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Deuteronomy

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

MONDAY, OCTOBER 15

SCRIPTURE:  Deuteronomy 1

BY: Josh Boles

Today marks the start of our journey through the book of Deuteronomy. It will be a challenging journey at times, but it will be rewarding. Most of the book of Deuteronomy is preparation to enter into the promise land.  Moses and the leaders of Israel want to do everything they can to ensure that the Israelites obey the Lord and finally enter the long awaited promise land.

One thing that is very important for us to know about the book of Deuteronomy, is that it is in expositional form. Basically this means it is a sermon spoken by Moses directly to the people of Israel. This distinguishes Deuteronomy from the rest of the Law. Much of the law is repeated in Deuteronomy but it is not new information, it is an exposition of the law. In a lot of ways this is similar to what any pastor would do today, which is to preach the principles that the Law gives us.

Verses 1-5 are the prologue to the whole book of Deuteronomy. It offers a chronological and geographical setting of Deuteronomy, as well as identifying who the speaker is. The word “Deuteronomy” is taken directly from the opening phrase. The Hebrew word is Debarim, which literally translates to “The Words.” The book of Deuteronomy is broken into 4 sections. Sections one through three are Moseses speeches, or sermons, and the final chapters is the succession of leadership. All of the words in Deuteronomy except for the last 4 chapters are Moses’s words. Because this book is in sermon form, it gives us some very practical wisdom on how to obey God.

Moving on to verse 9, we get into Moses’s first speech. A lot of Moses’s first speech is encouragement to follow through with obedience to God. In this section, (9-18) we see encouragement to trust in the land of promise. The argument is that God has been faithful in His promises, so we should should be faithful in obedience. This section shows us primarily that God has been faithful in the regards of the Abrahamic Covenant. God promised that Abrahams descendants would be many and that they would be a great nation. Verse ten is an affirmation of this fact.

The next section, 19-33 rehearses Israels refusal to enter into the promise land. Some 38 years ago the Israelites were instructed to enter the land of Kadesh but they did not obey. You can find this story in Numbers 13-14. This point of this section is to warn the current generation about the failures of the past generation. Something that is interesting to observe is that the nation of Israel is in the same theological state as they were close to 40 years prior. They are on the edge of the promise land but have not yet entered. The question is whether or not they will repeat their same mistakes.

Before we move on to the next section we should pause and think about this for a second. Do you ever feel like you are on the edge of something huge but cannot seem to make it happen. Look back at you life over the last few years. Are you in the same theological state as you once were, or are you just hanging on to the edge of God’s promises for your life? That really is a hard question to think about, and trust me I have been there, I think we all have. Let me assure you though, When you finally dive full on into God’s promise for your life there is nothing greater that you could ever accomplish. I ask you to learn from this chapter, and how it could effect your daily life.

The last section focuses on Israels penalty for not Obeying God. This is a very common theme of the Old Testament. God gives a command, Israel rebels, and God continues to show abundant grace. In verse 37 Moses confesses that the Lord was even angry at him, but yet blessings continue to flow. This is only by the grace of God. Take a look at 42-44. If the Lord does not fight for us, defeat is a sure thing. Let us learn from the Israelites. They did a lot of things without the Lord, and were stuck with grave consequences. Wherever you go, and whatever you do, do it for the Lord, and He will fight for you. Dive head first into God’s promise for your life, and never look back!

Posted by Josh Boles with

Leviticus Overview

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11

 

SCRIPTURE:  LEVITICUS

BY: Josh Boles

Today and tomorrow we are going to do something a little bit out of the norm. On Monday we are going to start on a journey through Deuteronomy. The last time we were in the Old Testament we were in Exodus so we thought it made sense to continue in order. We are going to skip Leviticus and Numbers but it is important that we spend a little bit of time in each. The fact of the matter is that it would be very difficult and time consuming to cover these whole books, but, they are still very important to us. What I am going to do today is give you a quick overview and breakdown of the different segments of Leviticus. This breakdown is not divinely inspired, but rather a theological framework to help us understand. Keep in mind that the devotional content will be lengthy today but We certainly do not expect you to read the book of Leviticus today.

