Deuteronomy 8:1 – 23:11
Deuteronomy 8 begins with warnings from God. He knew that the Israelites would soon be going into the promise land and the Canaanite tribes will be living nearby. They needed to prepare themselves for the sinful lifestyle of the Canaanites and the false gods they worship. Moses continues to encourage the people to love God with all of their heart. Later, he commands that the Israelite people must destroy all of the Canaanite idols. Our reading for the day also included details of the “year of release”, civil law, refuge cities, rules for daily living and an interesting revelation of a future prophet.
Scripture – Deuteronomy 10:12-13
12 And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
The Israelite people are “stiffed-neck” people according to God. It seems only a short while will pass after God has given very clear warnings and instructions and then the people will disobey and sin. Later they repent from their sin and God forgives them and restores their relationship. This happens over and over again. Finally, in the scripture above, God says Fear Me, Obey Me, Love me & Serve me with all your heart. Don’t focus on selfish desires because those are not important. What is important is the fact that you are “my chosen people” and “I am your God”. Change your hearts and don’t be “stiff-necked” people anymore. When you encounter other gods, get them out of your life. Destroy them and anything that will keep you from worshiping me.
Since we were children, our focus has always been “us”. Our natural goal in life seems to be to satisfy ourselves with the things we want. God wants us to make a big change in our thinking and understanding of what is important. It isn’t about us. It isn’t about me. It is all about GOD. He wants us to love, obey and serve Him with all of our heart. God can help us with this. He can transform our minds and help us think from His perspective. All we need to do is surrender completely to Him and allow him to lead us in His perfect will.
Lord allow me to put aside the distractions of life and allow me to focus on you. Help me to love, obey and serve you each day through my actions toward others and the choices I make. Thank you for your Holy word and the clear message and challenge it gives me each day I continue to read.