Faithful Father, we come before You rejoicing, praising, and giving thanks to our GREAT ADONAI! We ask that Your Spirit convict, convince and conform us to the Image of Your Glorious Son YESHUA through the study of Your Life-Giving Word! Shod with the Shoes of the Glorious Gospel of Shalom, may You cause us to take possession of what You have given, our Promised Land of Abundant Living through the Mashiach! Help our unbelief, rebellion and complaining tongues. In Yeshua’s Name we pray, Amein.
(1)“Now, Isra’el, listen to the laws and rulings I am teaching you, in order to follow them, so that you will live; then you will go in and take possession of the land that ADONAI, the God of your fathers, is giving you…(9) Only be careful, and watch yourselves diligently as long as you live, so that you won’t forget what you saw with your own eyes, so that these things won’t vanish from your hearts.~ Moses to the Israelites (Deuteronomy 4:1,9) CJB
Because the LORD is the same yesterday, today and forever (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8), His Message is unchanging and we have GREAT and RELEVANT TRUTHS to be learned from an ancient stiff-necked people. For we are just like them, aren’t we?!
Please open to the book of Deuteronomy in your Bibles.
First, let me share with you a little Hebrew lesson: The word ‘Deuteronomy’ is the English name based upon the Septuagint (a Greek translation of Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh). Deuteronomy means ‘second law’; as in a REVIEW of the Mosaic law previously given in Exodus.
The Hebrew Bible (TANAKH) refers to this same book as ‘D’varim’ meaning ‘WORDS’ because the book begins with ‘these are the WORDS Moses spoke’ (D’varim 1:1).
The TANAKH is broken UP into THREE PARTS: TORAH (PENTATEUCH) NEVIM (PROPHETS) KETUVIM (WRITINGS OR ‘WISDOM LITERATURE’). Thus the word formed from the first letter of each part: T, N, K or TaNaKh.
Let us look at a most vital concept. The word ‘Torah’ comes from the root word ‘yareh’ meaning law, but especially instruction for living or to point by instruction. Yareh is an archery term meaning ‘TO HIT the MARK‘ (in life)!
Equally as important as our understanding of Yareh for our living, is ‘chatta’ah‘ or SIN!
Sin (chatta’ah) comes from the root word ‘chata‘ which is also an archery word meaning (you guessed correctly!) to MISS the mark (in life)!
The first time ‘sin’ is mentioned in Scripture is in the Genesis account of the offerings of Cain and Abel. For a more in-depth look, please visit the four week ‘The Way of Cain‘ Bible study.
Now, WORDS ARE VERY IMPORTANT, aren’t they? Especially as Moses was giving the Israelites the very WORDS of ADONAI our God!
In fact, the WORD OF GOD was extremely vital to the Israelites’ very well-being (just as it is ours today!) so much so that Moses concluded in D’varim chapter 32 vv. 45-47:
45 When he had finished speaking all these words to all Isra’el, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words of my testimony against you today, so that you can use them in charging your children to be careful to obey all the words of this Torah. 47 For this is not a trivial matter for you; on the contrary, it is your life! Through it you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
D’varim is Moses’ review of the Israelites’ journey up to the Jordan river AFTER their 40 years of wandering in the desert (one year for EVERY DAY that the 10 Disbelieving spies had spied out the Promised Land).
All of the disbelieving generation had died off at this point. It is now their CHILDREN who are now about to FINALLY enter the Promised Land under their new leader Joshua.
‘Don’t be fearful, don’t be afraid of them. ADONAI your God, Who is going ahead of you, will fight on your behalf, just as He accomplished all those things for you in Egypt before your eyes…Yet in this matter you do not believe ADONAI your God…’~ D’varim 1:32‘But you would not go up. Instead, you rebelled against the order of ADONAI; and in your tents, you complained…’~ D’varim 1:26-27
As we read thru and reflect upon this amazing recap, we find there were generally 3 RECURRING SINS committed by Israelites:
- DISBELIEF (not trusting in God’s WORD)
- REBELLION (not obeying God’s Command)
- COMPLAINING (grumbling against God’s Character)
Is this PATTERN familiar in your own life?
Furthermore, the penalty of sin is a ‘fallen countenance’ or ‘downcast soul’. Remember Cain?
Has your soul been downcast for a season due to these three sins?
I praise our ABBA YHWH that HE continually desires His best for us that we may experience LIFE as He intended!
Psalm 84:11 says:
‘The LORD God is a Sun and a Shield. The LORD God gives grace and glory. No GOOD will He withhold from those who walk uprightly!’
That GOOD is ‘love, joy and peace’ overflowing from the inside..the FRUIT of His Ruach (Spirit)! This GOOD HE is talking about is a content spirit…filled to overflowing…having met the saturation point with no desire for anything additionally!
