Chapter 3 – Moses begins Chapter 3 with more memories of the battles the NEW generation had won …. BECAUSE THEY HAD FAITH AND DID WHAT THE LORD TOLD THEM TO DO IN FAITH ….. AND THE LORD FOUGHT THOSE BATTLES FOR THEM!!! I was amazed at the description of the bed of Og, king of Bashan….. made of iron and more than thirteen feet long and six feet wide!!! THAT was a BIG BED!! 🙂
Moses explains the land division again, if you want a review of it look back at Numbers 32 and you will see that 2 ½ of the tribes wanted the land east of the Jordan (Transjordan Tribes.) The Reubenites, Gadites, and ½ of the tribe of Manasseh asked for this land as theirs. The 2 ½ tribes were given the land but Moses also reminded them of their promise to which was the men had to STILL join ALL the men of ALL the tribes to TAKE the Promised Land. Once the Promised Land had been taken then the men of the Reubenites, Gadites, and ½ the tribe of Manasseh could return to their land, wives, daughters, young sons, and animals. Remember Moses became a little upset at these 2 ½ tribes because he thought they were trying to get out of doing their part in TAKING the Promised Land which would have again curse the NEW generation from going into the Promised Land … but Moses had misunderstood.
Moses reminds the Israelites that he was not able to enter into the Promised Land. He sinned against God when he did not follow God’s instructions when he was told to TOUCH the rock for water AND when he angrily told the Israelites the “WE” have to bring “you” this water. AND MOSES did this before the ENTIRE NATION. God held Moses accountable for his actions of disobedience. I know, I know .. I can hear you saying… BUT… he led these people for 40 years, he listened to God, he obeyed HIM (except this time), God spoke directly to HIM …. And so much more!! However, God could not allow the NEW generation to witness Moses’ disobedience and disrespect in anger by taking credit for the water and let these actions “slide”. Keep in mind… God still loved Moses. God never left Moses. And, as you will see… God will bury Moses with HIS OWN HANDS!! I know I discussed this further in Numbers 20 in case you want to look back at that day’s blog entry. In this particular verse (26) it may appear as if Moses is blaming “the people and their sin” for his not making it into the Promised Land. However, I believe he is trying to make the point that who we choose to hang out with, what we choose to read, what we choose to watch …. Can and does influence us… our thoughts and our actions. Moses had been influenced by the people and their actions.
Chapter 4 — Is this a chapter of warnings or is it a chapter of prophesy? It is actually BOTH. Moses is warning his people to NEVER forget the things they had witnessed, the battles won, the 10 commandments, no idols, worshiping ONLY God, and so much more. The prophesy…. Well…. These things all happened.
In the KJV the word “HEED” is used in Deuteronomy 4 three times according to the BLB. It is defined as “to keep, guard, observe, give heed, watch for, protect.” The BLB shows it being used in verses 9, 15, and 23. In the NIV the word used in place of “heed” is “be careful.” From my bible study last year, I was told this phrase is used 34 times in Deuteronomy. Look at what the LORD wanted them to be careful of:
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. (9)
You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, 16 so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape… (15 & 16)
Be careful not to forget the covenant of the LORD your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the LORD your God has forbidden.(23)
My favorite verse in Chapter 4 was verse 29:
But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him. For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath.
This reminded me of Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.
Today’s read gives us soooooo many nuggets to bless us and guide us today. Many of us come from different backgrounds and denominations. I encourage you to REALLY dig into the paragraphs about idol worship (beginning in verse 15). We would be wise to remember that idol worship was/is not just keeping statues, stones, carvings, etc., around the house. It is “excessive devotion to, or reverence for some person or thing” according to Webster.com. An idol is ANY thing that replaces the ONE TRUE GOD in our lives. Deuteronomy is referring to images thought to embody the qualities and “gifts” of the various pagan gods. Where or what do you turn to in times of stress… If your answer is to anything other than the ONE TRUE GOD … there may be an idol in your life where God is trying to get your attention. Keep your eyes focused on the WORD and let HIM speak to you, personally, in whatever area, thing, or person, you may be falling back on rather than turning to HIM. We will learn it together.
Remember…. God will fight our battles for us and with us… if we let HIM. 🙂
Sharing HIS love,