Friday, October 31, 2014

Debt Free

O. T. #398  "Debt Free"
October 31, 2014
Deuteronomy 16
At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts.  Deuteronomy 15:1 NIV


I am not financially debt free, but spiritually debt free. Jesus paid the debt I owed for my sins, my blood. He did it because He loves me.  I owe Him my everything.

Idealistically, it would have been possible for poverty to have been eradicated in Israel. This could have happened because the Lord had greatly blessed them (verse 4). It was depending on whether Israel was obedient to God's laws or not. We read in the last chapter where God had promised these blessings to those that gave charity to the poor. Charity was based upon the fact that God had given them the land.
Do we give to the poor and needy? Are we sharing our blessings?


This chapter explains to the second generation Israelites concerning the Sabbatical year. (Earlier, it was established and described in Exodus 23:10-11 and Leviticus 25:1-7. The land was to lie fallow, without crops being planted during that time.) Here, Moses adds the cancellation of debts.) Other practices of the Sabbatical year included:
  • The debt of an Israelite was canceled completely and permanently, not just a cancellation of payment during that year.
  • Of the foreigner staying only temporarily in the land this was not required. (verse 3)
  • They were to open their hand wide to the poor, meeting their needs. (verse 8)
  • The poor was allowed a loan, but it would not be paid back. (verse 8)
  • If their brother defaults on a loan, a period of servitude could be substituted as repayment for the debt. There would be a six year service, they freedom on the seventh year. (verse 12)
  • The former owner was instructed to give provisions to the former slave so he did not go empty handed. (verse 13)
  • However, if the slave desired to remain with the family after the six years of servitude, he was to be marked with a hole in his ear, signifying servitude forever. (verse 17)
  • The slave was worth-double to his owner since wages were not paid for his service. (verse 18)
  • Israel was reminded that the first born of the animals was to be consecrated to the Lord, if it was a perfect sacrifice. Firstborn ox or bulls were not to be worked nor the sheep or goat sheered (verse 19)
  • The imperfect firstborn could be eaten at home. (verses 21-22)
Back in Egypt, the night of the Passover, God took the firstborn of the Egyptians, but spared the firstborn of the Hebrews under the blood. We see that later God required their firstborn animals as a sacrifice to Him.

Has the Lord Jesus set you free from the penalty of your sins? He has paid our debt which we owed, a blood sacrifice. He is waiting for you to ask if you have not done so yet. Today would be a good day, friend.
What do we offer unto the Lord Jesus? Is our body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto Him, as in Romans 12:1?


What do I need to let go of so my life will be acceptable in God's service?

Surrender my all.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Giving in a Shoebox

O. T. #397  "Giving in a Shoebox"
October 30, 2014
Deuteronomy 14-Part 2
...that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.
Deuteronomy 14:29


Several people in our church are stuffing shoeboxes with gifts for needy children so they will have gifts at Christmastime. Tomorrow, my sister in law and I are going shopping for the items we want to give. Did you know that God told Israel to give?

In our key verse, we see that God would bless Israel when they blessed others. It is a matter of the heart. Love gives.

Jesus told us in Luke 6:38, Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. for with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Are we giving whenever we see a need? Or are we worried that we won't have enough for us if we give it away? God will repay the giver. He wants our hearts to be givers as He is.


The rest of this chapter deals with the commands concerning the tithes of the Israelites. God gave the Israelites a tithing system in seven year intervals, beginning with verse 22:
  1. Levitical tithe-The first tithe was given to the Levites, out of which they paid a tenth to the priests (Num. 18:24-28; Neh. 10:37-38). (Levites did not own land.)
  2. Agricultural tithe-Of which the land provided and that which remained, the owners separated a second tithe, which they ate before the Lord the first and second year. It was used for the celebration of worship convocation at the sanctuary.
  3. Welfare tithe-In the third year, the tithe was given to the Levites and the poor,(stranger, fatherless, widows) (Deut. 14:28-29)
  4. & 5. These years the offering was eaten again by the owners.
     6.  The offering was given to the poor.
     7.  Sabbath to the land-It rested and was not planted for crops. All things were common, which
          allowed the poor and the beasts to eat from it. (Ex. 23:11) Every seventh day was a Sabbath
          day, so every seventh year was a Sabbath year. This showed Israel's submission to God and
          their trust in His provisions.

The tithe was to be taken to the central sanctuary where the worshipers were allowed to eat a portion in fellowship with the Lord. Some Israelites may have lived too far from the sanctuary, so they were allowed to exchange their agriculture tithe locally for silver, then convert the money back into substance upon arrival at the sanctuary. It was their choice as to what cattle, sheep, or grain, which appealed to their eye, was purchased.

You may recall the story of the moneychangers that Jesus threw out of the Temple. They should have conducted business in the city streets. (John 2:14-16)

[Resources: Clarke's Commentary, The MacArthur Bible Commentary, Liberty Bible Commentary]


Open my hand and purse and give.

Share and care, live and give, love.

Trust God to meet my needs.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Skinny or Fat

O. T. #396  "Skinny or Fat?"
October 29, 2014
Deuteronomy 14
Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing. (KJV)
Do not eat any detestable thing.  (NIV)
You must not eat any detestable animals that are ceremonially unclean. (NLT)
Deuteronomy 14:3


Okay. It is time to get on a diet. Sadly and ashamedly, I share with you that I have gained back all the 20 pounds that I had lost. It was a gradual thing. A couple of pounds here and five pounds there. I figured out what done it-EATING. Yep, it wasn't looking at the food, but the intake that made me gain weight and become fat. Those slices of pies and ice cream cones hung onto my waist and never left. I did not stop to ask myself if I wanted to be skinny or fat.
So I wonder, is that the way it is with the Word of God? Looking at It doesn't make you fat spiritually, but it is the intake that does. It's the digesting of the Word, applying It here and there. Making it a part of me. I'd rather be fat spiritually than physically. After all, Jesus is the Bread of Life. I come to His table daily, but only look at the food and not take it inside of me. Is that why I am skinny spiritually and  not fat? Are you ready to eat with me? Jesus is ready to serve us.

So far, in this book of Deuteronomy, we have reviewed the commands of God toward Israel's laws:
  • reflecting the Ten Commandments (ch. 4-5)
  • concerning love (ch. 6)
  • dealing with the destroying of the Canaanites (ch. 7)
  • remembering God's past work (ch. 8-10)
  • calling to dedication (ch. 10-11)
  • concerning with a central place of worship (ch. 12)
  • dealing with false prophets (ch. 13).  [Liberty Bible Commentary]

Are we following the commands of God in our life? Have we dedicate our life to His service? Do we worship with other believers every Sunday? Are we loving others? Do we watch out for false teachers? Am I sharing the past workings of God in my life with others?


In this chapter, we will discuss the commands concerning food (verses 1-21) and tithes (verses 22-29).

Moses deals with foods which are acceptable and prohibited to Israel. They were to be a peculiar people, called to be God's chosen nation. They were set apart from the other nations.
Because of the free love of God, Israel should have obeyed the commands of God, even those pertaining to food. (Falwell)

Animals permitted to be eaten:
  • those which had a divided hoof and chewed the cud, such as ox, sheep, goats, deer, gazelle, roe deer, mountain sheep;
  • water animals that had fins and scales;
  • clean birds;
  • winged insects.
Animals not permitted to be eaten and unclean ceremonially:
  • those that did not have a divided hoof nor chewed the cud, such as swine, rabbit, coney ;
  • water animals without fins and scales;
  • scavenger birds and bats, which eat dead animals;
  • a young goat cooked in its mother's milk;
  • all flying insects that swarm;
  • animals that died a natural death because a communicable disease may have caused it.
Keep in mind that the Israelites had been on a 40 year diet of manna. They needed instructions for their new diet, as to what was good for their health and not, and what was ceremonially acceptable.

