Today we are reading Deuteronomy 7. In this chapter we read about God’s promise to defeat the inhabitants of the Promised Land. ““When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and mightier than you, and when the Lord your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly. But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and chop down their Asherim and burn their carved images with fire. “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” Deuteronomy‬ ‭7‬:‭1‬-‭6‬ ‭ESV‬‬ God makes it clear that He will give the Israelites victory over everyone who opposes them as they enter the land He promised to give them. With this promise He tells them to completely destroy their objects of worship, altars, temples etc. What do the pagans of our culture worship? How can we make sure we are not influenced by the false gods of this age? What, in your life, is God calling you to destroy? Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Deuteronomy 6. In this chapter we read about following God in all your ways. ““When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. And the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.’” Deuteronomy‬ ‭6‬:‭20‬-‭25‬ ‭ESV‬‬ When you teach your children and grandchildren about the Christian faith what are some of the basic points you make? How were you taught as a child? What were some of the first lessons you learned? May God use you to teach beautiful lessons to people for the first time! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Deuteronomy 5. In this chapter we read about the Ten Commandments. “And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the rules that I speak in your hearing today, and you shall learn them and be careful to do them. The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. Not with our fathers did the Lord make this covenant, but with us, who are all of us here alive today. The Lord spoke with you face to face at the mountain, out of the midst of the fire, while I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord. For you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up into the mountain. He said: “‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” Deuteronomy‬ ‭5‬:‭1‬-‭6‬ ‭ESV‬‬ God’s presence among the Israelites was awesome! He gave them (and us) clear directions on how we should live. As we look back on that time we are often judgmental. We think, “If I experienced what they experienced I would not have rebelled!” The truth is, every time we sin it is rebellion. We know much more than they did and yet we still sin. Praise God that we can confess our sin and receive forgiveness in Jesus’ name! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Deuteronomy 4. In this chapter we read about Yahweh being the One True God. ““For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether such a great thing as this has ever happened or was ever heard of. Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live? Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great deeds of terror, all of which the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him. Out of heaven he let you hear his voice, that he might discipline you. And on earth he let you see his great fire, and you heard his words out of the midst of the fire. And because he loved your fathers and chose their offspring after them and brought you out of Egypt with his own presence, by his great power, driving out before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is this day, know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. Therefore you shall keep his statutes and his commandments, which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”” ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭4‬:‭32‬-‭40‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Obedience to God leads to having and living a great life. How do you consciously try to obey God? In what ways do you struggle with obedience? How have you experienced blessings in response to your obedience? How do you teach the benefits of obedience to God? Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Deuteronomy 3. In this chapter we read about Moses being prevented from going into the Promised Land. ““And I pleaded with the Lord at that time, saying, ‘O Lord God, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours? Please let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’ But the Lord was angry with me because of you and would not listen to me. And the Lord said to me, ‘Enough from you; do not speak to me of this matter again. Go up to the top of Pisgah and lift up your eyes westward and northward and southward and eastward, and look at it with your eyes, for you shall not go over this Jordan. But charge Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he shall go over at the head of this people, and he shall put them in possession of the land that you shall see.’ So we remained in the valley opposite Beth-peor.” ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭3‬:‭23‬-‭29‬ ‭ESV‬‬ How painful it must have been for Moses, after all he had been through, to not enter the Promised Land. He repeatedly asked God to change His mind but to no avail. Have you ever asked God to allow something He had forbidden? How do you think Israel benefited from this restriction on Moses? How did Gods replace Moses? May you be confident in God’s plans for your future! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Deuteronomy 2. In this chapter we read about Moses and the Israelites moving through the country east of the Jordan and the Dead Sea. ““Then we turned and journeyed into the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea, as the Lord told me. And for many days we traveled around Mount Seir. Then the Lord said to me, ‘You have been traveling around this mountain country long enough. Turn northward and command the people, “You are about to pass through the territory of your brothers, the people of Esau, who live in Seir; and they will be afraid of you. So be very careful. Do not contend with them, for I will not give you any of their land, no, not so much as for the sole of the foot to tread on, because I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession.” Deuteronomy‬ ‭2‬:‭1‬-‭5‬ ‭ESV‬‬ God gives the Israelites everything they need for their journey. He gives them specific directions on how to interact with the various peoples they encounter. Do you believe God has a -lan for you today including the people you encounter? May God use you in a mighty way this day! