The book of Deuteronomy is the printed version of Moses’ farewell messages to the second generation of Israelites following the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. These messages were given on the plains of Moab just east of Jericho. Deuteronomy has been appropriately called “The Book of Remembrance.”
In this book, Moses reviews God’s faithful dealings with Israel. He recounts the travels from Mount Sinai to Kadesh Barnea on the edge of the Promised Land, as well as the rebellion and the 40 years of wilderness wandering. He restated the Ten Commandments, the requirements of the tithe and the central storehouse. But the primary focus of Deuteronomy is the counsel to obey God and receive His blessings. Moses portrays God as One who has the ability, and the desire, to care for His people.
Read Deuteronomy 28:1–14. What great blessings are promised the people? But what must they do to receive them?
Moses was very eager for the people to understand that God had wonderful, even miraculous, blessings in mind for them. His words, “If thou shalt hearken diligently,” let them know that their eternal destiny was at stake here. What a powerful manifestation of the reality of free choice. They were God’s chosen nation, recipients of great blessings and great promises, but those blessings and promises were not unconditional. They needed to be accepted, received, and acted upon.
And nothing God had asked of them was too hard for them to do either. “ ‘For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?” But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it’ ” (Deut. 30:11–14, NKJV).
Of course, besides the blessings, there were the warnings of the curses, what would come upon them if they were to disobey (Deut. 28:15–68); that is, what consequences their sin and rebellion would bring.
What does it mean for us, today, to “hearken diligently” to what God tells us to do?
Saturday, January 07
Sunday, January 08
Monday, January 09
To Hearken Diligently
Tuesday, January 10
Wednesday, January 11
Thursday, January 12
Friday, January 13