The Seine River running through Paris

The Seine River running through Paris

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Mar 20, Deut 30-31

Today's reading are Deut 30-31. Tomorrow's are Deut 32-34 and Psalms 91.

In the last half of Deut 29, Moses prophesies Israel's rebellion once they enter the Promised Land. God's unlimited grace is prophesied as a reaction to their rebellion in Deut 30:1-10. The rest of ch 30 makes it crystal clear that obedience to God brings blessing and life while rebellion results in judgment and death.

God prescribes a periodic reading of the Law in Deut 31. The Law is an ever-present reminder of the call to holiness and the Jews' long history of struggle with God's commandments. It is also an ongoing and powerful reminder of His faithfulness and grace. 

Immediately prior to their entry into Canaan, Israel receives a new leader, Joshua, and a song, The Song of Moses. The new leader is a poignant reminder that God is their primary leader, although He appoints godly men to work through. The song is designed to be an easy way for them to recall their history.   

Why does Israel continue to fall away? We are learning that it is impossible for them to be obedient. Their humanness incessantly causes them to take God for granted, pursue their own self-interests, rebel against His laws and, generally, fail at every chance they get to become the holy representatives of God they want to be. 

They are no different than us. In the final analysis, they are totally dependent on God's grace rather than their own capability to life perfect lives. God consistently shows them His grace. It is becoming more clear with each stumble they endure, that the grace the Jews receive is not because of who they are, but because of who God is.

The strength the Jews possess is not in their own capability. Their capability to lead holy lives invariably fails them. Their holiest attribute is on display whenever they repent and turn back toward God. Their recognition of their own sin and their remorse over it is what God uses to refine them and bless them. 

That's what God wants from His people - a desire for holiness. As we watch the Jews struggle with their desire to please God and the tension it produces with their desire to please themselves, we gain an appreciation for their tenacity. But, we also begin to develop an appreciation for the grace of God.

The Jews need it, and so do we. 

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