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bible reading blog

numbers 22- deuteronomy 34

03/04/2019    |   Jim Fay

This week’s passages are from the books of Numbers and Deuteronomy.  As February ends and winter weather and cold seem to go on without end through March, this week’s readings are a great reminder that our God is much bigger than day-to-day disappointments.


s – Deuteronomy 4: 1-4, 7-9 “And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you. Your eyes have seen what the Lord did at Baal-peor, for the Lord your God destroyed from among you all the men who followed the Baal of Peor. But you who held fast to the Lord your God are all alive today. [1]… For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today? “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children—[2]


o –  The context for this passage is that in the previous chapter, Moses is forbidden by God to enter into the Promised Land to the point that Moses is chastised when God told him, “Enough from you; do not speak to me of this matter again. 27 Go up to the top of Pisgah and lift up your eyes westward and northward and southward and eastward, and look at it with your eyes, for you shall not go over this Jordan.[3]  Here in chapter 4, Moses’ character and love for God are clearly displayed in how he directs the Israelites.  Moses reminds them of what God has done for them as a people and how God gave instructions to them through Moses on how they should live.  Despite the disappointment he had to be feeling on being barred from crossing the Jordan, Moses speaks highly and fondly of God as he asks the people what other nation has a god so near to them to call upon?  And what other nation has rules and statutes as righteous has those given to them by God?  He cautions them to guard their soles by remembering what they have seen and to teach those things to their children.


a – Everyone faces disappointments in life.  Some things which create disappointment are caused by factors totally outside of our control.  But in many instances our disappointment can be directly attributable as the consequence of our earlier decisions and actions.  In this week’s passage Moses faces great disappointment in not being able to enter the Promised Land because of things he had done which displeased God.  Moses overcame his disappointment and remained reverent and obedient toward God.  This is a perfect model for us of how we need to respond when God shows his love for us through discipline when we face the consequences of our choices.


p –  Lord, thank you for how you love us enough to want to teach us your ways.  When that teaching takes the form of trials or disappointments please give me the patience to quietly listen to hear what you are saying to me, the character to respond with an obedient and worshipful spirit, and the wisdom to learn from my mistakes and tell others of your goodness and mercy.  Amen.


[1] the holy Bible: english standard version. (2016). (dt 4:1–4). wheaton, il: crossway Bibles.
[2] the holy Bible: english standard version. (2016). (dt 4:7–9). wheaton, il: crossway Bibles.
[3] the holy Bible: english standard version. (2016). (dt 3:26–27). wheaton, il: crossway Bibles.