The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), March 13
Worldly men govern people by their own wisdom rather than by depending on the manifest wisdom of God. Oppression soon rules the day, and depression and despair characterize the people. Not so with God’s people.
God distinguishes Israel from all the peoples around them by making a covenant with them and by giving them regulations to guide their behavior,
Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day? (Deuteronomy 4:5-8).
Rules and regulations given by God are meant to build community, to bring freedom, and to cause celebration.
The dietary regulations protect the community from disease by advocating cleanliness and personal health.
The social regulations promote brotherhood and protect the community from imploding because of predators.
The ceremonial regulations develop gratitude and God-awareness by promoting God-centered communal celebration.
The sacrificial regulations recognize the holiness of God and the seriousness of sin by constantly reminding the community of God’s promise of redemption.
When God is no longer the epicenter of community, men arise who govern by earthly wisdom. Without God’s wisdom, governments oppress, predators proliferate, and addictive behaviors escalate. And hope of redemption dies. How the world needs to see godly government!
Question from today’s reading (Deuteronomy 3:21-5:33):
What event does Moses refer to as a warning against disobedience to the LORD’s commands?
What root cause of idolatry does Moses identify?
What does God promise will occur should Israel turn to idolatry?
Moses recites the ten commandments to those preparing the enter Canaan. What does Moses tell them about the previous generation who received the ten commandments?
What promise accompanies obedience to the ten commandments?