Today’s post starts with a verse from the Book of Deuteronomy:
5 “When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be charged with any business; he shall be free at home one year, to be happy with his wife whom he has taken.
I found this verse fascinating because it is one which would, I think, baffle most modern Christians. We are a people who moves about a lot, and to whom marriage is often an afterthought. So the idea of spending a whole year tied to home and one’s spouse no doubt would be foreign to many. Yet there is a great deal of logic and sense behind this. A whole year provides a good amount of time for the married couple to work towards having a child and an heir (something which would have been very valuable to the ancient Israelites). It also would work to help cement the bond between the married couple, especially through the conjugal act which would bring about that heir. Most of all, though, I think this law would keep worldly distractions at bay and make their marriage the priority of their life for that time.
A short passage from the First Letter from St. Peter:
14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
(1 Peter 1:14-16)
This passage, and those like it, are always a good reminder that God wants us to be holy, not happy. Happiness is a transitory, illusive thing. At least, so far as this world is concerned. It comes and it goes. But holiness is something that can and should always be with and about us. And ultimately, it leads to the only happiness that last- being united forever with our God who loves us.
Finally, a dark passage from Micah:
2 The godly man has perished from the earth,
and there is none upright among men;
they all lie in wait for blood,
and each hunts his brother with a net.
3 Their hands are upon what is evil, to do it diligently;
the prince and the judge ask for a bribe,
and the great man utters the evil desire of his soul;
thus they weave it together.
4 The best of them is like a brier,
the most upright of them a thorn hedge.
The day of their watchmen, of their punishment, has come;
now their confusion is at hand.
5 Put no trust in a neighbor,
have no confidence in a friend;
guard the doors of your mouth
from her who lies in your bosom;
6 for the son treats the father with contempt,
the daughter rises up against her mother,
the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.
7 But as for me, I will look to the Lord,
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
my God will hear me.
It seems to me that these are the kinds of days that the prophet Micah warned us about. We are beset at all sides, and even those close to us cannot be trusted. All mean to lead us astray or bring us to harm. in times like this it is easy to give in to despair. But we must now do as the prophet did then- look to God and trust in Him to lead us to salvation.