Category Archives: Deuteronomy

It’s still your fault

“Because of you the Lord became angry with me (Moses) also and said, ‘You shall not enter it, either.’” Deuteronomy 1:37.

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

I have looked at several commentaries and I can’t spin it the way they do.

They (the commentary writers) claim that Moses was talking about the consequences of disobedience.  Respectfully, it doesn’t read that way to me.

This sounds, to me, as if Moses has chosen to still blame the Israelites for his not being able to enter the Promised Land.

No question that the Israelites WERE a big problem and often so.  Moses was told to do something, get water from a rock, and because of his anger with the Israelites went about doing God’s will in an ungodly way.

God told Moses after it happened that his behavior would cost him.  I have read nowhere that Moses repented and nowhere that he tried to bargain with God.

Moses had bargained with God before.  At one point, God wanted to destroy the Israelites but Moses pleaded with Him not to and God changed course.

This verse tells me that Moses was still carrying a grudge against the people he was leading.  God couldn’t have liked that.

I must be on the God-side of situations.  I must do what He wants me to do in them.  If I am being Godly and things go badly, I must assume that His Will is in it.  This may not be easy.

Likewise, if I am being ungodly, I must know that there will be consequences.  Moses’ consequence was severe by our thinking but we have no certainty as to what happens after death.

We also know from the New Testament that Moses was on a high mountain with Elijah when the transfiguration took place.  He was surely in the Promised Land then!

“Lord, I must do Your Will in every situation.  Forgive me for making my choices apart from You.  Help me to move on from things in the past that are troubling.  I want to be up-to-date with You.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

We must take ownership of our OWN sinfulness.

hw-35

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You never know when

“Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.” Deuteronomy 34:7.

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

Our days are numbered by God.

It is easy to think that death will come after we’re sick for a while. It could happen that way.

In the case of Moses however, he appears to have been in good health. BUT God said that Moses would be dying……and it happened.

How foolish of me to ever think that I have control over things. God is in control.

Whenever I fall into the folly of planning things apart from God I am implying that I have control of my future.

If the length of my life is unknown, then I must make the Godly most of this day. There may not be another day. There may not be a moment with people.

Moses did not die immediately. He was told by God that he wasn’t going into The Promised Land. Since the Israelites were just about to enter The Promised Land, Moses knew what would be soon happening.

We don’t have the advantage Moses had. We must live with the certainty that there may not be a tomorrow for us.

How will we live today if there is no tomorrow for us?

“Lord, You are in charge of everything. I do not know my future. I do know that I want to please You in whatever future I have. Fill me right now with Your Holy Spirit. Take me over completely. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart please You today. Help me, Father.”

Only a fool plans the future without God.

+7 pizza & turkey dinner

hwfm-sept-28

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Clean up your act!

“You must purge the evil from among you.” Deuteronomy 22:21.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Deuteronomy 22-24, and Galatians 4.

I am quite certain that this reference has to do with setting rules for group conduct.

I choose to internalize it.

I cannot wallow in mud without getting dirty.

If I examine my life, I know what it takes for me to go off the deep end. Certain buttons get pressed and away I plunge.

In the midst of such things, I know I’m where I shouldn’t be. Can I stop? Not always.

The cure for me is to avoid getting anywhere near the potentially troublesome areas. Sometimes that is easier said than done.

This all traces back to my relationship with God. When I am living full-time in His presence, I have a much better chance of representing Him the way I must.

Satan is extremely powerful. He knows when we are vulnerable. He whispers to us as he did to Eve: “This is okay this time.” And the next thing we know we’re in the deep (godless) mire.

When I fail Him I feel miserable afterwards. I cry out for forgiveness because I don’t want anything to interfere with my relationship to God. I want to be able to rightly represent Him and I know that sin interferes with that desire.

It is an ongoing struggle and I CANNOT win the battle apart from Him.

“Lord, purge the evil from within me. I want to be clean and usable. Forgive me for ever finding pleasure away from You. Continue to prick my conscience when I am in the wrong so that I can repent and be restored to fellowship with You. I love You, Father!”

You must cry out to God for help in extracting yourself from known evil.  You can’t do it without Him.

+6 steady

hwfm-sept-27

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God needs me at my best

“You must be blameless before the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 18:13.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Deuteronomy 16-18, Psalm 38, and Galatians 2.

