1. Love God And Keep His Word
"Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else. Thou shalt keep therefore his statutes, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, for ever." Deuteronomy 4:39-40
It's time again to change our focus on our daily devotionals. In my recent Bible reading through Deuteronomy the Lord began to show me some things that we can do from this aged old book. I know that the Old Testament was given to the Israelites and we are not under the law, but there are many good verses that we can use to pattern our lives. To begin, we must know and consider in our hearts, not just our minds, "that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else." That is primary and above all. The things we do are nothing if we don't know and accept in our hearts that the Lord is God and there is no other god. Next, the Children of Israel were given a promise that if they would keep His commandments then they would have long blessed lives here on earth. We do not offer sacrifices today when we have sin in our lives, because Jesus, God's precious Son, gave His life on the cross to pay for our sin. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) Just a few verses later in John 14:15 Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Let's look at some things we can do from Deuteronomy to show our love to our precious Lord.
2. Claim God's Promises
"Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged." Deuteronomy 1:21
The book of Deuteronomy contains Moses' last words to the Children of Israel before he died on the mountain. He tells them that they have wandered in the wilderness long enough, forty years, and God has said, "Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:" (Deuteronomy 1:6) Moses reminds them of their journey out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and encourages them to trust God to lead them into the Promised Land. Last January I began our devotions on Precious Promises From God's Word and went for 100 days looking at 100 promises that God gives His children. As we begin our look at "Things We Can Do From Deuteronomy" we begin with claiming God's promises. Sometimes we get to a point in our lives when we seem to wander around in the wilderness, not getting anywhere because we are not trusting God and going forward in our Christian lives. The Children of Israel were afraid to face the battles between them and the Promised Land. Once they started trusting God they realized that He would fight their battles for them. Think about the battles in your own life. Search God's Word and find a promise that you can claim and let God lead you to the land that flows with milk and honey.
3. Believe God
"29 Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them.
30 The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;
31 And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.
32 Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God,
33 Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day." Deuteronomy 1:29-33
Today we have two simple words, "Believe God". Moses reminded the Israelites how God wanted to lead them into the Promised Land 40 years earlier but they were afraid. In verse 30 Moses told them that God would fight their battles for them. In verse 31 he reminded them how God had carried them, as a father carries his son. That shows love, protection, and provision. In verse 33 Moses reminded them that God had led them all the way, by fire at night and in a pillar of cloud by day. But in verse 32 we see that they did not believe God. We can sit back and criticize the Israelites, but how many times has God told us to witness to someone and we are afraid? How many times has He tried to lead us by faith and we question His leading? I can look back in my life at many times when God provided our needs during times when money was short. I can see His protection during the storms that have come our way. And I can see God's great love in giving His Son for me. He has led me through His Word and yet sometimes I fail to listen when He tries to lead me in a new direction. When you feel like God is leading you but you are afraid to go forward, then look back over your own life and consider all the storms He has brought you through and believe God.
4. Encourage Christian Leaders
"But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it." Deuteronomy 1:38
"But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see." Deuteronomy 3:28
In the 27th chapter of Numbers we read that God told Moses he would not be allowed to go into the Promised Land because he had not obeyed God at the rock. Moses was concerned for the Children of Israel. "Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd." (Numbers 27:16-17) The Lord told Moses that Joshua would be the leader of His people. In our verses above we see that God told Moses to encourage Joshua, charge him and strengthen him. When we come to the end of the book of Deuteronomy and Moses has come to the end of his life we see that he did as God told him to do. "And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed." (Deuteronomy 31:7-8) In chapter 34 verse 9 we read, "And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses." This example from the life of Moses shows us that we need to encourage and strengthen our Christian leaders. Pray for your Pastor and Sunday School teachers and church leaders. Lift them up in your words and actions and be kind to them. Find ways to show your appreciation for the work they are doing for the Lord. Maybe your kind words can help them overcome the discouraging words they hear from others.
