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Monday, July 30, 2012

Remember Where your Blessings Come From

Today's Reading:
  • Deuteronomy 7:1 - 8:20
  • Proverbs 12:1
Read Bible Passages Online

Deuteronomy 7:1 - 8:20
Chapters 7 and 8 of Deuteronomy convey a strong warning to the people of Israel.  In these chapters Moses summarizes the people's struggles with food and water on the journey to the promised land.  Moses reminds the people that the Lord provided them with manna and with water.  Their clothes did not wear out for the entire 40 years, and their feet never blistered or swelled in all of their travels.  The Lord provided for every single need of the Israelites for forty years.   

Moses tells the people what the land that will be theirs is going to be like.  It is going to be overflowing with food and water.  There will be wheat and barley, grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey.  They will lack for absolutely nothing.

Moses also tells the people what their lives will be like.  The people will lead blessed lives.  They will be fertile -- we are told that there will be no men or women who are childless (7:14).  They are told that the Lord will protect them from illness and from the diseases that they suffered in Egypt (as a side note, I wonder what those are?).

Moses does have some warnings for the people.  Most of it involves not being drawn up into worship of other gods.  Some of the ways this can happen is by marrying someone who worships for other gods.  For this reason, the people are order not to intermarry with the people of the lands.  They are also told to tear down all the alters, destroy the alters, and to not covet any of the gold coverings of these idols. 

One warning struck higher with me than any of the others, though.  Moses tells them to be careful, when they are happy and wealthy, have fine homes and are prosperous, to remember where these blessings came from. 

The following is a clip from 7:17 - 18
He did all this so you would never say to yourself, 'I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy'.  Remember the Lord your God.  He is the one who gives you power to be successful ...
This reminds me that, even though we might have worked with our own hands to obtain our comfort and happiness, none of it would have been possible without the Lord.  We wouldn't even have the power to be successful without the Lord.  Those of us who are highly driven -- and like to attribute our success to being driven, need to remember that it was the Lord who made us this way.  Without the Lord -- we could be driven and we could work hard, yet not gain comfort in our lives.  These chapters are a nice reminder that we need to remember the Lord, even when we are sitting comfortable in our fine houses with plenty to eat.

Proverbs 12:1
To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.
This verse is a nice reminder to me that this entire bible study project is a lesson in discipline and correction.  After all, I want to study every single word of the bible so that I can learn -- learn how the Lord expects me to live for every minute of my life.  To learn how the Lord wants me to worship him.  To learn how the Lord wants me to treat others.  To learn how the Lord wants me to treat my children.  To learn the history of my religion.  To learn to future of my religion.  To L-E-A-R-N. 

But it's hard to have learning without correction.  While I'm learning all these things, I must apply them to my life and correct my ways.  I must love correction.  And my reward is the wisdom that I gain each and every day, and the ways I change my life to be more pleasing to the Lord.  Thank you, Lord, for giving us your Word.  Thank you for correcting us.




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