Monday, March 11, 2013

The Chronological Bible- Week 10

Well, you did it! You can pat yourself on the back if you have persevered through Leviticus and Numbers, for this week we forge ahead into the book of Deuteronomy. Way to go! If you are jumping in mid-way through the journey; no worries. Welcome! Enjoy Grace Monday and start fresh.

I have always found Deuteronomy to be much more accessible than her predecessors. Take courage!

Deuteronomy means "second law" or "repetition of the law." What makes this book exciting and interesting to me is the context. This second reading or giving of the law was most likely done by Moses on the doorstep of the Promised Land. He speaks out these words of God to a new generation. The adult population that saw the miracles of God through the plagues, the power of God at the Red Sea, and the glory of God at Mount Sinai have now passed away. A young generation, many of who were only kids or not even born at the time of the Exodus, have now come into maturity and represent the people of God. The giving of the law at Mount Sinai is only a story to them. Most of the miracles have come to them second hand. They have only experienced a small portion of the power of God compared to their ancestors.

This is what makes Deuteronomy so good. Moses is looking out across a vast crowd of young men and women that are about to enter the Promised Land. And Moses calls them to God. He calls them to remember the miracles, even ones they didn't see personally. He calls them to hold on to the covenant and the promises. He calls them to live out the words of God in a way their parents never did. He calls them to be the people God dreamed of creating and crafting for Himself when He called them out of Egypt.

I think I like this book so much because it confronts our "what have you done for me lately" mentality that is so common among us. If God hasn't parted the seas in the last few months, or days, we start to wonder what's wrong with Him, or us, and we are tempted to lose faith. We hear stories of what God did in missions' movements of the past, or revival meetings long ago, but we weren't there. We haven't always had the first-hand, front-row seat experience of our ancestors. But like Israel, we are called to remember. We are called to remember a God who gave His life for us. We are called to remember when He first found us and saved us. We are called to remember His goodness and faithfulness to us throughout the years. And then we are called to turn and face the challenges of entering a Promised Land. We are called to go and be His people.

May Deuteronomy speak to you this week of who YOU are called to be-



M.L. Wilson said...

I am ever mindful of the chronology of events in scripture and always attempt to view such through that lens. When one looks at a book like Deuteronomy, one needs to keep in mind to whom it was written and when.

The author of Hebrews in 8:13 says this in reference to Jeremiah 31: "By calling this covenant "new," He has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear."

Also in Hebrews 7:18 "The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the Law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God."

As Christians under this New Covenant with Christ as our one and only sacrifice, we need to keep a clear understanding of what Deuteronomy meant to those ancient Hebrews and what it means to us; it is not the same thing.

Pastor Nick said...

Great point Matt! We always need to read the Old Testament in light of Christ and the New. While we don't necessarily need to take the instructions to heart, I do think the call to remember what God has done for us is as needed now as it was then! We tend to get comfortable and forget it is God who has given us all things, just as they did. (Deut. 6)

Linda g. said...

I agree that reviewing the Old Covenant is good. God's Law is still valid, but we people..then and now...are the flawed ones. God gave us grace through the sacrifice of His Son so we of the New Covenant are saved once and for all time...but the Law is still perfect and we would be wise to utilize it as a guideline to our lifestyle...especially the 10 commandments, for instance.