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W.I.S.H. – Weekly Insights for Spiritual Health 08-04-2021

Read:  Deuteronomy 30

So for forty years the people have wandered the wilderness, been sustained by God, and learned to trust the Almighty.  They have lived with the law of Moses, they have multiplied their clans, and they have been transformed from a group of freed slaves into a nation of God’s people.  It is now time for them to inherit the promised land.  But before they can do so Moses will give a summary of the law that they are to keep and require that they recommit themselves to the covenant to be God’s people.

Moses makes it clear that this pledge is important.  The choice they are making is between life and death, between prosperity and destruction; that is the gravity of their decision.  For God’s part it is clear that God knows and understands the path ahead.  For the people’s part I am far less convinced, but God spells it out in Moses’ admonition.  It is clear that God wants them to choose life.

The so-called promised land, the land “flowing with milk and honey”, is not without its difficulties and challenges.  Remember this land was originally pledged to Abraham and Sarah more than 500 years earlier.  They had to leave it twice because of drought, and they lived meekly, but faithfully among the inhabitants of the promised land.  This time it is not an old man and old woman and their progeny who enter the lane; this time is a large band made up of the descendants of Jacob’s twelve sons.  Remember, Jacob was given the new name of “Israel” by God, and those twelve sons have created the twelve tribes of Israel.

It will be hard!  It will require courage and bravery in a way they have never been called on before.  The inhabitants of the promised land don’t want newcomers, and they are prepared to slaughter those who want to enter.  These chapters are for me the most challenging chapters of the Bible.

Choosing between life or death. Actually, there will be plenty of both as the epic saga of God’s people continues.  We will follow their struggles and their stories.  We will glean wisdom and we will wrestle with some very difficult things. We will note their successes and their failures, and at times we will wonder at each.

Shalom,

Pastor Rob Nystrom