Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Learned Lessons: Bible Comment on Deuteronomy 2 with poem by May Riley Smith, Sometime

Daily Readings
Psalm 61, Numbers 7:89-8:26, Deuteronomy 1:46-2:37, Matthew 7

Daily Text: Deuteronomy 2

Learned Lessons
Back toward the Red Sea the people traveled from Kadesh Barnea, all the while the people of the adult generation were dying. As they began years later to move once again North toward the land, they passed through the region of Mount Seir, the land given to Esau, none of which they were to touch or claim. Beyond that land they came to Moab, another land they were not to touch until they came to the Wadi Zered. It was thirty eight years of traveling from Kadesh Barnea south, and wandering, until they came once again to the Wadi Zered. Deuteronomy 2 states that during those thirty-eight years the ‘entire generation of warriors’ died, and the people were now made up of those who had been children when they left Egypt. Across the Wadi Zered lived the Ammonites with whom the Israelites were to keep the peace. Coming to the Wadi Arnon, across which lived the Amorites with Sihon as their king. These the Lord promised to people of Israel, their land would be taken as a possession. It was the resistance of Sihon and his people which God used to show his work among Israel. It would seem that Israel had learned its lessons.How often difficulties light the way to new opportunity. Has it ever been different?

May Riley Smith

Sometime, when all life’s lessons have been learned,
And sun and stars forevermore have set,
The things which our weak judgments here have spurned,
The things o’er which we grieved with lashes wet,
Will flash before us out of life’s dark night,
As stars shine most in deeper tints of blue;
And we shall see how all God’s plans are right,
And how what seemed reproof was love most true.

And we shall see how, while we frown and sigh,
God’s plans go on as best for you and me;
How, when we called, He heeded not our cry,
Because His wisdom to the end could see.
And e’en as prudent parents disallow
Too much of sweet craving babyhood,
So God, perhaps, is keeping from us now
Life’s sweetest things, because it seemeth good.

Then be content, poor heart;
God’s plans, like lilies pure and white, unfold;
We must not tear the close-shut leaves apart,--
Time will reveal the chalices of gold.
And if, through patient toil, we reach the land
Where tired feet, with sandals loosed, may rest,
When we shall clearly see and understand,
I think that we will say, “God knew the best!”

Collect for the Day
God of our salvation, when we are depressed and fearful, teach us the way of quiet confidence and hope. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord. [476:782:61 psalm prayer]


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