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Deuteronomy 1. In this chapter we read about God commanding Israel to leave Mt. Horeb and go to the Promised Land. “These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel beyond the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab. It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea. In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the people of Israel according to all that the Lord had given him in commandment to them, after he had defeated Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth and in Edrei. Beyond the Jordan, in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to explain this law, saying, “The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Turn and take your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, in the hill country and in the lowland and in the Negeb and by the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates.” ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬-‭7‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Don’t you sometimes wish that God’s direction in your life would be as clear as how He directed the Israelites? In many ways it is! He gives us basic guidelines and parameters for life with Him. How can you discern God’s will? Sometimes God speaks through our circumstances. Sometimes God speaks through those around us. Sometimes God speaks through direct revelation. God will always speak to us through His word. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Numbers 36. In this chapter we read about concerns over inheritance. “The heads of the fathers’ houses of the clan of the people of Gilead the son of Machir, son of Manasseh, from the clans of the people of Joseph, came near and spoke before Moses and before the chiefs, the heads of the fathers’ houses of the people of Israel. They said, “The Lord commanded my Lord to give the land for inheritance by lot to the people of Israel, and my Lord was commanded by the Lord to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother to his daughters. But if they are married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the people of Israel, then their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance of our fathers and added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry. So it will be taken away from the lot of our inheritance.” Numbers‬ ‭36‬:‭1‬-‭3‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Inheritance is always a sticky issue! Here the people are concerned that their territory will be lost if their daughters marry outside their tribe. It’s hard to understand the feelings about land that the Israelites had. In our experience we only own something for a few generations at most. We focus more on eternal things than temporal earthly things. Can you see how obsession on the material things can distract us from what’s really important? How can you keep your focus on Heaven? Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Numbers 35. In this chapter we read about cities for the Levites and cities of Refuge. “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall select cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the manslayer who kills any person without intent may flee there. The cities shall be for you a refuge from the avenger, that the manslayer may not die until he stands before the congregation for judgment. And the cities that you give shall be your six cities of refuge. You shall give three cities beyond the Jordan, and three cities in the land of Canaan, to be cities of refuge. These six cities shall be for refuge for the people of Israel, and for the stranger and for the sojourner among them, that anyone who kills any person without intent may flee there.” ‭‭Numbers‬ ‭35‬:‭9‬-‭15‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Isn’t it beautiful that God takes into account the accidental death situations? God makes provision for a scenario where someone dies as the result of an accident. Why would God do that? What does this indicate about God? Do we make the same provision? When you are accidentally harmed do you have grace or are you eager to avenge yourself? May you give the same grace you have received! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Numbers 34. In this chapter we read about the boundaries of the Promised Land. “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the people of Israel, and say to them, When you enter the land of Canaan (this is the land that shall fall to you for an inheritance, the land of Canaan as defined by its borders), your south side shall be from the wilderness of Zin alongside Edom, and your southern border shall run from the end of the Salt Sea on the east. And your border shall turn south of the ascent of Akrabbim, and cross to Zin, and its limit shall be south of Kadesh-barnea. Then it shall go on to Hazar-addar, and pass along to Azmon. And the border shall turn from Azmon to the Brook of Egypt, and its limit shall be at the sea. “For the western border, you shall have the Great Sea and its coast. This shall be your western border. “This shall be your northern border: from the Great Sea you shall draw a line to Mount Hor. From Mount Hor you shall draw a line to Lebo-hamath, and the limit of the border shall be at Zedad. Then the border shall extend to Ziphron, and its limit shall be at Hazar-enan. This shall be your northern border. “You shall draw a line for your eastern border from Hazar-enan to Shepham. And the border shall go down from Shepham to Riblah on the east side of Ain. And the border shall go down and reach to the shoulder of the Sea of Chinnereth on the east. And the border shall go down to the Jordan, and its limit shall be at the Salt Sea. This shall be your land as defined by its borders all around.”” Numbers‬ ‭34‬:‭1‬-‭12‬ ‭ESV‬‬ The physical description of the Promised Land gives us a specific location for the people of Israel to live. Having visited Israel twice, there is something special about being there. So many events of our spiritual heritage took place there. How does this locative physicality inspire you in your faith? Consider your own place of memories and significant events. How are you comforted and encouraged when you visit where you have received so many blessings? Pastor Tim