Nothing too hard to figure out in this one.

If I am going to rightly represent God I must be prepared to do it unencumbered.

God wants my full attention. He isn’t looking for part-time “help.”

This does not mean that I should report to the nearest monastery! It means, instead, that in what I do He must be comfortable in that midst.

I get into difficulty in my spiritual life when I go waking hours with no thought of God. After the fact, I feel a sense of loss. Why? Because I want God in everything I do.

I must, therefore, be sure that God is front and center in the planning stage of my day. I cannot invite Him along after I have made the plans.

Jobs have routines. We report at certain times to do the bidding of others. Does that mean that God can’t be brought into such an arrangement? Hardly. Before I go to work or on my way to work, I can commit everything that involves me to His lead. This sets me up for the uncertainties of the day ahead.

As the day is going on I can shoot quick prayers for guidance and thanks. This will keep me connected to God despite being on the job.

“Lord, I want to be blameless. Cleanse me of sins known and unknown. Direct my path. Forgive me for loosening our relationship by my actions. I need You every second. Do not leave me or forsake me! Guide me, O thou great Jehovah this day!”

Get yourself blameless so that God can use you.

+6 progress

hwfm-August-4

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Love foreigners

“And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.” Deuteronomy 10:19.

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

The Israelites knew what it was like to be foreigners. It had happened to them when they settled in Egypt.

Now they are being told to love foreigners because they knew what being a foreigner felt like.

How would you love someone from another culture?

I remember traveling to Europe. In English-speaking areas, it was quite easy. Then I recall going to Greece. That was extremely difficult. The language was different. The money was different. There are so many things that become complicated when you are a foreigner.

I need to be willing to bridge some gaps with those from another culture. And as I think of it now, there is no question it would be a struggle to offer help.

I have occasionally felt a need to know Spanish. There are literally millions of folks in the US who only know Spanish. If I knew that language, then I could at least know what need they wanted to get met.

I do not have foreigners in my immediate midst. But I know that the church I attend has some active ministries in place to help foreigners.

“Lord, help me to know where I fit in your command to love foreigners. As usual, in my own strength I have no idea where to even start. That’s good because it forces me to rely entirely on You for direction. Lead me, Father. Guide me, Jehovah, I beg.”

The verse is a command, not a suggestion.

+5 – abstinence

hwfm-sept-24

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Do not over-rate yourself

“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” Deuteronomy 8:17-18.

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

We have not gotten from God what we deserve…..and it’s a good thing!

We can be thankful that God’s love often overrides His Justice.

We’re sinners in the past/present/future. BUT God gives us stuff.

He puts us in positions where we gain advantages.

If I will look back from where I am now, I will see that God enabled me to get here.

A significant fallacy is to believe that my “goodness” forced God to bless me. My so-called goodness is nothing. I do not earn God’s blessing. He chooses to give it to me.

I must remember that my sins warranted my getting eternal separation from God. There was nothing I could do to prevent it. BUT God sent Jesus to suffer for me the consequences of my sinfulness. He became sin for me!

When I receive from God it is a gift. Sometimes that gift is hard to take but for those who trust Him there will be eventual good out of it.

I am still keeping a “Thank You” notebook. Located in a prominent spot, I make short entries in it thanking God for things as the day goes on. It keeps me mindful of some of His blessings. I am very certain that I only catch a very few of what actually comes my way. But it is an attempt to keep me mindful of what He does, and is doing, for me. You might want to try it.

“Lord, I am nothing of value apart from You. I thank You so much for Your blessings to me. Keep me mindful of You. Forgive me for missing You in my daily routines. I thank You for being able to walk. I thank You for part-time work. I thank You for a wife who cares for me and about me. The thank You’s You deserve are endless!”

Every good gift you have ever received has come from God.

+8 slippage

Sunrise May 4th

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“Moses, would you like some cheese with that whine?”

“You made me do it!”

“Because of you the Lord became angry with me also and said, ‘You shall not enter it, either.’” Deuteronomy 1:37.

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

Doesn’t Moses sound like us: “You made me do it.”

When we read about the heroes of the Bible it is easy to imagine them as faultless. They weren’t.

It is also easy to make the same mistake with the “saints” in our churches. We pedestal them……..and they don’t deserve it.

