Laws for Vows
30 Then Moses spoke to the leaders of the tribes concerning the Israelites, saying, “This is the word that Yahweh commanded: 2 if a man makes a vow for Yahweh or swears an oath with a binding pledge on himself, he must not render his word invalid; he must do all that went out from his mouth.
3 “If a woman makes a vow to Yahweh, and she binds a pledge on herself in her father’s house in your childhood, 4 but if her father hears her vow or her pledge that she bound on herself and says nothing to her, then all her vows will stand, and every pledge that she binds on her life will stand. 5 If her father forbids her on the day he hears of it, all her vows or her pledges that she bound on herself will not stand, and Yahweh will forgive her because her father has forgiven her.
6 “If she has a husband while bound by her vows or a rash promise of her lips, 7 and her husband hears of it and is silent on the day he hears it, her vows will stand, and her pledge that she bound upon herself will stand. 8 But if on the day her husband hears of it, he forbids her, then he will nullify her vow that she is under, and the rash promise of her lips that she bound on herself; and Yahweh will forgive her.
9 “But the vow of a widow or a woman who is divorced, all that she binds on herself will stand on her. 10 But if she made a vow in her husband’s house, or bound herself on a pledge with a sworn oath, 11 and her husband heard it but was silent to her, and he did not forbid her, all her vows will stand and every pledge that she bound on herself will stand. 12 But if her husband nullified them on the day he hears them, all her vows going out of her lips concerning her vows or the pledge on herself will not stand; her husband has nullified them, and Yahweh will forgive her.
13 “Any vow and any sworn oath of a pledge to inflict on herself, her husband can confirm it or her husband can nullify it. 14 But if her husband is completely silent from day to day, then he confirms all her vows or all her pledges that are on her; he confirms them because he was silent to her on the day he heard them. 15 But if he indeed nullifies them after he hears them, then he will bear her guilt.”
16 These are the decrees that Yahweh commanded Moses, as between a husband and his wife, and between a father and his daughter, while her childhood is in her father’s house.
Unity in the Midst of Diversity
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of the body, although they are many, are one body, thus also Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free persons, and all were made to drink one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” not because of this is it not a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body, not because of this is it not a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body just as he wanted. 19 And if they all were one member, where would the body be? 20 But now there are many members, but one body.
21 Now the eye is not able to say to the hand, “I do not have need of you,” or again, the head to the feet, “I do not have need of you.” 22 But by much more the members of the body which are thought to be weaker are necessary, 23 and the parts of the body which we think to be less honorable, these we clothe with more abundant honor, and our unpresentable parts come to have more abundant presentability, 24 but our presentable parts do not have need of this. Yet God composed the body by giving more abundant honor to the part which lacked it, 25 in order that there not be a division in the body, but the members would have the same concern for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer together; if a member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members of it individually, 28 and whom God has appointed in the church: first, apostles, second, prophets, third, teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, administrations, kinds of tongues. 29 Not all are apostles, are they? Not all are prophets, are they? Not all are teachers, are they? Not all are workers of miracles, are they? 30 Not all have gifts of healing, do they? Not all speak with tongues, do they? Not all interpret, do they? 31 But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.
Love, the More Excellent Way
13 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a ringing brass gong or a clashing cymbal. 2 And if I have the gift of prophecy and I know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I parcel out all my possessions, and if I hand over my body in order that I will be burned, but do not have love, it benefits me nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind, love is not jealous, it does not boast, it does not become conceited, 5 it does not behave dishonorably, it is not selfish, it does not become angry, it does not keep a record of wrongs, 6 it does not rejoice at unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth, 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. But if there are prophecies, they will pass away. If there are tongues, they will cease. If there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but whenever the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I set aside the things of a child. 12 For now we see through a mirror indirectly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know completely, just as I have also been completely known. 13 And now these three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 To you, O Yahweh, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, I trust you; let me not be put to shame.
Do not let my enemies exult over me.
3 Indeed, none who wait for you should be put to shame.
Those who betray without cause should be put to shame.
4 Make me know your ways, O Yahweh.
Teach me your paths.
5 Cause me to walk in your truth and teach me,
because you are the God of my salvation.
I await you all day long.
6 Remember your compassion, O Yahweh,
and your acts of loyal love,
because they are from of old.
7 Do not remember
the sins of my youth or my transgressions.
According to your loyal love remember me if you will,
for the sake of your goodness, O Yahweh.
8 Good and right is Yahweh;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9 He causes the humble to walk in justice,
and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of Yahweh are loyal love and faithfulness
for those who keep his covenant and statutes.
11 Also, for the sake of your name, O Yahweh,
forgive my sin, because it is great.
12 Who is the man fearing Yahweh?
He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
13 His soul will lodge in prosperity,
and his offspring will possess the land.
14 Intimate fellowship with Yahweh is for those who fear him,
and he makes known his covenant to them.
15 My eyes are continually toward Yahweh,
because he will take my feet from the net.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me
because I am lonely and afflicted.
17 Remove the troubles of my heart;
bring me out from my distresses.
18 Consider my affliction and trouble,
and forgive all my sins.
19 Consider that my enemies are many,
and they hate me with violent hatred.
20 Protect my life and deliver me.
Let me not be put to shame, because I take shelter in you.
21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
because I wait for you.
22 O God, redeem Israel
from all its troubles.
Usually when we seek someone’s goodwill, we emphasize our own winning traits or accomplishments. Our supervisor, significant other, or family members are barraged with a list of our actions in an attempt to get the other to respond in kind. Often this results in a tug-of-war mentality, basing all we deserve on what we give.
But our relationship with God doesn’t follow these rules. God’s mercy isn’t based on what we’ve done—it’s based entirely on His own goodness. The psalmist, realizing this, turns all of his attention to God’s mercy in Psa 25: “Remember your compassion, O Yahweh, and your acts of loyal love, because they are from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions. According to your loyal love, remember me if you will, for the sake of your goodness, O Yahweh” (Psa 25:6–7).
In this individual lament, the psalmist reaches out to Yahweh with a cry for forgiveness and guidance. Instead of justifying his actions to obtain Yahweh’s favor, the psalmist turns the focus to God’s works and His faithfulness in the past. What he deserves isn’t what he gets—something he is altogether thankful for.
God’s abundant graciousness extends far: from heaven down to earth, where Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sin. We can’t be thankful enough for that great act of mercy. It’s a reason for humility and thankfulness, as the psalmist expresses, and an act of faithfulness to us that we can never return. His mercy should completely transform our concept of what we deserve; it should alter us so much that we treat those around us not with expectations of who they should be for us, but with grace and love, as God treated us.
How are you extending God’s grace to the people around you?
Author: John D. Barry & Rebecca Van Noord
Publisher: Lexham Press
Publication Date: 2012
This 365-day devotional walks you through the Bible in a year, following a custom reading plan that delves into the stories of the Bible from five unique perspectives.