Thought to Guide Your ReadingMoses is reminding Israel of the God they serve and what He has done for them to prevent what happened the last time they came to the Jordan.
Summary in 100 Words or Less"God roundly defeated king Og. Three tribes now have his lands.
"Joshua, do not to be afraid of the Canaanites. Remember our God! I wanted to view Canaan and God allowed it.
"Everyone, obey God's laws. You have seen God's blessings and punishments. If you follow God, the world will wonder in amazement. Teach your future generations. God spoke the Ten Commandments at Horeb. There was no form, so make no images to represent Him. If you worship anything else you will be taken from your land. How great is God for doing this awesome thing for His Chosen People!"
How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right
God is reminding the people of their experiences to help them not be afraid as they enter Canaan.Apparently taking a census was not helpful enough for Israel to know God would defeat their enemies. This time God used examples of their past. God also reminded them of His punishments He gave to the idolaters at Baal Peor. God wants us to remember our victories to gain strength to win other battles.
If Israel obeyed God's laws, the nations around them would be in awe.This is something often missed by legalists and anti-legalists.
You'll become wise and understanding. When people hear and see what's going on, they'll say, "What a great nation! So wise, so understanding! We've never seen anything like it." Yes. What other great nation has gods that are intimate with them the way God, our God, is with us, always ready to listen to us? And what other great nation has rules and regulations as good and fair as this Revelation that I'm setting before you today? (4:6-8, The Message)God deserves to be obeyed because His Laws are more fair and more just than any human law can create.
God wants to be remembered because of Righteousness not His Form.God strongly prohibits making any image of Him. He reminds Israel that they saw no form when He spoke to them. They only heard a voice and saw a great fire on the mountain. God's followers must not make an image to represent God for God is Righteousness made real.
God's punishments are very strong and very real. God's mercy is equally as strong and as real.Moses almost challenges Israel to worship another god.
[I]f you … become corrupt and make any carved images, no matter what their form … I can tell you right now, with Heaven and Earth as witnesses, that it will be all over for you. … God will scatter you far and wide. … [In captivity] you can worship your homemade gods to your hearts' content, your wonderful gods of wood and stone that can't see or hear or eat or smell.(4:25-28, The Message)Immediately afterwards he reminds them,
But even there, if you seek God, your God, you'll be able to find him if you're serious. … God, your God, is above all a compassionate God. In the end … he won't forget the covenant with your ancestors which he swore to them. (4:29-31, The Message)This is why Moses exclaims great praise to God for doing this magnificent deed for Israel. God is worthy of obedience because of what He has done for us in the past!
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