Saturday, March 20, 2010


Deuteronomy 8-10

Deuteronomy eight is an exhortation from Moses for the Israelites to remember the Lord, to "remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you." And remembering the Lord means observing his commands, "walking in his ways and revering him." He extols the virtues of the land that has been promised them, and tells them to praise the Lord "when you have eaten and are satisfied," to be careful not to forget. Because "if you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other will surely be destroyed."

In chapter nine, Moses warns the Israelites not to attribute God's promises to them to their own righteousness. They are going to drive out the larger nations currently holding Canaan with God's help because of the wickedness of those nations, not the righteousness of the Israelites. He reminds them of the Golden Calf at Mount Horeb, and how "you also made the LORD angry at Taberah, at Massah and at Kibroth Hattaavah," and how, when the Lord sent them out from Kadesh Barnea to take the land, they had rebelled and angered him again. He told them how he has stood between them and the Lord's wrath on many occasions and reminded God that the Israelites are your people, your inheritance that you brought out by your great power and your outstretched arm."

In chapter ten, he tells them that he chiselled out two tables, like the first ones which he had destroyed, and the LORD wrote on them. And how they made the ark and the tablets with the Ten Commandments lay within. He reminded them how the LORD had set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark and to minister and pronounce blessings in his name. And again, he reminds them to fear the Lord, "to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good." He reminds them that Israel went into Egypt as seventy men "and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky."

Thoughts, questions, issues

  • The summary and rehash continues. It's like a valedictory address.
  • I don't remember this passage from the last time I read this book:

    You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.

    There are a lot of people, myself as much as anyone else, who need to remember that.
  • That does not, however, give someone else the right to confiscate it.

Psalms 40

A psalm of praise. "I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry...he set my feet on a rock...put a new song in my mouth."

Psalm 40
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.

2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.

4 Blessed is the man
who makes the LORD his trust,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.

5 Many, O LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.

6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but my ears you have pierced;
burnt offerings and sin offerings
you did not require.

7 Then I said, "Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.

8 I desire to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart."

9 I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips,
as you know, O LORD.

10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.
I do not conceal your love and your truth
from the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD;
may your love and your truth always protect me.

12 For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.

13 Be pleased, O LORD, to save me;
O LORD, come quickly to help me.

14 May all who seek to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.

15 May those who say to me, "Aha! Aha!"
be appalled at their own shame.

16 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation always say,
"The LORD be exalted!"

17 Yet I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
O my God, do not delay.

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