Deuteronomy 4: 1-49
Do you remember how we said that if the Bible tells us not to do something it is because our tendency is to do that very thing. Today’s reading shows what Israel (and us) will want to do with the Laws. In verse 2 it says, “Do not add to or subtract from these commands I am giving you. Just obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you.” Easy peasy right? WRONG! Let me give you an example. When you are driving and see a speed limit sign posted that reads 55 mph do you immediately think, “Oh ok, I can go 60 mph and be fine?” Or when someone says, “Don’t touch this button!” Are you over come with the desire to touch it? Moses is being so careful to warn them because God knows we have this thing in us, called the sin nature, that keeps us from following the rules. We would rather make our own rules, or follow God’s rules “close enough.” For Israel however, close enough would not cut it. In order to remain in fellowship with God, they had to follow them to the T.
I teach this bible study called “By This Name,” by John R Cross. In that book, the author says that Israel is chosen by God to be His special people. Their unique relationship will teach the “Global Classroom” who God is and that He is the one and only God. Verse 5-8 drive this point home. Their obedience to God would show off God’s glory. Their disobedience would show off His Wrath (judgement of sin).
Moses uses his own punishment to remind them of the danger of disobedience. And he very clearly tells them they will be scattered among the nations if they do not obey. He points to God’s work in their lives as the driving force for obedience, “Look what He has done for you!”
Luke 6: 39–7:10
Jesus continues with the Beatitudes in todays passage. He warns them that following someone who is not righteous will end up in you both being in a ditch. You will be like whoever you follow. As believers in Jesus it is important that we follow Jesus. At church this weekend Doug reminded us of the danger of worshipping people and this passage today reminded me of that. If you are following someone who is just as blind as you, you will fall in a ditch. People cannot fill your need for Jesus, they will disappoint you every time. But Jesus will never disappoint you.
The foundation for life with Jesus is His teaching. You have to let it penetrate your whole being and transform you. Faith in Him does that. When we become believers we are all bad trees, but slowly, Jesus + time, creates good fruit in us. What is required of us is the faith displayed in the Roman Officer.
Psalm 68: 1-18
This is a song of triumph. Proof also that Israel did teach its children the story of God rescuing them from Egypt and taking them to the promised land. The line “God places the lonely in families” really hits home because this is why I am so thankful for our church family.
Proverbs 11: 28
“Trust in your money and down you go!” No truer words have been spoken. This is part of our testimony. God took away our money (by way of us spending it on things like horses and RV’s) so that we would learn that you cannot trust money. It will also disappoint you every time because if you are trusting money the only idea you have is “more.” Money changes hands so much that it is not a good savior. Jesus, however is a great Savior.
Have a good Monday everybody. The ducklings are moving into their big duck condo today. I’ll post a pic over on Insta and FB.