What Mean Ye By These Stones?
Today’s Passage – Joshua 1 – 4 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)
(Second Milers also read – 1 Thessalonians 1 – 5; Proverbs 12; Psalms 56 – 60)
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – James 4:10
Read the “0312 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Read a previous post from this passage – “Where are the Strong and Courageous Men?”
“That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.” (Joshua 4:6-7)
God is all about remembering.
The Passover is a Memorial:
“And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.” – (Exodus 12:11-14)
The Lord’s Supper is a Memorial:
“And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” – (1 Corinthians 11:24-26)
All throughout the Bible there are examples of God commanding His people to remember:
“And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.” – (Deuteronomy 6:10-12)
God doesn’t like it when we forget what He has done for us. That is why He has set up occasions for memorials – reminders.
By the way – God doesn’t forget us either.
“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” – (Hebrews 6:10)
According to Hebrews 6:10 – it is unrighteous – it is sin – to forget what God and others have done for us.
Forgetting begins with a lack of reflection; and results in a lack of appreciation, and ultimately leads to rebellion:
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” (Romans 1:21)
All of the sins listed in Romans one were preceded by a lack of thanksgiving by a people who “knew God,” but failed to remember Him or give Him the glory that He deserves.
Don’t be guilty of forgetting about God, and all of the wonderful things that He has done for you.
Posted in Thoughts from Joshua by Phil Erickson with 4 comments.
I Will Be With Thee
Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 29 – 31 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)
(Second Milers also read – Philippians 1 – 4; Proverbs 10; Psalms 46 – 50)
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Ephesians 4:32
Read the “0310 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“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. … And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee.” – (Deuteronomy 31:7-8, 23)
Perhaps no greater source of encouragement can be found for the Christian today than the words contained in these verses. In our passage today we see Moses in his final days upon the earth. He has fulfilled God’s will for his life by leading the people of Israel out of bondage, and has brought them to the border of the Land of Promise. He is passing the baton over to Joshua, who had faithfully served Moses for the forty years of Moses ministry. Joshua has an extremely difficult task in front of him. He is following behind one of the greatest leaders in the history of mankind, and he has been places in charge of a people that have demonstrated on numerous occasions that they can be very rebellious. In fact, on the very day that Joshua is appointed his new position God tells him that the people are going to rebel. How would you like to be given the job of leading people who you already know are going to eventually stop following. If I were Joshua I would not only be fearful of the task ahead, but perhaps even a little discouraged. However, twice in this passage Joshua is reminded that it’s going to be OK, because God will be with him.
What a blessing it is to know that as we serve God today in the center of His will, that He promises to go with us as well.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” – (Hebrews 13:5)
“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” – (Matthew 28:20)
Sometimes it can be very difficult living for the Lord in the world that we live in. It is not easy being a good, godly parent; a witness on the job; a servant in the church; a light to the community: all of which God calls us to be. But God is with us. He goes before us, and then helps us as we strive to be His ambassador in this dark world. Sometimes, we may feel like we are all alone, but we are never alone, because God is always with us.
Did you recognize His presence in your life today? Did you talk to Him yet this morning? He desires to have intimate fellowship with you, and to use you to fulfil His purpose in your world. What a wonderful and awesome priveledge it is to know and serve the King of the Universe! Lift your head up high. You’ve got connections. You know the right Person. You are personally acquainted with God, and you represent Him to those who don’t know Him.
Posted in Thoughts from Deuteronomy by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.
What Do They See?
Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 27 – 28 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)
(Second Milers also read – Ephesians 4 – 6; Proverbs 9; Psalm 46 – 50
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – SSEphesians 4:32
Read another post from this passage – “Choose Wisely“
Read the “0309 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.” – (Deuteronomy 28:10)
I was captivated by the verse above. Notice that it says that people will see that the Israelites were called by the name of the Lord. It does not say that the people will hear mere words. The people were not to just talk about their relationship with God, they were to live it; and live it so powerfully that the surrounding nations would fear them.
It is rare today that the world looks into the life of a Christian and sees the hand of God working so evidently and powerfully in them that they are actually feared. For the most part Christians today are mocked and made fun of, but not feared. Why are we the laughingstock of the world today? There are many reasons, but I believe the main one is that our lives do not demonstrate the power and abundance of the life of faith. We dabble in God, but we don’t let Him get all of us, and unless He has all of us He cannot demonstrate His power in our lives.
