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March 2 Today’s Reading: — Deuteronomy 22-24
“Keep thee from every wicked thing.”
In these three chapters the Lord God teaches us by repeated commands to walk before him in this world as sinners saved by his grace, ever adorning the doctrine of God our Savior, as a blood bought people who belong wholly to Christ. May he give us grace to do so throughout this day, and day by day, until our days on earth are done.
“Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds… Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together. Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself.”
Understand these commands as the Spirit of God intends them to be understood. — We must distinguish between things that differ. There can be no mixture of works and grace, of merit and mercy in doctrine. Our hearts and minds must not be sown with diverse doctrines. The gospel preacher, that man who plows spiritually, must not mingle anything idolatrous with the true worship of the God of Israel. We must never attempt to wear the woolen garment of our own righteousness with the white linen robe of the righteousness of God in Christ. We must never mingle anything of our own with the perfect and complete robe of Christ’s salvation. Like the garment that covered our Redeemer’s sacred body in the days of his flesh was without seam, woven from the top throughout (John 19:23), his righteousness bestowed upon us is a perfect, seamless garment of his making, bestowed upon us by his free grace alone. Let us take care that we make no fringes to the garment he has given us, as if we might add something to his finished work.
While we behold the many disqualifications by which men were kept away from the congregation of Israel, think of the privileges that are ours in and by Christ.
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:11-13)
How I bless God my Savior, my Husband, who wed himself to me from eternity and graciously caused me to be married to him by faith, he will never behold anything in me that displeases him and will never allow me to lose favor in his sight! He will never give any poor soul he has married a bill of divorcement! He has not only given us his name, he has given us his righteousness in free justification and his very nature in sanctification. He says of his beloved, “My love, my dove, my undefiled, there is no spot in thee!” Though I am altogether unworthy of his love, because “he hateth putting away,” and because he has said he will be mine and I will be his forever, so it shall be! He has done what he promised. He has betrothed me unto him forever. Yea, he has betrothed me unto him in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. He has even betrothed me unto him in faithfulness, not mine, but his, forever (Hosea 2:19-20).