you and I measure up to these same qualities?

© 2006 by Kendra Hinkle.