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God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March 13 - Deuteronomy 5-7: Moses Reminds Israel that God, Their god, is One

Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 5-7

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

Moses is repeating God's call to holiness by repeating the commandments God gave Israel.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

Moses reminded Israel of the Ten Commandments and how they begged Moses for him to hear God in secret. God told them to stay on His spiritual road.
God gave commandments that would help them live long, fruitful lives if they obeyed them. "God, our god, is a mono-god. Love Him with everything you can! Let His laws guide everywhere you go. God will give you a developed land. Remember how you got there.
"Stay away from Canaanites in every way. They will tempt you to leave God. God chose you because you would be faithful. Make God's choice correct!"

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

God punishes parents for what they teach their children. God rewards parents for what they teach their children.

This is the reason God says that he punishes to the third and fourth generation and rewards to the thousandth generation what is taught. Parents have an essential role in setting their children pointed toward God. Parents set the spiritual foundation for a child. This is why later Moses will repeat God's command to
Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates. (6:6-8, The Message)

Our God is only one god and we honor Him by loving Him will our all.

Jews today call the sentence, "Hear, o Israel, God, your god, God is one," the Shema. You may have noticed that I write both (G)od and (g)od when I mention our God. This is because the word "god" is very confusing in English since it has two meanings. The Hebrew word for "God" (name) is Romanized as YHWH and anglicized as Yahweh or Jehovah. The Hebrew word for "god" (generic) is elohim. So this sounds to a Jew as "Yahweh, our elohim, Yahweh is one." In English we are limited to "God, our God, God is one." That is completely confusing. So instead, I use (g)od when I want to write about the generic "cosmic being." So our god is God (Our elohim is Yahweh).
I mention all of this to point out that the god of Abraham, the god of the Promise, is not a consortium of gods coming together to decide what we mortals will do. Our god is God. We are monotheist. ("mono-" meaning one and "theist" meaning god). He is completely and utterly different than the gods of the Canaanites, Greeks, Romans, Hindus, and any other polytheist (poly- meaning many) religion.
This is why I sing David Sexton's arrangement of "Hear, O Israel," to Josiah most mornings. I want him to know from an early age that our god is God and that He is one.

God once again repeats the warnings to destroy the inhabitants of Canaan to prevent temptation to add other gods to God.

I have mentioned this several times, so I won't repeat myself. But it is here again. Don't allow people who worship other gods be part of the Chosen People. They can and will erode the Chosen People's whole-ness. Don't even bring a souvenir home. Destroy all of it.

God chose Israel because of the Promise, not because of their strength or merit.

God is adamant—Israel does not deserve the land He will give them. The people in Canaan are bigger, stronger, more numerous, and well-fortified. Israel will receive Canaan because God made a promise with Abraham.

What foundation are you leaving your children? Leave a comment in the section below or on the Sonoma Mountain Parkway Church of Christ Facebook page.
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