The LORD knew the people in a time to come would turn to others gods and He would hide His face from them. This song was designed to “be a witness” against Israel; it was designed to prick their conscience after the curse of their sin came upon them. The LORD said in Deuteronomy 31:19 "Now therefore, write down this song for yourselves, and teach it to the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for Me against the children of Israel.” What a powerful way to awaken a generation; by a prophetic song written generations in the past about the situation they would be in.
Psalm 91 is in today’s reading because Moses is the author of it. I love how he says in verse 2, “I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."” First we hear His Word; then hearing brings faith. Faith cause us to do what 2 Corinthians 4:13 says, “…since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I BELIEVED AND THEREFORE I SPOKE," we also believe and therefore speak.”
Under the Law, blessing came by obedience. Deuteronomy 28:1 says, "Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.”
It should be our aim to “diligently obey the voice of the LORD,” but there is one thing we should keep in mind: “…the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). Also, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). As we aim to do His Word let’s remember, we are blessed through Jesus Christ and faith in what He did for us. If we really have faith, our faith will have action, but it isn’t action to try to earn His approval… its action because we believe. When we truly believe in Jesus Christ, we believe His Word, and true faith will always create actions that correspond. Again, here is the key difference: we don’t do righteous actions to gain approval and blessings, but instead, we receive righteousness and blessing by faith and that faith produces righteous actions.
Sorry for writing so little on these 4 chapters. Hopefully others have more to add.
Chapter 26 teaches us the principle of confession when we give. When they gave, they were to make declaration how it is the LORD who set them free from Egypt and brought them into a good land. They were reminding themselves that God always meticulously takes care of His people. Then they would lay down their offering in worship and rejoice and ask God to bless His people. When we give an offering, we should take a moment to thank the LORD for His faithfulness and ask Him to continue His blessings.
I didn’t write much about the many laws contained in these Scriptures, but would love to hear any comments or questions.
Deuteronomy 17:16-20 gives advice to the kings that Israel would have. It gives him the advice so “that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren.” Whenever we acquire greater gifting or positions, we must take heed that our heart is not lifted up at the same time.
Deuteronomy 18:10-14 says those who practice witchcraft, soothsaying, interpreting of omens, sorcery, being a medium, being a spiritists, or calling up the dead is an abomination to the LORD. He goes to say in verse 15 who we are to listen to instead: "The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear;” He has given us Jesus His Son to listen to. How sad that people listen to the enemies counterfeits; he just wants to kill, steal and destroy. We can listen to Jesus Christ; He said the Holy Spirit would make known everything the Father and Him speak to us.
Chapter 19 reiterates about the cities of refuge; God wanted these established so there would be no innocent bloodshed. (Deut. 19:10) The LORD has been very merciful with the United States considering all the innocent blood that has been shed.
Deuteronomy 19:11-13 says "…if anyone hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him and attacks him and strikes him fatally so that he dies, and he flees into one of these cities, 12) then the elders of his city shall send and take him from there, and hand him over to the avenger of blood, so that he may die. 13) Your eye shall not pity him, but you shall purge the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, so that it may be well with you.” The carnal mind thinks that if we respect life we won’t let anyone die, but God says “it will be well with you” when you kill the murderer. We are commanded to never murder, but for a nation to bring justice to a murderer by killing him is not murder. King David killed thousands of his enemies, but he only became a murderer when he had Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, killed in battle. David said in Psalms 51:14, “Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God.” It was only after he had Uriah killed that he made this prayer. I don't want to sound like i think capital punishment is a small thing, but when it is used in cases that deserve it, we are actually honoring life. We can't think we are honoring life when capital punishment has decreased (43 people last year), but we've legalized abortion and the death of Terri Schiavo.
