Category Archives: Deuteronomy

I can’t help myself

“I know what they are disposed to do, even before I bring them into the land I promised them on oath.” Deuteronomy 31:21.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Deuteronomy 30-31, Psalm 40, and 1 Corinthians 1.

God knows all about us.

He knows that we are sinners.

We are more than capable of doing wrong, even those of us who are believers.

We just can’t escape it……or can we?

The fact that I am inclined to eat too much does NOT mean that I must do it.  There are safeguards that I can set up to prevent it.

The same with sin.  If there are areas in my life where I am sin-prone, then I must set up safeguards in those areas.

It never fails that the closer I am to God the closer I will be to getting His Will done.  Apart from Him I can do plenty of bad things!

God saw that the Israelites were prone to drift away from Him.  He knew their tendencies.  He also assured them that He loved them. Even if they disobeyed Him, and suffered the consequences, He would welcome them back when they repented.

And so it is with us.  We are going to sin, but He will still love us and wait for us to repent and seek restoration with Him.  What a God He is!

“Lord, forgive me for my waywardness.  How You can still love me is unconscionable.  I deserve nothing from You.  Yet You have promised to spare me from what I deserve.  What mercy!  You have promised to bring me to where You are eternally.  What grace!  I love You, Father.”

I must be 24/7 with Him.

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This is a test

“And the prophet says, ‘Let us follow other gods’ (gods you have not known) ‘and let us worship them,’ you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer.  The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all you soul.” Deuteronomy 13:2-3.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; Deuteronomy 13-15 and Galatians 1.

We must acquire the ability to evaluate what we are being taught.  Not every word is His Word.

Moses tells the Israelites that God will test them from time to time by allowing a false message/messenger to be in their midst.

God expects the Israelites to know enough about God to be able to discern that something presented is not of God.

I attend church regularly.  How easy it is to “Amen” everything that is presented.  Every activity that is suggested.  But today’s verses would suggest otherwise!  I must listen carefully.  I must evaluate carefully.  I must be willing to question things.  All of this, of course, must be done with His Love motivating me.

“Lord, thank You for Your Word.  Help me to be a Godly discerner of what goes on in my midst.  Help me to see where I need to speak up and where I need to pipe down.  I desperately need You, Lord.  Help me, I beg.”

Do you believe everything you hear?

 

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Time for a lesson

“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 8:3.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Deuteronomy 7-9 and Mark 15.

The wandering Israelites were humbled so that they could learn a lesson.

What was the lesson?  God will take care of His own.

The hardest people to reach with the Gospel are the affluent.  Why?  They believe that they can get along just fine without God.

If the Israelites had been given everything they wanted, they would have begun to rely on themselves.

God made sure that this didn’t happen.

I must trust God.  He knows best.  I know wrong!

Every day must be one in which I am tightly attached to Him all day.  I cannot assume control.  I cannot aspire to independence.

To read the Bible gives one so many examples of God taking care of folks.  Often the obstacles are overwhelming, BUT God is not deterred by obstacles.  He’s deterred by my disobedience.  My self-reliance.

“Lord, I need You every second.  Forgive me for declaring, by my actions, my independence from You. I want You in complete control of my life.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

What has God taught you lately?

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There is a point of no return

“You came back and wept before the Lord, but he paid no attention to your weeping and turned a deaf ear to you.”  Deuteronomy 1:45.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Deuteronomy 1-2 and Mark 12.

Moses is reviewing the attempt by the Israelites to go it alone into the Promised Land.

The Israelites were wiped out and then they came back to God all sorry about it.  God ignored them.

There are points of no return with God.  These folks discovered one.  King Saul was another one.  He displeased God and God left him to his own devices.

When we stand before God on Judgment Day there will not be time for do-over’s.  We will have had our opportunity to be right with Him.  The final horn will blow, and we will face Him.

So many in this world live under the delusion that they can sort “life-after” things later.  They are fools!

We do not know when the end will come for us.  It could be today.

Because of our uncertainty of the time, we must be ready to meet Him NOW.

We must recognize ourselves as sinners, worthy of eternal separation from God.  We must be upset by our sins.  We must believe that Jesus took the penalty for us for the sins we’ve committed. We must love God for what He did for us and vow to serve Him the rest of our lives.

This is the Gospel and the problem with it is that it is tooooo good to be true in the minds of many.  They want to do something to earn Heaven.  God has already DONE what needs to be done.