God cleansed all the animals and made them edible. God told Peter, in Acts 10:13, to eat them. Also, He was symbolically commanding the gospel to be preached to the Gentiles who had been separated from God. The dietary laws are no longer applicable today but are still symbolic to the Christian, who should not feed upon the filth of this world, but upon Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life.

These special dietary laws were to separate them from social mixing with idolatrous people, to prevent them from being lured into idolatry.  (MacArthur)

Today, we know there are foods which are high in cholesterol and can lead to heart problems. We can recognize allergies which people may have. Being overweight can cause many health issues. Some things can lead to cancer. With all this knowledge, we tend to not always heed the warnings.

Yes diets are difficult. Especially with the holidays around the corner the next two months. One day I avoided a cheesecake and the next day I ate pecan pie. What am I going to do? Keep walking 5 miles a week, I suppose. Are you with me?

What about feeding our soul? Do we spend more time feeding our body or our soul?


Turn away from those foods bad for my body.

Turn to Jesus.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

In Whose Eyes is it Right?

O. T. #295  "In Whose Eyes is it Right?"
October 28, 2014
Deuteronomy 13
...because you obey the LORD your God, keeping all His commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in His eyes.  Deuteronomy 13:18


As children, did we only obey our parents when they were around? Or did we do what they told us to do when they were not around, too? At times, we think we know what is the right thing for us to do, but is it contrary to God's Word? Israel was told to do what was right in the eyes of the LORD God.
Do we do what is right in our own eyes or God's eyes? In whose eyes is it the right thing-ours or God's?

None of the condemned things listed in this chapter was to be found in an Israelite's possession. This was given by God through Moses so that the LORD would:
  • turn from His fierce anger,
  • show mercy,
  • have compassion on them,
  • increase their numbers,
  • keep His promises made to their forefathers because they obeyed God, kept His commands, and did what was right in His eyes.
Do we turn from anger? Are we showing mercy and compassion to others? Will we keep God's commands, obey Him, and do what is right in His eyes? How can we expect God to do so with us if we aren't? Things to think about.


The MacArthur Bible Commentary says:
After the general prohibition of involvement in Canaanite  worship (12:29-31), Moses discussed three ways in which the temptation to idolatry was likely to come to Israel through:
           1. a false prophet (verses 1-5),
           2. a family member (verses 6-11),
           3. apostates in some Canaanite city (verses 12-18).

Dream can come from God or from false prophets. Signs and wonders can never be the evidence of truth or God's hand.  2 Thessalonians 2:9 reminds us that the coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.
This is why Jesus said and these signs will follow those who believer (Mark 16:17). Sign are to follow believers, instead of believers following signs. (Guzik)

If any of those close relations led a person to worship other gods, they were not only to be rejected, but also executed. This shows how serious the matter was to God.  Jesus must always come first, as He said in Matthew 10:37, He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.

Another instruction concerned the city of idolaters. Israel was to utterly destroy the people, burn everything, and not take anything, spoil or treasure for themselves. They were to leave it as a reminder when one saw the mounds. They are still visible in the desert today, covered with dust.

What would it take to lead you away from God? Signs and wonders? Spouse or friend? culture, ethnic groups? Hopefully these will not tempt us. I pray our faith in Jesus will be strong enough that we will remain faithful to Him all of our days.

By the time Judges 21:25 came along, In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

We need to be careful, always to stay in the Word of God so we do not become the same.


Show God's mercy, compassion, and love to others.

Remain faithful to Him all of the rest of my life.

Beware of  false idol worshipers and idols around me.

Obey the voice of God, keep His Word, and do what is right in His eyes.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Rest for the Weary Soul

O. T. #394  "Rest for the Weary Soul"
October 27, 2014
Deuteronomy 12-Part 2
But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety...   Deuteronomy 12:10


Rest from all your enemies. Doesn't that sound good? The world is our battlefield and we can certainly grow weary in the struggles of life. Or am I the only one? Do you find yourself throwing water on the little fires around you?  I'm talking about those squabbles that aren't any bigger than a hill of beans, yet to those involved, they are a big mountain. I find, in the overall big picture, some things just need to be let go. In the grand scheme of things, they really aren't important, not worth getting upset about, nor talking all the time about the issue. Whether it's a messy closet facing me, or things thrown away, by another person, lay it down. We need some peace and rest every now and them. Get on with the things that are important. Don't get sidetracked from what God has you doing. (I am talking to myself, here.)

Yes, every now and then, I am in need of some rest. Just a little time away from the situation helps clear the mind. Resting the body, soul, and mind helps put a new perspective on things. Take a nap, go for a walk, work in the garden, tak e a drive to see the beautiful fall leaves. Do whatever relaxes you and helps your mind to rest. Rest for the weary soul is needed every now and then.
What about Israel? Was their time coming when they would be in need of some rest?

After Israel had crossed over the Jordan River, conquered their Promised Land, settled down, then God would give them rest. Right now, in the time of chapter 12, they were preparing to face some enemies. It was not their time of rest, just yet.

Rest, in the Hebrew, means  to settle down, to dwell, stay, remain, be quiet.

After wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, then having to fight their enemies who lived in the land of their inheritance, they would have been ready for some rest.

What about you, friend, are you in need of some rest? Go to Jesus.

In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Find rest in Jesus, dear one.


Verse 8 says, Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever in right in his own eyes.

We are instructed to not do as everyone sees fit, but as God directs and tells us.

There seems to have been some laxity in the offering of the sacrifices in the wilderness which was not to be allowed when Israel came into the  Promised Land. this self-centered attitude became a major problem in the time of Judges (17:6; 21:25).

If we do not watch out, we will be in the same boat as Israel was. There are so many good projects and good causes out there asking us to give and support, that we might be tempted to give them our offering. However, God must be first, so we should continue to bring our offering into the church


Keep my eyes on Jesus and not on those little squabbles.

Stay faithful to Him in my offerings.

Afterwards, give to other good causes.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Place

O. T. #393  "The Place"
October 24, 2014
Deuteronomy 12
But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come. 
Deuteronomy 12:5


Although we can worship God at home, in the car on our way to work, and in other buildings, God still wants us to come into His house. Do you have a special place of worship, where you gather with a local church? Israel was given requirements of the place where they were to worship. Join me in finding out what they were.

The place, in the new land, where Israel was to worship God is the main emphasis in this chapter. Also, the promises and commands of this chapter were to be carried out in the land. In 6 verses, God demands Israel to worship in a specific geographical place. (verses 5, 11, 14,18, 21, 26)
In the Old Testament there were four qualifications for the place of worship:
  1. God's name was there. (verse 11)
  2. His presence was there. (verse 11)
  3. The symbols of redemption, such as the burnt offerings and sacrifices, were there. (verse 11)
  4. The Levite was ministering at the place. (verse 12)  [Resource: Liberty Bible Commentary]
In the Old Testament God's presence resided in the tabernacle, where He manifested Himself to Israel. When Israel enter Canaan, He manifested Himself and they worshiped at:
  • Mt. Ebal (27:1-8; Joshua 8:30-35),
  • Shechem (Josh. 24:1-28),
  • Shiloh (Josh.18:1),
  • at the site of the threshing floor of Araunah (2 Sam. 24:18, 1 Chron. 21:18),
  • in Jerusalem, site of Solomon's temple.
[Resources: The MacArthur Bible Commentary, Liberty Bible Commentary]

The church wasn't established until the New Testament (Matt. 16:18). Instead of a central location for the place of worship, as in the Old Testament, it is a local place. Today, our place is not the tabernacle or the Temple, but in the local church building, where one must be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19-20) as a testimony to identification with Jesus Christ and use of gifts to serve Him.