Christians should be walking billboards illustrating the power and blessing of an omnipotent God. People should be able to take one look at us and tell that there is something radically different about us; something almost intimidating. The story is told of the great preacher, Charles Finney, who visited a factory one day in New York, and after merely making eye contact with a woman in the factory, she began to weep uncontrollably. That is pretty powerful. Our lives should declare loudly and boldly that we are the children of an awesome and all powerful God. People may not agree with us, but if our lives are fully surrendered to the Lord, they should respect us. Do the people around you fear you because of the presence of God in your life, or do they mock you? Sobering thought.
Posted in Thoughts from Deuteronomy by Phil Erickson with 5 comments.
And Such Were Some of You
Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 23 – 26 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)
(Second Milers also read – Ephesians 1 – 3; Proverbs 8; Psalms 36 – 40)
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Matthew 6:33
Read the “0308 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:” – (Deuteronomy 26:5)
“He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” – (Psalm 40:2)
“And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” – (Jude 1:23)
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” – (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
Read again Deuteronomy 26:1 – 11
In this passage the Israelite was commanded to bring a firstfruit offering to the House of God, and then he was to recite a statement to the priests acknowledging that he remembered where he was when God found him. Actually, he was really speaking on behalf of the nation in that he was recognizing that God took Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees and brought him into the Promised Land. He also was acknowledging that all of the blessings that he was enjoying was given to him by God.
There are a lot of ways that we can apply the principle found in this passage. First, I believe that God would want us to keep fresh in our minds what it was like for us when we were not saved. I think as time goes on in our Christian life, we tend to forget about where God delivered us from. We were lost, without direction, without purpose, and without God’s blessings on our lives. God truly did bring us up out of “an horrible pit”, literally plucked from the fire. Don’t let time dim the memory of where you came from.
Secondly, because we remember what it was like before God saved us, we need to express our appreciation to Him for all of the things that He has done for us now that we are His children. Besides just a future home in Heaven, God abundantly provides for our needs here on the earth. He protects us from many of the harmful things that plague those that don’t have a relationship with Christ. He also give us purpose: a reason for living. We have been priveledged with the task of being His ambassadors to this fallen world. All because of salvation. Don’t forget where you came from. Realize that if it wasn’t for the marvelous grace of God, you could still be there.
Posted in Thoughts from Deuteronomy by Phil Erickson with 4 comments.
Deuteronomy (“2nd Law” or “Repeated Law”) by Wesley Clayton
Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 19 – 22 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)
(Second Milers also read – Galatians 4 – 6; Psalms 31 – 35; Proverbs 7)
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – SSMicah 6:8
Read the “0307 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Deuteronomy – Second Law or Repeated Law
First off there are some important things we must remember when reading the book of Deuteronomy. One, this was written to ancient Israel, not us, we can not insert ourselves into these passages. What we can do however is see some eternal principles for the Christian life that we should adhere too. Secondly, the reason the book was written is because there was now a new generation of Israelites that were going to enter the promised land. The Exodus generation disqualified themselves from entering the promised land and this new generation needed to be reminded of the original laws and there were some new ones or clarified laws as well. Thirdly, we must remember Moses was not going to enter this promised land with the Israelites. Therefore he must prepare them for the things they will face, because their record doesn’t favor them when it comes to the times Moses has had to leave them. The Book of Deuteronomy is a series of speeches by Moses calling this new generation to be faithful to the covenant with God
Three Major Sections
- Moses opening speech 1-11
- Collection of the Laws 12-26
- Moses final speech and death 27-34
Section 1. Moses opening speech 1-11
Chapters 1-3 – How things have gone so far
Chapters 4-11 – call to covenant faithfulness
In chapter 6:4-5 we read some very familiar words; words that Jesus himself used in the New Testament Matthew 22:37. This is what is known as the Shama. The Shama (some spell it Shema) became an important daily prayer in Judaism.
Hear (obey), O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD(God is the one and only God Israel is to worship and obey): And thou shalt love (love brings the context of devotion) the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (Deuteronomy 6:4 – 5)
(Some different ways in which the word Shama is used)
Shama – Hear or Listen – Proverbs 20:12
Shama – Pay Attention or focus on – Leah named her son Simeon or Shim-on in Hebrew – Genesis 29:33 Because the LORD hath heard (shama)
Shama – responding to what you hear Psalm 27:7 asking God to respond or act
Ex 19:5 – Listen and obey or Keep my covenant
11:26 Behold I set. Fore you this day a blessing and a curse – a blessing if ye obey … and a curse if ye will not obey.
