Praise the Lord! Today begins our corporate pursuit based on the Life-study of Deuteronomy (see introductory post).
In the first three messages of the Life-study of Deuteronomy we have an introductory word (message 1), 9 crucial points in the book of Deuteronomy (message 2), and part 1 of a review of the past of the children of Israel (message 3).
The book of Deuteronomy is, as the name indicates, a re-speaking of God’s word to His people. But this book should not just be doctrine or history to us – every time we come to the Bible we should have a respeaking from God. We need His written word to become our daily, instant speaking every day (John 6:63)! God’s word is His breath, His breathing out (2 Tim. 3:16). When we come to the Word we should come to inhale what God has breathed out. The psalmist enjoyed this in Psalms 119:103 which says, “How sweet are Your words to my taste! Sweeter than honey to my mouth!” The Lord Jesus Himself also enjoyed God’s word: when He was tempted in the wilderness by Satan, three times He rejected the enemy by quoting from the book of Deuteronomy, beginning with Deut. 8:3 – “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.”
Actually, the word is the incarnated, crucified, and resurrected Christ Himself. Paul takes Deuteronomy 30:11-14, which speaks of the commandment that Moses has just spoken to the children of Israel as recorded in the book of Deuteronomy, and directly applies that to Christ in Romans 10:6-8. Since Christ has already been incarnated, there is no need for us to ascend to heaven to bring Him down. Since He has already resurrected, we do not need to descend into the abyss to bring Him up. Today He is so near to us – even in our mouth and in our heart!
Three parties are revealed in the book of Deuteronomy. The first party is God, who is full of love, righteousness, faithfulness and blessing. Deuteronomy reveals both the love of God and the governmental administration of God in righteousness. As a God of love, He is all-embracing and broad, but as a God of righteousness, He is strict and narrow. On the one hand, He loves us; on the other hand, He disciplines us. The second party is man, who has nothing to offer to God in himself. How could such a God use such a man? The answer is by the third party, who is Christ! Although we cannot do anything for God out of ourselves, we can receive Christ, the word, as our life and life supply and thereby be enabled to cooperate with God to fulfill His purpose (John 6:63; Phil. 4:13). Only by Christ can we be those qualified to enter and inherit the good land – those who love God, fear God, subject themselves to God’s ruling, mind His inner feelings, and live in His presence.
In our journey with the Lord, we are firstly equipped with a vision of Christ and the church, as typified by the ark and the tabernacle. We then go on to build and be built into the tabernacle (the church), and at the same time, we are built up into a priesthood to serve God and are formed into an army to fight for God’s interest on the earth. As God’s dwelling place, priesthood, and army, we are led by Christ as the Captain of Jehovah’s army (Joshua 5:14) to enter into Christ Himself and enjoy Him as the good land (Deut. 8:7-10; Eph. 3:8). Deuteronomy shows us, through the history of the children of Israel, that our obedience and faithfulness to God invite His blessing whereas our turning our hearts away from the Lord results in a serious tragedy – the loss of all the blessings and the suffering of the curse. By trusting in God’s loving heart as we pass through His righteous governmental dealings, our self and flesh can be dealt with and we will be led into the enjoyment of the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Please use the Comment section below to share your enjoyment from this week’s reading, or ask a question.