Daily Word

Deuteronomy 34

Read Deuteronomy 34 – And we end with a mystery! Moses wrote the first five books of the bible, with Deuteronomy being the last of the five… but here in Chapter 34, he dies, so who wrote it? I can share what I learned with a quick internet search, the most favored among scholars is that Joshua wrote it, but it is also possible that it was in fact – Moses, by divine revelation of his own demise! Or it could have been Eleazer the priest, Ezra the scribe, or Samuel the prophet. Jewish tradition names Joshua, and in the grand scheme of things we trust that it is God-breathed no matter the author, and, as my grandma used to say, “heaven knows”. And that’s where we will get the answer, if it even matters then.

Our chapter is just 12 verses long (how appropriate that it would be 12). At 120 years of age, Moses climbed Mount Nebo and the LORD showed him the Promised Land, and then he died.

Consider the magnitude of :6 “The LORD buried him in a valley near Beth-peor in Moab, but to this day no one knows the exact place.” We humans are so prone to idol worship, even Moses’ grave could have become one, but the LORD kept it secret. Scripture adds that Moses’ eyesight was clear and he was as strong as ever when he died. :7

“Now Joshua son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. So the people of Israel obeyed him, doing just as the LORD had commanded Moses.” :9 Isn’t that interesting, that the spirit of wisdom was passed on by the laying on of hands?

Moses had a relationship with the LORD like no other person on earth. The LORD knew him face to face. What a remarkable life!

Beloved, well done. Many Christians shy away from this chapter, but not you! Jesus is LORD, and he is the same yesterday, today and forever. (see Hebrews 13:8). May you be blessed for digging deeper, and knowing him more fully. We covered a lot of commandments for the Israelites in our chapter; you may be wondering what now? Tomorrow we will return to the New Testament with the book of James. James is a wonderful book that teaches us how to live out our faith.

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 33

Read Deuteronomy 33 – A life of legacy. Moses blesses each tribe of Israel with purpose and words to lead them. He focuses on God’s love for them. “Yes. He loved his people, all his holy ones were in his hand; so they followed in your footsteps, receiving direction from you. ” :3

The words are just beautiful. Moses is not feeble, even in his old age. It makes me think of my legacy. Will I speak words that strengthen and encourage my children, and most importantly, assure them of Jesus’ love for them?

Moses’ words to Joseph moved me when he said, “Blessed by the LORD be his land, with the choicest gifts of heaven above…. with the finest produce of the ancient mountains and the abundance of everlasting hills…” (13,15) I found those words so grounding as they were faced with their patriarch’s demise, yet the ancient mountains always have and always will provide.

And he closes so perfectly, with focus back to the LORD, “Blessed are you, Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD? He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword. Your enemies will cower before you, and you shall tread on their heights. ” :29

Beloved, this is one of the greatest things a person can know. In the New Testament we get, “If God is for us, who can stand against us? ” Romans 8:31

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 32

Read Deuteronomy 32 – Rock-a-bye-Baby… I was comforted by that song as a child even though it’s a bit dark.   Moses’ song is like that.   It starts off powerful, with full attention to the LORD and moves through rejection, anger, punishment and second chances.  

Read verses :1-4 aloud.  That is the LORD.   This song is comforting and serious. We serve a mighty, just and perfect God.

Sin enters the picture. (:5-6)  And God is gracious to remind Israel of the things he has done to rescue them in the past. (:7-14)

They turn against the LORD, and worship foreign gods.   The people grow lazy with complacency… something we all should guard against. (:15-18)

The LORD responds by turning his back on Israel, which leads to punishment. (:19-27)  And Beloved,  the LORD’s punishment is harsh and awful… may the threat of punishment be all that’s needed to steer you back to his narrow path. 

The song goes another 16 verses,  speaking of the great lengths the Lord will go to. Believer, believe! 

After the song,  the LORD tells Moses to climb a mountain from which he can see the Promised Land.   He wasn’t fit to enter it, but the LORD did let him see it before he died.   In the New Testament,  Moses shows up with Elijah for Jesus’ transfiguration. (Matthew 17)  Both of these things assure us that God is full of justice and mercy.  

And what about this song? Does knowing the evidence from the past and the consequence of rejecting God change things for you?   There is so much at stake and here is God’s Word,  available to all, teaching, admonishing and encouraging us to know Jesus and live fully!