In the first four verses, God gives specific instructions about the Canaanite sanctuaries:
  • All places were to be destroyed completely, whether on mountains,hills, or under every green tree, where other gods were worshiped.
  • Break down their altars.
  • Smash their sacred stones.
  • Burn their Asherah poles in the fire.
  • Cut down the idols of their gods.
  • Wipe out their names from those places. 
God wanted all remnants of idolatry blotted out so Israel would not be tempted by them. Each person was to go to God's designated place and worship according to the plans laid down by God. When man worshiped God when and where he chose, it was rebellion, as today. Also, when man does not want to submit to God's laws and worship according to God's ways. Even today, not every place is acceptable for corporate worship.

Do we have idols, things that we worship in place of God? If so, we need to break them down, smash them, break and cut them down, burn them and wipe out their names in our lives.
How is our time being spent? Are we polishing the silver, cleaning the mansion, waxing the car, giving more time to the television or computer, than to God and His Word?
Only God is to be worshiped. We are to not bow down to any idols or graven image. (Exodus 20)

                    ...of any idols in my life.
                              ...and worship the one true living God.
                     and serve God.
                              ...share Jesus with others.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Blesssing or Cursing?

O. T. #392  "Blessing or Cursing?"
October 23, 2014
Deuteronomy 11
Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse.  Deuteronomy 11:26


The adults to whom Moses was speaking were ages 40 to 60. There were no elderly folks, except Moses, who were alive at that time, because those older than 20, back 40 years earlier, died in the wilderness. Before the wilderness there were plagues and miracles; in the wilderness there were provisions and protection of God. Many Israelites were only children whenever they saw with their own eyes all the mighty works God had done, as well as His disciplining hands. Their children didn't see them.

Now they had children of their own, which needed to learn about their God. Since it is through repetition that we learn and retain information, Moses kept recalling and reminding Israel of the past. The love of God continued throughout all of this, even their rebellion.

In Jeremiah 31:3, the LORD says, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

Like the song-His love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me, His love. It goes on and on.

Who doesn't need to be reminded that the Lord loves us? Aren't we called to share this with others?


What is Moses telling Israel to do again?
  • to love the LORD their God, keep His requirements, decrees, laws, and commands always;
  • observe all the commands which he was giving them;
  • faithfully obey them;
  • love and serve God;
  • be careful lest they be enticed and turn away to worship other gods;
  • fix God's Words in their hearts;
  • teach their children.
If Israel loved God, walked in His ways, and held fast to Him, then the LORD would:
  • drive out the nations so they could possess the Promised Land;
  • extend their territory, had Israel obeyed God faithfully, (Gen. 15:18);
  • no man could stand against them for they would fear Israel wherever they went;
  • bless them when they obeyed or cursed them when they disobeyed God;
  • bless them with rain in the new land; (In Egypt, they had to haul the water for the gardens or make foot deep channels for irrigating.).
In reference to verses 30-32, Falwell says, "Moses was showing Israel how to find the mountains of blessing and cursing."
Later in chapters 27 and 28, more details are given.

The reference of two mountains  were Mount Gerizim, the mountain of blessing, and Mount Ebal, the mountain of cursing. These mountains are located in the middle of the Promised Land and face each other across a valley approximately 1600 feet wide. The symbolic reading of the blessings and cursings will remind Israel that they are to obey the Word of the Lord if they want to receive His blessings. If they disobey, God will send curses upon them.  (Falwell)

Which mountain do we want? Blessing or cursing? Will we obey or disobey our God?

In John 14:21, Jesus says, He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

The real issue is of the heart: if they truly loved God, they would obey His Word. The time of decision had come. They had to choose between a blessing or a curse. this basic principle has never changed: if we obey God's Word from the heart, He will bless us and our labors; but if we disobey Him, He will send a curse and chasten us. Obedience is the key to happiness.  (Wiersbe)


Love God and His Word.

Obey God's Word and His leading.

Tell the younger generation of the mighty works of God in my life.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Keep Clinging

O. T. #391  "Keep Clinging "
October 22, 2014
Deuteronomy 10
Fear the LORD you God and serve Him. Hold fast to Him and take your oaths in His name. 
Deuteronomy 10:20


Have you ever picked up a piece of thin plastic wrap so you could throw it away? Then, when you tried to get rid of it, the thing kept clinging  to your finger. You try to shake it off, but the thing keeps clinging and would not go away into the trash can. Finally, it took both hands to get rid of it. It happened to me the other day. Do we cling to Him like the plastic wrap on my finger? Israel was told to hold fast, cling, to their God.

How does Moses describe the LORD our God?
  • God of gods,
  • Lord of lords,
  • a great God,
  • mighty and awesome,
  • who shows no partiality,
  • accepts no bribes,
  • defends the cause of the fatherless and widow,
  • loves the alien (stranger), giving him food and clothing,
  • made Israel numerous from 70 who went down to Egypt to be as many as the stars.
Falwell tells us that this describes the exclusiveness of God. There is no other God, and all idols are false.
We see the loving care of God for His people. He deserves our love, devotion, and admonition.
Do we show it? Do we give Him the praise and worship which He alone deserves?

As the song goes, He is worthy of worship, worthy of praise, worthy of love and devotion, worthy of all the glad songs that we sing, worthy of all of the offerings we bring. You are worthy, Father, Creator, You are worthy, Savior, Sustainer, worthy and wonderful, worthy of worship and praise.


When Moses broke the tablets of the Ten Commandments, it represented Israel's breaking the Law when they made and worshiped the golden calf.
What were instructions given to the Israelites in verses 12 and 13?
  • fear the LORD your God,
  • walk in all His ways,
  • love Him,
  • serve the LORD your God,
  • keep His commandments and statutes,
  • circumcise your heart (verse 16),
  • love the strangers (verse 19),
  • cleave to, hold fast to Him,
  • take your oaths in His name. (verse 20)
Hold fast is a verb that means to stick to, or  to hold onto. As a husband is to be united to his wife, so Israel was to cling to her God.  (MacArthur)

Are we holding fast to our God? Not just when times are hard, but when times are easy, too? We should always hold onto Jesus so tightly that nothing can shake us off Him. Don't let the daily schedule, trials, troubles, hurts, worries cause us to stop clinging to Jesus. Hold us in Your Hands, Lord.


Turn from _______ and turn to Jesus.

Worship, praise, serve, love, cling to our God.

Cling to Jesus while He clings to me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Stiff Necked

O. T. #390  "Stiff Necked"
October 21, 2014
Deuteronomy 9-Part 2
Furthermore the LORD spake unto me, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people.  Deuteronomy 9:13


Have you ever awakened with a stiff neck? I sure hurts to turn it, doesn't it? Israel had that same problem. God called them a stiff necked people, quite a few times. In fact, it appeared twice in this chapter. Let's find out more about it.

Moses interceded for Israel during the 40 years of their wanderings in the wilderness due to their rebellion. It was due to their numerous times of Israel's rebellion and his love for his family, that Moses prayed for God to deliver them instead of destroying them. These were a people who belonged to God, not Moses. If God had not delivered Israel, it would have tarnished the honor of God in the sight of the heathen nations. Also, God had promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that He would give Israel a Promised Land for an inheritance. We know that God kept His word and delivered Israel many times from being destroyed completely.

Are we interceding to our Lord for loved ones who are rebellious?
Are we careful to not become rebellious ourselves?


Moses lists several occasions when Israel had rebelled against God. Although they are not in chronological order, they begin with the smaller offenses and progress to the more serious rebellion.