5. Don't Add To Or Take Away From God's Word
"Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you." Deuteronomy 4:1-2
When I am riding through town I notice what different churches put on their signs. It is good to see scripture on the signs knowing it is a witness to all who pass that way. On a few occasions I have seen signs that I did not understand. There is a limited space for letters and something got lost in the missing words. There are some that make you stop and think like the one I saw, "C H - - C H what's missing? U - R." The signs that I really don't like are the ones that have something in quotation and sign it "God". An example is one I saw that said, "Don't make me come down there. God" I think anyone, church or not, who adds to or takes away from God's Word is walking on dangerous ground. Moses charged the people not to do that and we also see it in the New Testament. When we come to the end of the Bible, the last chapter and last verses we read,
"16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." (Revelation 22:16-21)
These words are not only the conclusion of the Book of Revelation, but also the last words of the Bible, and they give great consequences for those who add to or take away from the Word of God.
6. Seek The Lord
"But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them." Deuteronomy 4:29-31
We did not have all the technology when I was young as children have today so we had to play games with what we had. One game that could be played anywhere, anytime, was hide and seek. We enjoyed it most when we were very young. My boys played hide and seek even when they were older at my Dad's. They played with their cousins after dark. We have several accounts in the Bible of people who tried to hide from God. Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, tried to hide from God when they sinned against His Word. Jonah tried to hide from God when he did not want to do what God told him to do. And in Revelation 6:13-16 we read that people will try to hide from the wrath of God. "And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:"
In contrast, God's Word encourages us to seek the Lord. "Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:" (Isaiah 55:6) God showers His blessings on those who seek the Lord with all their heart. Today let's lift up our praise and seek the Lord as David in Psalm 63:1-4.
"1 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
4 Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name."
7. Hear, Learn And Do
"And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them." Deuteronomy 5:1
As a teenager when someone at school asked me about my religion and what I believed I said, "I believe the Bible." Today I still can say, "I believe the Bible" but now I know more about what is in the Bible than I knew then. When Moses was telling the Children of Israel to hear what God was saying, he admonished them to "learn, and keep, and do". The Israelites did not have a copy of God's Word to carry with them as they journeyed through the wilderness. We are very fortunate that God has given His Word and preserved it through many centuries so that we can read it today. We also have the Holy Spirit in our hearts to guide us. One day I realized that it was not enough for me to say, "I believe the Bible" because I really did not know all that entailed. God showed me the necessity of listening to Bible teaching and preaching, and reading the Bible with a prayerful heart to find wisdom. I am amazed at all that God shows me in my daily, personal Bible reading. Today I encourage you to begin your Bible reading with prayer that God will give you wisdom, and read daily. In the beginning you may not understand all that you read. (There are still many parts of scripture that I don't understand.) But, the more you read in the Bible, the clearer the Word will become and the more you will learn. Pray with the Psalmist, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." (Psalm 119:18)
8. The Ten Commandments
"6 I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
7 Thou shalt have none other gods before me.
8 Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:
9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,
10 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
12 Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.
13 Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work:
14 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.
15 And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.
16 Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
17 Thou shalt not kill.
18 Neither shalt thou commit adultery.
19 Neither shalt thou steal.
20 Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour.
21 Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's.
22 These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me." Deuteronomy 5:6-22
God gave Moses the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:1-17. With the written law of God in his hands, Moses quickly discovered that even commandments on tables of stone can be broken. (Exodus 32:19) Since Jesus came, we are no longer under the law, but we are under grace. Since we are looking at "Things To Do From Deuteronomy" I did not want to skip over this part of scripture. It is good to read the Ten Commandments and remember we serve a holy God.
9. Fear God And Keep His Commandments
"23 And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders;
24 And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.
25 Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die.
26 For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?
27 Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it.
28 And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when ye spake unto me; and the LORD said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken.
