april 7, 2021

Deuteronomy 31:1-32:27

Moses would not be permitted to enter into the Promised-Land. He had prayed to the LORD three times about it and God said no – Moses had misrepresented God when he was angry with the people. 

I only bring that up because although Moses didn’t get his way, he didn’t get bitter; he didn’t finish his life on a sour note. He encouraged the people. He encouraged Joshua his successor. He encouraged the Levites. He did everything possible to infuse the people with faith. 

When we started the church in El Monte the verse that God made personal to me was:

Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV) “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

One day back in 2002 I was praying about what to do. I was looking at a beautiful work of art my eight-year-old daughter, Ariel, had colored for me and it had a Bible verse on it; while I was pondering and praying, a lady who had never previously called me, phoned and told me that God had given her a Bible verse for me, it was Deuteronomy 31:6. After I hung up the phone, I noticed that it was the same verse my daughter had put on her artwork – Deuteronomy 31:6. This was one of the ways God clearly confirmed my calling, that He wanted me to go and start a Bible Study in the city of El Monte. He told me to be strong and courageous – NOT to be afraid for He Himself was the one who would go with me. And what a beautiful work God has done in Calvary Chapel El Monte all these years. His promise is true!

Moses wrote the law (Deuteronomy 31:9) and he commanded the Levites to read all the law to all Israel (Deuteronomy 31:11). His prayer was that the people would learn to fear the LORD (Deuteronomy 31:13).

Moses’ time was drawing near, he was to bring Joshua to the tabernacle in order to inaugurate him into “office.” God told them at that time that the day would come when Israel would serve other gods, and He would punish them by expelling them from the land. Neither Moses or Joshua knew exactly when, so this would keep all future leaders on their toes, to be constantly warning the people to be true to the LORD. But when that generation was eventually carried away, they would have this song as a witness against them.

The Law, which was placed the in Ark of the Covenant, would be a witness against them, and so would the song of Moses.

The LORD is good, He is Rock, His ways are perfect and just – and yet they have corrupted themselves.

Deuteronomy 32:6 (NKJV) “Do you thus deal with the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is He not your Father, who bought you? Has He not made you and established you?”

The LORD separated the sons of Adam, He divided to them the Promised Land; Israel was God’s inheritance.  God chose Israel, God instructed Israel, God kept them as the apple of His eye. The LORD carried Israel, He bore them up on eagle’s wings. God blessed this nation. 

But once they prospered, they forgot God, they provoked Him to jealousy, they even sacrificed to demons.

So God hid His face from them, He heaped disasters on them, He brought other nations against them and would have dashed Israel to pieces, but He didn’t, for the sake of His name.

The reason this song would be a witness against Israel is this is close to six hundred years before it ever happened. All the children would know this song, memorize this song, and sing this song, but because they ignored this song, the generation would eventually come…that would experience this song.

If only we would read and heed God’s Word, especially His warnings! What a different life it would be!

Luke 12:8-34

The public confession of Christ in the here and now, is imperative – we must not be ashamed! The denial of Christ now, leads to a denial of entrance into heaven…forever. Are you bold in your belief? Unashamed?

To blaspheme the Holy Spirit is to refuse His message of salvation in Christ (John 15:26) this is the only unforgivable sin.

In Luke 12:11-12 Jesus is not speaking about preparing a Bible study, He is speaking about testifying in a courtroom setting, as the church would suffer severe persecution. The promise is beautiful:

Luke 12:12 (NKJV) “For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

Imagine this guy interrupting Jesus’ sermon because he’s so desperate to get the money. Our Lord’s teaching on this is radically different than the world’s teaching (Luke 12:15). When we start to accumulate too much stuff, it’s time to start giving it away, not building bigger barns or renting more storage. If our focus is only on earthly riches, which are temporary, we will lose out on those spiritual riches which are eternal. God knows our hearts, and can know our hearts too, by searching out at the way we spend His money.

Worry is not only an act of disobedience, it’s dangerous. Warren Wiersbe said, “The word translated ‘worry’ (in Luke 12:22) means “to be pulled apart,” and that is what worry does to you.”

 Worry is a sin simply because Jesus commands us not to worry. My prayer: “Lord, You know, that I don’t worry too much about food and clothing, (although I may be preoccupied with these things), but I do worry about my family, I do worry about the flock; it seems as if there are always ‘issues’ that somehow surface and I have a choice, I can melt in fear, or I can pray over it, ask You for wisdom, and surrender it to You. Lord, please help me to trust You.”

When Jesus commented on how worrying cannot add one cubit to my stature, I believe He’s saying we won’t grow by worrying – but we will grow by trusting and seeking God and His Kingdom – first.

Jesus closes this section on money-matters with a banking truth:

Luke 12:34, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Am I giving to God? Am I giving to ministries that are doing God’s work? Am I giving to the genuinely poor, to genuine needs? Am I giving at all? 

May our hearts not be bound to this earth, but rather completely surrendered to God, reflected in the way we lay up treasures in heaven.

Matthew 6:19-20 (NKJV) “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

Psalm 78:32-55

In reviewing the history of Israel – it just breaks our hearts. In spite of all that God had done for them, in spite of all the love He showered upon them, they still sinned, they still did not believe in His wondrous works (Psalm 78:32).

Psalms 78:33 (NKJV) “Therefore their days He consumed in futility, and their years in fear.”

What a terrible epitaph!

God disciplined the people, even to the point of death, it was then that they sought Him, in moments of earnestness, but that didn’t last very long. The Lord knew their unfaithful hearts, He knew they would wander, but He had compassion upon them and forgave their iniquity. 

Have you ever been there? Maybe with a child? Maybe even with a spouse? You’ve tried everything you can to bring them to a proper place in life; you’ve been nice, you’ve been forgiving, you’ve tried tough love, even heavy discipline, but it doesn’t work? We read over and over again the pattern of foolishness:

Psalms 78:40-41 (NKJV) “How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, and grieved Him in the desert! Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.”

The Lord wanted to do so much more and bless His people beyond their wildest imagination, but they limited the LORD God Almighty! They did not remember all that God had done in saving them from Egypt.

May we learn, may I learn from their tragic mistake. May I always remember the way God saved me and has so graciously sustained me…all my life. May I bless Him and obey Him opening my eyes to this the wonderful land I’ve landed in; may we all.

Proverbs 12:21-23

V. 21 – When we’re followers of Christ, even what the world may perceive to be troubles, become triumphs…no grave trouble overtakes us. This is not true of the wicked.

V. 22 – We are to gird our waists with truth (Ephesians 6:14) – always. Lies are the language of Lucifer.

V. 23 – Wise is the person who does not share everything with everyone; we may hear of the fall of a fellow believer, or the struggle of a saint, the latest gossip in the world, or even might be tempted to boast of our Bible brilliance. God knows our heart – may it never be foolish in its proclamation.

If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.

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