March 15 | Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 26-27; Mark 14:27-53
The Bill Is Paid
You shall give it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow.
READ DEUTERONOMY 26:12–15
“What happened to you?” asked Zeal, a Nigerian businessman, as he bent over a hospital bed in Lagos. “Someone shot me,” replied the young man, his thigh bandaged. Although the injured man was well enough to return home, he wouldn’t be released until he settled his bill—a policy that many government hospitals in the region follow. After consulting with a social worker, Zeal anonymously covered the bill through the charitable fund he’d earlier set up as a way to express his Christian faith. In return, he hopes that those receiving the gift of release will one day give to others too.
The theme of giving from God’s bounty pulses throughout the Bible. For instance, when Moses instructed the Israelites on how to live in the Promised Land, he told them to give back to God first (see Deuteronomy 26:1-3) and to care for those in need—the foreigners, orphans, and widows (v. 12). Because they dwelled in a “land flowing with milk and honey” (v. 15), they were to express God’s love to the needy.
We too can spread God’s love through sharing our material goods, whether big or small. We might not have the opportunity to personally give exactly like Zeal did, but we can ask God to show us how to give or who needs our help.
By Amy Boucher Pye
REFLECT & PRAY
God, thank You for caring for those in need. Open my eyes to the material and spiritual needs of those near and far to me, and help me to know how to respond. Learn more about finances and the Christian life.
How do you think the patients felt who were released because of Zeal? If you’ve experienced an unexpected gift of grace, how did you respond?
In the Hebrew Bible, books are generally named on the basis of their opening words. The book of Deuteronomy is referred to in the Hebrew Bible as “these are the words”—the opening statement of Deuteronomy 1:1. The title speaks more to the book’s function, for the word Deuteronomy comes from two Greek words deuteros (second) and nomos (law). This book, then, serves as a second telling of the law by Moses just prior to his death and Israel’s passage into the promised land. It reminds them of their covenant agreement with God—a covenant they were called to live out in the land. The book divides into three parts: the historical context (1:1-4), the restatement of the law (1:5-30:20), and the appointment of Joshua in preparation for the death of Moses (chs. 31-34). Clearly, this “second telling” of the law is the main purpose of the book of Deuteronomy. Bill Crowder