Leviticus 7:28-8:17; Mark 3:31-4:9; Psalms 37:21-29; Proverbs 12:26
NT: “His mother and his brothers came, and standing outside, they sent word to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him and told him, “Look, your mother, your brothers, and your sisters are outside asking for you.” He replied to them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” Looking at those sitting in a circle around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”” (Mark 3:31-35 CSB)
Jesus’ family thought He had lost His mind, and they were there to try and restrain Him – to talk some sense into Him. When they showed up while He was ministering and asked Him to step outside, He didn’t oblige. Instead, He used it as an opportunity to teach about the family of God. We all come from families – some healthy and some dysfunctional. Some families are moral and upstanding, while others are quite the opposite. When we come to faith in Christ and become His disciple, obeying the word, will, and ways of God, we enter into a new family. No longer are we tied to our natural family tree. We are grafted in – adopted into – a new family with a holy heritage and an incredible inheritance. God becomes our Father, Christ becomes our Lord and elder brother, and faithful disciples around the world become our spiritual moms, dads, brothers, sisters, and children.
Psalms: “A person’s steps are established by the Lord, and he takes pleasure in his way. Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, because the Lord supports him with his hand. I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous abandoned or his children begging for bread. He is always generous, always lending, and his children are a blessing. Turn away from evil, do what is good, and settle permanently. For the Lord loves justice and will not abandon his faithful ones. They are kept safe forever, but the children of the wicked will be destroyed.” (Psalms 37:23-28 CSB)
A good man’s steps are established by the Lord. God leads our steps like a general leading troops into battle. A righteous man is in lockstep with the Lord’s commands and directions. A man who is marching in perfect step with God is a righteous person, and the Lord will make his footsteps strong and sure. The phrase ‘takes pleasure’ is translated from the Hebrew word chaphets. Chaphets means to desire, delight in, or take pleasure in. When we chaphets God’s way, He chaphets our way. When we make God’s way our primary desire, God takes pleasure in what we are doing. Everything else in this passage is framed within that truth. God supports the righteous so that when they do fall, it isn’t a hard fall. God does not abandon the righteous, but is always generous to them. The righteous are kept safe by the Lord forever. The last phrase there, “the children of the wicked will be destroyed” is sobering, but there is hope for the children of the wicked as well. At any time, a child of wickedness can choose to chaphets God’s way and be adopted out of the family of wickedness and into the family of God. We aren’t destined to follow in the footsteps of our mothers and fathers if we choose to follow in the footsteps of our Heavenly Father through faith in Jesus Christ.