Rebellion is not in the act, but in the attitude of the heart. (Falwell)

What were some of the rebellious times listed in this chapter?
  • They complained about the lack of water only three days after leaving Egypt.
  • While Moses was on Mt. Sinai forty days, receiving the Ten Commandments and the laws, they built a golden calf and worshiped it.
  • They doubted God's ability to bring down the giants in their Promised Land and would not go into it to conquer it.
  • Aaron led the rebellious making of the idol.
  • At Taberah, they complained of their misfortunes (Num. 11:1-3).
  • At Massah, they found fault with everything and in presumption put God to the test (Ex. 17:1-7).
  • At Kibroth Hattaavah, the people complained about their food (Num. 11:31-35).
  • At Kadesh Barnea, they lack faith in God and disobeyed (Num. 13; 14).
[References: Liberty Bible Commentary, The MacArthur Bible Commentary]

Twice in this chapter, God calls His people stiffnecked (verses 6 and 13). Also, there were four previous times in which the LORD called Israel a stiffnecked people (Exodus 32:9; 33:3,5; 34:9).
this description came from a horse or ox that refused to be turned by the reigns. These people did not want God to turn them, from going their own way, to going His way. Perhaps that would apply to their way of living, also. For such an attitude, God suggested eliminating Israel, but Moses interceded for them.

Do we need to be reminded our times of rebellion against God's instructions or Word? I think it helps to be reminded of it so we avoid being stubborn to do God's will, His way.

Psalm 119:36-37 says, Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.

Turn me, Lord Jesus to You.


Turn from my stubbornness and let God turn me in His direction.

Stop complaining, grumbling, and mumbling.

Monday, October 20, 2014


O. T. #389  "Pride"
October 20, 2014
Deuteronomy 9
Hear, O Israel, Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven.  Deuteronomy 9:1


As the end of construction nears for our new sanctuary, our church needs to be careful to give God the glory and praise for it, not our money and work. It has been His provisions, materials, money, and strength to stay at the task throughout  the conflicts and challenges, disagreements and discouragements. After all, it was His grace that saved us in the first place. Nothing we did or could have done accomplished that. We have no righteousness with that of Jesus. We need to be careful of pride. Israel would have the same challenges whenever they defeated their enemies and conquered successfully the land.

The time was at hand to possess the land; to pass over Jordan; to go in; to bring them down.
These phrases, used in this chapter, indicated it was time for action. The Lord God promised Israel victory to defeat their enemies who lived there. This was not because of their righteousness that God gave them the land. No, it was because of He had promised the Patriarchs, their forefathers.

The occupation of the Promised Land was due to the free grace of God, not to any merit on Israel's part. This is a picture of salvation which comes by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).  (Falwell)

The Jews did not deserve the land. It was given to them because God loved them. Furthermore, He would drive out the heathen nations because of those nations' sins, not because of Israel' goodness. The application is true for Christians today. We dare not forget the grace of God! We are saved by grace, and any work we do for Him is by grace (1 Cor. 15:10; Rom. 12:6). (Wiersbe)

Isaiah 64:6 says, But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

In the Hebrew, the word filthy means to set a period; the menstrual flux (as periodical).

As women can understand this verse. Our righteousness is stinky, dirty and filthy, and bloody, to be cast away, plainly putting it. Therefore, we must be covered in the blood of Jesus, spiritually, before God accepts us. It is His righteousness alone that makes us acceptable to our holy Father. A dirty heart is made clean.

2 Corinthians 5:21 states, For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sins; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

(The Him in that verse is Christ, as mentioned in the previous verse 20.)

To possess any material and spiritual blessings is due to God's grace and none of our goodness deserving them. They should humble us and not make us proud. We should want to use them for His glory in winning of souls to Jesus.


You're goin' down, you Anakims. You strong and tall people ain't seen nothing. (Pardon my English.) God will go before Israel as a consuming fire to destroy the Anakims. He will bring them down before Israel's face. Israel was to drive them out of the land and destroy them quickly.

The Anakims were the giants which the original 12 spies spoke of in their report, noting their size, number, strength. From a human standpoint and militarily speaking, victory for Israel would be impossible. Ten of spies focused on the tall, strong people who lived in walled cities in Canaan. Now the second generation of Israel had to face these same challenges, which their fathers did not have enough faith to meet and conquer with God.

Three times in verses 4-6, Moses emphasized that the victory was not because of Israel's goodness, but was entirely the work of God. (MacArthur)

Previously, God warned Israel about their problems to come-enemies and idols, forgetting God and being proud of their attainments. Now He is warning them about conceit (their righteousness). It wasn't going to be due to any of Israel's righteousness, because they had none like us, but because of  the enemies' wickedness and God's promise to the Patriarchs. As we read above, the occupation of the land was due to God's grace.

We are alive, saved,  and blessed, not because we deserve it, but because of goodness and grace of our God! That is something to shout about, friends. May we never forget it, either.

Are we ready to pass over our Jordan by faith in God?
Are we thankful every day?
Do we give Him the credit for our blessings?


Leave my pride behind and focus on God.

Trust Him for the victories in my life and to get me safely over my Jordan.

Give God the glory for the victories.

Thank Him for grace.

Friday, October 17, 2014

When Things Are Going Well

O. T. #388  "When Things Are Going Well"
October 17, 2014
Deuteronomy 8
but thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.  Deuteronomy 8:18


Are things going with you? Things are going well with us. We have money coming in, a nice house, sufficient food and clothing, needed medicines, loving family, sweet friends, and a caring church. Yes, sir, we are doing well. Wait a minute.
In reality, it is God who has provided our everything so things are going well.  We have the strength, money, knowledge, and blessings which are all gifts from God. I don't want to forget it, either. I thank Him for life and breath, food, clothes and shoes, electricity, clean and hot water, appliances, food, our house, doctors and medicines, and all the people in our lives. Included should be God's grace and mercy new every morning, everlasting love, salvation unmerited, His Word and Spirit for which I am grateful. How often am I? What about Israel?

God's goodness is about to be experienced by Israel whenever they settle down in their Promised Land. God was going to give them:
  • a good land with plenty of water-brooks, fountains, deep springs out of valleys and hills;    (verse 7)
  • good fertility of the land producing wheat, barley, vines, fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil, and honey; ( verse 8)
  • mineral prosperity of iron and brass (copper); (verse 9)
  • a land where bread will not be scarce and they would lack nothing. (verse 9)
It must have made the Lord happy to provide these wonderful things for His children. All He wanted in return was their love, devotion, worship, obedience to His commands, and recognition of His providing it all. Was that too much to ask?  I think not.


Previously we read of the warning concerning the enemies of Israel and their idol worship. God's instructions were to destroy them. Now we see another threat which Israel will encounter in the Promised Land-pride.

When does the attitude of self-satisfaction comes slithering into town, causing their heart to become proud and they forget the LORD their God ?
We find the answer in verse 12:
  • When the people have eaten and are full, 
  •  built fine houses, 
  •  herds grew numerous, 
  •  silver and gold increased,
  •  and they say their own power and strength of their hands produced their wealth.
Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament explains:
Is this sin not with us today? Often when times are hard and we have to depend on God for our daily needs, we remember Him and obey Him. But when "things are going well," and we have more than we need, we become self-sufficient and forget God. "It is He who gives you power to get wealth" is a statement we all need to remember. Sometimes God has to chasten us to remind us who is in control of the wealth of this world. 

Prosperity, self-satisfaction, and pride can be a silent enemy lurking around us. If we aren't careful, we will surrender to them unbeknownst to us. Our Sovereign God is in control of the wealth of this world and we would be well off to remember it. Develop a grateful heart. Our Father is pleased when we thank Him for things.
Do we? Are we? Will we? When?


Don't be self-sufficient or proud.

Have a grateful heart.

Give thanks to God throughout the day for all the things He provides.

