Try to Remember…
One of my favorite things about my dad is his ability to tell a great story. When I’m around him, he brings up old stories of how we got here and the connection we have as a family. I found out recently, one of the words for “man” in the Hebrew language means “storyteller.” How about that? I think it’s because we constantly need to be reminded of who we are and who got us here. We need to know we belong to keep us on track.
Of course, this thought ties to our reading this week. The book of Deuteronomy is basically a book of reminders. It takes us back through the stories of the first 4 books of the Bible and reminds us how to live.
“Only be careful and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things you have seen, or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.” (Deuteronomy 4:9). In these beginning chapters, Moses reminds us of who God is. The words used here are Merciful, Jealous, Holy and Faithful. Somehow all of these words (and more) describe a God who cares about us and is pursuing us, ultimately to the cross one day. By the way, don’t be scared of the word jealous. God is not afraid of not getting what he wants. Instead, He is jealous for the souls of those He loves. Like you would be jealous over a loved one making bad choices that could cripple them.
Moses also reminds us of what God has done - covenant making, rescuing and redeeming. He also shows us who we are; loved ones who are covenant breakers being restored regularly and called out to live like we are loved.
Look at Chapter 6 and you will find a great deal of practical ways to live this out and to “love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind.”
1. Write God’s commands (and stories of His love) on your heart (vs.6) = memorize them
2. Impress them on your children (vs. 7) = teach them
3. Talk about them = community
4. Write them on your doorposts (vs.8) = create godly habits
How would you go about putting these actions into your regular life so you can remember of God’s commandments and love?
One more reminder: God has given you everything you have and be careful to remember not to forget the Lord, (6:11-12).
Tips for Reading- (Observation tip #29)
Note: This section is help for Bible Reading in general. It will be building throughout the year under the topics of Observation (what the Scripture says), Interpretation (what it means) and Application (what it means to your life). Feel free to look back over last week to get the whole picture.
Instead of my normal explanation of Bible study methods, I would like to encourage all of us to spend time in reflection and confession in light of the reading this week.
Go back over Deuteronomy 4-6 and write out practical things that could be put in your life.
I recently read a John Ortberg book, “When the Game is Over, It All Goes Back In the Box.” Ortberg described life as a big jar that usually gets filled up with a bunch of sand (representing all the “have-to’s” of life) and can miss getting filled up with the priorities of life (God, people, calling and joy). Why not take an hour this week and see if your life is centered on real priorities, before the sand gets poured in. Go through the practical list in Deuteronomy 6 and see what priorities should be put in your day-to-day life. Shalom.
Notes from David’s Journal
Deuteronomy can be summed up in two words: Trust & Obey! These chapters were written by Moses (with knowledge he is no longer going into the Promised Land) to people whom he led for 40 years. Again, the book can be summed up in “trust and obey.”
These are two simple and powerful words for us as well. We are to trust God with all our hearts, souls and minds. We are to believe, no matter what may be going on, that our God through Jesus, loves us and has a wonderful plan for our lives. It is His consistent promise to us in His Word, not only in Deuteronomy, but also throughout the entire Bible.
But faith, as James says, without works is dead. Obedience is the proof of faith. Jesus said in John 15 that if you love Him you will obey his commandments. You can say you love someone until you are blue in the face but unless this love is followed by obedience, by actions that prove the love, it’s worthless.
So, Moses put into a nutshell his, and God’s, desire for these Israelites as they passed into their permanent dwelling. He simply asked them to trust and obey their God who had delivered them from Egyptian captivity and would always care for them in the land.
It was a good reminder and word for them. It is for us too. Trust and obey. There is no better way! (Didn’t a Baptist hymn writer already say this?).
To God always and only belongs all the glory.