29 O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!" Deuteronomy 5:23-29
The Children of Israel saw all the mighty plagues that God rained down on Egypt. They marched through the dry ground of the Red Sea and saw the Egyptians sink to the bottom when God made the waters return to their place. They knew the power of God. When God spoke to Moses on the mountain they had a holy fear of God. The book of Job is said to be the earliest written book of our Bible and we read, "And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding." (Job 28:28) God gave King Solomon great wisdom and Solomon said, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." (Proverbs 9:10) God is a God of love, but He is also a righteous holy God and we should serve Him with a righteous holy fear. In the Bible God sent prophets to tell His people that the bad things that happened to them were because of their sin. When a catastrophe happens today and someone even suggests that it may be God's judgment on sin the media lashes out in anger. I wish all those who have no fear of God would read the book of Revelation and see how the wrath of God will bring judgment on this earth in the last days. God is holy and deserves our fear and respect.
10. Stay On The Straight And Narrow Path
"Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess." Deuteronomy 5:32-33
These verses remind me of the words of our Lord found in Matthew 7:13-14, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." I was reading in the Thru The Bible Commentary books by J. Vernon McGee recently and he said that life is like a funnel. If you are on the broad way it is like going into the large end of the funnel and life gradually closes in around you. If you go in the straight and narrow way it is like going into the small end of the funnel and your life broadens about you. This is a good description of the Christian life. Before you are saved the sin in your life grips you tighter as time goes by and you become bound by the chains of sin. After you are saved and walking in God's light and following the path where He leads, your chains of sin fall off and you realize what it is like to live free from the guilt and sin that you carried. You are a new person in Christ Jesus as we read in II Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Moses told the Israelites to walk in the path of righteousness and obey God's commandments and not to turn to the right hand or to the left. God even gave them this promise, "Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess." There still may be bumps in the road on your Christian journey, but keep following the Lord. "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand." (Psalms 37:23-24)
11. The Greatest Commandment
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:" Deuteronomy 6:4-6
Since Jesus gave His life to die for our sin we are no longer under the law of the Old Testament, but Jesus repeats this commandment in the New Testament as the first and greatest commandment. "And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." (Mark 12:28-30) These words are as true today as they were when Moses said them, and as important as when Christ said them. Our love for God should have priority in our lives, above all else. How much do we love the Lord our God? If our love was measured by the amount of time we spend reading His Word and talking with Him in prayer, how would we measure up? Can those around us see the love of God shining through our lives? Do we love Him with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and all our strength? That covers all aspects of our lives. Think of the best friend you have on earth. Now, would that person still consider you a best friend if you treated him or her as you treat God?
12. Teach Your Children
"And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates." Deuteronomy 6:7-9
"And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." Deuteronomy 11:19
Oh, how we need to teach our children the ways of God! They are bombarded on every side with the things of the world. I used to hear that it is not the quantity of time we spend with our children, but the quality of time that we spend. The verses above show that we should spend all our time teaching our children, "And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." If we had God's Word written on the tops of our hands as reminders, how many games, and links, and web sites would we have to take off of our electronic devices? If we had glasses that we could wear and see the world through the eyes of God what difference would it make in the things we choose to watch? If we posted God's Word on the door posts and gates of our homes, how many bags of garbage would we need to take to the dump? These ideas may seem extreme, but our children hear the things we say, they watch the things we do, they see the things we see, and they live in the atmosphere we provide for them. There are so many avenues opened to our children today and we need to make sure we are leading them down the path of righteousness. If we don't teach our children the things of God, who will teach our grandchildren? "When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it." Deuteronomy 31:11-13
13. He Brought Us Out To Bring Us In
"And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers." Deuteronomy 6:23
When we accept God's wonderful gift of salvation He brings us out of the bondage and life of sin. But, God does not leave us in the middle of nowhere, without purpose or direction. God saves us and brings us out, so that He may bring us in. Here are some verses from the New Testament to tell us a few ways He brings us in.
He brings us into salvation!
"I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." (John 10:9)
He brings us into joy!
"His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." (Matthew 25:21)
He brings us out of darkness and into the light!
"No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light." (Luke 8:16)
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)
He brings us into rest!