The overall concept of Leviticus focuses on the one God who is most holy. Leviticus has always puzzled interpreters especially after moving on from the theological weight of Exodus into the even more weighty Leviticus. Leviticus offers a great deal of theological importance, mainly because it focuses on how a Holy God defines sin and forgives His people, and helps them avoid sin. Lets break this down on how it applies to us.

Chapters 1-7 The God who forgives.

This section of Leviticus is perhaps the most challenging for us to relate to and understand the theological importance. We are not familiar with any of these rituals, none the less, they are of great importance to us. Leviticus 1-7 focuses on the 5 offerings with are burnt offerings, grain, peace, sin, and guilt offerings. There is much we can learn about these but perhaps the most important is that forgiveness does not come without cost and sacrifice. In Leviticus these were the cost and the sacrifice. Jesus is our sacrifice and paid the ultimate price for us on the cross.

8-10

Chapters 8-10, primarily in 9 and 10 focus on the holiness of those who are ministers. There is a strong focus on the joy, wonder, and weight of being a minister for the Lord. Much of these verses also focus on building a place acceptable for Gods pretense to be experienced, the Holy of Holies. The take away for us here is that in Christ, we are all called to minister. Because of Christ we have the priesthood of every believer, not just that those who uphold the Law to the most extreme degree as we read about in Leviticus.

11-15

This section deals primarily with the fact that God requires purity from His people. The words clean, unclean, and holy are by far the most common words uses. Much has been said so far about Holiness, in the fact that God is most Holy. But now the theme shifts to God’s chosen nation being holy because He is holy.  This is where we find for the first time God saying “Be holy, for I am Holy.” God actually says this twice in chapter 11. The main point in this section is that God has set His holy nation apart from all other nations. Us Gentiles have been adopted into the family of God so therefore this principle applies to our lives. We are to live lives not of a worldly nature but a Life devoted to God

Chapter 16

Chapter 16 gets its own section and is arguably the heart of the entire book. This chapter focuses on the fact that the holy God we have been talking about forgives all sins. Chapter 16 also talked about the day of atonement which would have been something required to observe yearly. As the author of Hebrews says in chapter 9 this was the problem with the day of atonement, that it had to happen yearly. All of this is leading up to the comprehensive sacrifice of Jesus. Leviticus 16 focuses on the fact that there is a God who forgives all sins. Jesus’ one time payment for sin is the fulfillment of the promise!

17-26

This section again places an emphasis on holiness and how God’s chosen nation is to be Holy.  Again in chapter 19, 20, and 21 we see the Lord say “be holy for I am holy.” This should tell us something about holiness. It should tell us that it is important!  How do we do this? The same way the Israelites did. By extending their commitments to Yahweh. A life lived in commitment to God is not a one time decision for them then, or for us. We are to live a life devoted to God, continually renewing and deepening our relationship with Him. This section of Leviticus is not just a repeat of the previous sections. There is a repeated theme but it moves deeper into the personal lives of the Israelites. There is too much to mention here but God focuses on their purity and the sins hidden deep in their heart. Our life of devotion starts with repentance and we continue in that state.

27

Finally as we come to an end, the last book of Leviticus focuses on vows made to the Lord.  Leviticus 26 focuses on the promises God has given to us, while 27 turns to the seriousness of keeping our commitment to God. We can assume, and be assured, that God keeps His vows to us. It is likewise assumed here that the Israelites will keep their vows to God. The same is true for us. If we have given our lives to Christ, we ought to live a life in service and devotion to him.

I hope you have been encouraged by our short journey through Leviticus. This book has incredible implications for our lives and should not be ignored. When you have time, I would encourage you to get a good study Bible and explore this book. It will not be easy, but non the less is important. Tomorrow Jeremy will cover Numbers. Be encouraged!

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