Bless the Lord, oh my soul.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


O. T. #387  "Demands"
October 16, 2014
Deuteronomy 7-Part 2
The great temptations which thine eyes saw; and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the stretched out arm, whereby the LORD thy God brought thee out: so shall the LORD thy God do unto all the people of whom thou art afraid.  Deuteronomy 7:19


What demands do you make on your children or grandchildren? One that I insist upon being done is putting up the toy/toys back in their proper place. We pick up after ourselves. I think this is a good habit to acquire now and will be used for the rest of her life. God had several demands made on His children. Check them out.

Do you recall the blessings which God promised Israel, that appeared earlier in this chapter? Their nation, many children, crops, animals, no diseases would be theirs if Israel would obey God's commands. Israel was God's chosen, holy, special people, and His children.

How is God described in this chapter?
  • faithful (verse 9)
  • merciful (verse 9)
  • keeper of the covenant (verse 12)
  • able to perform miraculous signs and wonders (verse 19)
  • uses a mighty hand and outstretched arm (verse 19)
  • great and awesome (verse 21NIV).

Israel saw with their own eyes how God delivered them from slavery and Pharaoh. Then through the wilderness He defeated their enemies. He repeatedly reminds Israel that He will deliver them and destroy their enemies.
Since God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, He can still deliver us from our temptations, evil, and enemies. Are we trusting Him and obeying Him?


What was Israel to do in return?
First, they were to not be afraid, for God would give them victory in stages so the land would be safe.
In verses 24-26, they were instructed to destroy the heathen kings, burn their idols and not take those made of silver and gold.

Anything that remained would be a snare to them and lead them into sin. (Wiersbe)

If Israel disobeyed God and took the heathens' graven images and idols of gold and silver for themselves, as well as into their house, then it would be an abomination unto the LORD God.
(verses 25-26)

Abomination, in the Hebrew, means disgusting; an abhorrence; idolatry; an idol; an abominable (custom, thing). (Strong's Concordance)

Webster's Dictionary defines abomination as extreme disgust and hatred.

The MacArthur Bible Commentary gives a list of 22 abominations to God. The first one is graven images, idols used for worship. The first 7 on the list are found in Deuteronomy, and the last 15 are all found in Proverbs.

Of course, the second of the Ten Commandments given in Exodus 20 pertains to not making any graven image and bowing down to it as a god. God is a jealous God and will not stand for it. He will not put up with any competition or substitute that is worshiped in His place.

It sounds strong doesn't it? That's the way it is. God must be loved most and be first in our life. None other is acceptable.
Do we have any idols or things in our life? Is there anything that is more important to us than God?


Search for anything that is more important to me than God is.

If there is one, then remove it and repent of that sin.

Surrender daily to the Lord and follow Him.

Obey God.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Oh, America, What Has Happened to You?

O. T. #386  "Oh, America, What Has Happened to You?
October 15, 2014
Deuteronomy 7
The LORD did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people: for ye were fewest of all people. but because the LORD loved you...
Deuteronomy 7:7-8a


Did the Lord blessed America in her first two hundred years? Just look at our industrial development, food production, population, military, plenteous churches, governing laws, moral communities and how they have developed. We were blessed.
Now take a look at how we have deteriorated in the past 50 years or even 20 years. Where has our immorality, diseases, evil, and falling away from God come from?
Have we not accepted the heathens' idols, religious practices, customs, food, and citizenship into our nation? Were we not warned as Israel was? Oh, America, what has happened to you?

Israel was God's treasured possession because He loved them. God kept His oath with their forefathers in bringing them out of Egypt with a mighty hand and redeemed them from the land of slavery and the power of Pharaoh. However, those who hate God will be destroyed.

If Israel would follow the laws of God, then He would do what?
  • keep His covenant of love with them to a thousand generations, (verse 9, 12)
  • love and bless them, more than other people, (verse 13)
  • increase their numbers, not be childless, (verse 13)
  • bless their children (fruit of their womb) (verse 13)
  • give crops of their land-grain, new wine, oil, cattle, sheep (verse 13-14)
  • keep them free from diseases, (inflict them on their enemies), (verse 15)
God promised Israel particular blessings for their obedience, which are further enumerated in 28:1-14. (MacArthur)

It couldn't get any better than this-God's provisions and blessings.
Do we desire the same? Are we willing to do whatever it takes in order for God to bless us in this manner?


God spoke plainly to His children. He warned them of what lay ahead, yet He would take care of them if they:
  • Drive out the 7 nations, which were larger and stronger, that occupying the land.
  • Destroy them totally.
  • Make no treaty with them.
  • Do not show them mercy.
  • Do not intermarry with them, nor your children do so.
  • Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles, and burn their idols in the fire.
  • Israel was to be a holy people to the LORD their God.
Utterly destroy the heathen nations and in no way compromise with them. They were wicked and ripe for judgment, and if left in the land, the nations would lead Israel into sin. A defiled Israel could never give the world God's Word and God's Son. (Wiersbe)

Just as Israel was to be separated from the other nations, so is the church to be separated from the world. (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1)
Are we a testimony to the world and others around us or do we hinder the work of God by mingling with them?


Turn away from the world's ways, ideas, immorality and turn to Jesus, His ways, Word, and morality.

Stay faithful to God.

Do not accept the gods or idols of the heathens.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What Does That Mean?

O. T. #385  "What Does That Mean?"
October 14, 2014
Deuteronomy 6-Part 4
And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statues, and the judgments, which the LORD our God hath commanded you? Deuteronomy 6:20


What does that mean? I recall asking that question when I was a child. Sometimes it was in reference to a saying, a word, or instructions in a workbook. Israel was given directions whenever their children asked that question.

He brought us out to bring us in.  (verse 23 NIV)
What does that refer to? God brought Israel out of Egypt, slavery, and the midst of idol worship to bring them into the Promised Land, the land where their nation would live freely to worship Him.

Has God brought you out of your Egypt, where sin and doubt are?
Are you free from the bondage of sin by confession?
Do you worship God alone life?

Do we find ourselves slipping back into our old Egyptian ways?
Why do we become enslaved by the world?
Are there idols in our life that we need to get rid of or change our attitude toward?


The key to the teaching was the simple recounting of Israel's testimony-how God saved them from the bondage of Egypt. Parents need to relate to their children how they came to a personal relationship with Jesus, so the children understand that they must come to the same relationship.

"What does it mean, Daddy?" a question a third generation Israelite might ask.
When their children asked what meaning of those stipulations, decreed, and laws the LORD our God commanded meant, then  Israel was to tell them:
  • With a mighty hand God brought us out of slavery in Egypt. (verse 21)
  • Before our eyes He sent miraculous signs and wonders (plagues) upon Egypt and the Pharaoh's household. (verse 22)
  • God has given us this land which He promised as an oath to our forefathers. (verse 23)
  • He commanded us to obey them these and fear Him so we might always prosper and be kept alive. ((verse 24)
  • If we carefully obey all this law before the LORD our God, that will be our righteousness. (verse 25)
Righteousness, in Hebrew, means justice, virtue, right act.

And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness. Genesis 15:6
The promise was that Abraham would have a seed, child.

Israel's righteousness will come from observing the Law with a willing spirit, not with an empty obedience. (Falwell)

If one will obtain true righteousness through the law, it is simple (though not easy): observe all the commandments. But if you are lacking in observing any commandment, then you need the atonement of a Perfect Sacrifice-Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  (Guzik)

Do our children and grandchildren ask questions about God's Word?
Do we explain it to them?

No one can keep the Law, since we are born with a sinful nature. Only one was able to keep it and live a sinless life, Jesus.

Are we sharing that message?


Turn from our sin and to Jesus.

Trust the mighty hand of God to deliver me from my bondage to sin.

Share the meaning of God's Word and the application of it in my life.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Luxuries or Necessities?

