Skip to main content

Long Enough: Deuteronomy 1

In Summary: Deuteronomy. The names means “second law” in Greek, and this book essentially recaps the life of Israel from Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. Included are reminders of crucial laws, but excluded are details like the size of the Ark of the Covenant.

One of the differences in the telling of Deuteronomy is the presentation in first person. I am of the opinion that Deuteronomy represents the record of Moses’ oral presentations to the people of Israel. The more natural manner of speaking would be first-person, using words like “I” to describe what he saw.

This first chapter deals with how the people of Israel have reached their current situation. They are in the wilderness area just across the Jordan River from the land of Canaan. In modern terms, they are in Jordan, or thereabouts. Moses retells the Exodus, briefly, and then about the wandering times. He does appear to cast the light a little brighter on himself than Exodus does.

The retelling is necessary because we are now looking at an entirely different generation of Israelites than we had at Exodus 12. These are the ones who were less than 20 at Kadesh-Barnea and the spies, they are the replacement for the unfaithful generation.

And they have come close to the land, and camped near Mount Nebo.

In Focus: Take a good, hard look at Deuteronomy 1:6. Moses reminds the people of what God said at Mount Horeb (another name for Mt. Sinai). They had been at the mountain “long enough.” 1:7 contains the command to “turn and set your journey, and go.”

The people of Israel were to be done sitting around, learning and developing. It was time to put into practice what God had called them to do, what He had prepared them for. It was time to take their position as a royal priesthood and holy nation, taking the light of YHWH to the nations.

The people had learned holiness. They had seen God’s mighty hand act in salvation. They were organized both for war and for life in the land in the principle of the judges over 50s. They were ready.

Then they faltered, and turned back. All was ready and prepared, but their faith failed. Now, Moses brings them back to this point:

It’s been long enough. It was time to get going.

In Practice: You should see where this is headed. Consider your life, Christian, and what God has prepared you for—and stop clinging to where you have been. Go forward, obey, take action to do what God has commanded.

Consider your life, church, and what God has prepared you for—and stop clinging to what has been. We are not called and equipped mope and lament the state of the world. We are called and equipped to stand forward into battle for the souls of humanity. We are called and equipped not to whine about where prayer is not allowed or where God is not welcome, but to pray without ceasing and to be the evidence of an ever-present God.

Consider your life, Church, and what God has prepared us for—and stop clinging to petty divisions where we have them. We are called to walk in unity, guided by the Word of God as we serve the Word Incarnate. Let us stop seeking the powers of this world, either to support us or even permit us, and go forward. People are dying—our fellow believers die for their testimony and the unsaved die to face eternal wrath. And we are worried about names on the sign.

It has been long enough. Let us get to work.

In Nerdiness: The Hebrew title for Deuteronomy is “These are the words,” taken from the opening line. Deuteronomy is based on the Greek words for second law, which informed the Latin title in the Vulgate of the 5th Century, AD.

The author? Moses, with some editorial emendations. I like the idea of this as the transcription of oral instruction to the people.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Abraham Lincoln Quoted by Jesus! Mark 3

Mark records a curious event in his third chapter (link). If you look at Mark 3:25, you'll see that Jesus quotes the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. After all, one of the highlights of the Lincoln years is his famous speech regarding slavery in the United States where he used the phrase that "a house divided against itself cannot stand." This speech was given in 1858 when he accepted the nomination to run against Stephen A. Douglas for Senate, but is still remembered as the defining speech regarding slaveholding in the United States. I recall being taught in school how brilliant and groundbreaking the speech was, how Lincoln had used such wise words to convey his thought. Yet the idea was not original to Lincoln. Rather, it was embedded in Lincoln from his time reading the Bible. Now, I have read varying reports about Lincoln's personal religious beliefs: some place him as a nearly completely committed Christian while others have him somewh…

Independence Day 2017

I don’t know if Thomas Paine will be aggrieved that I paste his thoughts from Common Sense here, from the electronic edition. It’s a Public Domain work at this point, so hopefully none will be bothered that I am not paying for it...I think there is value in seeing the underlying reasons of Independence. I find a couple of things noteworthy in his introduction:First, he speaks of those who disagree and, while calling those out, holds the strength of his affirmative argument will be enough to straighten them out. We could do well to think more like that.Second, his final sentence should be a required view: the influence of reason and principle. Not self-interest masquerading as principle. Not party propaganda disguised as reason.That being said, not everything Paine said is right. If he and I lived at the same time, we’d argue religion over a great deal. However, the idea of “natural rights of man” follows from the idea of humanity as a special creation—that all are created equal and en…