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 31

Read Deuteronomy 31 – Moses passes the torch.
Moses is 120 years old. He has led Israel from slavery in Egypt, through 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, right up to the promised land they were about to enter. The LORD himself would cross over the Jordan ahead of them. He would destroy the nations living there and give them possession of their land. Joshua would lead them. It was time to be strong and courageous! (:1-8)
Moses then wrote the book of instructions and gave it to the priests. It was to be carried with the Ark of the LORD’S Covenant. It was to be read every 7 years to all of the people of Israel. He also put it to song (which is recorded in our next chapter). (:19)
Beloved, think about it, every nation I can think of has a national anthem song. It is a song that defines the nation. The LORD gave Moses a song that would stay in the hearts of the people long after Moses was gone.
The LORD had Moses call Joshua to the Tabernacle and he met them there. The LORD said to Moses, “You are about to die and join your ancestors. After you are gone, these people will begin to worship foreign gods, the gods of the land where they are going. They will abandon me and break my covenant that I have made with them….” It starts in vs. :14 and goes on explaining that Israel will abandon the LORD, and that this law would serve as a witness for the LORD against the people. Remember, the LORD knows the beginning to the end. He does not say this might happen. He says it will happen, and indeed, it does.
We have a National Anthem song in the USA. It seems we should be singing it more often and teaching it to our children. Many in our country have lost their way, much like the LORD said Israel would. “God bless America, land that I love, stand beside her, and guide her through the night with the light from above….” Remember, the LORD did not say knowing these things would save them, much like the law does not save us, but it serves as witness to show us our need for a Savior. And praise the LORD, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 11

Read Deuteronomy 11 – Choices… The Lord loves us so much that he designed each of us with freewill.  Freewill is a risk, but what good is love if there is no other option?  Love is only true love when we lay all other temptations aside and choose it.

Because the Israelites had seen the mighty deeds of the LORD with their own eyes, he is giving them the instruction to obey every command.  And he gives a WHY – so that they may have strength to go in and take over the land they were about to enter. (:7-8).  

God could have just zapped the inhabitants of the land in a divine and miraculous way, but he required that the Israelites take part in the take over.  It would be hard.  Hard things are worthwhile and more valuable to the one who worked for it. The land is wonderful, full of hills and valleys so they will not have to dig irrigation ditches as they did in Egypt.  God tells them it is, “a land that the LORD your God cares for.  He watches over it through each season of the year!” :12  But they still had to do their part.  

The LORD cautions them to guard their hearts lest they are deceived and turn away from the LORD and serve and worship other gods. :16  Beloved, that can happen so easily; Satan is a master at subtly whispering temptations that pull one away from Jesus… Maybe things come up on Sunday that keep you from church, maybe you stop reading your bible once or twice… then before you know it you find yourself so far away you aren’t sure how to get back.  Be on guard and protect your time with the LORD, that is how you show him your love. (:22)

Verses :26-32 present an interesting picture.  They are to pronounce the blessing at Mount Gerizim and the curse at Mount Ebal.  We love blessings!  We don’t love curses.  But as much as it’s good to know what you are aiming for, the prize, the blessing; it is also important to know what’s at stake, the downside, the curses.  May the words of verse :26 echo in your heart and mind:  LOOK, TODAY I AM GIVING YOU THE CHOICE BETWEEN A BLESSING AND A CURSE! 

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 9

Read Deuteronomy 9 – Today is the day.  Before you go forward, remember that every lesson that has brought you to this moment is because the LORD is your God.

Beloved,  as you read this passage consider the two layers.  On one layer,  Moses is speaking to the Israelites before they cross into the Promised Land that the LORD will hand them.  The other layer is to read this passage as a model for your own life.  Remember you are under the LORD’s care and control.  A healthy fear of the LORD, and surrender of any pride that would usurp Him is the right way to live.

In verse :4 the Israelites were clearly warned not to brag about their righteousness as the LORD brings them victory against the Anakim giants and their fortified cities.  And the LORD is doing this because of the wickedness of these nations, and His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not because of any earned merit on the part of Israel.

They are reminded of their stubbornness and some of the poor choices they have made that provoked the LORD to anger (:6-25).  Likewise we should never get ahead of ourselves.  God’s Word says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus”  Romans 3:23-24

Moses’ prayer in :25-29 changed the LORD’s wrath over the golden calf incident.  Look closely at the prayer as a model for your prayers.  Moses humbles himself, laying prostrate for 40 days before uttering a word.  He exalts the LORD; he reminds Him of the great things He has done because of who He (the LORD) is!  Moses reminded God of His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

Beloved, when you pray, get your thoughts quiet and focused before you celebrate the holiness of the Lord your God.  Thank Him for all He has brought you through.  Remind Him of the promises found in His Word, and then humbly present your petitions.  Pray like Moses.

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 7

Read Deuteronomy 7 – Remember who God is, all that He has done,  and all that He expects of you.

Whenever I begin a new journal, I recap what led me to Jesus, so that whomever should discover it in years or lifetimes to come, would have an understanding as to my relationship with Him. It renews my joy to look back at the Lord’s hand over my life. 