O. T. #384  "Luxuries or Necessities?"
October 13, 2014
Deuteronomy 6-Part 3
Then beware lest thou forget the LORD...   Deuteronomy 6:12a


What if we suddenly did not have clean water from the tap, hot water for showering, a washer and dryer, dishwasher, electricity, appliances, air conditioning, car and truck for traveling, restaurants, money to purchase a variety of groceries, a frig and oven, a church around the corner with comforts? Do I dare say that more people in this world do not have these luxuries than have them? If you have ever traveled abroad, especially to poor, third-world countries, you would be grateful for such things in your home. Are these luxuries or necessities?

When The LORD God brought Israel into the Promised Land, He would give them:
  • large, flourishing cities they did not build (verse 10)
  • houses filled with all kinds of good things they did not provide (verse 11)
  • wells, which they did not dig (verse 11)
  • vineyards and olive groves that they did not plant (verse 11)
  • they shall eat and be satisfied (verse 11).
What gifts! Large cities, full  houses, wells full of fresh water, huge, vineyards and groves that they did not build, dig, plant, nor provide. God was going to give it all to His beloved children. They only had to believe, obey, and love God. I'm sure such an announcement excited those who desired to live in a city, no longer moving around; live in houses, not tents; have plenty of free water; luscious grapes and olives to eat and cook oil to with. No more gathering that manna. A place for their family and animals to stay put. A place where they could raise their children. Each tribe would have their own nation. What a world to live in for the Israelites! Were they excited? Who wouldn't be after all they had endured so far. (Especially after all they would endure.) Their heavenly Father was going to shower them with gifts unimaginable.

What about us? Look around you. Has God provided us with a city and a house to live in? I have seen shanties that people live in, from a small concrete block house to a stick house, with a tin roof. Do we enjoy or take for granted fresh, clean water, as well as hot water? Sporadic electricity. Some places I have visited on mission trips lacked clean water, and hot water. When was the last time we sat down to a meal of only rice, or only fried noodles, three times a day?
I thank God for blessing me with clean water to drink and hot water for a shower, electricity, food in abundance and variety. What do I have to complain about?

Always be thankful in all things during our prosperity, lest we forget the LORD our God.


What were the Israelites to do whenever they reached their land of promise?
  • Love God. (verse 5)
  • Teach their children His commandments. (verse 7)
  • Tie them as symbols on their hands. (verse 8)
  • Bind them on their foreheads. (verse 8) In N.T. times, the Pharisees wore phylacteries-small boxes holding parchment with scriptures on them, held to the forehead or hand with leather straps.
  • Write them on the doorframes of their house and gates. (verse 9) Jews put a mezuzah, a small container holding a passage of Scripture, and nailed it to the doorpost.
Liberty Bible Commentary explains:
They would enjoy houses, gardens, and wells for which they had not worked, so Moses suggests a formula for remembering God:
  1. Fear the LORD thy God. (verse 13) (awe-filled respect)
  2. Serve Him. (verse 13)
  3. Swear by His name. (verse 13) Not as a solemn oath in court, but rather to an assertive fact whereby a person dedicates his life to live for God.
This reference was quoted by Jesus Christ when He was tempted in the wilderness by Satan. Satan knew that Christ was obedient to the Father and tried to make Him act selfishly.  (Falwell)
(Matthew 4)


Love God.

Teach my children and grandchildren about Him.

Always be thankful.

Serve God with all I am and have.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Honey and French Fries

O. T. #383  "Honey and French Fries"
October 10, 2014
Deuteronomy 6-Part 2
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.   Deuteronomy 6:7


Nothing like a hot, homemade biscuit with freshly collected honey from the bee hive. We had a neighbor, as I was growing up, who took care of bee hives. Whenever he raided the hives for the fresh honey, he would bring my parents some. Ummmm, sweet, sweet honey. Have you ever sucked on a piece of real honeycomb? Nothing like it, friends.
God was promising His children that they would have their own land to live in, a land that flowed with milk and honey. Can you imagine the anticipation?

If the Israelites obeyed the commandments, loved God, then they would enjoy a long and blessed life. Being careful to obey them, that they would increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey. If they disobeyed, they could expect to be cursed and punished by God.

Back in Exodus 3:8, the Lord promised deliverance and described the Promised Land as a "land flowing with milk and honey" to Moses at the burning bush. In other words, it was a fertile land of bounteous provision. Their needs would be met and extras, too. Some of the people were old enough to remember the luscious and huge grapes and fruit the 12 spies brought back after checking out the land. So they knew it existed.
Besides, who wouldn't enjoy some honey after eating manna for 40 years?

Do we want to enjoy our land flowing with milk and honey? Sounds like it comes if we love God and obey His commands.


 Through Moses, God told Israel to love the LORD thy God with all their heart, soul, and might.

This great command must first be in our heart. then it must be communicated to our children, the topic of our conversation. (Guzik)

What other instructions did He give them concerning the commandments of God?
  1. Teach them diligently to their children. Diligently means to point, pierce, sharpen, whet. Whet means something that sharpens or makes keen.
  2. Talk about them  when they sit at home.
  3. Talk about them when they walk along the road.
  4. Talk about them when they lie down and when they get up.
  5. Tie them as symbols on their hands.
  6. Bind them on their foreheads.
  7. Write them on the doorframes of their houses and gates.
Pretty much, the Israelites were to bring the Word of God into their home, family, and work place throughout their daily life, as well as apply it to specific situations.

The law written on the heart would be an essential characteristic of the new covenant to come.
 (Jer. 31:33) (MacArthur)

What better instructions can we follow for our life and family?
Just yesterday, as we were returning from her gymnastics class, I instructed my granddaughter that we must always tell the truth, even if we get in trouble as a result. So we told the truth, when Mom asked if she had eaten anything. When she had a sheepish expression on her face, hesitating to tell the truth, I explained that she had a few of my French fries. We ended up not getting in trouble with her mother after all.

Hopefully, I diligently and keenly taught my granddaughter a lesson so she will remember to tell the truth. (I should have explained further to her that God said for us to not lie, but I didn't think about it at the time. Oops!)

By the way, I did numbers 1-4 above. We were sitting in the car, going down the road, then got out up out of the car.

Do we seize the teachable moments with our children and grandchildren? Are we applying the Word of God in our life?


Love the LORD my God with all my heart, soul, and might.

Obey, follow, apply  His Word in  my life daily.

Ask forgiveness when I sin.

Teach my family God's commands.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Who Do We Love?

O. T. #382  "Who Do We Love?
October 9, 2014
Deuteronomy 6
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  Deuteronomy 6:4-5


Love. What is love? Who do we love?

Soon Israel will be conquering and living around nations who practice polytheism. God, through His servant Moses, is telling the second generation the Law of God. God is different from the other gods of the world.

In verse 4, we read, The LORD our God is one God.

In the Hebrew language, the word LORD means Jehovah, Self-Existent, Eternal; one means compound unity; one LORD means God has one name.

As in monotheism, there is only one God, our God, Jehovah, Adoniah, Elohim, El Shaddai.

The MacArthur Bible Commentary says, It has been translated "The LORD is our God, the LORD alone."

One, in the verse above, refers to the unity of the Trinity-God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Luther describes this as "three persons in the one divine nature."

Both the unity and the Trinity of the Godhead are taught in the Old Testament, in Gen. 1:26-27; Ps. 2:7; Isa. 48:16.  (Falwell)

Knowing who God is enables us to act towards Him rightly. We give Him His due. (Guzik)

Now then, we have established who is it that we are to worship and serve-the LORD our God. Here, God had to establish Himself, who He was that created them individually and as a nation.

Is God our one LORD? Are there any  gods in our life?


