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Week 9 - Deuteronomy 13-Deuteronomy 31, Psalm 57-63

This week, I just wanted to share a few highlights as I reflect on what we are reading!

Offerings and Our Story

In Deuteronomy 26, Moses explains the process that the Israelites are to follow in giving their offerings. What is very unique about these instructions is that the people are commanded to recite their story as a people when they give their offering. This signals for me that there is a deeper reason for giving offerings than simply meeting various financial needs. The Israelites are reminded that they came from nothing, and God gave them everything. By giving their offerings, they are reminded regularly that it is God who provides for them and sustains them, not themselves.

The spirit of independence runs very deep in America. There is an almost sacred quality assigned to being independent, where self reliance is better than reliance on others, and self interest takes priority over our responsibility to others. This has produced a society that is very industrious and creative in solving complex problems, but it has not made us reliant upon God.

Often our first question when it comes to our relationship with God is, "what do I get out of this?" When we read about Israel's story, we are reminded that the first question should actually be, "what has God already done for me?"

Long Live the King

One of the ongoing temptations that Israel was constantly dealing with was the desire to be like the other nations rather than being the nation that God wants them to be. In Deuteronomy 17, we see the first mention of a king who would rule over Israel. God knew that it would be a great point of comparison for the people, and they would desire to set up a powerful king that would lead them to greatness.

One of the things that makes Israel's king unique is that he would be under the authority of God's law rather than being an authority unto himself, like the kings of other nations were. He is to do the tedious and painstaking work of writing a copy of God's law for himself, that he might be in it day and night. Let's notice that this is the king's work, it's not something that he can delegate to someone else!

As we will soon be reminded, the kings of Israel never live up to the description of the king described in these verses. But thanks be to God that he has not left his people to be led by sub-par rulers! Rather, he came to us himself to be our one true king, whose throne will never be given to another! I'm talking about Jesus, of course!

My Favorite Verse in Deuteronomy

Is Deuteronomy 29:29 - The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

This passage has guided and comforted me in more situations that I can count. It reminds me that God has given me what I need to know, and that I need to be at peace with the fact that there are things that God simply doesn't want me to know at this time. I wrestle with the question of "why?" an often do not have a good answer for it. But this passage helps me by reminding me that God does know, it is better that he knows and I don't, and this really can be enough for me.

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