28.5 Moses 28, Day 5

It’s All About God

Why are there so many verses in the bible about the heart?  I think one reason is because God wants our heart.  Not the pumping muscle, but our spirit, our being, our soul.  God does not want mere intellectual acquiescence, He wants a spiritual relationship.  We are souls with a body, not a body with a soul.  God has kept things hidden so that it requires faith, it requires trust, it requires heart.

God can relate to the broken-hearted.  In Jeremiah 31:32 He refers back to these people of Israel that He is addressing in Deuteronomy and says, “They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife.

God is love.  God loves us, because He is love.  He wants our heart because He wants what is best for us.  God is God, real, true, the rock, faithful, present, personal, love.

And, that is the point of the entire study we have done this year.  We can think about Moses.  We can think about the promised land.  We can feel bad for Moses as he nears death without being allowed to enter the promised land.  We can see that as harsh and severe.

But, Moses didn’t do that in these chapters.  Instead, Moses spoke about God.  Everything we have studied in these books of the bible, and frankly everything in the bible, is about God.  That is the point.  It’s not about Moses.  It’s not about Egypt or the wilderness or the promised land.  Its not about you or me.  It is about God.  He is that big that it being all about Him is right and true and accurate.

And, yet, He loves us and allows us to enter a relationship while we are still completely sinful and broken and with the knowledge that we will fail and cheat and dishonor Him.  We will break His heart and He will mend ours.  He will dwell among us and take us as His children and give us peace.  And He Will Be Our God.

When Jesus comforted His apostles in the upper room before His crucifixion He said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

But we live in times where all too often Jesus, instead of being the center of the church, is being pushed outside of the church.  Sadly, from scripture, that picture of the heart, too, is foretold.  Revelation 3:20 paints a haunting image.  In a rebuke of the church it notes “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”.  Instead of being inside, at the center, Jesus is outside knocking for anyone to hear His voice and open the door.  And, yet, even then – He knocks!

 

My Answers:

10.
a.
take heart, seek with heart, love with heart, serve with heart, words in heart, listen with heart, circumcised hearts.  God is Love.  He wants not mental or physical acquiescence but a full relationship.

b.
Obedience always follows.  Faith grows, service grows, strength grows, love grows, blessings grow.  Testing and challenges still happen.  Difficult times can come, but God’s strength is great.

11.
The Word of God (Jesus) is the gateway to salvation.  The Holy Spirit then comes to fill the believer and bring us closer to holiness.

12.
a.
It was time to turn the page to new leadership.  Moses had brought them to the Promised Land.  He was honored best at this moment

b.
It’s not about Moses – it is all about God.

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28.4 Moses 28, Day 4

Hi Fidelity

As Moses closes out the message from God to the Israelites before they enter the promised land, in these last chapters of Deuteronomy, everything centers around God’s renewed covenant with them.  “You will be my people and I will be your God.”  It is a bonded relationship, a commitment, a promise, a covenant.

But God is not blind to the future practices of his partner in this relationship.  He knows, even as He makes the vow, that His people will cheat on Him.  They will lie, they will turn to other gods, they will make sacrifices to those other gods and they will abandon the Lord.  He knows all of this and still chooses them and still promises to stay true to the relationship.

Think about that.  Would you enter into a covenant relationship with a spouse or business partner that you knew would do these things to you?  That is how great God’s love is!

And, he warns them that this fall will not come in the hard times.  They won’t turn to other gods or sin when they are conquering the land, when God is in front of them fighting the battles, or when they face death, difficulty, hunger or other challenges.  They will be most tempted and yield to that temptation in the times of abundance.  When they are no longer wandering in the desert but living off the bounty of the land that God promised them and that God provided to them and that God nourished and cared for for them – then they will cheat on Him.

They will decide they know better.  God said, to clear out the native people.  He divided up the land and none of it was an inheritance to the wicked enemies who currently occupied it, but the Israelites felt they knew better.  They had plenty, plus they could be in charge of making treaties and inter-marrying.  It’s not like they needed to rely on God, things were going well.