Friend, look at verse 5 with me.  Here we have no greater commandment than this one. What is God telling Israel to do when they reach the Land of Promise and settle in?
  • Love the LORD thy God
  • with all your heart
  • with all your soul
  • and with all your might.
What is the motive behind man's relationship to God?  Love
Who is the correct object of that love? God

Love means to have affection for.
Heart refers to feelings, will, understanding, intellect, and mind.
Soul can mean breath, heart, mind, mortally, will.
Might, or strength, is force, ability, power.
(from Mark 12:29-30) Jesus used this verse when answering the Sadducees as to the most important commandment.

Christ calls this "the first and great commandment" in Matthew 22:38. He summarizes the first four of the Ten Commandments. God has no greater commandment than love.  (Falwell)

Love Who? God
Who or what needs to be removed there as god in  my heart?
How? With all our heart, soul, and might.
Is He God of my heart and feelings, soul and will, might and strength?
Does He have first place in our life?
Are we showing God's love by loving others?
Surrender is the only way for this to be.


Let go of any gods I may have and let God be God of my life.

Love God with my all.

Worship, praise, thank God.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Gratitude Attitude?

O. T. #381  "A Gratitude Attitude?"
October 8, 2014
Deuteronomy 5-Part 2
O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear Me, and keep all My commandments always that it be well with them, and with their children for ever!  Deuteronomy 5:29


What a pretty car. Just look at that beautiful, huge house. How many times have I said those words? Where's my gratitude attitude? It went out the window when a new, nice car passed by as I drive my old one. Or as I passed by "that" house. I know I am not supposed to think all that. But I keep doing it, over and over again. Maybe it wasn't a red, juicy apple that tempted Eve into sinning. Maybe it was a luscious peach. Ok. Did the Israelites need to hear this, also?

Who would not want a way for it to be well with them and their children forever? I don't think the nature of folks has changed that much down through the years. Who doesn't want the good life, the blessings, the peace from God? Do you suppose that Israel was no different? How would they receive it? Find out in this chapter.

Moses reminded Israel of the commandments God gave them (Exodus 20). Jesus summarized the ten into two- love God and love your neighbor. I am sure that such events as hearing the voice of God, seeing Him lead their nation by fire and a cloud were not easily forgotten by these young adults.

The Israelites were told that  they may live and prosper and prolong their days in the land that they will possess. (verse 33b) How could this be? The stipulation was their obedience. It was a matter of the heart. Fear God and keep His commandments always. (verse 29)

There we have the secret to a long and prosperous life-fear God and obey Him. That's not much. Yet how easy is it to do day in and day out? (Fear means reverence.) How often do we fail in that department?


God tells Moses to teach His commandments, statutes, and judgments. He knows the heart of Israel. God yearns for them to obey Him. Can you hear it in His voice when in the beginning of verse 29 the LORD said, O that there were such a heart in them...
Being God, He knew Israel would forsake Him many times to come and turn to idol worship, forsaking His commands. He wanted so badly their hearts to love Him, don't you think?

Are we any different? We want people to like us, even love us. Often we go to extremes for it. How may things have been bought for children in an attempt of this? Parents trying to outdo each other after divorce. In the long run, they are only hurting the child by spoiling them.

What were the Israelites to do after they heard and learned the command, statutes, and judgments?
  1. Do them. (verse 31)
  2. Observe them. (verse 32a)
  3. Do not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. (verse 32b)
  4. Walk in all the ways God commanded them. (verse 33)
Simple. Do #1, #2, #3, and #4. Got it. Easy words, yet, hard to apply?
We can love God, worship Him on Sundays, reverence His name, honor our parents. Uh huh.
Now when it comes to not coveting my neighbor's house, car, job, well that is another story. That's hard.
I have to work on being grateful for what I have, and do it daily. Maybe more than once a day. Maybe when those nice cars pass me in my 10 year old car on the highway. Maybe when I pass by these fancy houses. Yep, yep, yep, I have to watch my attitude.

Actually, I am glad that I don't have a car payment. (Saw an ad for a $800 a month car payment last night.) No way! Mine is bought and paid for, thank the Lord! It frees up mission trip money. As for that fancy house, I have problems keeping my little house clean the way is it. (under 1,000 sq.ft.) I sure don't have time to clean a large one. Come to think of it, I prefer my simple, country, small house, soon to be 100 years old. Thank You Jesus for all Your blessings on me. Help me keep my perspective.

Ok, so I need to work on my doin's and goin's and thinkin's. (Sorry, that wasn't proper English.)
Yes, Sir. Right away, Sir. Today Sir? OOOOOH !!!

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  Colossians 3:2


Change those attitudes.

Give my things and heart to Jesus wherever and however He wants me to live. Today.

Have a grateful heart and an obedient heart.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Is There Mercy for Me?

O. T. #380  "Is There Mercy for Me?"
October 7, 2014 
Deuteronomy 5
And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.  Deuteronomy 5:10


I slept Friday and Saturday afternoons. It was not just a 30 minute nap, but I am talking 2-3 hours. Then I was groggy the rest of the day. I had intended to sew a blouse, write on my computer, clean house, but I didn't go any of those things. I need mercy. I need God's Mercy to run to me whenever I fall, fail, disobey, stray away, don't listen, am slow to learn from my mistakes, do other things instead of study His Word. Is there mercy for me? Always.

In verse 10, we read of God's showing mercy. His mercy (kindness in Hebrew), is shown to thousands who do what? They love God and keep His commandments.

Verse 10 introduces the fact of God's love.
New International Version gives reference to Exodus 34:7 (after the second Commandments were given)- And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."

What attributes of God are mentioned in these two verses?
  • merciful
  • compassionate
  • gracious
  • slow to anger
  • abounding in love
  • and faithfulness
  • maintaining love to thousands
  • forgiving wickedness, rebellion , and sin
  • punishes the guilty of sin.
Who couldn't use some mercy from God today? We are all sinner in need of a Savior. Our righteousness is as filthy rags. (Is. 64:6) He has mercy, he shows mercy, for He is mercy.
Then after we receive that mercy, aren't we supposed to show mercy to others? What about all the rest of those descriptive words used for God- aren't we supposed to show those characteristics to others?


Before Moses reviews the Ten Commandments, which were given back in Exodus 20, he repeats the four key words (used throughout this book) when he calls Israel together:
  • hear, used over 30 times, means obey, to listen, consent, obedience.
  • learn, used 7 times, means skillful, instruct, to teach.
  • keep, used 39 times, means attend, take heed.
  • do, used 100 times, means fulfill, observe. 
Isn't what the Lord demanded Israel still required of His people today? The difference is that we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to please the Lord and forgiven by grace when we sin.  (Falwell)

The basis of God's moral law was the Ten Commandments. by obeying the Law, Israel would be honoring God and opening the way for victory and blessing.

Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament explains this about chapter 5:
God gave this Law (Ten Commandments) to reveal sin (Rom. 3:20); to prepare the nation for the coming of Christ (Gal. 3:19-24); and to make them a separated nation on the earth (Deut. 4:5-8). Note that Moses reminds Israel that their responsibility is based on God's redemption, for He had delivered them from Egypt (verse 6, 15)
          You are not your own; you were bought with a price; there... (1 Cor. 6:19-20 )

         The Law must be in the heart, or there can be no true obedience. See Hebrews 8:8-10, Jeremiah 32:39-40 and 31:31.  Second Corinthians 3 teaches that the New Testament believer has the Law written in his heart by the Spirit of God; and Romans 8:1-4 explains that we obey the Law by the power of the Spirit.  (Wiersbe)

Are we striving to hear, learn, keep, and do what God commands us? Do we love Him and love our neighbor?


Thank the Lord God for His mercy, compassion, and grace toward me.

Show mercy, compassion, and grace to others today.

Hear God's Word, learn His commands, keep His ways, do His will.

