Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Deuteronomy 7-9; Acts 2
The book of Deuteronomy is the fifth and final book of what is known as the Pentateuch. In it, Moses restates much of what this young nation of Israel had been taught about God, and about their relationship and responsibilities to Him. Moses delivers three major speeches to the new generation of Israelites, many of whom were born during the 40 years of wilderness wanderings.
Today’s reading is in the middle of Moses’ second address (chapters 5-11) in which he has already brought their memories back to Mt. Sinai and restated the Ten Commandments (chapter 5). He has also challenged them with the famous Shema (“Hear, O Israel:”) passage of 6:4-9, to have a daily committed walk with the Lord and His Word. Now, in chapter 7, Moses reminds them that they are to be a distinct people group on purpose. They should not blend in or adopt the mold of the nations around them, because they have the Living God to lead and guide them. Chapter 8 challenges the nation to remember the Lord. In fact, a reason God did so many dramatic miracles among them was to deeply etch into their memories His power, faithfulness, provision, and protection so that they would not forget the Lord their God. While on the topic of memory Moses also reminds the people of their own sinful track record: “Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the Lord thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the Lord.” (9:7) Why is it so easy for us to forget how bad we have been, and how good God has always been?
Let’s focus on a few verses today in chapter 7: 6-9 and “unpack” them phrase by phrase:
For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: The word “holy” means distinct and separate. When something or someone is separated, they are both separate from other things or people and separated to another thing or person. God makes it clear that His people are not to be like the world around them, but they are to be like Himself. They are a separated people unto the Lord!
The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself: Relish in the thought God chose to love His people, and this is what makes them special. If we are special to God, it does not matter if we don’t feel special to anyone else.
The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people…but because the Lord loved you: This is an interesting truth – God set His love on His people because He loved them. This is grace! We cannot earn this love. He loves us because He loves us. God is love – it’s who He is and what He does.
And because He would keep the oath which He had sworn unto your fathers…: God keeps His promises. Therefore even though my past shows that I am a sinner that fails repeatedly, I can count on His promised forgiveness and love always no matter what.
Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God: We are to be distinct because God is distinct. He is real and all other so-called gods are false. He is God alone.
The faithful God: God’s faithfulness has been tested and proven in the lives of the Israelites. How have you learned that He is “the Faithful God” in your life? Just as His supreme faithfulness is a fruit of His infinite love, the quality of our faithfulness to Him is the fruit of the quality of our love for Him. To whom much has been given, much shall be required.
• Lord, you want your people to be distinct. Help me win the internal battle against the pull to be conformed to this world.
• Lord, thank you for choosing me to be special in your eyes. And thank you for loving someone as unlovely as myself.
• Thank you for your faithfulness. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me! Help me to be faithful to you today.