"For we which have believed do enter into rest,..." (Hebrews 4:3)
He brings us into the Holy of Holies, clothed in the righteousness of Christ!
"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus," (Hebrews 10:19)
14. Know That God Is The One And Only God!
"Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them." Deuteronomy 7:9-11
I remember hearing a very popular talk show host say that it does not matter what god you believe in, just as long as you have faith in something. She, and many others like her, are leading so many people down the wrong path. There is only one God. He is the God who created the heavens and the earth. He is the great I AM that spoke to Moses from the burning bush. He is the God who gave His only begotten Son to die for the lost. There were many false gods at the time of this writing thousands of years ago, and there are many false gods in our day. These verses from Psalms 115:1-8 tell us what God thinks about these false gods.
"1 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.
2 Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God?
3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.
5 They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:
6 They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:
7 They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.
8 They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them."
I am so glad that I serve the living God who hears me when I pray, and watches over me always. I am thankful that I know the God of mercy and grace who saved me and provides my every need. People can own copies of famous art, and copies of fine jewelry, and I would not be able to tell the copies from the real thing. But I know that my God is the God because He lives in my heart! I don't need a false, copy of a god, to ease my guilt or give me a false hope of security. I know God and He is real!
"1 All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers.
2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
4 Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years." Deuteronomy 8:1-4
The older I get, the more I forget. I can walk into a room and forget what I went in there for. I can go to the store and get a dozen things and forget the one thing I went to get. I write lists so I can mark things off and not forget the important things. God told the Children of Israel to remember all the way He had led them forty years in the wilderness. He told them to remember that they were hungry and He fed them. He told them to remember that their clothes and shoes lasted for forty years. As I look back over my life I remember how God provided our needs. I remember many prayers that He answered. Here are some things from God's Word that He tells us to remember.
Remember where God brought you from.
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh…That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:11-13
Remember God's marvelous works.
“Remember his marvelous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;” Psalms 105:5
Remember the olden days.
“Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee: thy elders, and they will tell thee.” Deuteronomy 32:7
Remember your vows.
“When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.” Ecclesiastes 5:4 & 5
Remember what the Lord has done for you.
“For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.” Mark 6:50 - 52
“And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” Luke 22:19 & 20
16. Bless The Lord For His Goodness
"When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee." Deuteronomy 8:10
Are we thankful? In November we celebrate Thanksgiving and focus on being thankful, but what about the rest of the year? Hopefully we remember to ask God's blessing on our food before each meal, but are we truly thankful? Moses reminded the Israelites, "When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee." David also blessed the Lord for His daily provision. "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah." (Psalms 68:19) In so many of my prayers I am asking God to bless my family, bless my church, and bless my friends. We sing, "God Bless America" and ask God to bless our land. I am glad that God hears and answers our prayers. He is a great God! Today let's remember to bless the Lord for all He has done for us. "Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name." (Psalms 103:1)
17. Don't Lift Up Yourself In Pride For Something God Does
"1 Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven,
2 A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, Who can stand before the children of Anak!
3 Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee.
4 Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee.
5 Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." Deuteronomy 9:1-5
Someone said that many people are proud of their face (the way they look), their place (where they are born), their race, and Christians are often proud of their grace. The Bible has a lot to say about pride. "A proud look" tops the list of the seven things God hates. (Proverbs 6:17) Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18) Pride can be so strong that it keeps people from salvation. "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts." (Psalms 10:4) In our verses from Deuteronomy we see that there is a danger of being proud of what God does, as if we deserve His goodness more than others. We see clearly in Isaiah 64:6 that we are nothing in and of ourselves. "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." All that we have came from God. All that we are is because of God's mercy and grace. All that we do is through the power of God. Let's not take credit for what God has done.