Section 2. Collection of the Laws 12-26 (roughly arranged topically)
Chapter 12-16a Israels worship of God (one central temple to worship the one God) and Israels care for the poor All Israelites set aside 1/10 (tithe) to give to the poor every 3 years. These were to set Israel apart from the rest of the world/society as they were entering into the Promised land.
Chapter 16b – 18 character qualities of Israels leaders (Elders, Priest, and Kings) God would send prophets to keep them accountable.
Chapter 19-26 Israel’s civil laws (i.e. marriage, family, and business) & Social Justice/legal system and how it was to protect widows orphans and immigrants.
These were given to set Israel apart from the rest of the world
Section 3. Moses final speech and death 27-34
Listen and obey = blessing
Rebellion = devastation and exile
Forces decision 30:15-20
Chapter 32 – poem of warning
Chapter 33 – poem of blessing
Then Moses walks up on the mountain and dies.
The chapters I was assigned were 19-22 which fall in the section of where all the Laws were being given. The one thing that shocked me most was how many there were. I mean that’s 14 chapters of nothing but laws and statutes, who could ever keep all of them. That brings a whole new level to when the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 3:6b “touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” This was when Paul was describing himself as a Pharisee and he says he was blameless according to the law. Adam and Eve couldn’t follow one verse but Paul is blameless for 14+ Chapters in the Old Testament?! This provoked a couple of thoughts. First and foremost I am so thankful we aren’t under the law. Jesus gave the Pharisees the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:37-40 “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Secondly why so were there so many laws? Well first off for the Children of Israel they were there to set them apart from the rest of the people groups. They were about to go into the promised land where a lot of sinful things were going on, and these laws were separating them from the sin and sanctifying them to God. Along those same lines as Galatians says the law was the schoolmaster unto salvation. The law mad the Children of Israel totally reliant upon God, and reminded them of where they really stood in light of the law and ultimately who God was/is. Now going back to the Shama and Matthew 22:37-40, how is loving the Lord with all thy heart souls and mind the greatest commandment how can that replace all those laws and statutes? It’s pretty simple actually, when we truly put God where he should be we will put ourselves where we should truly be. In our proper places everything else will fall in line where they should. There are only two questions we must ask/answer now, are you putting God in His proper place in your life, ahead of everything else where He has the preeminence, or is something else there?
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 4 comments.
Did You “Write” Your Bible Today?
Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 15 – 18 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)
(Second Milers also read – Galatians 1 – 3; Proverbs 6; Psalm 26 – 30)
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 51:11
Read the “0306 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.” – (Deuteronomy 17:18-20)
A few years back, our church began using a one-on-one discipleship program called “Daily in the Word”, which is a tremendous tool for teaching new believers the foundational truths of Christianity. One of the things that I like about this training is that it emphasizes the practice of writing Scripture. I had read the Bible many times and had memorized and studied portions of the Scripture prior to taking this course, but I must confess that I had never made it a practice to write out portions of Scripture; and to be honest, I was skeptical about the benefit that I would receive by it. However, I have been amazed at how writing the Scripture has helped me to see some things that I had never seen before, and has also helped me to retain much more than just reading alone. I have actually filled up whole notebooks with the Books of the Bible that I have now written. Recently, I purchased an expensive leather journal, and I am writing the Book of Psalms in it. I intend to pass this along to one of my children when I am finished.
Our passage this morning tells us in Deuteronomy 17:18 – 20 that the kings of Israel were required to write out a copy of the law for themselves, and they were to keep that copy with them so that they would know what to do. I don’t believe that all of the kings actually did this because many of them certainly did not follow the precepts contained in the law, and as a result were not very successful at ruling the people of God. However, some of the kings, like David, Hezekiah, Josiah, and others did know the Word, and followed it closely as they ruled over the people. During their reigns the kingdom had the blessing of God evidenced by His abundant provision as well as His protection from enemies. God’s Word certainly made a big difference in the nation when it was revered and obeyed.
We need to place a high priority on the Scripture today. I believe we ought to set aside a special time when we read, listen to and write the Word of God. I believe the more Scripture we absorb into our hearts and minds, the more our faith will be increased (Romans 10:17), and the better we will be able to fulfil the will of God for our lives; not to mention the fact that we will enjoy more prosperity and less problems in life simply because we will know what we should do.
Have you ever thought about writing the Bible? If the Lord tarries, I would love to eventually write out a complete copy of the Word of God. I know the time and effort that I put into it will reap a far greater return.