Moses is doing very much the same now for the Israelites, in preparation for entering the Promised Land. Moses gives the Lord’s very strict instruction concerning the seven nations who occupy the land.  The Lord gives a few ‘why’s’ for the people as well. 


Beloved, we believers are also the Lord’s treasured possession. Do you treat yourself as one who is treasured by God Almighty? You are representing your Heavenly Father in all you do and say.  It is a great blessing as well as a responsibility to live as one who loves and belongs to Jesus. 

Scripture goes on (:7-9) to elaborate the point that this is because of who God is and His faithfulness, and not because of their merits. This message was for the Israelites, but it also serves us well to remember we belong to Jesus, not by our merit but because He loved us first. (See 1 John 4:19 for more on this) 

Our chapter includes some great promises for the Israelites (:12-24) as well as the command to destroy all the peoples God hands over to them, and explains another ‘why’: FOR THAT WILL BE A SNARE TO YOU. :16b 

Beloved, we live in a time of relative peace and this may be hard to understand. Yet for us,  because of Jesus, our command is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength – and love our neighbors as ourselves.  Part of this is to purge all unrighteousness from our lives.  The Lord wants zero sin to blemish you, no immorality, no drunkenness, slander, idolatry, lies or deceit. (See Galatians 5 for more) And He tells you this so you will not be snared as well.

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 5

Read Deuteronomy 5 – The ‘good person test’… Moses repeated the ten commandments that were given to him on Mount Sinai in Exodus 20.  This always bears repeating.   These are the commandments and they require perfect obedience.  

I don’t measure up.   I strive to, and I miss the mark.  This is the law,  Beloved.   Do you need Jesus? Praise the Lord,  I certainly do!  And Hallelujah for Christ, who died for us while we were still sinners!  

Apart from Jesus,  under the law,  not one of us measures up.   Examine these ten commandments today, and revisit what the law requires. Thank the Lord in prayer, ask for help in areas you fall short.   Pray for wisdom and guidance that you may walk closer to your Savior each and every day. 

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 4

Read Deuteronomy 4 – Hear it. Know it. Do it.   The Lord is giving instructions through Moses. 

Verse :2 is where most organized religions and all belief systems outside of Christianity mess up.   As humans we want to make our mark, traditions are added, legalism is infused,  but the LORD is clear:  DO NOT ADD OR TAKE AWAY FROM WHAT GOD COMMANDS. 

America would be well served to remember,  repent and cling to verses :7-8. 

The Lord issues a strong warning against idolatry (:15-20). Beloved,  idolatry can slip in so easily… It can be fame,  fortune, cars,  clothes,  food,  even good things like your children or charity if your pride in them goes above your love for Jesus…. Anything you hold in esteem and leave God out of is dangerous territory.  And notice :19, the Lord includes the worship of His creation, the sun,  moon and stars,  in things we are not to bow down and serve. 

Beloved, non- believers will suggest the Bible is a book of rules and no fun.   I pray as you comb through you will see God’s immense love and protection…. Somewhat like parenting and traffic laws protect us,  every “Do not” is there for your good and God’s glory. I have a favorite quote by Pastor John Piper, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. ”  I pray you delight in His Word and statutes! 

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 3

Read Deuteronomy 3 – “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches.  Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit.  For apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5  In our chapter, Moses speaks of learning this lesson.

The Lord assured them of victory over the land of the giants; they conquered all sixty towns, fortified cities and villages, belonging to King Og, the last of the Rephaites (:3-11).  This repeated mentioning of the conquering of the Rephaites stresses that Israel’s original fears that kept them from the Promised Land for 40 years, were unfounded.  Truly, as Romans 8:31 says: “If God is for us, who can be against us?”  

Beloved, are there any giants in your life, keeping you from all that God has for you to do, to receive, to glorify Him by?

The Lord gave the conquered lands to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh with the stipulation that they must leave and cross the Jordan with their brothers until all of the land of Israel was secured (:18-20).  Although God permitted that the women, children and livestock could stay behind while only the fighting men left.  I learned in a deeper study of Joshua that this took about 7 years, and I am reminded of our military, who leave families behind to serve God and country.

Beloved, you may be called to go and you may be called to stay behind, either way you are called to PRAY, covering those on the fighting lines with spiritual protection and fortifying those left behind with all that is needed to endure and thrive in the absence of their loved one.

Moses pleaded with the LORD to cross the Jordan (:23-25).  The LORD could not allow it, but He did permit Moses to go up to Pisgah Peak, where he could lay eyes on all that the LORD would give to Israel.  

Beloved, sometimes God says no.  Notice that Moses remained faithful, even when he did not get what he hoped for, as you should too.  Remember, God is good all the time, even when He says no.