March 11

Read Deuteronomy 29 -- 31

In Today's Reading:

New generation's 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 to the world as the One True Self-Existent God. Keep therefore the words of this Covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do. . . . That He may establish you to day for a people to Himself, and that He may be to you a God . . . as He has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob (Deuteronomy 29:9,13). Moses continued to warn the people of the consequences of disregarding their Covenant responsibilities: Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turns away this day from the LORD your God to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that bears gall and wormwood (29:18-19).

God's chosen people confirmed their Covenant relationship with God. It implied much more than rules and regulations. The Covenant covered a person's total being and was a permanent arrangement.

When the Israelites entered the promised land of Canaan, 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. In Joshua's last message, he warned: When you . . . have gone and served other gods . . . then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and you shall perish quickly from off the good land (Joshua 23:16). Israel's God was the One and only True God. There is no other. Israel's Messiah is our Savior, Jesus of Nazareth. Christians are the people of God by a far more precious covenant (Hebrews 8:6) than the one made with Abraham and, yet, our love for God is tested by the many false gods that we face each day.

As the nations of the world have become our near neighbors, some are deceived and assume 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 God. But all worshipers who do not accept Jesus as Savior and Lord of their lives worship a false god that cannot provide eternal life. Jesus, the Son of God, said: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me (John 14:6). The Apostle Peter reminded us that neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12), and the Apostle Paul was inspired of God to write: Live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:12-13).

Word Studies:

29:7 smote = defeated; 29:19 bless himself = congratulate himself; 31:10 solemnity = appointed time.

Christ Revealed:

As Life (Deuteronomy 30:15). Jesus is the Resurrection, and the Life (John 11:25).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for: The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer · Government Officials: Gov. Roy Barnes (GA), Rep. Brad Carson (OK), Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL), and Justice Antonin Scalia · Country: Slovakia (5 million) central Europe · Major languages: Slovak and Hungarian · Religious freedom · 60% Roman Catholic; 8% Protestant; 4% Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to reveal what is not pleasing to Him (Psalm 139:23-24).

Optional Reading: John 2

Memory Verse for the Week: John 3:15