February 22, Deuteronomy 5-7

 

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Did you know that today’s reading contains some of the most important words in the whole Old Testament?  The words are recorded in Deuteronomy 6:4.  These words are known as the shema in Hebrew.  This is called the shema for that is the first word, translated “hear” in English, of verse 4.  As you read in verses 8-9, this saying of Deuteronomy 6:4 was to be posted on the doorpost of their homes and carried in a little pouch with them everywhere they went.  The imagery is strong.  It is as though God was saying, “Every time you leave your house, you are to remember that I am God. Everywhere you go, you are to be reminded that I am God.”

My interest is captured by Deuteronomy 6:7.  The principle is to “impress” (NIV) these commands on your children.  According to verse 7, there are two specific ways that we must do that.  First, we must have some scheduled times to teach our children.  Morning or evening prayer and devotions could be a scheduled time.  Weekly Bible Study and Worship in your church could be scheduled times.  How are you doing on your scheduled times of teaching your children the ways of God?  However, this verse also indicates that there should be some spontaneous times of teaching.  As you go about the day, opportune times will come to teach your children the ways of God.  My prayer today is that my spiritual eyes will be open to capture a teachable moment with my son.  If you have children still at home, how about making that your prayer?

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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February 21

 

Watch Numbers 17 - Deuteronomy 7 video  Watch an overview of Deuteronomy

My brother-in-law just recently ran a marathon.  That makes four guys who were in my wedding who have completed a marathon.  Just to clarify, I’m not one of the four.  I run for my health, not against my health.  The truth is—sometimes I go through slumps when I don’t really want to run.  My brother-in-law gives this advice.  “When you don’t want to run, go buy yourself a new pair of running shoes.” As we come to the book of Deuteronomy, it might be a good time to change running shoes.  Deuteronomy, as a series of sermons to those about to enter the Promised Land, recounts the history of Israel to this point and reminds this new generation of the laws for survival.  The challenge for us is that there will be parts of Deuteronomy that will be redundant.

If you are feeling weary in the marathon, here is a little advice:  change translations.  You might just see some things you did not see the first time.

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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February 20, Deuteronomy 1-4

 

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Watch Numbers 17 - Deuteronomy 7 video  Watch an overview of Deuteronomy

No one likes to review their failures, but that is exactly what Moses’ sermon as recorded in Deuteronomy 1-4 was for Israel.  As a history major, I am, however, well acquainted with the familiar saying, “If we do not pay attention to our history, we are doomed to repeat it.”As Moses recounted Israel’s failure to enter the Promised Land, two things must not escape our attention.  First, even in Israel’s failure, God’s promises and provision had stayed with them every step of the way.  Second, we begin to see that God’s pathway to victory had not changed.

Those are good lessons for us.  God does not give up on us even in our failures.  Second, even in our failures, God does not change His will for us.  He still expects us to obey His Word.

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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February 19, Numbers 34-36

 

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Come to think of it—Numbers is just as difficult as Leviticus.  I pray that the commitment that you have made to read God’s Word is rewarding at every turn of the page.  If you are frustrated, keep reading.  If you don’t understand, keep reading.  If you are confused at times, keep reading.  Just keep reading.

Today we read that God made a great promise to Israel.  Here is the way the promise is worded.  “When you enter Canaan…” (Numbers 34:2)  I think that it is a promise.  There were plenty opportunities for Israel to give up on God, and continued opportunities for God to give up on Israel.  But, God said, “When you enter Canaan…”  As we finish Numbers today, you might have that opportunity to give up on this reading plan.  Do me a favor while at the same time do yourself a bigger favor—Keep reading!

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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February 18, Numbers 31-33

 

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Watch Numbers 17 - Deuteronomy 7 video  Watch an overview of Numbers

Earlier in the book of Numbers, we learned that delayed obedience is not obedience. Today, we add to that principle the principle that incomplete obedience is not obedience. Remember when Israel decided that they would enter the Promised Land after they learned of their punishment at their decision not to go.  In today’s reading, among other details of the closing days of Moses’ life, we read God’s strong warning to drive out completely the inhabitants of the Promised Land.  In addition, we read God’s command to destroy all the evidences of pagan worship.  God’s reasoning is clear as given in the closing verses of chapter 33.  If they do not drive the inhabitants out completely, those remaining will give trouble.There’s a pretty good analogy to sin in that reasoning.  If we let sin “hang around” in our lives, that sin will cause trouble.  Don’t let sin cause you trouble today.  Heed the warning of Scripture and “flee.”   

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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