Read Deuteronomy 29 -- 31
In Today 's Reading:
New generation covenant; warnings against disobedience; Joshua, Moses' successor; Moses' last counsel
The Creator chose the small Israelite nation as the people through whom He would reveal Himself as the one true self-existent God. So observe the words of this covenant and follow them, so that you may succeed (do wisely) in all that you do. . . . so that He may establish you this day as His people, and that He may be your God as He has promised you, and as He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Deuteronomy 29:9,13). Moses continued to warn the people of the consequences of disregarding their covenant responsibilities: Be careful lest there (be) a man, woman, clan or tribe among you whose heart is turning today away from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations. Be careful that there is no root among you bearing poison and bitterness when he hears the words of this oath (29:18-19).
A covenant is a binding agreement between two or more parties to do or refrain from doing certain acts in which they voluntarily accept the terms of the agreement. The Israelites ignored their covenant relationship with the Lord and consequently suffered the loss of their land.
When the Israelites entered the promised land, they were surrounded by influences that would test their loyalty to the one true God. They were faced with people who seemed to have "advantages" such as chariots for war and an "attractive" religious system with images they could see and touch. The Israelites were tempted to depart from loyalty to their God. In Joshua's last message, he proclaimed: If you . . . serve other gods . . . the LORD's anger will burn against you, and you will quickly disappear from this good land (Joshua 23:16).
As the nations of the world become our near neighbors, some will be tempted to believe that their false gods are also the one true God who is just called by another name and that their faith is but one of many ways to worship our almighty God. But all worshipers of false gods reject the blessed hope and the appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).
As Life (Deuteronomy 30:15). Jesus is the resurrection, and the life (John 11:25).
Government Officials: Gov. Roy Barnes (GA), Rep. Brad Carson (OK), Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL), and Justice Antonin Scalia · Country: Spain (39 million) in southwestern Europe · Major languages: Castilian Spanish and Catalan · Limited religious freedom · 94% Roman Catholic; .5% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy (Psalms 106:1).
Optional Reading: John 2
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:14