Many are turned off by believers because they realistically can’t imagine themselves as being as “good” as believers appear to be.

I am not encouraging sinfulness among believers. My point is that we are ALL sinners.

We sin even after you become believers. The difference is that because we believe in God your sins (past/present/future) are forgiven. On the other hand, those sins are held against the unbeliever.

Am I willing to take ownership of my mistakes? Moses clearly made a mistake by whacking the rock (to get water) instead of speaking to the rock. God told him to do one thing and he deliberately chose to do what he wanted to do.

Yes, Moses was angry at the Israelites but he still needed to be in God’s control enough to obey God instead of yielding to his own angry reaction.

I must be tight with God in order to properly react to life’s circumstances. If I get loose from Him then, like Moses, I can lose my cool and do something unfortunate.

“Lord, I cling to You. I need You every second. Prick my conscience if I have moved from You and help me restore our relationship. I love You. You have everything I will ever need. Guide me, O thou great Jehovah!”

Moses is clearly one of us.

+8 holding

m5

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Seeing the big picture

“There the Lord showed him the whole land….” Deuteronomy 34:1

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – Deuteronomy 32-34 & 1 Corinthians 2)

Moses got a look at the Promised Land before he died.

I know that the size of the Promised Land was not too large but I suspect that God had to give Moses special vision to see as much as he did.

How easy it is to limit my vision to the immediate. By doing that I forget the past and lack a vision for the future.

God has always been with me. Like Nathanael, He “saw me under the fig tree.” He knows what I’ve been doing. He knows where I’ve been.

God is in charge of my future….if I’ll let Him be. He knows what is best for me. I could not surrender my future into better hands.

Seeing the big picture involves keeping the God of my past in mind. I must also be certain to be on board with Him for the road ahead. Minimizing either of those concepts is a mistake.

“Lord, open my eyes to You. My big picture must include You. You have loved me and will continue to love me. Prick my conscience when I betray Your love. I want my life to be in right relationship with You. Fill me with You, Father.”

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Get rid of evil in your life

“You must purge evil from among you.” Deuteronomy 19:19

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – Deuteronomy 19-21 & Galatians 3)

If you swim in muck you’ll soon be covered with it!

God was giving Moses insights into how the Israelites should live in the Promised Land including today’s chosen verse.

The Israelites would need to be able to recognize evil to get this directive done.

The thought of being “tolerant” of sin was not an option. It must be eliminated.

This verse is easy to apply to my life. I must recognize/avoid evil.

My television is equipped with a remote. I have the instant option of changing the channel. I even have an off/on button if that becomes necessary. If something I am watching turns evil I can do something about it and must.

In order to rightly represent God I must be tightly connected to Him. If this tightness is going on I will be much more alert to things that are trying to take me into sin or have taken me into sin. I will want to quickly correct the situation. It may be as simple as getting away from something. It may involve an apology. Whatever it is it needs to be acted on immediately. Delay often leads to indirect tolerance of something that is wrong. This is part of the pathway to acceptance.

“Lord, I want to be clean before You. Wash me of sin. Prick my conscience when I’m in it or heading into it. I want to rightly represent You wherever I am this day. I love You, Father.”

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Testing

“The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 13:3

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – Deuteronomy 13-15 & Galatians 1)

Not everything that comes along is something I should do.

Men with special powers were coming among the Israelites attempting to lure them away from God.

This verse calls them “testing.”

Remember the New Testament scene in which Jesus had attracted a large crowd and mealtime was closing in. Jesus asked the disciples what should be done about it. Then we learn that Jesus was testing the disciples. As you recall, they flunked the test as they suggested that their resources were limited and that Jesus should send the crowd home.

The Israelites were to worship only God. Over and over in the Old Testament God explains that those already in the Promised Land worshipped other gods. The Israelites needed to totally resist any inclination to stray from the true God.

Folks showing up with special powers would attract attention but the Israelites were to be very certain that there was no segue they should make to moving to worshipping their gods.

My walk with God must be tight. The idea of having counterfeit gods can have no roots in a life fully committed to Him.

“Lord, I need You every second. Forgive me for following and/or being attracted to counterfeit gods. Reveal them to me so that I can disconnect from them. You are my one and only God. There is none but You. Thank You for loving a sinner like me. Wash me so that I can rightly represent You in my midst this day.”

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