Worth Repeating


Today’s Devotion: Deuteronomy 5

If you have kids you have probably used the phrase, “Please don’t make me tell you again!” or “How many times to I have to tell you…”. I’m a Mom and I have used them, unfortunately, often. I also have a Mom and I have had them said to me, unfortunately, often. Then I open up my bible and I’m having a flashback to Exodus 20, there’s the ten commandments being given to us, all over again.

There are several reasons why Moses is repeating them. 1 – It’s been practically forty years since they have been wondering through the wilderness. Those who were given the Law back in Exodus are no longer eye witnesses of that burning bush event. 2 – People forget – We forget.

One thing that is utterly amazing to me is how patient God is with us. Usually by the time I have to remind my kids that I’m tired of repeating myself, I have run out of patience; my plea with those words usually mean I am at my last straw. Moses so eloquently repeats the Ten Commandments. In 5:1, “Moses summoned all Israel and said: Hear, Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them.”

But did you notice? “Learn them and be sure to follow them.” It’s one thing to hear something, it’s a whole different level of commitment or surrender of will to actually do them. And then think about this… We’re not talking about a dirty pair of socks here, we’re talking about laws that God is giving us as a standard to live by.

Truth is, it is humanly impossible to obey them, but at least we know the standard. It gives way to grace, our need for Christ and makes sure we don’t try to get to heaven on our own merit. So, I appreciate that God puts it out there once again. After all, we do need to be reminded and LORD knows we forget. Let’s not just read them as if they are a re-run. They are deliberately placed there for us to learn and follow.

God’s Way or My Way?

Which Way?

Today’s Devotion: Numbers 36

This is my 100th blog post and today we conclude the reading through the book of Numbers. [Insert celebratory whistles and WOOT’s!] This s a short chapter and at the surface appears to be nothing of any substance for teaching, but if there is one thing that I have learned from studying the chapters and verses of the Old Testament is that God always has something to teach us if we are willing to look for it.

Today the verse that jumped out to me is found in verse 9. “No inheritance may pass from one tribe to another, for each Israelite tribe is to keep the land it inherits.” In context, God is telling Moses that the women whom were granted land because their father had no male heirs are not permitted to marry men of another tribe. Surprisingly, they honored God and obeyed. It was like the ultimate cliffhanger: God gives the command in verse 9 and each verse thereafter draws out our curiosity to learn whether they obey God or face His wrath as so many on the wilderness journey suffered.

They did it! They listened to God’s command and there land is safe. I have to admit that I’m a little bit shocked. Why? Because throughout the reading of Numbers, thousands of Isrealities died or were punished from disobedience. Which tells me that I have become conditioned to expect them to be rebellious or is that just counter intuitive of my own sin-filled instincts? Whichever the case… Thankfully they obeyed.

It gives me confidence that we can obey too. Obedience is a choice and God provides the guidelines in His Word to allow us to make the right choice.  He gives us the ability to chose [Free Will] – God’s way or my way?

In the introductory paragraph of this blog post today we celebrated a couple of menial accomplishments, but the ladies in chapter 36 give us means for a celebration too, as well as a great example. What a great way to conclude the book of Numbers; celebrating them for making the right choices and celebrating that we have the ability to make the right choices – despite the odds.

If, Then… It’s All On You


Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 26

In this chapter there are nine “if’s” and twenty-four “I will’s.” What does that say about our part and God’s part? For example: When God says in verses 3-4, “If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.”

It looks to me like we have the choice and He has the promises.

I have always been interested in understanding whether or not we [people] are given free will. I learned from one of my biblical mentors, early in my Christian walk, that there is no such thing as free will. The argument stands that if we are sinners and can’t help ourselves, so we are slaves to sin and therefore, have no free will.

The counter argument is the opposite. We have free will because we are conscious of our sin and therefore, we have the liberty to make the right choices on how to live so we do have free will.

This chapter, in my opinion, supports the latter. God is making it very clear that He will respond to the choices we make. If we sin, He will punish. If we obey, He will reward. I suppose we could get really petty over the causes and effects of decisions we make the the way God responds, but for today, I’m good with knowing that making the right choice will always work out in my favor. If I rebel, disobey, or try to live outside of God’s will, God may take me through a time of pruning, character building, personal growth, desert… whatever you want to call it.

And of course, in Romans 8:28 we know God makes all things work for the good of those who love Him AND we also know that because of Jesus our sins are covered; past, present and future. But, that certainly doesn’t mean we get a free ticket to sin. It means we have choices and I appreciate that Leviticus 26 is reminding me that making Godly choices ultimately rests on you and me.