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Deuteronomy 27

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29

                                                    

SCRIPTURE:  Deuteronomy 27

By: Jeremy Witt

Chapter 27 and 28 should be done together, but I know how several of you don’t like it when we combine chapters, so keep these in mind.  Chapter 28 deals with obedience and blessings versus chapter 27 dealing with disobedience and curses.  One group of Israel stands on Mount Ebal and the other groups stands on Mount Gerazim.  The Levites shout the commands of blessings and curses and the people shout back with, “amen.”  Amen literally means “so be it.”  This would show the people agreeing with the curses and blessings. 

Did you notice the commands to write down what God said on uncut stones?  Notice how they are to be coated with lime or plaster.  What is the significance of this?  Uncut stones could not be called an idol or shaped stone of something or someone.  God forbade idols and putting the commands on shaped stones could become an idol to the people.  Using a tool on a stone would make it unclean or profane (Exodus 20:24-25). 

In verses 9-10 we read Moses reviewing with this new generation of Israelites the Law that God had given.  He is making final preparations before he dies and his successor takes over, who is Joshua. 

Verses 15-26 are the curses for disobeying God.  These wrong actions were specifically called out so that the people would be reminded of what is wrong, and by agreeing with these wrong actions, no one would be able to say, “I didn’t know.”  This is God reminded His children that these things are wrong as we do with our children.  There are things that will harm them that they should stay away from.  If you cross the road without looking both ways, you could get hurt.  If you put that fork in the electrical socket, you will get hurt.  If you play with fire, you will get hurt.  No one in their right mind calls a parent “mean or cruel” for doing this, but when people read these verses, they do it with God.  However, some people who read the Old Testament view God in this way.  He is cruel and won’t let people do what they want.  He is against us for not letting do what we feel.  No good parent would tell their children to do what feels right when they are playing with fire or has a fork about to go into an electrical socket. 

God knows what is best and has told us to stay away from some things for our protection.  We must not allow ourselves to view God as the world does.

Tomorrow as we begin chapter 28, the focus is not on what we must avoid, but the benefits of obeying and following God.  The latter portion of chapter 28 will go back to things to avoid. 

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

Deuteronomy 28

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29

                                                    

SCRIPTURE:  Deuteronomy 28

By: Jeremy Witt

Remember that chapter 27 dealt with disobedience and curses, and the entire nation of Israel was split onto two mountains (actually hills by our standards).  The Levites would call out the things to avoid and the nation responded with, “Amen.”  The beginning of chapter 28 focuses on the blessings for obedience.  As you read these verses (1-14), they are everything we wish and hope for.  Not only hoping for ourselves, but also hoping for our families and our nation.  I don’t think anyone would not want these things for themselves.  When we read throughout the Old Testament of Israel being faithful to God, we read of these things happening exactly as predicted in chapter 28.  However there is more to our chapter as we continue to read. 

Verses 15 to the end of the chapter make a drastic turn from blessing to more curses.  The Israelites were told upfront what would happen if they disobeyed God.  And this did happen!  Verse 36 begins to tell the prophecy of what will eventually happen with the exiles to Assyria (Israel went into exile in 722 BC and Judah went into exile to Babylon in 586 BC.  We know that the Romans would force the Israelites out of their homeland in 70 AD. 

As we fast forward through the Old Testament, we see these things happening.  The people are turning away from God to the gods of their neighbors.  They didn’t wipe the people out they were supposed to wipe out.  They compromised their values and beliefs for something less than what God intended.  We discover when King Josiah discovers the scrolls of the Law, most likely Deuteronomy, the king tears his robes and puts on ashes because he sees what Judah and Israel have done.  His response of repentance and the people’s response put off God’s wrath for a brief time.  It is this chapter that paints the picture of the rest of the Old Testament.  The daily struggle to live according to God’s ways versus man’s. 

We see this picture in the New Testament as well when we read of the battle between the flesh and the Spirit.  Will we learn from those who have gone before us in Scripture or will we repeat the sins of our fathers?  Will we be faithful or disobedient?

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

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