Category: Deuteronomy


Day 81

Day 81 Deuteronomy 32-34, Psalms 91

They snuck in Psalm 91! It’s interesting to read after reading the song Moses sang to Israel just before he died..

Day 80 Deuteronomy 30-31

‎31:27 cracked me up.. I can picture this 120 year old man saying this! perhaps along with a smack across the top of their heads for good measure.

Struggling

Day 79 Deuteronomy 28-29

 

      I know a large portion  of the unpleasantness of today’s passages is prophecy. Prophesy is never much fun.. The curses Moses is warning us about will happen to Israel over and over.. But I take issue with some of this, At first glance it’s really setting someone up for thinking if good things are happening to me it must be because I’m a good guy and if bad things are happening to me it must be because I’m a bad guy… like Job’s friends. But we know that’s just not true, first off no one is without sin, and we know of many biblical examples of good people who have bad things happen to them. As we read through some of the more difficult stuff I keep thinking, what do I do with this? I feel the desire and need to reconcile it with my understanding of the Bible as a whole: that grace comes from faith alone not from following the law. We follow God’s commandments because we love him and He loves us not because we think we are capable of following them 100%. Not because we think that blessing and curses are attached to following the law. Anyone else struggling with this or am I alone?

Snuck in there was 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. 

The things revealed… you really do have to uncover some things, wrestle with them for yourselves.  Some secrets God will keep but unraveling the mystery of life is a beautiful thing to behold for what we learn along the journey and from the journey really does belong to us!  That’s why I don’t mind feeling uncomfortable with what I’m reading.. it’s part of the journey and the discovery for myself draws me closer to my maker!

Day 78

Day 78 Deuteronomy 24-27

Read it.

Bury your Poop

Day 77 Deuteronomy 21-23

 Are these even considered part of the law or are these just Moses’ suggestions?  If it IS more of a Moses thing he’s coming off as really cantankerous in his old age… Such curious things to rant about and rather random.. let’s see we have unsolved mystery murders, taking wives from captives, inheritance disputes between the sons of favored and disliked wives, a uniquely deadly approach to parenting rebellious children, a side note about impaling people on stakes, taking in stray animals, notes about cross dressing, out-of-place compassion for mother birds (coo-coo), building codes, keeping your planting and beast of burden organized, a sad take on rape and victimization of women with descriptive examples, a lengthy list of who is NOT invited to the “party,” a wonderful aside about how to poop while camping, a few other things but my favorite was apparently you’re allowed to walk around your neighbor’s vineyard and pick grapes to snack on but you can’t pick them and fill up a bucket.  I just planted a garden and well, eventually I’ll get to the point where I have enough veggies to share abundantly but I think I’d have issues with neighbors sneaking in my back yard and munching on my tomatoes out there.  I’d be odd. 

   You know what, I found a link!  it’s like watching cable TV at night! you’ve got your Murder mysteries, soap operas, Sister Wives,  Super strict Super Nanny,  Animal rescuers, What Not to Wear, building shows, Sexist Judge Judy, bathroom episode of Survivor Man… Yep, guess not much has changed.

  All right, all right, all joking aside I gotta be honest, reading stuff like this is not easy.  I mean what was the point?!  I guess you got to have laws and rules but Ugg.. where is the love in all this?  Why does a woman have to scream while she’s being raped in order for her not to be stoned afterwards!?  Why does her sheets have to bear the proof of her virginity to prevent being stoned?  Who would bring their unruly son to the gates of the city to be stoned to death? Just out of curiosity and let me know if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Ruth a Moabite? And wasn’t she  King David’s great-grandmother? So.. were they not keeping to the no Moabite or Moabite descendents in the assembly of the Lord rule?  This is a part of the Bible like it or not, so what do I do with it?

Why Only Half the Lesson?

Day 76 Deuteronomy 17-20

Deuteronomy 18:14-19 Wowza what a Jesus sighting!

     The rest is some tough stuff.. I struggle with some of this, I really do. I found it interesting that when they talk about witnesses and when the accused is found guilty that the first rocks thrown must be thrown by a witness… reminds me of Jesus saying that the one without sin can throw the first stone.

      Also the eye for eye part… reminds me of Matthew 5: 39-39:You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. My daughter knocked her brother’s tooth out last week while they were fighting over cheese sticks in front of the refrigerator… It was kind of loose anyways but Miss E certainly helped it along the way with a good smack to the face.  It was the most dramatic tooth loosing in history of my little family… lots of blood and screaming and well of course I had to whip out the camera and take a photo because the kid is just so darn cute missing his front tooth.  Anyhow, I am VERY grateful we don’t live by eye for eye, tooth for tooth… Missy two-year old is not due to lose any teeth any time soon.

 It’s like the law is only half the message. Why did the Israelites have to wait for the other half?   Is it so that we’d know just how much we really needed Him?  Is it because there could be no completion without Jesus? 

Lord, you are the same throughout the ages.. but so many of us see two different messages spoken in the old and the new testament… I struggle with this.  Give me eyes to see the why.  As I journey to answering this question may it draw me closer to You.

