IMPORTANT MESSAGE: For those in our group, please make sure you watch my Facebook Live from yesterday for some important information. You may watch it here. Also, hang in there with us today – you may see more ads than usual as we are busy working in the background on the website today. Thank you for your kindness, grace, and encouragement! ~CJ
GOOD MORNING BROTHERS AND SISTERS!
Today’s readings are Deuteronomy 1-2
I’m SO EXCITED to be starting Deuteronomy with you! The Hebrew title of this book is “Devarim”, which means “words”.
Hebrews took the title from the first few words of the books and the first few in this one is “These are the words…” Hey, that might win you a bazillion dollars on a game show someday? The English title is taken from the Greek word Deuteronomion, which means “second law”.
The author of this book is Moses, see Deut 31:9. However, chapter 34, documenting the death of Moses, is attributed to Joshua.
This is the fifth book of the Bible and completes the portion of the Bible known as the Torah (in Hebrew) or Pentateuch (in Greek).
The book of Deuteronomy brings us the last few months in the life of Moses. How does a great man of YHWH spend the last days of his life? Moses spends his time reiterating, reminding, underlining and, with an earnest heart, imparting once more all of the wisdom that YHWH has given as he urges Israel to hold tight to this wisdom. This book is a great summary of the previous four but does not diminish them in anyway, instead, as Messiah upheld all that YHWH spoke to His death on the cross, so does Moses uphold all that YHWH has spoken to his death.
And in case you’re wondering, Deuteronomy is not nearly as easy to spell as one would think.
Important things to note:
Deuteronomy builds upon the first four books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. Therefore, it is assumed that the reader already has a foundational knowledge of these four books to have something to build upon. Certainly the Israelites living and hearing these words of Moses would be well versed in YHWH’s laws and instructions as they had been raised in it, out there in the desert.
Many scholars consider this to be Moses’s version of the Sermon on the Mount. In this book He is reminding them of their journey and what all they had gone through, how YHWH has been faithful, and then explaining the instructions of God and how they apply to this new generation. He is not creating new laws or changing old laws but adding clarification, just as Messiah did in His sermon on the mount (Matthew 5).
At the opening of our reading the tense seems a little off. It is important to know (as you will probably catch on) that Moses is recounting the history of the people to this new generation. These people he is speaking to would have been very small children or not even born yet when these events he is recounting happened and so it is important to remind them of why they have had to spend their life up until this point wandering in the desert because of their parent’s disobedience. No doubt they were WELL aware that their lives could have been spent in the land of milk and honey – but it is important to be ever mindful of their roots so that they can break the cycle and remain obedient.
As we’ve spoken about before, there are cycles of behavior that are handed down from one generation to the next. I view these as a form of a generational curse. But as we’ve also seen, YHWH makes a way for individuals to step out from these curses by choosing to follow Him.
Essentially, Israel marched in circles in the desert for forty years because they lacked faith. They believed in YHWH, He even dwelled among them, they saw His fire and His cloud and heard His voice, but they did not back that up by having faith in Him to believe He was able to care for them. As a result, they became spiritually dormant.
Believing in God is great but without faith and actions that come from that faith, it doesn’t do you a whole lot of good.
“You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish man, that faith without works is useless?” ~James 2:19
Satan believes in YHWH. What makes us different from Him? Hopefully, obedience.
If you feel like you’re in the same spot you were when you first became a believer, or haven’t progressed much at all, it is very likely a case of spiritual dormancy. I wonder how many collective years of spiritual dormancy we all have – I bet the number would be staggering! My life alone has been filled with far more dormant years than thriving ones. The good news is that these dormant roots can be awakened and thrive unlike anything we’ve ever known is possible.
How? Time in the Word, time in Prayer, and stepping in line with YHWH’s Will.
So now we continue to walk the walk we’ve talked about so long. We are searching the Scriptures daily, maturing through our study of the Word, and growing in our faith, trust, and knowledge of our precious Father.
Deuteronomy awaits. I’m SO excited to be reading it with you!
We open on the first day of the eleventh month. To our western mindsets, many of us will automatically think of this as November. However, we function on an entirely different calendar. On the Hebrew calendar, the eleventh month is Shevat and takes place sometime between January and February.
Did you catch the reference to the Abrahamic covenant in Deut 1:9? I love how, when Moses says that the people are too numerous for Him to lead, in that same breath he blesses them by saying he hopes the Father multiplies their numbers by a thousandfold!
Deuteronomy 1:11 11 May the Lord, the God of your fathers, make you a thousand times as many as you are and bless you, as he has promised you!
Remember that the Father stated that Abraham’s descendants would be more than the number of stars in the sky (Genesis 26:4). In 1:9 they are told they are as numerous as the stars in the sky, so Moses praises knowing that they will by far exceed even that according to YHWH’s word.
When YHWH says something will be so, it will be.
Deut 1:27 Is a sobering reminder that our complaining is never hidden from the Father.
Deut 1:26-36 Pay attention to this passage because there are contrasting perspectives:YHWH’s vs man’s. YHWH is guiding and instructing Israel with great care and love and yet Israel sees it as them being punished or mistreated.
Deut 1:40 shows us YHWH telling Israel they must turn away from the promised land and go into the wilderness instead. It hurts my heart to read because I can so easily imagine myself being among that crowd.
In chapter two we are reminded that sometimes the Father leads us in circles to teach us to obey Him. Blessed is the correction that leads us to the Father!
In Deut 2:9 The Israelites are seeing people settled into land given to them by YHWH, knowing that this could have happened to them as well. This is a painful reminder which still had raw wounds so the Father has to warn them Don’t you even try to harass these people I have given this land to. Had you obeyed me, you would have had the best of the land and I would have given it this same protection.
May we diligently seek Him and, when we grow tired, may we seek Him all the more so that He will renew our spirits, strengthen our resolve, and hold us even more tightly in His will!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!