When we face challenges in life, we turn back to God.  When terrorist attacks occur, the churches fill up.  But when things go well, when God provides, we turn away from Him.

However, God is faithful.  His faith is not in us – that would be foolish.  His faith is in Himself and the nature and character of who He is and the relationship He has committed to with His people.  His end of that relationship is unwavering.  It may take us reaching the point where we must rely on Him because we have nothing else, but even then, especially then, God is faithful.  We cannot earn that faithfulness.  We do not deserve that faithfulness.

I found it interesting that one of the words that is a synonym to faithfulness is fidelity. Infidelity in a relationship is to cheat on the relationship.  Someone who is called an infidel is literally to call them “without faith.”  But, most interesting to me was that high fidelity is an audio term used to describe something that is a very close copy of the original.  It was used with improved recording techniques and the move to digital mastering.  But God is not a copy of the original – God is the original.  Simply stated you cannot reach a higher level of fidelity than the Creator, the true Master.

 

My Answers:

8.
a.
When things would go well, they would become self reliant and abandon God and reject Him, They would worship foreign gods, sacrifice to them , desert God.  I have become lax in my obedience and time with God when things go well.  I take Him for granted and fail to praise Him and honor Him, relying on myself.  I explore other things, rather than staying true.

b.
Idolotry.  They failed to be obedient and remove the people and gods of the nations they were to defeat.
They lacked sense and discernment

c.
There is a “their” and an “our”.  1. Moses is part of the our and he is Hebrew.  2. God has promised that the Israelites will be My people and I will be your God, so the “their” must be someone else.  All others that tempt Israel are enemies to her.

9.
When it best demonstrates His glory.  When their strength and rebellion is exhausted.

28.2 Moses 28, Day 2

The Next Generation

Moses’ time on this earth was drawing to a close.  An entire generation of Israelites had been set free from slavery, and had perished in the desert.  And, now, was the time for the next generation.

As I work with kids, in BSF and Sunday School, as well as my own children and their friends, groups, clubs and teams, I spend a lot of each week with “the next generation”.  I see that for each generation God has a special message and He raises up leaders to deliver that message and help lead His people.

For the generation of Moses one of the clear messages was “let my people go.”  It was a generation learning how to be free and how to make their own choices of moving forward in obedience to God or moving backward into a slavery mindset.  For the next generation, Joshua’s generation, one of the clear messages will be “be strong and courageous.”

Each generation has a message, each generation has godly leaders.  I think this pattern has continued to this day, whether looking at the message of reformation in Luther, Calvin and Wesley or the message of evangelism and personal relationship of Billy Graham and David Jeremiah.  The message and direction and leadership are new and specific to that generation.

Yet, God and His underlying message never change.  He is the Rock.  His power is absolute and His love is amazing.  Every message for every generation, while new and unique, is consistent and true to His nature and His word.

I don’t know what the message for the next generation is, but I see a stirring in young believers to really know and live in His word.  I see a move away from watered down, feel good interpretations of the bible and a move to self accountability to read and know what the bible actually says.  I see a generation that is not intimidated by the Word and willing to make a commitment to God.  I also see a generation under attack with distractions and double-talk and sin wrapped up in the cloak of “normal” with extreme pressure to be tolerant of wickedness.  But this too is a sign of encouragement, because Satan seldom goes on the offensive when the momentum of a generation is a slide in his direction.

I hope and pray that is the message, and, if I’m right, I pray to stay young because I want to be a part of that!

 

My Answers

3.
a.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never l

b.
Because it was for Joshua to serve as the leader over.  It was for Joshua and his generation.

c.
Isaiah 41:10, Fear not for I am with you, do not be dismayed – by God’s strength and not by mine, upheld by His righteousness. Rom 8:11 the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you

4.
a.
Moses wrote down the law, gave it to priests and all elders, every 7 years gather and read the law, listen and learn

b.
It was not a surprise, God knew it would happen .  It does not mean God didn’t know and it explains the hardship to come.  God was not defeated by sin, He was and would be so great in His love that He would allow His people the freedom to sin against Him.