Covered: Deuteronomy 8-9, 30-31, 32:48-52, 34 / Joshua 1-4
Not Covered: Deuteronomy 10-29, 32:1-47, 33
Scripture Memory: 1st John 5:13 / John 5:24
It has been a rollercoaster of a ride so far in our reading of the Chapel Bible Plan! Some parts are engaging and intriguing, while others, quite frankly are just weird -> see blood on toe (Leviticus 14:28). But there has been one common theme through all we’ve read so far – the undeniable glory of God. It did not matter how the Hebrew people responded or acted towards God; His glory was on full display.
Not Covered This Week:
In this week’s reading we miss a large part of the book Deuteronomy, but if read, you might understand why. The parts we missed go deeper into the Jewish Law and play out some specifics when it comes to the statutes the people are called to obey.
Some of these are enlightening because they have to do with parties – Instructions for Festivals (Deuteronomy 16:1-17) / others because they discuss blessings for obedience (Deuteronomy 28:1-14) / and my all time favorite – the cancellation of debts (Deuteronomy 15:1-3)! I vote we bring this one back.
However, some are just plain awkward – see Deuteronomy 21:18-21, 23:1, 27:15-26 28:53, etc. But what Moses writes in the first part of chapter 30 is that God planned to use all of this to “bring Israel to its senses” and draw them back to Himself for His glory.
In the passages we read this week, we see some major landmarks for the Jewish people. We see Moses pass away and his mantle of leadership be passed on to Joshua son of Nun (insert funny parent joke) and observe God’s Spirit filling Joshua to empower him to lead the Hebrew people.
We are also introduced to a special lady named Rahab in Joshua 2; who risked everything she had to protect two foreign spies that were coming to destroy her city. She did all of this because of the faith she had placed in the Hebrew God, whom she had only heard about, and because of her actions, she was deemed righteous (see James 2:25).
As powerful and moving as those stories are, perhaps the most impactful recurring theme we see in this passage is one we have basically seen from the beginning -> the rebellion of people against God. No matter how good He proves Himself to be, the Hebrew people continually pull away from God and live in defiance.
Now, I can quickly jump into judgment mode and condemn the Hebrews for their actions, but I am just as guilty as they are concerning my faithfulness to the Father. Over and over and over He has proven His goodness and faithfulness to me (just like He did to Israel), but I continually walk away, thinking I know better. And what we see in these passages is God’s anger, and Holy Justice actually burns against us when we act this way. He is jealous for His glory and His glory alone, and when we behave in a way contrary to it, His wrath burns against us.
Now I don’t know about you, but this truth scares me to death. We, just like the Hebrew people, have sinned against a Holy, Righteous God and we deserve every bit of His wrath coming to us. Sheesh. That’ll raise your heart rate. But there is one important thing for us to see in these passages – when God’s anger raged against the Hebrew people, Moses interceded on their behalf. He reminded God of the promise He made to them; he reminded God of how much more glory it would bring Him if He offered redemption and salvation.
Moses interceded on behalf of the Hebrew people just like Jesus intercedes on behalf of us. Look at the words of Paul in Ephesians 2:1-5
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
God is all about His glory, and thankfully for us, God is most glorified when He redeems us and brings us back into His presence. His ultimate plan is for us to be restored in a right relationship with Him – and this only happens through the cross of Jesus Christ. This truth is what the entirety of Scripture is about – the glory of God revealed through Jesus Christ so that we might know Him.
This is why Jesus said what He did in John 5:24 – Truly I tell you, anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.
Because of our great intercessor, we are able to move from death to life and to see God’s ultimate purpose and glory. So as you continue to read through our plan, be looking for how God reveals His glory and how He does it for our good.
Written by: Andrew Bates
Photo Credit: James Donovan