September 20 – Why To Obey?

“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today; and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known.” – Deuteronomy 11:26-28  (NASB)

To be listening to the commandments of the Lord is to be in obedience to God. The Children of Israel were about to enter the Promised Land and Moses gave these instructions. It drove home the importance of obedience and trust in God. Throughout the Bible we find much about obedience. But we consider obedience to be an infringement on our so-called “free will.” With that free-will it is impossible for one to obey. We need God o obey God as it is a gift of God. It’s not a chore; it’s a blessing. When we obey blessing and joy is poured out into our hearts. We find in Scriptures reasons why obedience to God is important. We looked at one yesterday. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15). A Second reason is Jesus calls us to Obey.  He’s the perfect model of obedience. As God’s children, we follow Christ’s example as well as his commands. Our motivation is love just as Jesus obeyed His Father’s commandments. “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” (John 15:10.)

197

July 30 – Watchful Words

“You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth.” Deuteronomy 23:23 (ESV)

Yesterday our verse from Genesis established how God’s spoken words are in fact promises. We know God is perfect in all His ways so we trust His words in the Bible without doubt. He is always truthful and what He promises are made to us through what He has spoken. Such is not so certain regarding the words we speak. Yes, we can recite the words God has spoken and trust them to be Promises from God. But, we must take greater care and not be flippant with our words. Our verse says, we are to be careful to do what passes our lips because our words are voluntarily vows to the Lord. A quick “certainly I can” or “I’ll do so, trust me” might slip out as a careless promise which we may not follow up and fulfill. How about with a concern shared with us and we respond, “I’ll pray for you?” Do we actually pray, even mentally? Or do we say that because it seems a good thing to say to ease their concern? “I’ll pray for you” is not a prayer itself. If we say it, are we not obliged to do it?

197

May 13 – Supporting From Underneath

“The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms; And He drove out the enemy from before you, And said, ‘Destroy!’” Deuteronomy 33:27 (NASB)

Moses was 120 years old and he had served God in leading the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people since he was 80. For 40 years he was an Egyptian living in Pharaoh’s house. For the next 40 years he tended his father-in-law’s sheep. God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt to the Promised Land. These recorded words were delivered by Moses to Israel just prior to Moses’ death. He pronounced these words of blessings on the people We too are children of God and can trust the words of promise as Moses reminds the people that God is eternal and he provides for His children a dwelling place, a refuge, from the world which threatens us. Underneath us are the everlasting arms which refer to the way God takes care of His own. We can know for certain that He is supporting us because He has promised. God will keep us from falling. God will keep us from falling into discouragement or fear. We can believe and relax. We don’t have to worry or be anxious and we don’t need to look elsewhere for help. He is there and He’ll care for us completely.

198

January 18 – He Will Not…

“The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”  Deuteronomy 31:8 (NASB)

“The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”  Deuteronomy 31:8 (NASB)

So far, how is this year proving to be a new year for you? We look into each the new year not as one more day, week, or month on the calendar but as the starting point in a renewed transition. So it was Israel after more than 40 years wandering about in the Sinai wilderness, it was time for Moses to transition leadership to Joshua. We might still claim this new year with a verse that brings to us a wonderful promise. God promises over and over in His word that He will not fail us, not forsake us, not leave us. We have no reasons to fear or be dismayed. These words are spoken by Moses to Joshua in the presence of the people of Israel about to enter their Promised Land. These words we can take to heart and trust them. We believe that our Lord will be with us each day as we follow Him. He will not leave us or forget us. Let’s be thankful to God for this assurance and for the promises we can trust. As a new year begins, we do not have to be discouraged – even when we are tempted to.  

200

August 19 – A Rock We Trust

“This God—His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” – 2 Samuel 22:31 (ESV)

“The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.” Deuteronomy 32:4 (NASB)

Today we take a verse of promise from David’s “Son of Deliverance” in 2 Samuel 22 and another verse from “The Song of Moses” found in the fifth Book of the Law, Deuteronomy 32. Again, we see God called a Rock, or in this occasion, “The Rock!” This word, represented the stability and permanence of God. It was placed at the beginning of the verse we believe for emphasis and was followed by a series of phrases which elaborated the attributes of God as the Rock of Israel. His work is perfect. All His ways are just. He is a God of faithfulness. He is a God without iniquity. He is righteous and upright. These are the principal themes in this song by Moses. It stresses the unchanging nature of God in contrast with the fickle nature of the people. The description of God in this verse contrasts strongly with the description of the people which follows in the next verse, a perverse and crooked generation (Dt 32:5). Jesus used this phrase in Matthew 17:17 of an unbelieving generation. Let us choose today to trust in the Rock, our perfect shield who is just in all His ways.

197 

June 15 – Living By What We Know


“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29 (NASB)


These are words of Moses are part of his farewell address to those he had led out of Egypt and for more than 40 years in the wilderness to a place near to their entrance into the Promised Land. He was near to the end of his life. God had revealed much to him for His people. Moses knew, however that not all things had been revealed – only the truths which God wanted them, and us, to know. “The things revealed” included the law with its promised blessings and threated curses; that which is hidden refers to the specific way in which God will carry out His will in the future. God used others to pass on truths which we have in the Bible. This revelation is for us and intended to help us live according to His will. Someone once said, “It is better to know than not know,” and that is often true but we must recognize that God knows more than what He has revealed to us and what he has revealed, is in our Bible. Thank God for what he has made known through the Bible and then live by it.

195

January 11 – Be: Strong. Courageous. Fearless.


“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV)

We are now eleven days into our new year. Have you some anxiety built up over the last year? We can be certain, as we find in today’s promise verse, that we do not need to fear or tremble or be in dread of what was or what lingers. Listen to the command Moses gave to the people of Israel and to Joshua his successor as leader of the nation. Be Strong. Be Courageous. Do Not Fear. We have no reason to truly live with fear or dread from possible circumstances through this year. We have the same promise that God gave to His people through Moses. We are His people too if we have believed and received His Truth, for we have been given the right to be called children of God. That’s a praiseworthy promise. And we tack on to that the promise that God will go with us throughout this year and that He will not (never) leave us or forsake us. What happened last year may have lasting circumstances in our lives but God tells us to be strong and courageous and unafraid all because He is with us and will never forsake us.

198