Deuteronomy

Tuesday Devotional: Deuteronomy 29

bibleRead Deuteronomy 29

The human mind is inquisitive and logical. It seeks answers and explanations and is suspicious of any committed action made without any reasonable explanation. Before we make any decision we want to make sure that we have all of the necessary facts and that we are well aware of why we are making the decision we make. While these decisions are not exclusively correct, we rarely make any decision without a justifiable reason to do so. There are reasons behind every decision we commit ourselves to. To make a decision without any explainable reason would be foolish, and contradictory to the operations of the human mind. Thus, with the questions of life and death hanging in the balance in relation to faith in God or total rejection of him, why would the human mind choose to operate any differently?

In fact, God himself reminds us repeatedly that we are to use our brilliant minds to reach the conclusion that he has saved us and that he has a plan for us. With such a monumental issue, compared to the countless trivial problems and deliberations that pepper our days, it is surprising that we spend relatively little time pondering the secrets of this profound mystery of God. While many choose to settle for the simple conclusion that the God of the Bible is a mystery, desires to be a mystery and will forever be a mystery, this conclusion contradicts the account of God about himself in the Bible. The truth is that God has absolutely nothing to hide and has nothing to fear in the face of his creation. As surprising it is for us to assume that the creator of the Heavens and the Earth chooses to remain silent, it is exponentially more surprising to God that we have not found or seen him yet in the face of all of his work. Daily we are enveloped by the beauty and glory of his handiwork on this Earth. We live and breathe on a planet that daily sings his praises. When we reflect on the aspects of our life that bring us stress or burden, which of any of them have been created or revealed through God’s creation, and which have come as a result of man’s own creations?

The issue at hand is not the existence of a God that is too scared to be discovered as less than his claims and thus chooses to remain in the shadows. Rather, the issue at hand is a people that refuse to acknowledge a power greater and more capable than themselves. The issue at hand is a people that spend so much of their lives worrying about the meaning and purpose of life while never shifting beyond themselves to find an answer that doesn’t end with self. We are children who desperately want to learn a language in order to communicate, while never opening a book on language, all the while bemoaning the fact that we are unable to express ourselves. God makes it very clear on a daily basis that he is God. We, on the other hand, in our persistent falling short make it very clear on a daily basis that we are but man, and not God. In seeking the existence of God there comes a point where one cannot claim ignorance or charge God with secrecy. The facts have been revealed and we are left with only one decision. We can use our uniquely human ability to reason out our decisions and move toward the facts. Or, we can ourselves choose to defy our human instinct to reason and overwhelm our intelligence as humans all for the purpose of inflating our ever-fragile ego that allows us to remain in control and proved right by our own actions and not as a result of anyone else. God clearly states that one decision results in life and the other results in death. The pride of the human heart is so easily corrupted that many would prefer to choose death for the sake of being right.

Tuesday Devotional: Deuteronomy 32

bibleDeuteronomy 32:48-52

48 On that same day the Lord told Moses, 49 “Go up into the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo in Moab, across from Jericho, and view Canaan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession. 50 There on the mountain that you have climbed you will die and be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people.51 This is because both of you broke faith with me in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin and because you did not uphold my holiness among the Israelites. 52 Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel.”

The true value in walking with God ultimately has nothing to do with what we have received or will receive in return for our walk.  The true value of walking with God is simply that: the walk.  As we walk we receive insight into his character and are welcomed into a relationship with him that is close, personal.  This walk only reveals truth and is grounded in love.

A true relationship is “being” and not “getting.”  Being with that person is the only reward you seek.  From this understanding of God and our experience with him, we are then prepared to face the confrontation between God’s will and our own with complete understanding.  If our walk is based on the expectation that our efforts will reward us, we will be left bitter.  However, if our walk is anchored in the walk itself, the experience of walking with God as his beloved child will remove any preconceived notions of what we will receive or what he is supposed to provide.  The walk with God cannot survive disappointment if avoiding disappointment was the motivating factor for walking in the first place.  A genuine walk with God results in heartfelt thanksgiving of blessings received along with “blessings” withheld.  It is never about the getting or the giving.  It is simply walking.