“Five Things God Ask of You in 2017”
January 1, 2017
Deuteronomy 10: 12-22
“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
14 To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. 15 Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today. 16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. 17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. 20 Fear the Lord your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. 21 He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. 22 Your ancestors who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.”
If you are familiar with Moses’ writings (the first five books of the Bible) you will remember how Moses, called and empowered by God, led the Children on Israel out of bondage in Egypt through a series of wonderful miracles. They passed through the Red Sea and stood on the border of the land promised to them by God, Himself. But they faltered. They feared. They failed. They lost faith. So they sent a spy from each of the twelve tribes to check out the land God was promising them and telling them to go and possess. And by the way, that pretty much establishes unequivocally the Jews title to Israel. But they didn’t do it. They did go possess it. They lacked faith. So they send the 12 spies out and 10 of them came back with a frightening, faithless report. Only Caleb and Joshua came back with an encouraging and faithful report. Guess whose advice the people followed? That’s right! The ten frightened ones.
For their faithless choice they had to wander around the desert for forty years until they all died off – except for the two faithful spies. Even Moses and Aaron would not be able to enter in. But now they were on the verge of crossing over the Jordon and taking possession of the land that flowed with milk and honey; the land God promised them.
But first God wanted Moses to make known to them very clearly the things He wanted them to do and the things He didn’t want them to do. So Moses went up on the mountain for forty days and communed with God without any food or water. Finally he came down with two tablets of stone in his arms that God had written His will for His people on. And what did Moses find the people doing? Worshipping a golden calf and engaging in revelry.