Today’s Tasting: Deuteronomy 30–31: In today’s reading, the people of Israel were told again that they should love the Lord with all their heart and obey Him, and cling to Him. Moses brought Joshua to the tabernacle of meeting, where the Lord appeared in a pillar of cloud to inaugurate Joshua, whom He had chosen to be the next leader of Israel. Moses presented Joshua to Israel, and told him in the presence of all the people to be strong and courageous, because God would be with him and never leave him.. Then Moses spoke to the people and prophesied, as the Lord had told him, that when he was gone the people of Israel would once again turn their backs on God.
Today’s Nourishment: Today’s reading makes it clear that God places a great deal of importance on the love and faithfulness of His people. It’s interesting that God tells His people that they have a really simple choice: to love Him and obey His commands, and enjoy His blessing, or to turn away from him and be given over to evil. Deuteronomy 30:11 tells us that “this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you….” In other words, you don’t need a college degree to understand what God wants from you. When I was a kid, a family joke we repeated many times was, “which syllable didn’t you understand?” It was a way of saying that the meaning of something was quite clear! So it is with God’s Word.
God tells the people of Israel, “…I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). We have the same choice today: eternal life beyond the lifespan of our mortal bodies, or death and eternal separation from God. It’s easy to lose sight of the meaning of life and death in these verses. God is not saying you’ll immediately die physically if you’re disobedient. That’s not usually the case! (Did someone say, “thank you Lord!”?)
It’s important to be reminded that, unlike us, God is eternal, unbound by time and space. The love of God and the life He offers us through faith in His son, Jesus Christ, is forever. I don’t know about you, but to me the choice is simple: to love the Lord with all my heart, and do what He tells me to do! Then I can be assured of eternal peace with Him. The alternative is too frightening for words.
Tomorrow’s Delight: Deuteronomy 32–34; Psalm 91
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