Continuing a plan to get through the entire Bible in a year, follow as I journal through the reading. I have chosen a straightforward approach that begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation. This will not be an in-depth study or a comprehensive commentary. There are plenty of sources for such material. This is stage one Bible reading, taking the text at face value and sharing impressions.
Today’s reading comes from the book of Deuteronomy, chapters 30 and 31, in which Moses receives bad news about Israel’s fate. Some impressions from the text:
- The previous chapters list various blessings and curses which await Israel depending upon whether they obey God’s commandments. Chapter 30 pivots from the threat of curses to a promise of forgiveness in response to repentance. This is grace. Repentance does not absolve sinners of their sin. But it does serve as a prerequisite for God’s mercy.
- The second half of chapter 30 is an appeal to choose life over death by choosing to obey God’s commandments. It is “not too hard for you.” It is an easy choice. If you want to “live and multiply,” you will draw near to him who makes life possible.
- Every seven years, Israel was to gather and listen to a reading of the law. We know this was not their only exposure to the Word of God. Their lives were designed to constantly remind them of the law, and of God’s character and nature. Even so, this public reading of the law added to the emphasis.
- After everything that Moses had been through, after a life spent agonizing over the welfare of his people, the prophet stands before God one last time before his death. Confronted by his own sure and imminent mortality, Moses might seek some comfort from the Lord, or some reassurance that Israel will prosper after he’s gone. Instead, God tells Moses that Israel will “whore after the foreign gods among them in the land that they are entering” and “they will be devoured.” That’s probably not what Moses wanted to hear, and capped off a lifetime of disappointment with Israel’s rebellion against God.
Return soon as we continue our year-long journey through the text of the Bible.
Catch up on the previous entries:
Moses recounts Israel’s journey through the wilderness. – Deuteronomy 1 and 2
Moses emphasizes obedience to, and glorification of, God. – Deuteronomy 3 and 4
God’s commandments serve a holy purpose. – Deuteronomy 5 through 7
Moses implores Israel to know, trust, and obey God. – Deuteronomy 8 through 10
Focused wholly on God. – Deuteronomy 11 through 13
Holiness requires us to be intentionally different. – Deuteronomy 14 through 16
Trust in the inerrancy of the Lord. – Deuteronomy 17 through 20
Laws for everything under the sun. – Deuteronomy 21 through 23
Confirm this law by keeping it. – Deuteronomy 24 through 27
Blessed or cursed, we decide through obedience. – Deuteronomy 28 and 29