June 3, Reading 1 – Deuteronomy 14:22-15:23


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SAA Notes

It is still a good principle to repay debts within seven years. Tithes were used to feed the Levites, the immigrants, the orphans, the widows and other disadvantaged people within a town. The Jews were encouraged to be generous and regular with the tithe with the promise that God does bless the generous in all the work of their hands.

SJA Notes

“You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him,”

Here is the command from God to His people.

In the New Testament we read Jesus’ words in Luke 6:35,

“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great,”

And both Moses and Jesus point to God’s mercy as the reasoning for us when we ask “Why?” (Why should we give freely? Why should we be generous without thought of return?)

Moses says,

“You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD you God redeemed ou;”

Jesus says,

“Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”

Our God of mercy has redeemed us from slavery, rescued us from sin, brought us from darkness into light.

Oh what mercy this, immense and free!

This the pattern, this the command: Be like Him. Be merciful in thought, word and deed.

Let our hearts flow over with grace and mercy, continually filled up by the Holy Spirit at work in us.

More Jesus, less us!

* Lord God in Heaven,

Thank You for Your mercy to us, not giving to us what we deserve, and instead granting us rescue!

Thank You for Jesus’ work, for the lamb slain from before the foundation of the world.

Please help us to be merciful as You are merciful.


June 3, Reading 2 – Song of Solomon 5:2-6:9


Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

The expression of our sexuality in marriage is both good and desirable – “eat … drink your fill, O lovers”. It is good to look for appropriate and modern metaphors in talking with your spouse about their body. Proverbs 5:18,19 has some good advice to husbands in this area.

SJA Notes

“There are sixty queens and eighty concubines, and virgins without number. My dove, my perfect one, is the only one, …”

We continue to plumb the depths of what relational faithfulness looks like here in this book, the Song of Solomon.

Solomon does not choose to deride or mock, to put down, the other women around. Sometimes we might feel as though finding fault in others is a solid strategy for maintaining faithfulness in our beloved.

But that is not what we read here.

Solomon’s mind is bent in a singular fashion.

In Jeremiah chapter 29 we read,

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”

The love of husband and wife patterns the devotion that we see between God and His people, between the Head (Jesus) and the Body (the Church).

We read of the singularly devoted seeking of the wife for her beloved.

And the eye of the husband (Solomon) remains single.

“My dove, my perfect one, is the only one, …”

* Faithful God,

Please mark us as a faithful people.

Please help those of us who are married to be singularly devoted to our beloved.

And Lord God for every one of us, please help us each day to keep our eyes fixed on You and Your alone. No other god, no other power, no other view.

Please Lord, please show us Jesus today.


June 3, Reading 3 – Luke 10:25-42


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SAA Notes

Jesus answers the same question He answered for Nicodemus in John 3:3 – that of the Ten Commandments. John 3 is from the perspective of God’s love, Luke 10 from that of our love for God and neighbour. The Ten Commandments teach us the principles of true love.

SJA Notes

* Dear God, please light our way today through Your word to us, Your Spirit placing it on our hearts.

“You go, and do likewise.”

Here is the upside-down nature (from man’s perspective) of the true reality of creation, this word that Jesus teaches.

Who is it that shows mercy in the parable?

It is not the high church official, the priest. It is not the church leader, the Levite.


It is the outcast strange, the half-breed the others would not consider spiritual in any way.

Do our minds go after this logic, this worldly wisdom?

We judge the exterior, we show partiality, we look for human praise and seek to establish our own kingdoms.

But the way of Jesus is on an entirely different spectrum.

The way of mercy.

In this story Jesus teaches it is the Samaritan, who would be shunned by “true” Israelites, who walked the way of mercy.

Not the super-spiritual person, not the super-legal/moral one.

Let us be encouraged to walk in the way of mercy, the way Jesus teaches.

* Father God,

Please help us to walk in this way of mercy that Jesus teaches in today’s passage.

Please remind us of who You are, what You have done, and what You are going to do.

Thank You for saving us!