I'm going to try a new method of posting my thoughts for Bible in 90 Days today. I'm going to cite and include the verses from Deuteronomy chapters 8 through 23 that are giving me food for thought.
Deut 8:2 You are to remember everything of the way in which ADONAI led you these forty years in the desert, humbling and testing you in order to know what was in your heart - whether you would obey his mitzvot or not. 3 He humbled you, allowing you to become hungry, and then fed you with man, which neither you nor your ancestors had ever known, to make you understand that a person does not live on food alone but on everything that comes from the mouth of ADONAI. 4 During these forty years the clothing you were wearing didn't grow old, and your feet didn't swell up. 5 Think deeply about it: ADONAI was disciplining you, just as a man disciplines his child. Wow - 40 years of testing and discipline. If my 40 years started right now, I wouldn't have enough years left to complete them in this lifetime. I hope and pray that I've been learning and growing from God's testing and discipline for many years already. I remember the first time it sank in when I read these verses that their clothing and footwear didn't wear out during those 40 years. God preserved his people in ALL ways. Here's a sobering thought in this verse:Deut 9:4 "Don't think to yourself, after your God has pushed them out ahead of you, 'It is to reward my righteousness that ADONAI has brought me in to take possession of this land.' No, it is because these nations have been so wicked that ADONAI is driving them out ahead of you. God promised to make a great nation of the peoples of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He kept his word. It's just a sobering thought that some other peoples were so wicked that God drove them out to give the land to Israel. If God were still in the "driving out" business today, how many U.S. cities would be on the target list? Just a question... what's the proper definition of "stiffnecked"? These are awesome words of wonder to someone who likes to garden and grow food:Deut 11:10 "For the land you are entering in order to take possession of it isn't like the land of Egypt. There you would sow your seed and had to use your feet to operate its irrigation system, as in a vegetable garden. 11 But the land you are crossing over to take possession of is a land of hills and valleys, which soaks up water when rain falls from the sky. 12 It is a land ADONAI your God cares for. The eyes of ADONAI your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. 13 "So if you listen carefully to my mitzvot which I am giving you today, to love ADONAI your God and serve him with all your heart and all your being; 14 then, [says ADONAI,] 'I will give your land its rain at the right seasons, including the early fall rains and the late spring rains; so that you can gather in your wheat, new wine and olive oil; 15 and I will give your fields grass for your livestock; with the result that you will eat and be satisfied.' And immediately followed by a warning to NOT leave Adonai:16 But be careful not to let yourselves be seduced, so that you turn aside, serving other gods and worshipping them. 17 If you do, the anger of ADONAI will blaze up against you. He will shut up the sky, so that there will be no rain. The ground will not yield its produce, and you will quickly pass away from the good land ADONAI is giving you. 18 Therefore, you are to store up these words of mine in your heart and in all your being; tie them on your hand as a sign; put them at the front of a headband around your forehead; 19 teach them carefully to your children, talking about them when you sit at home, when you are traveling on the road, when you lie down and when you get up; 20 and write them on the door-frames of your house and on your gates - I would think that warning and the consequences of not being true to Adonai would have sunk in better than it did. This verse makes me smile: Deut 12:5 Rather, you are to come to the place where ADONAI your God will put his name. He will choose it from all your tribes; and you will seek out that place, which is where he will live, and go there. Can't you just picture the people? Each tribe has been given a certain territory of land that will be parceled out to the families of the tribe. God is going to pick ONE PLACE from among the twelve territories as the place where He'll put his name and live. I smile because I picture the leaders of the tribes jumping up and down with their arms raised, shouting "Ooh! Ooh! Pick me! Pick me!" I know that's what I would be doing!! I think this following verse is still so important today. Deut 13:1 "If a prophet or someone who gets messages while dreaming arises among you and he gives you a sign or wonder, 2 and the sign or wonder comes about as he predicted when he said, 'Let's follow other gods, which you have not known; and let us serve them,' 3 you are not to listen to what that prophet or dreamer says. For ADONAI your God is testing you, in order to find out whether you really do love ADONAI your God with all your heart and being. 4 You are to follow ADONAI your God, fear him, obey his mitzvot, listen to what he says, serve him and cling to him; I believe that when we are truly in the end-end-times, there will be prophets who will do amazing things - things that many people will find miraculous. Those who are not followers of Christ will fall for false prophets. These verses imply that some false prophets will be so impressive as to convince people who say they follow God to be influenced and turn away from the truth. What do you think about this one? Deut 14:26 and exchange the money for anything you want - cattle, sheep, wine, other intoxicating liquor, or anything you please - and you are to eat there in the presence of ADONAI your God, and enjoy yourselves, you and your household. I do believe God loves a good party, given for the right reasons! I know we know this one. I just don't ever want to forget it:Deut 15:11 for there will always be poor people in the land. That is why I am giving you this order, 'You must open your hand to your poor and needy brother in your land.' This is something I will be keeping in mind as I get further into the OT: Deut 17:14 "When you have entered the land ADONAI your God is giving you, have taken possession of it and are living there, you may say, 'I want to have a king over me, like all the other nations around me.' 15 In that event, you must appoint as king the one whom ADONAI your God will choose. He must be one of your kinsmen, this king you appoint over you - you are forbidden to appoint a foreigner over you who is not your kinsman. It sounds harmless enough - God is making provision for something that may occur down the road. But it seems to me that, when the people do say they want a king, God gets angry with them. Hmm... will have to ponder this more now; and again when I get to the part about their first king. This next verse has inspired me to set another goal and I plan to start when the B90 readings are finished:Deut 17:18 "When he has come to occupy the throne of his kingdom, he is to write a copy of this Torah for himself in a scroll, from the one the cohanim and L'vi'im use. If hand copying the Torah was good for the kings back then, I'm inspired to think that God can use the exercise to reach and teach me deeper, too. I'm also hoping that doing a hand-written copy of God's word will aid me in being able to better recall where certain passages are located. I've never been good at memorizing scripture by chapter and verse. There are many verses I can quote but am at a loss to identify the book, chapter or verse where it originates. Until next time - I'll be checking your blog as you share your B90 thoughts with the rest of us!