July 16, 2019

Today you should read: Deuteronomy 10:12-22

The story of Israel began with God speaking to an average guy named Abram son of Terah. He was a pagan man living in a pagan nation. Genesis 12 records, “Now the Lord said to Abram…” that began the story. Here we see God’s Covenant to Abraham of land, seed, and blessing. In chapter 15, God told Abraham, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” About 440 years later, God’s Covenant with Abraham is about to be fulfilled. 

Deuteronomy 10:12–21 records God’s expectations for the human side of the Covenant. Let’s briefly look at God’s requirements:

Fear—Modern Christians are often quick to point out that fear means more like reverence or respect. While true, fear also means…fear. As one commentator put it, it’s an “acute awareness of God’s moral purity.” When human beings witness angels in scripture their first words are often, “Don’t be afraid.” To look upon God means our life—He told Moses, “no man can see Me and live!” (Exodus 33:20). Don’t water this down: fear means fear (Matthew 10:28).

Walk—Walking in God’s ways is to obey. On a rocky mountain pass, you can’t always tell a safe spot to put your foot. However, you can trust that a safe spot is the same spot that the person in front of you put theirs. God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet (Ps 119) and on some of the narrow passes around Israel, light and sure footing was a life and death issue. Same with obedience.

Love—Here we see the motivation. We are called to love God, but have you ever considered how lovable God is? God loves us and wants our absolute best. He is our best. He wants us to want Him because a relationship with Him produces the best life we can have.  

Serve—Similar to walking, serving God speaks of the mission that He has given us. This is more than obedience; this is the purpose of our lives—to make His name famous on the earth. 

Keep his commandments and statutes—No person is going to live morally pure. God’s commands show us how we can live morally pure lives, but it also provides a means of reconciliation for when people fall short. In the Law of the Old Testament, this was done through the sacrificial system. Today, we have 1 John 1:9, which teaches confession and repentance. Keeping the commands also means taking advantage of God’s plan for our imperfection. 

These are the things the Lord requires. Keeping these things are for “our good” (13). Not only that obedience to the Lord is based on His character—He is the King (14), He is “the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.” 

God is great, and Israel was to obey for their good and His glory. He made a nation out of one man—a nation through whom the world would know the One True God…if they obey.

By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate

July 15, 2019

Today you should read: Deuteronomy 10:1-11

God is Patient

Deuteronomy 9 is filled with Israel’s rebellion against God. It’s like God said one thing and they did the total opposite. Have you ever done that?

I think the way God redeems it in chapter 10 is a beautiful reminder of how He treats us. Moses, in anger, shattered the tablets on which God wrote the Ten Commandments. In verses 1-5, Moses got instruction from the Lord to cut out tablets of stone so that He could rewrite the Ten Commandments on them. 

First, rewriting the Ten Commandments shows God’s character despite our rebellion. Thankfully, God does not give us what we deserve. If we are in a relationship with Jesus, even when we mess up, God is patient and generous with second chances. 

So, Christian: In what areas has God given you a do over? Have you blown it?

In what areas do you need a do over? Pray and ask God for that today. 

There’s grace despite your actions, but act in obedience like Moses to make your second chance a good one.

Second, the rewrite of the Ten Commandments shows the importance of them. If they were not important, God could have allowed them to be destroyed the first time and never thought about again. In verse 2, God is talking to Moses and says, “I will write on the tablets that you broke, and you shall put them in the ark.” The Ten Commandments are literally written by God, just like the Bible. The Ten Commandments, and all of God’s word, are important for each of us to follow. Are you acting in spiritual obedience to God? 

By: Ally Morgan — Communications Director

July 13, 2019

Today you should read: Deuteronomy 9:7-29

In order to properly understand today’s passage we must first begin by seeing the context of yesterday’s passage. It ended with this in verse 6: “You must recognize that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land because you are good, for you are not—you are a stubborn people.” What we see is that God is allowing the people to obtain the land that has been promised, but God is making it clear that it is not because they deserve it. Our passage today lays out the case for why it is not because of them that God is giving them this land.

God makes the case that since the people of Israel exited Egypt, they have constantly rebelled and shown themselves to be stubborn. Remember also, that it was because of God’s powerful hand that he miraculously drew them out of Egypt, only for the people to complain and wish to be back in Egypt because of the difficult conditions of the wilderness (see Exodus 16:3).

Moses is also showing them how egregious their sin was in casting a golden cow to worship while Moses was delayed on the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments! He also lists several other examples of how the people’s rebellion angered the heart of God, and how Moses subsequently interceded and begged God not to destroy them.

This passage certainly should have humbled the people of Israel, but it should humble us as well. The point of Moses telling them that it was not because of anything they did to earn God’s promise is true of us in light of our salvation. All we (and they) brought to the table is brokenness;  God is the one who restores and gets the honor and glory for showing grace. It is not about our works, but God’s. The point is for us to look at God and his grace and greatness so that we would humbly worship Him in response.

By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Associate

July 12, 2019

Today you should read: Deuteronomy 9:1-6

Our passage today should bring humility to each one of us. Moses is telling Israel that they are about to go into the land the Lord has promised and conquer mighty nations. Nations like the sons of Anakim, who are known to be giants at this time. But notice that in verse 3, Moses makes it clear that the Lord is going to be the one to destroy the other nations. The reason God can destroy these nations is because “of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord your God is driving them out from before you” (v. 5). Pay attention that it has nothing to do with how righteous Israel is. Moses makes this clear in verse 6, “Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.” 

This should bring humility to each of us because God is ultimately the one to destroy wickedness. We are all like Israel, stubborn. We sin every single day, so we cannot praise ourselves for our righteousness. Instead, we should be praising God that He has delivered us from wickedness and not destroyed us, because that is what He should have done. Only through Jesus can we be righteous, because He covers all of our sins. 

Take time today to praise God for not destroying us in our wickedness. Also, praise Him because one day there will never be wickedness again. He will restore all things back to perfect!

By: Brice Stockton — Student Ministry Apprentice