Recognize your condition (sinner worthy of eternal separation from God), ask for His forgiveness, accept what Jesus did to cleanse your sin record, and invite Him to take every part of your life over. Don’t wait a second longer.

“Lord, many have no tomorrow.  Open their hearts to You NOW, I beg.  Fill them with You.  I love You, Lord.”

Have you settled the life-after things yet?

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Why things are as they are

“Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance…” Deuteronomy 32:52.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Deuteronomy 32-34, and 1 Corinthians 2.

What we do effects what will be.

Today’s verse relates to Moses.  The “therefore” references his anger at having to provide water for the whining Israelites.

God was displeased with what happened and it cost Moses an entry into the Promised Land.

We learn in Chapter 34 that when Moses died he was in perfect health.  He died because the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land and Moses wasn’t going to be allowed entrance.

I must live my life as close to God as I can.  I do not want to jeopardize my future because of an ungodly action.

My life is filled with sin.  How will I keep from doing something like Moses did?  I am so needy.  I must stay in tight fellowship with Him.

I must not let my circumstances effect my behavior.  I am currently in the loveliest of settings (St. Lucia) with an unmatched collection of amenities.  Yet even here, detachment from God, comes too easily.  There must be no detachments!

“Lord, You know me yet You love me.  It makes no sense.  Thank You for Your Word.  I must be aware that my actions have consequences.  I love You.  Help me to live it out in every setting.  You are my God.”

God is in charge.  We must strive to do what He wants in every circumstance.

 

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That figures!

“Many disasters and calamities will come down on them, and in that day they will ask, ‘Have not these disasters come on us because our God is not with us?’”  Deuteronomy 31:17-18.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Deuteronomy 30-31, Psalm 40, and 1 Corinthians 1.

No rocket science here!

Of course, if they abandoned God they would suffer the consequences.  Things were pretty straight forward in the Old Testament when it came to the Israelites.

You would think that they would have figured things out but so often they didn’t.  God predicts to Moses what will happen and ahead it will.

When my life is a struggle, there comes a time when I gather my wits about me, and figure out why.  The answer never changes: You have detached yourself from God’s lead.  You have gone your own way.

You would think that I would know better.  I want to be close to God full-time and often I am.  I’m walking close.  I am thinking about Him.  I am asking for His guidance.  Other times, and it happens so quickly, I have chosen to go my own way. I initially hope that He is along but He never is when the route is of my choosing.

The big trap for me is often reacting badly to things I don’t like or I haven’t initiated.  Someone does something that impacts me.  I forget that God uses other people to test me, to guide me.  I often respond godlessly.  It is embarrassing after the fact.  The Israelites must have known the same feeling.  We are ALL sinners.

“Lord, I need You every second.  Forgive me for missing You.  Forgive me for abandoning You.  You have everything that I ever need or want.  I cling now to You.  Direct my path.  This day is Yours’, Father.”

Is there a worse feeling than being a believer and being loose from God?

 

 

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In God I trust……completely?

“It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere.  Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.” Deuteronomy 13:4.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Deuteronomy 13-15, and Galatians 1.

Beware of those who advocate moderation.

There are strong words in Revelation against a church that had a lukewarm approach to Godliness.  They were repulsive to Him.

Today’s verse advocates complete surrender to God.

Why would I want to do anything less?  My answer is that I fear where total commitment might lead me, so I “hedge” my level of commitment: “I’ll do anything, Lord, but not this.”  I may not say those words but my actions reflect my moderation thinking.

Brother Lawrence gives good instruction: “Think about God, as often as you can, day and night, in everything you do.  He is always with you.  Just as it would be rude if you deserted someone who was visiting you, why would you be disrespectful of God by abandoning His presence?”

I must be totally committed to God for my own spiritual good.  If I lessen my attachment to Him I will be easily distracted from His Will.  Apart from Him, I can do nothing of Godly value.

“Lord, I need You every second.  Forgive me for moderating my commitment in following You.  I know better.  I love You, Father.”

Moderation does not fit with Godliness.

 

 

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I’m vacationing; how will I stay connected to God?

“You must not worship the Lord your God in their way.”  Deuteronomy 12:4.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Deuteronomy 10-12, and Mark 16.

Do you have a nice quiet place in your house/apartment where you can worship God during the week?  What if you will be away from home for a while?  What do you do?  Do you take a “vacation” from God?

