Friday, February 27, 2009

Day 2/Chapter 2

During the 40 days of Lent I’m saturating in the book of Deuteronomy. I’m on day 2 of this journey. Writing this down each day and blogging about it has helped keep me accountable (part of the reason I’m doing it).

Chapter 2 observations
- More sun and sand as the Israelites continue journeying through the desert.
- Moses truly was a man guided by God. Verse 1 is very personal, “as the Lord had directed me.” You see how involved God is in giving guidance throughout the rest of this chapter.
- God is specific in His instructions. He commands the Israelites and Moses to pass through certain lands and leave the people alone.
- A promise from last chapter is kept. God said, in chapter 1, that He was upset with this generation and none of them would see the Promised Land (v.35). That is fulfilled as chapter 2 unwinds.
- There is a process here of getting into the Promised Land. It isn’t as easy as just walking in and taking it. There are things to do and things not to do. There are fights to fight and fights not to fight. It’s a step by step process.
- God gives the King of the Heshbon over to the Israelites. God promises to spread the word about the Israelites to other nations. Other nations will respect them.
- Despite being told to engage King Heshbon in battle (v. 24), Moses tries sending a peace delegation. This doesn’t work and the Israelites end up destroying him, his family, and his people.

I was intrigued to see how “in-tune” Moses was with God. This chapter seemed more personal, like Moses’ diary or something. He knew the where and when of God’s plan. There’s even a sense of him being the only one aware of it (v. 1). I like this. Moses speaks of God like he knows Him. He speaks with confidence about who God is and how He directs. Do you hear of many people doing that today? I’m guessing what he did in verses 26-30 was a direct result of his relationship and friendship with God. God commanded the Israelites to engage King Heshbon in battle, but Moses tried bringing about peace first. Did he know God so well that he knew God would want this? Apparently God was ok with this. I pray God would allow me to know Him like this.

I would guess that verse 30 creates problems for some people when it credits God as the one who made King Heshbon’s heart stubborn. Reminds me of what Exodus says about Pharaoh. I bet Calvinist grin from ear-to-ear over this verse, it helps defend their doctrine of predestination. However, I ask the question, “was it God that did it or was it King Heshbon who did it by not responding to God and the peace offered him from Moses?” The latter, I believe, was what Moses wanted to communicate. Just like Pharaoh in Egypt, King Heshbon refused God and so his heart was hardened. It wouldn’t make sense to say King Heshbon never had a choice. We all have a choice, this is one of the freedoms given us in creation. So, today as I journey with God may my heart be as “in-tune” as Moses’ heart was. May I know Him and trust Him.


molly123 said...

It is essential that we encourage others. A few kind words can make a profound difference in somebody's life. For instance, thanks, you are a big help to me, you are my hero, I can't do it without you, good job, you are good at that, thanks for sharing, thanks for caring, God bless you etc... "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess...consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." Hebrews 10:23-24

My question, do you considered, really pray about, ask God to show you how you can spur (encourage) others toward their love of God, love and good deeds?

Tim, you are an encouragment to me!

Tim Sheets said...

Well, thanks Molly123. Good to hear from you again.