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Archive for February, 2020

Warning Against Idols

February 27, 2020 Leave a comment

15 Since you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire, take care and watch yourselves closely, 16 so that you do not act corruptly by making an idol for yourselves, in the form of any figure—the likeness of male or female, 17 the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth. 19 And when you look up to the heavens and see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, do not be led astray and bow down to them and serve them, things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples everywhere under heaven. 20 But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron-smelter, out of Egypt, to become a people of his very own possession, as you are now.

Deuteronomy 4:15-20

The Lord knows that the Israelites will want what other people in the Ancient Near East have, a concrete object of worship.

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Remember

February 26, 2020 Leave a comment

9 But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children— 10 how you once stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when the Lord said to me, “Assemble the people for me, and I will let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me as long as they live on the earth, and may teach their children so”; 11 you approached and stood at the foot of the mountain while the mountain was blazing up to the very heavens, shrouded in dark clouds. 12 Then the Lord spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice. 13 He declared to you his covenant, which he charged you to observe, that is, the ten commandments; and he wrote them on two stone tablets. 14 And the Lord charged me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances for you to observe in the land that you are about to cross into and occupy.

Deuteronomy 4:9-14

Don’t forget the Lord’s voice and commands!

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Wise and Discerning

February 13, 2020 Leave a comment

5 See, just as the Lord my God has charged me, I now teach you statutes and ordinances for you to observe in the land that you are about to enter and occupy. 6 You must observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people!” 7 For what other great nation has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is whenever we call to him? 8 And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this entire law that I am setting before you today?

Deuteronomy 4:5-8

Moses explains that it is a national gift to have the Lord’s law and the ability to communicate with their god.

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Deuteronomy 4

February 5, 2020 Leave a comment

The NRSV breaks this chapter into nine paragraphs, so we will review this passage in nine days.

So now, Israel, give heed to the statutes and ordinances that I am teaching you to observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. 2 You must neither add anything to what I command you nor take away anything from it, but keep the commandments of the Lord your God with which I am charging you. 3 You have seen for yourselves what the Lord did with regard to the Baal of Peor—how the Lord your God destroyed from among you everyone who followed the Baal of Peor, 4 while those of you who held fast to the Lord your God are all alive today.

Deuteronomy 4:1-4

Moses speaks in his official capacity as ruler of the Israelites.

He reminds the people of what occurred in Numbers 25, the Heresy of Peor:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heresy_of_Peor

One rabbi’s teaching on this passage can be found here:

So Moses reminds the people of their faithfulness, in contrast with the unfaithfulness of the Israelites who became intertwined with the Moabite worshippers of their Baal of Peor.

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Bless the Lord

February 4, 2020 Leave a comment

19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
obedient to his spoken word.
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers that do his will.
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.

Psalm 103:19-22

David concludes this Psalm with blessings.

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Everlasting Love

February 3, 2020 Leave a comment

15 As for mortals, their days are like grass;
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.

Psalm 103:15-18

People are mortal. God’s love is forever.

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