18. What Does The Lord Require?
" And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?" Deuteronomy 10:12-13
For the past two weeks we have been looking at "Things To Do In Deuteronomy". We have gone beyond the Ten Commandments and looked at practical things that God desires from His children. Today we see the answer to the question, "What doth the LORD thy God require of thee?" First, Moses tells us to "fear the Lord thy God." We are to have a holy, reverential fear of God because He is holy. Next, we are "to walk in all his ways." We can walk in His ways, as we become familiar with His Word. "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." (Psalma 1:1-3) Our next requirement should come naturally, without having to be said, "to love him." After all God has done for us through His great love, we should love Him with all our heart. And if we love Him as we should we will also want "to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all they soul." This reminds me of Genesis 29:20, "And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her." It is a blessing to serve someone we love. The final requirement is "To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statues, which I command thee this day for thy good." We are no longer under the law, we are saved by grace, but God has given the law and commandments for our good. God gives us great peace and joy as we walk according to His Word.
19. Don't Be Prejudiced
"For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt" Deuteronomy 10:17-19
Moses tells the Israelites in plain words, "Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt." We can look back to Exodus 12:37-38 and see that a multitude of "strangers" went with them as they left the land of their Egyptian bondage. "And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle." The book of the Old Testament shows clearly that the Jews were God's chosen people, and with that in mind, I would be the stranger to God because I am not a Jew. The gospel message of the New Testament tells us in John 1:11-12, "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" When the Jews rejected Christ, God opened the door of salvation to all who would believe. "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:26-29) I am no longer a stranger, but I am a saved child of God.
Now, let's look again at our verse in Deuteronomy. "Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt" I believe that our message for today is not to be prejudiced against people for any reason. There are many in our country who are judged by others because of their nationality, their lack of wealth, their position in society, their skin color, their religion, and the list could go on. I close with these words of John. "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." (I John 4:7-11)
20. Give Your Tithes And Offerings To The Lord
" And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks: And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee." Deuteronomy 12:6-7
All that we have, from the food we eat, the clothes we wear, to the air we breathe, it all comes from God. God created the world and it all belongs to Him, so it is not that He needs anything from us. "For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof." (Psalms 50:10-12) By giving a portion back to God we show that we are thankful for His blessings on our lives, and He in turn will continue to bless us. Many years ago I claimed Malachi 3:10 in my heart and God has rained blessings down on me through the windows of heaven. "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
21. Worship And Rejoice
"And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O LORD, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the LORD thy God, and worship before the LORD thy God: And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you." Deuteronomy 26:10-11
Our verses today open with giving to the Lord, as we talked about yesterday. After we give to the Lord, then we can worship the Lord. As we learn to worship the Lord, then we can "rejoice in every good thing which the LORD" our God has given to us. We see this repeated in I Chronicles 16:28-32.
"28 Give unto the LORD, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
29 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
30 Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.
31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth.
32 Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein."
Of course, we don't have to give, worship, and rejoice in this order. We can look at the familiar Christmas story of the wise men in Matthew 2:9-11 and see that they rejoiced, worshipped, and gave. "When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh." I thank the good Lord that He has placed me in a wonderful church where I can give, worship and rejoice all in the same service.
22. Why Do These Things Of God?
"And Moses made an end of speaking all these words to all Israel: And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong your days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it." Deuteronomy 32:45-47
We have come to the end of the life of Moses and with this we come to the end of our thoughts on "Things To Do In Deuteronomy." There were a few more we could have read. We are to make our homes safe. "When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence." (Deuteronomy 22:8) We are to help care for the poor and widows. "When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands. (Deuteronomy 24:19) And I could not do a study of Deuteronomy without mentioning Deuteronomy 24:5. "When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken." Cheer up your wife.
Now, as we finish our walk through these things to do in God's Word, some may asks, "Why should we do these things?" I have heard some say, "This is my life and I will do what I want", and "Nobody tells me what to do." Let's look at our verses again. "And Moses made an end of speaking all these words to all Israel: And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong your days in the land..." Can I say to you today, when you follow God is it not in vain. It is life!
"11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
16 In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:" (Deuteronomy 30:11-19)