Debt Relief

Day 75 Deuteronomy 14-16

Hmm.. more interesting laws that once seemed so foreign but now we’ve gone over them so many times it’s actually starting to sink in… not that I’d ever have the opportunity to cook a lamb in it’s actual mother’s milk.. I now know back in the day it’s a no no.  Got it, no really, I got it, no need to go over this one again. 

    What jumped out at me this time around was Verses 15:  1-2:  “1 At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. 2 This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the LORD’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed.” Kind of a curious practice. Boy howdy if that were the case today we’d just pay the minimum on our credit cards for seven years then call it a day. Biblical economics is fascinating in and of itself (that’s an odd thing to say, but hey I’m geeky like that) But I believe there is deeper meaning.. as always a tie to what is to come. 

    The version of the Lord’s Prayer that I was taught as a kid includes the line “Forgive us our debts and we  forgive or debtors.”  I have to wonder if it’s the same kind of debt… is there a connection?  Matthew Chapter 18: 21-35 Jesus tells the parable of the unmerciful servant:

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[a]

   23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[b] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

   26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

   28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[c] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

   29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

   30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

   32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

   35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

  What are our debts? What do we owe God?  Romans 6: 23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Is Jesus the ultimate debt cancelor?  I’m making this an official economic Jesus sighting… and I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch.  but that’s just me.

   Thank you Lord for my canceled debt, may I alway cancel the debt of others to me.  I think of the words we frequently replace that word with in the Lord’s Prayer: transgressions, sins, debt.  How do I forgive the screwy things people do to me?  You are right I should do it completely and I do it over and over and over again.

Is He Talking to Me?

Day 74 Deuteronomy 11-13

  I’m not sure if God’s leading me into a period of desert wandering, or a new promise land or perhaps I’m over doing the analogies but I do know my life is taking a dramatic unexpected turn… what now do I do with it?  Over the last two days I’ve felt as though some of Moses’ advice to the young Israelites was speaking to me.  Yesterdays the verses Deut. 8: 2-5 touched me and I thought about them through out the day:  2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you. 

   What struck a chord with me was Humbled… right now I feel utterly humbled.  I think of it as a good thing, not necessarily my circumstances (at all) but the opportunity to be humbled by them… it brings us into a much more honest approach to God… we are less likely to take credit for what is good in our lives and more likely to cling to our Maker with all we’ve got.  When something really horrid happens how many of us utter the words, “Oh God.”   No matter how we stray it’s trying times that reminds us who we really should be dependent on.  Through this process there is almost a liberating feeling.. oh, it’s not just my burden to bear, look the LORD is here to bear it with me.

   Today’s passages struck me on an application level as well.. the idea of blessings and curses based on following the law.  In a way it sounds like a dictatorship on the surface.. I honestly think our resistance to following directions is the fundamental foundation of sin… “Eat whatever you’d like except don’t eat of this tree…   [chomp]  ok little missy and little mister we need to talk about following directions!”  The commandments aren’t too horrid, well the big ten at least make sense.  If you keep the ten commandments you’d be better off than if you didn’t.  To me that’s the blessing and the curse… So I’m left wondering (and again perhaps I’m being a little too literal with the analogies, but it’s where I am so put up with it..) as I enter this new “phase” of my life what idols will I encounter and how will I handle them?  How do I navigate this new world keeping the Lord close?  My buddy Jena commented that “There is strength in obedience” after reading today passages.  The Lord knows I need strength right now.  Do what’s right even though every fiber of my being wants to throw a royal temper tantrum the likes of have never been seen before .  I’d be justified, but to who?  How can I keep God’s commandments and avoid idols as I pass into this new life? What would they look like? I only needed to listen to 20 minutes of pop culture radio to be reintroduced to some of the biggies. I won’t know till I’m there, but I’m pretty sure keeping commandments and avoiding idols involves loving and serving God through the yuck, despite the yuck, with in the yuck. 

     I don’t feel like I’m walking into a promise land, but I have been promised that “it’s all going to be ok.”  It’s so vague, too vague.  I want to know how, when, why… WHY I’m dealing with what I’m dealing with.  It’s all going to be ok… I cling to that and I cling to my Maker.  I will try to continue to walk the walk, I will be humbled and be proud of it (LOL the irony just hit me), I will avoid the pitfalls that are sure to come in this new uncharted territory.  I am not alone… with God going before me and friends He’s sent by my side I know, I know, I know I’m going to be ok.

Day 73 Deuteronomy 8-10

This cracked me up today.. I see a good ‘ol Moses essentially saying,”You are about to walk into the promise land but don’t think for a second you “earned” it.. you young wipper snappers! Let me tell you how many times over the last 40+ years you screwed up!” LOL.. poor Moses and his half million “stiffed-necked” people.

The Big Ten

Day 72 Deuteronomy 5-7

  I guess this is the “official” Ten Commandments.. the others in Exodus seem to vary a little from what we’re used to but this is what I think of when I think of the Big Ten.. I was touched by Deuteronomy 6:4-8:  4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[c] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.

How do we as society do this today? All I had to do was a little google visual searching and came up with some interesting stuff: