March 4

Read Deuteronomy 8 -- 10

In Today 's Reading:

Keep the commandments; reminder of parents' rebellion, golden calf; the second tablets of stone

Jesus began His earthly ministry by quoting from Deuteronomy: Man must not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4; compare Deuteronomy 8:3). He responded to Satan, who tempted Him to make bread for Himself from stones after His 40-day fast. Satan had said: If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread (Matthew 4:3), meaning: "Why should You, of all people, go hungry? If You are the Son of God, why not use Your powers to satisfy Your hunger."

Satan the tempter quoted Scripture, but he misapplied its meaning. Jesus again quoted Deuteronomy at the second temptation, saying: You must not tempt the LORD your God (4:7; Deuteronomy 6:16). Jesus did not compromise even once ? a lesson some Christians need to learn. At the third temptation, Jesus once again quoted Deuteronomy: It is written: You must worship the Lord your God, and you must serve Him only (Matthew 4:10; Deuteronomy 6:13). A vital key to overcoming Satan is knowing God's word with which we are empowered to be overcomers. For the word of God is living and effective (Hebrews 4:12), the only weapon needed to defeat Satan. As we read all of God's word, the Holy Spirit brings it to our minds when needed.

We need to remember Moses' warning to Israel: Be careful, lest you forget the LORD your God, failing to keep His commands. . . . Then you will be likely to think, My strength and my own work have created this wealth for me But remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you strength to create wealth (Deuteronomy 8:11,17-18).

After reviewing the commandments, Moses added: What does the LORD your God ask of you? Just this: to fear the LORD your God by walking in all His ways, and to love and serve Him with all your heart and with all your being, by keeping the LORD's commandments and decrees which I am commanding you today for your good (10:12-13).

Jesus not only quoted these verses as applying to His followers, but said that the one who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. . . . If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word (John 14:21-23).

Christ Revealed:

Through the acacia (shittim) wood used to make the Ark of the Covenant (Deuteronomy 10:3). Acacia wood, a desert growth, is symbolic of Christ in His human form as a root out of dry ground (Isaiah 53:2). Jesus took on human form to redeem us. God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those that were under the law (Galatians 4:4-5).

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Christopher Smith (NJ)· Country: Singapore (4 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Chinese and Malay · Religious freedom · 54% Chinese religions; 17% Muslim; 5% Protestant; 4% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Call upon the Lord amidst trouble and He will deliver you (Psalms 91:15).

Optional Reading: Luke 19

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:13