I am going to be away from home with family until March 20th.  That will be ten days away from the wonderful setting I have at home for worship time with God.

My next two Sundays, Lord willing, will be in St. Lucia.  I can find no churches to attend there, so I must improvise.

Vacations are wonderful times to be in God’s remarkable creations.  I must take mental and verbal note of those things.

I have also learned that most vacationers sleep in.  Knowing this, I plan to spend quiet time with God on beaches just after sunrise.  What a way to start a day that will be!

“Lord, I thank You for Your Word.  I thank You for the opportunities You have given to me to read, and study, and write about It.  Help me to be never lose touch with You in whatever setting You place me over the next ten days.  I love You, Lord.”

Our God is omnipresence.  He is already in every setting we are in and will be in.  Let us enjoy His presence.

 

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I’ve got you covered…….in prayer

“I lay prostrate before the Lord those forty days and forty nights because the Lord had said he would destroy you.  I prayed to the Lord and said, ‘Sovereign Lord, do not destroy your people, your own inheritance that you redeemed by your great power and brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand.’” Deuteronomy 9:25-26.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Deuteronomy 7-9, and Mark 15.

God was angry with the Israelites and told Moses that He was going to destroy them.

Moses had plenty of reasons to be angry with the Israelites as well and it might have been expected that he would go along with God on this one.  But he didn’t.

Moses pleaded with God while stretched out for a long time before Him.

And God agreed with the request of Moses and the Israelites were spared.

Think of what the Israelites were doing that angered God: They were worshiping a calf made of gold.

God is angered by competition.  There are no other gods but Him.  The Israelites, however, rejected God and went for a god of their own creating.  Isn’t that often what we do.  “Things” become more important to us than God.  “I am Yours, Lord but I have to have, or do, this.”  Our relationship to Him is lessened by our relationship to other things.

Moses stepped in on behalf of a people distracted by other gods.  We must, first, be sure that other gods have no place in our lives.  Secondly, we must intercede for the wayward in our midst that God would spare them.

Moses gives us a wonderful example of intercessory prayer.  God hears our prayers.  Will we follow the lead of Moses and intercede for others?

“Lord, forgive me for letting other gods invade my way of life.  Nothing is more important that my relationship to You.  Forgive me for slacking off about interceding for others.  There are so many needs BUT none of them are beyond Your Reach.  Help me to pray with that in mind. You are simply amazing, Father.”

Are you covering anyone in prayer?  Moses sets a wonderful example of how it is done.

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“Moses, the answer is still, ‘No'”

“At that time I (Moses) pleaded with the Lord: ‘Sovereign Lord, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand.  For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do?  Let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan – that fine hill country and Lebanon.’  But because of you the Lord was angry with me and would not listen to me.  ‘That is enough,’ the Lord said. ‘Do not speak to me anymore about this matter.  Go up to the top of Pisgah and look west and north and south and east.  Look at the land with your own eyes, since you are not going to cross this Jordan.’”  Deuteronomy 3:23-27.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Deuteronomy 3-4, Psalm 36, and Mark 13.

In yesterday’s entry from Deuteronomy chapter one, I described Moses as unrepentant and resigned to his fate of not crossing the Jordan River to enter the Promised Land.

Today’s lengthy entry still finds Moses unrepentant (“because of you”) but I did find Moses asking God to change His mind.

God doesn’t change His mind but does give Moses a look at the Promised Land from the top of Mount Pisgah.

God works in His own ways.  We can’t assume anything.

Think of Moses; he was told by God that He was going to destroy the Israelites and start a new “chosen people” through him.  Moses resisted this and God changed His mind.  Then Moses wanted to cross a river to see God’s promised place and is turned down.

Think of Paul; one time he’s in a jail cell with Silas and God gets him out that night.  Another time he’s in jail and he is kept there two years.

There is no pattern that we earthlings can count on other than the important fact that God is calling the shots.  He will do what is ultimately best for His people.  We must see that Big Picture or our trust in Him may change in the midst of our circumstances.  He is in charge no matter what happens.

“Lord, You know best.  Forgive me for letting my circumstances influence my trust level in You.  You have always been loving and just.  You know what I need and what I don’t need.  Manage my life.  I give you full charge.  I love You, Father.”

God will get it right.  Play along with Him.

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