Deut. 16, Psalm 103, Isaiah 43, Revelation 13

DateVersionReading Plan
@June 11, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Deut. 16

Deuteronomy 16:18–20 (ESV) 18 “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. 19 You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. 20 Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

After giving instruction on the Passover and a number of feasts that the people were to observe, the people were told to appoint judges and officers to judge with righteous judgment. It is interesting that commands regarding judgment and justice came directly after those for the feasts. Without projecting too much, it seems fitting that after telling the people all the things they were to do for the feasts (the word “shall” appearing 23x in the chapter before the section on judges), there would be a need to appoint a layer of oversight for honorable enforcement. Perhaps most important to see in this is how God not only gives commands but also delegates earthy superintendence to ensure they are carried out, imperfect though these individuals will certainly be.

Psalm 103

Psalm 103:8–10 (ESV) 8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. 10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

The Lord’s chiding of the saints is purposeful and not without end. The aim is not eternal punishment, but sanctification and conformity to Himself. This He does as an outpouring of His grace, dealing with us in a manner that none merit or deserve. In exchange for our sin, He gives us His righteousness and for our rebellion a new heart that yearns to know and love Him. It is a wonder that stirs the highest of praise for our Lord of all goodness and mercy.

Isaiah 43

Isaiah 43:10–11 (ESV) 10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. 11 I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior.

The Lord calls the Israelites His “witnesses” and His “servant”, those whom He had chosen to give an account of how He is the only true God. No god was formed before or after Him and besides Him there is no savior. In the very same way, we are to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth, ambassadors to bring the good news of salvation achieved only in Christ. Lets us then join our ancient brethren to know and believe Him, to understand that He is God and there is no other.

Revelation 13

Revelation 13:15–18 (ESV) 15 And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. 16 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18 This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

The chapter speaks of two beasts, one that rose out of the sea and another that rose out the earth. The second beast could speak and those who would not worship the image of the beast would be slain. Unless a person bore the mark of this beast, they would have no ability to buy or sell. The number calculated of the beast was the number of a man, namely 666. Because six is one less than seven (the number of perfection), it is suggested by many that its usage indicates falling short of the perfection of God. The Believer’s Bible Study also postulates that, “The three sixes are a trinity of evil.”

Carson on Psalm 103

When David starts to enumerate “all his benefits” (Ps. 103:2), he begins with the forgiveness of sins (Ps. 103:3). Here is a man who understands what is of greatest importance. If we have everything but God’s forgiveness, we have nothing of worth; if we have God’s forgiveness, everything else of value is also promised (cf. Rom. 8:32).

In the second of three features on which Carson focuses in this psalm, he looks at how David begins the itemization of his benefits with forgiveness of sins. Without God’s grace in forgiveness of our sins, there is no reconciliation with Him. This atonement is coupled with the sacrificial work of Christ to bear the wrath God against the sin of all mankind. These together—initiated and implemented entirely by God—make a way for our full redemption and restored relationship with our Creator.