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Week 8 - Numbers 31-Deuteronomy 12, Psalm 50-56

Welcome to week 8! I pray that this year's reading has been a blessing, yielding practical benefits for your walk with the Lord. This week, I would like to share some of my favorite parts of this week's reading, as well as some general thoughts about Deuteronomy as a book.

Numbers 35 - Cities of Refuge

The city of refuge paints a beautiful picture of the people of God for me. The people of God are to be a community where it is safe for people who have made mistakes. It is a place where you can belong, even if really bad things have happened in your life. And what a picture of the gospel it is, that you stay in the city of refuge until the death of the high priest. After the high priest's death, you can return home!

Deuteronomy - The importance of our story

Deuteronomy is one of my favorite books in the Old Testament. We see Moses giving, basically, his final address to the people before he steps down from leadership and they begin their journey to receive the promised land. It is a new generation. A group of people who did not experience the mighty acts of God in the Exodus, and, they also didn't experience many of the great failures of the people to follow God's command in the wilderness.

Into this situation, Moses takes the time to recount their story as a people. It is this story that explains where they came from, who they are, and where they are going. It establishes their identity as a people. The author Christopher Wright explains that a people's identity guides people in three major ways, their worship, their ethics, and their mission. We see Moses hit on all three of these areas as he tells Israel their story.

Deuteronomy 6 - The Shema

This chapter contains one of the most famous passages in the whole Bible, the Shema. The word Shema is a Hebrew word which means, "hear". There are two components to this section, the command to love the Lord God with everything that we are, and, to diligently teach our children to do the same.

What is the connection? I think that what we require, and don't require, of our own children is often a clear indicator of the values that guide our own hearts and lives.

Deuteronomy 11 - Only two paths

I love that Moses is so definitive and clear with the Israelites in this book! Maybe it is a result of him knowing that this will be his last communication to them? But Moses presents to his people only two options. Life, or death. Obedience or disobedience. Blessing, or curse. Sometimes we need to hear things like that too! Where in the world of options and opportunities that we live in, in the end there is life with God, or death in the world.

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