DEVOTIONAL DAY # 10 THE LAW VS THE INTENT OF THE HEART


JEREMIAH 17 10

Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 19:4-6, 11-13(NIV)
Key Verses: 2 Chronicles 30:18-20(NIV)

2 Chronicles 30:18-20(NIV)
18 Although most of the many people who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun had not purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover, contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone 19 who sets their heart on seeking God—the Lord, the God of their ancestors—even if they are not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary.” 20 And the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people.

In order for someone to participate in the Passover meal the law required them to be cleansed first before they could be a part of the ceremony. If someone violated this requirement set by God there was a great chance that they would be faced with death. In the scripture above we see God at the request of Hezekiah forgive many people who violated this law that he had set. Why did God not punish them severely or kill them for violating this sacred law he put in place? The reason he didn’t destroy them was because their hearts were in the right place showing desire for him by seeking him and that was way more important than the law. We can once again see God allowing the heart to overrule the law in Deuteronomy.

In the Book of Deuteronomy God gives a scenario of two different men who both violates his commandment thou shall not murder and gives instructions on how to handle their outcome.

Deuteronomy 19:5-6
5 For instance, a man may go into the forest with his neighbor to cut wood, and as he swings his ax to fell a tree, the head may fly off and hit his neighbor and kill him. That man may flee to one of these cities and save his life. 6 Otherwise, the avenger of blood might pursue him in a rage, overtake him if the distance is too great, and kill him even though he is not deserving of death, since he did it to his neighbor without malice aforethought.

Deuteronomy 19:11-13
11 But if out of hate someone lies in wait, assaults and kills a neighbor, and then flees to one of these cities, 12 the killer shall be sent for by the town elders, be brought back from the city, and be handed over to the avenger of blood to die. 13 Show no pity.

Even though both men committed murder, God looked within their hearts to determine their outcome. What can we learn from God when it comes to looking at the intent of the heart? The next time you feel like your spouse, children, friends, family, co-worker, or anyone else you have a relationship offends you are do something that cause you to feel violated. Ask this question within your-self, what was the intent within their heart behind what took place, before you punish them for violating your law.

Remember God is always searching the intent within our hearts in everything that we do, and that includes you!!

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

PSALM 139 23-24

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