March 11, 2006
Read Deuteronomy 28
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 as the One, True, Self-Existent God. Keep therefore the words of this Covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do. . . . That He may establish thee to day for a people unto Himself, and that He may be unto thee a God . . . as He hath sworn unto thy 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 turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood (29:18-19).
God's chosen people confirmed their Covenant with God with promises to keep the agreement. It implied much more than a contract agreement. The Covenant was a permanent arrangement and covers a person's total being.
When the Israelites entered the promised land, they were surrounded by influences that would severely 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: When ye . . . have gone and served other gods . . then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land (Joshua 23:16).
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 the Almighty God. But all worshipers of these false gods reject that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).
29:7 smote = defeated; 29:19 bless himself = congratulate himself; 31:10 solemnity = appointed time.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL), Sec. Gale Norton (Department of the Interior), Justice Antonin Scalia · Country: Malaysia (21 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Malay and English · All Christian witness to Muslims is illegal · 49% Muslim; 39% Hindu, Buddhist, and Chinese religions; 4% Roman Catholic; 4% animism, magic, and some headhunting; 3% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray persistently (Isaiah 62:6).
Memory Verse for the Week: Deuteronomy 5:29