Monday, October 6, 2014

He Laid Down the Law

O. T. #379  "He Laid Down the Law"
October 6, 2014
Deuteronomy 4-Part 5
And this is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel.  Deuteronomy 4:44


Have we ever laid down the law to our children after they broke our rules? I can think of one particular time when our daughter first started driving. She had some friends in the car with her, and they waved at teenager boy. While doing so, she didn't see the curve in the road and the car went down a small hill into a yard. All were fine, just shook up a bit from the experience. Well, that was when her father laid down the law to her, specific instructions for her driving. Moses was doing the same to Israel in the following chapters, only as a review.

The book of Deuteronomy takes place within one month's time and in only one place. Israel is camped in a valley east of the Jordan River. For the rest of this book, Moses laid down the law. This is the second address by Moses reviewing the stipulations of the Sinaitic Covenant God gave. Keep in mind, this is the second generation of the Israelites. They were just kids (younger than 20) when it was given to them back at Mt. Sinai, some 40 years earlier.  I think that Moses is soon departing and he wants them to keep the laws and Torah in the Promised Land, and to continue to obey God, love Him, follow His directions, and thus be blessed, not cursed. Moses is only explaining the Law which had already been given them not giving any additions to the law.

In verse 45, Moses speaks of the:
  • testimonies, the basic covenant stipulations (5:6-21),
  • statutes, words that were inscribed and, therefore, fixed,
  • judgments, the decisions made by a judge on the merits of the situation. (MacArthur)
I have to remind myself of a new law prohibiting cell phone use while driving in a school zone within our state. To me, it is a good law, helping to protect children. Which brings me to consider it a good thing to review the laws of God every now and then.


Israel already had possession of some land. It included:
  • the land of Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon,
  • the land of Og, king of Bashan, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan. 
They looked back east over Jordan where the sun arose. (verse 47)
I am reminded that Jesus is the light of world in John 12:46, I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness.

Also, God gave the boundaries of the territory He was giving to Israel (verse 46-47)
He mentions the land under the springs of Pisgah in verse 49.
In Hebrew, the word used here for springs refers to a ravine.(Strong's Concordance)

Webster's Dictionary defines a ravine as a small narrow steep-sided valley that is larger than a gully and smaller than a canyon and that is usually worn by running water.

 Moses stood on Mt. Pisgah when God told him that he would not enter the Promised Land, but he could see it from there (due to his disobedience of striking the rock twice for water).

Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:14, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Sometimes we get a glimpse of what has been promised to us. It is faith that God is looking for in our heart and life. Does He see faith in us whenever God looks at us? Are we living by faith and not by sight? Who doesn't need a glimpse of heaven every now and then? Do we need refreshment from our  Living Water, Jesus? His well never runs dry. Thank You Jesus!


Remember that God has laid down the Law for me to follow, for His glory and my good.

Live in the light of Jesus so others can see Him through me.

Daily drink from the Spring of Living Water.

Let this Living Water flow through me to those who are thirsty spiritually.

Friday, October 3, 2014

For All Time

O. T. #378  "For All Time"
October 3, 2014
Deuteronomy 4-Part 4
Keep His decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the LORD your God gives you for all timeDeuteronomy 4:40


I will love you for all time. I will stay with you forever. It's only you and me babe. Always, forever, for all time. People make those promises every day, yet they break them down the road. Is there anything we do "for all time?" We change jobs, locations, spouses, families, churches, houses, cars, clothes, and even our hair color. Our society is always changing. Yet, God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God is for all time. He gave a promise to Israel for all time. Want to know what it was? Continue reading.

Moses continues to remind Israel of the wonderful things God has done for them.
  • God brought Israel out of Egypt by His Presence and His great strength, delivered from slavery.
  • He drove out nations greater and stronger than they were. They were camped in the land of the Moabites, Amorites, and Midianites. 
  • He is bringing them into the land of promise to give it to them as an inheritance.
It is always beneficial for us to review the things God has done in our lives. Israel does not have to live in the past triumphs of God, but this second generation experienced His workings, also.
Can we look at our life in the present and see the mighty works of God? What is God doing today in your family, you church, your community, our nation?


What is Moses telling Israel?
  • Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below, and that He alone is God. (verse 39)
  • Keep His decrees and commands, which Moses was giving them that day. (verse 40)
  • When they do all of these, it will go well with Israel and their children.
  • They will live long in the land the LORD your God gives you for all time, for ever.
Shouldn't we acknowledge God as Lord of our lives? God as Lord of our land?
Are we striving to keep His decrees and commands which He gave?
Do we read the Bible and pray daily?
Are we hungry for His Word and thirsty for His Spirit?
Why are we allowing foreign gods into our land? They put up their houses of worship, yet we are not concerned that they draw away our neighbors and children.

I read a promise God gave to Israel and to us:
Do these and it will go well with you and your children.
Live long in the land the Lord has given you for all time.

What more could we want? A good and long life, a land to call home, an inheritance for our children. Sounds like the good ole life in America that generations have enjoyed.
If only Israel had continued to worship God only, they would have had their land for all time.
What about us? We seem to be slipping away from God and His decrees, especially at Easter and Christmas times.

(Of course, it is an advantage for us to be able to read further and know that Israel forsook God, turning to idols of other nations. He allowed them to be captured and taken from their Promised Land. After years, they repented. A continuous cycle.) Will America have to be captured by another nation in order to bring repentance? I pray not.


Keep my promises for all time.

Stay faithful to my God and my marriage.

Teach my children and grandchildren about God, sharing the blessings He has provided.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Good Ole Days

O. T. #377  "The Good Ole Days"
Oct. 2, 2014
Deuteronomy 4-Part 3
You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides Him there is no other.  Deuteronomy 4:35 NIV


Do we ask about the good ole days, when God sent a revival that lasted a week? Are we asking Him to do it again? Does His Spirit fall upon our worship services today? If not, are we asking Him to do so? I recall a few revival services where the Lord fell upon the people. Sins were confessed, relationships were mended, hearts were changed. Do we yearn for the same today? Are we willing to sacrifice our time to commit to prayer for such? This can be the good ole days for another generation.
Ask God.

We found that God is a merciful God who will not forsake, destroy, nor forget His children. He revealed Himself in Egypt as He delivered Israel from slavery:
  • temptations
  • signs
  • wonders
  • war
  • a mighty hand
  • a stretched out arm
  • great terrors.
God used these methods to instruct (to discipline) Israel and direct them with His own presence, for they heard the voice of God and were directed by fire. It was by God's presence and great strength that they were delivered. What an omnipotent God! He loved their fathers. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of?

Israel was shown these things so that they might know that the LORD is God; besides Him there is no other. (verse 35, NIV)

The LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. (verse 32)

Do we see God working to deliver His children today from their slavery to sin? Isn't His mighty hand working and His outstretched arm reaching for us to come to the cross for deliverance from our bondage? Do we share with others how God has delivered us?


In verse 32, Moses invites Israel to ask of God. This is a new concept of prayer. (Falwell)

What did God say for Israel to ask from Him?
  • Ask about the former days, long before their time, from the day God created man on the earth. (verse 32)
  • Ask from one end of the heavens to the other.
Wherever we are, we can seek the Lord. We will find the grace of God. (M. Henry)

Look at Luke 3:21-22. When Jesus prayed, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him. The Spirit came upon the disciples as they gathered to pray on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:14; 2:1). when the disciples prayed together after Pentecost, their gathering place was shaken, and they were emboldened to proclaim the gospel throughout the city (Acts 4:31). God does things in and through our lives by prayer that He does in no other way. (Henry Blackaby)

In John 14:14, NIV, Jesus tells the disciples, You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Do we ask of God? What do we ask of God? Is it by faith, believing He can do it? Do we trust His judgment? It is through the name of Jesus that we pray to God. He is our mediator, our High Priest.


Pray in Jesus' name.

Ask of Him to move in my life, my family, my church, my nation.

Thank God for His mercy.