Justice Day 15 Leading With Love: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days...are a pretty big deal at GT!

We search God's Word together, ask questions as we read, dig around to find the original intentions at the time of writing, and then make some applications to our everyday lives.
Along the way, we hope you'll pick up some new tools to study Scripture and you'll see truth in a new and accessible way!
Dig In!

The Passage

Fridays are 2-for-1! Check out the other Journey Study, Leading With Love!

Deuteronomy 10:12-19 English Standard Version (ESV)

12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good? 14 Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. 15 Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. 16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. 17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. 18 He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.19 Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

The Questions

1) What is the setting of this command?

2) What does it mean to circumcise your heart?

3) What is our motivation for living out this kind of love?

The Findings for Intention

1) What is the setting of this command?
Moses is coming to the end of his life and has gathered the nation of Israel that he has led through the wilderness for over 40 years. The entire book of Deuteronomy is a re-telling of God’s heart of love for His people by reminding them of His commands that display His special relationship with them as well as highlighting pivotal points in their wilderness journey. This specific command is significant as the prophet Micah will repeat it in his oracle to Israel hundreds of years later to remind Israel of her mission statement. “What has the Lord required of you? To do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

2) What does it mean to circumcise your heart?
The command of circumcision of the flesh was instituted as another way for God’s people, Israel, to be set apart from the nations around them. They were to have this mark on their flesh as a symbol that they were God’s chosen ones, set apart to be holy and reflect Him and His glory to the world around them. Here, Moses emphasizes that a simple mark in your flesh is not what God wants. He wasn’t “doing away” with the sign of circumcision at this point, but He was pointing beyond it to its main purpose, ie: heart change. God wanted their whole hearts and lives to display His own heart.

3) What is our motivation for living out this kind of love?
This passage offers two motivating reasons as to why we should live a life of justice, loving kindness, and humility with God and those around us. First, in verse 12, we see the command followed by “to walk in all His ways”. At the end of the passage, we see this fleshed out a bit more where it says, “He executes justice to the fatherless and the widow and loves the sojourner.” (verse 18) We were remade by His Spirit to imitate Him as our good Father, just as our own children imitate us. God leads us by authentic example. Secondly, verse 15 speaks of God “setting His heart of love” on us; He intentionally chose to love us, not by anything we had done or were deserving of. Again in verse 19, God speaks of loving the foreigner, just as Israel was a foreigner. We are called to love because we have been the recipient of extravagant love.

The Everyday Application

1) What is the setting of this command?
We all need those points of re-centering in our lives. We get crazy busy with bursting schedules and the complexities of relationships and managing finances that we can begin to ever-so-slightly move off course until we find ourselves so far from where we are called to be. Let Moses’ and Micah’s reminders be a reminder to you today. “What has the Lord required of you? To do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” In essence, to love well. Take a minute to do a personal inventory, especially in the areas of social justice as we’ve been journeying into in the last 3 weeks. Where can you grow in extending justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God as your Lord and you as His follower?

2) What does it mean to circumcise your heart?
We talk easily about a whole heart sacrifice to God today, but to Israel, the cutting of skin pointed to a sacrifice that cost them something. It was a visible reminder…yes, I am the Lord’s. What are some ways you can remind yourself that, “Yes, I am the Lord’s. I am called to live differently”? What has following Jesus cost you lately? Reputation? Accolades? Friendships? Pride? Reaching across racial barriers, seeing the homeless, coming alongside the widow, opening up generously for an orphan….these cost us. Will you live differently, intentionally, today and tomorrow and the next day, because you know, “Yes, I am the Lord’s”?!
“Circumcise…your heart and be no longer stubborn!” (verse 16)

3) What is our motivation for living out this kind of love?
We are no better or worse than those living around us. Whatever stereotypes we hold must be dropped in the face of choosing to love or ignore the injustices swirling around us. We have been loved, we have been shown underserved mercy and grace, we have been offered justice; we are obligated to extend and steward that grace! When we realize how deeply we are stained from our own sin, we have a greater appreciation and understanding of the extravagant love of Christ, which “humbles us before Him” and puts our hearts in position to “walk justly and act with loving kindness.” Who will you impact today with the Father’s reach of Justice and Love?!

Don’t miss today’s other Journey Study, Leading With Love!
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I Can Do That!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read through it (always more than a verse or two).
3) Write down your questions as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God in your everyday!

The Community!

Thanks for joining us today as we journeyed into Justice Week Three!
Don’t miss out on the discussion – we’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Tools!

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources.  Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom! It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

The Why!

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus.
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Looking for other journeys from this theme?
See all past studies in Justice!