As the LORD gave the nation of Israel His law, He wasn’t just giving them “religious” laws apart from civil laws; He was giving them His law that would govern every aspect of their life as a nation. Deuteronomy 14:28 talks about a tithe of the “third year;” this was another 10% given on the 3rd and 6th years during their seven year cycle that the poor could eat of. The United States has many programs to help the needy, but the people who fund these programs don’t do it as freewill offering from the heart; nope, pay your taxes or get fined. I’m not saying I’m opposed to every government program, but when people do it willingly as offerings to be a blessing, it works a whole lot better. When I give money to help feed the poor, I give to Christian ministries. I don’t do this just because I’m a Christian, but because they do so much more with less. When it is the government that is running the programs, so much of the funds are wasted or spent on bureaucracy. When people give from the heart and the stewardship of the money is by people who are serving out of love, so much more is done. If we had a nation that did things with the LORD’s principles, there would be very few poor amongst us and we would be doing it with a lot less. Why is it that taxes keep increasing and our nation isn't any better? The beautiful thing about God’s law is that it doesn’t just fix the natural problems (like poverty) but if fixes the real problems of the heart (like greed and fear of lack).
Deuteronomy 11:16 says, “Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them.” We must take careful stock to the condition of our heart. It is for our protection the LORD told us in verse one to “love the LORD your God, and keep His charge, His statutes, His judgments.” When we love Him in our heart, keeping His word will follow. When we try to do His word from a wrong heart motive, our heart will end up “turning aside.” We need to do what the LORD says in verse 18: “lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.” Putting His word in our heart isn’t just about learning how to serve Him appropriately, but it will also cause our love for God to grow.
Deuteronomy 8:5 says, “You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the LORD your God chastens you.” The LORD will take us from immature babes in Christ to full maturity if we allow Him to do in us what He desires. Philippians 1:6 says, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
Chapter 9 is a powerful reminder to remain humble after God does good things in our life. The LORD tells them it doesn’t have anything to do with their righteousness that He is driving out the other nations but because of the wickedness of the other nations and so He can fulfill His word. We must always remember that the good God does in our lives is all because of Jesus Christ.
When the people saw the glory of God come down on the mountain in fire, they feared they would die. The LORD’S response is in Deuteronomy 5:29: “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!” The LORD wants it to be "well with us" and our children; that is why He gave us His Word. We need to live a life conscience of God presence and conscience of eternity and as we would do His Word it will be well with us.
We all have negative things we could look back on and think about, but we need to remember the victories the LORD has given us. Even if they seem small or insignificant, we can still praise God that He worked on our behalf and for our good. The LORD said in Deuteronomy 3:2 “…you shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites.” After their victory against Sihon and the Amorites, they could look back on that from now on and say to themselves, “the next battle we go into, God is going to give us the victory just like He did against the Amorites.”
It’s hard to imagine a people walking away from the LORD after what Moses said in chapter 4, but they would need to take heed to Deuteronomy 4:9:
“Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons.”
They would need to diligently keep their soul so they would not forget and drift from what was in their heart. How often people start with good intentions but are not diligent, so they find them self drifting from what is true. Also, if they didn’t diligently teach these truth’s to their children and grandchildren, the next generations would wander from the truths that caused them to be blessed. So, as the body of Christ must be diligent with their own heart and life, they must diligently raise up the next generation.
Deuteronomy is the last of the 5 books of Moses in which he recounts the Law of God to the people just before his death and they begin to take the land.
Moses recounts how that after all God had done for Israel, the voice of 10 people discouraged the nation. Deuteronomy 1:28 says, “… Our brethren have discouraged our hearts, saying, "The people are greater and taller than we; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven; moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there." We must never listen to the naysayers; listen to the word of faith.
Deuteronomy 2:7 says, "For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows your trudging through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing." No matter how difficult of situations you go through in life, Jesus intimately knows what you are going through and will never leave you
Read through the Bible with us in 2012! The reading plan can be downloaded below; we are reading in chronological order. Check back often to read the blog posts on the Bible readings and discuss things in the "comments" section.
2012 Bible Plan