Monday Meditation – Deuteronomy 9-10

bibleThis week in our Bible reading we are in the book of Deuteronomy. Much of the book is Moses remembering and communicating the history of Israel – in Egypt, in the desert wandering, in faith and in failure.

In chapter 9, Moses calls the people “a stubborn people.” In the midst of encouraging them to claim the promises of God and seize the Promised Land, Moses encourages the people to recognize that they are not inheriting the land because of the virtue or goodness (9:6). They do not deserve the Promised Land, because they’re stubborn. They showed their stubbornness by neglecting God and creating an idol (9:7-21); they showed their stubbornness in the desert, complaining against Moses and God about leadership, water, and food (9:22-29).

In chapter 10, Moses then recalls that God pursued the people, despite the stubbornness of the people. He tells them how God made a new copy of His law for the people, revealing His desire to be in relationship (10:1-5). Then Moses sets to call the people to God again, calling them to fear God, live pleasing lives to God, to love Him and serve Him with their all, and to obey God’s commands (10:12-13). Why should they do these things? They should follow the call of God because creation is His, they are the objects of God’s love, and they have been chosen by God (10:14-16). It’s a beautiful call and a beautiful reasoning, which is followed by a beautiful declaration of God’s character. Moses declares that God is the God of gods, the Lord of lords; He’s great, mighty, awesome, and full of integrity, defending the weak (10:17-18). Moses calls the people to, therefore, worship God and follow God’s lead, defending the weak (10:19-21). Then Moses encourages the people that God is with them, reminding them that they were only seventy people when they left to live in Egypt, and now, returning from Egypt, they are numbered like the stars (10:22). The people would have heard this last encouragement as a reminder that God is a promise keeper; they would have known the promise God gave Abraham in Genesis 15:15 that God would give Abraham descendants numbered like the stars, and now Moses is proclaiming the promise fulfilled.

These chapters are awesome. They are real, full of failures, successes, and promises fulfilled. I see myself in these chapters. How often have I been a member of these stubborn people, forgetting the goodness of God? Yet, God, again and again and again, pursues me. I read these words of declaration (10:17-18) and know them to still be true, that God is the God of gods, the Lord of lords; He’s great, mighty, awesome, and full of integrity, defending the weak. This is the God we serve and worship. I read the calls of these chapters as calls to me as I start this week. I too am called to fear God, to live a life pleasing to God, to love Him and serve Him with my all, and obey God’s commands. He’s worthy of these things.

God is the one who blesses us even though we don’t deserve it. He pursues us, even when we’ve been stubborn. We are the objects of His love. As you start your week, looking at what God has called you to do, may God bless you with His rich presence and with open eyes and minds to see and remember how He is blessing you.

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