(#066 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!
You shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are. You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. (Excerpts from Matthew 23: 13, 15, 23-29)
Woe to obstinate children:
* Those who will not listen to or trust in Yahweh alone;
* Those who carry out their own plans;
* Those who operate in fear instead of being directed by His mind within;
* Those who trust in the wisdom and strength of men and form alliances not led by the Spirit. Alliances can be good, but only if Yahweh forms them; and so often the ones you form are not His desire;
* Those who go down to Egypt without consulting Yahweh;
* Those who walk right into the enemy’s camp without permission and favor from Yahweh;
* Those who fear earthly kings, look for help from “Pharaoh,” and trust in material prosperity;
* Those who seek the shade of Egypt and desire a covering from earthly things which only satisfy the ego.
Everyone who trusts in people to be their help will be put to shame; Father, we will make no provision for the flesh on our own. Teach us to do as You say and grant us release from the fear of man. We desire alliances, but only the ones that you ordain. The battle is Yours Abba; we rest in You alone.
My help comes from Yahweh, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:2)