Let’s review what ADONAI said to Cain:
Genesis 4:6 ADONAI said to Kayin (CJB),
“Why are you angry? Why so downcast? 7 If you are doing what is good, shouldn’t you hold your head high? And if you don’t do what is good, sin is crouching at the door – it wants you, but you can rule over it.”
Because sin’s PENALTY is a downcast soul; the sins of disbelief, rebellion and complaining can never be God’s intent for us. For with it comes a countenance wholly in opposition to that of our JOYOUS MASHIACH!
A deeper look into the sins of disbelief, rebellion, and complaining reveals that they stem from a discontent spirit within. Remember Philippians 4:13:
I can do all things through Him who gives me power.
As you go back and study the context of this passage, you will find it is all about learning and maintaining a spirit of CONTENTMENT. This passage is not about doing whatever you want WITH Christ’s power to aid you, as some may have been taught!
Paul is saying,
‘I know what it is to be in want, and I know what it is to have more than enough – in everything and in every way I have learned the secret of being full and being hungry, of having abundance and being in need. I can do all things – I can EVEN BE CONTENT IN THIS PERISHING WORLD WITH SHALOM FROM ON HIGH – through Him Who IS MY CONTENTMENT…I am MORE than satisfied!
May I share with you an excerpt from pastor and author John Piper’s The Dangerous Duty of Delight:
‘God has put eternity in man’s mind and filled the human heart with longing. But we know not what we long for until we see the breathtaking God. This is the cause of universal restlessness. Hence the famous prayer of Saint Augustine: “You made us for Yourself and our hearts find no peace till they rest in You.”
The world has an inconsolable longing. It tries to satisfy the longing with scenic vacations, accomplishments of creativity, stunning cinematic productions, sexual exploits, sports extravaganzas, hallucinogenic drugs…etc. But the longing remains. What does this mean? C. S. Lewis answers: “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probably explanation is that I was made for another world.”‘
ADONAI had purposefully shown the Israelites this beautiful and fruitful land He was giving them. But as as D’varim 1:26, 27 reminds us:
“But you would not go up. Instead you rebelled against the order of ADONAI your God, and in your tents you complained!”
Will you decide to go up today in TRUSTING His Word and OBEYING His Command that your heart not complain against His Character?
The story does not end there. Our Compassionate and Faithful Father continued to bless the Children of the Disbelieving generation with HIS Word of Instruction.
And to this new generation about to ENTER THEIR PROMISED LAND and who had seen the miracles of ADONAI growing up in the Desert, Moses reminded them: (D’varim 4:1-14)
“Now, Isra’el, listen to the laws and rulings I am teaching you, in order to follow them, so that you will live; then you will go in and take possession of the land that ADONAI, the God of your fathers, is giving you. 5 Look, I have taught you laws and rulings, just as ADONAI my God ordered me, so that you can behave accordingly in the land where you are going in order to take possession of it. 6 Therefore, observe them; and follow them; for then all peoples will see you as having wisdom and understanding. When they hear of all these laws, they will say, ‘This great nation is surely a wise and understanding people.’ 7 For what great nation is there that has God as close to them as ADONAI our God is, whenever we call on him? 9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves diligently as long as you live, so that you won’t forget what you saw with your own eyes, so that these things won’t vanish from your hearts. 14 At that time ADONAI ordered me to teach you laws and rulings, so that you would live by them in the land you are entering in order to take possession of it.
Wherein lies this crux and portal through which we progress from merely looking upon to finally taking possession of our Promised Land?
We will explore more in the days ahead…
For now, if you have not begun the beauty of reflective journaling, may you do so today as you meditate upon His Truths presented before you. It may help you to print out this study and place it in a binder with blank sheets of paper for your thoughts and further study.
Had the authors of the Tanakh not journaled their close encounters with El Elyon, there would be no instructions for us…
‘For everything written in the past was written to teach us, so that with the encouragement of the Tanakh we might patiently hold onto our hope’. ~ Romans 15:4
Child of God, may His Spirit continue to reveal to you in the coming days that…
HE doesn’t necessarily want something FROM YOU as HE wants something FOR YOU…LIFE OVERFLOWING!
- What is my countenance revealing about my true character?
- Has DISBELIEF in my life progressed to a spirit of rebellion which Scripture reveals is as ‘the sin of witchcraft’ (1 Samuel 15:23)?
- Has REBELLION in my life found its fruit in an uncontrolled and complaining tongue which inherently has the capability of infecting all those around me as the deadly Plague (Numbers 14:36)?
- What kind of attitude is displayed when things do not go according to MY plan?
- How much TIME do I give to the study of His Yareh (Instruction)?
- Am I partaking of THE MOST Important Meal of the day, feasting upon the Breakfast of His Heavenly Manna? For it is written in the Tanakh that man does not LIVE on bread alone, but on EVERY WORD that proceeds from the mouth of ADONAI (Matthew 4:4; D’varim 8:3)
- Am I FULL of HIS Word…or am I simply full of myself?
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it. Brothers, pray for us. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-25