March 02

Read Deuteronomy 3 -- 4

In Today's Reading:

We find giants in the land -- King Og's bed was 13½ feet long and 6 feet wide (Deuteronomy 3:11) -- they even had it on display! Could the Israelites, who were in our own sight as grasshoppers (Numbers 13:33), overcome them? Read and know God's greatness and His mighty hand: the Lord your God He shall fight for you (Deuteronomy 4:9). What importance does God give to His Word? He says teach it to your sons and your sons' sons (4:9). Chapter 4 reveals an ominous warning from Moses: You shall soon utterly perish! (4:26). Discover why.

Verse for Today:

Therefore harken (listen carefully), O Israel, to the statutes and to the judgments, which I teach you, in order to do them, that you may live, and go in and possess the land (Deuteronomy 4:1).

Highlights:

Defeat of Og, King of Bashan; division of the land east of Jordan; Moses' prayer to enter Canaan refused; his view of the Promised Land; his proclamation for national obedience; warning against idolatry; Cities of Refuge established east of Jordan.

Moses reminded the new generation of Israelites that they could receive lasting fulfillment only by living according to God's Word. He began to repeat the message that God had given their parents 40 years earlier at Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy 1:5). To declare this Law meant more than merely "repeating" the Words of the Law; it meant to "explain its full meaning." Moses' first message highlighted the importance of keeping all the Word of God, that you may live, and go in and possess the land. . . . keep the Commandments of the Lord your God. . . . Keep . . . and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding. . . . For what nation is there . . . who has God so near to them, as the Lord our God? (4:1-7).

That you may live (4:1) meant that the Israelites would live to enjoy the very best in life. The one essential requirement for remaining in the land of promise was obedience to God. Moses cautioned them: When you . . . do evil in the sight of the Lord your God, to provoke Him to anger . . . you . . . shall utterly be destroyed (4:25-26).

God expects you to seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul (4:29), for the fear (reverent obedience) of the Lord is the beginning of (true) wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His Commandments (Psalms 111:10). Consequently, there is no substitute for reading, and rereading, all of the written Word of God, since it provides our Only Source of understanding the will and character of our Creator. Only in the Bible can we learn the true meaning and purpose of life.

Obedience to the One True God would have made Israel a successful nation over all its enemies and morally and spiritually unique among all people. Israel's control of Canaan would have continued, not by military might nor by human skill, but as the result of their being obedient to the Lord. Moses assured them: He will be with you, He will not fail you, neither forsake you: fear not, neither be dismayed (Deuteronomy 31:8).

Just as it was then, so it is today. We too need to daily remind ourselves to take heed to yourself . . . lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart . . . teach them to your children, and your children's children (4:9). The Apostle Paul reminded Timothy that from a child you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:15).

Christ Portrayed:

By Joshua, who did according to all that God commanded (see Joshua 1:8 and 11:15), and led the Israelites into the land God gave them as an inheritance (Deuteronomy 3:28). Jesus die everything that His Heavenly Father showed Him to do (John 5:19-20). He has gone to prepare a place for us and will return to lead us to our own promised land (14:2-3).

Word Studies:

3:18 meet for the war = qualified to fight; 3:28 charge = to fix responsibility, to commission; 4:12 no similitude = no figure, shape, or form; 4:34 assayed = endeavored, attempted; 4:37 their seed = their descendants.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT) and Sen. Russell Feingold (WI) · Pray for your Sunday School Teacher · Country: Thailand (60 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Thai and English · Limited freedom of Christian ministry; Buddhism is the state religion · 92% Buddhist; 4% Muslim; 2% Chinese folk-religionist; 1% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Rely upon the Lord at all times; He is your refuge (Psalms 62:8).

Optional Reading: Luke 17

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:11