Additional Note – Notice vs. 16 – 17 regarding what the king was not supposed to do:
“But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.” – (Deuteronomy 17:16-17)
The king was not supposed to multiply horses, wives, or wealth for himself. Boy, Israel sure got away from that, didn’t they? How many wives and concubines did Solomon have? 1000! It must be that the kings of Israel and Judah neglected to “write [them] a copy” of the Word of God, and they certainly must not have been reading it, because if they had, they would not have gotten so far away from where God wanted them. The same is true for you and I today as children of the King. We need to stay close to the Bible; flood our lives with it, so that we will know what we are supposed to do.
Posted in Thoughts from Deuteronomy by Phil Erickson with 9 comments.
Rejoice Before the Lord
Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 12 – 14 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)
(Second Milers also read – 2 Corinthians 9 – 13; Proverbs 5; Psalms 21 – 25)
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 40:31
Read the “0305 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“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 12:7)
“And ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance with you.” (Deuteronomy 12:12)
“But thou must eat them before the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto.” (Deuteronomy 12:18 KJV)
“And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,” (Deuteronomy 14:26)
In each of the verses above the people of God were commanded by the Lord to come to the place that the Lord would choose, and there they were to bring their offerings, whether they be the “firstlings” of their flocks, or the tithe of their crops, or even in some cases they were to bring an equivalent value of their offering in money, with which they could then purchase an appropriate offering. The place of the Lord’s choosing was wherever the Tabernacle of the congregation would be set up. Eventually, the Temple would be built in Jerusalem, which would be the permanent place for the Lord’s people to assemble. Anyway, once at the temple they were to eat “before the Lord” of the sacrifices that they had brought, and rejoice.
Here is how the process worked: God gave the people commandments to live by in their new land. As long as the people obeyed the Lord and kept Him first in their lives, He would bless them with abundant provision and prosperity. Every once in a while, God wanted them to gather together, and sort of have a celebration with Him, rejoicing in all that He had done for them. He wanted them to come to where He decided, and celebrate His abundant provision with Him.
I see a beautiful parallel today to the local church. God has ordained that we gather together often, and we too are to bring with us a portion of what the Lord has blessed us with, and we are also to rejoice before the Lord because of His abundant provision. It’s easy to rejoice when we reflect upon all that we have in Christ. Besides the eternal blessings of salvation, we also enjoy the protection and provision of a wonderful Heavenly Father who takes care of us. God wants us to gather together often and rejoice before Him, praising Him for all that He has done. Let’s not forsake the “assembling of ourselves together”, but let us get together as often as we can, and when we do, let us bring back to Him some of what He has blessed us with, and then let’s be sure to “rejoice before the Lord”.
Posted in Thoughts from Deuteronomy by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.
Let’s Get Back to the Bible
Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 6 – 8 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)
(Second Milers also read – 2 Corinthians 1 – 4; Proverbs 3; Psalms 11 – 15)
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 119:105
Read the “0303 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Read a previous post from today’s passage – “Remember Who Butters Your Bread“
“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 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 6:6-9)
Just before the children of Israel entered into the Land of Promise, God gave them a few important instructions that, if heeded, would guarantee their success in their new home. He told them that if they loved Him with all of their hearts, and obeyed what He commanded them, they would “increase mightily” in the land. He also warned them to completely drive out all of the inhabitants of the land. They were not to make any covenants with them, but were to completely remove or destroy them. The people of God were also warned not to forget God Who gave them this wonderful and fruitful land, and could easily remove them from it if they forsook Him.
God didn’t just want the people to hear these commandments one time, He wanted them to be constantly reminded of them. In Deuteronomy 6:6 – 9, God tells them that He wanted His Word to be memorized, and it was also to be posted everywhere so the people could always remember what God had done for them, and what God expected of them. His Word was also to be diligently discussed and instructed in the home so the children could learn about and revere God also. Knowing and obeying God’s Word guaranteed the prosperity of God’s people. God reminded Joshua of this very same truth in Joshua 1:8:
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)
David also understood this principle and wrote extensively about it in his psalms:
“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.” (Psalms 1:1-3)
In fact, the largest psalm (Psalm 119) is dedicated completely to the Word of God:
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalms 119:105)
This principle is still applicable today. God’s people need to immerse themselves in the Scripture through individual daily reading, studying, and memorization. It is also important to gather together with other believers in the church and hear the Word of God preached and taught from the pulpit. People say that too much of anything is not good, but I can’t imagine that too much of the Bible is bad. In fact, I believe the problems in America today are largely due to a neglect of the Bible.
