Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 31 March 20:
Deuteronomy 32:47 — “For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”
For so many, the Bible is just empty words. But for the Christian, the Bible is the word of life which teaches the fear of the Lord, which in turn produces wisdom (Proverbs 2:2-6), but most importantly, the Bible guides us into greater unity with Him, the Living Word of Life, Jesus. (John 17) God uses His word to transform your heart (Proverbs 2:10) and to guide you along the right path in life (Proverbs 2:13-15). God’s word should be more valuable to you than silver, and its insights should excite you more than would finding a hidden treasure (Proverbs 2:4). Do you feel that excitement?
Moses had come to the end of his service as leader of the people of Israel and to the end of his life. He gathered all the people to the edge of the Promised Land to give them his final words of wisdom as they prepared to embark upon their long-awaited historic conquest without him. It is impossible to imagine the emotion he must have felt at this moment. He had spent his whole life preparing to lead or leading his people, building them into a mighty nation. He had watched an entire generation perish in the desert through the process. He had given his all to his people; he had a genuine heart for his people, and there is no way to measure how deeply he cared for his people. So, from all of his experience and with all of his love, what were the final words Moses wanted to leave with his people — “Be strong and courageous,” and “be careful to do all the words of this law. For it is no empty word for you, but your very life.” Of course this is the same message repeated throughout the book of Deuteronomy — “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).”
Jesus reiterated the importance of God’s word by reciting Deuteronomy 8:3 – “Jesus answered, ‘It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).’” Of course, Jesus modelled dedicated study and practice of God’s word, countering Satan with God’s word (Matthew 4) and demonstrating doctrinal errors of the Pharisees (the Biblical scholars of the day), once even by pointing out the tense of a single verb in God’s word (Matthew 22:32).
I believe our church, our nation, our world, desperately needs to see God’s people return to God’s word. The purpose of this reading plan and the daily notes is to encourage others to study all of God’s word this year and every year. What a blessing that people are reading the Bible together and sharing with each other from across to globe! For those reading along this year, let me congratulate all of you who finished ¼ of this year’s readings. “They are not just idle words for you….”
– Thoughts from Henry T. Blackaby on Deuteronomy 32:47 — “It’s puzzling that so many Christians try to live the Christian life without reading their Bible, except for sporadic perusals of God’s Word, seeking a pithy thought for the day. The Word of God is not merely a source of helpful suggestions, preventative warnings, or inspirational thoughts: It is life itself! God gathered the children of Israel at the edge of the Promised Land to review their pilgrimage with Him. They had spent forty years in a desert because their parents had not trusted God’s word. Their parents died without seeing the Promised Land because they had not believed God’s word. Even the revered Moses was soon to leave them because he had not shown proper reverence for God’s word. Many of them knew those who had been put to death as a consequence of their disobedience to God’s word. Over the years God’s word had become the most important thing in the life of the Israelites. God commanded His people to bind His words on their hearts, to teach them diligently to their children, and to regularly discuss them in their homes (Deuteronomy. 6:4–9). So essential was His word that it was to hold a prominent place in the daily lives of His people. Our reverence for God’s Word is revealed not only by what we say but also by what we do. Spending more time reading and studying the words of people rather than the Word of God, reveals our hearts’ condition. To blatantly disregard God’s Word is to reject life itself. To obey God’s Word is the surest way to experience all that God has in store for us.” (Henry T. Blackaby)
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 31 Mar 20: Make prayer and Bible study your top and first priority for today and every day forward. A helpful suggestion: Resolve not to eat until you’ve finished your daily time of prayer and Bible study – a good way to keep you faithful in this discipline.