Today you should read: Deuteronomy 1:9-18
In today’s Scripture we see how Moses reminds his people of God’s Abrahamic promise and how He’s already starting to fulfill it. God is not just a promise maker but a promise keeper. Knowing and trusting that God is going to keep His promise of multiplying His children and bringing them to the promised land, they had to still take action in such faith. Moses shares with them that they need to appoint leaders over tribes, as judges, and in military. In. verses 16-17 he reminds them to be impartial in leadership, including over foreigners’ rights as they enter into the promised land.
This is a great reminder that we must not only trust in God’s promises but act on faith in such situations. Moses knew they must do something with God’s promise and that God wasn’t going to snap his fingers and they’d be there as an organized nation. We need to work in the same way for the promises God makes and keeps with us. Just because God promised to view us as holy with Christ representing us doesn’t mean we don’t pursue holiness ourselves. Just because God promises us the kingdom in Heaven, doesn’t mean we don’t do everything we can to advance the kingdom of heaven here on this earth right now.
Do you trust that God will keep His promises? Do you ACT on those promises as well?
By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor
Today you should read: Deuteronomy 1:1-8
People often look at me funny when I tell them that the book of Deuteronomy is one of my favorite books in the Old Testament. It’s certainly one of the books that gets a bad reputation as being hard to understand, but it certainly doesn’t deserve to get skipped in your annual Bible reading plan. Deuteronomy is essentially Moses retelling the law (deutero: second). In fact, chapters 5-28 of the book are Moses breaking down and teaching on the Ten Commandments.
Believers today can sometimes feel uneasy when they read through books like Leviticus or Deuteronomy, because so much of what we read applies to us in different ways than it did to the original audience. But does this mean these books of the law have no value to us? Of course not! In Matthew 5:17, we see that Jesus himself says that he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Paul also shows us what value the law has in Romans 7, where he makes the case that the law is not bad in and of itself, but that it reveals how sinful we truly are. In thinking about how we should think of the law today, a helpful general principle is to see that the moral aspects of the law (think the Ten Commandments) can still give us direction, but Jesus has fulfilled for us the ritualistic aspects of the law (think sacrifices, eating unclean animals, etc.)
So my encouragement to you as you read through the book of Deuteronomy is twofold:
- Take note of the different ways that it talks about loving God and loving neighbor throughout.
- Thank God for sending Jesus who fulfilled all of the law so that we could have a right relationship with God.
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Associate
Today you should read: Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Faithful until the end…
Can you imagine seeing it? After all of this time, after generations of promises, after the leading of God’s people through one of the most trying seasons in history, and after a lifelong test of leadership that was mixed with some significant failures, Moses stands and sees the land of promise.
Moses is not allowed to enter this land due to his disobedience to the Lord in one particular instance. Yet Moses has accepted his fate from the Lord. Moses had asked the Lord, in an earlier exchange, to change His mind by allowing him into the land. Yet, God said no. And what is interesting here is that Moses is said to be “as strong as ever.” Moses had life left, he had strength left, he could see, he was able to enter into the land if God had so desired. But God had different plans for him.
We face these situations in our lives. We want something, we want to keep going, we feel we are able to handle it, we ask God, and we see no reason that we should not receive what we asked; yet God has different plans. And in those moments the true question is, will we remain faithful?
Moses didn’t get what he wanted, or what we may think he deserved, yet he stayed faithful until the end. He blessed Joshua to take his place, he spent a long time recapping all that God had done and reiterating God’s commands, and now he is content with his fate.
Will you fight for godly contentment in the midst of your circumstances?
Ultimately, Moses had one great run. Never had a prophet known God face to face like Moses had. And Moses didn’t let a bitter ending ruin a better run. He was faithful until the end.
Posted: Sam Cirrincione
Today you should read: Deuteronomy 33:1-29
As a city boy and somewhat hipster (not the elitist skinny jeans type hipster but in the sense that I get annoyed by anything that becomes mainstream and everyone else just drinks the Kool-Aid type hipster) I didn’t give Duck Dynasty a chance when it first started picking up steam 2 years ago. Students would tell me they’re hilarious and sarcastic, country people would tell me they’re good ol’ boys with great values, Christians would tell me they’re umm… Christian and they all would try to get me to watch the Robertson family on a weekly basis. Even my wife told me I’d really like it if I actually gave it a chance. I’d read brief episode recaps online to know what others were talking about (as a good missionary should) but I wouldn’t give in until one day I was reading up on the bio of Phil Robertson. I found his story intriguing as a former college QB standout and the life he chose in spite of his athletic abilities. This led to my first viewing of Duck Dynasty and I am not ashamed to say that everyone was right because I loved it. I loved it then and I love it still today. I loved it for all of the reasons listed above but more then anything I loved it because it shows a beautiful picture of what we see in today’s reading in Deuteronomy 33.
In today’s devotion we see Moses, a type of patriarch for Israel, blessing his sons before his death and reminding them who God is and what He will do with their families and His people if they God first. He talks about God’s love, justice and protection in this chapter and he knows that he will not be with them as they continue to the Promised Land but that God will be faithful to what he is passing down.
Phil Robertson is regularly called the patriarch of the Robertson family and as unpopular as that term can be in today’s culture, you can see through this picture of their family tree that him and his wife have raised up four sons who love Jesus and then got married to women who love Jesus and then raised up kids in a home where Jesus was at that center. Just staring at that picture and thinking about the legacy this family is leaving gives me the utmost of joy and hope. We’d be stupid to put these people up on a pedestal and just like any other Christian family this is not a promised that every kid will become a Christian and live their life for Jesus. But you can’t argue that God’s blessing for the family is being shown in the Robertsons as you see four sons of Phil who are leaders in their church and grandkids of Phil starting modest clothing lines and giving glory to God in all they do.
Let this be an encouragement to you today that men who sacrificially love and lead the home can start or continue that same family tree that Moses and Phil has exemplified and if you’re a husband/father how are you doing that today?
Posted: Erik Koliser