Let’s get back to the Bible.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3:16)
Posted in Thoughts from Deuteronomy by Phil Erickson with 3 comments.
Not Another Word!
Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 3 – 5 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)
(Second Milers also read – 1 Corinthians 13 – 16; Proverbs 2; Psalms 6 – 10
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – SSPsalm 92:1 – 4
Read the “0302 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.” – (Deuteronomy 3:26)
“For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)
When we were kids, we used to drive our parents crazy asking for things. We would keep asking over and over again until they finally acquiesced to our request, or until they got angry and said, “enough is enough – not another word!” In our passage today we have Moses asking the Lord to change His mind about letting him enter into the land. Moses had been leading the nation for over 40 years, delivering them up to the border of the Promised Land. He had put up with all of their problems and complaints. You would think that God would have cut Moses some slack, and let him see what he had been working toward for a good portion of his life. But God had already told Moses “no”. God is not like us, either: when He says “no” He means no. God told Moses, “Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.” He basically told Moses to quit asking. He wanted Moses to be content with God’s will, whether or not it seemed fair.
Paul had a similar situation in the New Testament. He had a thorn in the flesh that He wanted God to take away from him. He asked God three times to remove it. God finally told Paul to stop asking. He wanted Paul to be content with the thorn, which for some reason was the will of God. He told Him that He would give him grace to go with the thorn, and that He should be content with that because it is sufficient.
I think it is just human nature for us to keep asking for things. By the way, there is nothing wrong with asking, and God even wants us to keep asking over and over again for the same thing. But eventually there will come a point when He will answer. He will either grant you the desire, or He will tell you “no”. When He tells you “no”, quit asking; and then be content with His will coupled with His grace. If you really needed what you were asking for, he would have given it to you. Be satisfied with what you do get, and know that God knows what is best. Perhaps someday we will understand a little better why God answered the way He did, but for now, just trust Him.
Posted in Thoughts from Deuteronomy by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.
Just One Thing
Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 1 – 2 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)
(Second Milers also read – 1 Corinthians 9 – 12; Proverbs 1; Psalms 1 – 5)
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 92:1 – 4
Read the “0301 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God,” – (Deuteronomy 1:32)
The context of the above verse involves Moses reminiscing with the nation of Israel as they were near the end of their wandering in the Wilderness for 40 years. He reminds them of the reason that they had to delay their entrance into the Promised Land, which was their inability to trust God to deliver the “giant” inhabitants of the land of Canaan into their hand. They were afraid, and their fear caused them to doubt that God was powerful enough to give them victory. This was after they had seen first hand the power of God as He delivered them from the Egyptians; as He parted the Red Sea; and as He miraculously provided for their needs in their journey. Notice what Moses said in verse 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.” – (Deuteronomy 1:31)
God had certainly never given them a reason not to trust Him. They had seen Him do the impossible, yet they could not trust Him to give them victory in the battle with the people of Canaan.
My thought this morning is in the phrase, “yet in this thing.” Though the people had seen God do great things in the past, and were trusting Him to do many things in the present, there was one thing that they could not trust Him to do. They were “picking and choosing” the specific areas of trust. Do you find yourself doing that? I guess it is something we are all guilty of, if you think about it. There are some specific areas where we choose not to trust God. So what do we do instead? We do what seems right to us. Let’s consider some verses that should challenge that course of action:
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” – (Proverbs 3:5-6)
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” – (Proverbs 12:15)
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” – (Proverbs 14:12)
We need to trust God completely. We need to surrender to Him completely. Either He is the omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent God, or He is not. We need to trust in His provision, protection, and His purpose for our lives. We need to take our hands off the wheel, and allow God to steer our course, and control our direction. I know that this is a very difficult thing for us to do, but it is still what God demands. Let Him have His way in your life. You can trust Him in all things, not just most things. God did bring the Israelites into the land, just 38 years later than He could have. As a nation, they did eventually receive all of the blessing that the land had to offer, but many individuals missed out. What blessings and abundance are you missing out on because of your refusal to believe God “in this thing”?
One more thought. We can apply this principle also in the area of our obedience. We often “pick and choose” which commandments and principles of God that we are going to obey. God wants complete submission to His will.
Posted in Thoughts from Deuteronomy by Phil Erickson with 3 comments.