As your leader takes a drink of water and prepares for his first discourse, you gaze at the people around you. These are your people. Your family. The seeds of your new nation. As you look in their eyes, you see a reflection of your own emotions: anticipation, excitement, fear, and grief. Everyone has lost loved ones. In fact, over the last 40 years your parent’s entire generation has died, with only two exceptions. And as their bodies littered the desert, your generation’s tears have stained the sand. The people around you now are young, none older than 59—except for the 2 and the old man. The tech crew has finished setting up the projector. And the old man is moving to take his place. The slide show is about to start. His words are capable of turning each photo into a motion picture—breathing new life into neglected memories while rekindling old emotions. For you, not all the old memories are your personal memories; but they are your most recent history. Each picture represents a segment of the epic tale for the ages. Like any good tale; there are mind-blowing miracles, unlikely victories, devastating defeats, and shameful embarrassments.
But you know this tale isn’t complete—the story you are about to hear is to be continued by your generation. It’s up to you to determine its trajectory. And it’s your responsibility to ensure the future generations know God, love Him, and follow Him. As you wait for the old man to arrange his notes you ask God to open everyone’s heart and mind to absorb his entire message so the last generation’s rebellion and unbelief won’t be repeated. The shadow of their failure is just starting to ebb from your memory. And there’s too much at stake for you to fail as well!
As soon as you look up, the old man begins…
Deuteronomy is a call to complete devotion to God. Period.
In the midst of its profound theological themes, rich pastoral teaching, and the reiteration of the Law; Moses gets deeply personal. He instigates each person to make wise spiritual decisions because of who God is, how He has cared for their individual needs, and what they know of Him in the private recesses of their soul.
Moses isn’t trying to ignite warm-fuzzy feelings. He’s provoking action! He’s single-minded in his task—to equip God’s people to thrive in the midst of a religiously hostile culture of their Promised Land. He knows the Land they are about to enter is saturated with various religions, complete with idolatry and demonic pagan rituals—everything God is against. The people currently in the Land and surrounding it are hostile toward God’s people and reject their monotheistic point of view. Moses warns these people won’t stop at resistance. They’re determined to erode Israel’s faith until they’re willing to convert to their pagan lifestyle.
Sound familiar? We also live in a very religious culture. Religion is accepted, tolerated, and encouraged. But Jesus is not. “Only a consistent, wholehearted dedication to remain faithful to the true God will enable the people of God to maintain a vibrant relationship with God and a powerful testimony for him.”
Therefore, Moses’s message to the Israelites is Vibrantly Relevant to us. Whether we’re transitioning to a new chapter in life, entering a new phase of development, or approaching the Promised Land God has led us to, we must “Take to heart all the words [Moses has] solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess” (Deut. 32:46-47).
Beloved. There’s much to learn and remember in Deuteronomy. There’s encouragement and warning. But most of all there’s a call to action: To be completely devoted to God. Are you game? Are you as excited as I am?
If you are journaling through this:
What is your current state of transition?
Are your at the beginning, middle, or end?
What are your excited about? Afraid of? Uncertain of? Anticipating?
Are you relying on God to guide you or are your trying to guide yourself?
What are you hoping the end results will be?
Ask God to help you and direct you. Ask Him to light your path so you won’t stumble and will know which way you are supposed to go. Thank Him for all He has done for you and in the areas where your faith is weak, ask Him to strengthen it.
Blessings! I can’t wait to being digging in to this AMAZING book!