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 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 10

Read Deuteronomy 10 – THEREFORE, CHANGE YOUR HEARTS AND STOP BEING STUBBORN. :16 That is from the New Living Translation… Most other versions say CIRCUMCISE THE FORESKIN OF YOUR HEART, and when I read it that way it went a bit over my head.  I think the NLT captures the meaning without losing me on a rabbit trail of circumcision.  Our chapter illustrates that the LORD’s great love and mercy allows for second chances, changed hearts, and that is the main point of every person’s life… CHANGE YOUR HEART AND STOP BEING STUBBORN!

In our last chapter, Moses broke the tablets of the ten commandments, as Israel broke the law with their idol worship.  Then he prayed for Israel and the Lord gave mercy.  Now, the Lord has commanded Moses to carve out two new tablets, and make an ark to hold them.  God hand wrote the ten commandments once more on the new tablets… he listened to Moses pleas and gave Israel a second chance. (:10)

Verses :12-13 hold the answer to the aged old question, “What does God want from me?”  Beloved, fear the LORD your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. Will you be able to do this perfectly? NO, but strive to.  You will not meet God’s standard of perfect holiness on your own; you need a Savior.  Apart from Jesus, even a humanly good person falls desperately short.  Beloved, understand that the law shows you your need for a Savior.  The law condemns, but Jesus redeems!  Hallelujah for God’s great mercy and love – John 3:16-17 says it all!  

The last verse in our chapter :22, reveals that God keeps his promises.  He promised Abraham that he would make his offspring as numerous as the stars (Genesis 15:5) while he and his wife were childless – and now they are indeed as numerous as the stars of heaven.  

Beloved, in what way is Jesus speaking to your heart?